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Before you replace the CDI, ohms check the pulse generator and the stator. The diagnostics section may also run you through a voltage test to the CDI.
 

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Have you changed the starter valve on the carb? If it’s hard starting and you didn’t change it that’s my bet.

If you think fuel starvation
do a flow test on the fuel pump.
inspect the petcock by taking it off and blow through it when on and reserve make sure the gasket didn’t slip and block the flow
Replace cracked hoses might be causing the pump to lose the prime
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Have you changed the starter valve on the carb? If it’s hard starting and you didn’t change it that’s my bet.

If you think fuel starvation
do a flow test on the fuel pump.
inspect the petcock by taking it off and blow through it when on and reserve make sure the gasket didn’t slip and block the flow
Replace cracked hoses might be causing the pump to lose the prime
Can you clarify what you mean by the "starter valve"?

The fuel filter is new, I might need to replace some hosing. Didn't pull the petcock yet, but when you say the gasket may have slipped, is that inside the actual unit and you're thinking it may have caused it to go from On to partially Off?

Try using the choke lever to start. It's right below the start/run/light switch.
LOL well of course! That video isn't mine, just has the same symptoms as my machine.

No one is thinking CDI and/or Coil eh?
 

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Hard to diagnose your problem by viewing another man’s vidya but I’d say number one he’s not using the correct starting method and two his choke valve is worn. Which would explain your fouled plug. The choke or starter valve is on the side of the carb.

To start a carburetted engine this is how Shadetree explained to me awhile back:
Cold engine
Run switch to ON
Set choke to far left (there is a full detent stop, a half choke detent stop and off)
Key Ignition to ON
Neutral light on steady
Oil light on momentarily then off
Hold throttle 1/3 open
Crank or kick over engine
After it cranks or kicks you may hear the pump run (short but rapid drrrrrrrr); if it runs longer than say three seconds you might have air in lines or failing pump. That’s why i said do the volume test.

After it runs for a minute maybe two then switch to half choke; after 3-5 minutes ready for choke off.

You'll hear the pump cycling and maybe see it chug-chug ever couple seconds
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Major Update!

Latest Status:
  • By a miracle of God, the electric start somehow worked (used method @Goober described above)
  • Problem is that it wouldn't start again after that. So after it's miracle start, I started diagnosing. I was coming up blank (and luckily have a lot of spare parts) so I started swapping parts including:
    [*]CDI
    [*]Ignition Coil
    [*]Starter​
**Remember - @shadetree built the carb and I didn't monkey with it!**

None of this is working. It simply will not start (with the old parts or the new). To get a better idea, I made a video! See link below!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mCJvkmgrrXfZ-0xTMKxafY6QFXN900Tb/view?usp=sharing

I also took a photo of the spark plug which was just replaced last year.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1-1MNaVIlloSRg0URqliPGghSv-bUHfEZ

I look forward to everyone's help!
 

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The kill/stop switch on the left handle bar has gotten me many times, so that's the first thing I verify is working correctly. Slide/wiggle it back and forth and get it dead center. Try it, move it some more and try it again. If it doesn't start, then I'd check that it's working correctly via an ohm meter. Best I remember its wiring harness connections for it are on the right side. Check the wiring diagrams in the service manual but I think the switch is normally closed in the RUN position on the '87 350D Foreman. The wire colors are also listed in the manual.

My next step would be to make sure the spark plug is firing.
 

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You’re running the starter too long—5 sec tops—then let it cool

Doesn’t sound like it’s getting fuel—when you open the carb drain screw does fuel pour out?

Spray a 1 sec burst of starting fluid in the carb throat. Don’t open the throttle. Try starting it—does it fire for a second? Try it with no choke—My carb hates getting choked.

Is your pilot screw set at 1.75 turns out minimum? Actually go out 3 half turns, a quarter turn, and half a quarter.
 

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You’re running the starter too long—5 sec tops—then let it cool

Doesn’t sound like it’s getting fuel—when you open the carb drain screw does fuel pour out?

Spray a 1 sec burst of starting fluid in the carb throat. Don’t open the throttle. Try starting it—does it fire for a second? Try it with no choke—My carb hates getting choked.

Is your pilot screw set at 1.75 turns out minimum? Actually go out 3 half turns, a quarter turn, and half a quarter.
told him this in a text, cranking too long, and try starting fluid. if it wont '' fire '' over with starting fluid ?, then its a spark issue ?, compression issue ?, or timing issue ?.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You’re running the starter too long–5 sec tops–then let it cool

Doesn’t sound like it’s getting fuel–when you open the carb drain screw does fuel pour out?

Spray a 1 sec burst of starting fluid in the carb throat. Don’t open the throttle. Try starting it–does it fire for a second? Try it with no choke–My carb hates getting choked.

Is your pilot screw set at 1.75 turns out minimum? Actually go out 3 half turns, a quarter turn, and half a quarter.
The pilot screw is set however @shadetree set it. I am going to try the starting fluid in a second with the choke on and off. In the past, it never has started (cold) without full-choke.
@Goober If I mess with the pilot screw, you're saying put it in flush, then go out 1.5 turns (3/2 turns) - test it, then if that fails, try just 0.25 turn (1/4) and then if that fails, try 0.125 (1/8) turn?
 

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You’re running the starter too long—5 sec tops—then let it cool

Doesn’t sound like it’s getting fuel—when you open the carb drain screw does fuel pour out?

Spray a 1 sec burst of starting fluid in the carb throat. Don’t open the throttle. Try starting it—does it fire for a second? Try it with no choke—My carb hates getting choked.

Is your pilot screw set at 1.75 turns out minimum? Actually go out 3 half turns, a quarter turn, and half a quarter.
The pilot screw is set however @shadetree set it. I am going to try the starting fluid in a second with the choke on and off. In the past, it never has started (cold) without full-choke.

@Goober If I mess with the pilot screw, you're saying put it in flush, then go out 1.5 turns (3/2 turns) - test it, then if that fails, try just 0.25 turn (1/4) and then if that fails, try 0.125 (1/8) turn?
plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz dont mess with the pilot screw..there is no reason to touch that..lol.
 

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I also tried two coils
I inspected the end of the coil wire where it goes into the cap. That was the final bit of success for me. I had severe corrosion on the wires—so i cut off a half inch, dressed it with permatex dielectric grease, and cleaned off the cap prong with a 17 caliber bore brush.

Drove the wire down on that prong and she fired right up
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I also tried two coils
I inspected the end of the coil wire where it goes into the cap. That was the final bit of success for me. I had severe corrosion on the wires–so i cut off a half inch, dressed it with permatex dielectric grease, and cleaned off the cap prong with a 17 caliber bore brush.

Drove the wire down on that prong and she fired right up
Well I replaced the coil (last time it started, it was with the original coil). The original coil looked fine on the connector-side to the two prongs but the actual portion that fit over the spark plug was a bit loose. The new coil snaps on solid. Nevertheless - replacing the coil didn't make a difference (and putting the old one back on didn't "restore function" either). I didn't see any notable corrosion on the wire-harness side of the connectors, they were clean underneath the rubber protectors.
 

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Ok leave the pilot screw alone.

Hit it widda starter fluid. Does if fire and quit? CDI. Where did you get your CDIs? Are they OEM? Try baking one in the oven at 200F or at least three hours —connector up—then let completely cool in the oven overnight. Not hotter—you’re trying to drive off moisture and/or allow the board to relax in the potting.

Clean those connectors with contact cleaner and a plumbers flux brush—then permatex dielectric grease.


Not having an oil light—why is that? If you ground the oil sensor lead does the oil light come on?
 

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I also tried two coils
I inspected the end of the coil wire where it goes into the cap. That was the final bit of success for me. I had severe corrosion on the wires–so i cut off a half inch, dressed it with permatex dielectric grease, and cleaned off the cap prong with a 17 caliber bore brush.

Drove the wire down on that prong and she fired right up
Well I replaced the coil (last time it started, it was with the original coil). The original coil looked fine on the connector-side to the two prongs but the actual portion that fit over the spark plug was a bit loose. The new coil snaps on solid. Nevertheless - replacing the coil didn't make a difference (and putting the old one back on didn't "restore function" either). I didn't see any notable corrosion on the wire-harness side of the connectors, they were clean underneath the rubber protectors.
New coil? Aftermarket? Might not be an R coil.
Try the old one and do like i did mine

You have to drive down that wire onto the prong!!
 
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