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Hey guys, I'm on what I thought was the tail end of a restoration on a '99 Foreman 450 S and could use some advice. I bought the machine a month ago with about 3500 miles on it.

I have gone through the entire thing and replaced essentially every bearing, seal, completely rebuilt front end and brakes, all new cables, painted the frame, rebuilt the 4-2-4 etc etc. Trying to do a nice job! It was a good base for the price but it was pretty used for the mileage, and while it ran great it had a lot of neglected maintenance to do. I intend to use it around my property and to plow my 500' driveway with it. I like two wheels for woods riding..

When I was going through the rear end I found that the swingarm was filled with oil. I ordered an output shaft seal and a lock nut tool to get the swingarm off. Waited a week and pulled the swingarm tonight, replaced the seal then realized something was off - the final shaft was clearly cocked in the seal. I looked at the swingarm and it became obvious that at some point the u-join broke and banged around in there. Someone went in and did the joint but either missed or ignored the fact that it bent the shaft. It has almost .050" of runout....

Anyways, I have a dilemma. After pouring this much time and money into it I want everything to be right. But I really, really don't want to have to split the cases.

- I put a tight fitting pipe over the end of the shaft and pulled on it pretty hard. I was only able to move it about .010". I've read guys on here say they bend them back into shape. Has anyone here actually done that and could weigh in? How far did you move it? How hard are you pulling on it? I'm using mild pull on a 24" pipe but worried about the force I'm putting into bearings and aluminum cases.

- If I replace it; I have the skills to do the job but worried about tools. Is this something I can do without some big assortment of Honda PN pullers? What's on the "while I'm in there" list - clutches? Rings? what bearings?

- Should I just run it? I really hate to, it's not how I do things.. but it's also a plow/yard machine and a 20yr old quad. Keep an eye on the oil, let it leak, and just try to forget about it?

Thanks!
 

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Wow boss. Looks awesome. They are a real good machine. Just traded up from mine, love the new one but do miss the 450, good bikes. Ive broke my u joint before replaced the seal and bearing. Luckily didn't hurt the shaft, however on the rear axle when i got the bike the Outside bearings were gone, while replacing them found the axle was bent. Did have the funds to replace it so ran it with the new bearings anyway (however it' bearing runs in a steel tube, so i get where your concern is there) after that i could feal the shaft wobble that I had not noticed before. Ran the bike a lot, and eventually whent to do some rear differential work so the shaft had to come right out. Checked it for straightness then and it was right on?? But I seen it was off and felt it riding? Don't know if all the running on the 5 new bearings it runs on forced it straight? Can't see it but reused it again and now noticed that it felt smooth. Wasn't sure when the bent shaft feal whent away as i thought I just gotten use to it. I know it's not the same thing but my be food for thought. I had never had to split the case on mine, would have if needed to but glad i didn't. Good luck and it really looks good, those bikes are worth keeping for sure.

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Welcome to the forum. Replacing the shaft isn't terrible work but still enough. The top end has to come off and then you can just pull the front cover and split the crankcase. The only special tool needed is a clutch puller and many have used a big 3 jaw puller to get that loose. If your not going to use it a lot you could just let it go, keep an eye on the oil level and fix it in the future. I have never tried to straighten one but it's going to take some force to do it. There is a thread on here about a few members doing this. I haven't read through that one (it was posted a while ago) but if you have a place to strap the machine down good and can use a bottle jack so your getting slow, steady pressure it would be worth a try.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks for the input guys. I'm starting to pull together a potential parts list - what would you consider a must-do job when removing the cylinder and splitting cases? What are optional jobs? I'm trying to set myself up for a 1-day repair with all parts on hand if I can be that clever.
 

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I bought a hardcore 450 guy's entire garage of 450 atvs and parts when he switched to side by sides, it was a lot of stuff , 6 bikes , boxes and boxes of engines , parts , etc , filled my truck and trailer and I had to leave one 450 there , was suppose to go back for it and never did as it was a hour and a half ride ---- there was a 6 ft long piece of pipe in the mix , on one end is half of a u-joint with the spline end sticking out , he told me it was a shaft straightener , slides over the splines for a tight fit and allowed you leverage to straighten a bent output shaft , he said he used it and it worked for him , I have never had need for it yet , if you were close to New Orleans you could pick it up and try it out , would be easy to make if you had a old u-joint
 

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a 6' piece of pipe tells me the guy felt comfortable pulling on it pretty dang hard!
 

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That thing isn't bending anywhere, it's whooped. I pulled the engine out tonight and ordered parts to do the job. I also ordered parts to do a full timing chain job, but hoping I can return the expensive tensioner stuff. And got a set of stock size rings in case I want to put them in. In for a penny..
 

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Personally , I find put rings in with boring is a waste of time , it might work out in some cases , but it is not going to last as long as it could have if it were started fresh , G+H does a boring deal that is hard to beat , send them your jug , they will bore it and send you back Shindy piston , rings , wrist pin , clips and all gaskets and seals for the job , total cost with your shipping to them and then shipping back to you is about $220 and takes about 2 weeks , sometimes quicker , you can't beat that
 

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Personally , I find put rings in with boring is a waste of time , it might work out in some cases , but it is not going to last as long as it could have if it were started fresh , G+H does a boring deal that is hard to beat , send them your jug , they will bore it and send you back Shindy piston , rings , wrist pin , clips and all gaskets and seals for the job , total cost with your shipping to them and then shipping back to you is about $220 and takes about 2 weeks , sometimes quicker , you can't beat that
hmm, alright thanks for the input. I've been riding 2-stroke dirt bikes with plated cylinders for... 20 years now? so I'm used to just throwing in a ring and piston and rocking out, never had to touch a cylinder.

Guess my other option is to throw the piston and rings back in and leave well enough alone... after all there was no issues, just trying to work ahead a bit. I figured a quick run with a dingle-ball and slap some rings in would be a 'good thing', but maybe I'm creating more opportunity for problems?

I hear ya and am sure you're right on getting a slight bore and a fresh top end.. but man, I'm so heavy into this foreman now if things look good and I can skip that cost I might want to! Buddy keeps telling me I should have just bought a few year old Polaris... yeah, but then I'd be stuck with a Polaris!
 

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I would hone the cylinder and if it's in good shape use the new rings. I never had luck with rings re seating when reusing them.
 

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I would hone the cylinder and if it's in good shape use the new rings. I never had luck with rings re seating when reusing them.
10-4, I think that's the plan. I'll let you guys know how I make out. Might get parts in time to hit it this weekend, here's hoping! Not sure my clutch puller tool is gonna make it in time though.
 

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Got the shaft in and the engine all buttoned up! Not a bad job, but slow since it was my first go round and it got spread out a week while I was waiting for the shaft to come in ($56 from partzilla at least it was cheap). Honestly the biggest pain of the whole thing was cleaning off the factory installed 1999 case gaskets. Without exaggeration it took me 4 hours to get all of the gasket surfaces perfectly cleaned up, they were unbelievably stubborn.

Thought it was worth noting that if you're reading the manual it's going to tell you to remove the rear case and all of the alternator stuff to split the cases - you don't need to. If you're just going in for the final shaft you can just pull the front cover and pop the shaft right out, which is what I did.

Everything was cleaned meticulously; I propped the main case up on it's side with the gears strapped in and flushed it down with clean kerosene, then I re-oiled all of the bearings and the gears before assembly.





There was a bunch of "while I was in there" stuff. I replaced the timing chain but reinstalled the stock tensioner and guide arm/bracket (didn't see any reason to replace $180 worth of Honda parts that looked like new still). I bought a flex-hone and honed the cylinder. Put in a new factory standard ring set, and a new wrist pin and clip.



I replaced every seal on the outside of the cases, and every o-ring as I went through it. Adjusted the clutch, adjusted valve lash which was WAY out of spec, popped in a fresh oil filter and got it back in the frame!



Here's a look at how far out the shaft was..https://youtu.be/N5H8x3X-sW8

Looking forward to getting back to re-assembly, wrapping up the project and going for a ride! On an unrelated note, the bike has a highlifter lift kit on it and I bought cheapie Taiwanese front and rear shocks off eBay. I really don't like the angle of my front axles (which are both new Tusk parts). I'm really tempted to pull the lift brackets off but may wait till I hang a 5' plow on it. I had to compress the front shocks a bit to get them in the lift brackets and that's at full droop...
 

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Good stuff! These bikes are bullet proof, and well respected. It will last a lifetime, if looked after. And are a very capable machines. Good to see.

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got the suspension buttoned up last week before a vacation to the Cape. Came back and finished up the brakes, then re-installed the wiring harness. When I bought it it had NO working cable controls on the left side and a seized foot brake. I put on all new Honda cables, new levers, choke assembly etc. I also rebuilt the carb before it went back in (the needle that came out had no markings on it, the needle in my cheapie kit had a shorter overall length and slightly different taper. I ordered an OE Honda needle so I could put that in and know what I'm dealing with.) I should note that I decided to take out the highlifter lift kit. I thought the angle it put on the CV's was unacceptable and it was hard to even turn the brake drums. It rolls much easier without it and overall looks much more "healthy". Hoping I don't rub the 27's now..



All that work turned into a real time suck, routing the cables and harness properly was fiddly. The pictures in the manual were sort of helpful but I was really wishing I took more pictures. The only downside of all of it is that my reverse lockout works now, so I'll have to decide on a good way to disable it.

Before installing anything else I used an air gun and a 3' hose to fully coat the inside of the frame in Fluid Film. Between that and the conversion paint it should be good basically forever.

Did all fluids and got ready for first start. I left the oil cooler disconnected and pulled the plug then turned it over a bunch with the rope starter until oil shot out the case, so I knew I had oil pressure. Then I hooked the cooler back up and cycled it a few more times to fill the oiler cooler, this way the whole system was primed before it ran after being flushed out. Hit the starter and it fired RIGHT up and fell into an idle.


It ran great, I just took it up the road a bit and varied load under 50% throttle to seat the rings. It rolls and steers so much better with the rebuilt suspension, fresh bearings and shocks, and no dragging brakes. It pulls to the right a bit so I'll have to play with the tie rods, otherwise it feels like new.

I saw a 20% off coupon for the Harbor Freight winches and figured it was too cheap to pass up, so I got a 2500lb Badlands. It had an old Superwinch 2000 on it which I'll use for other stuff. The Badlands is wireless remote only, which is slick I guess but not that useful for me, so I moved over the control switch from the Superwinch. I didn't want to clutter up the handlebars more so mounted it to the handlebar pad, it squeezed right in between that and the speedo.





I also put on my big ticket item, brand new carrier rack. The old one was completely busted up from taking a hit in the front and was pretty much beyond repair. The new one was stupid money but oh well.



Have some LED cube lights to install, then I can put on the rest of the plastics, install the plow kit, and call this thing done!!
 

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It's looking good Mike. A lot of work but worth it in the end.
 

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Thanks guys. I did get it wrapped up this weekend which was a relief. It definitely turned into quite a bit of work but agree that it was worth it. Now that I know what it's supposed to be like I can appreciate how neglected some of it was. It rides so much better.

I popped on my cube lights before I put the front end together. I wired them up with a relay in the battery box pulling 12v from the battery and switching with the high beam circuit on the handlebar control. Would be nice to space them out but then they'd block the stock lights, so I'm OK with the placement for now.



I took it for a break in ride on some actual trails and was really happy with how it felt when things aren't flopping around and it actually has some suspension. It's not such a crashing tank after all! I also am having no rubbing issues with the 27's without the lift kit, glad I took it out. I took advantage of the Warn and rode it around in 2wd which does lighten up the steering a little bit. Only problem was it was 25°F and I was freezing.



at the last minute while I had things apart I sanded down the racks and painted them with truck bed liner. Finish came out nice and made it look that last bit fresher.



Last job was to hang the plow on it which was straightforward and quick. It's a 60" blade and heavy, turned my cheap shocks to MAX STIFF which helped. I got this done literally right as a big storm was rolling in so I really slid it in under the wire.



I'll admit I chickened out on it a bit when the snow came. We got 10" on Monday which I cleared most with the blower, then played with the edges and cleanup with the plow. Have to refine my technique but it seems to do the job pretty well. We got another 12" of snow on Tuesday and I ended up leaving it in the garage, feel like I want some more time on it before I go slamming it into 3' drifts and putting that kind of load on it.

My worn kinda worn down 589's seemed OK at best in the snow. I ordered a set of Bear Claw HTR's and am hoping they are a better overall and snow tire. I got 26's because I think there will be several advantages over the 27's which I really don't need for what I'm doing. After that I'm DONE, I have spent enough money on this thing! haha
 

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You'll like the HTRs, I run them on my sxs and one of my 420's. They run true to size, get good traction in about everything and last good. Being a radial they ride smooth and the 8 ply helps with punctures.
 

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wow! first impressions of the bear claws is that they blew me away. I could tell before I got out of the garage how much of an improvement they are, just because I wasn't bouncing up and down like on the 589s. These roll and steer so much smoother I'm really surprised how much of a difference they made. Grip in the snow is way, way better. It was rewarding to go have some fun after spending so much time wrenching on it.



 
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