Let’s talk about the fuel problems we have out of the pump. 87 octane is about the only fuel worth buying out of the pump, any octane higher is not purchased enough to recirculate through the tanks underground. The other day I got 93 and put it in a carbureted bike that I had just rebuilt the carb and the carb started leaking gas after I got it through the fuel pump to the carb. I had drained the tank prior to putting the 93 in, so that was all that was in the tank. I siphoned the 93 back out and had spilled some on the floor. The puddle stayed there all day. I had gotten fresh 87 and pored some on the concrete floor next to the 93 and the 87 evaporated with in 20 mins. The 93 still left a stain on the floor. I ran the bike again to get the 87 to the carb and eventually the carb stopped leaking. So I don’t know if the problem with the fuel is that it sit’s in the pump tanks for to long or they are adding some kind of additive to make it last longer in the tank so it doesn’t go to waist. The other problem is the ethanol in the pump gas. I have looked into the effect’s of ethanol mixed with gas and have found that after around 30 days if sitting , the ethanol goes through a phase separation, witch means that the ethanol separates from the gas and drops to the bottom on your tank. So over time you will start your bike and it will not run right. This is because you are burning straight alcohol. People tell me all the time that they start there bike periodically but need to realize that the same gas is still in the tank going bad. We how have lived the non-ethanol years are used to gas lasting 6 months to a year and engines starting right up. The government has implemented 10% of ethanol in pump gas to save from having to buy so much from over seas but with the thought in mind that it wouldn’t sit in tanks for very long. So the only remedy for us ATV , and this goes for anything that’s sit’s with gas in it, is to use non-ethanol fuel. Most cities have it at propane sites but will not pump it directly into a car, has to be in gas cans. If not available , siphon the fuel out and put fresh in when you are ready to use it.
I have to remind myself that not every customer understands what I am telling them about what is wrong with there ATV. Had a customer with a bike that would not start or crank, needed a battery, fuel pump, carb. cleaning and some fresh fuel. After getting it to start and run, it starts to burn oil out the exhaust pipe. I called him and told him that it is burning oil and he responded with , how do you fix that. Apparently this bike had been burning oil for quite some time and he thought it was ok. Well the next question was well how much to fix it and he couldn’t afford to fix it. Well the next problem was that the idle changed with the temperature of the engine because the wide ring gaps would close up with the engine getting hotter and the vacuum would increase through the carburetor and pull more fuel. So he expected to have a perfectly running bike for the price of just getting it running somewhat. It is very difficult do deal with a customer that has know knowledge of mechanical issue’s and has a worn out rig that needs a lot of work and they can’t afford it. I also get a lot of people that by cheap used bikes and don’t understand why they got it cheap. I have had bike’s that where bought for $800 to $2700 . The $800 ones usually need about $1000 of work and the $2700 ones need $3500 worth of work to get them to were they can be rode reliably. The sad part is these people don’t know what there looking at when they go look at it and it’s all they can afford. I had one customer buy a used bike that had a hose going through the top of the air filter so you could spray ether to the throttle body to get it running and the guy selling it showed him how to do it and he bought it for $2600. With repairs and some mods he put $4000 more dollars in it, why. With a little bit more money, buy new. I cringe when I see them come in because I want it to go out running and driving right but is there wallet big enough. My question to myself is, why did you buy this worn out bike. The biggest trick to dealing with this is to be up front with the customer and tell them it could get expensive to get this bike right and I will have to charge for the time that it takes to figure out what the cost is gonna be to make it right. Sometimes thinks have to be replaced to see what is worn out farther down. Some people think that just because it starts and runs, it’s a great deal but go ride it for a day and it falls apart.
This was a 3 month project that included a 6″ lift kit, frame braces, 32″ tires on 17″ wheels, 5 speaker stereo system with 1000 watt amp and full head unit,extra battery with isolator,4000lb warn winch with cordless remote,1180 big bore kit with race cams,power commander fuel tuner, cat delete exhaust with modified stock mufflers, STM clutch’s, 20″ and 40″ dual row led lights, 5 pipe snorkel system with belt housing blower and thermostat, lithium ion main battery, underbody led lights, nerd bars, computer reflash, aluminum roof and more.
It is rare that you get the opportunity to do a job like this and learn so many things in the process. Modifying a new machine like this is a challenge do to fact that there hasn’t been a lot of testing done for the changes, like the engine and engine management system. It was fun and stressful at the same time. The clutching, fueling and intake have been the biggest challenge. The added wording for the stereo and lighting took a week to complete. The customer wanted bad ass and he got it. It’s not easy going from a customer telling you he doesn’t need brakes because he doesn’t want to spend the money for them and blows out his back window of his beautiful truck when he loaded it, to a unlimited budget to do what ever you want and get the best products available. Along with this unlimited budget comes the responsibility of getting the job done right.
These new ATV’s that are coming out are starting to get like cars. Big computers, electronic throttle systems, catalytic converters, O2 sensors and dash boards like a plane. This all makes it hard for a none dealer shop to work on or modify when you can’t get or afford the software that is required to see the problems with the system. The nice thing that they have retained is that you can pull codes out of the display’s and have a idea where to look. I just ran into a problem were I can’t adjust the idle on a electronic throttle body after Installing a Big Bore kit and Cams. There is ways around it, take it to a dealer and pay them to adjust it through there computer, or if it isn’t to far off, add a air valve to the intake with a filter between the throttle body and engine or if to high, adjust the primary clutch spring so the trans doesn’t turn. All this said, make sure before you order aftermarket mods that they have been tested and the supplier can tell you what to do to make the mods work properly. Call them first and see what is in tailed with doing the mods. You can do mechanical mods but will the electronic system work with the mods. Also don’t assume that what you see on a given website is for your application, for instance I ordered a 1000 big bore kit and some cams for a side by side and found out that it has only been tested on the ATV 1000 not the side by side 1000. You would think it is the same motor like we are used to seeing in the past,(Rhino engine the same as the Grizzly with a few exceptions to external parts) but in this case it isn’t. The heads are different on the ATV verses the side by side. The aftermarket cams for the ATV did not work in the side by side. So do your research, call the supplier, read forums for people that have done the mods and by all means know what you are getting into. If you are doing engine mods, always check your clearances with aftermarket parts. I did not do any damage to the engine with the wrong cams because I did all my clearance checks but the engine just didn’t run right.
We are a ATV repair and modification shop. I am starting this blog to share what I have learned over the past 9 years for repairs, modifications and the repair business. I will post different repairs and the procedures in how I repaired the problem. Modification issues with aftermarket products and builds that we are working on. The business aspects and issues in dealing with customers. This is not a teaching blog and will not have actual test procedures do to the issues of people getting hurt or damaging the ATV’s . I do highly recommend service manuals and use them every day. This is simply a informational blog to help.
A little about my self. I have been doing mechanics since I was 19, I am now 53. I started working for a construction equipment rental business as a trainee mechanic, I took so much interest in it and had so many good people to teach me so many aspect of the diagnostics and repair end of the business. I moved into engine rebuilding from top to bottom on small engines to some of the biggest diesels. I was able to get as far as I am by learning from others and service manuals. I can also tell you that I am not a big fan of forums for repair information but have been known to search for some issue’s I have run into.I have also been fortunate to work in a manufacturing company for fireproofing equipment and learned machining and electronics and assembly. I started In my own business when I took over a bankrupt business for pennies on the dollar in repairing construction equipment and took it to a $400,000 a year business within a year . I started my ATV business within a year after that and let it take it’s time to build. About the time the resection hit and construction went out the door I closed the equipment repair and and have been living on the ATV’s. Stay tuned for more