Mechanical question

My nephew (7 years old) has a 4-wheeler that continually breaks. I don’t recall the brand, except that it’s cheap and not a common one (which makes sense, as he’ll outgrow it after a season). The problem is that the intake manifold keeps cracking (the part connects the carburator to the cylinder). The dealer has replaced it free 4 times now (even giving an entirely new machine the last time). It has now broken for the 5th time. I don’t see the use of just replacing the part, as it will inevitably break again. The part seems to be of white metal and does not, as best as I can tell receive any force, other than holding the carburator. My guess is that the desing is bad and the metal can’t take whatever heat is generated in the area. I was thinking of filling the crack with a high temp adhessive, then wrapping it with some sort of insulation. Does this sound like a good idea? I’m surprised the manufacturer doesn’t use a rubber plenum like on dirtbikes. If the idea is good, then what should I use?

I am guessing that it is the vibration that is causing the crack not heat. Intake manifolds don’t run that hot.
Bracing the carb might solve the problem, getting the kid out of the 4-wheeler and onto a bicycle would be a permanent fix. :smiley:

I agree with Rick that it’s probably a vibration issue. You could probably patch it with something like JB Coldweld (though this might void the warranty). In addition to bracing the carb, you might want to look at installing thicker/more flexible gaskets on it to try and reduce the pressure on the manifold. Might also try searching the net for some forums, etc. that talk about the 4-wheeler to see if it’s a known problem that someone’s come up with a fix for.

I don’t believe that it is legal in New Hampshire for a child of that age to operate a 4-wheel ATV. For good reason, given the injuries & deaths associated with such vehicles.

As a good uncle, maybe you should just leave it broken the next time it breaks. (Assuming he’s a nice kid, that is.)

That’s crap! Almost all professional drivers have started driving at a very young age. Ayrton Senna got his first kart at age 4 and he was running at kart races by age 13.

Just make sure he always wears his gear.

Bad advice.

27 states have established minimum ages for children to operate ATVs, and in New Hampshire, the minimum age is 16.

On re-read… didn’t mean to imply that having the kid wear appropriate protective gear is bad.

What’s bad is being ignorant of state laws. If a kid gets hurt driving one of these things, you could be in for a few uncomfortable questions from the local cops or child protective services.

Happily, the OP’s ATV appears to be a pile of junk and won’t go fast enough to be dangerous. :smiley:

Is that restriction even for off-road use?

Also, this quote from the link you gave is simply wrong:

All great drivers have started driving motorized vehicles at a very young age

From here:

From here:

So if you start out with a bunch of kids driving at a very early age you’ll end up with a couple of great drivers. You’ll also end up with a lot more dead kids, and more crippled kids than that, and, the vast majority of them to which nothing happens. The fact that a couple of drivers started at an early age does not mean that 4 wheeling is safe for children, anymore than the fact that I know some 80 year old smokers makes that safe. In 2004 130 children younger than 16 were killed on ATV’s, and 44,000 injured.

Sure, the odds are against any individual kid ending up dead, but they’re a lot higher than the odds that you’ve got an Ayrton Senna on your hands.

Under* adult supervision * what’s wrong with letting a kid learn to ride? I know that that isn’t in the OP, but the direction the thread is taking.

My 2 cents is to get a name brand wheeler. If the dealer is willing to replace it for free I’ve got a bad feeling.

Ummm, I asked a MECHANICAL question which Rick and Tuckerfan answered nicely. So all you trolls, please don’t crap on my post. But to answer, the 4 wheeler is very much legal for a 7 year old in that it is not an ATV, anymore than one of those electric power wheels sold at Toys R Us is an ATV (wish I had a picture to post so you could see). Also, even if it WERE (his next one will be) there is no law preventing him from riding in his yard with adult supervision. Haven’t any of you been to a motorcycle shop and see all the peewee bikes and 50 cc 4wheelers? I’ve known coworkers with 5 year olds who RACE dirtbikes! So, to everyone who ANSWERED my question, thanks. I agree that vibration has caused the crack.

Why hasn’t a moderator shut this thread down as one that “fosters or promotes activity that is illegal”, which our rules prohibit?

The OP is asking for advice on how to keep an ATV working for his 7-year-old nephew to drive, and cites have been given to NH statutes, which says this is illegal for children under age 16.

Ok, to set this straight,, the ‘4 wheeler’ in question is not illegal for a 7 year old to use on his property in the State of New Hampshire. The ‘NH Statutes’ you cite are, in fact, from an organization called Safe, NOT the State of New Hampshire statutes. I have not tracked down the regs completely yet, but will. For now, please note that New Hampshire regs consider a ‘youth atv’ as one that is under 95cc (I doubt my nephew’s is even a 50cc). A ‘youth atv’ in the State of New Hampshire IS LEGAL and in fact does not even require registration. So, thank you for your concern. And yes, he wears full gear and helmet everytime. And yes, his father supervises him during use. And lastly, yes, it remains on the property only, driving around the lawn. Yeesh.

I’d have to see it to design a bracket, but I agree with the fact it’s vibrating.

I am assuming everything is tight and there are no missing parts, hence trusting this is a design flaw.

Is there anyway you can add a bracket on it for extra support to stop the flexing?

I think JB weld would only patch the symptom and it would continue to crack. The problem is it’s moving due to stress or vibration which needs to be addresed.

I would fabricate a support bracket to prevent it from moving under stress or vibration.