HERE'S HOW TO FIX IT -- by Sarge McCoy


Dear Sarge,

My Polaris dealer told me that if I purchase a new ECM, it is ready to go because it is the correct part number. I thought that you had to flash the ECM before installation or it would be in limp mode. I suspect that some of my operating problems are based on a bad ECM. I wanted to purchase the Digital Wrench software to do my own tuning, but they said it was for dealers only. Your advice would be appreciated.

Bret Davis

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Boot, you need to stop listening to obviously bad intel. When raw recruits start questioning superiors, there is a problem. Of course a new ECM must be flashed when new. Dealers purchase blank ECMs, and they must be programmed to your machine by Digital Wrench. It is unlikely you can obtain Digital Wrench from Polaris. It is a diagnostic tool for their dealers only. There is a group pushing the states for a right-to-repair law so manufacturers would have to sell all necessary tools and software to work on their machines. See for more information. Even if you could acquire the Digital Wrench software you want to use, you would have to have access to the Polaris Dealers IntraNet (internal to Polaris dealers only) to get an activation code that lets you make any ECU mods. Without that activation code, you can only do monitoring and no modifications. They have thought of everything to keep that diagnostic function for dealers only. Sorry, Boot, I tried. Dismissed!


Dear Sarge,

I own a Linhai 400 Bighorn UTV. Do you know anything about them? It drives fine, but it’s difficult to start, hot or cold, and it will not idle. When I turn the key to start, there is sort of a whine in the starter for about 2–3 seconds, and then the engine starts to turn over. It has to turn over for several seconds with full choke on (even after it’s warm) and then finally fires. When I increase the idle speed, it idles too fast to put in gear without grinding the gears. Basically, it idles poorly and is hard to start. Can you help me, Sarge?

Angel McNamara

Tyler, Minnesota

Private Mackey, of course I know about them. The Linhai is primarily sold in Canada. The company has a partnership with Yamaha, and its Zooters are simple, basic utility machines that work quite well. Your machine produces 28 horsepower.

Either you have really bad gas or the jets are plugged in the carburetor. To start working on your Zooter, I suggest you download the factory service manual here: Refer to Section 3.12, P3-64, for carburetor disassembly. Remove the passenger seat to gain access to the CV-type carburetor. P3-4 has the adjustment settings. P3-46 has the information on your starter clutch. It sounds like yours is sticking and then finally engaging. You may have to take your Zooter to a dealer, because you will need a flywheel puller to get the flywheel off. If you do it yourself, test the starter clutch by inserting the starter gear into the flywheel. Turning the gear counterclockwise, it should spin freely. Turn the gear clockwise and the gear should lock up tight. It’s possible that just removing the starter clutch and cleaning and re-lubing it may restore correct operation. Twenty-five sit-ups, Boot! Dismissed!


Dear Sarge,

I just got a 1984 Honda Big Red 200 three-wheeler from a yard sale and it hasn’t been run in about three years. I got it started and rode it around for a minute. When riding it, it smokes a lot and also only stays running with the choke on. How do I clean the carburetor? And, what else do I do?

Dean Stanton

Fairfield, New York

Well, Private Stand-Down, I am actually impressed you were able to get the three-year-old “semi-liquid varnish” to even fire! Smoking could very well be the old fuel, and running with the choke on will create some smoke. Try some new fuel and see what happens. That is, flush out the fuel tank and clean the carburetor per the Honda factory service manual available here:…it?usp=sharing. Even after a good, thorough cleaning, those little Keihins tended to plug up their air-bleed holes. I recommend replacing the carburetor. Now, before you get all upset with Sarge because I told you to requisition an unobtainable part (Honda has discontinued that part number), I will tell you that there are new carbs available on eBay, as well as replicas from Everest Parts Supplies ( When you have the tank off and the fuel dumped out, take a flashlight and check the bottom inside seams of the tank. That is where water always collected, and the tank will rust out there. Let the empty tank dry thoroughly in the sun to remove all traces of water before reinstalling. If there is rust, I would suggest de-rusting the tank and sealing it with the POR-15 Cycle Tank repair kit. It is available from Amazon here: And, don’t forget to change the oil with 10W-40. Also, check for mice in the airbox. If you find any, think dinner! Laugh, Boot! Only 25 push-ups, Boot, because I am still impressed you got that old Zooter running at all on varnish! Dismissed! 

Got a problem with your UTV? Sarge McCoy knows how to fix it.

E-mail your questions to him at [email protected]

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