We've decided to add an "Ask Mikey" section into the mag in response to the overwhelming amount of technical questions that we get every day. Mikey is one of the most talented mechanics we know, but it's his off-the-wall answers that amuse us. If you dare to bear his response, send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ask: I have a 2004 4x4/2x4 Arctic Cat. There's a loud clicking sound when I ride, especially when turning. I checked the rear differential, and it looks to me like it's a locked diff. The front one is OK, as one wheel will spin even if you hold the other from turning.?Is it normal to have a locked rear diff, or do I have a problem in the rear drive system?
Mikey: Unless you're riding on a clock, there should never be a clicking sound coming out of your ATV when you ride. Most utility four-by-four ATVs are equipped with front locking differentials, so I'd recommend speaking to a mechanic to solve your problem.
Ask: How do you drain the fuel from the fuel tank? I broke the connector from the gas tank to the injector and am not sure what to do. How bad am I hosed?
Mikey: If you broke the connector from the fuel tank, the fuel has probably already drained all over the floor of your garage. If there's any left, you should first turn off the fuel petcock, then remove the fuel line before making a second attempt to empty your tank. But be sure to keep your pets out of the way; for some reason they enjoy drinking the fatal liquids that spew from gas-operated motors.
Ask: I have a 2002 Honda 400EX. The clutch would slip after riding it for 20 minutes or so. Well, I had the clutch plates and springs replaced, got it back today and the clutch is still slipping. I changed the oil with Honda GN4 and have adjusted it again and again. I now have it adjusted to the point that if I go any more, even 1/16 of a turn, the EX moves with the clutch pulled in. What's the problem?
Mikey: First off, I would demand a refund or have the mechanic make good on his repair. Obviously, if you've paid for these repairs, things should work. Don't ya think?
Ask: I own a YFZ450 and am having a problem with my clutch slipping. It begins to slip after I ride for a while, and it only slips when I really get on the throttle. Is this just an adjustment or do I need to buy a new clutch?
Mikey: If it were an adjustment, it has probably escalated to needing new plates by now. After you replace the plates, be sure that you have some freeplay in the clutch lever before you rip it up on the track. After you get it fixed, bring it by the ATVR office and I'll show you how to ride that thing!
Ask: I have a 1996 Suzuki KingQuad with 2000 miles on it and a major problem: I just put in a new battery and it still won't start. Even when trying to jump-start it, I have no lights at all. I've tried everything I can think of. Do you have any ideas on what the problem could be?
Mikey: Remember that the red cable is positive and the black is negative. Check the fuses and be sure the machine is properly grounded. Any of these could be the culprit.
Ask: My 2001 400EX has been sitting in my garage for about a year now. I want to sell it, so I need to get it up and running again. I changed the oil and oil filter, drained out the old gas, changed the spark plug and put in a new air filter. After all this, the only way I can get it started is by jump-starting it. I had it running for at least 15 minutes and everything was fine. When I shut it down and left it alone for a while, I tried the electric start and it sounds like it wants to start but it just won't kick over. Help!
Mikey: That's what you get for leaving an awesome machine like the 400EX cooped up in a garage for a year. It sounds like you've checked everything except the battery. It's likely dead after sitting for a year and may not be able to hold a charge. Maybe it's time to pony up for a new battery.