By Winston “Boss” McKannick
HOW TO BLEED
I just replaced the front brake
pads for the first time on my 2006
Honda 400EX. That was a piece of
cake, but I’m now having a problem
with bleeding the line so the brakes
work. There’s very little fluid in the
reservoir. Could you explain to me
how to bleed the brakes properly?
You should not need to bleed the
brakes, because when you push the
caliper pistons back into the caliper,
the displaced fluid will naturally
flow back into the master cylinder’s
reservoir. To bleed the front brakes,
turn the handlebars to the left so the
master cylinder is at the high point.
Add fluid, and slowly work the lever
in and out. Any air in the line should
exit the master cylinder into the
reservoir as very small bubbles on
each lever press. Getting air to go
uphill is easier than forcing it down.
If you can’t get a firm lever, then we
have to force that air downward. You will need some clear tubing, like battery-vent tubing.
Connect it to the bleed valve of the
caliper. Form a loop at least 6 feet
high before the tube falls into a
catch bottle. Open the bleed valve,
and compress the handlebar lever.
You should see the fluid being
forced up the loop of the transparent
tube. Any air in the lower hose or
caliper will be seen as bubbles.
Keep the master cylinder reservoir
topped up, and force a couple reservoirs of fluid through the system.
Tighten the bleed valve, and see if
your brake lever is firm. If not, then
rebuild the master cylinder. Good
STOPPING A SPORTSMAN
I’m having an issue with the rear
brake on my 2007 Polaris 700
Sportsman. It has stopped working
altogether, which is spooky when I’m
heading downhill, through the trees,
here in eastern Oregon. The disc,
pads and line appear to be fine. The
fluid reservoir on the handlebars is
full, and the front brakes work fine. I
hesitate to take my quad to the local
shop, because my buddy has taken
his Sportsman 500 there three times,
and it hasn’t been repaired yet.
Thanks in advance for sharing your
There is a master cylinder for the
rear brakes as well. First I would try
adjusting the rod on the master
cylinder to remove any slop. Next
step is bleeding the rear brake. After
you have pushed all the old brake
fluid out and replaced it with fresh
new fluid, you should find your
pedal firm again if air was your
problem. If you still don’t have a firm
pedal, then rebuild the rear master
cylinder, because it has been known
PREDATOR 90 STARTER CLUTCH
I have a 2003 Polaris Predator 90,
and I can’t get it to stop eating up the
starter clutch and chewing the
chrome finish on the starter-gear
snout it rides on. The problem is
between the starter gear and one-
way set clutch. With the cover off
and the motor running, you can see
that the large starter gear has
stopped moving, as it’s supposed to.
You can see the one-way clutch
spinning, and everything is fine for
about 10 minutes—until you hear a
metal-to-metal sound and see sparks
flying. There’s no radial or in-and-out play on the crankshaft with the
CVT installed or not. I’ve gone
through the horrible Polaris service
manual and made sure all parts
were accounted for in the orientation
shown. I’ve replaced everything
from the crankshaft outboard a couple of times. I’m at a loss, and the
dealer is stumped as well. I’d appreciate any help.
Take your starter clutch apart, and
check the tension of the spring-loaded pistons against the steel barrels. The barrels must be under tension and held in their little alcoves. If
the barrels are loose, then replace
the piston springs with pen springs.
The pen springs are stronger than
OEM, and Polaris doesn’t even cata-
log this part. Also, make sure the
barrels are smooth with no gouges.
The surface of the wheel-starter
must be smooth as well for the unit
to function correctly. While you are
there, check the condition of the nee-dle-bearing ring, called “ bearing
needle,” for smooth operation too.
A WARM BREEZE
I have a 2004 Yamaha Breeze 125,
which starts right up and runs fine.
The problem is when it’s been running for a while and I turn off the
engine. It won’t start back up unless I
let it cool down for a while. Any help
would be greatly appreciated.
It could be a number of things.
Most likely you are down on compression due to the age of the
machine. It starts fine when it’s
cold because the compression levels are a bit higher then. When
things are hot, the metal has
expanded, and you lose that little
bit of compression you need to start
it. Check the compression with a
tester that you can get at any auto-parts store, and check the valve
adjustment as well. Or, it could be
a spark plug, high-tension lead
(plug wire), or the electronic ignition’s black box. To rule this out,
pull the plug when it won’t start,
and reconnect the plug wire, then
lay it against a piece of metal on
the engine, and turn the starter
over to see if it sparks.
I own a 2008 Grizzly 660 with 8000
miles. It runs great, but at low
speeds, it backfires through the carb.
What can I do to fix that?
Clearwater, British Columbia
Your backfiring is because of a
lean condition below quarter throttle and could be caused by one of
several things: Dirt in the pilot-jet
passageways, a misadjusted pilot
screw, or you have installed a high-flow air-filter element or an aftermarket exhaust pipe. Since you didn’t mention a high-flow air-filter
element or an aftermarket exhaust
pipe, I will assume the Grizzly is
stock. This leaves us with either a
dirty carb or the pilot-jet adjustment. Remove the carburetor and
clean it per the service manual.
Note the pilot jet located on the
motor side of the float bowl. There
may be a flat metal plate over the