There are a lot of different reasons you might need to measure your axles. Maybe you’re trying to fab up your own custom suspension, or maybe you bought a used machine with a funky lift kit and need to get a replacement axle.
If you’re in a situation where you don’t have a better way to identify your UTV or ATV axle, you need to know how to measure it. We’re gonna tell you the standard method of measuring axle length, but first you’ll need to grab a buddy and a tape measure.
UTV and ATV axles that use double CV joints are measured from cup to cup, not tip to tip. The trick is to make sure your CV joints are straight. They tend to flop around and if they’re bent at all, you won’t get an accurate measurement. That’s where your buddy comes in. They can hold the axle straight and hold one end of the tape while you hold the other.
Most UTV axles and high-quality ATV axles have at least one plunging CV joint. That means that while your axle is sitting on the table, it’s at some random length between it’s most extended and compressed lengths.
This is where you’ll really need a friend helping.
First, extend the axle as far as it will go by pulling on both ends of the axle.
Then, measure from the outside of each cup face to get your extended measurement.
Now, push the CVs together as much as you can and measure again. This is your compressed measurement.
Your compressed and extended measurements are the specs axle manufacturers use to measure their axle length, and you should be able to find the axle you need using those specs.
You’ve got your compressed and extended lengths measured, now you can finally figure out what axles you need. All you need to do is find a stock replacement for your machine, and get those measurements either by looking online or calling the company that makes it.
If they match yours, great! You just need stock length axles. If they’re shorter, then that means you’ve got some kind of lift and you’ll need to find lift axles that match your measurements.
Keep in mind that some companies, like SuperATV, etch a part number into the axle shaft. Be sure to look your axle over for any part numbers if you want to skip the measuring process.
Now that you know what you need and how to get it, you’ll never have to measure your axle again! Just get the right axle, pick up a few spares, and hit the trail.