I have a 2006 Polaris Sportsman
450, and it has a problem of sputtering and dying whenever I’m trying to
ride it up fairly steep hills. It does this
even when I try keeping the rpm up
pretty high. So far I’ve cleaned the
carburetor, but that made no difference. Do you have any suggestions
on what the problem is?
When you cleaned the carburetor, did you check the float level? It
should be 13mm +/- 1mm. When the
fuel level in the carb’s float bowl is
tilted backwards during hill-climb-ing, the main-jet tower may be
exposed to slosh (part air, part fuel).
This may cause the sputtering. If you
are climbing steep hills, you might
try setting the float level at the “high”
side of the spec, at 14mm.
A FASTER BLASTER
I’ve had three Yamaha Blasters
and just bought another one for $50.
It runs, but the rear axle and carrier
are frozen. I’m thinking of putting a
YZ250 motor in it, and I’m wondering
what other (longer) swingarms and
axle carriers would fit the Blaster
frame. It would also need to line up
with the rear engine mount of the
YZ250 engine. What could work without too much modifications? Thanks
for your advice.
A Banshee carrier will fit a Blaster
swingarm with the addition of spacers. This will allow you to use the
thicker (40mm) axle of a Warrior/
Banshee. As far as how to mount
the YZ in a Blaster, that question has
been asked and answered a thousand times! See here: http://www
Just promise Boss that your first
“road” test of your conversion won’t
end like their video did! Helmet and
I have a Suzuki LTR450 that was
hard to start, so I had a guy adjust
the valves. He put in thicker shims
on the intake valves and said every-
thing else was fine. However, it now
won’t start with the electric starter.
When I try to bump-start it, the rear
tires just lock up in every gear. I have
no clue on what to check next. Any
information you can provide would
be greatly appreciated.
Johnson City, NY
Why thicker shims on the intake
valves? Too much clearance? What
is the clearance now? What is the
cranking compression pressure? You
gotta have at least 100 psi, son, or it
won’t create a combustible mixture.
Sounds to me like you have the
intake valves being held open, or
the valves are hitting the piston. You
need to have your valves adjusted
by someone who actually has a clue
what he is doing—and not by “some
guy”! Bent valves aren’t cheap to
replace! Your factory-spec valve
clearances, cold, are: intake .004–.008
inches; exhaust .008–.012 inches.
I own a 2007 Honda Rancher
420FM, and the front tires always
wear out quicker than the rears. I’ve
been using the stock tire brand and
sizes—24x8-12 fronts and 24x10-11
rears. I’m wanting to go 1 inch taller all around with six-plys like the
Mud Lites. What do you recommend
would be a good investment for me?
Michael, my boy, front tires should
not be wearing out before the rears!
Going to a larger or different brand
of tire may not solve your problem. You need to check your “toe”!
According to the factory shop manual, your FM should be toed out by 1/2
inch. That means when the front tires
are pointed exactly straight ahead,
if you measure between the center
of the front tires at the forward-most
part and compare that with the
same measurement only taken at
the rearward-most part of the tires,
the front measurement should be 1/2
inch greater, so the tires are pointing
away from each other. This toe-out
tends to produce stability at speed.
Adjust the toe by loosening the lock
nuts on the tie-rods and make equal
adjustments to both the left and right
tie-rods. You can also try “0” toe for a
bit lighter steering. For tire sizes, you
can run 25s or 26s without rubbing.
If you want the tires to stay under
the fenders, keep the front width to 9
inches and the rear to 10 inches.
BRUTAL GAS ISSUES
I have a 2009 Kawasaki Brute
Force 650, and last fall I put in some
gas that turned out to be bad. It idled
fine, but would barely climb a hill.
So I drained the tank, put in new
gas, and it seemed to run fine. After
storing the quad for the winter with
treated gas, though, the problem is
back. Draining the tank and putting
in fresh gas didn’t help. It just keeps
running worse and worse. I even
hear a slight pinging sound when I
The pinging sound you hear
is your engine speaking to you.
Luckily, Boss speaks fluent “motor”!
Translated, your motor is telling you
that it is lean and needs more fuel.
“Treating” bad gas doesn’t magically
make the bad gas good. All it would
do is prevent good gas from going
bad during an extended period of
layup, like over the winter. Your
“bad gas” has most certainly created
blockages in your jet passageways
inside your carburetor. Could be
water beads. Could be dirt. Could
be rust. In any case, the carburetor needs to be disassembled and
cleaned, and all the passageways
blown out with an aerosol carburetor cleaner. That should solve your
problem. Reassemble the carburetor
and go for a test drive, and your
engine will tell you how it feels if
you listen real close! ❏
Got a problem with your ATV?
Send your questions to Dirt Wheels
“Dialed In,” P.O. Box 957, Valencia,
CA 91380-9057. Our e-mail address
is firstname.lastname@example.org, and
include your name, city and state
By Winston “Boss” McKannick