ATV AnswerMan Tackles Your ATV and UTV Questions

Mar. 29, 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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Motor Weld?
I have a 2001 suzuki 500 vinsion and where the starter reduction gear shaft goes into block on left side, broke off and put hole in motor can it be fixed by welding and is this a common problem on these atvs does not have pull start can one be put on and do u know the part number and what years fit?

Iím not sure what could have happened to make this shaft break out the cases of your Suzuki, but I can tell you that if the case half is indeed broken and not just cracked you will be better off to just replace the case half. When you get into welding this mostly pot metal type of aluminum or magnesium you will run into fitment issues and most likely just waste your money trying to fix it.

Can-Am Click

Have a 2006 Can Am. Everytime I take off there's a clicking sound/ chattering somewhere. I recently put the 4-wheeler on jack stands today and rotated front and back tires. No sounds made. Then I put the bike in 4-wheel drive and still no sounds. Is it maybe the clutch or a differential problem?

Itís kind of hard to diagnose the trouble you are having with your ATV from the information you have given but I will give it a whack. The clicking could be coming from a number of places but you might look at the CV axle joints on the machine first. If a boot has been torn or the inside of the CV is damaged then it will click when the machine is rolling under a load. Just spinning the tires with the machine lifted off the ground may not reveal that problem. Not if you give the machine a little throttle and the clicking begins before you get rolling thatís a different ball game. The clutch could be slipping the belt and creating the chatter you are hearing.

Can-Am Click 2?
I own a 2006 can-am 650 max, I bought it new from the dealer. The 4-wheeler has always made a clicking or chattering sound when you give it gas. I called the dealer and he said back in 2006 the bike needs to be broken in and the clicking noise will go away soon. Well it never did and now itís so much louder and of course my warranty expired, I also have noticed only one wheel spins in the rear. I know I am supposed to have posi traction in the rear at all times. I really don't ride it hard at all just trail riding, so what could be causing this?

It seems like this could be the same question I had answered earlier but Iíll go at it one more time just in case. So the unit clicks but where is the clicking coming from? That would be the first thing I would try to figure out. If the rear differential has a problem then you will know it as these donít just click for ages, they break, and then thatís that. Now if the CV axle on one side or the other is not seated correctly in the differential or has slipped out of the ring gear then it will click and the single rear wheel spin will be the result.

Honda Recon
My 2002 Honda recon 250 will idle fine but when we give it a little throttle it dies.
Daniel Jensen

My friend, the problem you so briefly described would be relative to the fuel we have to burn in our cars these days. The ethanol content is in credibly bad for motors and gets really bad when the toys we love have to sit for weeks on end without being ridden. If you have the skills you can remove the carb and clean the pilot and or enrichening jets to get rolling down the trail once again.

HP Rating?
I have the 2002 Suzuki Vinson 500, and I love it. I was wondering how much horsepower it has?

The Suzuki Vinson didnít come with a ton of ponies, and if I were to guess it is probably in the 20-25HP range at best. The best way to figure this out is to make a trip to a dyno and see for yourself. Beware though, as those little trips are very expensive.

No Spark
I can't find spark plug on a 2006 Arctic Cat junior quad.

Most of these little Chinese motors have the head facing the front wheels, and if I had to guess the spark plug could be found with a little investigation. If you find the carb then the spark plug will be really close. Is it possible that the plug wire is big and black and if you pull on it then it will pop out of the head? Iím not sure but I bet that would work.

Gear Engage?
I have a 2006 Honda Rubcon 4x4 and when I shift into gear it sounds like it engages but it will not move when the accelerator is pressed. Any ideas?

Kellie, The Honda Rubicon has a dual clutch system that requires both parts to be working in order for the ATV to move under throttle. There is a great possibility that the clutch system is worn or in need of adjustment. I couldnít say for sure but I bet the age of the machine may indicate the clutch is due for a dealer visit for full service.

Locked 4x4
I have a 2005 bombardier, outlander 400. It locked in 4x4 and will not shift into 2-wheel. Can I fix it? What does it need?
Thank you,
Gerald Wartick

The Bombardier Outlander ATV line uses electronic servos to engage and disengage the four-wheel drive systems. These can break or wear out, and if that happens then you are stuck in or out of 4WD. The servos are indeed pricey, but if I were you I would check each and every fuse on the machine to see if maybe the system had shorted and created the issue before I would dump any money in it.


Wow, all caps and short hand at that. Itís like Iím learning a new language here. I would start by taking the battery to the auto parts store and have them do a load test on the cells. This will either expose or eliminate the battery and we can go from there.

Sunk Suzuki
I have a 2001 suzuki lta 500xp ps, quad king, the bike got sunk up to the airbox and cut off and on while stuck. Finally got it out, the bike started back up ran rough. No horse power but I finally got it ridden back up to the staging area. While there I pulled and cleaned the air filters, didn't really come that clean, I changed the oil, it was all milky, I swished diesel around in it first then drained and refilled the oil, at this time the bike started right up, seemed to be running good so I rode more. I got home drained the oil put a new oil filter on it starts right up but sounds rough. I have not changed the air filter yet, that's coming, I ordered a K&N. After being home and reading multiple things on the web, I see the one thing I didn't do was pull the plug and turn the motor to shoot any water out of the chamber. My question is then: If there was water in the combustion chamber would it still have started? I just bought this and would hate to think I blew the motor on its maiden voyage.
John Register

John, you need to step away from the quad. ATV abuse is not tolerated in this forum!! I know that sometimes you can get excited and think the ATV you have is invincible but I can tell you it is not!! After the titanic sinking you should have drained everything including the cylinder by pulling the spark plug and rotating the motor. The fact that you changed the oil was good but I recommend doing this a couple of times as one time isnít enough to really get all of the moisture out. The watery oil only gets thinner and creates heat, which makes the engine run hot and then you have a sluggish, sloppy running ATV. There is a good possibility that you really have messed this one up, and if I were you I would drop it at the dealer for some emergency service to be sure you donít finish it off trying to be the cool guy.

Re: Apache Kit
Is there a conversion kit for Can-am tracks that will fit on a John Deerís Gator, which has a 5-lug wheel?

With enough money there is probably a conversion to be made for anything but my question would be why? To answer your question, if there is I have not seen it. Why would you take a 20 hp machine and strap tracks on it just to have the engine pop out the tail pipe? Tracks are very useful but you need a machine that can spin them and especially in deep snow. Thatís really all I have to say about that.

Kawi Crank Issues
I have a Kawasaki 2008 450r and the starter wont crank it. Iíve pulled the left cover and checked all the gears. They are still new no teeth are missing. The starter will turn the motor over but when, it starts half way it pauses and stops what do I do now?

Iím not sure what, or if, you have done any motor work but it has been my experience that higher compression engines are a little harder to start. Now if the machine is bone stock then I would look for loose or corroded terminals on the battery and then check the wires to the starter itself. The addition of a lithium polymer battery or lithium ferrous battery may be a great way to go also, as these are lighter and can spin even a high compression engine with ease.

ATV Won't Start
Hi I have a 2010 CAN AM 800 outlander max xt that has a starting problem that is associated with the shifting lever. When the lever is in the park position the gage reads rev. and the machine will not start like it has a limit switch from it trying to be started in gear. When I place the lever in neutral it will sometimes start but if I rock the machine it will start. Is there an adjustment on the machine that a limited backyard mechanic can do to prevent this from happening and how do you accomplish this? Thanks in advance.
Jerry Garlough

The general backyard mechanic can indeed fix this issue and if you will first go order yourself a service manual for your machine. You will be surprised what else you can accomplish. Removing the right side plastic, which is about where your leg would rub the machine should reveal the shift linkage. This linkage can be adjusted very easily from there and use the indicator letter on the plastic and on the gauge to keep track of how much you need to adjust.

Working on your own ATV isnít as hard as some would think, but having a decent tool kit and service manual make all the difference. Try to really stop and listen to the ATV and donít rush to throw money at it when it could just be a simple adjustment.

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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