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Old 10-14-2010, 12:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Sled won't start - 1st time of season

Hello everyone,

First of all, let me appologize ahead of time for any mistakes made while posting in this forum, I just signed up today, but am excited to be a member.

I've had this problem since I've owned this sled. For my 1999 Yamaha SRZ 700, the first time I try to start it each year, it's a BEAR to get going. Long story short, ether + 2ish hours of pulling & checking plugs will eventually get it running. Typically there is a milky white substance (aka moisture) that would gather on one of the 3 plugs. And once the sled got started, it would be fine for the season.

This year, I wanted to understand the root cause. While reading other posts and applying the learnings, here is what i've discovered/done:
  • All 3 plugs do spark while attached to the plug wires lying near the opening of their respective cylinders
  • I disconnected the fuel lines from the fuel pump to the carbs, and fuel is pushed out, when pull starting.
  • The 3 carbs are inline (attached to each other). I removed the line of carbs, and opened the drain bolt/screw (size of a quarter) from the bottom of each bowl to attempt to drain out any collection of bad fuel
  • Reinstalled carbs & fuel lines to find same results
  • Do not smell gas, nor see any evidence of gas being supplied to the cylinders when I remove the plugs, as they are pretty well dry
  • Do not see any milky white substance on plugs, as in previous years. This could be due to the fact that I stored it differently this year (under the deck vs. in the shed)

I'm just trying to get out ahead of this, plus I'm really ansty to be sledding again.

Let me mention that I don't have a gas shutoff switch, nor am I aware of any primer on this sled. Gas was treated at the end of last season with Stabil.

I'm sure the most-likely answer will be to clean the carbs, but initially, I'm a bit intimidated by the 3 inline carbs. I will say, once I get over this initial yearly pain, the sled runs like a million bucks. I'm just hoping my new-to-me 2003 Yamaha RX1 is about as fast & responsive.

Any help you have is much appreicated.
Thank you
Chris
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Old 10-14-2010, 06:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Good synopsis! I'd try a Windex bottle full of 2 stroke mix and spray it into the carbs to get it started. Once the engine is running, it should pull the fuel through, etc.
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Either find your tank breather hose or just Blow into the filler! This will prime your pump!
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Welcome to the forum!

The three carb (I'm assuming Mikuni TM flat slide "rack style") are not bad at all to work on. Just do one float bowl at a time, don't disassemble the linkage, and you are good to go. Mostly what you will want to do is remove the float bowl and the jets and spray carb cleaner in all the jet openings and all the air passageways to clean any varnish out. Wear eye protection, the carb cleaner always comes out the hole pointed at your eyes. I don't usually remove the floats, but you may need to if you have a sticky inlet needle/seat. That part is not difficult either.

Another trick I use... I have a needle syringe that I squirt gas/oil mix into the float bowls via the vent lines to prefill the bowls. That makes it a lot less cranks before the fuel bowls are full. With three bowls to fill, that's a LOT of cranking!
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you all very much for your help. I got it running today. Before, I had the air intake out and was spraying starter fluid into the back of each carb, but the sled would only run until it burnt that small amount up.

I could have kept doing this, but I decided to try BC_Dan's suggestion first as it was so easy. I mixed some gas, oil, and seafoam in an old steel coffee can, the filled a now-repuropsed kid's medicine syringe, and started pumping fuel into the carb's bowl overflow/vent lines tubes. Within 2 pulls, I was up and running.

This is wonderful news, I knew I would get it started eventually, but didn't have the strength in my left arm for the required 1,000+ for the engine to pull in enough fuel, as I had shoulder surgery < 6 weeks ago on my right.

So, to try to conclude, it seems that either:
1) the fuel in the bowls had evaporated, or drained somewhere else as it sat idle over the summer, and it takes a really really long time to pull enough fuel back into them to start the sled

OR

2) The previously treated fuel potentially went bad and locked up some parts, and the act of forcing new fuel (with seafoam) into the carbs got something unstuck, like the float bowls.
Anyone think otherwise? I figured we could document this for the next person (or me next year).

Now, if anyone can make it snow...

Thanks again for all your help. Great ideas!!!
Chris
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It probably evaporated through that same vent line.
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Glad it worked! Triples are the worst for pulling over, my 650 is a LOT harder to get going than even the old 800s! THINK SNOW
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The new(er) style gas does not last at all as far as ability to be stored unused. Stabil will prolong it slightly but its best to run it out of your tank and carbs at end of season. Source: friends at Briggs & Stratton and research and developement techs at Harley Davidson (not too mention myself experiencing problems on my 6 machines)
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Old 12-23-2010, 07:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
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[


I have an 03 rx1 . When i store it i fog it and in the fall when i go to start it it doesen't seem to get gas. So i use quick start while starting it and away she goes. I spoke to a few mechanics about this and they all said don't fog it just start it once a month while in storage so i'm going to try this next year.
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Old 12-23-2010, 09:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I hear that premium does not have ethanol, and ethanol makes the gas deteriorate faster.
Also, I don't summarize my sled. I start it about once every two weeks, and It doesn't give me problems. I let it warm up for 10 minutes, and shut it down.
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Old 12-23-2010, 11:08 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I find it interesting that starting it at regular intervals in the summer would help the issue, only because I've always heard this isn't recommended. However, I've always heard that in the context of "winterizing" gas-powered machines. Perhaps this doesn't apply to "summer-izing".

Thanks
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Old 12-23-2010, 11:21 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I don't think starting would hurt it, but it could overheat. I don't run it to long (10min), and I rev it on a stand once or twice, to lube up the chain and so-on. I put Sta-Bil in the fuel, and starting it keeps fresh fuel in the carb. I've haven't had anything happen adversely, except, maybe I used a gallon of gas I wouldn't have used.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:37 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I think I have the same problem with my 2001 Polaris XCSP. I drained and ran it out of fuel last spring and fogged it well. I added 1 gallon fresh 91 no Ethanol with 1 oz of SeaFoam. I have pulled the plugs and cleaned them, and it will start if I use starting fluid but I hate doing that. I have pulled it a hundred times and have now tweaked my back. I don't smell fuel and suspect the bowls are dry. How to get fuel flowing?
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:20 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Make sure that you clean your carbs. A slight amount of fuel or fogging oil may have gummed up the small passages in the carb body.
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:02 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Silly question, but did you turn the fuel on? That pesky fuel shutoff won't let fuel pass if it's closed. (don't ask me how I know this!)

If the fuel is on, is fuel coming out of the fuel pump? Try disconnecting the fuel line from the carbs. Pull the plugs (to make pulling the engine over easier) and, with the fuel line in a container, pull the rope a few times. A few teaspoon fulls of fuel should come out on each pull. If it's coming out, check the inlet needle/seats on the carbs.

If it's not, you know which direction to search. No fuel could be a collapsed pick-up tube in the fuel tank, a plugged filter, a bad fuel pump diaphragm, or even a bad impulse line to the fuel pump from the crankcase.

Filling the carb float bowls through the vent lines is a real time saver. If you use a syringe, separate the plunger from the body after you are done, the gasoline will tear up the rubber seal and stick them together, ruining the syringe.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:06 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Today I pulled and cleaned the carbs. Pilot jets had just a pinhole of light passing through. It's back together and no change. I did pull it over a few times with the carbs off (plugs in though), and did not see any fuel coming out the carb supply. Great tip on the syringe in the vent tube, started right up. I did it twice with about 20 ml in each bowl but apparently still didn't run long enough to get the pump going. At least now I know the carbs are clean and my problem is pump, filter, tank pickup, or impulse line. How I check the impulse?
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:29 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Most problems with the impulse line will be visible. The rubber gets cracked and can't contain the vacuum/pressure pulses from the crankcase, so the fuel pump diaphragm doesn't move back and forth to pump fuel. If there's a doubt in the line, just replace it with similar hose. It's cheap and will help you rule out a potential problem.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:27 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I will check the impulse line after work, but I find it difficult to believe this failed just sitting over the summer when it ran fine when I fogged it out of fuel. The engine was sprayed with silicon, dryer sheets and mothballs, and tarped well (don't want any wasps either). I suspect air in the line, is there an easy way to "prime the pump"? Perhaps a vacuum pump on the carb supply? I'd hate to wreck a good pump doing this wrong.
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:23 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Pressurize the tank to force gas up to the pump.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:52 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Talking Problem Solved!

I tried pressurizing the tank with my compressor and a rag but no fuel came out the carb supply line. I disconnected the line from the tank side of the pump and inserted a small piece of tubing to give reach and blew into it expecting to hear bubbles, but did not. Turns out the line inside the tank had broken off the barb and was just laying inside. I had to fish the piece out of the tank and pull the grommet out from the front of the tank (not easy access but doable without taking anything apart except a coolant hose). I replaced the tank tube with gas line from the local auto store and put it all back together with the weighted strainer in the very bottom of the tank. Started on the third pull and runs like a champ.

Learned a great deal about my sled, my carbs are clean, and it's fixed and ready for snow for only $5!!! Thanks everyone for the help.
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