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Hi.

My family bought a Phoenix a couple of years ago for us togo riding with. It’s worked for the past couple of year just fine with no issues, other than we had a similar issue to the one we have now.

When I was our trail riding with a friend, who was on the vehicle at the time, it stalled. We hooked it up to the jumper cables after it not starting from the battery alone, and still nothing. My older brother who is a mechanic told us to take the air filter out, and that did nothing, except reveal a horrible gasoline smell on the filter and some liquid sitting in the bottom of the air filter box. We let it sit to see if all it needed was to cool down, and it miraculously started. But after a minute of trying to get it home, it started to bog down when given gas. We sat it off the to side and got it later. After that, I would continuously work to get it running again. It would run for around ten minutes and then die. If I turned the reserved fuel on however, it ran. The very first time starting it after getting it home, it ran for a good hour or so, but then it started to bog down again. After many failed attempts to start it and take off the plastic encasing that I inevitably broke trying to get those dumb screws out, I finally decided to put it in reserve and try that. It actually ran. It ran long enough for me to get the battery charged by just the alternator. After that, I tried to start it another day, but the starter got stuck even when I turned the key off. It just kept turning the flywheel but not allowing the engine to run, probably because the key was off. I eventually gave up and disconnected the positive terminal to the battery. I’m not sure if that could’ve messed something up because I didn’t take the negative one off, but oh well.

Now it’s middle of winter, and I know a few things: 1.) It needs a new battery, 2.) It needs a new air filter and 3.) I think I need to clean the carburetor. I’m not sure what everyone else’s opinion on this is, but I feel like the carb needs cleaned. We’ve never cleaned it before, and that “gasoline” in the air filter didn’t seem like a good sign. If I do need to clean the carb, how do you recommend I go about doing it? What should I soak the carburetor in to clean it, and how will I know what is what? I have another 4-stroke engine that we don’t use, so I can test it out on that carb first so I at least know a little bit about what I’m doing. Do you guys have any other idea of what might be causing this? It’s weird to me how it runs on reserve fuel, but not the “on” fuel. The gas is also filled the whole way. If you guys have any suggestions of what to do, I’d be happy to hear them!

Also, the Kickstarter broke and I need a new one. The old one is currently stuck on the starter because the bolt broke inside the kicker. I need to know how to remove it, and where I can find a new kickstarter. Thanks!
 

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One thing at a time; what kind of a mechanic is your brother? Submarine?

An ATV is not a submarine and while most gasoline engines have all the same parts and operate by the same principles, an auto mechanic does not make a good ATV mechanic. My older brother is a journeyman auto mechanic and he taught me mechanics, but after watching me put together a Suzuki GS1000 engine, he proclaimed that he had no business working on motorcycle engines. He stated "Those are not simple engines!" He said he would just work on cars and tractor motors; no so many parts, small parts and not so critical in their assembly.

Without having the vehicle to work on and having to go by your descriptions and uneducated guesses and incorrect conclusions, I will do my best to guide you to solve the issues. First, and you don't need it yet, the kick starter is part # 0452372 @ $98 from Polaris. I have to ask; How did you break the kick starter? It does not take a great deal of force to operate the kick lever and forceful kicks work no better than normal kicks when the engine is in good tune. Second, if the starter locked on; you will probably need a new solenoid and possibly a new starter motor. As the battery is drained, the voltage drops - as the voltage drops the amperage rises - amperage creates heat - running the starter motor for an extended period of time (over 20 seconds) causes the solenoid contacts and the starter motor windings to get hot - as the parts heat, more amperage is required to make them operate. A high amp draw causes a voltage drop at the battery and the lower the voltage the higher the higher the current flow which in turn heats parts faster. The starter motor locked on because the contacts in the solenoid got hot enough to weld themselves together. If you install a new battery and the starter begins to run as soon as the cable is connected, you will need a new solenoid. Part # 0452761 @ $67

Now - about maintenance - how often is the vehicle used? What kind of fuel do you put in it? Do you shut the fuel off when your are done riding it? When was the last time the oil was changed? When was the last time the valves were adjusted? Is it stored indoors or out?

If it starts and runs, the carb does not need to be cleaned. If it runs on reserve but not in the on position, the petcock needs cleaned or replaced. Gas in the air filter may be a sign that the fuel was not shut while parked and it overflowed the carb and ran into the air box or it may indicate the fuel was not shut off, overflowed the carb and filled the crankcase then when the engine was started excess oil/gas from the crankcase entered the air box via the crankcase breather hose.

Get the VIN so you know exactly what year model it is and it is not weird that it ran in reserve but not in the main position - that just means it was not getting fuel in the main position, but was in the res position - pull the fuel line off the petcock or the carb and using a fruit jar to catch the fuel, turn the petcock to each position to observe fuel flow - if the fuel flows equally well in both positions and does not leak in the off position, then yes - it is weird that it ran in one position and not the other.

The reason it bogged when opening the throttle (not giving it gas but giving it air) is because the carb was not supplying a sufficient amount of fuel to be mixed with the air being allowed into the engine to support combustion. It is an indication of the carb not being full of fuel. A carb will not fill with fuel if the float bowl vents are plugged, the fuel flow is restricted by an obstruction in the fuel line or petcock or the fuel tank is not venting and gets a vacuum in it as the fuel is used.

I hope some of this helps.
 
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