ATV Engine Rebuilds Q&A

Before you take on your first ATV engine rebuild, it's a good idea to watch videos of other rebuilds in action. Our resident ATV pro John Talley is no stranger to rebuilds, and he knows what it takes to get one done.

John does live Q&As on our YouTube channel every Friday at 3pm Eastern, and in this edition, he answers a couple of questions from our viewers about things that need to be done for Honda and Yamaha ATV engine rebuilds. 

ATV engine rebuild

Honda ATV Engine Rebuild

I'm getting ready to do a top end rebuild on my Honda TRX 400 EX. Is there anything in the valve train I should automatically replace?

John Talley: I’m betting the valve train might be ok. When you pull it down and take out the seals, you’re definitely going to want to replace the valve stem seals. But just get in there and feel it. If you put the valve in there with the spring off, and it rocks around a pretty good bit, you probably need to do something about that. Plus, it’s very difficult to measure the inside of the actual valve stem bore, but you can take a micrometer and just take a peek at the diameter of the valve stem itself to make sure it’s within spec. And for that, you’re going to need to reference your service manual, not your owner’s manual. One more thing. Look at the wear pattern on the face of the valves and see if it’s the correct thickness, and in the right orientation as far as the inner and outer. You want to head toward the center of the valve face itself, and that’ll give you another metric by which you can decide whether you need to replace the valves or not. 

Watch the playlist above to see how to do a top end rebuild on a Honda TRX400 ATV.

Buy OEM Honda ATV parts

Buy OEM Yamaha ATV parts

Yamaha ATV Engine Rebuild

Is there anything to do after rebuilding a Yamaha Raptor engine to get the oil up quicker so it doesn't run without oil for a bit?

John Talley: Well the biggest thing when you’re doing an assembly is to actually use assembly lube on all your different bearing surfaces. Beyond that, what I would typically do is I’ll crank the engine over five, ten, fifteen times with the spark plugs out just to prime up the oil system, especially if I’ve gone all the way down to the crank and everything is completely disassembled. It has to re-prime, so to speak, even though the oil pump is hopefully sitting in a pool of oil down at the bottom of the engine. But if you did not use any assembly lube, then that’s what you need to do. Just let the engine crank over and then fire it up. 

Watch the video above to see how to do a complete engine rebuild on a Yamaha Raptor ATV.

Want to see more live repair questions answered? See more motorcycle and ATV repair questions answered here.  



Why Partzilla?

Commercial Discounts

Special discounts for companies in the powersports industry


Government Sales

Discounts for federal and most state and municipal agencies