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02/03 TRX350 Rancher won't stay running
A little background on myself: I am 47 years old and a master electrician. I have been a shade tree mechanic since I was a kid. I have always had old Farmall tractors, 50s-70s chevy trucks, old motorcycles and three wheelers, but never a 4 wheeler.
I have a 7 y.o. daughter and she expressed some interest in a 4 wheeler, but instead of going out and dropping $2k on a new japanese model, a while before Christmas I picked up a Honda clone 110cc chinese ATV of off the local C list for $50. It needed the carb cleaned and I got after the bad wiring harness with a pair of side cutters and eliminated all but the essential wiring and got it running for her. Shortly soon after, I tired of running alongside her, so was on the hunt for a wheeler of my own.
Just after Christmas, I picked up a $500 package deal on a complete 02 Rancher TRX350TM, (Rancher #1) and enough parts from an 02 and 03 TRX350TM to make another (Rancher #2) and have spare parts (including engine) left over (03 frame rusted out and someone cannibalized the 02 for some reason). I am trying to get the "complete" Rancher #1 going. I got it from a 16 y.o. kid who couldn't figure it out. The story I got was someone had redone the top end (overbore with new piston and rings a short while ago. He couldn't get it to run and advertised it as needing a battery and starter solenoid. Someone had recently installed a new knock off carburetor, but the oem keihin carb was MIA. I was able to charge the AGM battery with the AGM charger I have. It still wouldn't crank and I diagnosed it as a bad neutral indicator. I worked around this (temporarily) by grounding the green/ red wire from sensor. The bike would crank and try to run but sputter. I installed a new spark plug, drained the old gas, added fresh gas and removed the carb, cleaned the jets and passages with carb cleaner air and a tip cleaner I use for my cutting torch. The carb really didn't seem too dirty. After this it ran a little better, but still not well enough to even try and put it in gear. Since I was going to need a carb in order to try and get Rancher #2 running, I went big and spent $30 on a knock off carb through Amazon. I figured I would give it a try on Rancher #1 first. It runs better, will idle, but still stumbles and stalls when I give it throttle. I wonder if I should tinker with the idle mixture screw some. I didn't even think to check where it was set when I got it. Does anyone have any advice on getting this thing running? I am hoping it is a car/ fuel issue. I will be doing a compression test soon if it seems to not be fuel related.
Last edited by steveshow; 01-18-2019 at 02:26 PM.