ATV AnswerMan: ATV & UTV Reader Questions

Oct. 29, 2013 By 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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Fully Loaded?
Ok someone help me!!! I have a 07 ltr 450 was running great but now when I try to ride it acts like itís getting to much fuel and overloading.

I assume you have looked at the plug and this is how you determined the engine was loading up on fuel. Are there any restrictions in the air box at all? You might also try installing a new plug and eliminate that first. How is the fuel filter under the tank? This can be a simple procedure of testing to eliminate common issues and find the problem. If you are unsure of your mechanical skills then I suggest taking the machine to a Suzuki dealer for service.

Fluid Swap
I have a 1987 Suzuki Quadzilla and I want to change the oil fluids (tranís and motor oil). Can you tell me where to fill and check them? I found a fill spot on the left side that says 1000 mm but is that tranís or motor oil?
Thanks for the help.

The beast you speak of is a two-stroke machine and only uses transmission oil in the cases, as the fuel requires a pre-mix that lubricates the cylinder as it runs. The large plug on the left side of the engine cases is where you will add the recommended lubricant for the transmission and the drain for the case is on the bottom. There should also be a small 8 or 10mm bolt on the forward side of the engines left side that is used to properly fill the cases to the correct level.

Speed Limit
Does a RZR have a speed governor from the factory?

The Polaris RZR is limited in speed by the sheaves and clutch system primarily. Some will remove certain small parts in between the sheaves to get a little more top end, but I am not a fan of that procedure as it can wear other parts prematurely. Getting a machine to go much faster than 65-70 mph with a less-than-experienced driver at the helm is dangerous, as things happen very fast (including crashes). I am not saying youíre a less-than-experienced driver, but there is always the possibility of one dropping in the seat at some point.

Flashing Lights
On my Kawasaki 650 Prairie the oil light and belt lights keep flashing. I put a new belt on it and changed the shims a couple of times and cleared the light, but when I start it up light flashes again. Can you tell me whatís wrong?

Iím not sure what year Prairie you have, but the procedure is similar on several models. Try this on for size and see if it helps:
1) Remove seat, unplug black and grey 4-pin connectors
2) Swap plugs, grey to black and black to grey
3) Turn on switch to see that the belt light is flashing quickly.
4) Disconnect 2-pin belt switch above the torque converter cover, belt light should be flashing slowly
5) Let flash for at least 5 seconds
6) Turn off ignition switch
7) Reconnect 4-pin connectors black to black and grey to grey, reconnect 2-pin belt switch
8) Turn on ignition switch to confirm belt light is out

Polaris Trail Boss
The motor runs great but when you put it in gear it stalls. Put the idle up high it won't stalls but will lunge forward. What should I look for?
It seems you may have issues related to the drive or driven clutch. The drive clutch should allow the belt to slip between the sheaves until the engine RPM picks up to a predetermined RPM. If any part of the clutch is stuck or not moving freely it will or at least could hold onto the belt and not allow the engine to have a neutral.

Kodiak Life
I have a 2001 Kodiak 400 just put a new clutch kit in it, and now it dies when I let it idle. Any suggestions?

I would say the clutch will need to be adjusted. I know that sounds simple, but hey, it is, Jack! If you replaced a worn clutch that had been adjusted to get the most out of it over the years then chances are when you put the new clutch in everything is out of whack! Get a service manual to guide you if you do not already have it.

Brake Issue
Hey the screen on my quad says " brakes."  They work fine but when I have to slow down from higher speeds a weird scratching sound comes from the front brakes. Any ideas?

It sounds to me like the simple answer is to check the brakes, right? I definitely would not be going high speed until you get this figured out especially, because they can stop working or lock up depending on the problem. Grinding or scratching either one indicates worn pads or possibly debris hung in the caliper. Other potential problems will develop from letting the problem persist and it just keeps getting more and more expensive.

Not Buckiní Buck
My wife has a 2002 John Deere Buck 500 with very low miles. The problem is that the engine will not turn over unless I pull the starter rope for her, then it starts fine with the starter button. The rope pulls very hard; I can hardly pull it over. Tried a tune up and new battery, but no luck. Any help would be appreciated.

You are fighting the compression of the engine with one of two possible problems. Try gently spinning the motor with the pull start rope and then hitting the button again. Chances are the battery or starter is headed south and may need repair or replacing. The engine will be easier to pull over or start with the push button when itís warm, as compression typically drops at this point.

Ranger Lift Kit
We lifted our Polaris Ranger with a kit from ebay and now the front end is making a clicking noise. I think it is coming from the back too.

You may have more of a problem than you know. The stock axles in any ATV or SXS have been developed for the angles in the stock height of the machine. When you add a suspension lift via the shocks it puts the axles at steeper angles and creates stress on the joints of said axles. This damage due to stress will progress rapidly if you are hard on the machine or ride in really rough terrain. A good set of extreme-angle axles from Gorilla Axle or High Lifter will cure that problem. Be ready to choke on the price, though. Itís not cheap to be the big dog nowadays!

Hard Starting
Why does my Honda 450 get hard to start after I ride for a couple hours?

Setting the valves on your sporty sport machine is a must and needs to be done regularly. Most commonly the intake valves on the TRX450 will get tight and the exhaust loose. Itís a simple process but one that requires moderate skill to complete it correctly. The TRX450ER has a decompression lever on the cam, which releases engine compression to aid in the starting of the motor. So to make a short answer longer, have the valves checked as this could be a bigger part of the problem.

Kymco Oil Trouble
I ran my Kymco four wheeler low on oil and now it has a hard time to keep running. We added the right oil again and cleaned the air filter but I think it needs a spark plug. Any suggestions?

Running any engine low on oil in the heat of the summer is really tough on internal components. The engine not only needs lubrication but the oil helps cool the engine as well. It seems you could have low cylinder compression resulting in the poor idle performance. I would start with simple issues such as contaminated fuel or a bad plug, and then move to more complex things such as a compression check. I bet if it gets in your wallet really deep you will not forget the oil level next go around, will you?

Moving Rhino
Our Yamaha rhino will not stay still even with the parking brake pulled all the way up.

Well Iím sorry to hear that! The parking brake needs attention and probably new pads or adjustment, my friend.

No Brakes?
My dad and I have a Bombardier Outlander and it is a 2006 model. I tried to get my brakes changed on my quad and the mechanic told me that I didnít have rear brakes on it. I know it has brakes but I cannot find them. How do I find where to check the brakes because they are not on the back wheels?

Wow, Iím almost through my questions and suddenly I get smacked with this stroke of genius. OK, start by firing the mechanic posing as your mechanic. Go to an authorized dealer if you do not work on the machine yourself. The rear brake is on the output shaft of the transmission, just forward of where the rear trailing arms mount to the frame. On second thought, just load the beast up and head to a Can-Am dealer.

Wheel Swap
Will my Honda Rubicon wheels fit on my sonís Yamaha Big Bear?

Is he jealous of the cool stuff on your machine? I wish I knew the year of either machine because then I could poke fun at you more. When all else fails, test fit the wheels one at a time.

You really should know who is working on your machine. If you at anytime doubt you have made a good choice in mechanics then change shops. Some dealers have lousy mechanics, but one thing they have that a private shop may not is access to the newest diagnostic equipment, tools and training. It is always good to have someone who is trained specifically on your machine to work on it, because you are going to pay for the cheap guys work sooner or later!

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
September 2013

August 2013

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