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Small Cabin Forum / Off Topic / Won't start!
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paulz
Member
# Posted: 3 Feb 2020 11:12
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Ok, we have a few mechanics here..

I've been stopping by my neighbor's to get her ATV going again. In her words "it overheated and quit, but it's done it before and always runs again". Well it's not starting now, not even a pop. I've done the simple stuff, gas to the carb, spark, sprayed and dribbled fuel...again not even a pop that usually gives and indication of the problem.

It has a smaller plug, my compression gauge won't fit. I have one with a rubber tip but haven't been able to get it wedged in there. It will blow my thumb off the hole with the electric starter. Also sucks my hand in at the carb and blows if off at the pipe. So it has at least some compression and the valve timing is somewhere around normal. Should at least pop.

It's always had spark, but enough? Yesterday I bent an electrode out of the way and tested. Good enough?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dix9iNeuqgI&feature=youtu.be

FishHog
Member
# Posted: 3 Feb 2020 14:17
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Looks like enough spark
If you have spark compression and fuel it should run

A compression test would be good but from what you said sounds like enough

Try pulling the air filter off in case it’s restricting air flow too much. Make sure you have good fuel

Not sure what else it could be

sparky30_06
Member
# Posted: 3 Feb 2020 14:30
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just cause you have spark outside the chamber doesn't mean you will have spark under compression.
I would try a new plug, they are cheap

paulz
Member
# Posted: 3 Feb 2020 15:35 - Edited by: paulz
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Thanks guys. I know, I have revived I don't know how many old engines in my life and never failed. Baffling.

I tried a new plug already. As you can see in the video, the spark in my test plug is jumping all the way to the threads, over 1/4". An old standby test, if it jumps that far in atmospheric pressure it should jump .030" under compression. But at this point I have no other explanation.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 3 Feb 2020 16:17
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The basic things you need is fuel, compression and spark. Are you sure it's getting fuel? Have u tried a shot of starting fluid.

Air cooled engines hardly over heat for a small reason. Is there oil in it?

paulz
Member
# Posted: 3 Feb 2020 16:23 - Edited by: paulz
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Yeah I don't think she knows if it overheats or not, just that it quits running and starts again later.

Man I have sprayed ether down the carb, down the plug hole, dribble gas in both..

One thing, it has a couple of lights on the handlebars, one green and one red, neutral and ignition I expect. They are not working, she said they used to. But as you can see in the video it has good spark.turns over fast enough on the starter.

Popeye
Member
# Posted: 3 Feb 2020 16:36
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Is there a kill switch on the left handle bar?

FishHog
Member
# Posted: 3 Feb 2020 16:54
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Quoting: Popeye
Is there a kill switch on the left handle bar?


I’ve fought that problem before but I don’t think it would spark with that off

jhp
Member
# Posted: 3 Feb 2020 17:08
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I think I'd run down the electrical issue first, checking for bad grounds.

Is there some safety switch (neutral safety?) that is bypassed when you ground the plug directly on the block, but is a dead circuit otherwise?

I think you have two issues, the overheat and dies issue, and bad electrical that's causing the lights and the no start.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 3 Feb 2020 17:17
Reply 


It has the kill switch on the bars, no spark when off.

Yeah those lights not coming on is a clue of some sort, but it sparks so it should at least pop.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 3 Feb 2020 17:33
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I would say your compression is low or the timing is way off.

Tonerboy
Member
# Posted: 3 Feb 2020 18:20
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If you can get to the flywheel, see if the key is either shered or partly cut. This will throw the timing off and it might be just enough that you don't get enough compression when it sparks. I've seen lawnmowers that wont start and the key is cut about half.

DaveBell
Member
# Posted: 3 Feb 2020 19:12
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What year, make, model, size???????
Running and then stopping sounds like fuel problem, like the filter or carb.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 4 Feb 2020 09:57 - Edited by: paulz
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I'm going by there today, will get model specifics, it's got a name I'm not familiar with. As I've mentioned, I have sprayed, dribbled and poured enough ether and gasoline down the carb and plug hole over the last few weeks that it should have at least popped. Started my wood chipper yesterday, one quick shot of ether and boom, first pull.

Good point the flywheel key. A spark that's way off wouldn't do anything. I've not worked on ATVs much, the engine sure it crammed in there. The crank is in line with the wheels but at least the front side should be accessible.

sparky30_06
Member
# Posted: 6 Feb 2020 07:41
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I've been thinking about this several times and you could have a valve issue, the timing chain may have broke and both valves are closed, or the cam my have broke. this would give you cylinder compression but not allow fuel air mixture in.

sparky30_06
Member
# Posted: 6 Feb 2020 07:41
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also is this an old two stroke machine or a newer 4 stroke?

paulz
Member
# Posted: 6 Feb 2020 08:24
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It's a newer 4 stroke atv. I think I mentioned it sucks my hand in the carb and blows it off the muffler which leads me to believe the valve timing is ok.

Didn't make it over there yesterday but will today on my way home. If my truck is empty enough I may bring it home.

beachman
Member
# Posted: 6 Feb 2020 09:04
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The valve thing is a good suggestion. I had a generator - 4 stroke - and several years ago, one of the valves was stuck and it was nearly impossible to start. Got the valve fixed and presto - starts every time now.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 6 Feb 2020 09:10
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I have been wondering...some of these modern engines have automatic compression releases that hold the exhaust valve open while starting. I worked on a Briggs mower that had one, and I think some dirt bikes have it. Could be stuck or something but again it blows my thumb off the plug hole with the starter.

Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 6 Feb 2020 10:42
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Hello paulz, I believe the red and green lights are green for neutral and red is an engine overheat indicator light. Located in your oil. The red should be off. Just working with what I’ve got for info. Because the green neutral indicator light doesn’t light, are you sure you are in neutral? Most wont start in gear unless modified. Or at least send power to the starter. Have you tried to start it by pulling it with another rig ? Hold the throttle wide open no choke. At first keep trying different methods.
When you do get it going you may want to change the oil. The gas n starter fluid probably ended up in the crankcase oil.
There should be some caps about n Inch n a half wide on the heads. Take them off. While turning the engine over you should be able to feel the tappets on top of the valve stem. Check to verify movement and timing. Also check the o ring seal on the cap. They get old n hard n leak. There should be just a bit of play, like ten thousands, on the stem tappet clearance.
You may be able to check the voltage regulator out by checking the voltage on battery then turn it over and see if it increases. Should be just over 14 or so 14.74 . If find a higher voltage than say 16 your so regulator may be suspicious. They will not run on over voltage.
You’re machine should have an automatic timing chain adjuster. Will be on block near base of head. Will have a lock nut on a threaded shaft. Slot for screw driver or small bolt head on top . Hold threaded shaft n loosen lock nut. Tighten bolt lightly then back off a half turn or so. Then tighten lock nut. That should have adjusted the timing chain. There is a spring on the end that should provide constant tension. These have an o ring seal also and because they are close to the heat from the engine get brittle also. Note if there is a large difference in adjusting to tell you if you did anything.
Hope that helps a bit. Good luck n get that wheeler to the cabin.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 6 Feb 2020 16:44 - Edited by: paulz
Reply 


Went by today but too beat from two long days at my cabin to work on it. Did take pictures and spoke to the lady that runs the horse ranch. I was figuring Recon was a Harbor Freight brand until I noticed a Honda sticker in back. No idea what year or size. And she reiterated that the red and green dash lights always worked, they don't now. But it turns over with the starter and has spark..weird. Gotta be connected somehow.
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DaveBell
Member
# Posted: 6 Feb 2020 16:58
Reply 


That is a very old Honda Recon 250. Clean the carburetor jets and float bowl. Look for warn out carb parts. Find the VIN on the front somewhere so we can know the year. A new carb may be cheap.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 7 Feb 2020 21:35
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I'm with Dave, grank runnign for to aft, 250.

Also agree with carb trouble. Got a can of brake cleaner? squirt a little into the carb inlet, see if she pops. Spark is perfect. I suspect a gummed up carb too, run alcohol free fuel on power equipment.

ArtifactJack
Member
# Posted: 7 Feb 2020 21:55
Reply 


Sounds like a fuel problem to me. You won't know it if you are spraying to much starting fluid into the carb. and washing out the cylinder, then you get no compression to start.

Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 8 Feb 2020 11:35
Reply 


Yeah I have several replacement carbs on wheelers. Kind of a cheap way to diagnose things fast n easy. You never know who was into the carburetor earlier. And what may have not been put back together correctly. Cleaning and replacing the components with a carburetor kit is fairly easy. Always good to try all the things don’t cost money first for me. And it gets me more familiar with the machine. Especially when there is more than one problem.
Hope you let us know how it works out for you. Good luck

paulz
Member
# Posted: 9 Feb 2020 09:15
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I went by yesterday, loaded it up and brought it to my cabin to work on in the spare time I don't have. I did pull the throttle side out of the carb, spun it over with the starter while giving it shots of starting fluid down the hole. Not even a pop. I really don't think it's carb related but who knows at this point. Next step is to pop all the plastic off for a better look at things and diagnose the dead dash lights. And get a manual. I'll keep the thread updated as I go.

FishHog
Member
# Posted: 9 Feb 2020 12:09
Reply 


Doesn’t sound fuel related to me either. But I’m betting a good carb cleaning won’t hurt anyway

paulz
Member
# Posted: 21 Feb 2020 16:23 - Edited by: paulz
Reply 


It's alive!

I finally got a compression gauge to fit in the cramped area and 12mm plug hole. 60 psi. Also checked ignition timing and valves, good. Put some oil down the cylinder, that raised compression to 70 psi. I then tied the throttle wide open to raise compression, gave it a squirt of ether and gave the pull starter a mighty yank, which spins it faster than the starter. Off it roared. Lots of blowby. Ran it for awhile, still wouldn't start with the electric starter. Ran it a bunch more and compression went back up, blowby subsided. Started this morning with closed throttle and electric start.

I think what happened is it seized when it overheated and stuck the rings. Running it for awhile loosened them up.

Whew, glad that ended well. Thanks for all the advice.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 22 Feb 2020 07:08
Reply 


Time to pull that engine apart before it blows it's connecting rod though the block. But judging by the looks of it and how it's treated it's going to get used until it can't be used anymore.

I believe that model is 2000 or newer. It was there low end utility quad.

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