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XR 400 NooB Help

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Good morning:

Purchased an '04 XR400 used 12/04, and have been happily riding dual sport stuff since. I was riding around the neighborhood on Sunday afternoon, and came out of some off road stuff back on the street, and the bike booowwwddd and died. Kicked it a few times, got it started, rode 100 feet, and same thing happened again. Tried a few more times and it quickly got worse to the point where it would not start. Never got it to run and called a friend with trailer to bail me out and get me and the bike home.

I thought maybe it was the Main Jet, so I dropped the bottom of carb and let some gas leak thru to make sure there wasn't a clog. Pulled the main Jet out and check to see if it was dirty/clogged, it was clean. Checked the Air box, and it was a bit dirty, but not enough to stop me from starting/running to get home. Was going to start getting the spark plug out and WOW is that a PITA. Anyone have any suggestions on why it may not be running all of the sudden?

Only changes from stock are removal of snorkel, drilled holes in the exhaust (Gordon's Mods), changed jetting from 142 to 140 for altitude. Installed DS kit and IMS tank for extended fuel range. Otherwise, stock bike.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

LIP

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You said you STARTED to get the spark plug out. Did you? That will likely tell the whole story on your problem. If you did get it out, what did it look like?

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I didn't get the plug out as I don't have the 18mm tool. I am going to pick up a wrench/tool kit for the XR and a new plug this eve. Sounds like you think that could be the issue?

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Well, the condition of the plug certainly will rule out a lot of stuff. If it looks normal, you can go looking elsewhere.

Your mods all add more air to the mix (leaner), your jet change takes fuel away (leaner), and your altitude takes air away from the mix (richer). The XR400 is usually a little rich from the factory. Hmm... Well, forget all of that until you look at the plug. That will just give you the answer (or not).

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If the bike was running for some time, and then just all of a sudden died while you were riding it, I wouldn't think that it was the plug. IF you had just started it cold, and it ran a few seconds then died, I would say definitly the plug. My opinion is that it might be something electrical. Same thing happened to me just a couple of months ago. Thankfully I was at home riding around the neighbor hood after a 60 mile ride, and not when I was on the ride. It took me a couple of hours of trouble shooting everything that the book said to with no luck. Turned out to be the kill switch had crapped out on me. Try disconneting that (should be a point where you can do that about halfway across the bars) and try kicking it then. Make sure that you have gas flow going through the carb, and make sure you have spark too. If you have both of those, then the bike should run. By the way, if you pull the plug and there is no spark, (Have your friend hold it while the wire is attached and try kicking it. He'll let you know if it has spark or not.) then try D/C'ing the kill switch.

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(Have your friend hold it while the wire is attached and try kicking it. He'll let you know if it has spark or not.) then try D/C'ing the kill switch.

Yea, he'll let you know allright! :banghead: Pick a friend with a good sense of humor. NOT a wife or girlfriend (bad stuff).

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The girlfriend would be a bad idea, the wife is harder to get rid of though. If you have kids...... Well, you could teach them a valuable lesson about electricity. Just kidding. :banghead:

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Ok, it's settled. The kid next door is clearly the best choice for the spark plug test. Do it with the lights down. For effect, of course.

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I agree, have the kids do it.

When I was 15 or so, my Dad was checking the timing on his El Camino with one of those old type lights that you have to remove the plug wire to clip the pickup onto the plug and then put the wire back on. He was doing this with the engine running as I was watching. He pulled the plug wire loose and was looking for someplace to put it while he installed the pickup clip. He saw me standing there and said "Here, hold this for me". "OK" I said, being glad to help. I grabbed ahold of that thing and immediately went to shaking and screaming "AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" for 2-3 seconds before I could drop it. Then, without thinking, I just blurted out in a loud angry tone "YOU SON OF A B****!" About that time it hit me what I'd said and my eyes got wide and I was expecting a backhand just any second. But my Dad was too busy busting a gut over it and then I realized how funny it was too. It's one of my fondest memories of my Dad.

The girlfriend would be a bad idea, the wife is harder to get rid of though. If you have kids...... Well, you could teach them a valuable lesson about electricity. Just kidding. :banghead:

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A few years ago, I was involved in stock car racing...

Oh, by the way this thread has been officially Hi-Jacked. All of the obvious and necessary apologies to LIP.

So, stock car racing... We used to take all of the plugs out of the engine and set them in a rack on top of the carb throat between heat races. To keep things simple and in order, we would also reconnect the wires to the plugs. Keep in mind, we used the best batteries money could buy, HUGE ignition boxes, coils that made amazing voltages and the best of the best spark plugs gapped to about 100 thousandths of an inch. As a result, you never mouthed off to the driver. He could zap the crap out of anybody within two feet of that engine with a quick bump of the starter. :banghead:

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Thread Un-Jacked... Sorry LIP, really.

I re-read your post and you put on a dual sport kit, right? That kit includes lights and extra electrical stuff, I think. Any possibility that the extra draw on the electrical system is getting something hot and making it shut down? Any chance something from the DS kit came unplugged, or a light connection fried/burnt/welded itself? Just a suggestion.

Either way, if the plug is fouled, change it. If it looks good, light up the neighbor kid. If the neighbor kid survives, check all of your DS kit connections. :banghead: Good Luck!

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OK, here is the situation today. As I said earlier, I purchased the bike used and it didn't come with the Honda tool kit. I ordered one yesterday and it should be here by Monday/Tuesday. I borrowed a spark plug remover from a buddy with an XR650R and I am going to pull the plug tomorrow AM.

I don't think it's anything with the DS kit, but I will check that out too. I did wipe out recently in a muddy peet bog and burried half the bike in muck. It ran for a few days after that so I don't think that was the issue.

I will update you helpful souls tomorrow eve. on what the outcome of a new plug does. I need to do an oil change, clean the airbox, and put a new rear tire on before a DS trip to the UP, MI next weekend.

Thanks to all for your help and the interesting hi jack!!

LIP

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Status: Got it Running

Was getting gas, had intermittent spark, buddy pulled the CDI unit, detached it, tapped it a couple of times with a screwdriver, reconnected, and 2 kicks it started.

Ordered a new CDI on Saturday, and will put the new one in and keep the intermittent one for a spare.

Thanks to all for your help!!

LIP

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