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Old 10-04-2011, 10:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Won't start without starting fluid

I've got a 2001 RMK 800. I've done a lot of work to it since I bought it 2 years ago for only $500 but I can't figure out why it won't start without starting fluid. With a good shot of starting fluid and choke, it starts first pull and runs like a champ although a bit smokey till it warms up. I can pull on that thing for an hour, but it just won't start without the starting fluid. Any ideas? Maybe turn out the needle adjustment? If so, how much?
When I bought it, it had a broken motor mount (front left), a leaky chain case, tired shocks and springs, both suspension rails had been worn through the hifax, lights had issues (ground wire), I've fixed all of those problems, added a new seat cover, painted the hood and exhaust, added an exhaust can and replaced the whole rear suspension ($100 on ebay!), new skaggs, 4 new bearings on the jack shafts etc.... I'm just stumped on this starting issue.
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would go through the carbs real good, make sure they arent all gummed up, and pay close attention to the choke / enrichening plungers. I would also check for vacuum leaks when running, if its sucking air (with no fuel) from somewhere else, you wont get much from the choke
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Old 10-04-2011, 02:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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When you are trying to start, are you holding the throttle open? If so, try without; the enrichment circuit doesn't work well at all when the throttle slides are lifted (the velocity of the air going across the enrichment circuit opening is way less with the throttle open, not allowing extra fuel to be picked up to enrich the air/fuel mix.) I agree with jrscars; cleaning the carbs and making sure the enrichment plungers are moving properly is also a good idea.

It does sound like carburation, but there are also some throttle safety switches in the throttle block; if the throttle cable tension isn't set to spec, it may not be allowing spark. The gap should be 0.010" to 0.030" from the throttle flipper to the throttle block. Also, the choke flipper should have 1/8" to 1/4" slack, if there's too much slack there, the plungers won't rise to allow extra fuel in.

Next time it's not starting, check for spark (use an inline tester if available.) That way, you can narrow down your problem to either fuel or electrons.
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My brother had that same sled.... and it was the same way. I agree with the advice that was given,,,, but he never figured out what it was doing. We finally figured out that if we put just a little gas in each cylinder (just take the spark plugs out and we used a small syringe to squirt a little gas in) then it fired first pull. His only did it the first time it was started each day so it wasn't a big deal...... But his went to the dealer and they never figured out why. Each time they told him it was fixed.... but the next day it would be the same thing. Good luck.
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Suggest maybe a primer kit if the carb cleaning doesn't do the trick.
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrscars View Post
I would go through the carbs real good, make sure they arent all gummed up, and pay close attention to the choke / enrichening plungers. I would also check for vacuum leaks when running, if its sucking air (with no fuel) from somewhere else, you wont get much from the choke
I've gone through the carbs 3 times but I have to admit I've never attacked the choke. That's a good place to start. No vacuum leaks though.
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BC_Dan View Post
When you are trying to start, are you holding the throttle open? If so, try without; the enrichment circuit doesn't work well at all when the throttle slides are lifted (the velocity of the air going across the enrichment circuit opening is way less with the throttle open, not allowing extra fuel to be picked up to enrich the air/fuel mix.) I agree with jrscars; cleaning the carbs and making sure the enrichment plungers are moving properly is also a good idea.

It does sound like carburation, but there are also some throttle safety switches in the throttle block; if the throttle cable tension isn't set to spec, it may not be allowing spark. The gap should be 0.010" to 0.030" from the throttle flipper to the throttle block. Also, the choke flipper should have 1/8" to 1/4" slack, if there's too much slack there, the plungers won't rise to allow extra fuel in.

Next time it's not starting, check for spark (use an inline tester if available.) That way, you can narrow down your problem to either fuel or electrons.
I've tried with and without the throttle open. Even with the starting fluid, it want's it open though. I've gone through the carbs 3 times but I've never attacked the choke. It should have occurred to me but I always think (little passages) when I go through the carbs and I guess I just didn't think. That's a good place to start though.
Since it "always" starts with starter fluid, I'm confident it's not a safety switch. I'll check the cable slack when I go through the choke.
Also, since it always starts with starting fluid, I'm thinking "spark" isn't the issue either.
Thanks..
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