Partzilla Live Q&A with John Talley – August 28, 2020

John Talley is back for another edition of Partzilla live Q&A, answering more of your motorcycle and ATV repair questions. 

Quite the variety of ATV questions were asked in this session for Kawasaki, Yamaha and especially Honda ATVs, in particular Honda TRX models. 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 08-28-20

Partzilla Live Q&A Highlights – Honda TRX ATV Repair Questions

Honda TRX 400 

I have a 2005 400EX and I’m constantly putting oil in it. It doesn’t leak, and it only smokes a little bit when revved. Any ideas?

John Talley: Have you done a compression test on it yet? I’d like to know what the numbers are in there. When you’re saying that it burns the oil when you’ve really given it a lot of juice, that typically indicates you’re going to have a problem with your valves. Maybe the seals are worn, maybe the guides are a little bit worn, and it’s letting oil seep past into the combustion chamber. But without knowing the numbers first, I’d be afraid to point you in one direction or another. So if you would, pick up a compression tester, do a test, and let me know. If the compression test is inconclusive, before you go pulling it apart, if we really think it’s losing it somewhere either at the head or the piston rings, you may want to consider doing a leakdown test. I’m not sure we did a leakdown test on that particular model, but I’m fairly certain that we did an ATV compression test … 

I did an oil change on my ’07 400Ex and when reinstalling the oil filter cover, the long bolt wouldn’t tighten up and it snapped. I was using a 3/8th torque wrench and set it to 7 foot-pounds. What should I do?

John Talley: First question I want to ask is, what torque wrench was it? … The one that I use is a high quality one, but if you let it sit for too long, it’ll shut off and give you no indication that that has happened until you start ranking down and torqueing it in. And your internal torque wrench is saying “stop stop stop!” but it’s just not beeping. So I’d be curious to know if it turned off by chance, but to answer your question, now what do you do? … I’m not a big fan of helicoils. What I do like using are time-serts, and I’m afraid that’s where you’re going to have to get to. You’re going to have to get down to wherever those threads are, drill it out and then get a time-sert in there. 

Honda TRX 250

I have a 2005 TRX 250EX. I’m getting good fuel flow, it has spark and compression, and it cranks up but won’t start. I cleaned the carburetor and put a new cylinder head and piston and it still won’t turn over. I need help.

John Talley: Are you telling me it won’t turn over at all, or it spins over and just doesn’t want to start? Let’s go with the first scenario, that it won’t turn over. We need to look at the starting system itself. I believe on the 400EX, which is similar to yours, it’s going to have the same components. Go through, check the starter solenoid, check the start switch, make sure that the run switch is actually where it’s supposed to be … Always try to figure out the simplest thing first, but if it’s not that switch, look at your starter solenoid, make sure it’s functioning. You should be able to hear it click. If it doesn’t click, check the fuse for it and if both of those are still operating, then get out a test light and make sure that it’s transferring power from one side to the other, because I’ve heard the starter solenoid click, but the contact was burned on the inside … and that would not allow voltage and current to pass through it. If all of that is operating correctly and it does turn over but just won’t fire, look at your spark to make sure it’s actually sparking …

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


Why Partzilla?

Commercial Discounts

Special discounts for companies in the powersports industry


Government Sales

Discounts for federal and most state and municipal agencies