Partzilla Live Q&A with John Talley – January 22, 2021

Welcome back to the another edition of Partzilla Live Q&A with John Talley answering your motorcycle and ATV repair questions. 

Honda ATV repair questions once again ruled another session, especially issues regarding the immensely popular TRX 400 model. Check out excerpts from Partzilla’s latest live Q&A session below, and tune into our YouTube and Facebook channels every Friday at 3pm Eastern for the next edition.

Partzilla Live Q&A with John Talley 01-22-21

Partzilla Live Q&A – Honda ATV Questions and Answers 

Honda TRX400 ATV

When my 400 EX sits for a while and I go to start it, it will smoke, then stop and it burns oil. What’s the issue?

John Talley: It sounds to me like either your valve guides or your valve seals are starting to fail or have already failed. Because when the machine sits still and it’s got oil on top of the galley ways up under the camshaft, it’ll just run down past those seals down the valve guides and kind of pulls up in the cylinder and when you first fire it up, it burns off that oil. The only other possibility is that it’s maybe getting a little too much blow-by and it’s blowing it into your intake, and maybe it’s pulling in there. So check in your air filter box and make sure that doesn’t have any oil up inside the intake anywhere. If it’s not that, it’s probably going to be your guides or your valve seals, one of the two. 

I have a big gun exhaust on my 400 EX but the muffler bolt becomes loose in it. I thought it would be the rubber seal inside the mount, but I bought a new one and it held up for 3 days, but the bolt went back to rattling. Any thoughts?

John Talley: Alright, if it’s a bolt back there that’s working its way out, I would say it needs to be addressed with a little bit of threadlocker to get it to hold in place. 

I recently noticed a blown cylinder gasket on my 400 EX. I’ve been riding it like that for a while, but I’ve got new gaskets now. Is it necessary to replace top end as well?

John Talley: No, you shouldn’t have to. Just be very careful that you get everything back exactly where it was, to even try to keep the rings, wherever they decided to seat. I know they still rotate on the piston somewhat, but just make sure you get it back together. But that would be the best time, if you have to pull it down, to maybe pop in a new set of rings. Just look at the clearance and look at the wear patterns inside the cylinder and see what kind of shape they’re in.

Honda TRX450 ATV

I have a 2008 Honda TRX 450 and I can’t figure out if I'm doing the valves right. I know that you should check on compression stroke, but I can't get it to start and it backfires. Any thoughts?

John Talley: It sounds like you’re going in the right direction. If it’s backfiring, that tells me that the valves aren’t shutting or closing completely and they’re probably out of adjustment. Yes, you do want to take it to the timing mark and put a feeler gauge on them to see where those lifters are set.

Want to see more live repair questions answered? See all of Partzilla’s Live Q&A sessions here.  

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