Mystery issue on a 1997 500 Indy..... - Snowmobile Forum: Your #1 Snowmobile Forum

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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 02:43 AM Thread Starter
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Mystery issue on a 1997 500 Indy.....

Ok, this one has me baffled....
I even got my neighbor over to help, since he has more experience, and it baffled him......

So, here is the story. I got a buddy a deal on three sleds, two 500's and one 400 Indy.

All of them have been out this season, and no issues. We went out last Thursday evening, and the '97 Indy 500 would not start. I put new plugs in, and it didn't start. So we took one of my sleds off my trailer and we went riding.

Fast forward to today. My neighbor and I went through the sled, trying to figure out why it didn't start.

First, we put starter fluid in the plug holes, and replaced the plugs. Tried to start it, nothing,,,, not even a pop...
Checked the plugs for spark, and they are getting spark, when grounded to the head. Checked compression, both cylinders at 90+. Fresh ethanol free fuel...
Checked key switch, stator, and kill switch, spark,,,, all appear to be good.
So, we both were stumped. Spark- Check, gas- Check, Compression- Check......
Anything else to check? It does not even sound like it wants to start.... When I hold the throttle open, you can hear the sound through the air box, so the carbs are letting in air.....
Just weird, cause it ran fine, and we put it on the trailer last time we rode it, and now....... nothing..

Any advice on what to check next?
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 06:41 AM
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Are the plugs soaking wet?
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 08:11 AM
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Check the exhaust outlet, see if it got bent shut?
Also check the air box for a mouse.
90 seems low but I know that Polaris runs lower compression!
My sled wouldn't start under 100psi!
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 08:42 AM
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First, you shouldn't use starting fluid in a 2 stroke engine. Very hard on the engine. Is the spark nice and blue or yellow? That engine should have 115-120# of compression. If that is tested with an accurate gauge, it's to low. 90# will make it very hard to start, if it will start at all.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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We checked the compression with a dial gauge that screws in the hole, with 4 quick pulls, and jumped up to 90. Wanted to see if we had a dead cylinder, i.e. a hole in a piston..... It is strange that it ran fine last time it was out.

Don't usually use starting fluid, but wanted to see if it world fire. The spark looked bright. Plugs do look a bit wet, but thought it was the fluid in the cylinder.

I assume to check the exhaust, I just need to pull the Y pipe and exhaust? I can hear the sound change when we open the throttle, so I assume it's not blocked.........

Maybe an animal made a nest while it was on the trailer???

I would think it would start even with 90# of pressure.

Thanks
Bob
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 04:19 PM
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Try putting a bit of oil/gas into the spark plug holes to see if it fires at all. That works better for me than starting fluid...

When I check compression, I will pull both plugs and pull the rope until the gauge stops rising. Sometimes that's on 4 pulls, sometimes it's a few more than 4. Try it with the throttle wide open, too. Sometimes that will make a difference, especially if only pulling four pulls.

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 06:45 PM
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Give it 10 hard pulls with the throttle held wide open!
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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Ok,
sounds good. Will give it a try and get a better compression test. I assume that the motor would fire with 90# of pressure?

I will put some gas in the plug holes and see what happens.

If I put my hand over the exhaust system pipe, should I feel anything?

Thanks again for the input.......
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 01:27 AM
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Air in, same air out. You should feel a little pulse every time a piston rotates.

90 is low and could definitely be a problem. Check one of the engines that's running to see if you're getting more compression in that one. If it's higher, that would indicate the gauge is accurate. That may mean it's time for a top end rebuild.

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 06:29 AM
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Spark plugs rarely work again once they are wet. You have to buy them by the box full. Try your compression gauge on a known running sled to see how accurate it is. I lost a crank seal recently and my compression dropped to 90 on that side and it is almost impossible to start that way.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 09:33 AM
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Sometimes you can save the plugs by burning off the wet stuff with a propane torch. It's worth a try (But like cadillac said, keep the box of plugs handy, just in case!)

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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 06:12 PM
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Never did answer, are the plugs wet?

Meaning, is the engine flooded or dry?

But yeah, 90# is to low. Have a machine with 90# and I can get it started, but I have to use a clutch spinner, which is basically an electric start like you see used on race cars, turns it at about 950 rpm.

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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses.
I did take the plugs out and they sparked when laid down on the head. So they were not soaked.

I will do another real compression check, since I just did a quick check to see if one cylinder was totally dead.

Just seems strange that the sled has been out four times without issue this year, and now won't start. But maybe the compression just went with the top end.'

Will check the other sleds, and see if my gauge is accurate.
Have to head to New York later this week, so won;t have a chance to check it out until next wed.

Wish I was able to get more riding in as the snow is still good..........
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 09:31 AM
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We'll be riding until May, easy. Diamond Lake has more than 10 feet in most places. You got time!

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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 09:06 PM
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90psi is definitely low and personally surprising that it would run. Check your fuel filter in the tank as well as the fuel line to ensure it's all intact. Throttle switch can also trigger a no go it it's not set properly.
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMK4Fun View Post
Thanks for the responses.
I did take the plugs out and they sparked when laid down on the head. So they were not soaked.
Spark doesn't mean they are not soaked. It will spark in the open air. It is when they are soaked and handling the 120+ PSI they don't light off the gas to well.

Soaked plugs means the gas isn't vaporizing.

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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 09:02 AM
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And if it is flooded it will mist fuel out of the plug holes when you crank it over with plugs out!
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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OK, Finally got to check it out over the weekend. Boy, was I surprised......

So, my buddy brings it over, I pull the plugs and hook up the compression tester, and the motor is locked!

Pull the tester and both cylinders are full of fuel!
I assume that the floats stuck, I turned off the fuel shut off valve, so we keep pulling until the fuel is gone from the cylinders. There was a ton of fuel.

Check compression with the tester, and nothing. Bounces put to 30lbs and then to zero.....

So we decided it was going to need more work than we had time for.
I am now thinking that the fuel pump diagram leaked into the crankcase, as both cylinders were full, and what are the odds of both floats stuck open?

What baffles me is the no compression thing...... Did the fuel destroy the reeds?

Sounds like we need to pull the head, and carbs, and see what's happening....
This sled is done for the season, as we still have tons of snow, and other sleds.....

Any other thoughts or input? What to get some input before pulling things apart.....
Thanks
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 08:44 AM
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Start with a different tester.
If it bounces it isn't holding!
Fuel pump would only do 1 cyl!
Yes the floats are most likely the problem!
You will want to check the How too section on cleaning the carbs!
Then with a piece of hose attached to the inlet.
Then blow into the hose with your mouth and raise the float till it wont flow any air!
That is your 'Float Level' it is supposed to be level with the carb body!
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 12:59 PM
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First, there are two small plugs just below the exhaust on the crankcase. If you pull those, any fuel remaining in the crankcase can drain out. I would start there.

You should be able to determine if the fuel pump is leaking. After the fuel has been drained, pull the impulse line that goes from the pump to the crankcase. If there is any fuel coming out of the fuel pump into that line, the diaphragm has a hole. You may want to rebuild it, just because. KC is right, usually a leaking fuel pump only fills one side, although it would seem possible in a worn engine that fuel could travel from one side to the other via the oil pump gear drive.

It's very possible that debris has kept the inlet needle/seats from sealing, which will allow fuel to overflow the float bowl. KC's check with the hose should be able to rule that out. If you raise the floats completely and air still flows into the carb through the needle/seat, then either there's debris in the seat or the needle is worn. Make sure to pull the float off to remove the needle to check. It's common for the old brass seats to develop a ridge that won't seal in the seat.

I think the 97 Fuji 500 was a piston-ported engine and would not have reeds.

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