ATV Answerman: Your Off-Road ATV Questions Answered

May. 21, 2010 By Ricky Sosebee

From: imalcolm
Leamington, ZZ CANADA
I have a 2003 Arctic Cat 500 ATV. I want to put on grip warmers. I can find good pricing for the 300 model. Will the grip warmers fit on the 500 model or is the diameter/gauge of each models handlebars different.

There are many companies making these heated grip kits and most are universal. The regular kit will only include the grips but some companies have a “winter pack” that has a thumb throttle heater as well. I found most regular kits from $59 to $79 and the “Winter pack” at $99.


From: Nick
Cambridge, NY
I have a 95 Polaris scrambler 2 stroke and when i am riding it antifreeze comes out of the over flow and the anti freeze is boiling after riding it for 20 min and the fan is not kicking on... any ideas what it could be?

The first thing I would suggest is not to ride the machine until you figure this out. Over heating will cause eventual death to the engine. There is a thermal switch: Polaris part #4110178: that could be the culprit. It is located in the top half of the radiator on the side facing the seat. First check the 20 amp circuit breaker just behind the tail light for any gremlins and the move on to the Thermal switch.

From: ken
North Lawrence, NY
I have a 2004 Polaris Sportsman H.O. I changed the battery and starter. When I turn the key all I get is clicking and no turn over. What can this be?
So you have installed a new battery, and a new starter? Well then, if this is indeed the case I would meticulously go through the wiring on this machine with a fine tooth comb. There could be a bad ground somewhere in the mix or possibly the connections are not exactly perfect. Be patient and look through each and every connection being sure to open up the wire looms and go deep. Be sure to disassemble the connections that hook to the starter solenoid and clean them good to eliminate that first.



If you could let us in on why you’re set on Timing then I could probably help you. If you are having issues with the beast not starting or possibly weak/non-existent spark it could be due to a defective pick-up coil, primary coil or CDI unit. These are the device s that control the spark on this quad. Timing isn’t the issue. My first response would be to google your quads service manual and buy it!


From: shodge
Ransomville, NY
I have a 2000 Polaris 425 Xpedition with a new fully charged battery. The starter will turn and has power as well as the reverse lockout. I have no lights: headlights, brake, tail or indicators. Any ideas where to start looking?

There are several circuit breakers in the wiring of this expedition. Look right behind the tail light for the first 20 amp circuit breaker and there is yet another for the fan just a small ways up the wiring harness from there. It is bound to be something in that area. Good Luck.


From: RachelLea
Beaumont, TX
I have an 05 honda rancher 350, i got some water into the oil and have flushed the oil 3 times and we blew the carb out initially after the first oil change. A few weeks went by and then it started smoking, i checked my oil level and it was extremely low. Now the atv smokes in idle and in low gears, its making a metal tapping noise and is wanting me to shift it earlier than usual. i am going to take it to get looked at, but wanted your opinion on what you think could possibly be wrong. I'm thinking new rings and gaskets for sure, and possibly a new bored piston. Thanks for your help!

Well it sounds like you took the right approach to get the oil clean after the sinking. Sounds like the low oil level could have cost you more than just a piston or rings. If the top end is in rough shape it will ping and clatter around. That’s not good for any of the parts involved. Be very glad if the piston and rings are the only things you need to replace. The cylinder, cylinder head and valve train are also in the mix and that could get expensive!


From: Regan
New Liskeard, ZZ CANADA
I have a 1985 suzuki lt250e quadrunner that used to go 91km/h now i can barely to get it go 65 what could be causing this dramatic speed loss any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

I assume you have kept this dinosaur in tiptop shape right? Never abused or ridden hard and put up dirty? So now that we are here at this point I would assume the quad is tired or worn out one! The top speed of your quad runner can be affected by a couple things which are, worn clutch components or low compression due to worn piston rings so that is where I would start. Its time for a serious look at the engines condition before she falls flat on her face and has to be drug home!


From: David
Columbiaville, MI
I'm just curious how fast should my 2003 Rincon 650 go it has 950 miles it will go about 25 in manual shift mode in about 2 hundred yards Just brought it to the dealer can't seem to find the problem as of yet.

Wow, that’s a good click across the yard if you ask me. I wouldn’t want to get thrown off at that speed. To answer your question, I have no clue how fast it should go. If the atv seems to be losing speed then check a few items like the brakes. Make sure the brakes aren’t sticking or are not in a bind. Next could be the transmission fluid in the TRX650FA fourtrax. The auto clutch system needs good clean oil to shift properly and to get a good grip in the clutching dept. Worn or slipping clutch plates will reduce the speeds and eventually the machine will not move at all!


From: Dustin
Anadarko, OK
I have a 2008 grizzly 450 I want to get more power out of it without getting into the motor any suggestions?

You want more power from the most powerful beast in the forest? Oh, your talking about the Yamaha Grizzly aren’t you, got ya. Well, you could add an aftermarket exhaust and open the air box up a bit. This would also require a bit of carburetor work in the jetting department. But the jetting will give you a bit more pep in the Grizzly’s step as well. That’s about all you can do for the beast without crackin’ the engine open.


From: Kyle
Beaumont, TX
I've got a 1995 Polaris Magnum 425 4x4. When I give the bike gas it bogs down pretty bad. It does not idle very long at all before it dies. I've cleaned the carburetor 3 or 4 times and soaked it, rinsed it and blew out all passages with compressed air and still have same problem when I put everything back together. No trash in the gas tank, none in the carb. Also, a few minutes after I crank the 4 wheeler, gas starts coming out of the drain at the bottom of the carburetor with a fast drip. I thought the gas might have been somehow going through/around the drain screw so I bought a new drain screw and it's still dripping. After I kill it, gas still leaks until I shut fuel line off. I've also replace the spark plug and no changes. Any information or advice would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

The classic over-flowing float bowl bites another victim! The reason your fuel is escaping through the overflow is because it isn’t being stopped by the needle valve! This little and often overlooked part is attached to the floats, and when the rubber tip of the needle gets worn out it will constantly allow fuel to leak into the bowl. This makes the excess fuel spill out of the over flow hose on the carb. Simple fix? Replace the needle and seat.


From: joe
Penryn, CA
I have a 2007 Suzuki Eiger 400, it has been a great quad ever since we got it but all of a sudden, the rear drum brake is sticking. I started to take apart the drum hub but it isn't like anything I've ever seen. Can you give me some how-to on taking apart the drum?

This is going to be quite a project, and I’m thinking it would take 10 pages to explain it. The right rear wheel hides the first parts that need to be removed but the drum behind the wheel is where the guts are. This would be better accomplished with a service manual because getting it apart is just the tip of that iceberg!


From: chris
Westernville, NY
I have an 07 Polaris Phoenix starts up runs for couple minutes and then stalls put new coil and plug in and battery. Any recalls or suggestions will start back up after 10 min or so.

The problem has to be one of three things. The list goes like this: air, fuel, spark. We are getting spark because it runs for a few minutes. Are we getting air? Maybe? Is the choke stuck closed? Fuel seems to be getting into the engine or it wouldn’t be starting each time. So make sure the air filter is clean. Be sure the fuel is running into the carb good because it could be running off the bowl and then its out until it fills back up 10 minutes later. Figure out those things and don’t worry about the spark yet.


From: flipzhd
Brattleboro, VT
Need parts for the 250 Timberwolf 2x4 any suggestions? stator, recoils spring, ignition switch w/ plug in module. Etc.

The world-wide-web is a full parts counter!


From: Cody
New York, NY
I’m 11 and want to get into racing and I’m not sure how to. I live in Dannemora.

First, get with mom and dad to see if your grades meet the required ”passing scores” regulations for racing in your area. Then look up the AMA on the Internet to get familiar with the basic rules of ATV racing. Then, after all this, you could look up ATV racing in New York to find local district race series in your area. But check out the grade thing first!


From: ken kirk
Villa Ridge, MO
Why would my early 2000 Yamaha bear 2x ATV flood the air cleaner compartment when running? Starts fine, runs good ‘til compartment is full of gasoline, float is not sticking.
There are a couple of things that could be the culprit here. I would be absolutely sure the needle in the carb is in good shape because this is what stops fuel from flowing into the carb. Next, there is a possibility that the intake valve could be sticking open just enough to cause back pressure to blow this mist of fuel back into the airbox. Check those valves and the needle and get back to us.

From: yamaha man350 moto4
Oneill, NE
My ATV doesn’t have 2nd or 3rd, help!!!

Sounds like a shift fork problem. I couldn’t tell you anything else because I have no information on what machine or year or anything to go by! Sorry dude! Info in equals info out.

It’s been a great start to the spring riding season so far. Keep the questions coming and be sure to include a make, model, year and problem in the email!
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