'96 TRX 300 4x4 - no power - Honda ATV Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-15-2010, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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'96 TRX 300 4x4 - no power

A friend of mine has this quad and he's been running the machine with a dead battery for a few months, on occassion. The quad used to charge the battery enough to bring the nuetral light on.

He hooked up a new battery and now there is no power whatsoever....no dash lights, no headlights, no electric start.

I jumped the starter solonoid and only got sparks, and the starter didn't crank over with the ignition on.

I looked at the fuses last night and everything seemed ok. I didn't have any tools with me at the time.

He's dropping the machine off at my place today and just curious if anyone can assist.

Things I plan to inspect closely is the bad ground and all wires that lead from battery to ignition switch(s), etc.

My question is, has anyone ever seen the Ignition Control Module fail, and what are the symptoms? I've had modules fail in the past, but not this particular one. It's an expensive part at $200. Any way to test it? I will be checking for power going to it...

Thanks
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-15-2010, 12:27 PM
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A friend of mine has this quad and he's been running the machine with a dead battery for a few months, on occassion. The quad used to charge the battery enough to bring the nuetral light on.

He hooked up a new battery and now there is no power whatsoever....no dash lights, no headlights, no electric start.

I jumped the starter solonoid and only got sparks, and the starter didn't crank over with the ignition on.

I looked at the fuses last night and everything seemed ok. I didn't have any tools with me at the time.

He's dropping the machine off at my place today and just curious if anyone can assist.

Things I plan to inspect closely is the bad ground and all wires that lead from battery to ignition switch(s), etc.

My question is, has anyone ever seen the Ignition Control Module fail, and what are the symptoms? I've had modules fail in the past, but not this particular one. It's an expensive part at $200. Any way to test it? I will be checking for power going to it...

Thanks
Welcome to the forums. I don't think it would be the CDI(Ignition Module), because when they go bad you will just lose spark to the spark plug, the neutral light will still work.

If you jumped the solenoid and it didn't turn the starter, that makes me think the battery is bad because when you jump the solenoid, you are sending power straight from the battery to the starter. Even if the key is off, the starter should still turn.

This might be a stupid question, but did you put the acid in the battery and charge it up before you installed it? If you did, get a voltmeter and check the battery voltage. It should be at 12-12.5 volts with the ATV off. If you have the correct voltage, go ahead and check the connections to the battery and make sure they are clean and tight. If they check out good, trace both hot wires(red and pink/white) from the hot side of the solenoid through the fuses to the ignition and make sure they have power at the ignition switch. Check for corrosion at the ends of the wires where they hook on the fuses.

Most 4-wheeler problems are caused by a loose nut connecting the handlebars and the seat!!

You only need two tools in life -- WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-15-2010, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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Battery is new (AGM, sealed) and our general tests indicated it held a charge to power a 12V light fine (I wasn't at home with my tools to test voltage).

No obvious corrosion, but I'll be checking again much more thoroughly this evening.

I'm really concerned about the possible ground connection since there is no power at all. Even a battery with some power in it will illuminate the nuetral light.

Thanks for addressing the CDI concerns, much appreciated..

I'll report back on my findings.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-15-2010, 02:05 PM
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I'm really concerned about the possible ground connection since there is no power at all. Even a battery with some power in it will illuminate the nuetral light.
Just check your ground wire. It runs from the ground terminal of the battery to one of the starter mounting bolts. Check for clean and tight connections. If that's not the problem, trace the two small hot wires from the solenoid to the key switch and make sure they have power at the key switch. If you have power to the key switch, then just keep tracing the wires until you find a bad wire, bad connection, or bad part. Here is the wiring diagram for the '96 Fourtrax 300.

Click the image to open in full size.

Most 4-wheeler problems are caused by a loose nut connecting the handlebars and the seat!!

You only need two tools in life -- WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-15-2010, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome, thank you very much!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-15-2010, 03:41 PM
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Awesome, thank you very much!
You're welcome.

Most 4-wheeler problems are caused by a loose nut connecting the handlebars and the seat!!

You only need two tools in life -- WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-16-2010, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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This ATV is repaired! I checked everything over, and found the 2 ignition wires were not hot.

Traced it back, and found faulty wires in the battery compartment.

It appears over the past winter the battery in this machine burst and leaked acid all over. I could tell by all the rust formed on the rear axle below the battery compartment.

Acid must have splashed and hit the 2 main ignition wires because both of these wires were broken inside the wire's coating. Something I've never seen before. Wires were extremely corroded on the inside, but seemed fine on the outside, with a very fine cut in the wire's coating. Inspecting the wires it was obvious that there were weak spots where it felt like there was no copper inside. With some minor repairs, it's back to normal.


Thanks for all the help!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-16-2010, 12:33 PM
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Glad you got it fixed.

Most 4-wheeler problems are caused by a loose nut connecting the handlebars and the seat!!

You only need two tools in life -- WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.
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