Partzilla Live Q&A with John Talley – July 10, 2020

Welcome to another edition of Partzilla live Q&A, with John Talley and special guest Garrett Sifford answering more of your motorcycle and ATV repair questions. 

You might recognize Garrett from some of our YouTube videos, and in this live Q&A session he and John tackled quite a few questions about TRX/Rancher Honda ATVs, which once again dominated the conversation. Check out excerpts from Partzilla’s latest live Q&A session, and tune into our YouTube and Facebook channels every Friday at 3pm Eastern for the next edition.

Partzilla Live Q&A with John Talley 07-10-20

Partzilla Live Q&A Highlights – Honda TRX/Rancher ATVs

Honda Rancher TRX 350

I have an ‘01 350 Honda. I recently changed the oil and cut the old oil filter open and found a small amount of metal in it. Is that normal?

Garrett Sifford: If it was a brand new engine, and you just freshly rebuilt it, I would say yes, some metal shavings are normal for the break-in procedure, but this is an ’01 so you shouldn’t be seeing any type of metal inside the oil filter. 

John Talley: I’d be a little scared on that one. … how long had it been since you changed the oil in it? How many miles are on it, and are you doing in-between services? But I would definitely keep an eye on that … because if you ride it until it breaks, you’re going to be fixing a whole lot of other problems … You might be having abnormal wear on just one of the gears … but if you keep going, that metal is going to spread throughout the engine, get into the main bearings, your valve train, everything, and just eat the engine alive.  

My friend has an ’01 Rancher 350 with shifting issues. There’s an arm that makes contact with the centrifugal clutch when you shift, and it won’t engage due to not enough travel. Any thoughts?

John Talley: It’s probably not that it’s not enough travel as it is those arms that you’re talking about are actually clutch material, and they eventually wear down. It sounds to me like those “arms” need to be replaced. … if they’re wearing, then that outer hub is probably wearing as well … If you’ve got grooves that are cut deep in it, it’s probably time for both A and B to be replaced. If it’s just the material on the “arms”, so to speak, just replace those and you’ll be fine. And while you’re in there, I would suggest replacing the springs that are holding each one back as well, because they wear out after a while, and it gets ugly if one of those springs breaks because the different pieces start flying around and chaos ensues. 

Garrett Sifford: And a centrifugal clutch is a lot like the brake system on a car, caliper and rotor, it’s just reversed. So in a way the actual shoe is pushing on the metal, which makes it bite and make contact. 


I have an ‘01 TRX350 that’s been sitting for years. I installed a new battery, and  I’m getting fire to the starter solenoid but not getting a green light when I cut the key on. Where should I look?

Garrett Sifford: The green light is your neutral position switch, that’s the first place I would check. I think they call it a neutral start switch, and if I’m not mistaken, not sure if that model is electric shift or not, but if it is, another thing to look at is the angle sensor, which basically determines when the four-wheeler is flipped over on its side. It’ll kill fire to the engine, so I would look at your neutral switch and then your angle sensor.  

John Talley: And just for kicks, make sure the bulb has resistance in it, that the bulb is not burned out. I’ve chased that one before. 

Honda TRX400

The top end on my 400 EX is ticking. What could it be?

John Talley: Adjust the valves. And we actually have a video that shows you how to do that on that particular model. 

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





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