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Discussion Starter #1
My steering has been getting much stiffer. I read that I should remove, clean and grease the upper bushing on this post: https://www.hondaforeman.com/128-foreman-450/71671-steering-suddenly-stiff-2.html?amp=1&utm_source=amp

after doing that and while still on the jack, the wheels move freely from side to side and no more squeaking. when I lower my recon onto the ground steering becomes harder and when I start to move it becomes a lot harder. it really wants to fight me back to center while moving.

any ideas on what to check next?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I went out today to do some more triaging. I noticed that each tire had about 4 lbs of pressure in them. I took them all down to 3 lbs and that seemed to help a little. 2.9 is the recommended pressure in my Clymore manual. Still the handlebars are fighting me while turning.
 

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On a Recon? That's weird. Normally fighting you is the 4wd.


Have you greased the ball joints? I use a grease needle and slide it up under the ball joint boot and give it a couple of squirts, then move everything around as best I can.


What do your wheel bearings look like?


And airing UP your tires should make steering easier. Airing them down should make it more difficult
 

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when the tires are up off the ground how are they pointed? are they facing IN , or OUT, all look straight or?? toe.in/out of alignment can make for harder steering!, all the more so if one side is out a lot more than another
and normally MORE air ina tire makes for easier steering NOT less, as you r not having as large of a foot print on the ground as you air up and side wall becomes stiffer to make turning easier NOT harder
any slop in wheel bearings?
front brake not hanging up is it?
has atv ever been rolled over or in an accident
as something bent can make steering a lot harder too!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the suggestions. Here are the answers to the questions.

Have you greased the ball joints?
I haven't, I will look at doing that. I don't own a grease gun so I might have to borrow one.

What do your wheel bearings look like?
How do I inspect them?

when the tires are up off the ground how are they pointed? are they facing IN , or OUT, all look straight or?? toe.in/out of alignment can make for harder steering!, all the more so if one side is out a lot more than another
I didn't have time to lift it up this morning, but when I look at the front wheels (while on the ground) it seems that they are pointing out slighly. I'll try to post a picture.

has atv ever been rolled over or in an accident
as something bent can make steering a lot harder too!
One time it was rolled on the right. Not moving. just didn't mount it very carefully on a side hill. That was about two years ago though and the steering tightness has been more recent.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the suggestions. Here are the answers to the questions.

Have you greased the ball joints?
I haven't, I will look at doing that. I don't own a grease gun so I might have to borrow one.

What do your wheel bearings look like?
How do I inspect them?

when the tires are up off the ground how are they pointed? are they facing IN , or OUT, all look straight or?? toe.in/out of alignment can make for harder steering!, all the more so if one side is out a lot more than another
I didn't have time to lift it up this morning, but when I look at the front wheels (while on the ground) it seems that they are pointing out slighly. I'll try to post a picture.

has atv ever been rolled over or in an accident
as something bent can make steering a lot harder too!
One time it was rolled on the right. Not moving. just didn't mount it very carefully on a side hill. That was about two years ago though and the steering tightness has been more recent.
 

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it does look to me like you have a excess amount of toe out, which could be causing you your issue
BUT it could also be because a bent tie rod, or a worn out one causing this issue

to check wheel bearings, jack atv so all 4 tires are off the ground, and grab a hold of the tire at the top or bottom (push in pull out )
and see if there is any movement, and then side to side like
there should NOT be very much movement at all here, if you have some odds are the wheel bearings are going down and need replacing
same thing when you have atv off the ground, pull on tie rods and check for play in them as well

you can also grease the ball joints with a can of white lithium grease , and spray it into them

NOW next question, this is a 4x4 atv right?
HOW do the axle/ CV rubber boots look, any holes in the rubber boots?(grab boot squeeze if you hear air rushing out you need new boots)
as if so, you can have a CV joint going bad, making it harder to roll on one side which can make it feel like its a harder to steer!

if your atv front end alignment is way off, too much toe in, and or OUT, you can adjust things to correct
do you have a service manual for your atv?
if not, either download a free online one and follow instructions on how to align it correctly!
things over time do wear out and or move
and even in a roll over, things that get tweeked just a tad then as time goes by can get worse and start to make bigger issue's!
 

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chris2, did you ever figure this out? I have the same issue with my Rubicon. Way too much effort to steer, gets better as speed increases but I have had other brands with no power steering like my Rubicon and they were much easier to steer. Anyone else ever have a heavy steering issue on their Honda?
 

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You have a full time 4wd Rubicon, so that's what makes it hard to steer. You can get a Wide Open front driveshaft disconnect that will allow you to put the machine in 2wd when you don't need 4wd and it will steer much easier.


Welcome to the forum.
 

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Thanks jeepwm69. That makes sense, had not thought of that because I thought it was automatically in 2 wheel drive until the rear started slipping. I have only had this Rubicon about 11 month's so still learning things about it. I almost did not buy it because of the drum breaks but it was in mint condition (for a 2001) so it was hard to pass up. And I did replace the drum breaks this spring with after market Disc break kits front & rear, much better setup. Any idea where I might find the Wide Open front driveshaft disconnect? What's all involved with doing this?
 

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