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2000 Kawasaki Prairie 400 4wd acceleration issue

4227 Views 9 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  mitchpizzinio
Happy Monday all, I'm new to the forums and came across this board while trying to trouble shoot an issue. As noted in the title, I have a 2000 Kawasaki Prairie 400 4wd and it just recently started giving me acceleration issues. I bought it used about 2 years ago for deer hunting and it needed a thorough carb cleaning but after that it ran great, had plenty of low end torque and would hit about 44 or 45 mph with no issues. Now it won't go past about 26 (best case) but really hangs around 20-22. Since the issue started I've changed the oil & filter (was due for a change regardless of acceleration issues), replaced the primary clutch and replaced the belt all, of which made the throttle response better off the line and removed the hesitation but did not fix the top speed problem.

Throttle response is clean and smooth, quad doesn't over rev, the rpms are consistent and then it just tops out. No hard start conditions, if you run the bike with choke on or off there is no change is acceleration but could it still be carb related??

Seems like this is a common issue with these quads but I've not seen anyone come to a clear answer. If I need to take carb off and clean again or replace it all together that's an easy fix...just trying to figure out where to go from here with the above items done. thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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My 2000 400 4x4 tops out at 50 or so indicated with oem size tires At 1,000’ altitude.
In low gear, are you able to go 25 or so?

Air box, filter, intake clear?

Valves ever been adjusted? Not sure if that would cause issue, but curious.

secondary clutch ever been inspected?

oem primary with correct weights and spring?
Thanks for the suggestions. Air filter could stand to be replaced but not overly dirty either, just old. To my knowledge motor hasn’t been touched with respects to the valves. Primary is an OEM replacement, when I replaced it & the belt the lag off the start was gone but no change in top speed. Haven’t gotten into secondary clutches, that was next on my list. I’ll have to ride it again to confirm but top speed doesn’t change in high or low range. Thanks
so you can go 22-25mph in low and high But no faster in high, more or less. Is it because the engine bogs in high and prevents you from going faster?
I am wondering if the clutches are shifting correctly.

how many miles and hours, just curious?
so you can go 22-25mph in low and high But no faster in high, more or less. Is it because the engine bogs in high and prevents you from going faster?
I am wondering if the clutches are shifting correctly.

how many miles and hours, just curious?

correct about speed in high or low gear, runs the exact same either way. Motor doesn't bog out, feel overloaded or underpowered, no sputtering like it's starving for fuel and no backfiring like it's getting too much. steady consistent rpms, but it hits that range and stays there almost as if it were in a limp mode....but to my knowledge these models don't have a limp mode??

old primary had worn a slight edge where it seemed the belt would hang up which made sense why there was a hesitation off the start and the belt had stretched adding to that. New primary is smooth as it should be and the new belt eliminated the lag in movement. if you rev throttle neutral it sounds better and if you get the quad off the ground so all tires turn freely it seems to do better but I've not "ridden" it with no resistance to check speed. With all 4 tires on the ground the rpms are there and then they just flatten out like you've hit top speed.

would have to ck mileage/hours...don't know offhand. It's older being a 2000 but not beat and I know two of the prior owners so I know how they use and maintain their stuff.

need to check the plug since I just realized I haven't done that, check airbox/filter again and then I guess secondary is the next step.

thanks for thinking on this one though
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Just throwing out ideas....maybe you are in low gear even when you think you are in high. Can you tell for sure when you switch? Low should be much more responsive.

I keep thinking the clutches may not be working properly. Can you remove plastic belt cover and run the machine to top speed and see if both clutches are shifting as they should? Just be very careful not to get any clothing or body parts in a running clutch and wear a helmet and goggles etc when running without the cover in case a part flies out at high speed.
I finally got a chance to check it; the prairie has about 3100 miles on it and roughly 530 hours on it. definitely not running in low gear when high is selected; you can feel a difference between to the two ranges when you take off but both get to the same top speed of 22 mph. Will have to pull the cover again and check things out to determine if a need to rebuild/replace the secondary since primary is new along with belt.

anyone else out there experience a similar issue?
Your secondary sheaves will be fully closed on idle, and the primary will be fully open.
When you rev it up in neutral, you should see the secondary clutch open and the primary sheaves will close together.
When high reving it in neutral briefly, does the belt come within around a 1/2" to the top of the primary sheaves, and drop down in the secondary sheaves ? This would be normal function, and just trying to see what is going on. If that is the case, then you are going to need to check or clean the carb - Almost sounds like the float level is too high, or your carb is not getting enough fuel pumped to the carb.
Check your compression relief mechanism on cam might be releasing the compression out the exhaust valve at higher rpm spring breaks and weights fly out at wrong time
Fixed problem it was the secondary clutch it was hung or stuck clean it with sandpaper.now she does 50 mph no problem
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