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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I certainly apologize if someone has had this exact same issue and has posted here, but I have dug through the forum and couldn't find it. If you know of a link to a discussion with this problem, please share with me and I can keep from bothering too many with my trouble.

Long story short, I purchased a used not running rhino with supposedly no trouble. I got it running after not much problem and soon discovered why they sold it. There is a very random loud popping coming from the rear drive terrain. It does not appear to be a CV after running through some different tests I was told to do. Following this I decided to remove the engine cover and passenger seat, tilt the bed up and drive around in my hayfield for a while to see if I could see anything physically happening while I was driving. I noticed every time there is a pop, (pop is defined by loud noise that sounds like a broken tooth on a gear and the gear jumps, also a simultaneous very brief loss of power which further solidifies my assumption that it could be something like this) anyway everytime there is a pop I see the rear drive shaft move back about 1/8th to 3/16th of an inch. This is very random and doesn't appear to be happening in conjunction with any sort different scenarios I throw at the machine. All I can assume is there is trouble in the transmission due to seeing the driveshaft move back toward the rear final drive. I have read a lot about the middle drive gear causing problems, but I would think I would not be able to drive this at all if that was truly the case.

My questions are can anyone provide any further diagnosis given these symptoms. It doesn't seem to change whether in forward or reverse. I raised the rear end up on my floor jack and am able to run the dang thing up as fast as I can w/o any popping. It appears to be only happening under power. I tried to apply brake while the wheels were off the ground and after extreme pressure I was able to make it pop a couple of times, but it did not do it after that no matter how much brake I applied. I am very puzzled at the randomness of the problem. Can anyone provide assistance? I'm going to do the repair myself and I'm assuming I'm going to have to eventually tear the transmission down, but if someone can think of anything that is wrong prior to going to that extreme that would be helpfull. Thank you in advance for reading this novel and giving me some help!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Too difficult to tell where it's coming from. With the bed up while driving and looking over everything going on back there I still could not determine from which direction the noise is coming from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I should add that it will not pop while going very slow....once I hit about the same speed....I never looked, but I would say around 5mph....it will start to make the noise randomly.
 

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In the service manual 7-1 they give you a trouble shooting chart, kind of sounds like some of the symptoms you have.
 

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In the service manual 7-1 they give you a trouble shooting chart, kind of sounds like some of the symptoms you have.
Yep....
CAUTION:
Too little gear lash is extremely destructive
to the gear teeth. If a test ride following
reassembly indicates this condition, stop
riding immediately to minimize gear damage.

c. A slight “thunk” evident at low speed operation.
This noise must be distinguished from
normal vehicle operation.
Diagnosis: Possible broken gear teeth.
WARNING
Stop riding immediately if broken gear
teeth are suspected. This condition could
result in the shaft drive assembly locking
up, causing loss of control of the vehicle
I would get it on jack stands,remove the service plug for the rear diff first and rotate to see if I could see any damage. Could be a Pinion gear in which case you are gonna have to split that case to see it.
Not a bad fix but probably not cheap.....I have rebuild a few diffs on Mule 610 and Honda's and they are costly. Even with me laboring........
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have noticed that the previous owner has welded the square cross brace of the rear frame as well as changed an axel due to 2 different colored axle CVs. Chances are the rear final drive is where my trouble is. I'll just hope whatever he did, didn't get into the crank case and or transmission.
 

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I have noticed that the previous owner has welded the square cross brace of the rear frame as well as changed an axel due to 2 different colored axle CVs. Chances are the rear final drive is where my trouble is. I'll just hope whatever he did, didn't get into the crank case and or transmission.
Just guessing based on that .....the previous owner had the carrier bearings go out and opened the case and didn't shim it right......If it was mine I would remove the rear diff and open it up and start over.
Do you have the manual?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That's what I'll do then. I downloaded a manual from a link on this site YXR660FAS. My rhino is a 2004 660. Hopefully this is the right manual for what I need. Thank you for your help! Probably have to fix everything in there, but at least it's less work than the alternative. Thanks again!!
 

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That's what I'll do then. I downloaded a manual from a link on this site YXR660FAS. My rhino is a 2004 660. Hopefully this is the right manual for what I need. Thank you for your help! Probably have to fix everything in there, but at least it's less work than the alternative. Thanks again!!
Yes, this is the first edition written in 03, I believe you are covered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That's it. They aren't that bad....and you may find not that much broken. Where are you from?
I am from the middle of Nebraska. To my knowledge we don't have a big rhino following, but I intend to find out. Already found one for a buddy of mine and have a couple more friends interested in looking for some more. Might just start our own little group.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
OK. New information....after closer inspection I can tell that the driveshaft actually moves forward when it pops instead of backward. It moves approximately 1/2" ish?? Once it sounded like it actually seperated from the rear hub because it sounded like it skipped several teeth. Although it happens so fast that I cannot see it, I feel this is what is happening that the driveshaft moves forward enough to separate from the rear final drive and actually jumps a tooth before returning to normal operation. I removed the final drive fill plug as suggested and rotated the tires many times and the pinion looks immaculate! It does not appear there is any misalignment or damage between the ring gear and pinion. When I look at a side view of the driveshaft and the final drive it appears the final drive is tipped ever so slightly downward in the front. Is this normal alignment between the driveshaft and final drive? Or should it actually be exactly straight in line?

I decided to rotate the tires and try to move the driveshaft forward by hand seeing if I could find that spot while it was on jack stands and by myself I was unable to duplicate the driveshaft moving that far forward.

Could this still be misalignment in the final drive due to improper repair? The rear frame brackets for the final drive have been welded because they apparently broke them. Also the right front bracket was welded, although I cannot tell if it completely broke free or just tore the mount. It looks as if they did a decent job of welding it back in place, but like I said I'm not a rhino guy so I cannot determine one way or another if it is misaligned. Any further help is greatly appreciated!!

Thanks in advance!!
 

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Pull the rear drive shaft out. Then crank the bike up and put it in gear( make sure your not in 4wd) and see if you hear it. That should determine the middle drive gear. Also check the couplings that the shaft goes in. The teeth strip out and slip.
 
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