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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 97 Prairie 400.

The problem I'm having is that it will not rev higher than a low rpm even in neutral. It doesn't sputter or anything it just tops out. When I put it in gear whether high or low it will only go at a slow speed, 10 mph or so. With throttle wide open it will keep a consistent speed without sputtering or coughing or anything, it just goes slow. If I go up a hill it loses power. This problem happened all of a sudden. I thought it might be the belt but that shouldn't cause the low rev in neutral, correct?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Throwing out some thoughts here based upon my 2000 Prairie 400 but havent had your issue.

Make sure the throttle stop screw behind the thumb throttle isnt limiting lever movement

Fuel starvation?
Run any different on reserve vs normal
Do you have an inline filter and is it flowing enough fuel
Is fuel line pinched
Drain float bowl and watch for anything odd coming out
Engine oil level ok, not too high
Fresh fuel
Main jet obstructed
Valves been adjusted recently
Do a compression test
Air filter clean
 

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Exhaust restricted?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks!

I took the belt cover off and started it up. It did seem to rev at a higher rpm and the clutch moves in all the way. I'm thinking it needs a new belt. This atv sat for a long time and had a lot of parts replaced but it doesn't appear that the belt cover was ever removed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The clutch will move in all the way when in neutral but once the transmission is engaged it stays out. Any help?
 

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How high is the belt in the secondary sheaves ? The top of the belt should be flush with the top of the pulleys or a little higher than the sheaves. It may be possible that the width of your belt is very worn ?
 

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The clutch will move in all the way when in neutral but once the transmission is engaged it stays out. Any help?
The clutches shift normally when in neutral, as in the primary clutch closes and the secondary fully opens?
Once in gear they don't move? You must have all four wheels jacked up when doing this test?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Not on jacks. I have the belt cover off. When in neutral the primary clutch will move in when rpms increase. When transmission is in gear (doesn’t matter which gear) the transmission engages properly and the driven pulley stops spinning. When i increase throttle the atv moves forward at a very slow speed engine stays at low rpm and primary clutch does not move in.
 

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Not on jacks. I have the belt cover off. When in neutral the primary clutch will move in when rpms increase. When transmission is in gear (doesn’t matter which gear) the transmission engages properly and the driven pulley stops spinning. When i increase throttle the atv moves forward at a very slow speed engine stays at low rpm and primary clutch does not move in.
If it's moving ahead, then the primary clutch had to move in against the belt.
If the engine won't rev up, then you have an engine problem. Check to be sure the throttle and slide is opening in the carb when you open the throttle while it's running.
If the engine revved up, you might have a clutch problem.
A video would be extremely helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've really tried my best to post video all day and I can't without 5 posts. So here's my fifth post and I'll try again after this.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The first part is the atv on stands in neutral and clutch engages. The second part is the atv on stands in high gear and clutch engages. The third part is the atv on a flat road in gear and the clutch won't engage fully with the atv going about 10 mph. Thoughts?

 

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It's not that the clutch isn't closing, the problem is that the engine doesn't have the power to make the clutch close.
It's knocking like the rod is ready to come out through the block; is the noise new? Take the primary clutch off and see if engine still knocks.
Will the engine idle on it's own, or are you holding the throttle open a little.
The other possibilities are the noise is coming from the clutch, and something has happened to the carb (slide not opening, throttle not opening, etc. Or the exhaust is restricted.
 
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