ATV AnswerMan: ATV & UTV Tech Questions Answered

May. 28, 2014 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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Gas in the Oil?
I have a ds650 and oil in crank smells like gas and thinned out! Help!

It is quite possible that there is fuel in the crankcase. This can be a few different problems but not impossible to fix. This issue can start with a clogged or varnished carburetor, or on some fuel tank petcocks the rubber seals inside can go bad and allow fuel in through the intake. The fact that the DS650 is a carb quad I would first pull the carburetor off the machine and then take the float bowl cover off. Inspect the float for any sticking or corrosion. Varnish will be brownish, yellow gunk and sometimes green-colored varnish can be found if the cast aluminum begins degrading. Get that carb clean and see how that helps. You may need to replace the needle valve and seat if the corrosion is too bad.

Sputtering Rubicon
I have a 2002 Honda Rubicon 500 and it spits and sputters at over half throttle. How can I fix this?

There are a couple of items you need to check. First I would cut off the fuel and drain the carb bowl into an approved container to be sure there is no water in the gas. You can then turn the gas back on and run the quad a bit. If this fixes the problem then great, but chances are it probably will not. This is where you will need to remove the carburetor and either clean the jetting or simply replace the jets. These jets can be removed with a simple flathead screwdriver and for about $10 you should be able to replace the main and primary/starter jet. This is most likely the culprit.

Whatís Too Hot?
I have a 2009 Yamaha Grizzly 350 IRS. As I was driving along it let a really loud bang and cut out. It wouldn't start for a few minutes. The engine did feel quiet hot but is don't know what a normal temp is.

This is one that requires quite a bit more information to dissect, but Iíll give it a shot. Have you adjusted the fuel system at all? By adjust, I mean did you add an aftermarket exhaust or change the jetting? If you changed anything in the fuel delivery that temporarily improved performance then that might have been the downfall of the machine. If the radiator is clogged then this could cause the overheating issue, and the engine would eventually stop running. There are a lot of questions to ask yourself, but look deep into how you have ridden the machine as well as maintained it in the last few months. Iím assuming it will start now by your statement of ďit wouldnít start for a few minutes,Ē so be sure to have a pro look at it before you set out to ride again.

U-Joint Replacement
I just replaced the U-joints on my Ď06 Can-Am Outlander 400 Max and now I have a chatter at no-load cruising speed. Could this be caused by not enough grease in the slip joint boot on the driveshaft?
Jerry Foust

Iím just a little confused because of the terminology, but I think your talking about the half shaft joints that go from the engine to the front or rear differentials. The vibration would not be caused by lack of grease Ė for that Iím almost positive. I would say either the joints were not pressed in properly or evenly. Iíd have to see the machine to eliminate that part, but itís really the only thing it could be. Place the machineís framework on jack stands and let the wheels spin slowly. Since the shafts turn so much faster you should be able to see any uneven surfaces.

Sticky Choke
I have a 2008 Honda Foreman. The choke is sticking sometimes and gas is pouring out when it does it. What can I do to stop this? I just had it at the Honda shop and it all checked out.

First off, if the dealer did not fix the problem I would allow them a second opportunity to do their job. After all, you probably paid them in skin! It is possible that the cable is sticking in the sheath or the choke slide is sticking in the carb. Now, I would say that the fuel running out of the carburetor could be something different all together. If the machine has sat for any period of time the needle valve could be sticking and creating the leak. This is a problem within the carb bowl and can be rectified with a stout fuel system cleaner since it isnít really bad just yet. Otherwise the carb needs to be pulled off and the internals of the bowl cleaned or replaced.

2002 Arctic Cat Lineup
I need picture for the location of 30-amp fuse for my 2002 4x4 Arctic Cat.

Well, I really have no idea what fuse youíre talking about because you have not listed one type of machine out of the 24 different versions of ATVs made in 2002. But, I will give you an idea of where to lookÖ fuse box.

More Flooding
My Suzuki Eiger starts to get more and more sluggish as it runs and it dumps gas into the engine, which floods the oil. How can I fix this?
Like many Suzuki ATVs the fuel petcock has a prime instead of an off position. This system pulls engine vacuum to draw fuel into the carb. As the machine ages the rubber diaphragm inside the petcock breaks down and loses its seal. This allows fuel to flow into the engine through the intake. A quick test would be to find the hose coming off of the petcock going to the intake and plug off the hole in the intake. Put a bolt in the hose you just pulled off and then go out for a ride. Be sure the hose coming off the petcock is well sealed because you might lose fuel and create a fire hazard if not.  This should tell you if this is the exact problem.

LED Lights
I have been thinking about getting a LED light for my headlights but Iím not sure if it will work. Can you tell me where I might look to find a bulb for my headlights on my Kawasaki Teryx so it will work like the new headlights?

Iím not sure what year Teryx you have, but if you have a 2012 or newer model machine you can simply retrofit the headlights from the new ones into yours. I would head to the dealership and look at the Teryx models with the lights. I know for a fact that this new-style Teryx headlight is interchangeable. Itís not a cheap change out but very plug and play!

Need a Lift?

Can you explain to me the process of lifting an ATV? My son is dead set on putting a two-inch lift on his Honda Foreman 500 and Iím not sure about this at all. It seems like it will be tough.

Adding an aftermarket lift to a machine is very simple. Most two-inch lifts simply raise the point of mount for the top of the shocks. This is the inexpensive and easy part. One word of warning, though: you need to really consider the cost on other items in the driveline before you do this. Axles are made for the suspension the way it comes from the factory. The stress of a permanent lift is tough on axles if the machine if rode hard. Consider that you may need aftermarket, extreme-angle axles to go with the lift to make it a trouble-free accessory. Companies like High Lifter Products in Shreveport, Louisiana, can help you with the entire process as they are the original ďATV LiftĒ manufacturers.

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
April 2014

March 2014

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