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94 King Quad, low compression, full of water

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Ok, so I bought this scream of a deal the other day - a 94 King Quad 300 for $40.00.  It's been sitting outside with no carburetor on it for about a year.  Its rusty, missing some parts, wiring is all cut up and spliced etc.  No seat, no racks but the plastic is all there minus the headlight housing.  Anyway, who can pass up a $40.00 quad right?  I get it home and looked at the sight glass for oil level, it's about 1/2 oil and 1/2 water.  I drain it, refill it and turn the motor by hand (recoil starter is missing) and it turns over just fine.  I worked on the wiring for about an hour and got it to turn over with the electric starter and got enough of it sorted out to get a spark.  Did a quick compression test, 70 lbs.  Wet test bumped it up to 90.  Ok, so rings and cylinder washed out with water for a year, not too surprised.  I thought 'what the hell' and sprayed some starting fluid in it and it ran for about 2 seconds - enough to show  it's got life.  Since then the compression has gotten worse, I can't get enough pressure to activate the carb diaphragm, therefore no fuel pump either.  The compression is now around 60.

  Anyway, my question is....is it worth it to try to get this thing going?  I tore the top end down today and the cam and one of the rockers is pretty worn.  I figured a top end job would be about $100 or so, depending on the condition of the cylinder but I'll probably have to put a cam and rockers in it as well.  Doing some research on ebay I figure I'll have to spend about $500-$700 to make the whole machine right again.  Much less just to make it run and use as-is but I won't really like it until it's right.  I don't mind doing the work, I actually enjoy it but I'm concerned about what all that water did to the rest of the internals, I can't really test it all out until I can make it run.

I know it's a basket case but I'm not into it much at all, even if I do the top end and find something else wrong I'm still not out much.  I'm leaning toward ordering the top end parts and going from there unless you can convince me otherwise - any way to check the rest of the internals without tearing it down?  I plan on flushing the oil cooler before I do another oil change, I've drained it twice now and it gets milky almost immediately just turning the starter - I suspect the oil cooler is polluted badly.


I'll get some pictures today if anyone want to see them.



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Ok, so I bought this scream of a deal the other day - a 94 King Quad 300 for $40.00.  It's been sitting outside with no carburetor on it for about a year.  Its rusty, missing some parts, wiring is all

$40 bucks??? And @Ajmboy says I find all the deals lol.   listen if the plastics are good and the atv is in tact for the most part then yes $500 would be worthwhile.  It would sell for $1000 to $9

Ya, that's what I thought.  I need to get it running in order to check out the drivetrain.  I pulled the top end off, the cylinder is ugly but not scored or scratched at all, no pitting.  The reason f

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$40 bucks??? And @Ajmboy says I find all the deals lol.  
listen if the plastics are good and the atv is in tact for the most part then yes $500 would be worthwhile. 
It would sell for $1000 to $900 in good running condition. 
The plastics and parts would be worth about $600 plus if you just want to part it out and thats a minimum estimate.  

If you think you could get that atv back to good for $500 then do it but make sure your not wrong and check all the gears and differentials as well.  Be a shame if you did all that just to find out there is a drive train problem.  

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Ya, that's what I thought.  I need to get it running in order to check out the drivetrain.  I pulled the top end off, the cylinder is ugly but not scored or scratched at all, no pitting.  The reason for the low compression is that the compression rings are stuck.  If I thought the gaskets would seal again I might just loosen up the rings and put it back together just to finish checking things out.  The piston is in good shape as well, timing chain was nice and tight.  It's got 2800 miles on it, not too bad for it's age.  I think I can do a quick hone on the jug, order rings and gaskets and put it back together, assuming I can change the cam and rocker later (it looks like I can do that without removing the head, correct me if I'm wrong).  

The plastics are ok, they've got hairline cracks like they're real brittle but mostly in tact, one of the rear fenders has a crack around the rack mount hole but not too bad.


Ya, that's the best deal I've seen so far, I've been buying these for a couple of months now just for something for me and my son to do, they're fun to work on and more fun to ride.  I paid $500 for a '95 bayou 220 and an '02 Honda 300ex last month, the Bayou needed a carb cleaning and the muffler reattached, the Honda needed a CDI - that's it.  We've been riding them on the weekends and having a blast.  I bought another Bayou 220 for $400 that was really clean but had a broken shift lever, I fixed that but it also has a knock I'm trying to track down, and in the middle of that I lost spark (thanks for the help on that BTW).  I also bought an '06 Bayou 250 for $200 that's had a rough life, I'm putting the top end on that as we speak (thanks for the help on that one too).


It's always nice to find a real clean one, this Suzuki is certainly not.  I've been looking for a 4X4 for while though and I couldn't pass this one up.









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This is exactly what me and my son do and its a blast. I would not be surprised of you spray them rings down good with starting fluid and clean the ring grooves on the piston,  put them back on and take a company reading again and see what you get. My guess is you will be impressed. 

The cam journals look good, it all looks like it needs one hell of a parts wash. 

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It's a 300, technically 280.  I just ordered gaskets and rings.  Oh, and a throttle cable.  I'm a bit concerned about the front end, it looks like it was dunked in salt water or something (We live 10 minutes from Puget Sound in Washington).  Anyway the whole things a little rusty but the bottom bits of the front end are really bad, lots of scale.  I'll start chipping away at it to see if I can determine the structural integrity of things.  I think the mounts for the control arms are the worst parts.  It's weird because everything on the rest of the machine is typical, a bit rusty here and there from sitting but nothing like the front.  Anyway, I can't wait to get it back together to see if it'll move.  Most of the money I think I'll spend on it will be ordering the parts that are missing.  Seat, racks, shifter knobs, headlights etc.

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I once bought a fourtrax for a few hundred  bucks because i needed the plastics and one rack.  The pictures of the bike looked mint. So i asked the guy is there anything wrong with it? He said all I'm going to say is  everything is usable but the frame!! Anyway i went to see it and the frame was rotted so bad that the bike snapped in half! Turns out it was an old police atv for beach patrol.  Amazing what salt water can do! 

I use a light gauge wire wheel on my drill and have at it on all rusted areas down  to bare metal and hit it with rustolium black spray paint, a few coats. 

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Ya, I plan on draining the front diff as well.  Good point on the battery causing the corrosion.  I looked inside the best I could, I don't see any rust down low - I hope that, although water and oil separate, there was enough dilution in the water to prevent corrosion.  The upper end took the worst of it, cylinder and piston as there was no oil to protect them and the rings allowed the water to sit there.  I hope all will be good, I'm waiting on the new rings to get here to put it back together and test drive it.



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Well, I got the top end put back together yesterday and it fired briefly.  Today I sorted out the starter solenoid (bad ground) so I could manually choke it and hold the starter button - the choke lever is missing and the cable is broken, the throttle cable is also broken so I tied a string to the linkage for now.  Anyway, I held my hand over the carb long enough to get it to fire and it actually took off and ran!  I don't know how long it's been sitting but wow did stuff fly out of the exhaust - soot, dust, sparks, you name it.  Anyway, I adjusted the idle (the adjuster is broken too) and it idles ok, sputters and pops a bit but it also has no air box and the carb hasn't been rebuilt yet, I just went through it and made sure all the passages were open.  

I'll get some time later in the week to shore up the wiring enough to actually put it in gear and drive around the yard a bit.  Oil is milky again so I'll have to do another purge.

So far so good, I'm into this thing less than a hundred bucks and it looks like there may be hope.  I'm not sure it won't smoke though, the cylinder was pretty crusty from all the water sitting in it.  I honed it out but that's about it.  

I have a new (used) throttle cable here that i can slap on, front brakes work but rear pedal is locked up.  The wiring is twisted/clipped/taped together right now so I'll have to start working on that, the previous owner cut the fuses and stuff all out, lost some connectors too.  

I tried to attach a video, not sure if it'll work though.

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  • 3 weeks later...


After going through the carburetor  I was able to ride it around a little, the high/low/superlow lever was missing so I couldn't test that, but 2wd and 4wd work fine.  One front brake worked, the other locked up, therefore just a short ride around the front yard.  

I went through the front brakes, they now work.  I had to use a hammer and a floor jack to free up the foot brake lever but that now works as well.  I sorted out the wiring and it now works as it should. 

I still have a long way to go, so much rust up front, the CV boots are torn, there are no headlights, but the thing is starting to become somewhat useable.   I'm into it a whopping 350 bucks, mostly because it needed a seat ($80) and an airbox (another $80).  Other than that, small bits and pieces here and there.

I'll post some more pics once I get the plastics fitted back on it.


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Nice work so far brother !  Was the seat completely gone or just the cover ? 
Air box is a bitch, but everyone knows we need em! This is why i always tell other members that  wind up with bad deals on bikes (not referencing you) to hold on and part them out. An eBay account is easy to set up and they can even make more then they bought the atv for!!! 
I hold on to carburetors, cdi boxes etc whenever i find one beyond repair.

Cant hold on to everything but it would be nice too lol.

Anyway your doing great and its a good feeling bringing an old bike back from the dead! 

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