You can write to Sarge at Troubleshooter, ATV Action, P.O. Box 957, Valencia, CA 91380-9057 or via e-mail: email@example.com.
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By Sarge McCoy
GRATEFUL IN KENOSHA
Do you know of anyone who has used
Slime in their tires and what results they
have seen while having it in their tires?
Has it worked well? And when they
replaced their tires, did it do anything to
make it hard to remove and install a new
tire? I have been thinking about trying it,
but thought I should ask others before I
go ahead and do it. Any thoughts would
Private Chipmunk, Slime is quite
good at sealing small punctures in the
tread area of a Zooter tire. If you ride in
an area with thorns, then a tire sealant
is a must. Changing tires with Slime is
definitely messier than changing a “dry”
tire, but the Slime doesn’t really affect
the removal of the tire. It would, how-
ever, affect the installation of an internal
“mushroom” style patch. The patch
may not stick unless the affected area
is cleaned really well, Boot. Other things
Slime affects are noted below, taken
from the manufacturers of Slime:
“Will Slime affect wheel balance?
Adding Slime to high-speed tires, especially front tires, could result in vibration.
In high-speed applications, we recommend using Slime as a repair only.
Installing sealant in rear tires alone does
not, normally, affect balance.
“I’ve heard that Slime will ruin my rims.
Do not leave Slime inside your tires for
more than two years. After that time, we
cannot guarantee the integrity of your
rims. If pre-existing damage is present,
we do not recommend using Slime.
“What happens to Slime after two
years? Once Slime is installed into a tire,
it becomes exposed to different conditions that will slowly amend the original
composition of the sealant. To ensure
the product remains effective, we guarantee its performance for two years, at
which time we recommend removing the
old sealant and installing new product.”
OIL GUSHER ON THE
I bought an older, used Kawasaki
Prairie ATV for my daughter. The front
brush guard was smashed in, so I got
a new one for it. There is what looks
like a radiator overflow bottle with two
hoses running to it. I was told it is a
catch for the oil cooler that got smashed
and removed. I doubted that, but, not
knowing, I looked around and couldn’t
find an oil cooler for a 400 but found
and bought one off of a 300 Prairie. I
got it hooked up and took it for a spin.
I came back and decided to check the
oil. There was so much pressure built up
in the crankcase that it shot the cap off
and covered me with oil! Sarge, please
tell me what I did wrong.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Boot, there are some people who
should never work on anything mechanical. You are one of them! Here is what
you did wrong:
1. The 400 never had an oil cooler.
Stop believing everything everybody tells
2. The radiator overflow bottle is in
fact on a 400. The Zooter is liquid-
cooled and needs the overflow bottle
to keep the hot, expanded coolant so
it can be sucked back into the radiator
when the radiator cools.
3. You have the oil cooler return line
plugged into the crankcase breather!
Boot, you will be lucky if you haven’t
blown every oil seal in the entire motor!
If the crankcase can’t breathe, internal
pressure builds up until something lets
go. My advice is to remove the oil cooler
and sell it. Then, use the funds to have
a qualified motor pool mechanic check
over your Zooter for other pressure-relat-
ed damage. You will be on report and
reassigned to clerical duty for the rest of
your tour! Dismissed!
WHICH WAY DOES MY
My bike is a Kawasaki Prairie 400 4x4
and it’s snorkeled out. When I’m driv-
ing fast, oil squirts out of the crankcase
vent tube that’s been run up with the
snorkels. Is that just crankcase windage,
or do you think it’s because of blow-by?
And, how do I reduce the oil blowing out
Your “windage” has nothing to do
with the oil spurting out the breather,
and maybe neither does blow-by. And,
Boot, you don’t reduce the amount of oil
being blown out the breather; you eliminate it! A too-high oil level can cause
the oil separator to pass crankcase
oil. After checking the oil level for the
proper amount, you need to do a wet/
dry compression test. The first compression test is “dry” with the throttle wide
open. Record that number. Next, Boot,
do the compression test again, but this
time add some oil to the cylinder to seal
the rings. If the “wet” compression test
is more than 15 percent higher than
the “dry” test, that indicates your piston
rings are worn and passing combustion
gases into the crankcase. This blow-by pressurizes your oil, which is then
forced out the breather tube at higher
engine speeds. A top-end job would
be required to correct the problem. On
your face, Boot, and count off push-ups
until you are “windaged”! Laugh, Boot!