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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The purpose of this post is my general thoughts and ideas surrounding the Raptor 350s I have bought and maintained. I would like to have a discussion regarding some hot topics on the 350 raptors in this was well, what works and what doesnt in regard to owing and working on the 350s.

I buy raptor 350s because of several factors but mostly the reliability and simplicity over the 660s and 700s. Plus 350s go fast enough for me. I call 350s the honda civic of ATVs, easy to work on, easy to get parts, easy to ride and not expensive.

First, history. I have owned four 350s. For numerous reasons I bought and sold my 350s and my forth one is what i always wanted. A 2007 special edition white and blue carbon frame. Very white and very clean with 15 hours on it when I got it. I have a whole process I go through to check them out before riding season and to ensure they are operating within factory specifications and also safe. Basically I go through the entire bike to check it out and replace whats needed.

Here's a short list:

1. clean entire bike thoroughly
2. clean carb and factory jet if no mods are present. yes you can clean and confirm jets are factory sizes. nothing sucks more than a crappy running raptor only to find out the jets were installed wrong sized or whatever. several of my raptors had the wrong jets or clogged jets or dirty carbs. rebuilding the carb isnt hard but there isnt instructions out there clearly. so you have to dig around.
3. I go through the owners manual and service manual to see how things need to be adjusted after initial break in
4. I adjust the intake and exhaust values to the minimal specs. my 350s engines run SUPER quiet with litle ticking or engine noises.
5. I change the oil and oil filters and check the strainer on the bottom. And MAN is it a pain in the ass changing the oil in 350s. The spring on the bottom! No wonder people strip the oil drain plug. The spring makes it very hard to get the plug back into the bottom of the case. Also, the oil filter is odd in that the filter is smashed between the oil filter housing and the cover... meaning when you screw the oil filter cover on the outside, it secures the oil filter inside which feels odd. Just doesnt feel like normal yamaha quality.
6. I check timing and timing chain tension and check and reset the actual tensioner.
7. I clean the chain and drive gears and lube them.
8. I clean and polish the headlight lenses to make them look new.
9. check the brakes and adjust cables and check brake pads and brake disks and brake fluid level.
10. I check for any modifications from the previous owners to make sure they are done correctly and dont damage anything. also slip on exhausts and other things require rejetting so you have to ensure all modifications dont damage something else.
11. check all handlebar mount screws and bolts to ensure they are torqued correctly and safe
12. check battery voltage and fuses and stator voltage for proper electrical system operation
13. check shocks and adjust to your preference
14. read spark plug after several rides to determine mixture setting and operating conditions inside cylinder
15. lube and grease all chassis locations
16. clutch level adjustment and clutch health assessment

Short Raptor 350 Buying Tips
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Theres alot I check out when I buy the 350 but you only have so much time. I call this the 'Raptor 350 Basic Sales Inspection'. You generally look over the bike and check things, start it up, listen to the engine, basically check it out the best you can. If you take 60 minutes OR LONGER talking to the seller and checking out the Raptor the seller often thinks you are a reseller or dealer trying to buy used ATVs (i found this out the hard way LOL).

After I buy the Raptor I check the whole bike in what I call 'Raptor 350 Operational and Safety Check'. The engines seem to take alot of abuse just fine, so if you find a 350 with low hours, minimal wear and tear and good oil (oil to the correct level, looks new, smells new and it not super stinky old oil or smells like gasoline), chances are you will get a GREAT quad for 1800-3500 depending on factors such as region, demand, market, condition, use, service history, title, etc.

Keep in mind the above is a short list of things I do when I buy a Raptor but it can apply to ANY ATV or even a car (i've owned MANY cars too). You may not have the time or resources to PSI test the cylinder when you look to buy a Raptor or ATV. And honestly.. I should.. but dont. I find gently used Raptors from guys who let them sit in garages because they wanted to ride their 660s or 700s more. Im totally good with 350s. Like I said before, they go fast enough for my needs. Im an old dude. Well no.

Seems like most of the problems with 350s are centric around fuel delivery. Basically from the tank through the carb to the jets to the intake valve most people are either running to lean or rich or something is clogged along the fuel delivery path. This leads to backfiring or running hot (lean mix) or hard starting or throttle response issues in mid and open throttle. This is due to something changing the exhaust most commonly and not changing the air or fuel system to match the modification.

Anyway. Your thoughts are welcome here. General ideas or changes you have done on your 350. I would break it up into individual posts but theres too many to cover. These are just all the things I do when I get a 350 to make it run amazing!

I run in the southwest desert so I run yamaha oil filters and 20w-40 wet clutch oil as its always 50+ degrees where I run and 350s seem to run hot.

I run mostly clean stock 350s as I dont buy them to super mod them out. I want a reliable quad to ride and not have to work on every weekend. I want to ride and not be a atv mechanic. I do basic changes. One may be a headlight bulb change from filament H6 to a H6 LED. I dont want to do HID as I dont want to worry about heat or ballast mounting location. I may do a rear taillight filament to LED as well. I also dont run a spark arrestor or baffle as some call it but the baffle is already inside the exhaust pipe itself. Without the spark arrestor it has a meaner sound that costs $0 and most dont have to rejet the carb and it causes no engine issues. Some say it hurts the exhaust valve but few to none have confirmed this.

Anyway. Any thoughts on 350s welcome here.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Also. Feel free to ask me anything in relation to the things I have listed above and I can give you tips or information on how to adjust or fix them. The dealer wanted $345 for three hours of work to adjust the valves and I just found out to do it myself in 30-45 minutes to yamaha specs for $5.00.

Also on the other side, if YOU have a TIP or TRICK please put it in here WITH PICTURES if you can to help others as they work and fix and update their 350s!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
350 Engine Noises Trick!

'Ticking' comes from the TOP and is valve-train related.

'Knocking' comes from the BOTTOM and is pistion, connecting rod or crank related.
 

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Lots of good advice. WELCOME TO THE FORUM.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Raptor 350 Fuel Tank Capacity from Yamaha Owners and Service Manual

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Total Fuel: 2.38 Gallons (fuel selector in ON position)

Fuel Reserve Amount: 0.71 Gallons (fuel selector in RESERVE position)

Note: For a raptor that will ONLY run in RESERVE position, this means your pickup inside your tank is clogged and the tank must be removed from the 350 and fuel petcock unbolted with two bolted and BOTH pickups cleaned out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Raptor 350 Engine and Transmission Oil Capacity from Yamaha Owners and Service Manual

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2.64 quart without oil filter replacement
2.75 quart WITH oil filter replacement

Oil Filter runs $14 from yamaha OEM or $10 from TusK or $8 from K&N.

General Oil Change Procedure (from Rivieraneo) , USE THE OWNERS and SERVICE MANAUAL FOR COMPLETE INSTRUCTIONS

- Place quad on level surface.
- Start engine and let it warm up for several minutes
- Stop engine and place oil pan under engine
- remove dipstick
- remove plastic lower frame cover with (4) 10mm bolts, THIS SAVES ON A HUGE MESS OF OIL THAT IT COLLECTS
- remove drain plug from bottom of case, take note of order of O ring, Compression spring and oil strainer.
- Drain engine oil
- When oil is draining, remove (3) bolts on small side circular cover to access oil filter
- careful not to loose o ring on cover
- remove old filter and replace with new one
- Inspect O ring, if damaged, replace with new one
- Apply a little bit of lithium soap grease to o ring and install new oil filter, o ring and filter cover
- tighten down oil filter cover bolts to NO more than 7lb's
- After oil finishes draining from bottom install the oil strainer, compression ring, o ring and drain plug back on bottom of quad (put them back in the correct order)
- Tighten down bottom drain plug to NO more than 31lb's
- Fill engine back up with oil through dip stick (approx 2.5 quarts) of WET CLUTCH SAFE OIL
- Check oil level and make sure its at proper level
- Run bike for about 2 minutes, stop and check oil level and add if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Raptor 350 Air Filter Cleaning from Yamaha Owners and Service Manual

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This is rather straight forward.

- General Air Filter Clean/Change Procedure, USE THE OWNERS and SERVICE MANAUAL FOR COMPLETE INSTRUCTIONS
- Remove air filter from below seat.
- If air filter is beyond cleaning buy a new one. If not, clean it. I use mild soap and water.
- Wash air filter. FOLD DRY, DO NOT TWIST FILTER to DRY. FOLD LIKE YOURE CLOSING A PAPER BACK BOOK. THIS MAKES SURE YOU DONT DAMAGE THE FILTER.
- Apply an approved air filter oil EVENLY to air filter.
- Reinstall air filter.
 

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This is great sound advice. I just bought a 350 for the daughter to upgrade to from a 250. I can't believe how clean it is for a 2004.

Welcome to the forum!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Raptor 350 General Valve Adjustment Procedure from Yamaha Owners and Service Manual

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General Valve Adjustment Procedure (partly from Pacific Barbarian) , USE THE OWNERS and SERVICE MANAUAL FOR COMPLETE INSTRUCTIONS

When do you adjust the valves? Every 25 hours or when ou hear excessive valvetrain ticking or noise from the TOP end. But be CAREFUL as valve noise may be heard toward the BOTTOM because it can echo through the engine.

You will need:
17mm socket and ratchet set.
10 mm socket.
5mm allen wrech.
feeler guage set that has stock sizes
BIG flat head screwdriver
4mm wrench

Intake
.06 ~ .10 mm (I set at .06 on my instake valve)

Exhaust
.16 ~ .20 mm (I set at .16 on my exhaust valve)

- remove seat
- remove front plastics, there's 6 screws, look around they are easy to see
- remove fuel tank by disconnecting fuel line from carb (turn fuel to OFF position) and remove tank from frame by (4) 10mm bolts
- Take off the crankcase timing mark cap, cam sprocket engine sidecover (on left side of cylinder head) and valve covers.
- Now while you have the socket on the bolt that is holding the cam sprocket on, spin the engine over with that while looking in the timing check hole on the crank. wait till the T (tdc) mark on the mag. lines up with the line on the case. The look up at youre cam sprocket and make sure that lines up with the line on the head. (make sure its a compression stroke by feelin the resistance when you turn motor).
- Now while everythings lined up, take the 10mm and loosen the jamnuts on the tappits on the rocker arms. This will allow you to adjust the tappits up or down.
- take youre feeler guage (stock specification clearance) and put it between the tappit and valve stem. then tighten the tappit down with the 4mm wrench and tighten the jamnut. Once done with both intake and exhaust valves, make sure jamnuts are TIGHT, and make sure you can fit the feeler guage you used back under the tappit but not the NEXT bigger feeler guage. CAREFUL when you tighten the nut the clearance sometimes changes!
- reinstall valve covers, head side cover, case timing plug and the tank and front plastics.

Terms you might like to know:

Tappit-called something else by yamaha....the bolt that is in the end of youre rocker arm once the valve cover is off....when engine is running it pushes down on valve stem...not hard to find.

Jamnut- the locknut that holds the tappit in place when tightened.

Feeler guages-like diff. thickness little paperlike stainless steel things used for measuring small clearances

Engine 'T' or TDC. TDC means TOP DEAD CENTER. Its when youre piston is at the highest point in the combustion chamber it will ever get.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Anyone know where to get OEM rubber like seat cover replacement and how to install? Im talking about the factory rubber-like seat cover that has staples on the bottom of the seat to secure the rubber like material. I like the factory seat cover material over aftermarket covers.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
This is great sound advice. I just bought a 350 for the daughter to upgrade to from a 250. I can't believe how clean it is for a 2004.

Welcome to the forum!
Thanks bud. 350s are great general purpose quads and I feel they are great value for the money. Alot of fun and not too hard to work on either. Although I have 15 years in auto mechanics so it may not be fair for me to say that. ALTHOUGH I have seen a case split open for work and i hope to NEVER have to do that. OMG what a mess of gears and funky stuff inside.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
can a moderator change the title of this thread to 'Raptor 350 General Information, Tips and Tricks'.

I edited the first post title to this but it didnt change when you see this post in the main 350 forum.
 

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can a moderator change the title of this thread to 'Raptor 350 General Information, Tips and Tricks'.

I edited the first post title to this but it didnt change when you see this post in the main 350 forum.
Gotcha covered...carry on!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Raptor 350 Gearing from Yamaha Owners and Service Manual

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13/38 - Factory Raptor gearing with 13 tooth front sprocket and 38 tooth rear sprocket

12t (tooth) front sprocket (overall smaller gear in size) results in more low end torque, lower top speed and shorter gears (shifting more)

14t (tooth) front sprocket (overall larger gear in size) results in less low end torque, higher top speed and longer gears (shifting less)

15t (tooth) front sprocket requires NEW chain BTW


General Comparison between Front and Rear sprocket tooth
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1 Tooth on the front sprocket equals about 3 Teeth on the rear sprocket
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Raptor 350 Headlight/Headlamp Bulb Information from Yamaha Owners and Service Manual

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Headlight Bulb Type - Krypton H6
Headlight Bulb Voltage - 12 volt
Headlight Bulb Wattage - 30 watts X 2 (right bulb + left bulb)
Can it take a LED or HID - dunnno but I will find out :)
Note: notice the TWO -elongated- contacts on the rear of this bulb and its a DUAL output, LOW and HIGH BEAM. Which may mean low beams are 30 watts X 2 = 60 watts of power on LOW and high beam adds a second set of filaments (two are in each bulb). I am pretty sure when you turn on high beams the low beam filaments stay on equalling four total on, which means 60+60+60+60=240 watts. Yes you need to know these numbers if you want to upgrade the headlights to LED or HID.

Taillight Bulb Type - Filament
Taillight Bulb Voltage - 12 volt
Taillight Bulb Wattage - 5 watts tailight | 21 watts stoplight
Can it take a LED or HID - dunnno but I will find out :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I will be adding the carb factory jet SIZE NUMBERS and carb rebuild instructions soon with pictures. I will also add what jets to use with what slip on exhausts.

NOTE: Dynojet and other aftermarket jet NUMBERS DO NOT MATCH Yamaha OEM jet numbers. Aftermarket uses their own numbers.

So a 142.5 OEM yamaha JET is ------NOT------- the same as a 142.5 dynojet jet.

Remember to ALWAYS confirm what jets are INSIDE your Raptor carb and if there is OEM exhaust and OEM intake (meaning the bike is mostly if not all stock) you need to have the STOCK/OEM JET sizes. One of my raptors they took off the FMF exhaust and LEFT the dynojet JET inside the carb and the bike ran like shhiiiiiii*. well not horrible but bad. Took awhile to figure out all this jet shi*.

Another good point is if you're buying a used Raptor 350 you should ALWAYS fully clean the carb or pay the dealer to do this. The amount of issues that come from a dirty or clogged carb/jets/passages are too numerous to list. You can clean a carb for under $10 bucks or pay someone for probably $50 bucks. It will save you a TON of time when your Raptor WONT start, or wont idle, or mid or high throttle is cutting out. If you buy a used Raptor 350 and expect to fill up the tank with new gas and start driving it... be prepared for problems. Fuel sitting for weeks or months in the fuel tank, tubes and carb causes major problems and MUST be cleaned.

Do you need to rebuild kit for your carb? Maybe if parts are missing or damaged. Cleaning can solve alot of problems. Should you get individual OEM jets from yamaha or a kit? sometimes. A kit contains everything you need, individual jets and parts add up.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I will also be adding wheel lug patterns and which wheels will fit the raptor 350 from other yamahas and other bikes.

If anyone has pictures of LARGER REAR (ITP holshots, mud-lites)or FRONT tires I would love to see pictures of them including the tire make and size and if you needed to get larger wheels or change any gearing/chain. Not paddles though. Not looking to run in sand.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Raptor 350 Oil Strainer and Oil Strainer Compression Spring (in regard to changing Oil and Oil Filter)
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A quick note. One key element of having a great Raptor is maintaining the oil and oil quality. This is because the ENGINE and TRANSMISSION use the SAME OIL. And not only to LUBRICATE BOTH but also the oil has a cooling function. Lack of oil or lack of QUALITY oil can lead to many problems, such as excessive bearing wear, overheating, hard shifting, hot operating temps, etc. etc.

Oil Maintaining
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Use the manual or the oil change procedure listed in this previous post on checking oil. You should check oil before EVERY RIDE, EVERY TIME. Ensure the oil is at the right level and the oil is in great shape. Check this when BUYING a raptor too.

Oil Change and Oil Filter Change
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Use the manual or the oil change procedure listed in this previous post on changing oil.

Oil Drain Plug Problem
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I am still working out a plan to deal with this but I kept seeing people stripping out or damaging the oil drain plug on the bottom of the case. I didnt know why this was happening until I realized the drain plug on the bottom has to compress the oil strainer compression spring and it makes installing the plug VERY DIFFICULT. You have to apply alot of pressure on the plug due to the spring and I can see how easy it would be to strip the threads in the bottom of the case. If anyone has a trick that helps please post it. The best I have came up with is using my socket wrench to compress the spring slightly with the oil drain plug, thread the plug on a COUPLE threads, take off the wrench and use my fingers to thread the plug into the case, this way I ENSURE I am not cross threading or damaging the threads. Then I torque the plug with the wrench once I cannot turn the plug anymore.

You DO NOT want to damage these threads. Be careful.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Raptor 350 Dual Exhaust
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Anyone with DUAL EXHAUST please post what exactly you have including model numbers and PICTURES! Let us know how they sound! Also include what jetting or engine/fuel/air changes you had to make for tuning.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Raptor 350 Front Shocks
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Anyone who upgraded your FRONT SHOCKS please post what exactly you have including model numbers and PICTURES! I am seeing alot of people CLAIM YFZ450 front shocks are DIRECT BOLT-ONS to raptor 350s front shock locations, but I also see others who deny this. Also include what modifications you MAY had to make on the shocks or on the raptor to get them to fit.
 

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