ATV AnswerMan – May 2015

Rick Sosebee
by Rick Sosebee
Yamaha Rhino 660
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 ATV expert deals with a pair of clutching issues, two ATVs with potential blown fuses, some troubling looking motor oil, and a host of other questions about troublesome ATVs and UTVs from our readers.

Rhino Repair

Just replaced the axle and ball joints and bearings on the front both sides of my Rhino 660 but noticed that the driver side is harder to turn not as smooth as the passenger side. Before I put it all back

Together I wanted to find out if this is normal or should I be checking for something else?

Thanks for any help you can provide


Congratulations on the repairs and I hope it did not stress you out too much. I would say I’d have to see exactly what you have done to determine what the issue is. If you used the correct length axle then you should not have any issues. Be sure the brakes are not partially engaged, causing the left front to stick a little. Both sides should spin smoothly; especially with all those new parts.

Wheels Not Spinning Freely

Polaris Sportsman 660

I have a 2003 Polaris Sportsman 700 Twin. If I jack the front end and spin the wheels, they do not spin freely. Sounds like they’re dragging, the right side squeaks and the drag to a stop.

Any ideas?



I have plenty of ideas, my friend. There are several things that could be causing this issue. I would look at the brake discs to see if maybe they have been bent and are not spinning straight. They shouldn’t wobble at all side to side when spinning the wheel and if they do they could be scrubbing against the brake pads, causing your problems. Next I would consider the hub/strut bearings in the strut itself. There are two of these and they can go bad over time and cause the same issues. Good Luck.

Bear Tracker Stuck in its Tracks

Yamaha Bear Tracker

Yes my name is David Phillips I have a question about my four wheeler for you. A little while back I was letting my buddy ride my Yamaha bear tracker it’s a 250cc and he is a bigger person and while he was riding it it back fired and died. Ever since the I can get it to crank over but it will not start do you know what could possibly be wrong with it.

This is a tough one as the possibilities are virtually endless. The first thing I would check is to be sure you are getting spark from the spark plug. Simply remove the plug and insert it into the plug wire cap, holding it against the cylinder head while turning the engine over with the switch. If you are getting spark we can move on to the next item, which would be engine compression. If you do not own a compression tester then you may be able to find one at the local auto parts, which may loan it to you for a small fee. Making sure the engine has compression is important as this is how fuel is pulled into the engine. If this checks out then we move to the valves. This could be tricky if you have never adjusted the valves or are not familiar with how they work. If a valve has bent or the timing has become compromised, then you may need professional help from the local dealer.

Weighty Issue

2006 outlander max 400

I have a 2006 outlander max 400 what would make the centrifugal weight come out thru valve cover. this second time its happen dealer replaced parts 4 months ago also adjusted valves.


This is puzzling as this single overhead cam has many moving parts on the camshaft. These parts are, however, attached by a flanged head bolt and this could be the issue. A quick way to try and figure this out is to remove the valve cover and see what is not in the correct place. Get yourself an exploded view of the parts diagram and search for the bolt or small shaft that holds this kit together.

Time For Clutch Service

Yamaha Bruin 250

Hello, I have a Yamaha 250 bruin that has problems shifting gears. Let’s say I’m in neutral and switch to first. It clicks for bit then switches into gears. Does that on all the gears. Help please…


When was the last time you serviced the clutch in your Bruin? I didn’t get a year model for this question, but ill guess that you need some clutch service. Simply adjusting the clutch could help you get back on the trail. Try this first and refer to your service manual for the specifics. If this doesn’t work, drain the oil and see what it smells like. If it’s burnt and black, or even brownish, then you should consider a visit to the local dealer. If you feel like an over achiever, then open that puppy up. Just know that a dual clutch system awaits. The centrifugal clutch system, as well as the regular fiber and steel plate clutch, could double the cost of repairs.

The Clutch Strikes Back

Yamaha Kodiak 400

I have a 98 Kodiak 400 its automatic 4×4 its been riding fine…I go on a ride a cpl days ago and get about 12 miles from home and it quits pulling. It will idle fine but when I put it in gear and give it gas it just won’t move. Please help?


Its amazing that we have two Clutch related questions in the same AAM. This is going to be something that is possibly clutch related. I would give you the same advice as the question right above you. Refer to the service manual in reference to the adjustment of the clutch. If this fails to help the issue, then you might want to consult your local dealer.

Reverse Works Great, But…

2006 can-am outlander 650

Yes my name is Zackary Hardison and I have a 2006 can-am outlander 650 4×4 and you can drive in reverse just fine and you can rev it up in neutral or park without any problems but when you go to drive in either high or low it wants to give out like cut out and everything. Any idea what this would be? Thanks in advance

I really need a little more information on this one. What led up to this problem. It couldn’t have just started without some kind of indication things weren’t going right. If the unit is in Limp mode from being overheated or some other issue, this could be the problem. Need a little more info please.

Everything besides Reverse Works

Polaris Xplorer

I have a 98 Polaris Xplorer 300 4×4. The reverse isn’t working but all the other gears are. My understanding is that reverse is on the same shaft as 1st gear. I currently have it apart and all the gears look fine the chain is in tact but it does seem a little loose. I’m wondering if there is some type of guide that I’m missing or if the slack in my chain is preventing it from going into reverse. Any help you can provide would be appreciated!


You should talk to Zachary. Together, you too have a perfectly working ATV. I’m sure you have figured this one out by now. I mean you already had the determination to tear into it before you even contacted us. The High gear and Reverse gear shift fork are one and I would look closely to see if there is any issues with that shift fork.

No Signs of Life

Polaris Sportsman XP 550

Make: Polaris

Model: Sportsman xp

Year: 2010

Engine: 550

A few days ago i was driving my quad around the farm and all of a sudden it shut off. Now nothing at all works. Will not attempt to crank, fuel pump does not turn on, lights do not turn on. I have looked through all of the battery connections a dozen times and have not found the problem. Do you have any answer to my problem?

Thank you,


There is a large fuse panel on this machine. I would guess that something has caused a core fuse to blow and this is where I would start looking. There is also the remote chance that the battery could have shorted internally and simply is not producing anymore. Try looking in the fuse panel and then a new battery, in that order.

More Fuse Problems

Polaris Big Boss 6x6

I have a 93 polaris big boss 6*6. It ran fine by using the pull cord before winter. After which i put in a starter. Now the dump bed and push button start have no juice. Any suggestions?

Jared Greer

Check all of your fuses on the machine. Chances are you grounded the system somehow during your starter installation. It has to be fairly simple fix just take a deep breath and look at every electrical connection.

Bearing Bad News

2000 Honda Recon 250

I have a 2000 honda recon 250, have a clunking noise coming from rear end, shifts fine, I changed the gear oil and no metal shavings, so what is my next step to detecting what’s wrong. I have no back brakes as well but the clunking just started not long ago. Bad bearing perhaps?

Ginger Moore

I would say you are in need of axle bearings, but there are many other bearings inside that rear end. You could jack the rear up and see if the wheel/axle has any irregular movement. Try pushing the wheel towards the back or front to expose the play in the axle bearings. This is not a friendly repair, but with a little determination and an OEM service manual you will be ahead of most.

Bad Oil = Big Problem

Polaris Sportsman 500

I have a watery grey motor oil in my 2003 polariS sportsman. any ideas. Everything is still running great but dont know why it tooks like this.


STOP! Do not run that engine even one more second. Grey is not a color that is engine friendly. You are getting water or antifreeze into the engine from somewhere. This will wash out all bearings and ruin the motor. It is possible that you have a blown head gasket. If you are not mechanically inclined, then get to a local shop ASAP.

Lift Kit and Bad Alignment

Polaris Ranger 900 XP

I installed a 2 inch high lifter lift kit on my Polaris Ranger and now it veers to the right. Do utvs need alignments after installs like vehicles do?


Im not aware of any problems with High Lifter lift products when it comes to steering. I would say if you have not adjusted the toe on the UTV this could be causing the problem. You probably just need to realign the steering.

Motor Swap

Yamaha 660 Engine

Will a 660 atv motor go in a 660 rhino both are Yamaha


Yes the 660 is the same engine and should fit directly in the same position on the UTV.

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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