How To Choose Aftermarket Axles For ATV | Hunt or Shred

ATVs get exposed to rugged terrains and difficult conditions for driving, but without a reliable aftermarket axle, these vehicles would struggle to perform.

To choose an aftermarket axle for an ATV, consider the axle strength, axle profile, CV boot, compatibility, temperature resistance, and durability. All of these factors will determine which axle works best. We also recommend choosing a differential axle over a solid axle because of its versatility. 

With years of experience riding and working on ATVs and other Powersports vehicles, we have upgraded and replaced many axles. This has allowed us to determine what makes an aftermarket axle great so riders can avoid buying one that won’t provide the best riding experience and safety.

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How To Choose Aftermarket Axles For ATV

Aftermarket axles are designed to be a replacement for factory-installed ones, and they are usually made from higher-quality materials. Another reason to consider one of these axles is to improve or adjust the riding style.

There are various factors to consider when choosing aftermarket axles for ATVs. This includes the axle strength, axle size, temperature resistance, CV boot, and compatibility.

Axle Strength

The construction of the aftermarket axle will determine how much strength it can provide. This includes the material type and we recommend aiming for axles using 5140 alloy steel because it has excellent strength and support.

However, 4340 Chromoly Steel is also a popular material used on some of the more flexible axles and it provides similar strength capabilities. We have noticed an increased swing angle when using 4340 steel too.

Axle Profile

The axle profile is another critical factor to keep in mind when choosing an aftermarket ATV axle. This includes the OE replacement parts and boot clamps.

When looking at new aftermarket axles, you’ll notice one of the key features described with each is the fitment based on OE parts. This is known as the axle profile and needs to be considered.

Keeping the profile low is ideal for most riders too. Consulting with a professional while shopping for a new axle is the best thing to do to avoid getting the wrong thing.

CV Boot

The CV boot is one of the most important components of the aftermarket axle for ATVs. It keeps all joints on the axle lubricated while preventing dust, water, and dirt from getting in.

If this fails, turning will become a struggle and major issues can occur to cause permanent axle and ATV damage. Any CV boot with TPEE works best because it has better oil and fatigue resistance.


When looking for the best aftermarket axles for your ATV, it is important to find an axle that is compatible with your specific ATV type and driving needs.

It is also important to find an axle that will work well with the other components of your vehicle such as the wheel size, wheel offset, and driveline layout.

However, ATV axles are advertised based on their compatibility instead of sizing. So when shopping, you can search for a new aftermarket axle based on the ATV you are driving to ensure the one you buy matches your ATV.

Temperature Resistance

All ATV aftermarket axles come equipped with heat-treated bearings for a tight fit. But they are also necessary to help reduce friction while increasing the CV strength and durability.

These bearings must provide extremely high-temperature resistance, otherwise, they will fail because of the consistent pressure and exposure to grease. These bearings also help boost axle flexibility.

When choosing an aftermarket axle, the bearings should be one of the primary considerations. They have so much to offer to help with performance beyond just temperature resistance too.


ATV aftermarket axles are designed to be stronger, last longer, and provide greater stability than stock axles. Durability is a critical factor to keep in mind.

They have stronger bearings, which will provide more stability and better handling on rough terrain. There are also axles with a higher weight rating, which can help if you plan to attach additional accessories such as a winch or trailer hitch.

You may also want to consider buying an axle with a longer warranty period in case anything goes wrong in the future due to faulty manufacturing or design flaws.

Types Of Aftermarket Axles For ATV

Choosing the right aftermarket axle is crucial to the performance and safety of your ATV. There are many two primary types of axles that are available, so it is essential to know what to look for before you buy.

Solid Axle

When a solid axle is installed on an ATV, it will cause the inside and outside wheels to rotate together at the same speed while turning.

The same is true for all wheels, despite the varying distances they need to cover. When an ATV has a solid axle, a different approach needs to be taken while turning because this turning style can be more uncomfortable for some.

You should slide your body forward towards the outside of the seat to decrease speed.

If you cannot decrease speed enough and must take a faster turn, move forward and inside. It’s best to learn into every turn you take with a solid axle too.

Differential Axle

The differential axle is considered the better choice because no special turning techniques are needed. This axle allows the wheels to rotate at different speeds, so the outside wheel moves faster than the inside one.

This happens when turning because some wheels must cover wider distances than others. There is no sliding on the wheels and the turns are much smoother.

It’s also possible for riders to lock their differential axles so they work like the solid axle. Depending on your preference, this is always an option and another reason why we prefer using this axle type.

How To Measure The Axles For An ATV

The ATX axle should always be measured before upgrading to an aftermarket one to ensure a proper fit. Luckily, there is a standard way to measure these axles to help riders avoid buying the wrong axles for their machines.

But the type of axle will impact the best measuring method too. Most ATV axles have cups on the end so they can be measured from one cup end to the other or the CV joint on the axle can serve as the measuring point.

First, the ATV axle and CV joint should be flat and extended as possible. Make sure there are no bends that could impact the final measurement.

Next, take the measuring tape from the edge of one cup end to the other for a measurement. Do not measure all the way to the end, stop at the cup end for a correct and accurate final measurement.

When the axle is extended as possible, this provides the extended measurement. It’s also a good practice to compress the CV joints to measure it again in the same way but to get a compressed measurement.

Check out our new article Best ATV Aftermarket Axels for our most recommended options!

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing an aftermarket axle for an ATV means you must consider factors like the axle strength, axle profile, CV boot, compatibility, temperature resistance, and durability.
  • To measure an aftermarket axle, the measurement should be taken from cup to cup and an extended measurement and compressed measurement should be taken.
  • We recommend only using differential axles instead of standard axles because they turn and ride smoother with better balance.




41 years old. I'm a freelance writer that specializes in informational blog posts. All my articles are detail oriented and well researched. I'm a huge Arizona Cardinals fan!

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