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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 98 Kawasaki 400 that shifts to reverse but doesn't engage reverse. I've adjusted the linkage with no luck. Reverse light does come on. Does anyone have any suggestions?
 

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You may have to go into the transmission. These have a reverse countershaft with gears at each end, you may have a shift fork out of alignment or broken, or could have stripped a gear.

Put it up on blocks so it cannot take off by itself and start it and put it in first and reverse, then carefully roll the rear wheels around while keeping your body parts from becoming caught if it suddenly goes into reverse, and see if it suddenly engages in reverse with a loud clunk or gear popping noise. If it does not clunk into gear or engage then release as you continue to roll the wheels, it is a pretty fair assumption it is a shift fork problem. If it goes into reverse then runs there until it either makes a rattling noise and shifts out, or pops and grinds it is likely a gear problem.

The transmissions are generally pretty tough, so I would expect a shift fork issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You may have to go into the transmission. These have a reverse countershaft with gears at each end, you may have a shift fork out of alignment or broken, or could have stripped a gear.

Put it up on blocks so it cannot take off by itself and start it and put it in first and reverse, then carefully roll the rear wheels around while keeping your body parts from becoming caught if it suddenly goes into reverse, and see if it suddenly engages in reverse with a loud clunk or gear popping noise. If it does not clunk into gear or engage then release as you continue to roll the wheels, it is a pretty fair assumption it is a shift fork problem. If it goes into reverse then runs there until it either makes a rattling noise and shifts out, or pops and grinds it is likely a gear problem.

The transmissions are generally pretty tough, so I would expect a shift fork issue.
thanks for the advice. i gave it a try but still doesnt go in reverse. so lets move on to shift forks. can you give me an idea were to start, or a good manual to buy. thanks again
 

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If this is a Prairie, I've got the '97 model and am waiting on the parts to repair mine for the very same problem. It is likely that you have broken the reverse chain. Depending on your mechanical abilities, you may or may not be able to fix this yourself. A lot of stuff has to be removed just to get to this. The most complicated is the removal of the drive and driven pulleys and the right side engine cover. In my case, the reason the chain broke was because the pin from the fwd/rev shift fork sheared off and fell into between the chain and sprocket. I was extremely lucky that this was the only damage. Parts aren't terribly expensive (about $30 for the chain), but the labor will be.

Another thing, avoid running the atv until you get this fixed. Those broken parts (chain and anything else) are still in the transmission and engine If the chain broke, there are going to be little pieces of the metal link moving making their way around in the oil sump. Make sure that they are all found or they may be a future problem.

Good Luck.
 

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The sponsor here, Beartooth, will have manuals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I looked online to try and find a manual for my atv (98 Kawasaki Prairie 400) but the cheapest one i found was $60. I found it through Kawasaki so I'm sure that's why it is so expensive. Does anyone know where I can get a cheaper manual? I tried e-bay also... no luck.
 
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