97 Indy 500 won't start?!? - Snowmobile World : Your #1 Snowmobile Forum

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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-11-2015, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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97 Indy 500 won't start?!?

Hey everyone, I'm hoping some of you could help me out here. I was out riding a couple days ago with buds, we stopped along the trail for about 20 mins, when it was time to move along again my sled wouldn't start. We tried brand new plugs, no luck. We tried gas line anti-freeze cause it seemed as though the gas wasn't getting to the cylinders. The plugs were dry, no matter much priming we gave it. Tried gas down the cylinders, didn't work! Checked the spark, seemed good although it was light out so we couldn't tell if it was a blue or white colour. Finally after holding it WOT and pulling for for probably 20 mins it started to fire, eventually it started but i had to stay on the throttle or it would stall. At the next stop it stalled as I was taking off my helmet, this time it would not start again. End of trip for me!

After getting it home, I rebuilt the fuel pump, removed and cleaned both carbs and synced them, and replaced the fuel lines. Now the gas is getting to the cylinders, I know this because the plugs are now wet. Damn thing still will not fire!!!
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-11-2015, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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I should add that this evening I plan on cleaning all wiring connectors and then adding di-electric grease before snapping them back together. Just trying to eliminate possibilities before I get into the electrical components. I've also tried doing a search on this site as well as google but can't find this exact problem, lots that are similar but not the exact same issues. Any other ideas???

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-11-2015, 07:04 PM
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Do you still have spark?
Compression okay?
Highly unlikely but is the fuel fresh? Stale fuel doesn't ignite worth a d*mn. Was there any water in the water traps when you took the carbs off?

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-11-2015, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredpop View Post
Do you still have spark?
Compression okay?
Highly unlikely but is the fuel fresh? Stale fuel doesn't ignite worth a d*mn. Was there any water in the water traps when you took the carbs off?
Retiredpop thanks for the reply, the fuel that was in was about three weeks old and before I left home I topped it off with fuel from a jug I had in the shed. That fuel wouldn't have been more than 2 months old. No there wasn't any water in the traps. I had checked the compression about a week ago, it was around 110 in one and 102 in the other. Not sure I did it correct though, what is the best procedure for checking compression? I'm going out to check the spark now since it is dark. As far as spark, one side seems to be a real strong blue spark and the other seems a bit weaker and kind of flashes between blue and yellow.

Last edited by IndyBomb; 03-11-2015 at 07:55 PM.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-11-2015, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, I did a little more research and this is the method i've used to check the compression. Kill switch and ignition off, both plugs out, and WOT. 94-95psi in one and 100psi in the other. So the compression seems to alright. Now what?????
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-11-2015, 11:23 PM
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Compression below 100 is very weak. When the sled was new, it probably had 130+. How many times did you pull the rope? I would give it at least 5 pulls or until the number quits rising.

If your gauge is accurate, consider some top end work. I would test the gauge on a sled that's running fine to see if you get a low reading on the other sled first, though.

Did you unscrew the plug caps from the plug wires? I would try that and while the cap is off the wire, look at the contact inside the plug to make sure it's clean. Before screwing the cap back on the wire, snip 1/4" off the wire so that the contact is making a more positive connection. It may not cure the problem, but will rule out the wire as a problem.

Now that you have fuel going to the carbs, you may have flooded the crankcase. On the front of the case under the exhaust are two small plugs. They will drain any excess fuel/oil from the case and may help in getting the engine started.

That's a few more things for you to try. If you have fuel and have spark, it should at least pop at 100 psi compression...

good luck!

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-11-2015, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks BCDan, I'll have another go at it tomorrow. My buddy has the exact same sled so I'll check his compression to compare.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-12-2015, 12:20 AM
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The compression does sound low especially if you are at low altitude in NB but that could be the gauge. It's a bit of a concern that you have dropped 8 to 10 points from a week or so ago. Do you have the kind that screws into the spark plug hole or one with the rubber that you just push into the hole? The screw in type are usually more reliable but as long as you use the same one on your buddies sled you'll get a good idea where you stand. While you're checking the spark plug caps be sure to check the other end of the plug wires too where they screw into the coil. I've had them loosen up as well. You can get solid core wires from NAPA if you need to replace them. As BCDan says though it should fire at 100 psi. I've run sleds at lower compression than that but they are hard to start. Keep us posted.

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-12-2015, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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I snipped about a half an inch off the plug wires last night, it started to fire but didn't catch. This morning I went back out and drained the crankcase, there was a bit of fuel in there. I put new plugs in again, pulled it over a few times on full choke and it started but before I could flip the choke to half it died out. Pulled about five times on half choke and nothing, pulled about five times with no choke and nothing, pulled another ten times on full choke still nothing except the strong smell of fuel. I drained the crankcase again, this time a lot of fuel came out. Tried a few more pulls on full choke still nothing. So my question is this, would it be possible that the sled is flooding due to the rear being higher than the front, like about 2-2 1/2 feet higher?
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-12-2015, 01:50 PM
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The only reason it would be flooding is because there's too much gas going into the engine. A stuck inlet needle/seat to the float bowl is the most common. You could also have a choke plunger stuck open, which would make the air/fuel too rich. Other problems could be a float that is not set correctly or a hole in the fuel pump diaphragm that will allow fuel to enter the crankcase via the impulse line.

I'd remove the carbs and check the inlet needle and choke plungers first. The plunger should move freely in the bore and there should be a neoprene seat in the bottom of the plunger. It's normal to have a small groove in the neoprene, but if it's really worn, you may want to replace the plungers.

Having the back higher than the front will slightly increase fuel pressure, but in a properly operating system, that should not contribute to flooding.

When you are trying to start it, and it starts to flood, don't apply the choke. Hold the throttle open wide and crank a few times to clear out excess fuel. And when applying choke to a cold engine, don't touch the throttle; the enrichment circuit in the carb needs the slide to be at the bottom to work properly.

How much play is in the throttle lever? The spec for that is 0.010" to 0.030". If there's too much (or too little) the throttle safety switches could be activating, keeping the engine from starting. That's something else to check...

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