ATV Answerman: ATV & UTV Tech Questions Answered

Sep. 01, 2011 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

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2006 Yamaha Rhino Backfiring
I have a Rhino and every time I let off the gas it backfires. It mostly does it going down my hills but itís very annoying. I had the valve adjusted but it didnít help and it is really hard to start Ďtil it gets warmed up.

The backfiring you are experiencing is quite possibly due to a lean condition in the fuel delivery. The primary culprits in this problem will most likely be the primary jet and air fuel mixture screw. If an ATV or UTV motor is hard to start it could be due to the primary jetting size being too small. This is a simple fix, and when you go up in the primary jetting you will need to reset the air fuel screw. Check your service manual for the proper procedure for both. This is where you will most likely find that both problems are solved.

2004 Suzuki Ozark
My favorite quad in the whole world is starting to be my worst enemy. It wonít roll at all sometimes and I tried to push it out of my garage but it is just too stiff. I picked the backend up and the wheels spin so I donít think itís that. HELP!!!

The very first thing I would do is to jack the beast up with all four wheels off the ground. Be sure the atv is in neutral and then try spinning the front wheels as well as the rear. The bearings used in these atvs are not sealed very well and with the age of this machine Iíd say they all could use replacing.

Ď96 Bayou 400
I purchased a 96 bayou 400 ATV that needed a little TLC. Well, actually a lot! So far have put in a battery, new piston, rings, and new cylinder. Did a valve job and replaced two valves, and new decompressor on the cam. Ended up buying new starter gear, one-way clutch, and torque limiter. Have repaired numerous wires that were simply twisted together. And, have been thru the carb twice, but think that it needs one more look. My problem now is that the engine starts easily, but sometimes runs rough at idle and stalls. When it stalls, this thing kicks back like a mule. Have broken the teeth on three starter gears, and have the fourth on order. When looking at the rough idle and stalling, I am inclined to look at the carb first, since there seems to be little or no change in idle behavior when I adjust the low speed idle jet. In fact, when I first removed the carb, I found that there was no O ring on the idle adjust screw, the float was adjusted about 7MM lower that the manual calls for, and the Idle jet was adjusted at 8 turns out. However, I fear that I may be looking in the wrong direction and have CDI problems that would be hard for me to diagnose. I do have a carb kit on order, but don't now how to diagnose any CDI problems. Any words of wisdom?

Wow, sounds like you have way too much patience. The fact that it idles rough could be due to several things inside the carb. The primary or enriching jet could still be clogged, which is not letting enough fuel in during idle. The fact that the air-fuel adjustment was eight turns out leads me to believe that it is running way too rich. That could also be your problem. Finally, as for the CDI, get you a factory service manual and it will show you how to test your ATVís electronics.

Charging Resistor
In need of a charging resistor kit for my YFZ450 2005 can any body help tried Yamaha, GYTR canít find one any were please help.
Nick Blythe
5TG-REGST-KT-00. This is the Yamaha part number you are looking for, but the part does seem to be getting scarce. Iíd check eBay and other aftermarket part suppliers.

Short Answer
I'm currently working on a sunl, atv110 and cannot get any fire. I can't even get the voltage from the excitor coil. Do you think it would be the problem.
Luke Guillory

Yes Luke, this will be the problem.

Honda Foreman 500
I have a Honda foreman 500 and it acts like itís froze up. It got pushed into the lake and I know it has water in the oil but it ran fine before so why wouldnít I be able to crank it?

So let me get this straight Ė your ATV got run into a lake and youíre asking me why it wont crank? OK, first things first, how much water have you drained out of the motor? Have you attempted to remove the spark plug to get the water out of the cylinder? And what would you do if you fell in a lake and held your mouth open for 10 minutes. Yeah, I think you know what Iím getting at.

Accelerate or Excellerate?
2000 90 Sportsman Polaris will crank easy but can not excellarate.

With limited information I would say try looking into fuel delivery for the problem. It could possibly be a clogged primary jet. Also check the air filter for any dirt or debris that would keep the engine from getting air. Your motor needs air, spark and fuel to run. All this has to be perfectly timed as well.

Suzuki Quadmaster LTA50 Manual
Any luck finding a manual? I've tried endless sites, all I seem to do is go round in circles! If you were lucky enough would be grateful if you could help me out.
Many Thanks

The Internet is a wonderful thing but sometimes we can over complicate stuff for ourselves. The local Suzuki dealer will be able to order this manual for you Iím sure.

Summer Christmas?
My husband wants a four-wheeler for Christmas and I was looking for one. What is the best choice for a man who has everything?

Robin, you are so in luck on this one. If spending time with your husband is the way you roll then Can-Am has the ATV for you both. The 2012 Can-Am Outlander Max is everything you and hubby need to make memories out on the trail. These two passenger trail tamers are built with comfort and fun in mind. Try your local Can-Am dealer for a test ride.

Styling Helmet
Hi, I would like to know where I could get a Captain America off-road helmet.

Well Dale, getting a helmet that belonged to the American superhero is probably not an option. I personally have not heard from Steve Rogers (a.k.a. Captain America) for over 20 years and his side-kick Bucky hasnít returned any of my calls. Iíd say getting a genuine Captain America helmet isnít possible but I bet if you call Troy Lee Designs he would paint you one up really nice! Good Luck. 

Wire gremlins
My Arctic Cat won't run the lights all the time and they turn on and off while I ride. What can this be?

The wiring in many older ATVs can get dry and brittle, and many times they will get rubbed for years in the same place until the wire itself is exposed and shorts out. Sounds like you may have some intermittent problems due to a chaffed wiring. Look closely at all connections and follow the wires around the ATV to check for bare or damaged wires.

Off-Road Access
Im in need of an Indiana off-road sticker. Where can I get one?

Contact your local department of natural resources and they will be able to guide you on getting a permit for your atv. Website:

Subject: Honda 4X4 ATV
I have an ATV at my cabin. Last time I rode it at the end of the day. I was pulling up the seat to take the battery out and felt some resistance. I then started smelling gas. I then observed at the bottom of the ATV the fuel hoes hanging leaking gas. Should I just be able to reconnect the hose and where that re-connection would be located? Would I have to remove lots of exterior parts to get to it?

The only problem I will have helping you with this question is that I cannot see the ATV. If the fuel line from the tank to the carb up from the carb to the tank has been pulled loose, then yes you should be able to tell where either end goes. Chances are that this could be a vacuum line that is used to assist in pulling gas to the carb. Again, Because I cannot see your ATV I wouldnít begin to try and help you with that. If this is a vent line or overflow hose from the bottom of the carb then it's supposed to be where it is and the problem is the leaking gas not the hose. My suggestion is to buy a service manual to help with your problem.

Electrical Issues
I have a 2006 Outlander XT 400. Problem: Once I run it for a while and it gets warmed up (doesn't overheat), but if I stop it won't start again. I have had it in the shop three times for this problem and they can't seem to zero in on it. Plugs have been changed. Any ideas? Very frustsrating!

Similar problems have happened with the 400 and some revolve around faulty electrical components. I would need to know if the problem is a crank, no start or a no crank, no start, meaning the engine turns over but it will not fire or the engine will not spin at all. Get back to me with a little more info, my friend.

Computers are only as good as the information we feed into them, and I am the same way. If I have a detailed explanation of what happened to your ATV and a detailed list of what it is or isnít doing then I have a better chance of helping you fix the problem. Details people, details! Thatís all im sayin'.


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

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