TROUBLESHOOTING UTV PROBLEMS

— SARGE McCOY KNOWS WHAT’S WRONG & HOW TO FIX IT —

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

Dear Sarge,

Recently we purchased a very clean 2011 Can-Am Commander 1000 Limited. Love it, except for one thing—the factory radio has very weak reception. The previous owner stated it never was a “great” radio. If the day is just right and nothing is blocking any radio signals, we can hear the radio. Otherwise, the signal is weak with a lot of static. Engine speed or road speed doesn’t seem to affect the reception. Even with the switch in the accessory position, the reception is poor. I want to blame it on a poor radio. The dealer doesn’t have a clue as to the source of this problem. Do you?

Beverly Gartner

Rainy River, Ontario, Canada

Private Garter Belt, yes, I do have a clue why your Limited’s radio reception is so limited, but it will cost you some PT! Laugh, Boot! Some LTD radios were not properly installed. I would bet a month’s pay you will find the antenna wire coiled up and stuck behind the glove compartment. Sometimes there is no antenna connected at all! Remove the glove compartment and string out the antenna wire (thin white wire) under the dash and see if that helps. In case you didn’t receive the operator’s manual with your Limited Jensen radio, here it is: www.jensenmarinedirect.com/
downloads/dl/file/id/418/jms2212_owners_manual.pdf. Now, understand that Sarge is not a radio expert, but Jensen has 6-inch and 14-inch rubber external antennas that may improve your reception at www.rvpartsnation
.com. The 6-inch is part number X-JAN139 and the 14-inch is part number X-1181039. Maybe you should just consider enjoying the sound of your Zooter blasting through nature instead of blasting tunes! Laugh, Boot! Twenty-five push-ups, Boot! Dismissed!

IT STILL SPUTTERS AND WON’T IDLE

Dear Sarge,

Many years ago we purchased a used Honda TRX300FW, and we have used it on the farm for various chores. This past summer it started running poorly. My son found that mice had eaten a hole in the Honda’s air filter. I replaced it with a K&N, and it ran a bit better, but it still won’t idle. My son has turned up the idle speed quite a bit. Sometimes it will idle fine, and the next second it wants to die. Neither of us really understands what is happening. My son said you would know, so I wrote you for a solution.

Keith Danvers

Sidney, Montana

Private Dander, you and your son are living in a world where everything is computer-controlled and fuel-injected. You have to think back to your childhood when engines were equipped with carburetors, those mystical devices where fuel was sucked out of a well and squirted into a tube where it mixed with air in a combustible mixture! That meant the amount of air sucked into the engine had to be matched by enough gasoline to form a 14.7:1 ratio of air to fuel. When the mice ate a hole in your air-filter element, the resistance the air had entering the combustion chamber was reduced. That meant a lean mixture. Lean mixtures can cause an engine to hunt up and down in rpm at idle. When your son installed that K&N filter element, you mistakenly thought you fixed the problem. A trait of the K&N filters is they flow more air than a factory filter element. With more air entering the engine than the carburetor settings are currently set for, you are still lean. Have your son locate the idle mixture screw directly in front of the float bowl. Using a small flat-blade screwdriver, open the screw between 1/2 and 3/4 turns (counterclockwise) with the engine warm and idling. You should notice the idle smoothing out and the idle speed increasing. Now, turn down the idle speed to a stable idle that will allow you to shift into gear without the Zooter jumping ahead. Fifty push-ups, Boot, and send your son to a trade school that covers engine mechanics. He may have a future there.

THE BEARINGS ON MY ODES GO ROUND AND CRUNCH!

Dear Sarge,

I have a 2015 Odes Dominator 800 and am having a problem with wheel bearings. I have had the dealer replace the bearings many times, and they keep failing. The last time I replaced them with premium sealed bearings and they still failed. I am truly stumped, Sarge, on how to fix this continuing problem.

Dean Williams

Lewiston, Idaho

Boot, from what I know of this problem, it is not the bearings’ fault. You can install the world’s best bearings and they will still fail with this Zooter! The problem is either poor execution of the design drawings or poor drawings! Each knuckle has a machined bearing stop that the bearings are pressed against. With the bearings installed, there is a bit of space left that is filled with a spacer. If this spacer is not thick enough, the bearing will fail quickly. With the axle inserted and tightened down, this puts sideload (axial load) on the bearings, so the bearings are actually running egg-shaped. Ball bearings do not like side axial load. They prefer inline radial load. You need to do some serious measuring to determine what your individual Zooter needs for axle spacers. I have seen 0.02 inch or greater sideload. Also, don’t be surprised if you find the center spacer to be too thick, causing outward axial load. When you have your ball bearings running true, they run cooler and stay running a lot longer, Boot! Also, it is criminal to outfit an all-terrain Zooter with non-sealed bearings. Always use *-2RS style bearings! Boot, since you seem unable to do anything except the same thing over and over, you will be transferred to a fresh training company for another round of “basic learning.” Dismissed.

Do you have a problem with your UTV? Sarge McCoy knows the easiest and cheapest way to fix it. All you have to do is ask him. E-mail your questions to [email protected]. Put “Sarge” in the subject line.

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