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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

I purchased a 98 Recon last week and have been trying to get it running. It belonged to a friend, and about a year ago we pulled it out from behind a shed and brought it back from the dead. It ran pretty nice with just a carb clean and some carb adjustments. But towards the end of our time with it, it started to not want to run. It would start and idle after a ton of cranking, but die when you gave it any gas.

So here I am today, purchased it for myself and figured it just needed some carb work. I rebuilt the carb, gave it a new starter, air filter, spark plug, and it doesn’t run. Ether in the carb doesn’t fire it either. It will occasionally fire and run for a few seconds if you play with it long enough. It HAS spark, but the spark is VERY weak. I referenced this to a buddy’s recon, and you can tell that it makes a much hotter spark.

I’ve tried 3 different spark plugs, two different ignition coils, two different CDI boxes. I’ve tested the kill switch, connecting an ohm meter from black/white wire on CDI to ground. I get 0/.1 ohms when switch is off, no continuity when on.

I’m not too confident in diagnosing an electrical problem like this, so I need advice. I was going to turn it over to a local shop, but they are 5 weeks behind. So I have to take this into my own hands if I want it running. At this point, I’m starting to fear it’s the stator. How difficult is it to replace and now can I confirm it is working? What else should I look into?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Let me also add, just tried another regulator/rectifier from the Recon that runs. Made no difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Another update - I unplugged the red 3-wire plug coming from stator. Testing continuity between these 3 wires, only 2 and 3 have continuity. No continuity between 1 and 3, or 1 and 2. One of the wires has continuity to ground. Safe to say the stator is bad?
 

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Just to verify - it's a TRX250A - right?

The red 3 wire connector has two yellow and one blk/red wire - the two yel wires should have continuity to each other but not to ground - those are the alternator wires for charging the battery - the blk/red wire should have continuity to ground but not to the yellow wires - the blk red wire is the charging wire for the CDI - it should produce 100 peak volts minimum - get a peak voltage tester - the specs are in the table below and the ignition system is pictured below the specs - my guess is you need a new stator

4223

4224
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just to verify - it's a TRX250A - right?

The red 3 wire connector has two yellow and one blk/red wire - the two yel wires should have continuity to each other but not to ground - those are the alternator wires for charging the battery - the blk/red wire should have continuity to ground but not to the yellow wires - the blk red wire is the charging wire for the CDI - it should produce 100 peak volts minimum - get a peak voltage tester - the specs are in the table below and the ignition system is pictured below the specs - my guess is you need a new stator

View attachment 4223
View attachment 4224
I believe the two yellow wires were the ones that had continuity, and the black wire was the one with continuity to ground. In that case, it makes it sound that my stator is ok... I don’t have a peak voltage tester and don’t want to buy one... So not sure where to go from here... As for the model, I don’t think it says 250A but I could be wrong. I will check on that and which wires have continuity to what later today and let you know.
Thanks
 

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If you don't want to buy or rent a peak voltage tester and you have tries a coil and CDI from a running unit, replace the stator.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Alright, that’s the plan. I have one on the way, just hoping I don’t go through the trouble of replacing it for nothing.This confuses me though, because I was always under the impression that spark was generated from battery power, is this not correct?

Also, could this maybe be an issue with the pulse generator rather than the stator? Pretty certain that the new stator comes with one so it won’t matter anyways, But is there any way of testing that without peak voltage meter?
 

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There two basic types of ignitions; AC and DC - AC works directly off the stator and does not need battery power - DC is powered by a battery - in the DC ignition, if the battery goes dead, the spark dies with it - in an AC ignition, the battery is only used to power the electric starter and some lights.

The only test that can be made without a peak voltage tester is continuity or resistance - resistance may be within spec, but the output may be low (usually the case).

With DC ignition, as long s the battery is charged, there is spark provided all the components are in good condition.
With AC ignition, as long as the flywheel rotates and the parts are good, there will be spark - the battery may go dead while you are riding and the engine will continue to run. Your Recon has an AC ignition - later models became DC.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I guess so, back when we were playing with it a year ago the battery was shot in it. We jumped with a marine battery to turn the starter (for the short time it worked), and then took the cables off and rode it. So this makes sense. Here 2 help, your knowledge been a tremendous help. I will replace the stator and update with how it works out. Thank you very much.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Alright, back at the ATV testing some more. The two yellow wires have continuity with each other, neither have continuity with black/red wire or ground. Black/red wire has continuity with ground, but I’m reading 196 ohms of resistance on it no matter what location I use for ground. Would this indicate a poor ground that could be causing issues?
 

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No - the resistance is not a measured value - Honda only specifies the peak voltage - if you compare it to another Recon and it is close to what that unit has, then it might be fine, but you have to test for peak voltage to determine whether it is good or bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Alright, I will check the other recon when I finish up with the task at hand. I’m currently removing the stator cover. Working on getting out the 11 bolts that actually hold it on. I’m confused as to whether I need to disconnect the rear driveshaft to get this cover off. Is that necessary or is the stator cover separate?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Alright, scratch that about the driveshaft. I got the cover off, but I made a mistake. When I removed the lever on the reverse cable, I threaded the bolt back onto the shaft not thinking about it. I’m sure you can relate, trying to keep as many bolts in their places as possible. Anyways, I didn’t notice this until I was trying to pry the cover off and noticed something was holding it. By that point the head of the bolt had sort of been pulled partly through the seal on the cover. Now, I have a spring coming out of the seal (see picture). I’ve tried to get it to go back, but no cooperation. Do I need to replace this? Last thing I need is an oil leak after all this work. If you have a part number, that would help tremendously... Thanks
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Yeah -the seal will need to be replaced - part 91202-HC4-005 $4.30 in this part of the country

Are you going to need a cover gasket? 11395-HM8-000 $15.20
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Awesome. I got that ordered, and also went ahead and got the other seal for the cover that seals around the center of the flywheel (i think). Pretty sure I got the right ones, I made sure the markings on my existing seal matched the new ones. My stator is coming with a gasket, but I’m glad you mentioned that. This gasket has been wedged in there for (I assume) 22 years, and it doesn’t exactly want to part ways with the aluminum. Looks like there is gasket material on the engine as well as the cover. Is there a trick to removing it? Is it crucial that I get every last bit of factory gasket off, or are they forgiving? Thanks
 

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You need to get at least 90% or the thickness of the gasket off both sides and no sealant when put back together.

I use a scotch pad on a 2" disk on an air die grinding tool to buff the old gasket off and polish the gasket surface, but I am a pro and have been doing it for 40 years - for the novice, use a stanley knife blade and shave the paper off the aluminum - just use care not to gouge the gasket surface
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Sounds good. I’ll try scraping with a razor blade first, maybe follow up with some fine sandpaper? We’ll see, got plenty of time to work with it, I believe the stator comes in next week. Just trying to get as much of the work out of the way ahead of time. Thanks for all the help so far, I’ll be in touch soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Well, to my surprise the stator came today. I got it installed in the cover, the connector on the pulse generator wasn't tight at all, would go all the way over the prong but would not stay on at all. Smashed it down with some pliers to snug it up and got it to at least stay on. I assume it won't be subject to any type of force pulling on it anyhow. Put RTV around the inside grommet for the harness per the service manual. Still waiting on seals. I see the manual calls for some sort of special driver to install the larger flywheel seal - I assume this could just be done with a socket?

Question is, how difficult will it be to seat the seal? I'm wanting to go ahead and put the stator cover back on the engine, but I don't want to end up taking it back off to get that seal in...

The main thing I wanted to ask is this: Let's say the stator doesn't make any difference in the strength of the spark, where do we go next? I've been thinking about it... and it seems that although the spark is pretty faint, you'd think it would at least light off some ether... Doesn't make sense that it will occasionally start and run for 5-10 seconds. Maybe the stator/pulse generator output is just hit or miss? I think I mentioned earlier, I set the both valves to a snug .005. Maybe a little too snug. Is there a range for valve spec? I'm thinking they probably ended up somewhere .004-.0045. I'm probably stressing over that for nothing.

Looking at investing in a compression tester, since I assume that would come next on the list. What's the compression spec on this machine?

Lastly, is there a service manual for my specific year that I can access for free someplace? The one I'm looking at is for an 05 or something, and its close enough but not exactly the same...

Thanks
 

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If you are referring to the shift shaft seal that has the spring dislodged, it can be installed without removing the cover - a socket will work to push it in and many times if things are cleaned well, wet the new seal in lacquer, a little grease on the shaft and the new seal can be pushed in place with finger pressure.

I have the service manual in PDF - I sent you a PM
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I was referring to the larger seal in the center of the cover that seals around the piece for the recoil starter. The lip on it looks strange, don’t really see how it seats.
 
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