ATV AnswerMan: Off-Road ATV & UTV Tech Questions

Feb. 07, 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

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Losing Power
I have an eton thunder 90 that accelerates fine for about 10 seconds and then loses power. It starts very well and idles fine. I have a new carb, new gas lines and filter checked oil line and tank, changed plug, and new cdi what do you think is wrong?

So if I were to guess, since you didn’t tell us, this Eton uses mixed gas via an oil tank that feeds into the carb for the motor? And if so this means the little basher is a two-stroke that can run hot in less than two minutes creating a very large gap between the rings and the cylinder walls that reduces compression and therefore kills the power as well as the engine. With that being said, you are probably due a top end rebuild. Oh, and do yourself a favor by eliminating the oil tank and mixing your own gas from now on.

Overheating Issues
1994 polaris 650 triple seems to be overheating.

It is very important that you do not get in a hurry to ask a question and forget to tell me what exactly is the problem with as much detail as possible, and what the ATV is doing or did before it crapped out. Personally, I have never heard of a Polaris triple in any ATV so I wouldn’t be able to help you one bit.

Polaris Magnum 425
Where are the fuses for the headlights? I cannot seem to find them. All the lights went out at once so I assume the fuse had blown...any ideas?

There is a 20-amp circuit breaker right behind the taillight but there seems to be the only one. It is possible that this circuit breaker controls both the head and taillight. Check it out and get back to us. Otherwise, I would say there is a shorted wire that needs attention.

Four Wheel Unit
Hey does anybody know how much a four-wheel-drive unit for a 2002 Yamaha big bear 400 is?

The part number for your front differential complete is 5FU-46160-02-00 and retails for around $850.00, so I would suggest looking into repairing the one you have. If that is not an option you should search eBay for a good used part. Otherwise, choke on the retail price from Yamaha.

Throttle Cable Install
I have a 1991 polaris trail boss 250 and my throttle cable messed up so I ordered another one and I just need to know how to install it. Is it as easy as just puting it where it goes or what?
Tyler P

Wow, I guess I need to share my secret of “watching how the part comes off to get the new part back in the right place” knowledge so everyone believes me when I say: Yes, it is as easy as taking the old cable off and putting the new cable back on. Of course we might need to express again how important it is to have a FACTORY service manual handy. Nah, that’s a waste of precious time and money…

RZR Engine
I’m looking for a engine for my rzr 900 because I own one and it's been two winter that I have to rebuilt my engine I’m just tired of that could you maybe help me on this why it does that. It's always the left side that does it.

It’s kind of weird that you have owned a RZR 900 for two winters when the peeps at Polaris have just released the RZR XP900 this past year. Maybe you mean the RZR800? What bothers me even more is that you are whacking the engine out of this thing on a regular basis. If I were to guess I’d say either you have a really bad engine builder or maybe you’re using cooking oil instead of motor oil? If it were me, I would send the complete engine out to someone like Holz racing or Georgia ATV performance to have them go through and see where it has gone wrong. Good luck.

Rubicon Battery Problem
I have a 2005 Honda 500 Rubicon. Problem is the battery is not charging> Will run for awhile then just shut down but you can pull start but put it in gear an shuts off. Tried another battery and same effect – ran for a while an shut down. Something is draining the battery.
Thomas W Kadar

There is a good possibility that the charging system is failing in your Honda. My first suggestion, just so you understand the jargon I sling your way, is to get a factory service manual from Honda. I know they are not cheap but if it helps you fix a few things yourself you have already saved hundreds. Now charge the battery, ride it for a while and with it still running in the park position, take your voltmeter and put the perspective leads on the battery. At idle the volts should read between 11.5 and 12.5. Then rev the motor with the leads still connected and the voltage should jump to about 14.5. The service manual has the exact voltage test procedure but this will give you an idea of where to start.

Bayou Top and Bottom
I have 1991 kawasaki 220 bayou my trans is shot. I bought a 2002 kawasaki 220 bayou bottom end with trans. My question is can I take the top end off the 1991 motor and put it on the 2002 bottom end?

I would say they have made at least one upgrade to these motors and to think that the top of one would fit on the other at almost 10 years apart would be a very large stretch. Probably not, my friend.

Rode and Parked
I have a 2010 suzuki 125cc racequad ... IU have had it for about a year and a half... I rode it everyday for 3 months and then parked it indoors for like 9 months I got it out cleaned it up and now it wont start could it be bad gas or something I don’t know much about them!!! It’s a 1cl 4-stroke engine, automatic.

I would think that with the gas today you can almost guarantee that the carb will need some love before it goes anywhere (the ethanol in fuel is a major factor). The fuel could have very well varnished the entire bowl of the carb as well as all the jets and tiny passages inside. Start there and if you’re not sure just haul it to the local dealer for a proper cleaning.

2000 Arctic Cat 300 4x4
I have a 2000 arctic cat 300 4x4 runs perfect with headlights on but with them off the engine will not rev up it falls flat even if they are on and I unplug the light harness it will do the same thing or if I pull the fuse for the lights it will idle but no power but once the lights are on it runs great.  Any help would be great.

Sounds like there is a charging system problem. The first thing I would do is to check all of the “weather tight” wiring connections as these tend to be not so weather tight sometimes. Look for water or corrosion in the plugs and before you put them back together be sure to add a little Dielectric grease to the female side of the plug. If the connections check out then move to the search for possible shorts in the electrical system. This may seem like a wild goose chase but that’s because it is, and if you don’t want to hand it off to a dealer then this is the process of elimination before throwing money at it. If no shorts are found then you’ll want to refer to your service manual in the magneto or stator section to find some very helpful electrical trouble shooting processes.  Good luck.

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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