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By Sarge McCoy
WHAT’S UP WITH MY TAILGATE?
I jumped at the chance to purchase
one of the first Honda Pioneers
available. For the most part, it is really
great. However, I cannot get my tailgate
to lay flat. The support cables seem to
be too short. Sarge, is it just mine or
is there a problem with the Pioneers?
I wanted to install a sprayer on the
tailgate, but I am afraid the weight of
the sprayer will put undo stress on it,
especially at the edge of the tailgate
because it will be the highest.
Fall River Mills, California
Private Jarhead, there is nothing
wrong with your tailgate support
cables. All Pioneers are like that. Why?
Officially, Honda isn’t saying. My take
on it is, they know the tailgate is weak,
and this tip-up stops most people from
sitting on it like a pickup truck’s tailgate.
The Pioneer’s tailgate will lay flat after
about 100 pounds of weight is applied,
and I have seen 150 pounds safely
applied. But, approach 200 pounds and
the tailgate will deflect downward below
level and it will kink at 250 pounds. To
install your sprayer, Boot, I would install
1 1/4-inch sheet metal extenders on the
tailgate brackets to get the tailgate flat.
Then, install 5/8- to 3/4-inch plywood
over the entire bed and tailgate. Bolt
this down and you now have a solid
surface for your sprayer. Fifty push-ups
for this tip, Boot, and we are even.
I GET NO RESPONSE
I currently own a carbureted Polaris
Ranger 400. When the temperature
outside is lower than 30
degrees, the machine
will start and idle, but
there is no response
from the gas pedal.
Once the temperature
warms up outside, the
machine will respond
as normal. What do you
think the problem would
Cabin Creek, West
Chicken, the most
common problem I see
with the carbureted
Polaris is not starting in
cold weather. That is why they went to
fuel injection. Since yours starts, I am
guessing your problem is either ice- or
lubricant-related. Possibly, you have
water or lubricant in the throttle cable
or the throttle shaft of the carburetor
that pivots to open the “butterfly”
valve when it freezes or sets up from
the cold. Because if the throttle cable
moves and pivots the throttle shaft,
the butterfly valve opens and allows
more air into the engine. This, in turn,
sucks more fuel into the engine and
the engine accelerates. This process is
not temperature-dependent; it is strictly
mechanical, and the only thing to
prevent this process from happening is
water freezing moving parts or lubricant
that turns thick or solid when cold.
When this happens again, see if the gas
pedal is actually pulling the inner throttle
cable out of the firewall as it should.
Next, you need to see if the other end
of the throttle cable is pivoting the
throttle shaft. It should be one of the
two that is not moving. I have always
liked Dri-Slide for cables. It goes on
wet, then dries to molybdenum powder
that does not attract dirt and is not
affected by temperature. Motorcycle or
bicycle shops usually carry it. Bicycle
shops usually have it renamed as
“Bike-Aid”. Boot, you just volunteered
for “chow runner” for midnight chow.
Be 30 seconds late and you will be
painting every rock lining the parade
I just picked up a used 2009
Kawasaki Mule 4010, the gas version,
with only 170 hours on it. We use it
mainly for light chores around the farm.
Everything was fine for a few weeks,
then we started having problems with
idle and sputtering, and sometimes
it even quits. At first I thought it was
the dreaded fuel-pump problem, but I
disconnected the fuel line and I get a
good flow. Sarge, it really seems to this
old farmer like a fuel problem, but I am
not sure where to look next. Can you
Davidson, North Carolina
Private Millstone, usually it is the
fuel pump that causes the operating
problems with that vintage Zooter.
However, I may have the answer for
you. If you have been feeding your Mule
gasoline with ethanol, you may have a
water problem. The factory location for
the fuel pump is in a lower corner of the
fuel tank, and this area tends to collect
water. I think you are running premix,
water and gas! You need to drain and
flush out the tank, and then refill with
non-ethanol fuel and add some dry gas
or similar product. Within a few minutes
of operation, I think you will see an
improvement. Report to the motor pool,
Boot, at 06:00. We have an ERO for 16
Humvee fuel tanks to be replaced that
are full of Afghani sand. You are just the
recruit for the job! Dismissed!
I CAN SEE THE LIGHT, BUT IT’S DIM!
My son has a Polaris Sportsman 90,
and the daytime running light is a joke.
Can you suggest something brighter?
When it gets dusty, he just gets lost in
the dust and I lose sight of him.
Barnes Corners, New York
Private Wheelweight, you can’t
install a more powerful conventional
light because Polaris only outfitted the
Sportsman 90 with a 32-watt alternator.
What I suggest you do is, install one
of the new LED accessory lights. One
of my favorites is the 2x 18-watt LED
Spot Work Light on Amazon.com. You
get two 18-watt 6 LED mini light bars.
Use only one unit on the mini Zooter,
which will draw only 18 watts, and the
6x3-watt Cree LEDs produce 1360
candlepower, or about the equivalent
of a 55-watt halogen headlight. Use the
other light for your Zooter, Boot. Both
you and your son give me 25 sit-ups
and you will then see the light! Laugh,
Boot! Dismissed! ❏