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I have an old honda,,,good machine has the shiter on the side like a bike,,been good,, the kill switch was kind of loose ,,was cutting wood and it barely started ,,kept jiggling kill switch and finally got it going ,,took it home , decided that was prob and decided to take the kill switch apart, well the lil ball gone now,,so decided jus bypass ,,twisted wires together,,,no start ,,what the heck,, tried everthinhg. finally jus said heck with it. no spark,,,took advice of other forum,,tried this that,, finally gave up,,,well today decided to do somethin before winter sets in,,, put old parts back on,,charged battery,,messed with it and it started,,,but only after i quit cranking the starter,,,,any ideas,,its still good machine jus lil old,,,
 

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Sounds like the battery was weak and you were not getting spark until the moment the draw by the starter motor allowed the voltage to rise. Since all I know is it's a 400 and a Honda, I have ruled out being a TRX400EX as they had an AC ignition and did not need a battery to start.

So being totally ignorant as to what you have, I am guessing it's a utility model (not a sport model) it has a foot shifter, may or may not be manual clutch; it's probably a TRX400FW (F indicates four wheel drive) - made 95 to 03 with no changes other than colors, graphics and 97 to 03 got a multi function speedometer. Now in 04, it became a TRX400FA and FGA (A = automatic clutch and the G models had a GPS option). 01 to 03 there was the 400FW.

As best as I can determine, all those models had a DC ignition - if the battery voltage falls below about 9.5 volts when cranking the engine the CDI will not produce spark - as electronics age they require higher voltage to operate and your ignition may need 10.5 or more to produce spark.
 
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