ATV AnswerMan: Tech and Maintenance Questions Answered

Jan. 23, 2014 By Rick Sosebee, Photo Courtesy of Kawasaki
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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Power Numbers
Can any one tell me the power and torque values of Polaris Phoenix 200?
Itís urgent please. Or maybe you can tell me where can I find it?

Most companies do not include any power or torque ratings in specification sheets. To be quite honest it is not enough to get excited about at all. If you want to find out the true horsepower or torque of your machine you should take it to a Dyno and then you will have documented proof. If I were to guess the horsepower of that machine I would say about 15-20 ponies.

Oil in the Air Box?
I have a 2005 Suzuki 400 Automatic 4x4. I can run it for about 20 minutes then oil will start going through the carburetor and into the air box causing it to go dead. I let it sit for about 10 minutes then it starts back up and can ride for 20 minutes more. Why is it doing this??

I think I understand your dilemma but I do believe the process, as you describe it, is maybe twisted a little. The air box on your 2005 Suzuki Eiger 400 4X4 has a crankcase breather tube installed on the right side. You should be able to see if you pull the right side plastic off. This allows the crankcase to breath and there will be small amounts of oil coming up from the crankcase, but it should not be a large amount. If there is excess oil coming in the air box you will want to have a local dealer have a look at the engine because there could be other issues. So to keep the residual oil from getting in the air filter, simply add a little extension of rubber tube to the inlet inside the air box.

Now, with that said, letís think of another possibility. If the rings on your machine are worn out you could be getting oil up from the crankcase and into the cylinder. This could be halting the combustion process and also puking it back into the carb. Have the compression checked or simply pull the spark plug right when it kills over and see if there is evidence of oil on the plug. Check those two out and get back to us with your discovery.

Too Hot to Handle?
I have a 2004 Suzuki King Quad 300 and it runs perfect when cold. But when it gets hot even the slightest touch of the throttle kills it. When it is just warm there is a distinct misfire/sputter and low RPM.  I just had a carburetor kit installed and even changed the spark plug. I juggled with mixture and needle settings to no avail whatsoever, so any thoughts what else to try? Good parts are almost impossible to find here in the UK.
First off, Suzuki did not make a King Quad in 2004, or at least they did not here in the United States. So you either have a Suzuki Eiger 400 or possibly a Vinson 500. Anyways, it sounds like you may have some engine internals failing. The engine is air-cooled and if treated poorly the motor may just be too tired to run. The first thing I would check is the compression. Make sure the rings are not worn beyond their service life. Next you may want to check the valve clearance to be sure the top end is in spec. Any loss of compression either through the rings or valves will result in a very rough running machine. I suggest looking online and possibly having parts shipped direct to you.

ARRRGG! Well I cleaned the carburetor yet again and on reassembly a new fault appeared Ė it wont rev much and the throttle slide does not move like it did a day or two ago, so now I seem to have a new fault. I am baffled.

If I could give you one piece of advice it would be to get yourself an OEM service manual. You cannot guess at these things. For a mere $60 bucks you can have the instructions right in front of you. Iím not sure what kind of machine you are working on because you failed to tell me. Sorry, buddy, but you need to give me some more info before I can even consider helping.

Wonít Turn Over
I have a 2000 Honda 400ex. The four-wheeler acts like it wants to turn over but it won't. What could be the problem?

Have you tried driving faster and turning sharply? I would say you may have a battery issue? Just a guess but heck, itís worth a try, right? Check the battery out and then search for loose or corroded wiring.

Battery Trouble
I have a 98 Suzuki king quad and I have a short somewhere. The left headlight will light dim and the right light is ok. When you turn the key on it will start but has a miss in it and won't take gas, it pops and misses. But when you turn the key to the lights it will run for a while and then start to miss. When you shut it off then start it up again it will run. Now both lights are out and it misses in both key in on and key with lights. Can you help me? I unplugged both headlights but it still misses.

It sounds like you may have some issues with your charging system or battery. How old is the battery in the quad? Have a local dealer test your stator/magneto to be sure it is putting out the proper voltage to the entire wiring system. A factory service manual will help with this and it could save you some coin.

Spinning Donuts
I was riding my KFX 400 and turning a couple of donuts on it. It cut off and hasn't cranked since. What could be the problem? It will turn over but wonít start.

It takes fire, fuel and air to motivate an engine to run. Check out each of these and be sure each one is working properly. Do you have a kill switch on the machine? Check the small black wire coming off the coil to be sure it hasnít been cut or grounded accidentally.

Taking care of a machine is the toughest part of riding, however you need to eventually change the oil and filters or you will be crying the blues while your buddies hit the trail. Let us know how we can help!

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
December 2013

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