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Dra O

1986 Honda 250

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I likely just kissed $200 goodbye buying a Honda 250 this AM from Craiglist.  We'll see.

- VIN number is off the front frame; one VIN site calls it a 2008 Honda 250 TRX - this baby ain't a 2008; other VIN sites list the VIN as invalid; might be that the owner (a shady dude from a shadier side of my home town) put a 2008 front end on it?  No idea.  

- a HUGE hint (hint #1) would've been that there's no key to start the machine - gotta use a screwdriver.  I'll likely be visited by police sometime in the near future.

- owner acquired from another man - owner showed me video of him riding it this summer on a major interstate while very drunk (hint #2) - the machine sounded good in the video

- no front headlight; owner said machine has new carb - looks Chinese - he didn't have original carb; air intake box is wide open - no long plastic connection sleeve leading into air box like on my 99 king quad; no visible oil leaks; oil is dark; air filter clean; decent plastic; no front right brake apparatus; left brake handle very loose and rear brake doesn't work

- battery at this point is good; manipulate the ignition switch w/ screw driver and the green neutral light shines (this has since stopped working)

- it's a kick start machine: when I kicked it down (hint #3), the compression sounded normal, almost "tight"  but at the end of the cycle, there was some awful grinding noise coming from what sounded like either inside the engine or the starter area; I let it settle, kicked it again, same noise heard at the end of cycle; owner said it likely needs a new starter - I only hope it's this simple

pictures attached - the throttle cable / zip tie pic is my favorite - but it works!  it was CRAZY dirty prior to pressure washing - and the water in air box is likely secondary to the power wash - no water was in it when purchased

gotta few things to complete on the king quad - will be changing motor/gear oil in honda and getting new oil filter over time - talk soon - hope y'all had a great Christmas
















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People suck sometimes. Shady shit deals are the worst. Looks like an 86 to 88 to me.  However based on what i see there is a market for the plastics and other parts so I would say you could make back $500 minimum in parting it out worst case scenario. Take a look on eBay i bet you find the plastics and racks for that make and model starting at $300. 
The throttle cable with the zip tie is a classic.  
The carburetor looks like a Chinese carb.  Might as well see what you can do with it and see if it's worth the effort but if its to far gone then you part it out! 


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starter teeth were basically smooth on this one - shreds of metal in upper part of gear box - 4-5 of the teeth on the starter idler gear were gone - nothing for starter to bite into


1) ordered starter, battery and starter idler gear for around $100

2) might as well spend $15-20 on new ignition switch so I have a key to start the thing

- I cleaned carb this weekend - lots of junk - diaphragm/spring intact - the main pin under diaphragm was just flopping around, not in the hole - float was intact - gasket intact - turned air/fuel screw out 2 turns to start with - also cleaned out trashy gas tank - petcock operable

will try to fashion sheath of sorts for throttle cable using medical tubing from work - this should bide me a little time for now re: protecting throttle cable - original carb hard to find - just want to get the thing running

if not running in a few weeks, set it aside, cover it up and either offer it for sale for $150 or more or attempt to part it out

finally got front tires for king quad - once get these installed will finish that bad boy and get that project behind me




IMG_2075 (1).JPG

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you're telling me.  i'm pretty sure (from my limited knowledge) this was the grinding sound I heard when I tried to kick start it.  I can only hope.

I was able to move one of the other gears in the main part of the machine by turning the outermost smaller gear, which is promising.  ideally i'd need to take off outer gear housing and inspect for metal shards - but i'm not there yet... and will likely need gasket, etc.

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Great pics Dra O. Sorry you got hosed. I got one of  those too a couple of months ago. Mine, however is from the original owner that bought it new in 85. But, it's stuck in R. It's on my project list to take the engine out and fix the trans. I paid $100 for it. with that said, anyone point me to a service manual for a 2005  trx 450r? I had a pdf on my computer when I fixed the kicker on this thing, but, my computer flipped out one day and I lost it. Now the 450 is back and I'm ready to put the top end back together. I've searched and searched trying to find a free download, but, I got nothing. I can usually find em for just about quad/bike pretty easily. 

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Hopefully not a total hose job.  Air box and gas tank are in good condition if I wanted to part them and other items out, as Frank mentioned.  And it came with a sweet, fully-functional back storage compartment with all the parts that could sell once it's cleaned up.  If I can get $150 or so for all of those parts it won't be a total loss.  Time will tell.

I bought an electronic service manual off ebay for $6 for my '99 King Quad and it has helped a lot.  I gotta open my computer when I need it and can print pages as needed. 

Here's a link to an ebay electronic version of what you might be looking for at $6.99.  Hard copies and other electronic versions go for a lot more.  It worked for me, hopefully it'll work for you - but you be the judge on whether this is the case.



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I've done a bit here/there on the '86 honda 250.  oil/filter changed, new starter, new battery, new starter gear, cleaned Chinese carb (gaskets, float, ports in good shape) - turned engine over using screwdriver on solenoid and it sounded good (unable to get ignition apparatus to work - it's toast).

question: if I hook the carb back up, put some gas in tank and use some starter directly into carb, will the machine run on it's own per the screwdriver/solenoid method if everything is flowing right re: fuel? 

will I harm or risk burning/shorting any parts using the solenoid to turn over the engine? 

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Nah, you're good using a screwdriver to turn it over.  That's all a solenoid does anyway, it just creates contact internally between positive and negative terminals internally.  You're just doing it externally.

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Agreed.  Worst case you wind up with arc marks on the relay from the sparks.  

Starting it shouldn't be a problem of the carburetor is correct and the choke works. 
So no starting fluid hopefully.  

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no spark.  pulled ignition coil and got the following readings below.  meter is on ohms.

for primary coil resistance specs read resistance range from 0.16-0.2 - if meter correct I'm way overboard at 1.5 or 2  

resistance without spark plug cap should be 3.6-4.5: I measured 4.15 on the 20k ohm setting, which appears to be in range. 

does this tell me the cap itself is bad?

when I hook up the new spark plug, the reading is 13.1 (from green terminal on coil to tip of spark plug) - if this means anything

simple solution would be to buy a $7 dollar coil off ebay

back to work










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I think your coil is fine.  Tester at 2000 you got  a 0.2 reading. (within spec) no?

Second test on the spark plug wire your at 4.5 (within spec) no? 

I think the coil is fine, the cap can be tested with a simple continuity test and worst case cut the spark plug wire back a half inch and put the cap back on.  

My guess is a ground failure maybe on the kill switch or elsewhere but i could be wrong.  And agreed on the $7 bucks for a new coil for shits and giggles.  

Test your stator coil and pick up coil since your going through the motions.  


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This reminds me of the 30hp outboard I bought last year. All seemed normal upfront til I got it home and on the stand. Seller swore up and down it was perfect other than a broken scag which is an easy fix. It was all a ruse. He appeared so sincere lol.

Sorry to hear about your troubles.

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Would this list meet your requirement prior to purchasing an ATV?  Remember, I'm at novice level - these are things I think the average Joe could/should check. 

Feel free to comment and I'll add it to my list.  

Going to look at what's supposed to be a 1998 Arctic Cat 454 on Saturday - likely a bit too much machine for my level.


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the ignition switches for sale online are connected the exact opposite way than in the pictures below: into the white plastic piece are the red and black w/ white stripe wires and the ones hanging free are the green and solid black wire - buyers of the switch comment, "hooked it up and it ran just fine" - but the wires are not in the same pieces as what came with the machine.  I could buy an original ignition switch from honda but it's $50.

on a cheap ignition switch from amazon could I not split the white plastic piece open and replace w/ the correct wires in the picture? 

i'd likely have to resolder the wires on the switch itself and I can do this - would have to mark which wires go where but don't know if this tactic would be wise - i'd be out $10-12 if it didn't work - unless someone with a knowledge of electricity can shed some advice




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You can buy it and give it a shot, maybe blow a fuse, thats it. If it does not work then worst  case scenario i would clip the plug off and just use but splices and connect it the way it matches. I would not start soldering. 

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