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Discussion Starter #1
I have had it for about 3 years with absolutely no problems up until about a week ago. I rode it around close to the house off and on for a week or so, still no problems. Then I took a longer ride, was probably about 20 miles into it when while going up a small hill, it suddenly began to sputter, backfired and died. I could not find anything obvious wrong, tried to run it a few times with the same symptoms. I began walking, changed my mind, fired it up and was able to limp about 7 miles to a snow park where I got a ride home.

So first I changed the fuel filter and put in some fuel system dryer, I had went through some deep powder a few miles before the problem and thought I might have sucked some snow into the carbs..the 'Cat has those infamous loose sealing airbox side carb boots. Still no change.

So I decided to pull and drain the tank, and pull and clean the carbs. Didn't find any issues with the tank (other than there was only about a gallon of fuel in it) I thought, "There's the problem, it was low on fuel so it made sense that the problem first arose while going up a hill), plus my fuel gauge was broken. The carbs were not bad, no plugged jets, just a bit of gunk in the bottom, and bought a new fuel gauge.

So, I figured it should run good now right? No, I put 3 gallons of fresh fuel, fired it up (starts easily) and the problem is still there. It idles fine and when I open it up it takes off fine, but when I back off from full throttle to mid, it sputters and wants to die, seems to get worse the longer it runs.

My thoughts are that it's either starving for fuel or it has an electrical problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
That was the problem, the safety over-ride switch, disconnected it and it runs like a champ again! Read a bit about what a TOR switch is actually for? I guess a safety cut off in case of a stuck throttle?

Ok, it ran great around the house and then about 10 minutes later, it started cutting out and backfiring again. Would not run above 2k rpm, so I idled it towards home, then after a mile it seemed to be coming out of it, increased rpm to 3k or so, still misfiring some, then about another half mile, made it home, now it's running fine again, wtf?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So, I ran it again around the house and it's running good again, although I did notice that the idle seemed really low, so I bumped it up to about 1500 rpm. Actually the idle has been too low he entire time I have owned it. When I stopped on the trail even for a few seconds and took off again, it would sputter a bit, then take off. Now that I increased the RPM's it doesn't do that. Just going to keep close to home for a while and see what happens, don't trust it to go too far.
 

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OK when you cleaned the carbs, did you remove the pilot jet(up the tube) and the air screw and shoot carb cleaner threw it?
Also did you put a piece of fuel hose on the inlet and blow(with your mouth) and raise the float til it stops air flow?
Was that point level with the carb body?
I would also at least clean the fuel pump and replace all the fuel lines including the pick up in the tank?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I did clean the pilot jet as you described. I didn't know about blowing into the carb to check the float. I removed the pickup going into the tank and cleaned the filter, plus replaced the fuel filter. I did not clean the fuel pump, didn't know about that either. I will take it on a short run today and see how it goes. Then will probably run it again Friday after I go to town and get fuel. I will report back and let you know how it goes, thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It's running perfect now, the safety switch on the throttle paddle was bad, so I cut the wire to it, (the middle on on the kill switch plug) it solved the problem and the kill switch is still operable. The idle was also too low, causing it to bog when accelerating. Man, but does this sled love fuel though! O well, the power is worth it. Now the brake-tail light and headlights aren't working...the switch is missing the button and spring, so will order a new switch, hopefully that's all it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I would personally recommend repairing the switch, I have actually seen a sled saved from a ghost ride with that! Throttle iced up, and stuck open.
Point taken.

More problems. I noticed last night that my headlights and tail light aren't working, and the speedo and tach also son't work, and hard warmers quit. My hi-lo headlight switch is missing the runner and spring, but that's been that way for quite some time, also the speedo quit about 3 years ago. Everything else worked at that time so I assumed it was the cable. I can change the light switch from hi to lo with a small screwdriver. I noticed that the head light elements had a slight glow on hi beam, but nothing on lo....also it has 3 headlight elements, but I am missing the center one.

Plus I thought I had the miss firing issue cleared up, so I went for a ride today and about 2 miles in it started missing again, not as bad as before though. Then about 3/4 mile from home it was running great again. Thinking probably a bad ground, could that also cause the misfiring? It's intermittent.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Tested the stator and voltage regulator, looks like the stator is bad...$225! I wonder if I can find a place who rebuilds them for maybe half that? I live in Wa state.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks guys, will replace the stator or have it rebuilt over the Summer.

Couple more questions, my expansion chamber joint where it joins the head pipe is badly rusted, about half of it's gone, but the seal still stays in place and it doesn't leak...yet. I doubt it can be welding since so much of it's missing. The rest of the pipe is good so I would like to try to save it. Seems my best bet would be to find a used pipe, maybe one that is blown out in another area, cut off the piece I need and weld it on. I doubt that you can buy a replacement end to weld on?

Also does, this motor have reed valves?
 

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Yes they sell just 2" ball joints!
But I bet you could have yours welded!
Swap season is in Sept and a 500 or 600 pipe will work!
I even have a few used pipes that I have done just what you are talking about doing!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Cool. I tried to pull the stator today, watched Blain's video for assistance. Had a problem and wasn't able to loosen the 17mm center bolt on the housing...not left handed threads are they? I only had a 1/2 drive 17mm socket so I gave up because I think it would have broke my wrench...so going to buy a 1/2 drive socket and hopefully I can break it free...doesn't seem like it should be that tight at what, 54 lbs torque?
 

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Try a impact!
Or a large screw driver or pinch bar through the clutch to hold the crank!
The way it sounds, doesn't point to the stator?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I don't have an impact driver. I meant on my last post that I have only a 1/4 drive 17mm and pretty sure I would have broken it so gave up and bought a 1/2 drive 17mm socket today so will try it again tomorrow.

I have tried unplugging all the wires to the handlebar switches and the problem persists. I checked the ohms and got a reading of 24 on the high side and 14 on the low, so pretty sure it's bad. Plus from what I've read the ZL500 stators are problematic.
 

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Well getting the nut off is the easy part!
Getting the flywheel off can be a real PITA!
Once the nut is off, remove the washers (one lock and one thick flat)
Then get a harmonic balancer puller and the strongest bolts you can to fit the recoil cage bolts!
Then that1/2" drive breaker will come in handy, and I would put the nut itself back on flush with the end of the threads!
And when the flywheel pops it will scare you! Always does!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well, the problem is that the recoil cage bolts are fine thread 10 mm, so should be interesting.

Also I have a couple of questions about the airbox. Just below that top part tool box there are 5 tabs that look like are used to access the inside of the box to clean the filters, etc....but I can't figure out how to release the tabs, it looks like if I pry them they will break. Also, at the bottom of the airbox where the air comes in from the tunnel, I found a foam filter that was out of kilter, not sure where it goes? It's 11"x4" with a notch of 1"x 4".

I also think I should do something about the carb boots, they don't have any cracks but they fit very loosely over the carb intakes and it seems that they will allow too much air and dirt, etc to get into the carbs? Seems like a very poor design, they are too short to really put a clamp on...not sure what, if anything I can do here?
 
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