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1987 LT185, 1990 LT160E/230E Frankenquad
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have a long story that I'll attempt to make brief. I picked up what was advertised as a 1987 LT230E with no cam or valve cover, harness dangling, no plastics, and all kinds of slop in every bushing and bearing, but hey, it was free and I love a challenge. Local guy had a couple 87 230E motors he was selling on craigslist, picked up one of those and a pisspounded DG RCM and header for $100. Went through the harness to start sorting things out and noticed a few key differences, like the stator connectors didn't mate up, one round and one square. Rubbed some of the grime off and found a VIN, Lo and behold - I have a 1990 LT160E, not a 1987 230E... By the grace of who knows what, the 230 just so happened to mount up directly to the 160 frame with no mods. Wasn't until I had broken the seal on starting to chase down the harness leads that I found out.

As it stood, advertised as a 1987 230E

After a bit of elbow grease and some eBay raiding.

Made a new seat cover and found a set of plastics, New carrier bearings, and brakes all around.

Pulled the steering and front suspension all apart and gave it some love with new bushings and tie rods


Ordered a small fortune in NOS and China parts from eBay and RockyMountain and after a couple weeks of wrenching and soldering I have a nearly complete wheeler, in pretty decent shape. Cleaned up a Mikuni carb I had laying around and mounted it up with a cone filter and a Lowe's Racing™ intake boot, and fed it some gas, primed the carb and tugged on the started rope a few times, and sure enough it belkched out some soot and fired up, ran for a couple seconds and died. No sputter, just shut off. Checked for fuel startvation, vacuum in the tank, no problems there, plenty of gas in the carb. Suspected clogged air jets, so I pulled it out of the boot and gave it a shot of ether, and it did the same thing, fired up, ran strong for 2-3 seconds and shut off. Then suspected I f*%#ed up the wiring harness somewhere, and re-traced all the leads with my newly colored wiring diagram, thanks to my kiddo's Crayola marker collection, and everything looked good. Started to suspect the CDI, solenoid, or coil might be faulty and was flipping thru the manual when a buddy stopped by with a pair of boat seats for me to reupholster for him.

He's a little bit of a savant with engines and electronics, and he got curious when I told him my predicament. Three minutes later he said "Hand me a pair of needlenose?" which he used to short the neutral switch to ground, and had me give it another tug. Fired up and ran great, no shutting off, so we deduced that the neutral switch must be at fault and after he left, I pulled it off to troubleshoot, and decided to flick the shifter a couple times with it off to see the little nubbin go around in a cricle. It didn't. I should mention at this point that I had previously changed the oil and while doing so, I took the opportunity to adjust the clutch without consulting the manual because I'm the dumbest guy I know. I did it according to the procedure I had learned for the LT185 I have, and figured the adjuster itself looked the same, they must be the same thing. I loosened the 10mm lock nut, and started turning the adjsuter screw clockwise waiting to encounter resistance, and then back it off 1/8 turn. I was really surprised when it kept turning and turning, but figured it must have been WAY out of adjustment, and went on with business. Figured I might need clutch plates at some point.

Encountered this problem, and actually read the manual and the procedure is entirely different, and I realized that I had basically "adjusted" it into oblivion. I have since drained the oil and tried to re-adjust it twice, with no luck. Anyone have any idea what I can or should do to correct the issue, or am I missing something else entirely here? (chain is off and sprocket nut is loose, if that makes any difference.) Any insight or advice would be appreciated, thanks.
 

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Registered
1987 LT185, 1990 LT160E/230E Frankenquad
Joined
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
For anyone who happens to land here from google - HELLO FROM THE YEAR 2021!

Figured it out, at least I think I did. Went back with a fresh set of eyes this morning and realized I had the shifter linkage (tie-rod looking piece) swiveled around 180 at the end that attaches to the shifter spline on the bike. Pulled it off and re-installed it correctly and the shifter now works, albeit the lever itself is sloppy as all hell. Re-adjusted the clutch according to the LT160E manual's procedure, and it all feels right now. Going to test fit a few short throw dirtbike shift levers on it and see how they feel.
 
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