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Doug E.
Doug E., Kawasaki Master Technician
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 2885
Experience:  Professional motorcycle mechanic since 1978. Vintage motorcycle restorer.
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i have a 1996 arctic cat 580 powder special

Customer Question

i have a 1996 arctic cat 580 powder special
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Motorcycle
Expert:  Doug E. replied 6 years ago.
HiCustomer

What is your question?

Doug
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Sorry, it took awhile to type. The question should be up now.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Why is the cylinder lean. I don't want this thing to burn up.
Expert:  Doug E. replied 6 years ago.
Check your impulse line to the fuel pump to make sure it isn't drawing air into the motor. It also shouldn't have any fuel in it, so if it does then the pump diaphragm is bad.

Next, you must air test the motor to find the source of the problem. The leak may be at the case halves or there may be a hairline crack in the upper case from the broken piston. Block the intake and exhaust and pressurize the motor to 8psi. Spray soapy water to check the seals, gaskets and case to find any leaks. It should hold pressure for at least 5 minutes. You can use a simple bicycle pump, a cheap low pressure gauge, a compression tester fitting for the spark plug hole and either large rubber corks to block the intake or make block off plates using rubber gasket material and thin aluminum plate. All rebuilt motors should be air tested before being run, but many shops skip over this because it does take time. Without knowing if the motor is airtight or not, we will just be guessing and chasing ghosts.

If the leak is indeed at the base gasket. Use the factory gasket with a light coating of grease on it. Check the studs to make sure they haven't come loose in the case. Tighten the exhaust, then torque the base nuts to prevent the cylinders from being out of alignment.

If the leak is at the case half, the motor will need to be pulled and torn down to be repaired.

Other notes: Be sure to test your compression cold and then again with the engine warm. Any drop when warm will indicate a problem. Test with both plugs out and throttle wide open.

You mention one cylinder is running lean but gas is coming out of the exhaust? This could indicate a major engine problem where the other cylinder isn't running or might be a carb safety switch out of adjustment. The above tests will tell us what direction we need to go to get this fixed.

Doug
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hey Doug,
Thank you so much for your crazy fast response!! I appreciate your knowledge and willingness to help. I will perform the tests you've provided and get back to you ASAP. I'm going to make the block off plates tomorrow so I can perform the air test. I will let you know what happens, at the latest, in a couple of days. I don't take your time & knowledge lightly, I'm a Technician myself, so I know how valuable this info is.
Thank you again for your response, Customer
Expert:  Doug E. replied 6 years ago.
Let's hope it's something simple, but the airtest will let you know exactly what is going on. I've never had an air leak problem with those motors so I'm not sure what you will find. I'll wait to hear from you.

Doug
Expert:  Doug E. replied 6 years ago.
Any luck yet? Snow is on the way!

Doug
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Sorry it took so long to get back to you!!
It took me longer than I expected to make the plates and gaskets but I did manage to find the leak. It was just a bad oil pump housing gasket. Once I replaced it, the motor would hold 8psi all day if I'd let it! That was an excellent idea, thank you very, very much! I just put the engine in yesterday, and I still have to siphon all the fuel out of the tank, I wasn't sure if the oil pump was working when I first put this engine in, so I put premixed in the fuel tank just in case. It's smoking the hell out of our shop and it wants to Stahl out. I'm figuring it's just the super rich oil mix. I didn't have time today, but I am going to put new fuel in it tomorrow, I'll let you know once I've worked the bugs out.

Thanks again sooo much!! Customer
Expert:  Doug E. replied 6 years ago.
You need to mix first tank of fuel 100:1. There is a bleed screw on the pump. Remove it and let the oil run until all of the air is out of the line. Next, run the motor and use a coat hanger wire with a hook on the end to grab the oil pump arm. Pull it all the way up so the pump is pumping wide open. Do this until all the bubbles are out of the small lines. Your pump is now good to go.

Doug
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for that last bit of info. Thats what I've actually been struggling w/ the last few days. I'm gonna have to mix another batch of fuel and then try your bleed procedure. I'll let you know what happens.

Thanks again, Customer
Expert:  Doug E. replied 6 years ago.
Glad to help. Snow is coming soon!!!!!
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Yah! I can almost smell it in the air! No pressure right!?! ha! ha!
Expert:  Doug E. replied 6 years ago.
We've had about an inch so far. My Cat is from the Bronze Age. If it doesn't run you call in a wizard to wave a wand over it or sprinkle some fairy dust in the pre-mix. 1970 was the Bronze Age right, or was it the bell bottom age.... I get the two mixed up! LOL.

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Doug E.
Doug E.
Vintage M/C restorer
2483 Satisfied Customers
Professional motorcycle mechanic since 1978. Vintage motorcycle restorer.