ATV AnswerMan – June 2015

Rick Sosebee
by Rick Sosebee
Answers to your ATV and UTV questions

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.

This month our readers asked the AnswerManATV about a host of fueling issues, along with a problem clutch, bad electrical systems, and some engines belching white smoke and making the dreaded knocking sound.

Flywheel Causing Problems

Hi, I have a 2013 Kawasaki brute force 750 and my flywheel is hitting my chain for the oil pump. Would you know what could be causing this?

This is a good question but difficult to figure out without the machine right in front of me. There is a tensioner/guide on the oil pump chain and it has a spring with a pin that holds the chain in place. It also seems that it is accessible from the bottom right side of the engine. This could lead you to your problem fix, but be sure to get a Kawasaki OEM service manual to guide you along.

Going Nowhere

Yamaha Moto 4


I have a 1985 Yamaha moto-4 4wheeler with a 200 cc motor. Here’s my problem when the rear tires are off the ground and i shift it they spin. However when i drop the wheels on the ground and its in gear it wont go nowhere feels like it wants to but dont. It has a semi auto clutch. The plates in the clutch are super loose? not familiar with working on 4 wheelers.

I used to love riding my buddies Moto four back in the day and it’s a great machine, but like any ATV, parts will wear out and you my friend have that right in front of you. The clutch system on this beast is a dual clutch setup with a centrifugal clutch and a standard steel and fiber plate system. If any of these components wear out the machine just will not move. An overhaul of the clutch system seems to be in order and do not be cheap on this one. If you replaced the fiber and steel plates, be sure to also check the basket for wear on the “fingers” that hold the plates together and replace the centrifugal clutch pads as well. This will give the little ATV a better chance at handling those 20-foot bombers you’ll be doing in the woods when no one’s looking.

Electrical Issue

Suzuki KingQuad 700

My bike (2006 Suzuki king quad 700) is not getting any electrical power I have checked some fuses and they were good it has a new battery as well. What do you think it could be?


There is a 30a fuse in the starter relay assembly harness that is hidden under a plastic cover near the battery and I would suspect that it has been overlooked. Check that one out and the other two visible fuses are 10A and 15A but are located in what most see as the fuse panel. This would be where I would start, but from there you might look for cut or corroded wiring connections.

Mule Belching White Smoke

Kawasaki Mule 600

I recently changed the oil on a 2012 Kawasaki mule 600. I used a Wix 51394 oil filter that they told me it would fit my mule 600 and I used 10w-40 motor oil. When I filled it up and just went like 100 yds it started smoking white smoke. I stopped it and checked the oil level and it was correct. I had my brother test drive it again and it did the same thing white smoke came out again. After inspecting it a bit more I noticed black oil on the inside of the tail pipe. Could it be the wrong oil filter that caused this? The only other thing is that we forgot to put on was a small washer on the oil plug. Im going to go and buy another oil filter and oil and will be installing that washer like it had it before.

Thank you,

Rudy in Texas..

First off this is a really new machine and the Kawasaki oil filter couldn’t have been that pricey, but I do get why you looked for an alternate if dollars were involved. If oil is getting past the rings the engine will burn as much as possible and pass the rest out the exhaust pipe my friend. I would check the compression of the engine immediately to see why the oil is getting in there. If the rings are worn or stuck for some reason you can get this result. I know we have the after story, but how did it run before you changed the oil? The oil filter should not have any dog in this fight and the washer on the drain plug is marked out as a suspect as well. One final thing would be to check for the level indication on the dipstick. Are you sure you’re reading the dipstick correctly and have not overfilled the engine cases with oil? This could be a real possibility.

Motor Won’t Turn Over

Suzuki KingQuad 400

I have a 2008 Suzuki King 400 (f400f)

I replace the gears when I go to put on the left side cover on (mag cover) it goes on easy start to tighten the 8mm bolts and the 12 mm it binds won’t let the motor turn over if I loosen the bolts it turns over fine. Have you seen this and what could it be.

Thank you


It seems there is missing information all over this question. I’ll assume it’s a King Quad, but I have no idea what gears you replaced. Mainly because you didn’t tell me but probably because my mind reading is getting worse as I age. I would guess that you somehow forgot a step in the reassembly process and you’ll need to back track a little. Did you remove the magneto/stator? If so, did you get the Magneto key back into the keyway properly? This could be causing the magneto to not seat properly and thus a cover will not fit back over it. Also, one quick look inside the cover should reveal a scratch or rubbing area that could lead you to what is standing in the way when it is reinstalled.

Choked Out

Suzuki QuadRunner 500

My 01 Suzuki Quad-runner 500 would not start. I found the Spark plug fouled out and replaced it. It will now start but runs as if the choke is on. It does not misfire but there is a constant black smoke… more

Mr. B

The machine is in a choke hold. More common in the southeast where wrasslin’ is popular, but could have drifted to your area by mistake. If the engine is being choked down by a restriction to its air hole, then just like a human it begins to stop sucking in air to mix with the fuel that is being pulled in by the carburetor. Be sure the air filter is clean and restriction free and then turn your attention to the choke cable or lever to be sure it isn’t stuck in position. One last thing, what “more” is there?


ATV Battery

I cannot seem to get the battery out of my 2004 Honda 4 x 4 Fourtrax AT. Anybody know how to unclick the strap that holds it in?


Seriously Ron? This has to be a trick question. I’m waiting for the voice that says “Got Emm”!

Warm Engine Won’t Run

2006 Honda 500S 4x4


My name is Phillip. I have a 2006 Honda 500S 4×4. Never had a problem until last year when it started missing. Runs great when it is cool, but will start missing once the engine has warmed up. A retired mechanic has it and cannot figure it out. Put a new computer, stator, and cleaned the carb. Nothing has helped. I see no recall’s on this model. Can you help me with this or give me some idea on how to fix. Sad it is sitting in the shed needs to be running. Thanks

It seems everyone has similar issues this month. My first option is always going to be the quality of the fuel getting in the engine. Be absolutely sure there is no water or debris hindering the fuel. Drain the entire tank and not just what you can see, because even a bit of water the size of a tablespoon can cause major headaches and you do not want to just throw money at the problem. It may be that you just sloshed the fuel around enough when it was warm to get some water or debris to the petcock inside. Engine misfire can also be caused by electrical connections that have been subjected to mud or water. One additional item to check is coil voltage. A coil that is on the threshold of death can begin to loose its power once it gets hot. How is the spark when cold verses hot? Check those things and get back to us.

Knock, Knock

Honda Rubicon

2005 Honda Rubicon I was riding and it started knocking. Got back to shop shut it off started it again then something broke in motor now it’s locked up. Just changed oil in it and it’s still full what should I do


I hate to hear this, my friend. What does the oil look like? I would drain the oil again and see what kind of material is in the oil. You’ll know right away whether or not you’re in for a boat load of cash flowing from your wallet. If you do not work on these engine internals and have any doubt at all about your ability, then I would drop this one off at the local dealer.

Rancher Won’t Start

Honda Rancher 350

2005 Honda Rancher 350 4×4 manual

The bike sat for year without running inside shop. When to start it and it wouldn’t start. Checked fuel cap, spark plug, and whether it was getting fuel to the carb. All looked good. Bought a new carb. Put it on and the bike fired right up. Rode it for a few min then killed it. Next day it wouldn’t start again. Tried cleaning carb. Still wouldn’t start. Bought another new carb and the same thing happened. Fired right up then quit running. My guess is that trash is in the tank. I drained tank then put in new gas. Still no luck. Any advice?

This is a true mystery. So each new carb runs for only a day? Either you have some seriously deteriorating fuel line or some trash/water in the fuel remaining in an unseen spot inside the tank. I’d pull the tank off the machine and flip it upside down. Be absolutely sure there is nothing in there. Do not take for granted that you could also have a worn cylinder or valves. Check the compression to eliminate that potential issue.

KingQuad Keeps Shutting Down

2007 Suzuki King Quad 700

I have a 2007 Suzuki King Quad 700 efi. I was riding it this weekend with no problems. Until we took a break from riding and it would not start again. Let it sit overnight and tried it again. It would fire a little and the start but would die and not start again if I touched the throttle. And when I would just let it run it would die after running for 15 to 20 seconds on its own. Do u have any ideas on what is wrong? Thanks in advance!


My first items to check would go like this:

1. Fuel: check for any water in the gas. Is the engine getting fuel? Check the fuel line pressure from the fuel pump in the tank. It is easily accessed via a quick disconnect on top of the tank. You’ll need a fuel pressure gauge.

2. Engine compression would be my next go to. If the engine has a slightly bent valve or worn rings this could complicate the running process.

This will give you a good idea of what is going on. A good service manual is an invaluable tool when performing these tasks.

Vintage Polaris Won’t Hold Power

1994 Polaris 300 2x4

Hi There!

I am hoping you can offer some direction here…

So, just purchased a 94 Polaris 300 2 X 4. Was told it sat for a bit in storage, probably needed a new battery, started first pull. Lights, fan etc worked. Started that same night pull start again.

Next day, no dice.

Knew it needed a new battery, so purchased one. Had to replace THAT battery. New one all charged – 12.7 V

After replacing the new battery still nothing. Lights, Fan worked, then nothing.

Replaced the solenoid (my uncle looked at it and said the spark wasn’t that great).

Solenoid replaced. Still nothing.

Not even sure if this has a fuse box…

I’ve been searching online troubleshooting, downloaded a manual with some schematics, but being new to this entirely I am at a loss what is really disheartening is that my son saved his $$$ for this.

Please help me

The battery may not be the problem at all. It seems each time you replace the battery the engine runs and draws the life out of it without recharging at all. This tells me that there could be an issue in your Stator or electrical system in that area. Another indication is that the spark is weak according to your uncle. This means the electrical system is not working properly. The battery simply holds energy for starting and supports the electrical system during operation. The engine’s Stator and cdi, along with power rectifiers, actually support the system by generating power as it runs. I’d say a trip to the dealer or a good mechanic for a test is in order. The OEM service manual for this machine does tell you how to perform the procedural testing, but you’ll need a test light and some patience.

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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