5 Common CFMoto ZForce 1000 Problems & How To Fix

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The CFMoto ZForce 1000 experienced some serious growth in popularity before it was eventually discontinued in favor of the ZForce 950.

But there are still plenty of these units out in the wild, and like the rest of CFMoto’s sport side-by-sides, they’re considered to be one of the better values from a price to performance perspective.

Even so, these models do suffer from a number of common problems that annoy owners, including:

  • Water pump seal leaking coolant
  • Jerky ride due to poor throttle response
  • Stock seat belts not adequate
  • Gear shift tough to shift
  • Brakes squealing

This guide will detail each of these problems, along with likely causes and proven fixes.

You’ll find that some of these problems also affect the newer ZForce 950 model as well.

Water Pump Seal Leaking Coolant

One of the most common problems with the ZForce 1000 is the mechanical seal on the water pump is known to leak. 

A number of owners have experienced coolant leaking onto the ground under their vehicles. 

Others have noticed their coolant reservoir emptying with no signs of coolant leaking onto the ground, only to inspect closer and find coolant leaking down onto the inspection plate under the weep tube and pooling there instead.

As this is a common issue, CFMoto is aware of this and covers the fix under warranty. 

While simply replacing the water pump seal has fixed this issue for some owners, it doesn’t for others. 


CFMoto recommends having your dealer replace the entire water pump assembly.

Depending upon the wait time of the dealer or for the necessary parts, some owners have decided to forego replacing the water pump assembly to avoid their machines being out of commission for long periods of time. 

These owners have found a temporary solution to this problem.

Draining the coolant and flushing the system several times, then replacing it with high quality coolant and adding some radiator flush and cleaner on top of that has seemed to fix this issue. 

To avoid the issue recurring and the engine potentially overheating as a result of this coolant leak, it is still recommended to follow CFMoto’s advice and replace the water pump assembly sooner rather than later.

Jerky Ride Due to Poor Throttle Response

One of the most common problems in UForce 1000 also affects the ZForce 1000.

The stock clutch system and the ECU are known to contribute to a very jerky ride while accelerating under the 15 mph mark.

This can happen while going forward or in reverse, and makes it quite hard to trail ride in certain spots.

Cause – Clutch System

The stock clutch system is known to be flawed in the ZForce 1000, causing jerky acceleration from a stop. There are a couple way to overcome this though:

  • Upgrade the primary clutch
  • Re-clock the secondary clutch

Fixing The Primary Clutch

You’ll need to upgrade the weight and spring in the primary clutch in order to overcome these issues.

You can do this on your own, or by purchasing an aftermarket clutch kit that should have everything you already need.

It’s recommended to upgrade to 18g weights and a 200-1600 primary spring if doing this on your own, but you can also look at what some of the clutch kits have in them and grab similar parts.

Upgrading the primary clutch components should result in a much smoother takeoff and acceleration.

Fixing The Secondary Clutch

There’s an adjustable spring within the secondary clutch that has multiple different settings.

The settings all put a different emphasis on the speed, acceleration, and overall power of the machine.

This spring can be adjusted, or re-clocked, to a different setting depending upon your riding style.

The factory setting of B1 contributes to the jerky ride, putting more of an emphasis on top-end speed than overall performance.

To get a smoother ride, re-clock the spring to either the C1, A1, or B3 setting.

The C1 settings tends to offer the best blend of speed, acceleration and power without the jerkiness.

Cause – Electronic Control Unit

The settings in the ECU also contribute to this poor throttle response and jerky ride.

If you’re experiencing this in your ZForce 1000, one of the best ways to alleviate it is to have the ECU flashed or tuned.

Fix – ECU Tune

A number of aftermarket companies offer tuning or flashing of the ECU for CFMoto side-by-sides.

The best of these is Main Street Cycle, who have extensively tested using a DynoJet to map out the optimal settings for the ZForce 1000’s ECU.

You can send in the stock ECU to be tuned with these settings and sent back to you.

Not only will a tune make for a much smoother ride, but it should also apply the ideal air/fuel ratio which should increase your horsepower and overall performance.

A tune of the ECU usually costs around $400 and takes a week or two to complete.

Stock Seat Belts Not Adequate

The stock seat belts in the ZForce 1000 are latch belts, which just don’t cut it when it comes to security for a side-by-side built for off-roading and trail riding at top speeds.

Not only do they not feel as secure as you might like, but the latches can also corrode over time.

When this happens, they’ve been known to retract and lock up.


I would recommend upgrading to four-point safety harnesses, which will offer better security and alleviate corrosion issues.

But for those who stick with the stock belts, you can overcome the corrosion problem but blasting the latching areas with air every so often and then applying some dry lube.

Gear Shift Tough To Shift

Another common issue you may run into with the ZForce 1000 is the gear shifting sticking when you attempt to shift gears.

This happens most often when you’re trying to shift while at a complete stop on an incline, and you may hear a grinding noise when you attempt to shift as well.

When this occurs, you can be pretty sure your shift linkage needs an adjustment.

The two lock nuts that hold the shift linkage in place are prone to vibrating loose over time, with the shift linkage then able to move out of its standard position.


The fix is fortunately pretty simple once you locate your shift linkage cable.

Loosen the back nut on the shift linkage cable 1.5 to 2 rotations so it shifts right, and then tighten the front nut in the same direction until it’s nice and snug and your shift linkage is firmly in place.

This should be close the correct position, but you can use the gear shift to ensure it’s in the right spot.

Squeaking Brakes

The most annoying problem with the ZForce 1000 is the tendency for the brakes to squeal, both when using them and when not using them.

This can make a ride in you side-by-side annoying and a bit embarrassing, but there are a couple of ways to alleviate this.


Some ZForce 1000’s were assembled with the brake pedal adjusted too tight, which can cause squeaking and squealing.

In this case, the brakes may never fully release leading to the noise and potential premature brake wear.

To fix this, locate the brake pedal adjusting rod under the dash and back the nut off some to give the pedal more play. 

If this is your issue, it should help to alleviate the squeaking.

Additionally, if you drive often in dusty terrain, a buildup of dust on the brake pads can lead to squealing as well.

Be sure and hose off your brake pads real good from time to time to keep them clean.

Final Word

While the ZForce 1000 does suffer from some common problems, it actually stacks up pretty competitively with some of the best budget side-by-sides in the industry.

And it’s not all that far off from some of the fastest side-by-sides out there, either.