ATV AnswerMan Tackles ATV and UTV Technical Questions

Sep. 27, 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, Attn: ATV AnswerMan.

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Canít Get Enough RPM
Hello, I have a 2004 arctic cat 500 auto 4x4 ATV. It has the carb with electric choke but is stock equipment, must be year change. Starts and idles great and runs fine for just a little while cold wide open and then starts sputtering and loss of power Ė runs all day long at 11 mph. Canít go any faster or it will start sputtering as soon as you push throttle any farther. I have checked gas flow to carb, out of carb, by drain on bottom of bowl. I have cleaned carb found nothing, cleaned air filter, checked diodes in fuse box, pulled muffler off and it ran better but not great. It will pull a trailer full of logs all day but you have to keep RPM down to a certain spot and it will run perfect. It seems to act like a rev limiter problem to me but when you take it out for the first time after it is cooled off you can go full throttle for about 100 yards and after that it starts sputtering at that certain RPM and will keep doing it until you leave it to get cold again. Do you have any suggestions for me to try before I have to give up and hand it over to the service center and pay the big bucks that I donít have at all right now at wood-cutting time? Thank you for your time.

It seems you have checked everything over. But what did you really find? Simply seeing fuel run into or out of a carburetor does not mean it is getting into the finer points of the carburetor like it really needs too. Also, since this unit uses the electric choke it is possible that the switch is bad or stuck possibly choking the engine partially or even fully. What does the spark plug look like in the machine? Reading the plug correctly will tell you how much fuel is getting into the cylinder. If itís dark, burnt or sooty then you are actually flooding the engine and this could cause the problem you are describing. Other items could be low compression due to worn or stuck rings and a few other things that a dealer should be able to help you with. Check out these specific things before you turn to the dealer.

Honda CV Axle
Hi, my name is Tyler Hamby and I own a Honda Foreman 500 Rubicon. Well I did something not too smart. I was climbing a tree with the Honda in reverse and it started to spin and drag the front tires. Then on the front right tire the CV axle popped out (it did not break just came out). Well I lost some of the bearing but I was wondering if I need to buy a whole new CV axle or just the bearings?
Please help!!

My suggestion would be to get a complete CV unless you are experienced in rebuilding these complicated little gems. The bearings have to be the correct size, which can be very hard to determine. Companies such as Gorilla Axle or All Balls bearings can provide you with complete kits to repair the problem. Or you could of course take it to the dealer.

Sunl ATV 110
Motor turns over fine, have spark, have fuel but won't run. Seems like wiring problem Ė all kinds of stupid safety wiring. It was running fine when I went over a bump started missing died out or maybe jumped timing????

This could be a web of many problems and the first being the fact that you may not have access to a service manual that is comprehensive enough to guide you through the repairs for this machine. My suggestion would be to make sure you are getting fuel into the cylinder and not just into the carb. Then be sure there is no water or other debris in the fuel you are using. The bump you described could have jolted some water from the bottom of the little carb or petcock right into the engine and caused the sudden shut off.

Looking for VIN
How do I find the VIN on my trx450fex? I thought it was JFMAMJJASOND77110 but it doesnít come up as a VIN number. Some other numbers I have are 3891ONHO771
WI32193 BI 83674.
Thanks, Nick

Hey Nick, The VIN is located on the front of the frame where the front bumper is located. It will be a series of letters and numbers.

Quad Troubles
Iíve bought an ATV 125cc quad. It was workiní fine until the other day Iíve noticed that around the back left rim on the inside wheel that there is oil on the rim now Iím not sure if this is the driveshaft with it chain driven. Also the carb takes the fuel but Iím not sure if itís fuel starviní as when I put throttle on it cuts out now Iím female so my other half wont listen. Could this be the carb or piston not passing fuel?

After that short paragraph I am so confused myself. We start out talking about a leaky wheel or something similar and now the ATV is not passing gas? If the engine cuts out a bit when you give it throttle but will idle ok then you need to look into the carburetor as it may need service. As far as the oily wheel, you got me. I have no clue what you are talking about. My humble advice is to take the machine, whatever kind it is, to a shop and have them fix it!

Clutch Adjustment
1999 suzuki 500 quad runner 4x4. I am looking for the spec requirements for the clutch adjustment.

Given the circumstances I would suggest getting a service manual from the local dealer or online. The adjustment of the clutch in this machine means the difference between burning out new components or completely tearing up what is left of the old. The Suzuki Quad runner 500 uses a centrifugal clutch as well as a standard clutch pack with metal and fiber plates. It needs to be done right and a factory service manual will tell you how this is done during a new clutch install or a tune-up of the original clutch.

Getting Bendix Out
My 2005 AUSA task 4x4 utv starter is fine but the separate internal bendix will not engage the flywheel. How do I get the bendix out?

OK, so the most difficult thing to deal with here is that this machine is not a high-production UTV nor is it a well-known manufacturer and it is one I personally have not ever heard of. I could not find any information on the machine or its operational specifications. I suggest going back to the place you bought it and seeking help there. Buying namebrand equipment is key when these exact problems arise. I know itís easy to get caught up in the price or affordability of a lessor brand, but this exact time is when you will appreciate the extra money spent.

Power Down
I have a 1996 Arctic Cat Bearcat 450 and it has been cutting out its power when it's hot. I thought maybe the cooling system and checked the thermostat and fan switch. I've noticed that my CDI unit gets extremely hot when I operate the bike and that the wires have corrosion which I've cleaned up. Wondering if this is normal and why it cuts out when driving around for a while.

Some capacitive-discharge ignitions do not like excessive heat. This is magnified by any corrosion that can cause the power draw to be restricted. These two elements can cause an ignition system to fail prematurely. Iím not sure this is your entire problem but it is certainly a place to start. Be sure the fuel system is not running to lean, as this will create the bigger temps as well and cause the engine to stall in hot riding.

Brute Force Sputtering
I have a 2005 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 that started spitting and sputtering when you give it gas. When you push the choke in it ran better with more power for a couple of seconds. I have cleaned the carbs what could be wrong with it?

It sounds to me that you may have not gotten the carburetors clean enough on the inside. Applying the choke and getting a better response leads me to believe that the engine is starving for fuel. There are very small jets inside and sometimes it is often better if they are simply replaced. Cleaning by a professional can work but even then it can sometimes leave residue that would leave the problem in the carb. Get a pair of new pilot jets for the carbs and try again.

Apache Track Kit on a 350?
Can a Honda 350 run an apache track kit or do they even make a track kit for Honda 350?
Honestly, the track kits should be left to larger displacement machines. These kits are great for the ATVs that they are built for but they drain the power and can cause premature wear that you will not like. The Honda 350 is not a powerhouse machine and it is my personal opinion that this ATV couldnít handle the strain of a typical track kit. Hope that doesnít bust your bubble, but I think it may save you some headache down the road.

Need Cannondale Parts
To whom it may concern, my name is Tom and I recently bought a 2002 Cannondale Blaze 440. Iím looking to find some parts for this quad but Iím not having much luck. Please send me a message if you have any info as to where I can locate these parts. Thank you.


Unfortunately the Cannondale ATV line was gone from production long ago and parts as well as service help is also scarce. I would check with the website and they could get you any direction that might be available.

Finding a great deal in an ATV is always exciting. Finding out that the ATV you just bought is no longer in production or that the machine has no support from a factory or service department is even worse. It happens every day, folks. Donít buy ATVs or UTVs that have no known service or dealer for parts. Itís gonna bite you sooner than later. Just trust me on that one.

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, Attn: ATV AnswerMan.

Previous AnswerMan Columns:
August 2012

July 2012

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