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Old 09-15-2012, 01:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Burning up CDI's

New here and lovin the site. I've tried researching my issue with the forum search but cant find what I'm looking for. Here's my trouble. I'm working on a friends pair of 2000 Fourtrax 300's. I'll just focus on the first one. I got it with the issue being that it wouldnt fire. I have an 01 Rancher, I compared the CDI boxes and they appeared to be the same, swapped mine for his and it cranked. We bought a used one off of Ebay and problem solved, for a couple of weeks then the same thing happened again. He was riding it and it blew the main fuse and went dead. Replaced the fuse and no fire. Put my box in it and it cranked right up. Funny thing is that the other fourwheeler has the exact same story, every detail with the exception that on the 2nd one we replaced the box with a new one. He purchased both of these new and both of them originally quit within a month of each other. What is burning up these CDI's? Thanks in advance for any and all help.
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Fireman, There is definately a problem somewhere. How strange (and coincidental) that it is happening on two different machines at the same time!!

Normally a CDI should last forever - unless something is putting an unusual load, or partial short on it. Have the machines been in the water? If so, then a thorough cleaning and drying of all connectors might be needed. It might be worth it to get service manuals on the machines as well, as the service manual(s) tell you what voltages and what resistance you should have on the individual wires and terminals....... which will help you find the problem(s).

Since the same problem is occuring on two different machines at the same time, I'd look for some similarity (like water) which they might have in common.
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks! We have racked our brains to come up with some similarity as to why both machines have done this. Neither machine has been abused and both have been kept under a barn when not in use since new. Some of the research I've done suggests that the voltage regulator could be allowing it to over charge. Both times that the 1st machine quit it was while being ran harder than usual, high speed for an extended period of time (4-5 minutes). The 2nd machine quit under normal, easy use.
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Welcome to da forums... I'd check every wire on it using a meter to find a short which prolly is grounding out causing the fuse to blow,and or frying the cdi if it is frying them as the 300 utilities are known for having run/off switch issues which often can be misdiagnosed as a bad cdi as they sometimes work,sometimes don't,or only allow minimal spark...Just from past experiences with quite a few 300 utilities...Cdis do go out on Hondas after 20plus years it seems for unknown reasons other than overheating the cdi which is somewhat common on the 300s,but to have a new one go out after minimal time would suggest other problems,or causes...Also check for corrosion in every plug connection as it can become a short(spray in electrical cleaner several times,allow to dry between spraying,add a dab of dielectric grease to each female plug/connector prior to plugging back in)...
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks! On the 1st machine overheating may be the issue, however, the 2nd machine had the new CDI installed that failed. I have torn it down, checked the run/stop switch, key switch, diode, and wiring just to come up with nothing out of order. Could it possibly be a faulty or failing voltage regulator? Im on shift today so it will be tomorrow before I can do any more hands on diagnosing. Again, thanks for the quick responses and feedback!
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It could be,but checking the voltage,and amps using a meter while it is running will tell you if the regulator is bad,or not is the easiest way to check it...If it is overcharging it will also cook the battery pretty quickly..If undercharging,it would run the battery down from fully charged in a couple hours of engine running..
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Since you posted both of them are 2000 models,are they the utility 300,or the ex sport quad???
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Old 09-15-2012, 04:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Both are utility 300's. I'll hopefully have enough time tomorrow to tinker on them for a bit
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