1993 Quadrunner 300, no spark ONLY with pull-start


Well, after rebuilding the top-end in this ATV, I managed to get it running and even had it out on a 35km trail run last weekend. Unfortunately, it made it to our destination, but I was unable to get it restarted to drive it back to my trailer. When it stopped running, it had no spark when trying to start with the pullcord. If I hit the starter button and held the plug to ground, it would produce spark. But, my electric starter is worn out and has never been able to start the ATV for more than a handful of times. So it would spark the plug, but it would not engage the flywheel. Pulling the pullcord would rotate the engine, but would not produce spark. 3 hours of working on it in a relatives garage, we discovered that one of the wires going to the 15 amp fuse block under the hood was nearly falling off. So we temporarily removed the fuse block and I butt-connected the two wires together. This fixed the spark problem with the pull-cord, but I was still unable to restart the engine. Lucky, the relative had a truck and transported the ATV back to my trailer and I brought it home to the garage and tore into it. I managed to get the starter out and checked it, the armature is worn out. I also replaced the butt connector on the fuse block with 2 female terminals so I could re-use the fuse block without the factory wiring connector going into it.

I put the starter back together and tried firing it up with the pull-starter. It backfired through the carb. every time it hit the compression stroke. So, thinking I might have had the carb. pilot screw a bit lean, I turned it back in 3/4 turn. Put the carb. back on and now it has lost its' spark again with the pull starter. But again, it will spark with the electric starter, and it still will not engage the flywheel. I rechecked my new connections with a test light, and they are ok. The fuse is still good and I sprayed everything down with contact cleaner.

Why is it producing spark only with the electric starter? Does this indicate a CDI problem, or is there something else that might be wrong? The kill-switch is working fine. It stops the spark when it is off (electric start) and sparks again when on.

I'm at my wits end with this machine. I have a lot of time invested into it and I hate to sell it. But I have already listed it on the local classified website. If I do decide to sell it, I'd rather have it running, but I'm not spending anymore money on it.

Any help is greatly appreciated.


So you only have spark when you pull on it and none when you use the electric start sounds like your engine isnt turning over fast enough with the electric start to trigger the cdi to tell it to fire, And now your starter is not engaging the starter clutch sounds like your starter clutch is bad.

Hi. Sorry, I just re-read my title and the way I have it written is misleading. It's the other way around. What I meant is there is only spark with the electric starter and none with the pull starter. The electric starter is worn out, I actually just picked up a used unit Tuesday night to replace it. A friend who took a small engine repair course suggested that if the starter were worn out, it may not be producing a spark because of it while trying to use the pull starter.

I honestly just think there is a short somewhere in the harness, but when I was rebuilding the engine, I went over every connection I could find. I greased all of them, but that's not to say something didn't get pulled apart or a wire didn't ground out against the frame when I had it out for its' initial trail ride. I swapped out the CDI with another buddies unit from a `91 machine. Same part #, but it wouldn't produce a spark with either the electric or pull-starter. Not sure what was going on there. We haven't actually heard his machine running yet, as it was bought as a parts ATV, but were told that it had been running.

As well as the starter, I also picked up another used voltage regulator. Just as a spare, I don't believe that is the problem but I will swap it out just to try it. That's if the starter swap doesn't change anything.


Edited by clSharky

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