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Gentlemen,

If you remember my posts you know I was recently given a 1999 FourTrax by my father. It had sat for 2 years so I got everything cleaned up, rebuilt the carburetor (some new OEM parts), got it all cleaned up and polished, put it back in and rode it for a few hours. I also replaced the oil filter, changed the oil, put a new spark plug in, got a new battery and it fired right up. I got the idling and mixture all tuned up last night- no issues.

My son and I rode it around for about an hour today- no issues. I turned it off, was messing with fuel petcock and was watching the in-line fuel filter and then noticed it wasn't full. I turned it off, and tried to start it again and then smelled gas, but it did start. It started and would idle but the fuel filter (in line) never got "full." I pushed the "cold start" button to see if I could draw fuel out of the filter/gas tank and it didn't happen.

Now, here is where I have some questions because I'm not sure what to do next:

1. I put a brand new IMS (plastic) gas tank on it because the OEM one was full of rust and I wasn't sure about refinishing it. It does NOT have a 1 way valve on it, and I didn't put enough gas in it to run the petcock in the "ON" position. I could still run the ATV while on reserve with no issues. I noticed I started having issues when I messed with the petcock and put it in the "ON" position and then switched back to "RES."

Did I do something to the vacuum in the tank and put air in the fuel line somehow when I moved the petcock position around?

2. Could it be that I cracked the rubber baffle that hold the needle? It was fine when I took it out, and I made sure I didn't get any carb cleaner on the actual rubber part when I cleaned it. I took a paper towel and sprayed carb cleaner on the paper towel, and then wiped the plastic part with the paper towel.

Did I crack or rip the rubber gasket that holds the needle and need to replace that?

3. I tried to "pump" the cold start pump and didn't get anything out of that either. That wasn't cracked or ripped so I re-installed that.

Is it possible that I need to replace this as well?

Where I am at now is way beyond my expertise, and I need your help. I have some pics below so you can see what my problem is/are.

I would really any appreciate any help you can give me.

-Ryan
 

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You still have the old tank?
New tank has a vent?
Fill the old tank with vinegar and a pound of BBs. Shake the BBs and vinegar around as often as you can for about 3-4 hours. This will help knock off the rust.
Don't let the vinegar come into contact with paint or rubber for a long time. Short time no problem
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You still have the old tank?
New tank has a vent?
Fill the old tank with vinegar and a pound of BBs. Shake the BBs and vinegar around as often as you can for about 3-4 hours. This will help knock off the rust.
Don't let the vinegar come into contact with paint or rubber for a long time. Short time no problem
The new tank DOES have a vent through the cap. I just don't have the 1 way valve on it yet because I thought it came with one, but didn't. I really like the new fuel tank, I was just curious if that had something to do with it.

After some reading last night, I realized that I'm missing- what the manual calls- a "vent tube" on the part that is/was sputtering fuel.
@fishfiles and @shadetree- would you guys have any idea?
 

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This is a fourtrax 300 if assuming? Where is fuel 'sputtering' from? The vent/breather on the left side of the carb or the overflow at the bottom of the carb/float bowl?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This is a fourtrax 300 if assuming? Where is fuel 'sputtering' from? The vent/breather on the left side of the carb or the overflow at the bottom of the carb/float bowl?
Correct- '99 Honda Fourtrax 300

In the bottom picture, in the attachments/pics I added, you can see it there.

It was not coming from the "overflow" at the bottom of the carb, gas was coming out of the top at the vent/breather on the left side of the carb. After reading the manual last night, I realized I was missing a tube that connects to that, but gas was coming OUT of the vent/breather tube.
 

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This is a fourtrax 300 if assuming? Where is fuel 'sputtering' from? The vent/breather on the left side of the carb or the overflow at the bottom of the carb/float bowl?
Correct- '99 Honda Fourtrax 300

In the bottom picture, in the attachments/pics I added, you can see it there.

It was not coming from the "overflow" at the bottom of the carb, gas was coming out of the top at the vent/breather on the left side of the carb. After reading the manual last night, I realized I was missing a tube that connects to that, but gas was coming OUT of the vent/breather tube.
regardless as to which vent line or place fuel is leaking from ?, your float needle is not sealing.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This is a fourtrax 300 if assuming? Where is fuel 'sputtering' from? The vent/breather on the left side of the carb or the overflow at the bottom of the carb/float bowl?
Correct- '99 Honda Fourtrax 300

In the bottom picture, in the attachments/pics I added, you can see it there.

It was not coming from the "overflow" at the bottom of the carb, gas was coming out of the top at the vent/breather on the left side of the carb. After reading the manual last night, I realized I was missing a tube that connects to that, but gas was coming OUT of the vent/breather tube.
regardless as to which vent line or place fuel is leaking from ?, your float needle is not sealing.
Got it. I was thinking about ordering a bunch of new "parts" for the carb other than what I've already ordered just so I know it's completely new. I'll put that on the list. So float needle, that's the needle with the rubber part on the bottom that goes under the float OR is it the main needle? The main needle was a little rough, so I sanded it with super fine sand paper and polished it, but I'll just replace it. Awesome! I'll just go ahead and replace the whole thing...

If it's the float needle under the bowl, I replaced that with a "Moose Racing" one, but I can go ahead and get an OEM one just to make sure.

I just wanted to make sure you guys didn't think it was the fuel filter- because I know guy have had fuel filters air lock before.
 

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Before you go ahead and replace everything take a cotton bud and some toothpaste and try polishing the needle valve seat, sometimes it works.
 

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Before you go ahead and replace everything take a cotton bud and some toothpaste and try polishing the needle valve seat, sometimes it works.
sometimes this works ..sometimes it does not, but most times it does..good tip !.
 

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Correct- '99 Honda Fourtrax 300

In the bottom picture, in the attachments/pics I added, you can see it there.

It was not coming from the "overflow" at the bottom of the carb, gas was coming out of the top at the vent/breather on the left side of the carb. After reading the manual last night, I realized I was missing a tube that connects to that, but gas was coming OUT of the vent/breather tube.
regardless as to which vent line or place fuel is leaking from ?, your float needle is not sealing.
Got it. I was thinking about ordering a bunch of new "parts" for the carb other than what I've already ordered just so I know it's completely new. I'll put that on the list. So float needle, that's the needle with the rubber part on the bottom that goes under the float OR is it the main needle? The main needle was a little rough, so I sanded it with super fine sand paper and polished it, but I'll just replace it. Awesome! I'll just go ahead and replace the whole thing...

If it's the float needle under the bowl, I replaced that with a "Moose Racing" one, but I can go ahead and get an OEM one just to make sure.

I just wanted to make sure you guys didn't think it was the fuel filter- because I know guy have had fuel filters air lock before.
float needle valve has the rubber tip :).
 

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^^^
There may have been some dirt or manufacturing residual in the petcock or hose and now maybe preventing the float needle from closing completely
Did you use the old petcock? They have a strainer basket built in--see that nut on the bottom--it's a removable bowl. Usually catches heavier particles but not fuel hose bits.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
regardless as to which vent line or place fuel is leaking from ?, your float needle is not sealing.
Got it. I was thinking about ordering a bunch of new "parts" for the carb other than what I've already ordered just so I know it's completely new. I'll put that on the list. So float needle, that's the needle with the rubber part on the bottom that goes under the float OR is it the main needle? The main needle was a little rough, so I sanded it with super fine sand paper and polished it, but I'll just replace it. Awesome! I'll just go ahead and replace the whole thing...

If it's the float needle under the bowl, I replaced that with a "Moose Racing" one, but I can go ahead and get an OEM one just to make sure.

I just wanted to make sure you guys didn't think it was the fuel filter- because I know guy have had fuel filters air lock before.
float needle valve has the rubber tip :).
Perfect! If I can't get this to seal, would I be looking at having to get a whole new carb? I don't mind doing what it needs to be done, I just want to do it right.

Also, I ordered a K&N Fuel Filter for it to see if that does anything for it...

The hard part is- it ran fantastic the hour my son and I were on it and I got it tuned up perfect the night before we rode it!

I just really want this to be "ol' reliable" like it once was.
 

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Got it. I was thinking about ordering a bunch of new "parts" for the carb other than what I've already ordered just so I know it's completely new. I'll put that on the list. So float needle, that's the needle with the rubber part on the bottom that goes under the float OR is it the main needle? The main needle was a little rough, so I sanded it with super fine sand paper and polished it, but I'll just replace it. Awesome! I'll just go ahead and replace the whole thing...

If it's the float needle under the bowl, I replaced that with a "Moose Racing" one, but I can go ahead and get an OEM one just to make sure.

I just wanted to make sure you guys didn't think it was the fuel filter- because I know guy have had fuel filters air lock before.
float needle valve has the rubber tip :).
Perfect! If I can't get this to seal, would I be looking at having to get a whole new carb? I don't mind doing what it needs to be done, I just want to do it right.

Also, I ordered a K&N Fuel Filter for it to see if that does anything for it...

The hard part is- it ran fantastic the hour my son and I were on it and I got it tuned up perfect the night before we rode it!

I just really want this to be "ol' reliable" like it once was.
if you have to buy a new carb ?..BUY OEM CARB FROM HONDA !..won't be cheap ?..but worth the time for sure !.
 
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If it's the float needle under the bowl, I replaced that with a "Moose Racing" one, but I can go ahead and get an OEM one just to make sure.

I just wanted to make sure you guys didn't think it was the fuel filter- because I know guy have had fuel filters air lock before.
Put your OEM original float valve back in the carb and you'll fix it! Aftermarket carb kits contain china garbage parts. Use only the gaskets and rubber o-rings from those cheap kits, no matter who claims to make them.

Have fun with it
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If it's the float needle under the bowl, I replaced that with a "Moose Racing" one, but I can go ahead and get an OEM one just to make sure.

I just wanted to make sure you guys didn't think it was the fuel filter- because I know guy have had fuel filters air lock before.
Put your OEM original float valve back in the carb and you'll fix it! Aftermarket carb kits contain china garbage parts. Use only the gaskets and rubber o-rings from those cheap kits, no matter who claims to make them.

Have fun with it
I'll definitely try this! I also got a K&N Inline Fuel filter, so hopefully maybe the difference in that from the cheaper inline fuel filter will keep it from getting some type of air-lock. I'll put the OEM one back in it and see what happens. Never hurts to try that... I was just reading somewhere that the float needle gets "worn out" and the rubber stops sealing, so I thought that the "new one" would help- guess not...

I DID get it started with the old OEM float needle when I was diagnosing issues, so I guess I can put that in and see what happens before I get the new carb in it.

I did order a new OEM carb- just in case- it doesn't work so we'll be good AND/OR I'll have the new carb in case I decide to buy a new Fourtrax one day and it needs one...

Thank you guys for all your help. Sincerely, thank you.
 

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Retro, good call I was going to suggest he rebuild the carb with a QUALITY rebuild kit all the way. Sounds like major corner cutting was done.
 
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Retro, good call I was going to suggest he rebuild the carb with a QUALITY rebuild kit all the way. Sounds like major corner cutting was done.
I thought the "Moose Racing Kit" would be alright, but definitely learned my lesson. OEM from now on. I'm THINKING about ordering some new OEM pieces just so I'll have them on hand and can keep it running for another 20 years...

Thanks for all your help Gents. I REALLY appreciate it.

-Ryan
 

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They are all china garbage nowadays except for Genuine Shindy and Genuine Honda. Note that I use the word "Genuine"... china thieves have made inclusion of that word necessary in every conversation nowadays too. :-(

Thanks for sticking with it and thanks for letting us know you fixed it!

EDIT: I should add... china made fuel filters are garbage too, no telling what you might get. I took a new one off from a farmers haybine while it was stranded in my field a while back and could barely force anything through it. It was brand new... I took him back to his place and we dug the old filter out of the trash and fixed it.
 

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They are all china garbage nowadays except for Genuine Shindy and Genuine Honda. Note that I use the word "Genuine"... china thieves have made inclusion of that word necessary in every conversation nowadays too. :-(

Thanks for sticking with it and thanks for letting us know you fixed it!

EDIT: I should add... china made fuel filters are garbage too, no telling what you might get. I took a new one off from a farmers haybine while it was stranded in my field a while back and could barely force anything through it. It was brand new... I took him back to his place and we dug the old filter out of the trash and fixed it.
Thanks @retro

I will definitely let you guys know what happens and what comes out of it. I just hope I saved the OEM one and didn't throw it away! If I did, I'll just pull the one out of the new carb and put it on there and see what happens.

Thank you for helping me get through this!

My son and I are planning on riding it tomorrow- barring I can get it fixed!
 

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**Trip/Carb Fix Report**

Gentlemen,

As you know, I ordered a brand new carburetor (OEM) because the float needle on the carb I rebuilt wasn't sealing. I used the "Moose Racing" rebuild kit, but learned my lesson on using cheap parts and not OEM parts for these repairs. I was going to pull the float needle out of the brand new carb and put it in the "already rebuilt" carb, but the new carb came new with the complete assembly, so I just literally did a 1 for 1 swap. After doing the swap... It ran FLAWLESSLY!

My son and I ran it for an hour with absolutely no issues, until it ran out of gas! I didn't fill the tank up all the way, and we were having so much fun on it that I forgot it was on "RES"... Good thing we were right by the house! It starts perfect, and I didn't even have to choke it, coax it, give it throttle or anything to get it to start. I literally just pushed the start button and started immediately! It runs absolutely perfect, just like it did when we bought it 17 years ago! My dad looked at me after we did it and said "this will run you another 20 years if you want to keep it that long, and I would take this thing anywhere now" when we put the new carb in it and fired it right up. I looked at him and said "are you sure you still want to give it to me?" He said: "absolutely, it's yours. I'm just really glad that you got it running and it's old reliable again- like it always was."

Oh, I almost forgot... I replaced the "el cheapo" in-line fuel filter with a K&N fuel filter and it works great. If you're looking to get an in-line filter on your quad, I'd definitely recommend the K&N. Like @retro said- you want to avoid the cheap china parts, because I've found (and read on here multiple times as well) that the fuel filter itself can literally just stop working and you're looking at a fuel lock, no flow type of situation.

Thanks guys for all your help.
 
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