Partzilla Live Q&A with John Talley – June 10, 2021

John Talley answers your live motorcycle and ATV repair questions once again in another weekly edition of Partzilla Live Q&A. 

Aside from general powersports vehicle repair questions, Honda ATV and Polaris ATV questions came up a couple of times during this session. 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. 

NOTE: This edition of Partzilla Live Q&A took place on a Thursday.

Partzilla Live Q&A 06-10-21

Partzilla Live Q&A Highlights – ATV Repair Questions

Honda ATV Repair

Is it possible to overfill the rear differential on a 2015 Honda Rancher? I had poured almost the entire 8 oz. bottle in before it came out of the weep hole. 

John Talley: I have run into this before. I can’t remember which model it was. I mean, you’ve got the differential and the drain plug, and then there was a large fill hole up top. But what I didn’t realize is there was an actual weeping hole, just a smaller bolt you had to pull and you just filled to that level. And so in that case, it is possible. For the 15 Rancher, I believe you fill it up to the level where the fill hole is. … go back to your service manual and make sure that it doesn’t have a lower fill hole or weep hole as you called it, that you may be missing. Just look on the side of it. … if you see a bolt on either side, it’s a little bit lower than your fill hole but not all the way to the outside where it’s part of the casing that’s holding it together. Chances are that may be what that is, but I don’t think that’s the case on the Honda.  

My Honda 400EX quad will hardly roll in gear with the clutch pulled in. Any ideas? 

John Talley: Well you’re actually pulling against the transmission a little bit. I mean, even when you pull in the clutch, it’s still going to have some resistance in there, so it’s going to be harder to pull, versus having it in neutral. And that completely disconnects the clutch from the rotating assembly and the crankshaft and everything else. 

Polaris ATV Repair

My 2016 Polaris 850 has 25,000 kms. Would you suggest a rebuild soon?

John Talley: No. No, I mean unless it’s acting strange, you keep going. We’ve got a Kawasaki Mule PRO FXT that I did a little work on this week, and it runs in between two of our primary buildings at this location. There’s another building about 1200 feet away and that machine has 21,000 miles on it, and I did a compression test on it and it looks fine. And all we’ve done to that thing is put a couple of belts on it, three sets of tires, and just oil and plug changes and oil filters and that’s it. And air filters, and that’s just your basic maintenance and that thing is still running strong. So no, just because it’s a high mileage machine, it doesn’t bother me at all unless the compression numbers are looking off or starting to sound funny, I wouldn’t change the thing. If it rides great and there are no metal shavings in the oil, just keep going. At 25,000 kilometers, it just may be getting warmed up. 

My Polaris 850XP starts, but with a slight rev you can hear a knock. Would a rebuild kit save the motor?

John Talley: I don’t want to caution you here but it’s probably not the engine what you’re hearing. What you’re probably hearing is knocking of the primary and/or secondary sheave in the clutch and the belt housing. When those weights and pivot points and springs and shafts start to get worn, when the belt’s just sitting there, when you rev it up, when it activates, it’ll clack. You’d swear it’s going to be in the bottom end but chances are it’s probably somewhere in your clutch system, whether it be the drive or the driven clutch. So, I believe we have a video of an older 850 XP that we replaced the clutch on that shows you how to remove the cover. So just go in there and take the cover off, crank it up carefully, glasses on, and take a listen then. I bet you that’s where you’re going to hear the noise coming from.  

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


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