Horkay Blog
The postings on this site are my own and do not represent my Employer's positions, advice or strategies.
Sunday, July 08, 2012

Finally have about 8 gallons of gas through the 3 ATV's from taotao.

My review is that you "get what you pay for".  If I had 6K to buy 3 ATV's from a Japanese dealer I would have.  Once you work the bugs out of your taotao and your kids aren't tearing them up doing jumps, donuts and other nonsense, I think it's a good deal.  Getting those bugs worked out takes some effort.

I purchased 3 Taotao ATV's from FamilyGoKarts.com.  All three were the same model, different colors, model ATA-125E.

 

 

So far they are running good, but I have had all the "common" issues and since I purchased 3 at one time, it's a pretty good sampling of what you will get.  ALL of the issues are due to loose bolts or not securing wiring, so shut down the riders every 15 minutes or so to check things out; so far once something has been corrected it has not cropped up again as an issue.

Also performed the first oil change.  This is important, I didn't find anything exciting but smelly old oil.  Draining the oil is easy.  Checking it and adding it is a pain in the ass.  They hide the filler and dipstick behind the right side of the engine and it is barely accessible through the right tire fender.  Sure would be nice if they would design these engines to just take 1 quart, I did figure out how much they take and pre-measured it into a empty oil container so I could just "dump" it in and only check it once it settled to ensure it was good.

Only one issue was serious enough that would have lead to a failure of the ATV, the exhaust stud.

  1. Two of the three had loose exahaust nuts, one actually had the exhaust stud fall out before I found it.  Fortunately no damage, and a simple trip to FLAPS (Friendly Local Auto Parts Store) fixed this.  Definetly tighten these, but do be careful as over tightening could easily strip the exhaust studs and I wouldn't trust how well the casting is on the engine casing.  I added a lock nut washer to each and so far it's holding nicely, this is something to check every 20 minutes or so, at least until I trust that the lock nut washer is working.  Unfortunately I do not think lock tight works at high temperatures so it is not a solution for this issue.
  2. One Battery seems to not hold a charge so well, I will call FamilyGoKarts on monday on this.  Two of the ATV's were from 2010 and one was from 2009 according to the date of manufacture.  I think the battery from 2009 is just not holding a charge properly as even when I move it around from ATV to ATV the same issue happens in the different ATV, so it's not a short, it's the battery.
  3. Wires pulled out from all three left rear brake lights, this happens because the wiring harness for this light really needs a zip tie to keep it from catching on the rear frame as the suspension travels up and down.  The solution is to use your soldering iron and rebuild the brake light, re-attach light and properly secure wiring harness so that it doesn't catch on anything.
  4. Two of the three sirens for the alarm have "snapped" off; to prevent the third from breaking I removed it.  I haven't found a way to re-secure these yet without putting tension on the wiring harness, so I just removed them temporarily.
  5. All three have had the rear brake light loosen up.  You have to catch this one early enough to not damage the light, as you need to disassemble the light so that you can put metal washers on the inside of the bolts that hold the plastic housing, and replace the bolts with nylon lock nut bolts.
  6. All three have had a decorative shiny plate (i'd say chrome, but I know it ain't !), on the right side of the engine work loose.
  7. 2 of the 3 had the bolt holding the head light ring come loose, not the bolts that attach it to the atv, but the bolt that is used to gain access to change the light bulb.  This bolt/screw goes to a plastic nut molded into the inside of the light, so far i've just tightened it, but based on the "quality" of the plastic nut, I'll be fixing this again with a better solution.
  8. There were some other various loose bolts here and there.

 

Sunday, July 08, 2012 3:05:13 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
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