Each month we receive an overwhelming amount of technical questions from our readers. Everyone at ATVR, including the night janitor, carries an extremely heavy workload so as a last resort we were forced to put Mike Newsom in charge of answering your questions. Mikey is one of the most talented mechanics we know, but it's his off-the-wall remarks and repulsive attitude that keep him locked away in the garage. If you dare to bear his response, send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We promise not to let Mikey use your name and embarrass you in front of your buddies.
Ask: I have a 2000 Bombardier Traxter that has a direct short that I think is linked to the ECM. Some people say it doesn't sound like that. Could it be other sensors or do you know of a way to check the ECM board to find out if it's good or bad? Have you heard of any direct short problems on this machine before? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.
Mikey: How would I know what it sounds like? You haven't described the symptoms. How do you know it has a short? Is it getting power? Is it blowing fuses? Or will it just not start? I'm not familiar with any specific electrical problems with this particular machine, but I can assure you that a service manual would help you sort out any issues that you are having with your electrical system. It's a long and detailed process and I only have one page reserved for Ask Mikey.
Ask: I just acquired a 2004 Honda 400EX Sportrax. I know this is a spectacular machine and should be popping wheelies and topping out at nearly 80 mph easily. However, mine was sitting for a while before the original owner sold it to me. I believe this is what's causing my problem. It will start fine and run OK for a little while but it will seem to run out of fuel if you go higher than Third gear and will even shut off under light off-road duty. My friend says my carburetor is the problem and needs to be rebuilt. If so, how do I go about doing it? Also, this ATV has very low hours, maybe no more than 80.
Mikey: WOW! 80 mph? This is a phenomenal machine, but if you expect to see this type of performance you're setting yourself up for major disappointment. A stock TRX450R won't see 80 unless it's on a trailer behind your truck. If it's been sitting I'd say that your carburetor is gummed up and restricting fuel flow. It should be removed, disassembled, and thoroughly cleaned. Putting it back together correctly is the hard part. It's not an incredibly difficult task, but it may be in your best interest to entice a mechanically inclined buddy over with a 12 pack for some assistance. 80 mph...LMAO
Ask: We just got our engine rebuilt on a 2002 Suzuki Eiger 400 due to a piston breaking inside. The engine will turn over but won't start. We put a new spark plug in it, oil, and gas and still it won't start. Any suggestions to get my Suzuki Eiger started?
Mikey: If your mechanic/engine builder didn't test it before sending it home I would fire him. Or maybe you installed it yourself and that's the real problem. Start by checking the simple but often overlooked culprits to this problem. Is the new plug creating a spark? Remove the plug, reinstall the boot, and turn the starter over while holding the plug about 1/8 inch from a grounded surface. You should see a spark. Is the fresh fuel making it into the cylinder? The spark plug should be wet after attempting to start the machine. Did you leave a rag in the air intake that is preventing airflow when you put it back together? If it has the three ingredients (fuel, air, and spark) to operate and still refuses to start, you may have a more serious issue like incorrect timing or a bent valve. If you can't diagnose this minor problem, I hope for your sake that you're not the one who rebuilt the engine.