ATV Answerman on ATV & UTV Tech Questions

Nov. 30, 2011 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].

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Rev Issues
I have got a 2005 arctic cat 650v twin starts very good at idle good but when I rev it up it starts too cut out.

Well Randy, the fact that it will run at idle tells me itís getting gas, and when the thumb throttle is pressed the fuel is cut short causing the stumble. This is a very common problem with any ATV or motorcycle when they do not get ridden often. The first place I would look is deep in the carburetor. The idle circuit involves the primary jet and or the enrichening jet, which gets clogged with varnish during the offseason. If youíre not mechanically inclined I suggest taking this wild ride to the dealer and have them clean the carb. But if youíre like me and insist on doing things yourself, then I have laid out a basic instruction manual for carb cleaning on here.

Kilowatt Question
Please can you tell me what kilowatts the Suzuki LT-A500F has.

The question is probably an easy answer but without the year of your machine I may give you the incorrect info. Each year varies and although some machines never change it would be my luck that yours is the odd ball. Sorry, I just need more info.

Suzuki King Quad 300 4x4
Bob Hartson

It sounds like the clutch could have possibly been improperly adjusted when the new clutch plates were installed. This could have created the eventual premature slipping. This is where your factory service manual will come into play. I cannot stress enough the importance of that little mechanicís bible. Get one and youíll thank yourself forever!

Tire Wobble
I have a 99 Yamaha Kodiak 400. I have a bad tire wobble in the left rear tire. Would it be possible that I bent the hub spindle? And how would you tell if itís the hub spindle or a bent axle? Any information would be great.

The 99 Kodiak has a solid rear axle so there is no spindle. There is, however, a wheel hub and bending it is possible but not probable. I would jack the ATV up via the rear swingarm and have someone spin the right wheel while you look at the left side. It is very possible that you could have bent the rim or the axle itself. Start there and I bet youíll see it a little clearer!

Throttle Cable Install
I have a 1991 Polaris Trail Boss 250 and my throttle cable messed up so I ordered another one, and I just need to know how to install it. Is it as easy as just putting it where it goes or what?
Tyler P

Replacing a cable is as easy as watching how the old cable comes out. The routing of the cable itself should be very straight forward, and a visual attack is the best way to accomplish the install. This is not a difficult task and I think the hardest part could be where the cable enters the carb and the throttle linkage on the bars. Take your time and be sure to work in a well lit area with a clean floor in case you drop any small parts. If you had a service manual you would have all the answers right in your hands.

Flooded Rancher
Hello, my name is Ricky I have recently purchased a 2003 Honda Rancher. I believe it is flooded bad. Itís flooded and I wasnít sure what to do. I would greatly appreciate your input.
Thank you,

A flooded ATV will be rough at idle and have a telltale smokey exhaust. The spark plug will be black and sooty after running for just a few minutes. If these are the symptoms then the problem is fuel flooding. Now fixing this is another story. I have no idea why it is flooding but Iíll try to give you a few places to start. Check that the floats are not stuck open in the carb and that the choke is turned off. Be sure that you are getting adequate spark to burn the fuel. The spark plug could be fouled to a point where it is not good anymore, so you might need to have a spare one on hand as you work on the machine.

Bogging Down
2000 Polaris Magnum 500 4x4 bogs down with air cleaner installed. Runs fine without it. Started when I replaced the carb with a new unit. I swapped out the main jet and needle from the original carb as they were different. Otherwise the carbs are identical. If I restrict the intake ports on the air cleaner it tries to go ahead and rev up. It does this with just the boot installed or the entire air box and filter installed. The venturi effect of the air cleaner is apparently causing it to bog. Any suggestions.
Dan Stewart

Have you ran the machine with the air cleaner off long enough to warm the engine up? Maybe ride the beast for about 5-10 minutes in a clean area and then immediately check the color of the spark plug. It is possibly that the engine is running rich. With the air cleaner on it this restricts the airflow and adds too much fuel, which causes a rich condition. This is merely my opinion but I bet the carb is running fat. Also, just how identical are the carbs? Are they the same part number or just look alike. Just because it looks like the same one doesnít mean it has the same internal items or adjustments.

Ď05 Yahama Big Bear 400 4x4
I did the big no no. I purchased this ATV from this guy who said he had not started it in three years. I did not hear it run. When I got it home I put a battery on it, changed the oil and filter. Drained the gas and replaced it. Hit the start button it started right up. NOW THE PROBLEM. It smokes like an old steam engine, white smoke and it also sputters black oil on the exhaust. The Yamaha only has 320 miles on it. I did notice when I changed the oil the oil was very black but the oil filter was clean as the new one. Any suggestions where to start?
Bobby Honaker

Looks like you bought the other fellaís problems. Smoke in the exhaust is a clear sign of burning oil, and the fact that it is blowing oil out of the exhaust just confirms that. Youíll need to either get the ride to a dealer for an overhaul or buy a factory service manual, clean out the shop and get down to business. Sorry but thatís just the cold hard truth. I wouldnít think of it as a mistake because either way, once itís rebuilt and rolling down the trail you will know then what you really have!

Big Bear Won't Idle
I have a 2002 Yamaha big bear 400 4x4 that will not idle even after it has warmed up. I have tried sea-foam in the fuel, new spark plug, 93 octane gas, and carb & choke cleaner also when i am riding it, it will spit and sputter when easing thru the woods. I do not ride it rough or dog it out. I mainly use it for hunting, but do ride some during the summer. When the choke is engaged it will idle fine but when the choke is turned off it dies or starts spitting and sputtering. Other than this it is a good strong atv. any ideas on how to fix ?
Stephen Rains

The machine is not getting enough fuel! Start with the carburetor. Do not throw any more money at it but take the time to spend quality time disassembling the carb and cleaning or replacing the jets. I bet the primary jet or enrichening jet is clogged. This article may help.

Low Speed Issues
I have a 09 Honda TRX 420 Canadian trail edition and lately I had a problem with it
driving it at low speed in 1st gear (hunting speed) say for a hour or so ( manual or automatic same thing) I experience a loss of power it will not rev or accelerate in any gear she does not stall. If I turn it off for several minutes and start her up again she runs with no problem until I slow down and drive slow again for some time and it does the same thing all over again. I have tried different fuel 87 and 89 octane and somebody suggested fuel additive to clean the injector. Any idea short of taking her to the dealer?
Joe Schaich

I have never encountered this problem. Without having the VIN I am guessing that this is could be a fuel-injected model? It is possible that you may have some small trace amounts of water in the fuel that gets pulled in at slower speeds or intermittently? The fact that the Honda will shut off and fire back up without a trace of the problem is a little baffling. Is the fan working on the machine? Could it be overheating? When in doubt, take it to the local expert.

Electric Shift Ö Wonít Shift
Having trouble shifting on a Honda 2005 electric shift. Could you please help me with this problem?
Ronnie Reynolds

Well what kind of problem could you be having, my friend? Will it not go in gear? Will it not stay in gear? Buttons not working? Grinds in gear? Can you see I just need more info my friend Ö

More Shifting Trouble
Runs fine in low range all gears but when shifted into high range acts like itís in neutral. Shifter seems fine cable looks in good shape Shifts fairly easily from low to high but again high acts like neutral but there is soft noise as if it is trying to engage. Could adjusting the clutch help???? Havenít had to turn a wrench on it since new.
Brian Wohlberg

The Big Bearís are tough little machines, but I have to tell you they need maintenance. Not servicing a unit from Ď96 till 2011 is a serious bet that you would not have any trouble. The complicated clutch system in the Big Bear is probably in need of replacement. I wouldnít even try to adjust it as it seems that youíll need a new clutch by now. If youíre gonna fix this beast then be sure to get a factory service manual, otherwise take it to the local Yamaha dealer.

2011 Polaris 850 Sportsman Touring
My question is regarding what exactly is the 2012 Polaris 850 Touring upgrade to make it an H.O. I have read many blogs and the list is huge so it is obvious I have not yet found the real answers. Air intake, Air box, 42mm TB increase over the 40 mm TB, clutching changes? What is the skinny on getting my 2011 the H.O. upgrade?

Also, what can you tell me about the Power Commander 5 with the Autotune? Dynojet has the same part# for 2011 and 2012? Is it worth going through the stock Polaris 7 H.P. upgrade and then adding the power commander or what? Then we get to a slip on exhaust, who makes the best one and is it just a shiny noisemaker?
Brad Hess

The most obvious thing I see is that the Graphics guy at Polaris did not add the H.O. to the badging. They even claim the 2011 is the most powerful touring ATV in the market. You can buy that decal BTW, otherwise I wouldnít stress over it. I see very little difference in the two years. As far as performance items go, I might add an HMF pipe with the spark arrestor in, and if you want to control the fuel curve then the DynoJet products would indeed be the right way to go. Autotune is a great product, as it can control the AFM at every RPM. This is going to build power and keep the engine running at peak performance. If you are not familiar with installing the fuel injection electronics then I suggest taking it to the dealer, as these can cause electrical problems if improperly installed and can ruin a motor if not set up correctly.

Get those quads running and go ride!!!

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].

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