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7 Tips for Buying and Restoring an ATV Fixer Upper

7 Tips for Buying and Restoring an ATV Fixer Upper

Buying a used ATV to fix up can be an enjoyable hands-on project as you create that one-of-a-kind ATV of your dreams. When purchasing and customizing an ATV, you may need some guidance about what to look for and, once you’ve found the right fit, how to ensure your renovation project goes smoothly. Take a look at ATV Trader’s seven tips for buying and restoring an ATV fixer upper.

1. Set a Realistic Budget

With so many used ATVs on the market, setting a budget will help you narrow down your search. Use the ATV Trader Price Checker tool to research and compare ATV prices by make, model, trim, and year. In addition to the cost of the vehicle, don’t forget that your budget also needs to include all the individual parts, tools, and equipment needed for your improvement project. Luckily, you don’t have to pay for every upgrade and repair all at once and can actually fund the restoration project as you go. Having estimates in mind for each step along the way as you build out your ATV will guide you from the actual purchase to completing work on the restoration.

2. Know Your Skill Limit

While an ATV renovation may be less of a complex upgrade compared to a car rebuild, these types of vehicles still have their own challenges with individual parts. It’s important to realize how skilled you will need to be when taking on this project and how many repairs will need to be done. If necessary, consider hiring assistance from a professional mechanic for any difficulties you’ll encounter during the fix up.

3. Create a Wish List

When it comes to purchasing an ATV for an improvement project, you’ll want to have a clear idea of your ideal ATV in terms of make/model, accessories, and add-ons. All of this can be easier to determine when you identify the purpose your ATV will serve. Will you use your ATV for recreation, such as off-roading, hunting, and sports? Or will it be more for utility tasks, including agricultural work, lawn care, or other outdoor work? Once you know exactly what you want out of your ATV, you can actually create two parts to your wishlist: a “must have” list and a “would be nice to have” list. These lists will help guide you as you shop for that perfect fixer upper.

4. Talk to the Seller & Inspect the Unit

Knowing how an ATV was used gives you a better expectation of what you’re getting with a fixer upper and what specific parts may need replacement soon. These are background details the seller should know that will explain more about your ATV than simply checking the odometer mileage. The owner will also be able to point out any imperfections you may find in the ATV, so you know exactly what you can improve during this project. Of course, you’ll want to do your own inspection as well. When inspecting an ATV, be sure to evaluate the overall condition, tires and rims, frame, fluids, and shocks.

5. Have the Right Tools Ready for the Restoration

Regardless of how large of a restoration project your ATV will require, there are some basic tools you will likely need to get to work. These include:

  • Eye protection
  • Gloves
  • Toolbox with screwdrivers, wrenches, Allen key, pliers, etc.
  • Clean rags
  • Air compressor
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Oil and lubricants

6. Set Goals with Your Timeline

If you purchased an ATV that may need a lot of work, it’s going to take longer to perform the restoration’s upgrades and repairs. Make sure you have a realistic timeline in mind from the start so you can plan ahead of time how much you’ll be able to devote yourself to this project. You can create goals with your timeline to keep things on track with your budget too. Often, specific parts may need to be purchased online, which could take some time for delivery. If you have a general timeframe scheduled, then you’ll have a better idea for when you’ll be able to work on your ATV and ultimately when you’ll be able to get out and ride.

7. Gather Insight from Experts

There are plenty of resources out there that can help you work on your ATV restoration. Whether it’s someone you may know in person or online blogs, how-to videos, or forums, all of this can help you along the way when it comes to improving your used ATV. Often, getting insight from different sources can give you a better perspective on what to look for during your project. This research will help you gain better knowledge of how your ATV works, including its engine and body parts along with tires, wheels, lights and electrics, and everything else.

From shopping for used ATVs to figuring out exactly what you need to fix up your vehicle, there are a number of steps to follow for an easier and more enjoyable restoration project. While at first it may seem overwhelming, you’ll find by following these tips that the experience can actually be rewarding once you’ve put together your ideal ATV. Start shopping today for your fixer upper on


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Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller

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