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1994 Yamaha big bear 350 Starting Issues

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I have a 1994 big bear and I am starting to have issues starting. I put in a new starter and selnoid as the at stopped starting with the electrical but will still start with the pull cord. Where and what now should I be looking at to check? If I turn key to on and the switch to on then hit the start button, the bike clicks and then nothing. Lights still work but no response to the starter. Stumped now. Any help would be greAt.

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  • Admin changed the title to 1994 Yamaha big bear 350 Starting Issues

I am having a problem starting also but my issue is that when my 1989 350 big bear is cold the electric start works fine. After riding it for a while (engine is hot) and I turn it off, the e start no longer cranks. I can pull start but not e start. Will the above trouble shooting still apply or might there be a more apparent solution to this issue. 

Thanks in advance!


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@etsbigbear I’m assuming your starter is getting hot and not working properly. But will work when cooled down.

 The next time this happens I would try to jump the starter at the solinoid and see if the starter turns the engine. But only do that for a few seconds at most. If you get no spin then most likely a starter.

Also when the symptom happens you can also try this. 

If you have a tester you can see if the wire at the starter is getting 12 volts when you press the start button. Make sure the wire located at the starter is where you are testing. Red lead on the wire at the starter and black lead on a good ground.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have not had a chance to get involved with my issue yet but I did try to start today as I like to run my machines every few days. 

So my big bear turned over a couple times and I let off the button. Hit it again and it turned over a couple times. Let off the button and hit it again and only heard a clicking under the seat which sounded like it was on the right side. Anyway I tried to pull start and could never find a spot where the compression didn't want to RIP my arm out of socket. My questions are:

1. Whith this now happening with a cold engine and charged battery does this help to elucidate what may be the problem?

2. Is there a trick to off load the compression for the pull start?

Thanks again!

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Okay so I had a chance to troubleshoot today. I took the starter selenoid off and touched the wires together several times. A couple of those time it cranked over but did not start because I broke the connection after a couple engine turnovers.

I could not get it to crank again so I took the battery down to get tested as the couple times it turned it seemed sluggish like a weak battery. The battery tested very good.

So after trying to jump the starter to no avail I removed the starter and jumped it with the removed battery and I was successful getting the starter to crank b bu t not every time. It did spin more often than not. So I put everything back on and tried the e start and nothing but a click each time so I used my circuit tester (light) to see if I had juice to the starter when I pressed the start. Yes. Even checked the selenoid which was obvious it worked otherwise I wouldn't have power at the starter. 

Starter just wont crank when it's on the atv! Called a local starter repair shop and they are ordering me $4.50 brushes as this is their guess. I will change those and if it doesnt work I will replace the starter with new.

Question.....does this sound like i have narrowed it down? Could there be another issue? Like i said I even tested the e start button with the light by testing down current of the starter selenoid and ther was power. 

I was also able to start the big bear with the pull start today without losing an upper limb🙄

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It sounds like it’s the starter is bad.  Replacing the brushes is a cheap repair so hopefully that’s it. 👍  If the problem still exists then it may be the actual starter itself and that’s cheap enough to change as well.   In the mean time if you’ve loosened and tightened all connections to make sure any corrosion is off ? as well as the main fuse just pull it out, clean and reinstall,  then the last item it could be is the start button not making a solid contact when pressed.  This is possible if the bike has been sitting outside  moisture gets inside the controls oxidizing the copper contacts. 


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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
  • 5 years later...

My big bear has power everwhere ,new battery ,solinoid fuses checked every connection clean ,i can pullstart it cross solinoid to start but not working on the button the kill switch works to shut off and thd horn wont even work but theres power i really want it to work but im at the end of my knowledge any help would be primo

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Do you have the service manual and have you been tracing the power through the wires as it shows them ? Are you using a test light or a gauge, because a gauge will show power even when it's going through a dirty connection that's not letting enough power through to run anything. You need to test with a light, or do what's known as a "voltage drop test" with a gauge, and it has to be done with the circuit you are testing under a load.

I'd start at the key/main switch and check there's power to there and going through it, and it may be that it has two seperate switching movements in there, and on some models one earths to kill the ignition and one turns the power on, and in others they both turn on separate powers. Then I'd check that relay Gw's mentioning, and then I'd check the starter solenoid.

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