ATV AnswerMan – Your ATV & UTV Questions Answered

May. 29, 2013 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.

Previous ATV AnswerMan Columns
April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

Kicking Out
I have a 2006 Honda Fourtax 350 ES and when riding it will kick out of gear. I have to down shift then it will sometimes shift back up but it doesn't even want to shift at all. Can someone please tell me my problem?

There are many issues that could contribute to the transmission shifting problems you describe. The Honda transmission is quite complicated in that it actually has a centrifugal clutch and a fiber-over-steel plate clutch. It is possible that the centrifugal clutch is having issues that contribute to the gear slippage. What does the oil look like or, better yet, smell like. Sometimes a clutch problem can be sniffed out in burnt smelling oil to a trained nose.

Diesel Problem
I have a ‘99 Polaris 500 diesel. It is getting fuel I have checked the injector it is working, but it still wont start. Can you help me?

Diesel engines have glow plugs that have to be in working order. It is the spark plug of a diesel engine. Check it out and get back to me.

Re: How To ATV and SXS CV Axle Replacement
I cannot get my the two axle housing bolts out after I remove the nuts. Any suggestions? I have tired beating them out and still no luck.

I would be a little slow to “Whack-a-bolt” on any machine, and especially one that I own. I really need some good information in order to answer this question correctly. I need to know what kind of machine and what two bolts you are beating on. Please elaborate in your next email.

Need a Winch
I have the Outlander 800. How do I go about buying a winch for it? I
live in Portugal. Further more for any other accessories as well.

The Outlander 800 by Can-Am is a great machine and if you simply contact most online stores, such as retailer like, they may be willing to ship overseas.

Kodiak 400 4x4
Where is the engine # on this model? Trying to register it in CA and the DMV needs to see it on the!!!!

The engine group number is typically on the side of the engine below the rear of the clutch cover. The clutch cover should be on the right-hand side of the engine.

Re: Yamaha Timberwolf 2x4
This is a wonderful wheeler. I got mine for free – it sat for 3-4 years not running because the neighbor hit a tree with it and just parked it. I drug it home on a trailer with the Dodge, put it in the garage and cleaned the spark plug, dumped some gas down the breather tube into the carburetor and turned it over, fired up second turn, and the thing ran beautiful until I snapped the throttle cable on it. So I have one ordered for tomorrow or the next day, and an air filter. Very p.leased

Well, we are glad you are happy with your freebie my friend. I hope it gives you years of trouble free riding.

Too Slow
I have a 2003 Rincon. 1600 miles and suddenly will not go over 15 mph. Starts and runs ok but will not get up and go as it use to. No other problems.

Have you tried checking the fuel to see if there might be any kind of contaminants in the tank? Maybe drain the carb and put some fresh gas in the quad. Even in your gas can there could be condensation that makes its way to the quad with your help and in small amounts this can wreak havoc on your acceleration. From here I would move on to the plug just to make sure any bad gas in the past hasn’t fouled the ignition to extinction. Some carburetors will have a drain on the bottom of the bowl and/or a screw on the side at the bottom of the carb bowl that is used to drain off any water or trash in the bowl. One last thing is the carb itself. If this ATV sits for months without being ridden the carb could have varnished up and possible is not letting enough fuel to the engine.

Rear End Issues
Okay I am considering buying a 2004 Suzuki LTZ400 and have been reading some posts about the sway bar bearings and a few other rear end problems, and I am just curious if what I am reading is true, and if it is how fast do the bearings usually go?

I have owned several Suzuki LTZ400 ATVs over the years and there are problems to keep an eye on, but a properly cared for machine will last forever. The swing arm design on this machine has had its issues in the past, but most of these problems have occurred under race conditions. The key to keeping the rear of this machine happy is easy. First, when washing this machine do NOT use a power washer directly on the bearing housing area or any areas that have bearings. It seems this may be the easiest way to get the mud and stuff off, but you’re just forcing the dirt and mud deep into the bearings. Bearings in this machine are sealed but not totally perfect. They will wear more rapidly if you ride in muddy or sandy/wet conditions a lot. Just expect that.

Also many will blame the maker of the ATV for problems that occur when they themselves neglect to properly tighten or align the rear swinger housing or its components. Be sure to get yourself a genuine service manual for this machine and read the recommended service procedures for the quad. This will make you a happy rider and not a frustrated mechanic!

Captain, I Need More Power
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.

You are so right about the extensive variety of pipes and add-on parts available today to us 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, so keep that in mind when upgrading.

2001 Polaris Trailblazer
Is it hard to replace the pull rope. It broke. Also is the battery the major reason the auto start doesn't work?

Yes it is fairly simple to replace the pull rope on your quad. Get a factory manual and it should have a service section for just this procedure. If you have a low battery or one which is not charging this could very well be the reason the auto start isn’t working. A trickle charger can help try to bring it back to life, and if that doesn’t work at least you’ll be able to help maintain your next battery.

Getting the most out of your ATV is simple, periodic maintenance from your dealer! If you do not know how to maintain a machine just take it to them and have the simple stuff fixed up every few months. It’s summer and the heat is on so be sure the radiator on your water-cooled ATV is full of fresh fluid. Go ride and take a kid with you. They will love it!

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 ATV AnswerMan Columns
April 2013

March 2013

February 2013 Newsletter
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