Formula STX, Rotax 583 Won't Start - Snowmobile Forum: Your #1 Snowmobile Forum

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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-07-2008, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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Formula STX, Rotax 583 Won't Start

I've fixed a lot of cars and small engines, including a few two cycles, but I've not worked on snowmobiles.

My son has a Ski-Doo Formula STX with a Rotax 583 in it. Apparently last winter (near the end) it died on the trail and couldn't be restarted. My son is not mechanical so that could simply be that he flooded it.

Now, nine or so months later, I decided to take a look at it. After all Winter's on the way. It's always been rather hard to start. The first pull it seemed to fire a bit but nothing after that. It's the type where you prime it with a pump and that seems to be working fine.

I pulled the plugs, they look fine but I replaced them anyway. When I pull the starter the plugs are sparking so I know it's getting a spark.

I smell fuel so think fuel is at least flowing. Also, with the plugs connected, but removed, I layed them over the plug holes. Occasionally I can get the plugs to ignite the fuel air mix coming out of the cylinders when I pull to get it started.

Last time, after trying to start it there was fuel dripping out of the bottom of the sled. I really wonder if there is a fuel metering problem. On a lawn mower I'd suspect a stuck float bowl.

Other than waiting several weeks to get it into a shop... does anyone have any suggestions? I'd be inclined to pull the carbs, take them apart and clean them up. What are the high failure rate parts and/or what parts should I be replacing or examining? Are the carbs the most likely culprit or should I be looking at something else.

By the way, I'm sort of assuming they're carbs but they could as easily be throttle bodies. That's what I'm hoping to get. A push in the right direction. Is it valid to assume a fuel metering problem and, if so, how do I troubleshoot that?

Thanks for any help.
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-07-2008, 12:58 PM
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I suspect you're on the right track....sounds like carbs need a thorough cleaning. Check out the tech section here to give you basic instructions.
Good luck!!

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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-08-2008, 07:43 AM
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Pull it over hard with the plugs out. Does fuel shoot out the plug holes?

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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-08-2008, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Pull it over hard with the plugs out. Does fuel shoot out the plug holes?
I think the answer is yes. I get a fine mist of fuel coming out the two plug holes if I pull the plugs and pull it over hard.

If I remove the spark plugs but connect them to the spark plug wires, so that they spark, but leave they lying (but grounded) over the spark plug holes I can get the fuel air mix, shooting out the spark plug hole, to occasionally ignite.

A long time ago I had an MGA. Very cool car and lots of fun but very high maintenance. It had what they called "SU" carburetors. Instead of the traditional float bowl and metering jet they have a main jet with a needle that sort of rides up and down on a cylinder based on air flow into the engine. This is the type of carburetor installed on the snow mobile.

Thanks for any help.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-08-2008, 06:33 PM
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Where are you located?

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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-08-2008, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-09-2008, 06:37 AM
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WHen the plugs spark outside of the motor, is the spark going to the center electrode, or to the side of the plug? If it's the side, the plug is fouled.

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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-13-2008, 10:58 PM
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turn off the fuel lever. (if equiped) if not just pinch with something.
detach both carbs and let them hang by the throttle and make sure they are roughly level.
turn the fuel on.
if they leak, one of your floats is stuck. I had exactly the same problem after cleaning my carbs.
if one or more of the carbs leaks, take off the bowl. sometimes the floats get a little caught. just jiggle them around a bit, then test if they leak again before putting them back on.

Before you put them back on, take out both plugs and turn the engine over LOTS until fuel mist stops spraying out the plug holes. WARNING! (make sure the plug wires are nowhere near the plug holes) you will have to take the expansion chamber(s) off too, (when you turn the engine over) and put an old towel underneath to catch the raw fuel. that's where all the fuel is leaking into the bottom of your snowmobile.

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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-14-2008, 11:39 AM
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I had the exact same issue on my '94 Formula Z (same engine as your STX). I would pull 100 times on that stupid cord only to have it back fire and sputter. Turns out my crank seals were both gone. I replaced both outer seals and it fired right up. I hate to say it, but your issue could be more than just lack of spark or fuel.

Also, check the cable that runs from the throttle to the oil pump. They tend to fray and snap. I replace mine every three seasons as I found out the hard way the first time.

Good luck!

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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-14-2008, 10:45 PM
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i'm pretty sure it is too much fuel. like runny nose kind of carb leak into the engine. that's why he is getting the mist out if the pug holes and the gas leaking out of the manifold to pipe joints.

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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-12-2009, 12:11 AM
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Formula STX Rotax 583 won't start

Just4fun20,
Did you ever fix your problem? Or find out what was wrong?

I have the same sled and had almost the same problem. I thought it was getting the fuel from the primer and I got tired of pulling because it would not start. I gave up. After a few months, I was ready to troubleshoot it again. I could give you the long version of all I checked out, but I don't want to bore you. The end result that I found out is the primer plunger may have had dry seals, not pushing enough fuel. Now I start the machine everyday, 2nd pull every time.
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-17-2009, 07:06 PM
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i have a rotax 583 and it does this but more mist out of the right cylinder and hardly any out of the left. i cleaned the carbs today because i seen this forum and i had the same problem but it still does not start. and still more shoots outa the right cylindet. i though i took care of the fuel leaking through the carbs but i found that the motor still leaked a little into the expansion chamber but not much so could this be because i hadnt cleared the fuel entirely and maybe i havent gave it enuf pulls to refill the float bowls but i did pull on it an awful lot. geez it seems like they would have decided to make electric start a must on these things from day one
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-18-2009, 08:45 AM
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i have a rotax 583 and it does this but more mist out of the right cylinder and hardly any out of the left. i cleaned the carbs today because i seen this forum and i had the same problem but it still does not start. and still more shoots outa the right cylindet. i though i took care of the fuel leaking through the carbs but i found that the motor still leaked a little into the expansion chamber but not much so could this be because i hadnt cleared the fuel entirely and maybe i havent gave it enuf pulls to refill the float bowls but i did pull on it an awful lot. geez it seems like they would have decided to make electric start a must on these things from day one
check the fuel pump.the diaphram is probably shot.
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-18-2009, 10:50 AM
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Lightbulb the 583

well by fuel pump you mean the primer right. because i am taking the motor out and putting it in a honda odyssey and it will be gravity feed so this should eliminate the problem right?
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 09:31 PM
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no fuel pump.it's under the carbs.you'll need it to run the odyssey.gravity won't feed enough fuel at wide open throttle.
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post #16 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 12:07 AM
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i have a 1995 Formula Z 583 and i kinda had the same problem. The sled wouldnt fire and i would get a mist out of the cylinders. also fuel was leaking out of the bottom of my sled. I first thought a float was stuck but that was fine. Then i suspected a pump and it wasnt that. Turned out i had a piece of dirt inbetween my needle and seat. One way too determine whether its your pump or your carbs is to disconnect the pulse line(the line going from your pump to your crankcase) then give it a few pulls... if fuel comes out of the line then its your pump but if fuel comes out of the case then it will be your carbs.
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post #17 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 07:07 PM
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possibly flooded ?

my 97 formula was flooded and you could pull all you want and wouldnt start ..compression was only showing 90psi so thought for sure the engine was gone... so we got the idea maybe it was flooded and it was..we pulled the plugs out and exhaust off and pulled the skidoo over and the gas was shooting out ...then put the plugs in and shut the gas off and pulled more it began to kick after a while of pulling and finally got it running and compression was back up to 120.
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post #18 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 09:38 PM
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I have the same exact sled, and already had the same exact problem. My sled would run great, but if i left it set for a while, the entire motor would fill with gas. I figured out that the problem was a small piece of those cheap blue tarps. It was stuck in between the needle and seat, letting fuel flow right into the motor, and the bowl just kept feeding it. might be worth a look.
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post #19 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 11:48 AM
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hey guys thanks for info

i have took out the carbs for the second time and cleaned again. i noticed the right carb floats didnt move easily when turned upside down. wiped with paper towel and bam they slide perfect i havent had the chance to check it out but i did reinstall and i am pretty sure that was the problem.
thanks everyone
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post #20 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-06-2010, 01:16 AM
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OK Sorry to bring up such an old thread but really need help.. I am gonna take all ive read into consideration. Tomorrow i will check to make sure there is no gunk in the carbs even though i just had them apart.. The entire casing and exhaust pipe were full of fuel.. I own a 96 583 mxz and ran fine the other day until this happend. I was trail riding and then shut it off for just a minute and it would not start. had to get pulled like 15 miles to get back home. Please if anybody has any other suggestions let me know i am open to anything... I already pulled it over for about 20 mins trying to get everything out of the casing... I completley removed the exhaust pipe because it was full of fuel i litterally dumped out 8 dollars worth of premium gas out of the exhaust pipe.. once again thanks for your replies and help in advance. ~Josh~
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