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JacobSlabach

Honda Fourtrax bring back from the grave

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recently picked up some project bikes off CL for cheap.  got a honda fourtrax (the ancient 4x4 kind with the straight axle in the front as well as the rear and a back-up kick-start)  plastics are crap, but my goal is to get running like a champ and patch the plastics up and sell to one of my many friends that want a reliable 4x4 for dirt cheap and doesnt care what it looks like.

so the former owner says it needs carb rebuilt, but its sat for 3+ years since so who knows.  things I see:  carb is missing (he gave me a box of parts along with the bike), engine turns over and feels good with kick-start, brakes need work, battery missing (That always puts me off, cause then I know most likely someone's been tampering with the electrical.

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Can’t rebuild a carb if it’s not there ! Lol was it in the box of parts ? Don’t let the battery not being there discourage you. A lot of people snatch batteries from one bike to another.  I have some old fourtrax cdi boxes laying around. Let me know if you need one.

Post some pics of the bikes.  I would love to see the fourtrax.  

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will do.  yes there is a carb in the box.  I wouldnt jump to conclusions its for the honda tho- looks like a bayou carb.

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Very similar looking carbs. I would bet it’s the right one which is awesome because if I have to hear about you and one more of the Chinese carburetors!!!!!!  Just kidding. 

Ok well we’ll waiting on some pics ! 

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so the carb does go to the honda. (the former owner's son spray-painted the top end of the engine red and got a little on the carb too.  there are some electrical parts (will upload pics ltr) in the box of parts for the yamaha and honda.  I think they are all for the honda tho (except for a chain and sprocket that was in there)  still cant find the vin.  heres some pics of the bike.  there are a lot of small plastics in the parts box that I believe go around the handlebars.

Picture0408191459954.jpg

Picture0408191502951.jpg

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so this bike is my next project.  I stripped her down and removed the gas tank.  the carb was in the box and i cleaned that up.  I was soaking the rubber boot in gas that hooks the carb to the manifold because it was shrunk like they do.  The oil looked fresh in this atv and the engine spins freely with the kick start.  I will still drain it because the washer on the drain plug was over-compressed and the bottom of the motor was wet from a leak- hopefully the drain plug is the cause.  The issue keeping the bike form running right now is no spark.  spark plug looks un-used, the ig coil isnt picking up any voltage as far as I can tell so I dont know if this is a staor issue..?  When I kick it, the neutral and oil temp lights flicker so it is sending voltage to the battery... (I threw the bad battery on it from the warrior)  Also I jumped ot with the polaris and the starter acted sluggish at first like it wasnt getting much voltage, then it quit turning the motor over even when I jumped the solenoid. also this bike has the old metal gas tank and I see peeling paint on the inside of it.  How should I clean this out so the crap doesnt get into the carb?  I didnt see any rust, just peeled paint.  So the issues that I see so far:

  1. No spark- I think the coil is good
  2. leak on the bottom of the motor
  3. gas tank has peeling paint
  4. starter sluggish/inactive

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Ok so the tank should not have paint in it and is maybe a rust layer that you see peeling.  Take the tank off fill it with hot water and dawn dishwashing soap. Put the cap on shake it up good and then put the hose inside on a jet setting and try to angle it the best you can to blast off the crap as well as a metal flexible ruler that can act like a scraper when you bend it to reach in tough areas. 

Stator test is simple you know how to do that correct ? 

The stator could be rusted and in need of cleaning. 

My guess is cdi has gotten moisture inside. Preheat your oven to 225 deg and when the oven is up to temp and only when it gets up to temp put it in the oven and bake it for 10 min! Not a minute longer.  Take it out of the oven and let cool. Plug it back in and give it a shot when it’s cool.   

Make sure everything is reconnected properly and check for spark.  

Double check your wiring, kill switch etc. 

 

The  starter prob needs new brushes. 

 

Also get an inline gas filter before you run it in case any shit is left over in the tank. And take the gas valve petcock apart and clean that as well.  

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gas tank will be later, but thanks, will do!  I dont know how to test a stater- never needed to up till now..  there was one wire coming from the stater that was electrical-taped together so that definitely wasnt helping- dont know if thats the case or not.  I havnt checked my kill switch, dont know how to do that either- I have to admit that im not handy with electrical so please bear with me!  If the cdi is the issue, wont 225 melt it?  I'm not sure which is the cdi on this bike- there are many little boxes with wires going into them lol.  I took the harness out so I could lube all the connections to rule them out.  The kill swich is tuck in the 'on' position so I dont think thats an issue, but still want to check it.  And of course everything is rusted/corroded/dry-rotted on this 80s bike from sitting out so litterally everything is a pain to work with.. but hopefully it'll pay off in the end!

heres a pic of the bad connections i found and a hook up on the pod that I cant identify:

Picture0501191652951.jpg

Picture0501191749951.jpg

Picture0501191906951.jpg

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first pic is a bad connection running to the crankcase on the right side of the bike as you sit on it.

second is the unknown hook-up right next to the pod headlight

third it the bad connection coming from the stater (I think).  this group of wires runs to the crankcase on the left side of the bike as you sit on it.

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Jacob!!!!!!!! How have you not followed and grasped the stator and kill switch testing yet???? You have been here for a while now and we have accomplished so much? I’m just playin!!!!!!!!! 😂

Ok first:  the plug next to the headlight on them bikes was an accessory plug.   The headlight was held in by a few rubber grommets that it came out of and had an extension cord to look take the light off and move around a few feet and that was an accessory plug. 

The cdi is very recognizable and should be in the front end under the plastics under the handle bars. Black and square with slightly rounded corners.  Maybe 2x3 inches at max.  

No the oven won’t burn it so try it.  It worked for me.  I replaced it later on. 

Testing the stator: get a tester, set it on the ohms setting.  It looks like an upside down horseshoe.   Touch the two ends of the test leads together and you will see a reading or a ringing on the tester. That means you have “continuity” you have to find your kill switch wires and put the tester on the two wires and turn the switch on and off. You should get an open (no reading) when the switch is on and then a reading when it’s off (closed). 

Stator: tester on the same setting, unplug the stator and test the plug coming from the stator (three wires).  Put the tester probes into each of the plug leads and see what you have. Each wire to wire should be equal and within what’s called out in the manual. You will have to check the manual  for what’s spec.

Second  stator test: tester on the same ohms setting,  put one probe from the tester into the plug on any of the three wires on the stator  and the other lead to ground.  You should NOT get a reading. Do this with all three wires.  If you do get a reading on meter then the stator is no good. 

 

 

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Stator tested good.  Kill switch tested as not working (no reading to ground open or closed)  I put clamps on the two bad connections one from the stater and one from the other side of the engine (might be the oil low/hot sensor?).  I put the wiring harness back in putting connection grease on every connection as I went.  Payed off cause I got spark.  I put the plug back in and threw a makeshift gas tank on and up she started with no choke!  The choke cable is locked up along with the rear foot and hand brake cables.  It started with the kick-start, but it has a pronounced tick (sounds like a valve hitting the piston) so I think its out of time.  How should I check the timing on this bike?  I didnt see a viewing window for the cam on this motor.?

so the next issue I'm tackling now is the tick.  I did ride it up and down the drive and it did run strong in all gears and reverse.

Btw this bike looks just like a '88 model fourtrax 350 i saw on YT

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Nice work. 

The kill switch needs to be tested by the two wires. Not one to ground.   Tester  has to go on both wires from kill switch.  On ohms setting.  Then move the switch from on to off.  You should get a reading.    

The ticking could be a valve adjustment or poor oil flow to the head.  

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One other thing I want to mention.  On that bayou 400 I had, the head had a knock.   It turned out to be the cam journal. It was scored and worn.  So check that also.   

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so how do I get to the cam and all on this unit?  I see valve covers but no cam cover.  And how do I check for oil flow?

first time I've worked extensively on a honda so the engine setup is different and new to me

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It’s basically the same set up just different bolt patters etc because it’s a different manufacture.  But the system and functionality is the exact same.    You can pull the valve covers and see if oil is flowing into the head while it’s running.  If it’s a ticking sound I would think it’s more of a valve adjustment or oil. If it’s a slight knock then I would think it’s the cam journal.  

You can stick a Q tip into the head to see if it has oil inside. If so the it’s pumping up there.  Then do the valve adjustment and go from there.  

Did you change the oil ? 

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ok.  I did not check oil as it looked fresh (clear and not musty smelling like moisture).  I will check for oil flow with the q-tip.  How can I check the timing and what should the valves be set to?

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Ok timing is the exact same as the bayou. Should be a mark on the cam sprocket and the head.  The valves (clearance) I have to look at. You should be able to download the repair manual and look. If you have problems let me know and I will help with that.  

You should be able to determine if there’s oil in the head by looking Into the valve cover opening. 

 

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ok thanks!  I'm just confused how to veiw the cam sproket?  There is no cam cover and it looks like I'll have to take the head off the access it?

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Sorry about the delay in getting back to you. Been busy. 

Yes the head cover has to come off.  Gas tank first.  Loosen all the bolts on the top of the cover. You don’t  have to remove the bolts just spin them all the way out so there not threaded any more.  There are different size bolts so try to keep them where they belong in the head. 

The rocker arms come off with the head cover when you pull it. 

Before you do that on the left lower half of the engine there will be two plugs on the side of the engine cover.  Screw type plugs that you have to unscrew. Be careful and used the proper screwdriver. A big flat headed will work.  These plugs are easily stripped where the slot is. 

Take the screw plugs out and get a 17mm socket. That goes in the big hole center of the flywheel. The second small cover is to view the T mark for top dead center.  Rotate the engine clockwise with the socket driver until you see the T.  

The can sprocket has a mark on it and a mark on the head. Check your timing chain for proper tension.  

 

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looks like the cam jumped one tooth back.  So just take the tensioner out and set it forward?

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Yes but you have to check the tensioner or maybe the chain is stretched.  

 

If it jumps again and  any further the valves will collide with the piston and it’s over.   

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the chain had good tension on it- not sure how to reset the tensioner on this motor tho- never seen a tensioner like it before.  Also there isnt enough slack in the chain to jump it back like usual...how do I get more slack on the chain without taking the whole motor apart?

btw someone was using their brain with this little groove in the flywheel bolt plug-  I couldnt get the screwdriver to turn it without slipping so I just put in in the groove and gave it a tap with a hammer and boom, the plug turns loose.  great trick!

Picture0509191756951.jpg

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There should be a tensioner bolt ? Loosen and reset.  But if it’s tight I don’t honk it would jump.  Are you 100% sure it jumped ?

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