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 2005 Polaris Predator, and the front chain cover has broken off taking the two nubs from the motor case with it. Do you have any idea how to reattach this short of a full motor case replacement? There are about two or three treads left in one of the holes, and I thought of using longer bolts. I'm sure this has to be a somewhat common problem. Any help would be appreciated.
Mikey: You're correct, this is a common problem with chain drive machines, but that's no excuse for slacking on routine maintenance. Worn sprockets and stretched chains greatly increase the chances of throwing a chain that inevitably wads up and breaks engine cases. Is this what happened to your Predator? There are numerous brands and types of case savers that will prevent this type of mishap. I'd suggest you invest in one once your case has been repaired. I have used JB Weld in the past to build up and repair minor case damage, but it sounds like you have a bigger problem on your hands. Try locating a local machine shop and have the cases repaired by a professional welder, and then drill and tap new threads. I unfortunately have had to do this as well, and the repaired cases are still in use today.
Ask: Hey! My hubby and I recently bought a used '06 Arctic Cat 650 V-twin, and we are starting to think it's cursed! When we picked it up we knew the carburetor needed to be cleaned because it was running a little rough. My husband also has a 650 V-twin that has the same issues. We had it out for a rip, and when we got back we noticed gas dripping from the choke cable onto the exhaust. I'm starting to think we should have let it catch on fire and burn! The choke was stuck wide open. We took it in to be cleaned by a mechanic, and he was shocked the machine even ran. He cleaned it but that didn't solve anything. After two weeks of eliminating the "cheap" problems, we dug deep and found that the cams were very badly worn. We should receive the new cams tomorrow, and we have a huge mud run in four days. This is just long enough to fix this problem, but I'm wondering if that will cause the timing to be off without sufficient time to adjust this! Is that a strong possibility, or am I just paranoid after all the hassles we have had with the Cat? All I want to do is get my quad out there and see if it has what it takes to leave my hubby in the dust!
Mikey: So, you already had a poor-running 650 V-twin with unsolved issues and you made the decision to buy another in the same condition with hopes of a simple repair. This type of decision helps to inform me of who I'm dealing with and direct me to the best means of handling your particular situation. Hopefully, your mechanic did iron out the carburetion issues that could instantaneously transform your 650 into a scorching inferno while you're riding it. This brings up another point. If you needed a mechanic to clean your carburetor, I would highly suggest having a mechanic install the new cams. He will know that setting time is a critical part of cam installation. If you intend to make these repairs yourself, I recommend having a leaf blower handy to create the dust storm that you have planned for your hubby.