Outlander 400 squeal/screech - Can-Am ATV Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 11-30-2016, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Outlander 400 squeal/screech

I'm hoping my 2006 outlander 400 has a common and not very expensive maintenance issue... actually 2 of them.

I noticed lately that if I go forward just enough to get some momentum and then let off on the gas and let the engine slow itself down I hear a screeching from under the seat or rear end. You would swear that the brakes have activated as it sounds like a friction squeak. I replaced the front brake pads and had no noises before or after that job. I keep thinking the rear brake is doing it but I'm not touching the brakes and as far as I know the engine doesn't apply the rear brake when it is 'self-braking'

What else could it be? Is it the clutch winding down as it slows down and gripping something? Is there a bearing in the clutch that is bad? I bought this less than a year ago and right before I bought it the prior owner had put a brand new clutch in, he had the box and parts on hand when I bought it. I always wondered if he had adjusted that clutch correctly as it seemed like when you take off you give it gas, nothing, nothing, then a lurch as you fly forward. Same in reverse, rev rev then wham you lurch backwards. I always thought the springs or something were too tight. Figured it was a 'new clutch' but that hasn't changed in the last year. Now this metallic noise when letting off gas and when 'engine braking' is occuring but it clearly is under the driver or near the back.

I had my brother who is pretty good with these things look at things last night use a flashlight in the dark to check out under there. He noticed that my drive shaft U joint has tremendous slop in it and you can see where there is a lot of wear from the u joint slamming back and forth due to the slop. That is a critical thing that needs to be fixed but outside of a click when it engages, that would not explain the long screech when letting off gas.

So I can get the u joint fixed but that likely won't explain the first problem.

Any tips on getting that U joint off and fixed? Do you have to take apart the rear brake? How do you disconnect both drive shaft ends? Do I take it to a frame or axle shot to get a new one pressed on?
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-30-2016, 02:10 PM
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Check rear u-joints

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2010 can-am outlander 650xt,Ricochet full skids,gh frame mod,stanley box (back),odgio(front),gps60csx,brass kahunas on the rear,king atv gauge pod
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post #3 of 12 Old 11-30-2016, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Rear u joints look pretty sloppy. But why the screech only when letting off rpms and letting engine slow the machine down?
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post #4 of 12 Old 11-30-2016, 06:21 PM
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It only take one end cap to be dry . When the machine is under a load it will squeak and get worst the drier it gets. When was the last time you greased it, I grease mine every 50 to 100 miles depending on how much water I went threw

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post #5 of 12 Old 11-30-2016, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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They probably are dry, I will check that, but it will need more than grease as the u joints have about 20 degrees of rotational slop before one u hits the other u and there is a bright spot in the metal where the impact is taking place. That means time for new u joints right?
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post #6 of 12 Old 12-03-2016, 12:06 AM
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Shouldn't be any slop at the joint. It's getting cold out so now would be a good time to do it.
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post #7 of 12 Old 12-03-2016, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Has anyone tackled this job that can give me a pointer or point me to a youtube video? It is hard to get to. I see a plate with the U joint knuckle attached to it. It has 4 screws with star heads that seem to hold the rear rotor in place but in the middle of that large 'bracket' is a big bolt, maybe 15mm. Does taking the 15mm bolt out of the center what is needed and then we can pull the whole drive shaft out of the front? I've heard of folks breaking bits on those star (torx) screws when trying to do the front brakes and found out you didn't need to take those out afterall to do front brakes.

Or do you just try to take the knuckles of the U joint apart? Looks like a C shaped spring clip comes off and then a rod gets pressed out? Is that the ticket?

Any other tips or pointers would help
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post #8 of 12 Old 12-04-2016, 12:44 PM
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post #9 of 12 Old 12-04-2016, 05:41 PM
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Haha. I was just gonna say u joint. Its simple to do. That Youtube video was made by me! Hope it helps.
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post #10 of 12 Old 12-15-2016, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Reporting progress on this project

Thanks a ton mdavidson, without your video I would have been lost. You helped me figure what guards to take off and how to pull back the differential to help get the old shaft out. I had ordered the new U joints and watched your video. But then on a tip from my brother who had issues with the process of pressing out the old u joint and getting the new ones in (and aligned) he asked me to check on the price of a new complete drive shaft. Turns out the U joints are about $20 and the new shaft with 2 new ball joints was $40-$50. I chose the $50 option as it was closer and it arrived in 3 days!

The new shaft is clearly built better, more beefy than the stock one. However when I greased one of the new grease zerks, the end of the zerk popped off. I can hand thread it back in the housing but when you tighten a bit more the threads pop loose. Bummer, bad zerk? I have it full of grease and hand tight but the next time I try to add grease I'm going to be in trouble.

It was a bit of a struggle getting the old shaft out since the 15mm bolt in the back was fighting me the whole way out and there is no room to get anything but a open ended wrench in there and make tiny turns.

Then, I think I did a very big bone headed thing. The new rear drive shaft came with 2 metal 'sleeves' in the package. I could not immediately see where they mounted or what they were for. When I had everything back together and guards back on, wheels back on etc, I looked more carefully at the old shaft and see that the old shaft has these 2 metal sleeves one over each end of the splines. I can see a shiny ring in the black steel where it appears something was riding on the sleeve, actually 2 shiny rings. Does a bearing or something ride on the outside of that sleeve?

I'm kicking myself for not studying that more carefully, and since this is the first time at doing a project like this it figures I would screw the one thing up that would require me to take the whole thing back out and start over to do again.

So what are those metal sleeves for? If they go over the splines, why did the factory not put them on in the first place?

How do you install those do you hammer them down over the splines?

Can I add them while the shaft is in place and just slide the front side out of the front of the motor, add the metal cover, then pull the back out of the differential and add the shield over the splines? Maybe by the time I have that all apart I might as well take the new drive shaft completely out and work on a bench.

Is there a way to repair the threads or find a new 45 degree angle grease zerk and try to fix that while the shaft is on the bench?

Many thanks to you who are chuckling at my rookie skills and are so willing to help!
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