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Another one back from the dead (1997 King Quad 300 LT-FWDX)


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Gotta love Facebook Marketplace, and the crackheads that you can buy things from on there... kqfbad-jpg.21525


Naturally, I'm like "Hook up the trailer, let's go get this pile of eBay parts!" and hauled ass to this dude's house with 3 crisp Benjamins to wave under his nose. Showed up about 20 minutes early to find him and his buddy hastily reassembling the pile of plastics into a semi-presentable quad, using some real sweet bulk bin galvanized hex bolts from Tractor Supply Racing Co.

Looked it over and handed him the three bills in exchange for a transferrable registration from 11 years ago, and a STACK of handwritten bills of sale from the last 11 years, since apparently no one has gotten it functional (for long). Average ownership period ranges from 6 months to 2 years. Fingers crossed, lads!



Got it home, and hit it with a healthy dose of bike wash and the pressure washer, more bike wash, a lot of scrubbing, and more pressure washing to get years worth of crud off of it. The entire left side of the crankcase was covered in an eighth inch of caked oil mud, as though there had been a catastrophic loss of oil at some point in the past, because it was nowhere near the drain or fill holes. Totally opposite side. Managed to find the VIN hiding in there and ran it for giggles.



PO mentioned that he "had it running at the beginning of the season, but it was 'rough' " and that he had cleaned the carb, but it didn't help much. And now it just plain wouldn't fire at all. Kind of threw his hands up and shrugged.  So, after cleaning it up enough to turn wrenches without looking like a Texas oilman, I took off the plastics and started poking around. Found a few fishy spots in the harness where previous attempts at repairs had been shoddily made and hidden with black tape. Sorted those out, drained and filled with fresh oil and a filter, and hooked up a battery. Turned the key, got a green light, hit the starter switch and got a little grunt and squeak out of it, then nada. No light, no nothing. Pulled out the DeOxIt D5 and started pulling apart all the connectors and giving them the business. put everything back together again, turned the key, got green light, and starter cranked! Then nothing again. Started fiddling with the wiring and connections while watching the green light, and saw a flicker when I bumped the 25A fuse holder. Gave it a squeeze, and sure enough, the light came on. Thing was full of powdered remains of spade terminals, so I installed a NOS replacement model from RADIO SHACK that had been swimming around in my toolbox for nigh a decade. Sure of my fix, I tried the starter again, and NOTHING again. More fiddling revealed that the OTHER fuse holder (15A) was the same. Homebrewed another fuse holder from spade connectors and shrink tubing, hooked it all up and everything was good.


Now that I could crank it, I poured a couple cups of gas in the tank and pulled the plug to check for spark. Good blue spark, once I cleaned up the theretofore fouled plug and gapped it. Screwed it back in, with a healthy dose of ether, and gave it a crank. Not even a wheeze or a sputter. Off with the carb!




So, I think our old friend PO has a drastically different definition of "carb cleaning" than I do. I'm thinking maybe he wiped down the OUTSIDE of the thing, and was shocked that it had little to no result. That white stuff is a combination of powdered aluminum oxide and near-varnish fuel. Has the consistency of slight dried mayonnaise or white library paste, but no pleasant wintergreen aroma to match.   A quick perusal of the Amazon bargain bin turned up a carb (BST31SS) and non-vacuum petcock for $25, with a caveat that the carb required minor modifications to fit. Four days and a lot of sandblasting and surface prep on the plastics while I waited, the carb arrived today and I drilled out the ferrules for the choke and throttle cables to accept slip-fit cables instead of thread-ins. Other than that, the only difference was a lack of one vacuum port for the petcock, which I had anticipated and purchased a regular old one with no vac diaphragm in it. Safety first, amirite?


Now with definite spark, and reliable fuel delivery, I started cranking and fiddling with the idle and air screws, managed to get it to fire up - almost literally~ There was a LOT of smoke coming from near the exhaust port on the head, thought I had loose header studs for a minute, then realized it was just more of the old oil mud I had missed while cleaning, burning off between the fins on the head and the exhaust heat shield.


First fire up - lots of smoke


While I was changing the oil, I took the opportunity to pull off the access covers and adjust the clutch and valve lash, so I was feeling OK about running it a little more. Got the idle and mixture set a bit better and decided to test out the transmission and shifting a little.


Testing reverse


Realized I left the parking brake set, so it stalled out. Oops.  Another thing I did while waiting for Brown Suit Santa to bring my carb was to remove the diff lockout pin from the shifting mechanism and I wanted to see if it worked. Here's the quad, up on the lift, minus the LF wheel (due to a seized cylinder I've since replaced) with range set to HIGH, and Differential Lock engaged. Worked like a charm. Had to holler at the dog who was camped out below the rear tire image.gif.dde6816ba86c8e78e8c51f09b0d5bef6.gif Dog under the tire. Again. I think she has a death wish. Or perhaps aspirations of being a jackstand in the pro-leagues.


Testing Diff Lock in High Range


Put the wheel cylinder in, (Dorman w38750 for a 1991 Geo Metro/Suzuki Swift was a precise fit and only $10) to replace this crusty POS:



put the wheel and hub back together, put seat back on and fired it up. Made sure it would start again after turning it off.


Long Live The King


All the repairs appear to have been successful all around! I took it out for a quick rip up the street and back, needs a little bigger main jet (it came with a 145 installed, which I swapped out for the 120 OEM spec, but it feels boggy at WOT, so I'm going to experiment a little after I get the airbox back together, but 145 seems like a big jump.


I'll try to post an update once I have the plastics all refinished and installed next week. Pretty sure it's going to be yellow, no camo or green bullshit for me thanks image.gif.6501082ad9d01ff1d98eea0fb637ab02.gif  Hope you didn't hate my post.

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A friend found one for me on facebook marketplace and I gave him a bottle of scotch as finders fee.  It was about the same price, same condition, same color and might even be the same year.  I tore it all down and rebuilt it and wouldn't trade it for anything.

Another thing I could recommend is a 6 inch fan on the brake-lever side blowing sideways across the engine.  It keeps my left leg warm in winter lol, but more importantly it keeps the engine cool so the ring gaps don't close and start burning oil.

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Already have a fan on the way, and some replacement valve inspection caps to try and stem the tide of oil leaking right onto the exhaust. It’s like a friggin James Bond 007 car with the smokescreen button 😂 Might just pick up a couple of the 250s cams and throw the other one in my Frankenquad (160 with a 230e motor swapped in, and a DG RCM neighbor annoyer) to spice things up ;) 

Threw a coat of paint on the plastics after a lot of media blasting and priming and sanding. JD Yellow from TSC Racing is a damn near dead ringer for the Suzuki yellow. 




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That rustoleum is good stuff.  I shoulda done that.  A buddy painted his truck bed cap with rustoleum bed liner and I must say it looks pretty good.

I did some experimenting with cams back in the day and the 250S is the way to go regardless what the application.  250S cam will spin the tires in donuts in higher gears than any other stock cam (implying more torque, not less).  I forgot the specifics, but it's a vast departure in terms of duration than the 230s, LT4WD, and 300 which are all pretty close to each other.

The 250S was Suzuki's answer to the Honda 250X.  They added decent shocks, a 7th clutch plate, 17mm piston wrist pin. +1mm intake valve, nice straight exhaust from the head, and just about anything you could think to do to the 230 aside from high comp piston.  The cam was no exception.

If you really want to get carried away, the first year of the LT4WD had ovate springs which are stiffer than both springs together in the 300.  I don't know why they did it since stiffer springs are really only needed for rpms, which the LT4WD was not.  But I've had my 300 well over 11k rpms so it's perfectly capable if the valves can be closed fast enough.

I thought briefly about returning to the original springs when I re-rebuilt the engine in 2019, but decided that they survived 7 years and didn't hurt anything so I may as well keep them.

If you really want to go hog wild, KZ1000 pistons will fit.  Then the problem will be finding studs strong enough to hold the head on.  That's where I stopped with my 250S build.  ARP didn't call me back and I lost interest.  Actually, the 69.5 piston (10.5 CR) I have in my 300 now will lift the head sometimes when lugging.  I can hear the gasket squeak.

Looking good man!  And I like your hilarious narration of the progression.  Looking forward to more posts!

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Just for grins, I sprayed a ziploc bag with the paint to test for cracking/elasticity. It held on REALLY well, and not until the bag was ripping did the paint even flake a smidge. Just need to track down a quart of clear from my paint guy with some "flex additive" whatever the hell that is... I mixed PPG Deltron system back in the day, and painted a crapton of bike frames, never heard of such a thing, but I never was painting plastic, so...  I figure it must be more common now with all the ABS bumpers and body panels. Gonna swing by and do some jawing with the guy tomorrow. But for the price, and considering the durability/flexibility of the paint - at $17 a quart its a BARGAIN. Clear will probably cost me 3x that. Oh, and for anyone so inclined, TSC also has 80 grit Aluminum Oxide blasting media for $11 per 50 lb bag, compared to $60 for the same product and quantity at Harbor Freight. Plus I picked up a roller chain breaker there. Tractor Racing Supply for the WIN.

Edited by Hagbard
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1 hour ago, JustRandy said:


I did some experimenting with cams back in the day and the 250S is the way to go regardless what the application.  250S cam will spin the tires in donuts in higher gears than any other stock cam (implying more torque, not less).  I forgot the specifics, but it's a vast departure in terms of duration than the 230s, LT4WD, and 300 which are all pretty close to each other.


If you really want to get carried away, the first year of the LT4WD had ovate springs which are stiffer than both springs together in the 300.  I don't know why they did it since stiffer springs are really only needed for rpms, which the LT4WD was not.  But I've had my 300 well over 11k rpms so it's perfectly capable if the valves can be closed fast enough.


Can't find the cams anywhere except from Japan at $160 a pop.  I'm searching thru parts diagrams for the springs you mentioned, but haven't found anything yet. Got a part #? Earliest I see for a LTF4WD is 1987, and all the valve springs listed show as being used throughout a large range of models and years, nothing specific to one year.


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1 hour ago, Hagbard said:

Gonna swing by and do some jawing with the guy tomorrow.

Let me know what you find out.  Getting paint to stick to plastic is a challenge.  I don't know how much elastomers will help since it could be more prone to peeling off in chunks instead of merely dings.  With plastics I've always kinda thought thinner coats are better.  The thicker the coat the more likely de-lamination will occur.


59 minutes ago, Hagbard said:

Can't find the cams anywhere except from Japan

Try Thumpertalk.  I bought one there a long time ago for $100 brand new.


1 hour ago, Hagbard said:

valve springs

The pic you posted shows it.  #26 replaced #27.  27 is what you want (the single spring).  26 is the dual spring.

I searched my email and found instructions to my buddy to be sure the part number is 12921-19B00.  He knows the guy who owns the suzuki dealership so I had him order straight from them to be sure I got the right thing.

This pic on amazon looks like it https://www.amazon.com/Suzuki-12921-19B00-Spring-LT-F250-LT-F4WD/dp/B079K715L5


The cross section is oval, hence ovate.  It makes the spring crazy strong.  The one spring is stiffer than the dual springs that replaced it.

I'd probably get the ones on amazon since the pic looks right.  It says the pic could be generic, but that's not a generic looking spring.

I'd hate to lead you wrong, but all the info seems consistent with the springs I have.  I got them in 2012 and that's a long time for my memory.

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I wanted to add that just because you can rev that high doesn't mean you should.  If you do, be sure it's under good load and you ease out of it or hit the next tallest gear before letting off.  If you drop the throttle closed it will pull the rod apart and punch through the case.  I've seen it happen twice on 230s.  The rod is under compression on 3 of the 4 strokes, so it's the intake stroke that wrecks the rods and that's usually from slamming the throttle shut which creates a hard vacuum.

Valve float usually limits how far it can rev so if you eliminate the float then there is no limit until something breaks.  Maybe that's why suzuki went with softer springs.

Just now, Hagbard said:

Ordered the last 2 ;) Good tip! I guess I have to set some alerts for 250S cams now.

Yeah I saw it was the last two.  Good deal!  Thumpertalk didn't have the cam?

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And BTW, thanks for the info about these OEM+ upgrades, I cut my teeth on MK2 VW's and that was like the essence of my experience - junkyard tuning with hot OEM parts from other VW/Audi/Porsche models that were pretty much bolt on, or a little jury rigging required.  I kind of got the sense that it *should* be possible from my experience hybridizing the LT160 with a 230E engine and seeing the similarities between those two, my old LT185, and the KQ300. The basic engine design is essentially the same in all of them, to the point where there must be some similar undocumented mods to be done.

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Wiseco piston - eh, I guess

Jardine exhaust - sounds like a tin can.

Uni filter - plain ole foam

new EK chain - looks like heavy o-ring chain

Sunstar sprockets - yeah so what

Kevlar belted tires - too heavy

OEM Enkei wheels - yeah ok.

None of that stuff really adds anything imo.

6 minutes ago, Hagbard said:

And BTW, thanks for the info about these OEM+ upgrades

You put so much work into your post and the restoration that I figured I'd do what I could to help.  And you're a few SDs out there on the verbal acumen and usually those types aren't so mechanically gifted.  A rare breed indeed!  I can't wait to see what wit you come up with next.

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I'm the type that can't just own something without modding it to make it better, more useful, ergonomic, or more powerful. I've done tons of searching on old forums, videos, etc. and come up with "basically you can do the start in gear mod and the diff lock mod and that's about it" everywhere I look. Only other thing I saw was grafting a Polaris 300 rear end onto a KQ. Seems cool, but like a whole lot of work to what end? 

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