ATV AnswerMan: ATV and UTV Maintenance and Technical Questions

Oct. 26, 2012 By Rick Sosebee
Have an ATV or side-by-side tech question for the AnswerMan? Send an e-mail with your name, vehicle year, model and a detailed description of the problem to [email protected], Attn: ATV AnswerMan.

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Suzuki LTA50 Quadmaster

I just purchased one, and of course no manual with it. Quick question, I take it you do not have to mix the gas and oil yourself. Do you just fill the oil tank with two-cycle oil? Am I right you do you mix? Thanks in advance.

Some people will just mix the gas and eliminate the oil injection, but to answer the question just add what the recommended oil is to the oil tank and let it be. You can call the dealer to get specs on oil requirements for the Suzi-Quadmaster. Be sure to get a good factory service manual from your local dealer anyway.

Tough Steering
I have a 2003 Honda TRX350TM that seems hard to steer. Even sitting on my shop floor it is hard to turn the handlebars. Is there any way to lubricate the ball joints or do they need replacing. The wheels don't shake back and forth on them. Whatís the deal, is there an adjustment needed? Help!
John Judkins

Hi John,
There is a ball bearing on the bottom of the steering shaft and the part number for this piece is: 96150-60041-10. Itís less than $20 and most likely the culprit.

New Can-Am Maverick
I would like a price on this as I would like to buy one.

Letter sparked by Can-Am Maverick Preview

Pricing for the base model Maverick is in the $15,999 range, depending on the dealer, and the X-rs will be higher at around $17,499.

Can-Am Maverick MAX
Need to know the overall dimensions for the Max, I got to see if it will fit in my trailer.

The official specs for the Max have not been released just yet but we know it will be the same width and 29.5 inches longer wheelbase than the Maverick twin-seater.

More Maverick
Why doesn't Can-Am start putting V-8 engines in these things? They're practically there already... good grief.

They are heavy enough as it is I guess? The Rotax engine makes V6 power now, and with some aftermarket juggling the engine could hit 150 hp.

Phoenix Not Rising
I have three Polaris phoenix 200ís and every time I hit a puddle of water two of them shut off. Why would they do this?

There are a few things that can cause the stall of your Polaris. I would say it could possibly be the vent tube for the carb getting water in just enough to choke the machine. These little tubes go from the bottom of the carb down below the engine sometimes and can get debris and water in them enough to cause a stall. Other possibilities are of the electrical nature.

Seat Lift
I cannot figure out how to open (lift) the seat on my Yamaha Kodiak ATV, can you help me? I can feel the lever but donít know which way to move it.  I have tried different ways but it wont budge.

The latch on these Kodiak can be a little tough from time to time, but if you pull up on the latch it should release. The hook on the latch faces forward and rotates upward to release the seat. Good luck.

Warrior Torque Specs
I have a 91 Yamaha Warrior 350 redoing top end! I need torque specs for the cylinder head, and valve lash settings specs?

29 ft-lb on the Flange bolts
14 ft-lb on the Allen bolts

Valve Settings:
IN: .06-.10mm (.00236-.00394 in.)
EX: .16-.20mm (.00630-.00787 in.)

Grizzly Proofing
I have a brand-new Grizzly 700 and was wondering what the best way to rust proof it is? I live in Cape York, Australia, and donít want to use a tacky substance like Tektol, etc., as the red dirt and dust will stick all over it. Someone said fish oil in the frame and Penatrol on the outside. Any good ideas?

Iím not sure there is a foolproof way to rustproof an ATV frame, but if I were you I would maybe look at having the frame powder-coated. This also may sound crazy but you could simply pour Rustolem, a rust-inhibiting paint, down inside the frame once you have had it powder-coated and then just shake it around and pour out the excess. Just a thought.

Need Reverse
Can you purchase a reverse kit for suzuki lt 80 aftermarket one?

Hi Isabel, I have not seen a reverse for this youth ATV. Maybe because itís not really practical.

Clutch Issues?
2008 DS 450. The machine is only hitting 47 mph in 5th gear with speeds also down in 2nd 3rd and 4th. Bike still accelerates good. Itís just way down on top end.

Food for thought here, is the clutch in this machine new or very used? Could the machine be slipping the clutch at higher speeds? This is very possible. What does the engine sound like at your top speeds? Also, it would be good to know if the slide is opening all the way on the carb.

Carb Troubles
I have 2005 bombardier ATV and I rebuilt the carb, drained the tank and it starts and drives for a while and then shuts off. After a few minutes it starts up, goes 20 yards and stops again. I can keep doing this for a while. I paid $200 and itís still doing it.

This is a simple one. The carburetor is not getting enough fuel to keep the machine running. The fuel is running in very slowly and the machine uses up what it has and then shuts off. Have a professional clean the carb and instead of taking the chance of not getting it perfect just replace the jets in the carb to eliminate any other issues. You may want to pull the tank and fuel petcock and clean them as well.

Rancher Snorkel
I have an Ď05 Honda 350 Rancher and I installed a snorkel using 2'' pvc pipe... I sealed everything off but when I give it gas it act like it doesn't want to take it, then it picks up and dies right back down! When I get off the throttle it pops and sometimes back fires! What could be my problem?
Shaun B.

This could be a tough one but the simple way to test this issue is to separate the snorkel where it attaches to the air box or intake. Then give the beast some throttle to see if this makes any difference. If the engine runs good at that point then look for restrictions in the piping. Also know that a heavy air filter, if mounted down line from the stock location, will choke the machine like you described. No air in means no RPM.

Polaris Inquiry
I bought a new 500 HO in 2011. I had owned all other brands at this time. I love the automatic trans and the ride but the vibration of the motor really concerns me. I donít think a new anything should have this much vibration; never felt this in any others that I rode.

Welcome to the world of large displacement single-cylinder four-strokes. This engine will have some vibration just like a Harley or other large singles. If the engine is very erratic and makes knocking or pinging noises then you need to have it checked out, but most big bore singles will vibrate.

Fuel Issues
I have a 2006 Honda Foreman. It has sat up awhile though I did have fuel stabilizer in it. It will start but once it starts to idle it dies. I tried turning the idle screw a bit, which I ended up turning the wrong screw that is the bigger screw to the left of the idle screw. Not sure what I adjusted there. Help! Do you think the carb needs to be cleaned?

My suggestion would be to remove all of the old gas. Get some 93-octane or higher fuel and start over. The carb will need to be drained as well when you get the old fuel out so donít forget that step. It is possible for the fuel to be bad, and even though you had fuel stabilizer in the fuel it could have varnished the smaller ports on the jetting. As far as the adjustments you had made, youíll need to consult your service manual to reset those screws to the proper setting.

Cool Coolant?
I have an arctic cat 250. Can I use any kind of coolant or is there a special kind I need to use?

Typically the coolant recommended by the manufacturer is what I would use, but if you do not have access to a service manual or local dealer you can run a 50/50 mix coolant from the local auto parts store.

Pulling Myself to Death 
Can you lend me a hand? I have 1993 Polaris 350 Trail Boss 2x4 I picked up cheap as a project bike. After doing a lot of work to the bike, I cannot seem to get it to run. I have good spark, and plenty of fuel to the carb, which has been taken apart and cleaned twice. I can put gas in the spark plug hole and get the engine to fire but it wonít run and I have to hold the throttle wide open. Also I am pull starting. Due to financial strain I cannot afford a starter right now. I hope you can help I would like to use the bike this season.
Thank you,

In reading your description of the trouble it sounds like you have maybe a few things happening primarily in the carburetor. If you can drop a small amount in the spark plug hole and it will fire over then the machine is not delivering gas to the cylinder. The carb on this machine can be finicky but it shouldnít be too difficult to clean. If I were you, and you sound like you have some mechanical ability, I would get a can of carb dip solution at the auto parts store. Totally disassemble the carb and let it sit in the cleaner for about 30 minutes. Be sure to read the directions on the carb dip label really well and use rubber gloves as well as eye protection. Also keep in mind that if the engine does not have good compression it will not pull fuel into the carb either. As far as the starter goes, you can find these online in places like eBay for cheap, so consider that when the funds become available.

Check and recheck before heading out to ride, and be sure the tires keep rolling down the trail!

Have an ATV or side-by-side tech question for the AnswerMan? Send an e-mail with your name, vehicle year, model and a detailed description of the problem to [email protected], Attn: ATV AnswerMan.

Previous AnswerMan Columns:
September 2012

August 2012

July 2012 Newsletter
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