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I have a 98 Artic CAt 454 4x4 4 wheeler..the problem is that

Customer Question

I have a 98 Artic CAt 454 4x4 4 wheeler..the problem is that it barely runs, back fires, won't pickup on rpm. It will sit and idle fine. If you turn headlights on it will rev up a little, but still backfires. Kinda seems like it does when you have a reverse gear limiter on. Like the timing is off. But I don't think this year of 4 wheeler has one. I have tried new plug, checked and cleaned and dialectic greased all connections.Along with the coil, CID unit, rectifier and plug on harness and grounds. The air filter is good. Spark at plug seems fair, may not be as good as it could be....Have had it at the shop before this problem and they said it was the carburator. It would act up once in awhile but now it does it all the time. Seems like when it is damp outside is when I would have the most issue. I think it is electrical issue but just not sure where to start.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Motorcycle
Expert:  .... replied 3 years ago.

Brian :

Good day and welcome to Just Answer. My name is Brian and I'd be happy to help you with your problem today.

Brian :

When was the carb last serviced completely & the valves last adjusted?

Customer :

carb was serviced about a month ago.. Not for sure about the valves...The carb is not the problem

Brian :

how do you know the carb is not the problem?

Brian :

It sure sounds like a fuel delivery & breathing issue to me

Brian :

do you have a multi meter?

Customer :

I have had it worked on several times...i take the air filter out and still the same thing...new jets and needle were put in.

Customer :

yes i do have a multi meter.

Brian :

just so yo are clear & know, your timing is fixed & can not move. It is electronically controlled, your timing is not off

Customer :

yea but has something gone wrong with electronics somewhere to make the timing be off?

Brian :

that doesn't mean anything, you could have a bad carb set up, changing jets with a bad set up will get you nowhere.

Brian :

What color is the plug tip showing?

Brian :

what jets are in the carb?

Brian :

where is the fuel mixture set?

Brian :

will you be able to adjust the valves or will it need to go to the shop for that?

Customer :

color--light brown.....factory jets are in it......the fuel mixture i am not for sure.....I really don't think it is the valves cuz it runs fine, then acts up, and then runs fine...and why would damp or moisture affect the carb?

Brian :

i don't think damp or moisture is effecting anything, I think that is a coincidence

Brian :

I know your valves need checked, they need check every 20 run hours

Brian :

And they only get tighten when it gets hot or you start adding rpm, your engine can;t breathe.

Brian :

Because of the lighting/rpm issues though I do want to check the charging system, I need these voltages from the battery terminals;

Brian :

Key off

Brian :

Key on

Brian :

Start button depressed/engine cranking

Brian :

idling

Brian :

about 2K rpm

Customer :

I will go check this out and be right back

Customer :

I will be back

Brian :

cool

Customer :

key off--12-13.....key on same.....engine cranking--11......idiling--17-18.....the battery is charged and the meter I used was a cheap walmart one.

Brian :

wow, 17 - 18, that is an over charge & indicates a bad regulator... can you unplug the stator & test test stator leads by checking between each pin in the stator plug for ohms?

Customer :

Is the stator down by the flywheel? and the wires run to the CID unit?

Brian :

yes that is where it exits the engine, you want 3 white or yellow wires together, they go to the regulator not the cdi box the regulator is finned & metal the cdi is plastic

Customer :

the regulator i know where it is....i can run test..what test do you want me to run....what spades and such

Brian :

unplug the regulator from the stator, using the stator side of the plug you number each pin 1, 2, & 3. Set the meter on ohms & check 1 - 2, 2 - 3, & 1 - 3

Brian :

then test between each pin & battery ground

Customer :

i will go check this out...might be a little bit....be right back though

Brian :

ok

Customer :

i am back

Customer :

I had the meter set at rx 10..found 3 yellow wires...1-2 was 4.5....2-3 was 4.5... and 1-3 was 7 and when did the ground it did nothing and there was 2 black wires on plug in and tested those to ground on battery and it shows the regultor is grounded.

Brian :

great the stator is ok, battery is ok, regulator is cooking the system, you do not want more than 13 - 14 volts going back to the battery otherwise your ignition can't take that.

Brian :

17 - 18 is an over charge & a bad regulatot

Customer :

if i replace the regulator will that take of the problem...or are there other issues?

Brian :

I think there are also some fuel delivery issues that need straightened out once this is straightened out, because the carb has been messed with to try to solve this.. so that will need straightened out.

Brian :

And you need the valves checked at least

Brian :

thanks for the testing

Customer :

If you only knew how many times the carb has been worked on and it never seems to take care of the problem...how come it can sit and idle fine and it is an irratic type deal...quit--run etc. do I need to replace the carb? ur welcome about testing.....i would agree about valves if it was an issue that gradulally got worse but it is an erratic problem

Brian :

you don't have to agree or disagree about the valves the fact of the matter is on your engine they need checked every 16-20 hours regardless. That is just a fact.

Brian :

No, carbs are 100% rebuildable & that is what I said earlier about bad set up, but without further details about how it is set up I can't offer much other than to say it needs straightened out

Brian :

it will sit & idle fine because it kind of forces itself to do so once it is running. They'll idle all day long with spark & fuel

Brian :

adding load changes things significantly

Customer :

ok...thank you for your time....

Brian :

It doesn't really matter how much the carb has been worked on, what matter is if who worked on it knew what they were doing or not

Brian :

If the set up is wrong, you'll never get anywhere.

Brian :

If you want to reply back later with current jet sizes other than "stock", a mixture screw setting & needle clip setting if applicable I will come up with a set up for you to dial it in with

Customer :

why would turning the headlights on make it run a little better?? that would not be a carb issue

Brian :

that is the charging issue

Brian :

& why we tested the charging system

Customer :

we have changed jets, they had it leaned out so bad one time it was pinging and i was worried about blowing the motor up so i put the stocks back in.

Brian :

"stock" means nothing, selling dealers decide final jetting, a set up can not be determined without knowing the jet sizes

Customer :

will try to get carb off today. will get jet numbers. see what needle is set at . when it was at shop one time I told them to order new jets and needle a put them in so they could rule out that as problem.

Brian :

that isn't how setting up a carb works. You don't just order jets & install them hoping to rid yourself of problems

Customer :

yes i know this . i use to race motocross. we use to lean bikes out and make them richer with the jets. the 4 wheeler ran perfect on the jetting that was in it up until a week or so then i started having the problem that i discribed it would just happen once in awhile a would clear it self up and run fine.now it just acts up all the time. i was hoping i could get some help here because mechanics around here cannot help me out. sorry for wasting your time. thanks

Brian :

you haven't wasted my time & I thought we made some killer progress.

Brian :

We know you need a valve adjustment, that is a fact, like it or not, believe it or not, it is a fact

Brian :

we also know that the regulator is bad. Too much voltage will cook the ignition & can cause all kinds of issues

Brian :

we also know that the carb has been altered from what it was when the machine was operating well. That will likely need re-adjusted when the regulator is replaced & the voltage issues are straightened out.

Brian :

You were looking for a magic bullet, when in fact you have several issues that need addressed. I'm sorry that you are not happy with the info that you got, but it is what it is.

Brian :

You actually have an electrical issue, a breathing issue & a carburetion issue.

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