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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As I mentioned in my initial thread after registering here, I recently got an '86 Fourtrax 250 for $300.

Issues:
  • Blue smoke.
  • Runs rough/would not idle without stalling.
  • Front brakes go "to the floor" with no resistance.
  • Rear brake cable frozen with broken mount at rear wheel.
  • Valves sound like somebody beating on a trash can lid at idle.
  • Starter spins but doesn't turn crankshaft.

Then there are smaller things like a broken taillight lens, headlight held together with a big wad of duct tape, reverse lock doesn't work, some play in the front ball joints, and it doesn't look like it has been washed since it was new.

The good things were the frame was in good shape and the handlebars straight. The grips had no wear indicating a crash or anything. As filthy as it is, I wonder if the previous owner dug it out of a pond, though.

To date, I have:

Rebuilt the carburetor. It was unbelievably filthy inside after not having an air filter for no telling how long. Thoroughly cleaned carb body, blew out jet holes and tubes, and installed new jets/gaskets. Odd, though, my manual didn't exactly jive with the carb jet layout. On one tube there was only a small rubber stopper on the top and another tube, where the manual definitely showed a jet, didn't have anything on it. No threads or anything. The tube didn't even look like it went anywhere. Curious. I didn't have any extra jets left over in my rebuild kit so I crossed my fingers and figured it was okay.

Adjusted the valves. Intake valve had no clearance at all. Exhaust valve had too much. I got the rotor cap off but I couldn't get the timing cap off. I figured TDC by using a small thin screwdriver inserted through the spark plug hole.

New air filter and related hardware.

Installed new rear brake cable. Waiting for the end pieces that attach it to the lever at the rear hub. I'm going to have to use some JB Weld on where it mounts to the brake panel because the socket thingy has a piece broken off.

Repaired headlight case so that duct tape is not required. The clips that hold the lamp against the front of the frame were missing. At $9+ each, they can stay missing. Generous amounts of silicone adhesive inside the headlight frame holding the lamp in place.

Took front wheels off, inspected bearings, repacked the dust covers with grease and reinstalled. Cleaned several decades worth of dirt out of the hubs, bled the brakes, topped off master cylinder. Brakes still don't quite grab but I believe the shoes are pretty worn down. I'll either try the adjusting knobs or just wait and get some new brake shoes. I hit all the grease points with grease... probably the first time they've ever seen it.

On inspection, noticed that the starter gears were missing as well as the teeth on the armature shaft were stripped. Off to eBay! Starter/gears on the way.

The previous owner had overfilled the crankcase with oil. I have the oil and a new filter and that's going in these evening.

About the blue smoke. Haven't been able to check compression because I need one of those 12mm adapters for my gauge. It's on my list. My neighbor who is, among other things, a retired cart racer, recommended that before I get the whole cylinder/piston apart to first try a generous helping of AeroKroil (sp?) penetrating oil through the spark plug hole just in case the rings are stuck. It had sat, according to the previous owner, for five years without being ran.

After I get the oil changed I may try and start it either today or tomorrow. Hopefully it'll be better than when I started. This forum was a great help searching for tips.
 

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Sounds like you've did a lot of work to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's about all I've done in my spare time for the past week! Actually, it has been a pleasant diversion from the major home renovation I've been doing for the past 10 months or so. After I get the 4-wheeler up and running, I guess it'll be back to window, door, base, and shoe molding. At least my hands won't get as dirty... heh.
 

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I have templates if you ever want a graphics kit for your quad...
 

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LOL, my mistake. I was thinking 86 250R
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, folks, after changing the oil and filter, cleaning out the fuel screen, and filling the gas tank, the moment of truth arrived.

Rolled her out of the basement garage and kicked it over about two dozen times (still don't have the reduction gear for the starter) and it finally came to life. A little warm up, some tweaks on the carburetor pilot screw and idle speed adjustment and she's purring.

Ran across the back field a few times and into the woods a bit. Never missed a beat.

And not a trace of blue smoke.

Yay! A good running 4-wheeler for less than $600! For my purposes, running back and forth between neighbors houses, working on the homestead, dragging the occasional deer out of the woods, running down the hill to the lake for a swim, and my daughter putting around on it, it's perfect!

I'll still be fiddling with it. Gotta change the gear oil and still fix the brakes, reverse lock, and get my starter gears in. Everything else past that is pure cosmetic. I'm completely freaking out that the carb rebuild went well and I hopefully won't be needing a cylinder/top end overhaul. Does great for one's confidence as a shade tree mechanic.
 

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That's great, glad it's running good for you!!
 

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glad you got it running..if you need any advice on this bike..let me know.that was my first 4 wheeler..like you..i had to restore damn near everything..lol.
 

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Glad to see you back Shadetree.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I was a little premature on the "not a trace" part about the blue smoke. There is still just a trace coming out, mostly when revving. Noticed it yesterday afternoon when my wife was riding it.

When it cooled off, out of curiosity I took the plug off to look at it. It's only been on a few days and it was pretty black. Dry, but lots of carbon. When running, it also tends to idle fast sometimes before settling back down to its usual lope.

I suspect I'm running a bit rich? When I did the carb adjustment after rebuild, the service manual said to screw the pilot screw in until the engine stalled, then bring it back out two turns. Well, I hit the stop on the screw and the engine never stalled, so I just turned it out two turns from there. I put the needle washer on the same groove that the old one was on (the third one from the top).

Maybe I'll just trial and error it, bring the pilot screw in a quarter turn or so from where it is now and see how that goes.
 

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I was a little premature on the "not a trace" part about the blue smoke. There is still just a trace coming out, mostly when revving. Noticed it yesterday afternoon when my wife was riding it.

When it cooled off, out of curiosity I took the plug off to look at it. It's only been on a few days and it was pretty black. Dry, but lots of carbon. When running, it also tends to idle fast sometimes before settling back down to its usual lope.

I suspect I'm running a bit rich? When I did the carb adjustment after rebuild, the service manual said to screw the pilot screw in until the engine stalled, then bring it back out two turns. Well, I hit the stop on the screw and the engine never stalled, so I just turned it out two turns from there. I put the needle washer on the same groove that the old one was on (the third one from the top).

Maybe I'll just trial and error it, bring the pilot screw in a quarter turn or so from where it is now and see how that goes.
if you left that tiny o-ring in the air/fuel- pilot screw needle..you can screw it in an out all day..and it still will run rich ( this is the tiny o-ring you had left in your rebuild kit you mentioned )..lol.
 

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Glad to see you back Shadetree.
thanks helmut !!!..been really busy around here..been working on a '99 yamaha xlt 1200 limited jet ski ( my first jet ski ) and yes..it is mine !..lol..doing an over haul to it. baught it with a blown piston.cylinder, reeds, pretty much a nightmare ..lol.waitting on a carb rebuild kit now to come in..anyway..sorry i've been away..just working on this..and my other bikes has kept me out of pocket. oh..check out my new motor cycle..1986 honda rebel 250 ( YES..IT'S A HONDA !! ) ..lol...very nice bike..ex shape..only 6k miles on it..well..thats what the speedo say's anyway...lol..we all know those get changed out..seeing how's it's a '86 anyway..lol...anyway..i've got some spare time on my hands..figured i'd drop in and say hello...and give some good advice..good to be back helmut !..thanks 4 the wb !
 

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That was my first quad,my friends first,my sisters first and my nephews.The funny part is we still have it!I still have many parts for it.I bought it to pull wrecked odysseys out of the pit and grew to love it and quads.Put an oil cooler on it.You can use any trans or universal cooler(cheap) and the line connections are on the side of the engine already.It gives you a 25 degree difference and some extra oil to boot.
 

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dodge..those trx250's are some great bikes..they will run forever if you take care of them..most ppl back then just put gas, air in the tires..oil..and road the crap out of them..they never took the time to grease the front sway arm..adjusted the valves or anything..when they broke down..ppl just didn't know much about them..like you said...they are..and still are the best atv for all around doing stuff on.
 

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Nice bike, Shadetee!!

Yeah, the Fourtrax 250 was a good quad, I used to own two of them. They just keep running like the Fourtrax 300 and Fourtrax/Foreman 350.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You had me wondering so I screwed the new one out (didn't have to remove the carb) and checked. The new O-ring did get installed. I also looked at the old one which I kept. What was left of the O-ring on the old one was all squashed flat against the washer and very brittle.

I mean that carb was nasty when I first took it apart. There were pieces of dirt and what looked like old gaskets and rubber pieces everywhere in that thing.

I'm not too awfully worried about it at this point. It's running a zillion times better than when I brought it home. If it turns out to be fairly reliable mechanically, I may strip it down over the winter, sand/wire brush the frame and repaint it. There's rust everywhere. I really suspect it spent some time in water at some point in its life.

I did already take off the front rack/bumper assembly, sand it down, and repaint it. That part looks brand new... at least from a distance. :)
 

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You had me wondering so I screwed the new one out (didn't have to remove the carb) and checked. The new O-ring did get installed. I also looked at the old one which I kept. What was left of the O-ring on the old one was all squashed flat against the washer and very brittle.

I mean that carb was nasty when I first took it apart. There were pieces of dirt and what looked like old gaskets and rubber pieces everywhere in that thing.

I'm not too awfully worried about it at this point. It's running a zillion times better than when I brought it home. If it turns out to be fairly reliable mechanically, I may strip it down over the winter, sand/wire brush the frame and repaint it. There's rust everywhere. I really suspect it spent some time in water at some point in its life.

I did already take off the front rack/bumper assembly, sand it down, and repaint it. That part looks brand new... at least from a distance. :)
as long as your happy..i'm happy..lol..those trx250's are some great bikes..if you have any questions about it..just ask..i'm sure either me..or one of the guy's working here for free can give you some info..lmfao. ( psstt..i take cash only )..lol.
 
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