ATV AnswerMan - December 2015

Rick Sosebee
by Rick Sosebee
Carburetor and battery issues among this month's challenges

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. Just be sure to watch your spelling and write clearly, because it will be out there for the world to see.

Cleaning Your Carbs

Hi, I recently purchased a non running Sportsman that was said to not have spark, but luckily was able to figure that part out fine. I then pulled the carb apart and soaked everything in carb cleaner and re-assembled it, I also replaced the needle and seat while it was apart since I know they seem to go bad. It took a lot of starting fluid but was able to get it started it idles well but when you take it out and give it gas it will build speed but seems to be cutting out at the same time so it lurches back at fourth. I put a new spark plug, air filter, and fuel filter on with no change. I even pulled the carb apart and soaked it again just thinking I might have missed something. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

The fact that it took “alot” of starting fluid leads me to believe that you have not gotten the key elements inside the engine perfectly clean. Simply soaking parts in Chemical cleaners is just half the battle with a machine that has been sitting for a while. I would replace every jet in that carburetor and start again. Some of the ports in the jets are so tiny that they need very close attention to get them clean. It’s cheaper and less headache to replace them.

More Carb Concerns

I have a 03 ltz 400 and just did jets and now its leaking gas out the bottom drain, and also boggs out when i shake it. Do you think i would need too adjust float??

Adjusting the float is almost never the issue with newer ATVs. If it were mine, I would simply replace the needle and seat in the carburetor and you should have no more issues with fuel leaking out. The needle isn’t stopping the flow of fuel into the carb, my friend.

Sick Kitty
Arctic Cat 500 ATV

Hi, I have a 2003 Arctic Cat 500 that will no longer downshift. I finished spraying a field, came to the top and up shifted to 3rd. When I got to a place I needed to downshift, it wouldn’t. I up shifted to 4th, thinking it might be stuck, and still wouldn’t downshift.

This would require a little more information to answer. It would be nice to know if the shifting issue has become harder to downshift over time or if it just started all at once. The shift forks (x4) as well as the fanged lever on the end of the shift shaft could be broken or worn prematurely. It might be a good time to check the oil by simply draining it out into a clean pan and searching for metallic bits. If you find any metal or even a glimmer of sparkly stuff you will need to do a more in-depth surgery on the engine.

Driveline Trouble

I have an 04 ac 500 auto. I’m getting no power to rear wheels. In fwd it has power to front not the rear diff driveshaft doesn’t spin.

Chances are that you have a broken prop shaft or worse. I would put the ATV up on jack stands and start digging for driveline problems. The front prop shaft can work without the rear so start by cranking the atv and put it in 2wd. Get a flashlight and look under the rear fender up into the chassis where the rear shaft comes out. This will be a good starting point. Follow that shaft to the rear end and if it’s spinning when it goes in the rear differential but no wheels are turning, then you may need a new ring or pinion gear.

Change Your Oil!
Suzuki Z400

So I have an ATV between the years 04-06. It’s a sazuki quad sport 400

I took the carburetor apart & cleaned it good. Rode it twice over a few months & it was fine then about a month after that I went riding & it ran fine until I put it into a higher great & it just would not go faster. It ended up cutting the engine off on me a few times as well. Oil change hadn’t been done in maybe 2 years but have only gone riding about 8 times since that last oil change. & I start it once a month if it sits.

Do you know what could be wrong?

Well, this is a fine mess you have gotten into. Luckily I have also owned the famous LTZ400 Quadsport and have a little insight to its faults. Unfortunately, this fault is your own. Not changing the oil in over two years should be punishable by water boarding. I bet it rarely gets washed and the air filter probably looks like a 2-year old child’s bib after a heavy dose of chocolate ice cream. That poor motor is most likely getting ready to seize itself and this is why it shuts off and will not rev. I cannot believe someone would treat an innocent ATV this way. I cannot help you if you do not help yourself. Sorry…

Electrical Issues

I have a 2007 Yamaha grizzly 350 that shut off while I was riding . I had no power on the dash only had power to the headlights afterward’s. I mashed the 4×4 button and the green neutral light came on .The start button will not work but I can jump the solenoid and the motor turn over but will not start.

There is a short or loose ground somewhere on that machine. It’s your job to find it. A good OEM service manual will help you locate the wiring for grounds.

Suzuki Vinson Needs Some Clutch Work

Yes, I have a 2002 Suzuki Vinson that will run but won’t really move like it should. We just put a new drive belt on and it still won’t move like it should. I have to floor it for it to go anywhere. And when I put it in reverse it wont move at all practically. I put it in 4wd to see if it would help but it didn’t. Any help would be appreciated.

This CVT transmission is like many others in the market today as it has a dual clutch set up for the drive clutch. There is a secondary clutch with fiber plates in behind the primary drive sheaves. This is part number 21500-03G00 for your machine. You might want to replace this and you will be back on the trail in no time. You have to disassemble the engine behind the drive clutch to get at it. An OEM service manual will be a big help!

He Needs To Be Charged With ATV Abuse
Yamaha Bear Tracker

2001 Yamaha Bear Tracker

The atv sat outside for about 8 to 10 years but ran fine before that! My problem is that I can’t pull start it and the engine won’t turn when you push the start switch either. But I can turn the axle with it in gear but only backwards not forward. When turning backwards while in gear its not easy. Now I have took the lower right side motor casing off and there was plenty off oil that poured out and the parts would turn backwards but not forwards. It also has a reverse lever on the left side, which is difficult to move but when I did get it to move the axle would turn forwards and backwards with a little less effort then stated above. And my battery and relay are both good. So what do I need to do??

The poor ATV sat outside for 8-10 years without any love? Now that’s cruel and unusual punishment. If it were mine, I would pull the spark plug and poor a ¼ quart of transmission fluid in the cylinder, reinstall the plug and let it sit for a few weeks. Then I would pull the plug again and try to pull the engine over with the pull start cord. I’m betting you have some serious corrosion inside the walls of that house. You might even find a bunch of fuel when you pull the plug, which would be the best-case scenario as sometimes carbs can flood the cylinder and hydra-lock the engine.

Top Up The Battery

I have 2010 Honda big red and I left battery cut off switch on for my wench so jump started and while running the engine light came on and when I put in neutral it stops. Could the low battery cause this engine light or my book says something with transmission. Also is there way to check codes for different problems. I looked on line and not much information on this engine light problem.

If the battery is dead then yes it will not run properly. Most folks do not realize that the engine does not charge the battery at idle or even 1000 rpm. Most engines have to run at 1500 rpm or above to start charging the battery.

Time For A New Battery

I have a 2004 Polaris magnum 330 4×4 and it won’t start. When I turn the key I get a click sound and nothing else. I replaced the solenoid and now it doesn’t even make a click. The lights just get dim. I am stuck!! I have no clue. Please help me!

Well, this might come as a surprise, but the battery can be dead or bad. A battery can deceive you by showing 12 volts, but if it has a broken plate or problems internally it will not start the machine. Get a New battery and try again. At least that’s where I would start!

Best. Name. Ever.
Yamaha Big Bear

I have 2005 big bear 400 yfm400, i haven’t road it in a year went to start it up and i could here sparking under left rear finder i take a look it’s a broken wire hooked to a grounding screw my problem is the wire is corroded and showing copper on both broken edges can i fix myself or do i need

Mrs. krab Killa

LOL, Krab Killa’ is an instant classic…

If you have to ask if you can fix it then I would just load the beast up and take it to a good mechanic or local dealer to get the repair made. Love the name BTW!

Temp Light Staying On

Got a 2007 can am DS 250 temp light stays on and effects performance replaced temp sensor and did the hot water test on thermostat and it opens and closes any suggestions

My gut tells me the fan may not be coming on as required and that is setting the machine into limp mode. I would test the fan to see if it comes on either by simply adding 12 volts to the fan or getting the machine warm and see if it comes on.

RZR Can’t Breathe
Polaris RZR 800

Hello we have a Polaris Razor 800. It is running horrible/ getting too much gas. When we hook it up to a computer it says it is the filter but we have cleaned and replaced that. We have replaced almost everything imaginable. I was just wondering if these razors are known for anything like this? Thanks!

The Polaris RZR800 is typically a great machine and, quite frankly, one of the best things that happened to this off-road industry. However, they can get sick just anything else. Because it is fuel injected, the dealer should be able to diagnose the issue pretty quickly when connected to the computer. Without the machine right in front of me I would say it could have some kind of restriction in the air intake. Remove the rear plastics and get a close up look at the air cleaner assembly. Remove the air filter and see how it runs at idle and on throttle while in park.

Sportsman Acting Like A Jerk

My 2006 Polaris 500 sportsman is making a clanking noise when put in any gear and also seems to surge or jerk a little when driving. Could I have a bad clutch.? It has been stuck several times in mud and water.

Getting stuck in the mud isn’t very fun if it means you have to fix your machine because of it. The jerking you’re feeling could very well be worn places on your belt causing the jerking and noises. These places get burnt into the belt when you apply too much throttle and the wheels are stuck in the mud. I’d say a new belt and maybe even a set of moveable bearings could be in your near future if you keep abusing that beast.

Who Needs Punctuation?
Yamaha Raptor 700

I was riding my raptor stopes to let my brother go in the store I let out on the clutch to turn around and it died while I was rolling skittle tried to start back but didn’t I finally got mad and pushed it to a hill rolled it down it trying to bump start it the back tires just lock want turn over I’ve pulled behind four wheeler and vehicle hoping to free whatever is stuck acts like it has compression tho can you please help me i don’t even know where to start thanks

Try to get it into neutral and if it starts id say your clutch is in need of attention. From a professional.

Rick Sosebee
Rick Sosebee

Whether he is in Mexico covering the Baja 1000, building ATVs for local racers, or out enjoying the trails, Rick’s passion shows in his stories. Learning to wrench his own machines from his grandfather, Rick also has an undying appreciation for the mechanics of off-road vehicles. Do not let the dirt and mud fool you, though, as Rick also has a deep love for street cars.

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