ATV Answerman: 2010 Wrap-up Q&A

Jan. 03, 2011 By Rick Sosebee
Here we are at the end of another year, and I hope everyone is giving in to at least one New Year’s resolution! I myself will be trying harder than ever to come up with more and more answers for your viewing pleasure here on the ATV Answerman section. But I cannot do it alone. I need your help by you the readers, sending in the tough (and easy) questions for us to research and try to get the best possible fix. So here goes the last of many great questions for 2010.

Re: Clutch Tuning Basics, Part 3
What about drilling the clutch shoes? I’ve done this in the past, does this help?

It’s my understanding that drilling the shoes just creates a place for the shoe itself to fail. I’d stick with changing springs to change the engagement RPM and leave the shoes as solid as possible.

Adjusting Warrior Jet
I have a 1993 Yamaha warrior and the carburetor has an adjustable jet. I need to know where it is set from fully closed from factory.

Man, I hate guessing at which part of the carb you are trying to adjust but here it goes. If the pilot screw is what you are trying to set it is two turns out from factory. This little flathead screw is on the bottom of the carb, just in front of the float bowl and needs very little pressure to turn it.

Rear End Issues
I'm trying to get my rear inboard cv joint out of my 2005 Honda Rincon and it just won't come the bike shop says that if u cant just pull it out then u have to buy a new rear end. Please help.
Freeport, OH

After removing the wheel, hub, and knuckle assembly you should be able to hold the shaft in your hands and tug that baby right out. Just push forward toward the tranny then tug quickly out toward you. It might take a time or two but it will come out. You have to remove it from the knuckle first, though. There should be an upper bolt holding this knuckle in as well as a lower bolt, and once removed the knuckle should slip off. The shafts are held in by a spring clip and are not entirely difficult to remove.

Shifting Issues
I have a polaris 700, I am having problems shifting the transmission. I have taken the shifter apart and cleaned good. Any ideas?
Miami, FL

It’s hard to diagnose your troubles with such a brief description. I have no clue what the unit is doing or when and what transpired to make it start shifting rough or not at all. You see, this column depends on you (the reader/inquiring mind) to give me much more symptoms and then I find solutions. Got it? For all I know, you may be the problem.

No Spark
I have a Polaris 400 ATV with no spark while cranking it over. But when I let go of the start button I get one spark. I changed the CDI box and that was not cheap, so my wife said to get help would be great.
Wellsburg, WV

To keep from having the wife put you in the choke hold again, I would get myself a service manual for this ATV. Polaris has a deep set of wiring and troubleshooting diagrams in each manual that will help you pinpoint your problem. Have you installed a new plug? Just because it looks good doesn’t mean it is.

Rebuilt Wife’s Polaris
I have just rebuilt the wife’s 1994 Polaris 300 ATV and had to go .40 over on the piston. I have been told to go up to a 165 main jet. I was wondering if the prelim carb settings stay the same or if I should start with a different setting. Can you help?
Backus, MN

When changing displacement to this extreme, everything needs to be looked at. The main jetting will need to be adjusted to larger sizes and you might consider the pilot jet size as well. This will give the engine more bottom-end response and keep it from leaning out too much. It will also make the motor respond quicker. Rich can be tolerable but lean will kill the engine. When you add more volumes of air you need more amounts of fuel to equalize the change. Learn to read your plug and it will tell you where you stand with your jetting.

Wiring Schematics
I need color wiring schematics for ‘86 Polaris 250 R/ES Trail Boss ATV? Cannot find it any where!
Oil Springs, ZZ

Try buying a service manual, my friend. That’s the best way to get the schematics you need! This may also help with any other problems later on down the road. Service manuals should be a part of everyone’s garage.

Sputtering Motor
I have a 2000 400ex. My question is: Why would the motor start to break up, and sputter when I enter into a hard left or right turn? It only does this in heavy turns, and then back to normal again! Any advice would be great. Thanks.
James C
Middletown, NY

There are several possibilities to your problem. Start by making sure the carb is very clean and that fuel is flowing into the carb without restriction. Sometimes very small amounts of water get in the bottom of the carburetor bowl and this can be sucked up under hard cornering. Then look at the vent lines to the carb. When that’s all finished maybe look into the wiring routing and be sure nothing’s getting shorted out.

No Reserve?
I own a 2005 Polaris Sportsman 500, and my concern is when the bike runs out of gas and switch it to reserve, it won't start. Any suggestions?
Washington, UT

If the reserve side of your fuel petcock isn’t used very often you may need a good cleaning. This may require you to remove the gas tank and really get into it. Taking the petcock out of the tank will really let you clean it good. If the petcock will come apart it may be a good thing to clean as well but just be ready for parts to fall out and pay close attention to how they go back in.

Playin’ in Mud
I was very interested in the 800 CanAm until I heard two of my friends say there 800 CanAms always overheat when playing in the mud. Just wondering if this is a common problem for the 800 CanAm.
Vanderhoof, BC Canada

With the Can-Am Outlander you might notice where the radiator is located. There are no known issues with overheating that can be traced back to a manufacturer problem, but if the quad is submerged in the mucky stuff and the radiator gets clogged you will surely have some overheating issues. The quad needs to be cleaned thoroughly when you’re finished playing in the nasty stuff, and be sure to get the mud out of the radiator fins as best you can. Do not use a pressure washer to clean your radiator, and in most cases not even your entire ATV. It will bend the fins over possibly damaging the radiator permanently. The Can-Am Outlander is a great machine, and you will have many hours of great fun riding it. We’re actually starting a build on that machine on

Loose Wires
I have a Panther 110 RX4 got it last week. All was well, was riding yesterday and pulled back in to the garage to notice some wires hanging down. The fuse was on one separate wire with nothing on the end of the fuse except one wire connecting to one side, and there was a black and red wire hanging down. I’m assuming these are coming from the battery. It’s small and round. I cannot get the ATV to start at all. I have tried a few different wiring configurations and no luck as of yet finding a wiring diagram. In need of help ASAP. Please let me know if you know how to fix this or where I can get a diagram for this ATV.
Snellville, GA

I would first go back to where I purchased the vehicle and start there. The problem with wiring is that every manufacturer has its own little confusing scheme of colors and directions for the wiring on its ATVs. The additional trouble comes from spinoffs or off-brand makers who build these type of ATVs and then sells them with little or no support for the consumer. Unfortunately, there is no known support for this brand here in the U.S. and parts may also be difficult to get as well. The cost of a name brand ATV is well worth not having to dig around under rocks for the person who sold you a “disposable” ATV.

Fuel Mileage
We have a 2003 Honda Rubicon 500. Hunting, working, and casual riding is all we do with it. Does anyone have a chart of what brands get what fuel mileage with various engine sizes? I have seen one for motorcycles but cannot find anything for ATVs.
Thanks in advance.
The Zeiglers

 I have had no luck in finding information on fuel mileage for ATVs. I would suggest performing your own test and fill us in on the results. Fill it up and if the unit records miles just reset to zero and drive that puppy till she runs out. Divide the amount/gallons of gas by the miles you drove and there you have your answer. Just be sure to have a friend follow you so the test doesn’t leave you in the woods wondering how many berries you need to live off of till help arrives.

‘08 Prowler
I have a ‘08 prowler 700 and I would like to lift it 6-8 inches and widen it 4-6 inches. I live in Northwest Illinois and are looking for fabrication shop to do the work. Any help finding a shop would be great.
John Keller

Finding a good fab shop where you live is as easy as looking through the phone book but if you want expert help from peeps who work on these machines day in and day out, I’d call our friends at Highlifter. This company is the original “lift me up” quad fabricating company and these guys know their business. You can even browse the website at and they will be glad to answer any questions you have.

Young Gun
Hi, I’m 13 and I was given a Yamaha Moto 4 badger. The motor was seized up but with a little time I freed it. But now it still won’t run even after I bought a new spark plug and new gas. My dad cleaned the carb but its just not working. Help me please.
Clearwater Fla.

So I guess this is where I tell you to sell it or fix it. I guess you want to fix it, so let’s dig in! Cleaning the carburetor would have been my first suggestion, but it seems you have had this one taken care of already, so let’s move on to cleaning out the gas tank very good, possibly even removing it from the quad and really getting down to business with it. There are only a few more things to check and that would be cam timing. You’ll need a factory service manual for this one. Check air filter/flow and be sure there are no cuts in the wiring that can short out the ignition. Looks like a long road but just take a deep breath and go for it. 

Battery Issue
I have a 2004 Honda 400ex with a battery problem. I just bought this four wheeler from my friend and he never had to charge the battery at all, but as soon as I get it the thing won’t stay charged. We took it to my grandfather’s farm to ride in the snow but it just would not crank over fast enough to start, so I jumped it off with the lawn mower. I rode all day and it seemed to be fine, but the next morning it wouldn’t start again. Please tell me what is going wrong with this thing because I want to ride before the snow melts.

Well it’s funny you should mention the snowy weather, my friend, as we here in the south are getting a little and even had the first white Christmas day in many years. But back to your problem, I’d be almost 99.5% positive that you are dealing with a battery that is on its way to the grave. The cold weather combined with the assumed age of the battery is a dead giveaway. Maybe Grandpops would let ya cut the grass for a few extra bucks and run on down to the dealer for a new power source my friend.

So there you have it, another year of fixes for your reading pleasure. Please tune in for 2011 as we keep fixin’ up the beaters in the quad riding world for every one to enjoy.

ATV Answerman Columns

November 2010

October 2010

September 2010

If you have any ATV questions for the Answerman, send an e-mail to with a detailed description of your vehicle, the problems, and any other pertinent information related to the issue. Newsletter
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