ATV AnswerMan: ATV and UTV Upgrades, Tech and Maintenance

Apr. 23, 2013 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.

Previous ATV AnswerMan Columns
March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

No Go
I have a 2003 Honda Rancher that will start up and will idle but will not take gas, but if I push on the throttle it cuts off. What would you suggest? Thank you.

This is a common problem with many ATVs these days. It seems we do not have enough time to ride, so our machines sit longer than we like. The carb gets all varnished up and the engine isnít getting enough fuel. I would start by removing the carb and then the carb float bowl. The tiny jets in the bottom of the carburetor get clogged and can either be cleaned (takes time and expertise) or replaced, which seems to be the easiest way. By the time you clean the jets a few times and get frustrated you can replace them for $20. The enrichening or primary jet is the one you need to start with either way.

Timing Chain Change
How do you change the timing chain on a 2005 arctic cat 500? I canít seem to figure it out.
Thank you,

This is not a task for an under-skilled mechanic. Many times the chain descends into the crankcases and is wrapped around the crank. This requires skill that maybe the dealer possesses. I did say maybe. Having a good service manual from the factory is another item that is a must for a job of this magnitude.

Popping Noise
I have an Ď01 Honda Rancher 350 2x4. It was stolen from my home a while back. I rode it for about a week after the law found it. While riding it I heard a pop close to the rear end. Then it would not go anymore. I can put it in any gear and it will roll. When I roll it, it pops at the rear end. And when I put it in gear and try to go somewhere it jerks really bad. Any ideas where too look or what could be wrong? Thanks!

The rear end on your Honda rancher is quite complicated and some serious diagnosis is needed. If I were to guess at a place to start it would be to drain the rear differential oil to be sure there arenít any metallic fragments floating around in there. Also, if the oil is metallic looking this is a good indication that the problem is located in here. The pinion shaft gears in this rear end could have stripped but only an operation would tell that. Good luck.

Sluggish Ride
I have a 2005 Polaris Phoenix 200. The thing will go in reverse fine but shift to go forward and it's sluggish. Has good build level.
Mark Turner

Well, I almost get what your asking. What is a build level?


Wonít Run
I have a 1996 Yamaha Kodak 400 4x4 and yesterday I could not get it to move, but a few jumps every now and then and dies. And also when I try and let it idle it revs and dies out. plz help.

Sounds like your machine is starving for fuel. This is if I am reading your mind correctly. Try removing the carb and open the float bowl up. There may be some junky varnish coating the jets and this would cause the machine to stall as well as rev erratically.

Carb Clean?
I have a 91 Polaris trail boss 250 two-stroke. I've cleaned the carb twice and put a new plug and wire on it too. The wheeler is perfect at idle but as soon as throttle is applied it Boggs down and backfires. Any idea what I can do more to fix this problem and have it running like new again?

This seems to be a theme for this monthís ATV AnswerMan. The carb has many small ports and getting them perfectly clean can be near impossible sometimes. As I mentioned in a previous response you might think of replacing all of the jets in the carb and start fresh. The primary or enrichening jets have super small ports that clog easily. Start there and fill us in on your progress.

Fuel Issue?
I have a Suzuki King Quad 700. I am having a problem with starting and getting up to speed. It seems like gas as it refuses to start after shut off for any long duration. I have to prime it with gas to get started. It has a tendency to stop completely when throttle is given full speed. A lot of backfiring and snapping sound.
Melvin Aylward

Fuel could most definitely be the issue, but be sure to check that the carb is good and clean. Jets included. Backfiring seems like a lean condition, but just for kicks, be sure the exhaust has no cracks near the head.

Apache Tracks
Where can we buy parts for the apache tracks?
Gayle Woolsey

Hi Gayle, Apache Tracks are a product of Bombardier in Valcourt, Canada. Try looking up your local Can-Am dealer or contact the company direct via their website (

Trans Issues
So I just put an Alba Racing heavy-duty clutch in my 2006 Banshee SE. It was my first time doing one and I followed my friendís instructions but I think I might have messed up somewhere. I took it up the road the first time and everything was fine and then I took it up a second time and it felt like it was slipping in the gears. My tranny is fine Ďcause it wasn't doing that before I parked it. The only thing that was happening before was the clutch was slipping. Need answers.

Ok, there are a few things to check and I would start with the clutch cable, as it would be the easiest. Be sure the cable is fully releasing the clutch arm on the engine cases. Adjust the tension from the bars and see if that works. Next is a question for you: did you use a synthetic oil or additive in your engine? Oils that promote super slickness can create issues with the clutch pack as it slips too. The last item I can think of would be the clutch installation itself. Were the fiber and metal plates stacked properly? Having a good OEM service manual is better sometimes than a plan from a friend.

Bayou Replacement Tires
The OEM tires are worn out (Front 22x9x10 and Rear 24x11x10). I want to replace with: Front and the Rear with new wheels (4x137 bolt pattern) and tires I would like to plus size on both so I can have a wider selection of options. What would be my best option(s) without a lift kit?

Without too much trouble you can increase the tire size by one number on the front and rear. I would stay with the same width though. They seem wide enough already.

New Wheels
I have a Polaris 1988 250 4x4 it has the stock 10-inch rims. I want to find 12 inch rims for it.

Well Clint, get to shopping. The bolt pattern is 4 x 156 and there are several companies that carry the 12-wheel for this pattern.

2012 Kawasaki Teryx4 750
How do I go about getting one of these (or similar) vehicles made street legal in California? I want to tow one on a trailer behind my motor home and use it for trips to the store and sightseeing.
Dan Smith

Good luck going legal on the streets of Cali in a SXS. Youíll have to check in with DMV ( to see if there are any options but itís highly unlikely.

Wonít Start
I have a 2008 Grizzly 700 cranks but will not start, got spark and it cranks. If I turn key to on I can hear the pump run for five seconds and I hear a click on a relay and the pump shuts off.

Battery problems? Check that first.

New Clutch
I have an Ď02 400 4x4 Prairie with a busted clutch will a Polaris clutch work I found an Ď98 400 prairie clutch but don't know if it will fit either. Can someone help me out?

It would be really good to know what parts of the CVT you have broken. Some parts may be interchangeable but it would take all day to cross each part. If you take the parts to the dealer and have them cross the years you may have better luck there.

Electrical Issues
I have a 2002 Polaris 500 HO Sportsman that is cutting out about quarter throttle. Have replaced carb and checked exhaust to make sure it wasnít stopped up; it has a new battery and plug in it and I also changed the coil. It gets plenty of gas. Thought it might be electrical so I put a new CDI box on it and it seemed to change the sound of it. Do you think it could be the stator or could give me your opinion. Thanks.

Throwing money at this machine is not the answer. Get a factory service manual and dig in for a few days before trying to fix the problem. Throttle up issues can be related to fuel, fire and timing for sure, but if you have changed the carb completely chances are you have two carbs with the same issue or possibly a valve train/timing issue. Check all tolerances and get back with us.

Type yoi have a kfx 50 it starts and runs for a second and then it diesur comment hereÖ

Get into a grammar class and focus on school. Have dad look at the carb for varnish.

Choke Only
Honda 2001 250 ex runs for a couple minutes and then shuts off and wonít start again without choking. What could be the problem?
Shirl Veugeler

There are several things at play here. The most common is water in the gas, varnish in the small jets of the carburetor or a stubborn mule of a quad. Iíd check the first two and then go from there. Replacing the jets is much easier than getting them perfectly clean so try that route.

We are working toward a warm summer so be sure the radiator is full, the oil is fresh and the safety gear is number one priority for a safe summer riding season! And if you run into problems give me a shout.

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 ATV AnswerMan Columns
March 2013

February 2013

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