ATV AnswerMan: Technical and Maintenance Questions Answered

Dec. 12, 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 [email protected], Attn: ATV AnswerMan.

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November 2012

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Kick in the Pants?
Iíve just got one (Bombardier DS650) and I'm 165lbs., haven't got to ride it yet but I'm hoping it doesn't kick me in the pants too hard.
Victor Charles

Letter sparked by article: 2005 Bombardier DS650 Long Term Review.

The DS650 was a great machine and many still roam the country. The power of that Rotax engine is a handful at times, but Iím sure you will take your time and ease into it. Hope you enjoy!

Wrong Arm?
My question is I have an Ď87 Yamaha Warrior. It pulls bad to the right. I have reset the toe in but it does the same thing. The only thing I can see is the left front wheel leans in at the top. I know the lower left control arm has been changed due to double nuts on the bolt. Is there anyway that it has the wrong lower left control arm?
Terry Emmons Sr.

Anything is possible, my friend. The fact that you have some serious visible negative camber on your left front wheel indicates a problem for sure. I would get a close look at the right lower control arm and judge it against the left. It seems the fixed arm length should be the same, and if a different has been installed it could be just a little off.

Carb Cleanup
I have a BMX side-by-side needing u-joints. Looking for a dealer, need tel#.

Well, it didnít take but just a few minutes to figure out that you may or may not have a really tough time getting help with this UTV. The BMX brand is very scarce and most likely if you need service you may not find it. The parts are available through the website You should be able to get them at their business number here: 320-292-9061. Good luck on getting help with this machine.

Rebuilt Carb
We rebuilt the carb on the 400 Big Bear. My buddy who I bought it from said he always had issues with the choke. He bought it new in 2007. It runs if you keep adjusting the choke, but hesitates, and backfires. What you think?
Bruce Carlson

Rebuilding a mechanical carb requires more than just spraying off the internals with a cleaner. It has been my experience that either replacing the jets or chemically dipping the carb in a harsh chemical is really the only way to get the funk out of the small places. If you are having to keep the choke applied during any part of the throttle delivery then the engine is starving for fuel. This means something is blocking the fuel delivery in the carb.

2003 Yamaha Kodiak 400
I have replaced the thermostat and sensor in the radiator. My fan still does not turn on. I took a temperature of the coolant while running the ATV. It was at 200F. I tech wired the fan to come on when the motor is running. Is there any harm in having the fan run all the time?

The trouble you may run into with the fan running all the time is that your battery could eventually give up. With a slow current refilling the battery and the stator requiring a certain RPM to deliver the charge that it puts out it may not be able to keep up. I would find the problem elsewhere. The 2003 Yamaha Kodiak 400 has twin thermo sensors, one on the radiator and the one actually on the engine itself. This could be the trouble you are looking for. The Yamaha part number for this second sensor is 4BA-82560-00-00.

Flashing Lights
I have got a 2006 Kawasaki Prairie 700. It was in limp mode when I got it and the belt light was flashing. The 4wd didnít work either. I replaced the belt, 2wd/4wd actuator, and finally put a dynatek CDI box on it. That finally took it out of limp mode and belt light went off (still no 4wd). It lasted for about half a day then back to the same thing ... top speed 10mph. What else could it be?!

Is it possible you have a wiring issue? I would trace the wires around the frame and figure out if any of them have been chaffed or cut. The 4WD switch should work as long as the plug connections are getting the voltage they require. I would get a good voltmeter and be sure power is getting through the wires if you find no visible damage to the wires.

Youth ATV Racing
I have an 8-year-old daughter who loves to ride quads. She is very confident, maybe too confident, but was interested in seeing what she can do on a track. She is very competitive and loves to ride and go fast. These are all things in racing so I thought I would let her try, so if u know how I should start or how to put my plan into action and let the fun begin. I am open to all ideas.

Racing a local series as a test would be a great idea. I would just warn you against pushing her into a competition where she might feel she has to perform. This could get her hurt. I am all for teaching children about racing and, if their grades are good as well as their manners toward others, itís a good training ground for exercise and goal setting. Sometimes children want to impress their parents and try a little too hard, which could actually make them resent the fun they once enjoyed. Look up ATV racing in your area on the Internet as most series have websites (there are too many to list here). You might want to even meet with the local parents whose children race to get helpful information. Of course you will want to give her the best protection possible in riding gear. Your local ATV dealer would know of racing in the area as well.

Sharp Right
I have a Ď99 Polaris Magnum 500 4x4 and all of the sudden it wanted to turn hard to the right. I donít see anything broke, bent or busted just by looking but when I jacked all four wheels off the ground and started it the front right and both rear wheels turned and the front left just free spins. This is happening with and without the 4x4 engaged and it seems to be stuck in AWD but the front left is not turning with the other three. Please help, thank you.
Philp Haynes

You might have just realized your own problem. The actuator could be stuck and creating the extra pull on the front wheel. Trace the wiring down from the switch to the actuator and see if there are any problems. The front wheel being locked by itself is another indicator that something in the gearbox could be the problem as well. Start with wiring and move into the gearbox. If you want to perform a test you could unplug the front differential and see if it does it again.

2003 Polaris Predator 500 ATV
It starts and runs fine for about 5 minutes then dies. Then I have to wait for about 5 to 15 before it start again.
Help me please.

This could be many different problems but I would start with the fuel first. There is a possibility that the carb is clogged from varnished fuel and that could keep the gas from getting into the carb. The heat in the engine could be another problem. If the engine is badly worn the compression could drop enough as the engine heats up to kill the motor.

Sitting Suzuki
My 2008 Suzuki 250 LTZ Sport sat for about 2 months and did not get ridden. The brakes are like stuck. It will go but you can tell they are stuck. What can I do? People say just drive it but I donít want to mess anything up thanks.
Mitchell Gaster

Be sure that the parking brake is not engaged on the machine. Get the machine up on some kind of stands and spin the wheels to find which wheel is sticking. The rear wheel bearings could also be getting in bad shape as well. This would cause the wheel to stick.

White Smoke
I have a 1999 Polaris 400 Sportman. The other day I went to start the machine and it started blowing white smoke and more so if I revved the gas. The smoke smells like burnt oil. Checked the oil itís full. Any ideas what this could be? Thanks.
Ken McCormack

Sounds like you have a worn set of rings and possibly a cylinder as well. Smoke is also seen when the valves get a bit to much debris or carbon build up on them from years of use without proper maintenance. Sounds like its time to overhaul the beast and get the power back youíve been missing.


Mostly Happy
I bought a my 450 last year and 99% of the time I am dune riding... I'm very happy with it. However I like to get the most power possible without wrenching too much. I have heard replacing your air intake with a K&N system and slip-on pipe will help but which one? There are so many out there? Help!
Mark Aguirre

You are so right about the extensive variety of pipes and add-on parts available for our rides. I have had great experience with the HMF Engineering line of pipes and Bill Ballance has several championships on these as well so give them a try. Most pipes are going to give minimal gains at best.

Be sure to get out and ride as much as you can. If you have anything you might want for Christmas you might want to get on that wish list. If you run into trouble we will be here to help you out as best we can. Ride safe!

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 AnswerMan Columns:
November 2012

October 2012

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