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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I had the coil, wire, and resistor cap tested by a local shop-all good. I have a known good CDI box that the guy I got the bike from gave me. I plugged it in to another 400ex, and it ran fine, so I know its good. I am going to try and make some time this weekend to get my voltmeter and service manual out to do some circuit testing. Is there anything particular that anyone knows is a common problem on these that I should look at first? Any info will be helpful. thanks BTW, all electronics are stock. Only hop ups are bore kit, exhaust, and carb jetting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was getting several erratic readings on the volt meter. I started unwrapping wires, and found that lovely blue powder everywhere. Some of the wires to the ignition fell apart due to all the corrosion. I bypassed a few temporarily. My next question is, should this spark plug spark like a car, or only when layed against a good grounded bolt? It will spark if it is within about 1/4 inch away from a frame bolt, but has nothing when held far away. I'm used to cars, they spark strong away from anything. Is this normal, or do I still have connection issues somewhere. My end result will probably be a harness and ignition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I got it running. I fixed the connection issues at the ignition. After that, it still would not start. I would crank it, and it would try to start, but just wouldnt. I pulled the carb apart and found water in it. I drained the gas from the tank, into a clear gallon jug, and there was OVER half a gallon of water in it. I emptied it, and dried it real good. Put it all back together, put good gas in it, and it fired right up.
The fuel came from a gas station in a little town in eastern ky. My four wheeler, 5gallon gas can, and my buddy's 4wheeler and can had water in it. First time I have ever had "bad gass" from a station.....Oh well, fixed now.
 

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Getting water from a gas station is more common than you think, especially with alcohol blended fuels.

The under ground tanks at ALL gas stations have a quantity of water in them. It usually lays on the bottom of the tank under the gas. The pumps are suspended a foot to 3 feet off the bottom of the tank. When the water reaches a certain level, a company is called in to pump out the excess water.

Alcohol mixes with water. Gas that contains alcohol also contains a small percentage of water. When the gas sets (like in a can or a gas tank of a seasonal power product), the alcohol/water mix can separate out of the gas. Depending on the percentage of water, it can take from just a few seconds to a few days for the separation to occur. Sometimes the mixture will still ignite, but it can cause severe engine damage. The engine will have less power and run hot. It can lead to a hole burned in the piston.

It is usually best to buy from brand name gas stations. Cut rate gas can have a higher percent of alcohol (I have tested up to 20% alcohol at some stations). It is best to buy premium gas (it usually has a smaller percent of alcohol). And never buy gas from any station that has just had it's tanks filled. When the tanker pumps fuel into the underground tanks, it stirs up the water laying on bottom of the tank and you can be buying a high content water/alcohol laden gas (50/50 is rare, but not unheard of). It can wreak havoc with your bigger motors that are run every day too.

Alcohol will swell plastic gas tanks, damage petcocks, fuel injectors and rubber parts in carbs. Try to stay away from alcohol blended fuels if possible and don't use a fuel above 95 octane unless your motor has been modified to require higher octane.

BTW - you should not see spark at the spark plug on any ignition system unless the body of the plug is touching (or near) the engine or a good ground. If you see spark otherwise, the system has an unacceptable amount of leakage that needs to be corrected.

Any questions?
 
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