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Ask Doug E. Your Own Question
Doug E.
Doug E., Kawasaki Master Technician
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 2886
Experience:  Professional motorcycle mechanic since 1978. Vintage motorcycle restorer.
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My atv wont turn over and start.....I have replaced the ignition

Customer Question

My atv won't turn over and start.....I have replaced the ignition coil with a new spark plug and a new relay. The battery is at a full charge and have cleaned out the carborator.....Not sure what else it could be???
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Motorcycle
Expert:  Doug E. replied 4 years ago.
Hello,

When you say won't turn over, do you mean the engine will not turn over? Does it do anything when you push the starter button or is it dead?

Doug
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

When I hit the starter button it will try and turn the engine on (it just chugs) but wont start

 

Expert:  Doug E. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for that information.

When was the last time it ran? Do you have good spark at the spark plug? Have you taken a compression reading?

Doug
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

we ran it over the winter and the last few times it just barely started....so its been about a month since it last started......I'm not sure how to check for a spark on the plug and don't have the equipment for a compression check

Expert:  Doug E. replied 4 years ago.
OK, remove the spark plug from the engine, plug it into the coil wire and ground it against the engine. When the motor turns over you should see a sharp blue spark. If there is no spark, or if the spark is weak and yellow, then you have an ignition issue.

Next, with the spark plug removed, press your thumb or finger tight over the spark plug hole. Crank over the motor. You should have enough compression in the motor to force air past your thumb. That's not real scientific, but it will give you an idea if the motor has enough compression to run or not.

If your compression is low, the valves probably need to be adjusted. That should be done every year on those motors, and it's rather easy to do. I can walk you through the process. A motor with low compression will be very difficult to start, if it starts at all.

Doug
Doug E. and other Motorcycle Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I am not at my machine now but could you tell me how to adjust the valves....a crash course!!!

Expert:  Doug E. replied 4 years ago.
It's easy on those motors BUT, on some of them you can't reach the cap over the intake valve because the frame is in the way. On a few models you have to pull out one of the engine bolts so the motor will swing down far enough to give you room.

Pull the cover over the flywheel. You will see a T mark on the flywheel and a line on the engine case. This is for top dead center. The piston is all the way up when the T lines up with the mark.

On top of the cylinder head are two caps. Remove those so you can see the valve adjusters. Remove the spark plug.

Grab the flywheel and turn the motor over while watching the intake valve go down and then come back up. Go to the T mark. You are now on TDC of the compression stroke. If you can't find the T mark, just put a straw down the spark plug hole. When the piston pushes it up all the way, you know you are at TDC. You can now check the valve clearance and adjust as needed. You will need feeler gauges and a wrench to loosen the adjuster. Most are 8mm. I set the valves at .05mm for intake and exhaust. You want just a light amount of friction as you slide the feeler gauge out. Tighten the nuts on the adjuster.

Turn the motor over a few times and double check your work.

If either valve was set too tight then you loose compression. As the valves wear, they tend to tighten up so if you can check them at least once a year your motor will last longer and run better.

Let me know what you find and we can go from there.

Doug