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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-11-2019 08:12 PM
wheelsquad Welp, here's where I take a healthy serving of humble pie... Ran the 400AT once with the cooling fan gizmo and knew right then I had to replace my valve cover gasket... Ordered parts, got them over the 4th, and put it in last night. Had my cousin's 13 year old son being my hands for the job while teaching him at the same time. Taught him very well that you can bend an intake valve on a push rod motor while re-installing the valve cover if the adjusting screw isn't exactly centered over the valve retainer.

So I had him over tonight and we got the head of now. Found a local guy who works at a machine shop that will lap in both new valves and check everything over and install and even vacuum leak check for $40 if I just get him the parts. So parts will be on order for that shortly and then it'll be in better shape than it has been in years. It's never burned a drop of oil, runs strong as it was new, and my cylinder walls look great so I'm leaving the rest of the top end alone. Pretty impressive for 1600 hours and almost 11k miles on the odometer (but probably 9k actual).

So more serious riding with the cooling fan gizmo delayed for a couple weeks...

And I know what NOT to do with installing valve covers now, as does a member of the next generation.
07-02-2019 07:23 PM
fishfiles Wilson Quote:
Told the wife last weekend to cremate me and sprinkle me down the trails with a 2nd line on 4 wheelers
This from you! DOESN'T surprise me @ aaaal and her response ?? Wilson

She is ok with it , my Dad wanted his ashes to be spread in Bayou St John where he grew up swimming in the bayou , the wife and I done it one evening , my Dad's nickname was Duck , when we went out on the bridge , 25 green head mallard ducks came swimming out to us as they thought we were going to feed them , now every time I go to the bridge , the ducks come around
07-02-2019 07:02 PM
_Wilson_ Great write up wheelsquad!

There were a few other blonde moments too... but thought I'd offer that lil' bit at least... for completeness sake. LOL!!! :-)
Ha! More like a very busy man! :-)

Told the wife last weekend to cremate me and sprinkle me down the trails with a 2nd line on 4 wheelers
This from you! DOESN'T surprise me @ aaaal and her response ??
07-02-2019 02:54 PM
fishfiles Take your time on me Retro , I have no plans of giving up on muddin' any time soon !!!! Told the wife last weekend to cremate me and sprinkle me down the trails with a 2nd line on 4 wheelers

I forget sometimes that I have two coolers stacked , you would have to think that the cooling capacity is double and then the fan is a automotive style and bigger ------ I'll give up my secret source for coolers , PowerSportsNation, they are very cheap , relocating the cooler and double stacking them was about the cheapest mod I done ------ there is a guy I meet off the net that has adaptors built from Banjo to pipe thread , makes for a clean plumbing job on a 300 , the 450 you don't need adaptors as there are hose barbs
07-02-2019 02:03 PM
retro Ya at low engine RPMs or at idle speed the oil temp drops fast when the fan kicks on. Rev the motor up a bit though and it sometimes actually climbs a tenth or two for a few seconds, then begins to fall back down. But the temp falls at a slower rate while the motor revved up, compared to idle speed.

So best I can guess is that the hot oil is spending more time inside the cooler at low/idle RPMs than at higher RPMs? Its flowing slower... More time in the cooler = lower oil temp when the oil exits.

Honda ATVs might benefit from a larger capacity oil cooler (or two coolers connected in series) if that guess is correct.

I gotta get another gizmo made so you can help us figure that out fishfiles. Hopefully get started on it soon. :-)
07-02-2019 01:40 PM
fishfiles I am glad you guys had a good time ---- I remember saying that I thought the cooler/fan drops the temperature fast and WheelSquad has some real data proving it
07-02-2019 01:21 PM
retro Thats a great review @wheelsquad! I'm glad ya like the gizmo and find it to be useful!

But ya forgot to tell the members how I forgot to plug in your headlight harness when I laid your front fender back in place. There were a few other blonde moments too... but thought I'd offer that lil' bit at least... for completeness sake. LOL!!! :-)

You're too kind and thoughtful... Sharp pointy sticks, along with a lil' yellin' and pointin' yer fingers at me seems to work the best. :-)

Lets design and build something else this winter wheelsquad. I'm sure we'll think of something that we might improve on. These gizmos will be boring to us in no time.... an' I ain't ever been to MN, The land of 11,000 lakes yet. :-)
07-02-2019 12:22 PM
wheelsquad So here's what I was able to learn just from one ride this week when it was about 80F out:
- It actually takes a lot longer to get the whole motor and oil in the sump up to max temperature than I would have ever guessed. It took at least 10 minutes on this particular easy ride.
- Now that I can see my actual oil in the sump temperature and how long it took to get there, I now realize I have been running my manually switched fan WAY too much over the last few years.
- 102C (the current gizmo set fan kick-on temp) feels really hot for an air-cooled engine down below you, but the reality is a good motor oil can handle quite a bit hotter. I'm going to stick with this temp but may play with the low kick-off temp more.
- Once the fan does kick on, it surprised me with how fast and efficiently it cooled the oil that is being sensed down in the sump. The temp began dropping almost immediately.
- Hot motors run better as long as it isn't overly hot. By running my fan too much in the past, I was working my alternator more than needed. But I was running it so much because I had no idea as to when I should and shouldn't have run it, so I thought I was playing it safe. In reality I was making it run inefficiently and taxing my alternator. This was evident in sometimes it wanting to die while idling on longer rides. No more guessing now.
- Since I can comfortably and with 100% confidence run my motor hotter now, my oil leak that only happens after being warmed up that has been present a for few years is now a much more serious drip. But this is a good thing! Why? Because before we installed the gizmo I washed the bike down well. It's always looked like a slow base gasket or case gasket leak after being warm to me, and no leak while off and parked. But since we cleaned it well and the leak was now more severe because of the higher operating temp, it is now obvious that it is a valve cover gasket and that's an easy enough repair for me to decide to dig into. Win!

Hopefully nature is kind to @retro this winter and a few others are able to benefit from this gizmo of their own. Is it 100% necessary for all air-cooled Honda's? No. But is it a better mousetrap? You bet it is. I can't thank the guy enough for a device that hopefully extends the life of my 400AT another decade. If you're reading this, do the ATV world a favor today and pay something forward, even if it's something small.
07-01-2019 02:14 PM
wheelsquad Click the image to open in full size.

Pretty incredible of @retro to go through all this, most of it selflessly on his part too. I'll type out my thoughts later tonight on how (awesome) this gizmo is working already.
06-30-2019 11:25 PM
retro Yesterday I learned that it takes me all day long to install a gizmo! We had it made in the shade in a very pleasant location though! We both arrived very well prepared too, 'cept for a coupla' oversights on my part... such as spare weatherproof connectors for the positive supply wiring being the biggest one... but @wheelsquad bailed me out of that predicament when he showed off his connector assortment... and let me play with a few of them with my soldering iron and shrink tubing. :-)

Now I'm one of those kind of guys who cannot work and talk (or walk and chew gum!) at the same time, so I kept loosing my place... forgetting to do things I'd just undone... ended up taking all day, but I really enjoyed working on that 400AT! Wheelsquad has a solid, reliable, well outfitted, easy to work on... and of course good running Rancher!

Those lil' oversights are all but forgotten already though, because I had an awful lot of fun yesterday! @wheelsquad is a very gracious host and a great man to talk to. He's super smart, has an incredibly interesting and varied background, he's knowledgeable and skilled as all git out... I could go on and on! My biggest regret is that we burned up most of our visit working! We didn't have time at the end of the day to just sit and relax.... to chat in unbroken conversation for a few. I'd enjoy another opportunity to finish our visit up proper. Someday... :-)
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