Partzilla Live Q&A with John Talley – April 29, 2022

John Talley returns for another edition of Partzilla Live Q&A, answering your motorcycle and ATV repair questions.

Honda motorcycle and ATV repairs were popular topics once again. Check out some 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 04-29-22

Partzilla Live Q&A Highlights – Honda Motorcycle and ATV Repair

Honda Motorcycle Repair

I heard rumors that Rotella T6 oil is compatible with Honda CBRs. Is that true?

John Talley: I don’t know the exact formulation of the T6 Rotella oil. I know that the Formula SAE team up in Marietta was a big fan of the Rotella oil, and I happened to do some work on one of their engines. The Rotella T6 just felt too viscous to me. It was almost like snot. Now granted, the engine had exploded for a multitude of reasons that we won’t go into here, but I’d be a little bit leery of running that in my machine. If it’s been formulated to work with a wet clutch system, which 99 percent of the motorcycles out there have, the clutch is immersed in the oil. If it’s formulated to work with that, then great, have at it. I think there are better choices out there, and personally I would shy away from a non-motorcycle specific oil. It’s just that simple, but that’s just my opinion.

I'm running a 2005 CRF450R. I also have a stage 3 hot cam, but everything else is stock. I’m in North Carolina. What size pilot jet and main do you recommend? 

John Talley: Alright, well you’re basically at sea level like we are here in Albany, Georgia. With the cam, the stage 3 is going to open the valves longer and keep them further. In other words, it’s going to be taking a deeper breath. Now with the carburetor, that’s actually setting your air/fuel ratio, alright. It shouldn’t be required to change anything on the jets initially. I just don’t think so. It’s just taking a deeper breath longer, and holding it, and then squishing it. That’s what the cam is doing. As far as having to increase the amount of fuel with the air coming in, that really shouldn’t be changing. Because we’re not messing with the compression ratio, we’re just messing with the camshaft and with how deep of a breath it’s taking. So where would I start? With the stock settings, and then go from there.

Honda ATV Repair

I own a 2004 Honda Rancher that has gas leaking from the drain of the carburetor. I checked the drain plug and it’s installed and quite tight, as it didn’t move when I tightened the screw.  Any advice?

John Talley: Well here’s what’s going on in there. In your carburetor, of course you have that screw at the bottom where you can drain the float bowl. Inside that float bowl is also a brass pipe that comes up about dead even with the float bowl itself. That’s an overflow. So what happens there, is if you’ve got a leaking float valve, and I’m betting that’s what it is, instead of filling up your engine … Honda decided they’d rather just pee on your garage floor. Because then you hydrolock an engine and go to start it, it’s probably going to mess up your rings on a good day. Not to mention washing down the cylinders. So here’s what you probably need to do. Go ahead and remove the float bowl, take off the float, and then you’re going to have a jet in there with a little rubber tip. And I’m betting there’s one of two things. Either that rubber tip is broken, worn or cracked and it needs to be replaced, or there may be a piece of dirt up inside the valve seat. … You can get just that little valve as a separate part from Honda, or you can order a Moose kit, which will have a new spring, a new float, a new gasket, basically everything you need to get everything sealed up like it should. Because being a 2004, when you go to pull that float bowl out, that gasket is probably going to rip when it drops down. … If you’re going to order the parts individually, go ahead and get a new float valve and the gasket around the bottom of the float bowl. …

I have my timing chain and cam unhooked on a 2002 Honda TRX400 EX. When I line up the timing marks on the flywheel and the piston is all the way down, no matter which stroke I’m on, whenever I get the piston on top dead center, the flywheel timing mark is off. Any ideas?

John Talley: It really just sounds like you need to replace the timing chain, because it sounds like a stretch to me. It sounds like you’re hitting one point, and then it’s coming around and it’s probably off-center just a little. I mean, even if your chain is stretched that much, up at the camshaft, that translates to about that far [demonstrates distance] on your flywheel on your timing marks, so that would get you way off. I would be looking to replace the timing chain

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

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