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10 Secrets Of Starting a Dead Soldier

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10 SECRETS OF STARTING A DEAD SOLDIER

Bike dead? Tired of kicking? Frustrated? Ready to load it up and go home? We’re with you--but before you give up on that dead soldier, try these steps.

NUMBER ONE: BUMP START IT

After you've kicked until you're blue in the face, get a buddy (or two) to push the bike to terminal velocity. Then, pull in the clutch, shift the bike to second gear (third on a big bore) and pop the clutch. If the engine starts, keep it moving until you can clean the flooded gas out. Ride it around for a few minutes to clean up the plug. If it doesn't start, you will most likely find yourself at the bottom of a hill.

NUMBER TWO: STARTS BUT DOESN’T RUN

If your bike starts, but refuses to rev--it is loaded up. Quick like a bunny, turn the gas petcock off and hold the throttle wide open. The engine will chug along for a minute or two, and then suddenly rev like a banshee. Turn the gas petcock back on before the engine dies and pat yourself on the back, because you just cleaned out a loaded up engine.

NUMBER THREE: CHECK FOR SPARK

If kicking and bump starting the engine don't work, remove the spark plug from the cylinder head and pop it back into the spark plug cap. Hold the threaded portion of the spark plug against a cylinder head nut and have a friend kick the engine over. While the bike is being kicked over, look inside the spark plug to see if you can see a spark jump across the gap. You may have to cup your hand to provide a shadow. If you see spark, ask yourself this question: Is the spark blue or yellow? Blue spark is good. Yellow spark is bad.

NUMBER FOUR: COLOR CODED SPARK CHOICES

If you have yellow spark, try a new spark plug. Word of caution, if you mishandle the plug, you could get a mild shock. It's not enough to hurt you, but it will wake you up.

NUMBER FIVE: WHAT IF THERE ISN'T ANY SPARK?

If you put in a new plug and there still isn’t any spark, you need to run through this checklist:

(1) Check the metal cap on top of the spark plug and make sure is it tight. Give it a gentle twist with a pair of pliers if it isn't.

(2) Make sure that the spark plug lead wire is solidly connected to the spark plug cap. If you suspect the spark plug cap, pull the lead wire out of the cap and look at the end of the wire. If the core wire is not visible or looks burned, cut 1/4-inch off the end of the wire and reinsert it into the spark plug cap (using the proper procedure depending on whether it is a prong or thread-in lead).

NUMBER SIX: IS THE KILL BUTTON KILLING IT?

Kill buttons can fail, and when they fail, they kill the engine. Before you go any further, check your kill button by disconnecting the kill button lead wire from the wiring harness. Kill buttons are prone to shorting out, and lack of spark is often solved by disconnection of the kill button.

NUMBER SEVEN: ELECTRICAL PARTS

If the kill button is okay, it’s time to get busy. Pull the ignition cover and check the flywheel. Look for loose stator bolts or cracked wires. If the ignition shows any signs of moisture or dirt, clean it with contact cleaner and allow it to air dry.

Next, remove your gas tank and check all the electrical connections. Not only do they come loose, but they also get water in them. Spray the connections with contact cleaner, plug them solidly together, and wrap them with electrical tape to insure that they stay put in the future.

If you're lucky enough to have a friend with the same bike as yours, borrow his black box. It can be pulled off one bike and plugged into another in a few minutes. If your black box is bad, putting a working one on will point you in the right direction.

NUMBER EIGHT: IS IT GETTING GAS?

Okay, you’ve finally got spark and it still won’t start. Follow these steps:

(1) Does it have gas? Look in the tank. Is it full? It is! Good. But that doesn’t mean that the fuel is getting to the carb.

(2) Pull the gas line off of the carb and turn the petcock on. Does fuel run out of the gas line onto your boot? Good. But that still doesn’t mean it’s getting to your engine.

(3) Remove the float bowl and carefully inspect its contents (to do this you have to be careful not to spill the gas in the float bowl).

NUMBER NINE: WHAT YOU DON’T WANT TO FIND

What you don’t want to find is that the float bowl is empty. If it is empty, you can stop in your tracks and remove the carb from the bike. Once you have the carb removed, follow these four basic steps:

(1) Make sure the floats move and the needle-and-seat moves freely. Occasionally, the floats will freeze because of a small piece of dirt. A minor tear-down and spritz of carb cleaner will fix the problem.

(2) Hold the carb upright and blow in the fuel line while moving the floats up and down. If you can't feel air moving through the system when the float bowl is all the way down, or feel it shut off when the floats are lifted up, then the needle-and-seat are jammed. Dirt, small pieces of debris or pieces of plastic flashing (from the gas tank) are the likely culprits. Look for water in the float bowl. It will bead up. Look for dirt. It will look dirty. Look for small pieces of plastic from the gas tank. Look for anything that will clog up the works.

(3) Remove the main jet and pilot jet and blow through them. Yes, the gas will taste funny, but make sure that you can see the sun through the hole in both jets before putting them back in.

NUMBER TEN: LOOK FOR A RAG

If you’ve followed all the steps to this point, you have fuel and spark. There is only one thing left...air. Pull the seat and take a close look at your air filter. Pull it out of the bike and look for rags in the intake (it happens, often as a practical joke). Additionally, an extremely dirty air filter can stop an engine from starting (air is required for the spark to ignite the fuel).

Bikes need three things to run--fuel, spark and air. If you discover that you have all three, then your bike should run. If it doesn’t, you probably need to rebuild the top-end (worn out rings or a bad piston will not produce enough compression to ignite the fuel and air), but that’s another story.

--Motocross Action Mag, 2/18/05

****PLEASE MAKE THIS A STICKY****

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i knew that all pretty good except for

NUMBER TWO: STARTS BUT DOESN’T RUN

does this actually work? its pretty cool, its nice to know all diff ways to get a bike going.

i had to start a buddies cold 250f the other day:D

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Number two works. We had a trail marshall come along and do something similar to misbehaving XL.

As to number six, I will never forget field stripping an old DT with no luck when it died miles back in a swamp. With the sun going down and thoughts of hungry gators, we finally unplugged the kill switch and it fired right up. First thing I check now.

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I wouldn't necessarily think of it as a "no brainer", as there are some things in there people may not know. If a mod made this a Sticky it would help alot of people out I think because people are always having problems with starting.

Doug

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As an add-on to Step #3, you can also put your thumb over the spark plug hole and give it a kick to check for compression. If no compression, then stop, remove your thumb from the head, extend your arm with thumb out, and point it in the direction of home. :)

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As an add-on to Step #3, you can also put your thumb over the spark plug hole and give it a kick to check for compression. If no compression, then stop, remove your thumb from the head, extend your arm with thumb out, and point it in the direction of home. :)

good idea.

I also think this should be made a sticky.

Btw, would about adding somewhere in there to check valves? That could also be a problem, no?

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Number three could be have little brother hold spark plug while you kick it over. I did this when I was 17 or 18 and lil bro was about 15. Wasn't too difficult to tell it was getting spark :)

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I agree - should be a sticky.

Another trick if it's not getting gas is to create overpressure in the gas tank to force gas into the carb. Create a seal with your mouth in/over the gas fill opening, exhale, and hold the pressure in the tank for a few seconds.

When starting my sleds for the first time of the season, I'll pull a few times to warm it up a bit, blow in the tank, and prime the cylinders with a little straight gas (two stroke). Usually starts pretty quickly after that.

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10 Secrets Of Starting a Dead Soldier

And I thought this was going to be tips for the bedroom :) not that I have a problem with that :)

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I would add one thing to Step 1. Big 4-strokes are a bear to start because of all the compression, so often they'll just lock the rear wheel when you pop the clutch. You should be standing when the bike is clicked into gear and then plop your butt down HARD on the seat right as you pop the clutch.

Cheers,

Mac

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