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1980 Ski-doo Citation Doesnt Run Properly

12092 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  billww
Hey everyone, i am very new to this sport and dont know tons about these machines yet, so please any help offered would be great, thanks. I have a 1980 ski-doo citation, when i got it, it ran quite good, but it has rapidly declined, i went from stalling out once an hour, to stalling frequently, and now it hardly even moves the sled. I have changed the fuel filter and given it a good carb cleaning, but its no better, perhaps slightly worse. The engine smokes a ton and it kinda jerks, as it get throttle and catches gear, but has no power so it stops, then it jerks on and so on. It never iddled, even when it was workin fairly well. now, if i give it full throttle the engine bogs down(don't know if it lacks air or gass or two much...but iknow it would stall out if i held the throttle in, it would simply just slow down poop out.)

Please help, i dont know where to look. what are some similar symptoms/fixes, thanks
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ACompression test will tell you, sounds like you need a rebuild
Yes, first a compression test..Two-stroke engines will run forever IF:

They are properly lubricated. Pre-mix at 40 to 1 guarantees that.
They are not run lean at full throttle. This will burn the piston(s)
They are not overheated
They breath clean air.

Pull your plugs. What do they look like? Is the color the same?
Hi! THere are more than a few contributing factors to this problem you are experiencing. If you are riding the Citation 3500, you are in company with many drivers of this model. If you're driving the 4500 or SS, the previously mentioned items are definately one thing to check.

With the 277 single on the 3500, all maintenance adjustments have to be performed. Starting with a NEW fuel filter, then adjusting your carb to spec - make sure the needle and seat does not let fuel leak past. Idle speed is crucial, low speed jet setting is crucial to ensure "snap" when you open the throttle. (If you can, get yourself a CLYMER shop manual. If you are the kind that enjoys working on equipment, you'll find the manual easy to use.) The high speed jet should be carefully cleaned and the long needle that controls off idle fuel flow needs to be adjusted for mid-range throttle driving.

Secondly, (knowing that you have good compression and your fuel system is checked and OK) you should inspect your belt for proper width and tension settings. There are specs for this. If your machine is high milage, you will want to consider replacing both the primary clutch spring and the secondary clutch spring (springs fatigue with lots of use). Also check the primary clutch ramps and rollers for wear, or as in the case of my very own machine, the ramp faces went out of alignment with the rollers, causing it to accelerate like a dumptruck. (not good!) ALso, check point gap (underneath the recoil, behind the flywheel) and ensure your sparkplug (gap) and plug wire are in good condition, if not brand new. From thereon in, you could expect to enjoy great performance from this machine of yours. I hope this helps. If you need specs for some of this stuff, I can try to help you via this forum, but again, getting a shop manual for the machine or having a qualified Skidoo mechanic work on it will take you from the blahs of a boggy machine. :rolleyes:
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Thank you coolnorthsound and all the other replies, every little bit helps. I have checked the system pretty thoroughly now and this is what i best believe. The machine gets fuel(carbs cleaned, new lines, cleaned fuel pump, new fuel filter) The spark plugs are new but seem to foul really easy, i also notice generallly that it struggles after it warms up. I think its possible that i may have a small leak in the crank seal(although nothin, no fluids drip out) and maybe my coils are bad. Since coils are a relatively easy fix i have ordered some to replace. I also had my muffler rebuilt and therefore i know the exhaust system works fine. I have run it without the air box as well but no better results occured. i have the owners manual(sucks) and the bombardier shop manual(also sucks) and the MIC carb manual(really sucks) I have to do the work myself to save money, learn, and mostly there are no ski-doo dealers within 100miles of my home. So i will deffinately look into the clymer shop manual. Now, i did most of these diagnosis and so forth with the machine on blocks, but today(got 3inch of snow) i ran it, it iddled like a champ, putz at around 10mph pretty good, but could never get into second gear. I now wonder if that means i have a clutch problem, or if the engine doesnt produce enough power to get it into high gear. Also, i have messed with some of the carb setttings and dont really now what im doin, because the manual sucks. I think i might be runnin a little or a lot to rich, but i dont know, i think this because the plugs foul so easily, or at least they dont fire all the time(part of the reason why im gonna change the coils). I Have the SS model by the way.(377 2cylnder) What do i need to do a compression test? If i have bad compression what does that mean, how do i fix that, is it expensive? By the way, i got this machine three weeks ago and it ran pretty well, stalling out every hour or so, but i had full range of power and speed. It quickly progressively got worse to the now recent point where it hardly moves. Also, it starts cold on the first pull with no problems. Thanks, please respond if you have any ideas, i am new to this and would like to get this thing going!! Thanks, cheers.
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That ss has two carbs to If I remember right If so syc them also check plug wires to see if they are arking check plug gap and the belt should ride about a 1/4 inch high in the sec clutch and make that the clutchs are cleaned and spayed with a good lube also see if the track is to tight and the brake is not hung ,up let me know what you find out.
I have the exact same model. I bought the intertech manual from Amazon. It has a TON of great info on this sled, engine, and carbs. Mine needed new head gaskets and a good cleaning of the carbs. To do a compression test you need a compression gauge. $25 at Sears If you do a compression test it should read between 80-120 (i think). If you start it and it drops pressure its probably crank seal. Besides clutch the only other thing it might be is point gap.
Thanks for the tips guys. YES, there are two carbs. The clutch is cleaned. the brake looked suspicious so i completely removed it, but got the same brake is out. the track hasnt been touched and just a few months ago it was running great so i dont think thats the problem either. thanks. i might invest in that manual and compression tester this summer once i start working again. Some people have been telling me that the clutch engagement spring might be bad, does that make sense to you guys? if so, where could i find a replacement spring for my model?(no ski-doo dealers within 200mi. of my house) Thanks, guys again, please rewrite with more tips.
Also check with any salvage snowmobile parts places on line.
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