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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When it's cold (below 40) it will not fire. in the past, using starting fluid would get it going, but not now. it makes no attempt to fire. however, if the temps are up (remember the 60s & 70s we had not too long ago) it starts immediately. this is what i've checked/done thus far. recent: fresh fuel, two new spark plugs, new coil and wire. (did not replace plug boot - resistance measurement was within spec) last summer - new magneto any suggestions??????
 

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Is your choke closing properly?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not 100% sure, but I think so. The fact that it will not attempt to fire with the ether has me puzzled.
 

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Try turning it over with the spark plugs removed to see if they are sparking. Something contracting with the cold could be the cause. Perhaps a magneto as you said.
 

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Twin Springs said:
Hope its not a stator for your sake had to put one in mine, cost almost 500 just for the stator
I hope too. My buddy's a 500 needed a stator.
 

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Harleys with out injection are a bear to start in cold weather, if you don't use the fuel estriction (choke) just right they will flood and the plugs will foul. After my low rider I swore my next ones would be injected and they were and I never had a problem again.
 

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Could be me, but Sportsmen 500 ? I believe he is talking about a quad.

However, I can attest to the hard starting attributes of a Low Rider.
 

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My carb Sporty starts up fine in the cold John.I won,t own a newer F.I.If either also doesn,t even make it fire try sprayin some ether right in the plug hole.A carb obstruction could cause it from bein drawn in.If ether in the plug don,t work check for compression.If none you got a stuck valve,if you do have spark it is electrical.Even if you have spark on a outside of engine test does not mean that the spark is strong enough under compression.Ground the plug on the side of the motor and it should be a wide bright blue spark.Good luck and keep us informed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Twin Springs said:
Hope its not a stator for your sake had to put one in mine, cost almost 500 just for the stator
that's what I replaced last year. some call it a magneto, some call it a stator. i opted for an aftermarket brand instead of oem. as i recall, the oem stator was around $400 and i thought the price was way too excessive. paid about half of that for the aftermarket part.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
good ole boy said:
My carb Sporty starts up fine in the cold John.I won,t own a newer F.I.If either also doesn,t even make it fire try sprayin some ether right in the plug hole.A carb obstruction could cause it from bein drawn in.If ether in the plug don,t work check for compression.If none you got a stuck valve,if you do have spark it is electrical.Even if you have spark on a outside of engine test does not mean that the spark is strong enough under compression.Ground the plug on the side of the motor and it should be a wide bright blue spark.Good luck and keep us informed.
i will check the plug spark against the head and try ether in the plug hole. can't check for compression. manual says something about not being able to check for compression with a typical comp gauge. (i don't recall exactly) but, the fact that it starts and runs normal when temps are up would make you think the compression is ok, yes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
John S said:
Harleys with out injection are a bear to start in cold weather, if you don't use the fuel estriction (choke) just right they will flood and the plugs will foul. After my low rider I swore my next ones would be injected and they were and I never had a problem again.
this quad WAS like that. you had to follow a simple but strict startup procedure when it was cold. full choke, one small pump of thumb throttle. anything more or less resulted in lots and lots of foul language!!!! when it was really cold, say below 20, ether was the only thing that worked.
 

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Yes your right.Compression stays constant no matter the temp.You don,t need a gage,use your thumb.After readin your last comments it almost sounds like a fuel distribution issue.After you try to start it several times w/out addin ether pull out your plug soon after you tried to start it.If it is dry you know it,s a fuel issue.When you try to start with ether you have to work fast cause it will evaporate quickly.
 

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Yeah, for some reason I saw sportster instead of sportsman. I wasn;t thinking quad I guess.
 

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pull your furl line off going into the carb and see if fuel is going into the carb. 2 bwinters ago when it was real cold my ranger wouldnt start. long story short my fuel had water in it and the filter froze solid and would not let fuel through. new filter and fresh fuel with startron and no problems. i have a 97 sportsman 500 with carb and never had a cold weather starting problem with that one yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
sorry it's been a while. i've been out of town for work and today is the first day i've had to take a look at the quad. before i left, it was cold (lower 30s) and i tried starting it with ether. nothing. didn't have time to troubleshoot any further.

this morning after church it was in the lower 30s again and i tried without success to start it. pulled fuel line and checked filter. it's ok. i use dry gas regularly in the winter and sea foam throughout the year so i didn't expect a problem.

got pulled away for other honey-do-list items and got back to it about 2 pm. temp was up into the low 50s by then. tried to start it just to see what would happen and BAM! it fired right up. no choke, no pumping throttle, no anything extra, just turned the key and hit the starter.

as someone said earlier, i'm inclined to think it's a fuel problem too. i'm going to drain the tank again and change the fuel filter. (which i haven't done) however, the fact that it won't fire with ether still bugs me.

ran out of time today, so i'll be back at it this week sometime. before i change the fuel and filter, i'm going to try the ether in the plug when it's cold to see if it fires.

btw, someone mentioned a possible choke malfunction earlier, but today after starting i let it warm up and then drove around a bit. when i came back, i flipped the choke to full closed and the engine died. tried it several more times with the same results, so i would say the choke seems to be working ok.

thanks for all the suggestions thus far.....
 

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I have a 99 Sportsman 500 and have had a cold weather starting issue since the day I bought it. One day I was at the the dealer getting an oil filter and asked about it and this is what they told me.

The factory sets the carbs a certain way in order to meet environmental and emissions standards. Unfortunately the adjustments have plug stops to prevent you from messing with them from the factory settings. So they have to be drilled out and then you can adjust the carb. They said this is a common problem in the pre-EFI Sportsman models.

I did not have it done as their price was a bit ridiculous (based on having to take a lot of plastic off just to get to the carb) so I cannot tell you if it resolves the problem or not but when I started to mention it, the service guy went straight into the spiel above so I am guessing there is some merit to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
hey, thanks for the info about the carb plugs. I'll have to look into that. Isn't if funny how some people have never had a cold weather starting problem and others, like us, are cursed with it!
 
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