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front discs for 450 foreman

6346 Views 21 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Nick-IBZ
Has anyone looked into changing the entire front from the spindles on out on a Foreman 450 with the spindles and disc brakes from a Foreman 500. It looks as though Honda just redesigned the spindles to have two tabs to bolt the calipers on. The geometry of the two spindles look the same. Same caster angle and ball joint attachments. It appears the tie rod ends bolt up in the same place. Honda mechanic, any thoughts. Is the bearing and /or half shaft diameter different between the 450 and 500? This appears to be the only place where you could have problems, if the 450 shaft would not fit into the 500 spindle.
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The bearings are the same for both machines.I looked at doing the same thing but changed my mind when I priced all of the parts to do so.I installed the conversion kit from HIGH LIFTER alot cheaper...
I really kind of think that the front drums on our machines have a bad rep that they don't deserve. The drum actually works better in the mud/water than a disk, and I think most people dislike their brakes because they are out of adjustment. I know I just adjusted my front brakes and what a difference! Even with both hands you can't move the lever more than 1" and that is better than most people I know with front disk brakes. All I'm saying is that you might want to try adjusting and cleaning your front brakes first. Just turn both adjusters an equal number of clicks until the drum will just slide on and not drag. I actually go until I can't get the drum on, then back off a couple of clicks until I hit the no drag point just to make sure they're perfect. Also, remove any corrosion from the drum surface with sandpaper and grease the outer lip seal so no water gets in and then try out your new brakes.

Made a world of difference on my machine. I had just been putting up with crappy front brakes for a long time, but now they work great. I would never even bother with a front disk conversion.
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I agree that the drum brakes work well when properly maintained. Whenever I feel my brakes start to fade I just pop of the front wheels and adjust the shoes. Once or twice a year when the adjusters get hard to turn I remove the drums, take everything apart and clean everything up. Usually about an hours work for both sides.
If you want to convert to discs I hear that it's a great mod. Just don't feel that you HAVE to convert to get an acceptable brake.
My plan is to convert when it gets to the point of spending money on the drum setup, like if I need to replace or rebuild the wheel cylinders.
I agree with cleaning them and setting them up. I have worked on bikes that had no brakes at all in the front. I cleaned them up, freed up the adjusters and put anti-seize on them and adjusted them up. Some times you have to clean up the drums because they havent been in contact with the shoes for so long that they are rusty. I have really good brakes. But its hard to keep the water out of them. My .02.
well go into the mud higher than a lugnut , and those drums are gone in six months , drum on a atv= junk =rust
i dont like riping down the whole front end after riding for 5 hours to wash out the water/mud in the drums . but if you ride in sand dunes and on dry trail drums are fine.
I am agreeing with Vettepin, even if it is raining while you are riding, drums suck. LOLOLOLOL!!!! Brand new off the showroom floor, I took mine mud riding and they were toast about a month later. Took it back to the dealership because I didn't know much about drums and the charged me over $100 to get them working again. warranty did not cover. This happened again, so I learned how to do it. But I was mainly mud riding and it got old in a hurry. I did the conversion, which the Honda dealership strongly recommended, and I have not had to pull the tires off yet!! No doubt a necessity if you wat to get close to a mud hole. All I can say to H4 and GM DOC is I am glad you have been lucky, because I know dozens of people who have not been!!
Amen brother !!!!!!!! Disc Brakes.....
sorry for bumping a so old thread,
but I am interested in the same thing.

do the disk brakes of a Foreman 500 2006 fit on a foreman 450 ?

I have access to a foreman 500 with engine failure thats parted out.
so would get all for cheap.

do the 450 axles fit ? with the hubs, knuckles, calipers and disks of a 500 ?

I hope Hondamechanic, Todeep or some other experts could give me feedback here.

I know that there exist different kits for conversion but would prefer all HONDA as I can get the used parts for really cheap.

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I believe you will have to change everything outward including the spindles. I looked at it but the parts became too expensive on ebay. I belive the spindles will hook up directly to the 450 A-arms. Not sure about the half shaft length if it will be an issue.
I have never tried it so I can't give an answer to that one. It should work but you might need to change the outer cv joints to match the hubs off of the 500.
I've heard bad things about the drum brakes and considering doing the disc brake conversion later on. The original owners said the back ones barely held when they first had it so is this really a common issue or do I need to get some maintenance done? The ATV stops fine since it's manual shift and there's also a kill swith for emergencies.
They might just need cleaned or possibly new shoes. Superatv has an affordable front conversion for them.
it was done on my 450 that I bought used not sure what all was swaped
My primary question is with the axles, can I use my axles or do I need 500 axles ? Because that would be more diffcult.
anybody know If the axles of a 450 and 500 are equal at the outer part ? splines etc.. ? :unsure:
They may. What year 450?
take the whole front drive off and reinstall it on the 450. the gears are the same.
My primary question is with the axles, can I use my axles or do I need 500 axles ? Because that would be more diffcult.
anybody know If the axles of a 450 and 500 are equal at the outer part ? splines etc.. ? :unsure:

if you want an easy way to find out go to your dealer and look at your both front bearings take a vern and measure if the turn out the same good to go.

if they are the same the part numbers might even be the same :happy

good luck
just called my honda dealer the part numbers are different so it might be the same but dont count on it
@ 2003 Foreman Es ... I have a 2002 Foreman ES.

My main concerns are the axles and the bearing size of the knuckle.
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