ATV Answerman Answers Your Off-Road ATV Tech Questions (June)

Jun. 17, 2010 By Ricky Sosebee
From: Mooretown886
Woodbury, TN
Hello I have a DS 650 Baja and it will not start. Its getting gas, fire to the plugs. The guy I bought it from just replaced the stator and it whips over but wont start. We have replaced the plugs, cleaned the carb and some other things we could think of but still nothing. Any help Is GREATLY appreciated. Thanks

The DS650 is a very good machine and it is also very fun to ride. The problem you are describing sounds like it could be timing related because of the stator replacement. It only takes three things to rip the engine to life, and thatís fire, air and fuel, but it does have to be timed just right! If it were my DS650, I would check the timing first!

From: Dennis
North Tazewell, VA
I have a 05 Polaris Sportsman 500, the starter refuses to turn over, even when I hooked up direct. My question is how much of the clutch and/or cover must be removed to extract the starter? The lower bolt seems to be blocked by the cover.

The Polaris Sportsman 500 has a pull rope on that cover side and this will need to be removed. You are right when you see that the full cover will have to be removed in order to get the starter off. It is a time-consuming process so donít beat yourself up trying to figure out how to avoid it. Just attack the situation head on and youíll be riding before you know it. My final recommendation would be to get a service manual for that machine and fast!

From: jake
Fort Myers, FL
How do I go about ordering online an ignition with the keys for a Honda recon 2003?

The problem with ordering keys for your ATV online is that the security of a key is compromised. If you truly need a key and or switch for your ATV, you should go to the dealer and have them order the key. Give them the model, make and VIN and they can take it from there. This assures that the honest people stay honest and the ATV thieves have their intentions questioned and stopped! Sorry, I cannot help you here.

From: Debbie
Wakeman, OH
My son has a Tao Tao 250cc ATV. We bought it used. So far we have replaced the starter cellonoid and the cdi 14. When we replaced the cdi 14 it ran great. My son was driving it and the chain came off and the ATV died. Now we have no spark again. This is what it did the first time we replaced the cdi 14. Is there any connection to all of this? Is there something that could burn out the cdi 14? My husband checked on the stator and it was wet from some sort of oil. Can this cause the problem? What can be done to alleviate this? Thanks for your time.

Well, my friend, sounds like you have the same problem that many other consumers have. If you didnít buy three of these machines when purchasing the first, you might not have any parts available in the coming months. The trouble with unregulated machines and companies such as Tao-Tao is that neither parts, nor service is at the top of the list on priorities. This leaves you, the consumer, happy with a smoking deal on the quad but with no way to fix it when it breaks. To answer the questions you have, I think the chain probably has nothing to do with the CDI and it is just a coincidence. I would check any or all safety switches on the machine and be sure the CDI has no chaffed or broken wiring. Good luck!

From: joe fackin rogan
New liskeard, AL
Hey man, itís another problem with the 85 250 Suzuki quad runner! When u down shift it will stick and just click and wont come out of gear could the problem be in the shifter fork or the synchronizer? Also any tips on maintenance all I know of is a grease fitting at the rear axle for the rear sprocket thanks in advance!!

There are several things that could be the culprit in the shifting department, but most likely if the quad will not come out of a gear or go into another gear easily the first suggestion is the clutch. This was one of the first auto-style clutches, meaning it has a centrifugal clutch and no clutch lever to pull in order for it to shift. These are complicated systems for a novice mechanic, but with a service manual and the proper tools it is not impossible to fix yourself. Chances are that the clutch is worn out and has never been serviced properly, so I would start there. As far as maintenance goes, be sure to change the oil filter that is located on the right side of the engine under a triangle-shaped cover with three screws in it. This should be done at each oil change. Also, give the quad a good once over before tearing out into the trails, and be sure to look for proper brake operation and controls function.

From: big_country
Columbus, MS
My Polaris 325 trail boss will crank and run fine but when I let go of the choke it dies and when I go full throttle it dies as well what is making this happen?

Sounds like this quad may have had some alone time for a few months and the fuel has turned the inside of the carburetor into a jelly bowl. I have just put up a semi-detailed article on this site about carb clean up that explains why carbs need attention and it will explain better how to resurrect the choking fire breather. To answer the question, the carb needs serious attention as this problem will not go away. If you have skills then take the carb off the quad and follow my article on this site on what needs to be cleaned inside the carb. If your not a mechanic then take the quad to the dealer and they can help. Itís a fuel delivery problem for sure.

From: Lance
Cassville, MO
I am having trouble adjusting the throttle on my 2000 rancher, it will start and run for a few minutes then cuts out and dies and will not start again... any suggestions?

My first question is have you checked to see that it is getting enough fuel to actually run? Iím a little hesitant to suggest this but there is a small screw on the bottom of the carburetor float bowl that will release fuel from the carb. Get your service manual out and look this up. Pull the quad out of the shop and away from any spark or flame first. I would turn this screw out a few rounds to be sure your getting the gas you need to run the engine. Thatís first. The next step is, assuming itís getting fuel, be sure there are no restrictions in the carb like varnish on the pilot jets or enrichening jets.

From: Micah
Nortonville, KY
I have a 94 or 95 Yamaha moto 4, it was given to me this week and the problem with it is there is no power going to the coil. So I went and checked volts coming out of the CDI to this little round cylinder and the volts going in to it has 12 volts but the volts coming out of it is zero. Can you help me?

It is difficult for me to diagnosis this problem with little information, but Iíll give you a suggestion or two. In your description you say there is no power going to the coil, but within the next sentence you say you have 12 volts getting to the coil. Thatís a little confusing but I can see through it. I am assuming the quad will not run at all and that this is why you are checking the coil. Have you tested to see if youíre getting spark on the plug? Be sure to test with a new plug that is a factory replacement version of the old one, and there should be fire on the plug when inserted into the spark plug cap and grounded against the engine while turning the motor over. If you test this using the old plug it could be fouled and it will not spark properly. Start there and get back to us!

From: katweb
Sunbright, TN
I have a 2007 Kawasaki 360 Prairie and have had trouble with the battery staying charged ever since I bought it. I have bought new batteries 4 times in the last year. 2 years ago sent it back to the shop and they replaces the wiring harness saying it was bad. I can charge the battery and it will run fine for a few weeks then have to recharge. When it gets low the 4 wheel dr light flashes and 4 wheel drive don't work and it don't make the usual noise when you turn on and off the key, but put in a fresh battery and everything works right for a bit. What I'm wondering is what keeps the battery charged? I'm thinking whatever it is working right. Does anyone have any idea about what it might be?

The Prairie sounds like it may be having problems with the stator. The stator provides voltage to the battery but it must get through the regulator as well. If you can charge the battery and get the unit running then you can check to see if the stator is sending any voltage to the battery via a simple multi-tester. I would have a dealer check this for potential problems first. If you are the brave mechanical type then get a factory service manual and look into it yourself.

From: Henry
Waianae, HI
I got my son a second hand Suzuki LTA50 in great condition. It's a 2004 and I was wandering were can I get the body plastics sets, and aftermarket bolt ons if any? Where and how can I order some? ALOHA!!

Congratulations on the LTA50 purchase. The best place to get body plastics is direct from your dealer for this unit. The LTA50 is a popular ride but most aftermarket companies have either limited production or quit making plastics for the 50. As far as aftermarket parts, there are several companies making stuff for this machine. Give the guys at Hetrick Racing a shout and they can help guide you with performance mods.

From: Myles olson
Cohassent, MN
Hey I have a 2001 Yamaha big bear 400 with an intake snorkel and itís starting to bog down when I get into mud. I put a dyno jet kit in it and it still is doing that what should I do to make it run better in the mud.

Seems to me the machine doesnít like mud. There are many ways to get more power and performance out of the Big Bear but it will not come cheap. If the engine is worn it will most definitely need some attention to get the power back. Are you sure you havenít sucked any debris into the intake snorkel? Fine dust and mud can wreak havoc on a set of rings, and with low compression the bear will just not go. Plus, if you add larger-than-stock tires to the beast then the power is reduced even more! So, be sure the pipe you use for a snorkel is large enough to accommodate the airflow needed to run the quad and look into after market exhausts and engine mods to get the ponies you need to plow away at the bog!

From: Ranger Rick
Great falls, SC
I have a question about a 99 Polaris sportsman 500 4x4 carb...rebuilt and still have a prob with a rev limiter sound at different rpms...everything seems to be good...i do many carb rebuilds but this one seems to just have a bad carb...what do you think...thanks, rick

I am not doubting that you may pull apart many carburetors and have knowledge of how that works, so please donít misunderstand me there. I just want to give a few suggestions on my process that may help you find the problem youíre facing with the Polaris. The rev-limiter sound you are hearing is possibly the engine starving for fuel. This can be due to several things. The tiniest holes in the carb are very easily plugged with varnish and debris so that is the first place I go for repair. Secondly I would totally disassemble the carb, removing every rubber o-ring and seal in order to chemically dip this unit for at least 30 minutes in a carb-safe chemical dip that can be purchased at any auto supply. For the reassembly, I would search the net for an exploded view of the carb and with that use an OEM service manual to reassemble the carb. If it was running before it can be made to run again!

From: Bill
Alma, MO
I canít figure out why my 2006 arctic cat 500 4x4 has started sputtering at high rpm after replacing the drivebelt!! Does it matter that the new oil filter I replaced was a couple inches shorter than the one I replaced???

Wow Bill,
Sounds like maybe a trip to the dealer is in order. Yes, it probably does matter that the oil filter isnít correct for the ATV you have and it can be catastrophic!!! As far as the engine sputter, I would guess that your belt isnít related. You could be bumping the rev limiter on the machine, though.

From: Kerry Kiefer
Plainfield, IN
I have a Polaris Sportsman 335. Runs fine, but this year after over wintering in the barn I have a loud squeak coming from the front end most of the time (80% of Time) when I'm accelerating. Not 100% sure, but almost sound like it is coming from right front. Once, I have reached a cruise speed the noise is gone and does not come back when slowing down. What could be causing this? Performance is normal.

Sounds like the winter weather is rough on your ATV. The temps as well, as the humidity, can create rust on the brake discs or hubs and this is just a start to finding the problem. Also, if the bearings in the wheel are going bad they can squeak and squeal as well. Check these items before riding too much more because if either fail due to lack of maintenance you will not be the only thing kicking yourself, as the quad may kick back!!

The summer heat is in full swing, and man, itís time to ride in the cool mountains of North Georgia. I hope every one of you get out and ride safe and keep those interesting questions coming!

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