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By: ATV Source

Turn Your ATV Into a Monster
Installing a Lift Kit on Our Yamaha Grizzly 660

ATV's Yamaha Grizzly 660 with Gorilla's 5.5" Lift Kit.
ATV's Yamaha Grizzly 660 with Gorilla's 5.5" Lift Kit.

Utility ATVs today come stocked with ground clearance numbers that are double, sometimes even triple what they were just a few short years ago. Even so, the demand for quality lift kits remains strong because of the fact that there is no shortage of pudding-like mud holes in the world just waiting to swallow a quad up to its frame. Like the 4x4 auto industry, lift kits exist to increase ground clearance (average of 2 inches) so that larger tires can be installed. With a two-inch increase in clearance with the stock tires reinstalled, it isn't uncommon to achieve a total of four inches gained with beefier aftermarket meats. Extreme kits can offer numbers as impressive as a full twelve-inch gain in clearance for those who want to ride high on the horse--literally.

Aside from function, lift kits offer a cosmetic advantage as well, turning any quad into a miniaturized monster-truck. The benefits of being higher off the ground become clear in more conditions than just mud-crossings as well. Rocks, roots, and rivers become much more enjoyable with a few extra inches of travel to work with.
While the market offers several types of ATV lift kits, a majority of them exist for a specific machine making shopping for a kit easier than one might initially expect. The first step is to research your ATV on the web (or at your local dealer) to gather as much as you can about the machine's stock suspension.

Once you understand your stock specs, it is time to factor in the benefits of running simply a lift kit while retaining the stock tires or adding taller aftermarket rubber to the kit's increase. To this end, sky isn't always the limit. It is critical to balance the overall handling traits of your particular ATV. If your wheelbase feels compact and nimble in stock trim, it may be wise to consider a minimal lift. Remember that the higher the ATV is from the ground, the higher too, does its center of gravity become. This means plan on relearning your quad's physics when turning so as to compensate for the increased risk of overturning.

We recently spent some time with Gorilla's 5.5-inch lift kit designed specifically for the Yamaha Grizzly 660 (2002-2007). Gorilla Suspension kits are made from the highest quality materials and are designed to fit the ATV as a completely bolt-on endeavor, in other words no cutting or welding needed to perform the install. Let's take a look at the process of performing the installation.

Removal of the wheel hub.
Removal of the wheel hub.

Removal of old axle.
Removal of old axle.

Installation of brackets D1-D4.
Installation of brackets D1-D4.

Installation of part E1-E2.
Installation of part E1-E2.

Only after all the parts are installed, we snug things up.
Only after all the parts are installed, we snug things up.

The process begins by having you remove the wheels and wheel hubs from the swing arms. The upper swing arms themselves are then removed with the shocks from frame. Next, off come the tie-rod ends from stock tie-rod, which are replaced with the supplied Heavy Duty Tie-rods.

Next, it's time to install bracket A1 through frame and place outside of the front factory swing arm mount. Before adding A2 to the opposite side of factory frame mount with bracket A1, you will need support spacers, which are included in the kit. Two 2-inch spacers will be placed between brackets A1-A2 and A3-A4. The purpose of these spacers is to ensure alignment for the brackets, so don't attempt to tighten any bolts until the correct spacer is installed correctly. Next, place the A2 bracket with the same process as A1. Add spacers and place 3 inch-long bolts through the brackets and spacers. All of the bolts require two flat washers and one nylon nut. Don't get over anxious. Do not tighten any bolt until installation of this lift is complete. The same procedure is performed for A3 and A4 as you just did for A1 and A2.

Now it becomes time to remove the lower swing arms from the frame. Once complete, remove the front axles from the differential. The kit includes eight individual B1 brackets that will be placed on the outer sides of each factory swing arm mount along with four 1 7/8 inch long spacer supports that will be placed inside each swing arm mount. Install 3 inch long bolts through each of the brackets and spacers. Do not tighten these bolts yet. Remove the skidpan from frame and set aside. Now locate the two brackets labeled B2. After locating these two brackets, place under frame and between brackets B1. Align holes and place 3 -inch long bolts through B1 and B2. Do not tighten bolts until swing arms have been assembled to support brackets. Now install lower swing arms with 3 inch long bolts and the two front Gorilla axles. Install upper swing arms with 3 inch-long bolts. Connect wheel hubs to swing arms. Bolt the brake caliper to wheel hub. Note: You will need to route the brake line across the upper swing arm to accommodate for the difference in distance between wheel hub and frame. There will be two electrical ties in your kit that you will use to strap the brake line to the swing arm.

Next place bracket C1 inside the factory shock mount on the frame with one of two support spacers located in your support spacer bag that are listed as front shock mount spacers. Bracket C1 will actually lock itself inside the shock mount to support the shock. Place bracket C2 on the outside of factory shock mount and use two 2 inches-long bolts, one for the shock and one for the shock mount. Do not tighten bolts until the shock has been connected to brackets and upper swing arm. Use the same procedure for the opposite side.


Remove rear wheels and wheel hubs. Remove upper swing arms and rear shocks. Locate brackets D1 through D4 in your kit. You will also need spacer support bags for the upper and lower support brackets. One bag will have four two inch-long spacers that will be placed in between brackets D1-D2 and D3-D4. The other bag will have eight 1 7/8 inch-long spacers that will be placed in each of the upper and lower swing arm mounts. Brackets D1 will be placed through the frame and positioned on the outsides of the swing arm mounts closest to motor. Place D2 on opposite sides of the same swing arm mounts using correct spacers and 3 inch-long bolts. Again, do not tighten bolts until assembly is complete. Use the same procedure for D3-D4.

Disconnect sway bar from rear lower swing arms & remove swing arms from frame. Remove rear stock axles. In your kit, locate the brackets listed as E1. There will be eight brackets in all and will be positioned on the outer sides of the four factory swing arm mounts. Locate two cross member brackets listed as E2. Place brackets across bottom of frame and position between brackets E1. Align holes and use 3 inch-long bolts with four 1 7/8 inch-long spacers to assemble the brackets. Place the rear Gorilla axles into differential. Bolt upper and lower rear swing arms to support brackets and reconnect sway bar to lower swing arms.

Locate brackets F1 and F2 and the support spacers for rear shock brackets. There will be two 1 1/8 inch-long spacers that will be positioned inside the shock mount located on the frame. There will also be two 1 1/4 inch-long spacers that will be positioned between brackets F1 and F2. Position brackets F1 and F2 on the outer sides of factory shock mounts located on frame. Place spacers as described in instruction A and use 2 inch- long bolts to assemble. Do not tighten bolts until the shocks have been secured to the lower swing arms and brackets F1 and F2.

We had three minor issues with the installation.  Our first issue was the plastic skid plates had to be completely removed to allow the E2 brackets to fit in their corresponding place.  The second problem was the use of the spacers between brackets D4.  With a support bar running across the frame, we could not install the front spacers (see photo for support bar blockage).  Our third hiccup was the sway bar, which the instructions said to re-install, but we later found that we could not re-install the due to a wider wheel base.  It is recommend to not install the sway bar, as this will allow more independent wheel travel. 

That's it. The Yamaha Grizzly 660 just shot up a solid 5.5 inches over stock and the total time involved is just shy of two hours. The Gorilla Yamaha Grizzly 5.5" Lift Kit includes all of the materials for the job with near-factory level fit and finish. Just how satisfied are we with the finished product? Well, let's just say mud hasn't been this entertaining since that wrestling match broke out in front of the sorority house. But, that's another story entirely.

Before the 5.5" lift kit.
Before the 5.5" lift kit.
After the 5.5" lift kit.
After the 5.5" lift kit.

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