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1997 honda foreman 400 4x4. Sometimes when I go to use the electric start it just sits there and makes a terrible electric clicking noise but sometimes it starts perfectly. Battery is fully charged. Does anybody know what could be wrong or steps to find out. I don't want to pull start it to often because it has terrible kickback where it pulls my hand back to the motor. The motor was rebuilt about 5 years ago
 

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more than likely, your starter solenoid is bad, and needs to be replaced. DON'T BUY CHINA CRAP !, BUY OEM FROM HONDA !.
 

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Check your automatic compression release as well. You should be able to pull start it without the kickback. The kickback is very hard on your starter, solenoid and battery.
 

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From what I read I'd jump the solenoid if it starts replace it :)
 

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it should be right next to the battery, small round part, one cable from the battery, ( pos ) hooks to one terminal, other terminal goes from it, to the starter. it also has a wire connector on the top/side, two wires, most are yellow/red strip, green/red stripe.
 

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Check your automatic compression release as well. You should be able to pull start it without the kickback. The kickback is very hard on your starter, solenoid and battery.
What is that and how does it work
don't bother, your model does not have one like he thinks ?. your model has the decompression lever built on the cam, which you can't see or get too without tearing the front cover off.
 
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it should be right next to the battery, small round part, one cable from the battery, ( pos ) hooks to one terminal, other terminal goes from it, to the starter. it also has a wire connector on the top/side, two wires, most are yellow/red strip, green/red stripe.
The solenoid or the compression release
 

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it should be right next to the battery, small round part, one cable from the battery, ( pos ) hooks to one terminal, other terminal goes from it, to the starter. it also has a wire connector on the top/side, two wires, most are yellow/red strip, green/red stripe.
The solenoid or the compression release
starter solenoid. decompression is built onto the cam, which you can't see or get to without removing the front cover.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I hooked a battery charger directly to the solenoid and it turned over. So maybe even though I keep the battery charged with a slow charger, its to weak to do anything. So i will have to get a new battery
 

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1997 honda foreman 400 4x4. Sometimes when I go to use the electric start it just sits there and makes a terrible electric clicking noise but sometimes it starts perfectly. Battery is fully charged.
You said that the motor cranks and starts sometimes. Just in case... before you spend money on a new battery... have you cleaned up both battery terminals and the solenoid terminals? Checked the ground cable going to the motor?
 

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just because you '' think '' the battery is fully charged and good ?, DOES NOT MEAN IT IS GOOD !. i can't say this enough...A BATTERY WITH 12 VOLTS OR HIGHER ...IS NOT WHAT CRANKS A MOTOR !. what cranks your engines...IS AMPS !!..this is why we shop for a battery that has CCA listed, this is short for Cold Cranking Amps, this is what turns a engine over..not 12 volts !.
 

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Check your automatic compression release as well. You should be able to pull start it without the kickback. The kickback is very hard on your starter, solenoid and battery.
What is that and how does it work
don't bother, your model does not have one like he thinks ?. your model has the decompression lever built on the cam, which you can't see or get too without tearing the front cover off.
That's the mechanism I was referring to........ However this is one detail I am not sure of. If they valve lash is loose will this cause the compression release to ineffective? I know it does on models that I'm familiar with.
 

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What is that and how does it work
don't bother, your model does not have one like he thinks ?. your model has the decompression lever built on the cam, which you can't see or get too without tearing the front cover off.
That's the mechanism I was referring to........ However this is one detail I am not sure of. If they valve lash is loose will this cause the compression release to ineffective? I know it does on models that I'm familiar with.
if the exhaust valve lash is off ?, then yes, the decompression lever on the cam wont work very well. most all Hondas that have the part made onto the cam, are made on the exhaust valve end :).
 
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don't bother, your model does not have one like he thinks ?. your model has the decompression lever built on the cam, which you can't see or get too without tearing the front cover off.
That's the mechanism I was referring to........ However this is one detail I am not sure of. If they valve lash is loose will this cause the compression release to ineffective? I know it does on models that I'm familiar with.
if the exhaust valve lash is off ?, then yes, the decompression lever on the cam wont work very well. most all Hondas that have the part made onto the cam, are made on the exhaust valve end :).

Thanks....that's what I thought.
 

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ok. I replaced the battery and it still just clicks when I try to start it. The clicking is in the starter solenoid. However. When I jump the solenoid the motor does not turn over, the solenoid just sparks a little. What do I need to look at next???????? I also made sure my battery connection, solenoid connection, and starter connection were good.
 

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From what you explained it sounds like either the starter motor is no longer functional or you have a bad cable (or connection). You can take the starter motor off the bike and test run it by attaching jumper cable leads to it that are connected to a known strong 12 volt battery. The FSM for your Foreman has a complete section devoted to starting and charging systems, along with troubleshooting flow charts to assist you.

If you have any troubles testing the starter motor once you have it off let us know.
 

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From what you explained it sounds like either the starter motor is no longer functional or you have a bad cable (or connection). You can take the starter motor off the bike and test run it by attaching jumper cable leads to it that are connected to a known strong 12 volt battery. The FSM for your Foreman has a complete section devoted to starting and charging systems, along with troubleshooting flow charts to assist you.

If you have any troubles testing the starter motor once you have it off let us know.
I agree that it sounds like a bad starter motor (maybe the brushes are worn out), but use caution if you try to run the starter motor with it removed from the ATV. I would think that when you apply power to the motor (and if the motor will run), it will immediately twist with huge force due to action/reaction. If you want to try the jumper cable idea, I suggest leaving the starter in the ATV and hooking the jumper cables directly to the starter terminal and ground to the frame. Seriously, though, since you already did this in a sense by bridging the terminals on the starter relay, I would just conclude that the starter motor is bad and proceed with repairing or replacing the starter motor.
 
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