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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, so this will be a long first post but hopefully with all the details here someone can help me put together the puzzle pieces.

My dad picked up an 89 Cougar 500. Guy he bought it from on FB said he's recently gone through the carbs. My dad and I know nothing about sleds.

Anyway, when he bought it the guy fired it up and my dad went for a test run. Seemed to run good.

Got it home and it sat in the garage for a week or two til I made it out to folks place this weekend. We offloaded from the trailer, dad hopped on, hit the choke, pulled and plunged the primer nob once and it fired up first pull.

It warmed up maybe a minute and he ripped it around the field for a few minutes putting it through its paces (probably pushing 90 mph).

Well, he got back, I took it for a quick rip, and then we chatted for a minute while it idled. We talked a few minutes and it idled out and died.

Tried to get it started again, gave it 30-40 good cranks and nothing. Fuel tank showed an inch or two of fuel in bottom of tank. Definitely not empty, but just to be safe I put in some gas (91 octane, non ethanol) about an hour later, and again- fired up first pull.

Wanted to see how it would handle pulling my ice fishing shack (small aluminum pop up, maybe 150 lbs) and it did great. Parked it and it was idling good, until I walked up and hit the headlight switch to see if the lamp worked. Killed it instantly and hasn't started yet.

Let it sit awhile and tried to start and had nothing. Pulled the spark plugs and they were super dirty and wet. Safe to say she was flooded pretty good.

So I went to town and picked up new plugs, got back and with the plugs removed, pulled the cord 40-50 times til it was no longer spraying fuel out the plug holes.

Re-installed plugs (after verifying they were sparking properly) and cranked it but got nothing. Sounds totally dead when pulling the cord. Choke makes no difference. Primer nob seems to do nothing. If I hold the throttle down while pulling the cord, It acts like it wants to turn over and at least sounds like it might want to go, but wont.

Thinking that now it may not be getting enough fuel flow from the carbs I dropped a little fuel in each cylinder (maybe a tablespoon in each) but that made no difference. Pretty stumped at this point.

Any more troubleshooting steps I can take before attempting a carb rebuild? Dad got the sled pretty cheap so there's no reason to dump a bunch of money into it, but I've never owned a one and haven't F-ed around with carbs at all. At this point it doesnt run at all so I can afford to play around with it and screwing something up won't be a big deal since it's $500 turd to polish anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
I should mention I've tried with starting fluid also, and that there is fuel in the lines to the fuel pump, and from fuel pump to the carbs.

After emptying the fuel from these lines, there appears to be no draw from the carbs, which has me thinking fuel pump?

Also, before someone asks, no I dont have the killswitch on.

So. I brought the fuel pump in and dissembled. Little pieces of black plastic shreds (like little plastic pencil shavings) all in the housing, but the membranes and plastic pieces inside looked okay as near as I can tell.

Anyway, reinstalled and am able to easily suck fuel through the lines from the pump to the carburetors so its not a plugged line between the carbs and fuel tanks.

Guess I'm basically narrowed down to carbs and I'm clueless as to the next steps.
 

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With fuel line off carb pull and see if it spits fuel out.
The one thing it could be is the fuel pump could bypass and just pull fuel directly into the Mag cyl.
A rebuild kit is $10 and I would replace all the fuel lines including the pick up in tank!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It did not spit any fuel from the fuel pump with lines disconnected from carbs.

So you're thinking fuel pump?

All the fuel lines are brand new, other than the pulse line from the crank case which clearly had some varnish in it at one point but has been throughly cleaned.

There is a line connecting the two carbs that hooks into the bowls running into a 3 way splitter in alignment with the primer. Fuel moves through this line when I crank, but not through the lines that connect through the top of the carbs from the fuel pump.

I took apart the fuel pump and cleaned it out and there was definitely lots of broken plastic. Im pretty mechanically inclined, but I couldnt decifer how the fuel pump works from looking at it
 

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OK coupla things
I would fish out the pick up from the tank (get it below half)
And unscrew the tank fitting
If it comes out all in one piece ok, replace it anyway with that Tygon??
Clean that filter (or replace )
Then go ahead and rebuild the pump, kit comes with those little check valves!
I would replace the rest of the fuel lines and maybe cut a 1/4 off both ends of pulse if long enough?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I guess dad already ordered a new fuel pump that should arrive before I have a chance to tear into it more.

Guess I'll start with replacing that and the pickup filter when I get out there thursday.
 

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Also look into replacing the impulse line from the pump to the crank case. If those get some cracking in them, it'll cause issues. Cheap fix too...get a foot of 1/4" rubber fuel line; not the clear stuff!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
When replacing the pickup line/filter- where the line runs into the tank, is there a gasket or grommet or something?

I'm away from my parents property and do have a means of checking.

How do you seal up around the line where it enters the tank so there's no leakage?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. I think the impulse line is definitely shot. Its cracked at both connections and slides on and off the crank and pump pretty easy.

I'll definitely replace when the fuel pump arrives, and add some hose clamps.

Withing how many pulls would you expect the fuel system to have enough compression to be cycling fuel to the carbs if starting with all empty lines from fuel tank to pump to carbs?
 

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The fitting at the tank unscrews, and hopefully the pick up line will come out with it and the filter too!
Replace that with the Tygon. The pulse line is just std 1/4" fuel line.
Once all together with lines off of the carbs, find the tanks vent hose and just blow into it and gas will come out of the lines!
Hook them to the carbs and blow again.
With the plugs out pull it several more times to prime the float bowls!
A quick shot of WD 40 and a bit of gas in each plug hole and put the plugs in and it should start first pull!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks a ton. I'll get back to you tomorrow with results.

Any guess where the vent hose will be?
 
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