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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, I have two questions/problems I'm looking for help with. I have an 88 FourTrax 300 2wd that I've had for a little over a year. Bike runs great, always starts never had a lick of trouble until lately.

First problem is, I think the clutch is slipping but I haven't been able to figure out how the clutch system all works. My problem is not so much on take off but at higher speeds or when pulling a heavy load the rpms raise but I don't seem to gain any speed like it used to. I have adjusted the clutch with the screw on the side of the engine according to the service manual I have but it doesn't seem to make any difference. I did not notice this problem until after I pulled a drag harrow around for a while last summer so I think I probably glazed the clutch. However, what I don't understand is.. Are the two clutches? a centrifugal for take off and another one for shifting? I'm not sure which one would be in need of service.

Second Problem is a funny noise that the engine has made ever since I've owned it but never could figure out what it is. The noise sounds like "pinging" in a car engine combined with a rattle. It sounds like its coming from the top end of the engine and only happens when you drive at a constant throttle with a light to moderate load. Under WOT I don't notice it and at idle I can't hear it. My thought was cam chain? but I have no clue.

Anyway, sorry for the long post but, thanks in advance for any help.
 

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first off..that pinging nosie you hear..is your valves..you need to adjust them..and to answer your question on the two clutches..yes..one is for power take off..the other is for transmission..most honda 300's i've worked on..i rebuild the centrifugal clutch..but..seeing the age of your bike..your going to be in that side anyway..you may as well replace all of the clutch disk and clutch arm pads on both of them...kill two birds with one stone so to speak...you can try to just replace the tranny clutch disk..but..if it were me..i'd do both of them sinse the cover will be off..those gaskets aren't exspensive..but..no need in taking the chance in tearing it up twice..if you can get all your clutch problems fixed at one time :)..oh.and yer right about the nosie could be your timming chain..you can replace it if you want..but..a easy fast fix..if you don't want to tear into to it..is to take your timming chain slack adjuster out..get a piece of flat metal..wrap it around the end of the tensioner..make sure it will fit into the slack adjuster hole..then..before you try to slide it back in..crimp..or what ever you can do.to make sure it stays on the end..after you do all that..bolt it back on..yu'll need to take the center bolt out of the slack adjuster to take the slack out of it..takes a small screw driver to fit in..turn it as your putting the slack adjuster back in..this is to be able to get the bolts started..once you get it bolted up..start it up..and see if the pinging noise stops < this is if you haven't adjusted the valves first >..try all of this..see how it does...oh..make sure you get that metal crimped on good on the end of that slack adjuster..you don't want it to fall off into the engine :)..if you decide to just put a new timming chain in..and need any advice..just ask :)
 

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If I remember right the screw adjusts the free play for the shifter. I think you might need a new weight set on the clutch.
Someone correct me if that is not right. I'm getting old and my memory is not what it used to be.
 

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I like shadetree's answer better:D
 

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your correct sub..the screw that he mentioned..does in fact adjust the free play in the tranny clutch disk.and yes..he probally needs new weight arms on the centrifugal clutch also.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow thanks guys I didn't expect so much info just in the time it took me to get lunch. :icon_ rocker: On the noise, I did adjust the valves once last year and I don't recall how it affected the noise. Anyway I fully intend to adjust them again here soon as I prepare it for summer. I will pay attention this time to see if the noise goes away. Then if not for the time being I'll try the trick with the adjuster. When I do start to tear into the clutch would that be an easy time to replace the chain anyway?

As far as replacing he clutch(s) how difficult is it? I have a honda service manual and decent set of tools with what I like to consider decent mechanical skills. Its not bad enough yet that it really hinders the riding of it only if I have the trailer on the back loaded down.
 

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You are using a filler gage when adjusting the valves right ?? I would also get a good Honda manual for the model it will help out a great deal.
 

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Yes I did use feeler guages all I have are the straight flat ones though not the angled ones which made it a little more difficult. I'm not certain I got the lock nut as tight as it should have been though. I do have a honda service manual that the guy I bought it from gave me. Although it doesn't seem to be most user friendly book at times.
 

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As far as the slipping clutch, the guys are right about the adjuster. It don't really adjust for slippage. It only adjusts the clutch free play. If it's already slipping, all you can do is replace the clutch discs. Remember to soak them in new engine oil first, before replacing them. Speaking of oil. What kind do you use? If you use an oil that has friction modifiers, it will make your clutches start slipping. Use ATV oil designed for wet clutches.

If you are going to try the timing chain adjuster trick that shadetree mentioned, an old 10mm socket just fits on the end of the adjuster. You have to tap it on with a hammer, but it fits good and tight and shouldn't fall off. I have done this many times when I didn't feel like replacing the timing chain. It will take the noise out of the engine, caused by the loose chain. I thought I was the only one that knew about that trick.

Shadetree, do you know about the 10 cent front brake trick? If not, let me know and I will fill you in on it. LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter #10

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helmut..if yer speaking of putting a dime in between the brake shoe lining..and pivot armm..yeah..lol..but..i've always used a flat piece of metal..cut to fit in and around the pivot arm.., < this trick is when your brake shoes are still useable > and yer too cheap to buy new ones..lol
 

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fourtrax..if your gonna replace the clutch disk..and cintrifugal clutch arms...i do think it this would be a good time to replace your timming chain..and to answer your question about how hard is it to get the clutch disk and arms off..not hard at all..just make sure you have a shop manual to go by..otherwise..you may not get it back together right...lol..hardest part about the new clutch disk is..is stacking them back in the right way..if you get them out of order..your up the creek..without a paddle !..lol..as far as you setting the valves..make damn sure you got the piston on top dead center on the compression stroke !!!!..i can't stress this enough...i've seen alot of ppl put the piston on top dead center..but on ex stroke !...from here on out..it's all a matter of lining all your punch marks..lines..which ever is on the cam sprocket..after all that..put it all back together..and you should be good to go...if you get stuck on something..just ask :)
 

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helmut..if yer speaking of putting a dime in between the brake shoe lining..and pivot armm..yeah..lol..but..i've always used a flat piece of metal..cut to fit in and around the pivot arm.., < this trick is when your brake shoes are still useable > and yer too cheap to buy new ones..lol
Close, but not exactly what I'm talking about. I'm talking about putting the dime in the end of the master cylinder where the lever contacts the plunger. It fits in there perfect. This is handy when you're having a hard time getting a full pedal on the front brakes. Sometimes you can bleed and bleed and not get a good full pedal or lever. Sometimes even with new brake shoes, it's hard to get a full pedal. Just stick a dime or two back in there and you will get a full pedal a lot quicker. I know it's not the right way to do it, and neither is putting something on the end of the timing chain tensioner. These are just tricks you can use to you get around to doing it right. By the way, I'm just mentioning these tricks, I'm not recommending them to anyone. I can't be responsible if something goes bad. Use these tricks at your own risk. It's almost what you said shadetree, but the way I do it is a lot easier. I call this, the 10 or 20 cent brake job. It just depends on how many dimes you use. LOL.
 

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lol..agreed..use at own risk !!!...i only do them if i'm broke..lol..other than that..i recomend that everyone use oem parts !..now me..i'll use what i can to get by..until i fix it right..lol..as stated people..use at own risk !
 

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LOL you guys are a riot. :tongue: I totally understand about the "tricks" and its not the right way but it will get you by. Fortunately the only problem i have with the front brakes is the sight in the master cyl. is discolored and you can't see through it. Other than they work fine. I'll get the manual out I have and look through the clutch replacement section and see if there are any questions I have. It may be a while before I can swing new clutches so I may just have to baby it for a while. you guys know a good place to get all the parts? I usually order OEM from bike bandit but I'm thinking I'd like to go heavy duty with the clutches since I do tow and pull quite often with this thing.
 

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bikebandit is a great place to get parts..not only that..but to check out your bike to see all it's parts on fich !..as far as the front brake sight glass..if you want to replace it if it leaks.take a dime..and jb weld it in..works very good !..< only if it leaks >..other than that..if it's not broken..don't touch it ..if it is broken..it needed replacing anyway !..lol
 

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Those '88 models, like yours, is the best running and fastest ones they made. The '88 models had a bigger cam. '89 and up had a milder cam and are slower than the '88 models. I just sold one, not too long ago.
 

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So for like 30 cents you can totally overhaul the front brakes? HAHA Its not broken, and it don't leak just can't see through it. I'm not touching it till it drips.:tongue:
 

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bikebandit is a great place to get parts..not only that..but to check out your bike to see all it's parts on fich !..as far as the front brake sight glass..if you want to replace it if it leaks.take a dime..and jb weld it in..works very good !..< only if it leaks >..other than that..if it's not broken..don't touch it ..if it is broken..it needed replacing anyway !..lol
LOL. The old dime hits the scene again. I'm starting to believe the dime is more useful than duct tape. LOL.
 
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