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Actually have a long weekend off, usually we work the holidays but the plant shut down to install a new switchgear so lucky me! Took a ride on an old railroad grade that is now a recreational trail and legal to ride. There are a few places to stop and get something to eat. Michelle is driving her old quad, a 2010 366 which I kept as a backup machine. Her Alterra developed a hard starting problem at Snow Shoe, so it will be off to the dealer to adjust the valves. Was good to give this machine a nice long cruise run as it doesn't see many miles anymore.

 

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We noticed the fan never ran on the black quad, did not see an overheat warning either. Last year I replaced the sensors because they were not working.

When I wired in the LED lights on the front rack, I used the two pin trailer connectors to make it easy to unplug if I had to remove the front rack, the fan uses the same so I unplugged the lights and plugged the fan it and had her run it manually. This was weird. Got home and pulled the sensors and tested them by heating up some oil.

The sensors tested good, and jumping the plug on the quad, the fan runs, so it was like WTF? Turned out the pins for the sensor were not fully seated in the connector.

This machine also has a hard starting problem, not as bad as the Alterra, so it will go in the shop when I get the Alterra back.

Mike

 

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That’s a common problem with lots of connectors with these bikes.  Most of the time it’s a simple fix but we (even myself) in the past have started pulling parts off.  Now that’s one of the first things I look for and open up, clean and add dialectic grease and check for either a slipped out pin from the base of the clip or I’ve also found that wires break at the bottom of the connector but the vinyl insulation is still good. It’s usually very flimsy when you bend it. 

But that’s a great find and an easy fix! 

So the hard start, what’s your thoughts on the problem ? Have you checked the amperage while cranking ? 

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Great pics! I hate connectors and I'll never forget when i was younger and issue I had on my car. 86 trans-am tuned port with a fuel pump in the tank that would randomly shut off and not start. I traced wires and even dropped the tank to replace the pump. Turned out to be a connector under the dash not fully seated I found by last resort of unplugging and plugging in all connectors i could see. Spent 3 months not knowing what or when it would not work, it was so random. So...it's an experience that stuck with me, I always check connections because they are like hidden issues...

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Wow TPI that  was a good set up. I still have one of them engines from a trans am gta tucked away in the back of my garage on a dolly.  But agreed, one stupid connector or plug can wreak havoc on a person! 

 

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22 hours ago, Frank Angerano said:

That’s a common problem with lots of connectors with these bikes.  Most of the time it’s a simple fix but we (even myself) in the past have started pulling parts off.  Now that’s one of the first things I look for and open up, clean and add dialectic grease and check for either a slipped out pin from the base of the clip or I’ve also found that wires break at the bottom of the connector but the vinyl insulation is still good. It’s usually very flimsy when you bend it. 

But that’s a great find and an easy fix! 

So the hard start, what’s your thoughts on the problem ? Have you checked the amperage while cranking ? 

This is the oldest machine and it is a spare so it doesn't get a lot of use. It is also used for plowing since I can mount the plow on it and leave it on all winter. Last year a few wires in the front harness rubbed through and popped the ignition fuse. This was actually the first time I seen pins not fully seated in the connectors. They are usually clipped in well with heavy duty connectors with waterproof fittings. I do use diaelectric grease on everything, keep a big tube of it on hand :)

It cranks well, it is probably the valves out of tolerance. It is 9 years old with 9,700 miles on it so it probably needs to be adjusted. It also has a slight tick in the engine, not sure whats going on there. It is scheduled to go to the dealer when I get the Alterra back. (It is at the dealer for the same hard start issue)

I don't do engine work, for the few times I need the valves adjusted, I let the dealer handle it. He is a very good dealer and his prices are very reasonable, he always cuts me a break since I bought three machines off him and I buy my parts from him.

Back a few years ago, I had a 2007 Arctic Cat 400 with 14,000 miles on it and sunk it in a mud hole on a poker run. Shortly after it started burning oil like crazy and lost compression. With the miles it had, the only choice was to bore it and install an oversized piston & rings, in addition, the timing chain was at the limit, the valve seats were worn out and he replaced all gaskets and seals since the engine was split. He also rebuilt my primary clutch (the wet clutch shoes were still good, but he lapped the primary to remove the small grooves) He also lapped and cleaned the valves. Total cost was $575, but the deal was they only worked on the quad "on the side" so the rebuild took a month. He did it for the part cost only, because the normal cost of the rebuild I would not have done and would have junked it. Ran that machine for 2 more years and sold it for parts.

Now that is a good dealer!

Mike

 

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That is a good dealer and to be honest it’s worth the money to drop it off and not worry about tearing it apart yourself if you can trust someone and it sounds like you have a trustworthy guy.  Did you have to rejet the carb due to the bore? 

As far as the rubbing wires I’ve come across that.  Right around the front end of the frame where the harness is against the frame due to turning.  

I also feel bikes with plows generally have a greater amount of wear and tear on not only the front end but the engine as well. So additional maintenance is required. 

You have machines with high mileage on them.  It’s great to see bikes go that long and it’s great to see the upkeep that you and some of the other members here do. You also do a lot of the poker runs it sounds  fun and we would like to join you on one of them so keep me posted if you don’t mind us joining you for a day. Minus the mud hole 🥴!

Myself I like to do the engine work and have taught my son along the way so that’s been fun.  We recently picked up a really nice snow blower that was left behind on a house I was renovating, practically new but left full of old gas. So I pulled the carburetor off and handed it to my son, 30 min later it was rebuilt and back on the blower running like a champ. He is 15 and well versed on gas engines and tearing them down and rebuilding etc.  I want him to know how to do this sort of stuff.    

We always get into something with a motor and always  looking to pick up an older bike to fix up or work on to keep us busy while we keep our newer machines maintained and always doing upgrades.  

Keep up the good posts and great input and photos you always provide brother.  

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He is a good dealer and very trustworthy, don't know if he messed with the carb, but the machine ran real good after the rebuild. Ran it 2,000 more miles to make 16,000 on it and then sold it for parts. I beat the snot out of that machine, rolled it twice, several collisions, frame was broken in two spots, so it could not be traded in with a welded frame.

That 2007 Arctic Cat was known for wiring harness issues, I had several problems with it until I wrapped it in spiral wrap to keep it from rubbing.

Some people on Facebook bust me about the maintenance I do on the machine, I take photos so I have a record of what was done to them and when, but as I pointed out to them, we RIDE these machines, not let them sit in the shed, so I keep up on them and we have very few breakdowns. Plus sometimes on the Arctic Cat fourm I can use a picture I took to explain to someone how to fix something. 

Even that older black 366 I keep up on it even though its not used that much since its a spare machine. I wasn't worth selling it. Plus she had something to ride this weekend while her machine is in the shop. I had just put in about $1400 worth of parts on that machine, then I got the offer to sell my 2007 machine for $2000 (the beat up one) so I couldn't turn that down (he wanted it for parts, mainly the motor. So I pulled the trigger and bought her a new 2017 Alterra for $4500 and kept the 366 as the backup machine. That was the year Textron bought Arctic Cat, so I figured if I bought her a new machine now, I can sit back for a few years and see what happens to Arctic Cat before I have to go buy another machine. Glad I did, this year they went back to the Arctic Cat name, but there are no new machines out there right now, don't know what they are doing, even the dealer is baffled by this. my 2012 450 is in good shape (I bought it in 2014 brand new) so I don't have to buy for a few more years.

Mike

 

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Got the Alterra back and dropped off the 366. The Alterra had tight exhaust valves which was the source of the hard starting. Now it fires up great.

I told him no hurry with the 366, he had it 2 weeks, he had other work to do, but it was basically the same with the Alterra, tight exhaust valves, plus he looked over the engine and carb. (I do the other mechanical work myself) He also changed the fuel filter and spark plug. I figured it had been a few years since that one seen service and it was getting harder to start it up. So I have to pick it up today. Basically the same cost as the Alterra. Figured with it coming up on 10,000 miles, good to have him look at it.

Eventually I will have to take my 450 in for a top end. Two years ago my air filter had a tear in it and I didn't see it until I pulled it to change it out. (Probably tore when I was installing it) When I start it up cold it burns some oil but goes away once warmed up. It hasn't been using much oil yet, but its starting to use oil now.

Mike

 

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That’s a lot of miles! What’s your thoughts on the 450 as far as the top end smoke issue, just valve seals or are you going for the whole enchilada since its all going to be opened up? Or just wait to see what your mechanic recommends? 

Any good rides coming up ? 

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I am not sure, When I had my 2007 400 it had an oil burning issue twice. First time was at 3,000 miles. I had the quad serviced under warranty for the carb leaking fuel, but this was a different dealer and he did not attach the air box on properly so eventually the dust got to the rings. In this case, the oil burning and consumption progressed quickly, from random puffs of blue smoke to a full blown freight train. Thankfully by the time I needed the top end done, I found my current dealer. The other dealer went out of business as far as quads went. Then around 14,000 miles I sunk the quad in a huge mud hole and water and mud got past the air box. Same deal, went from random puffs of smoke to burning a quart of oil every 25 miles, plus compression was lost. (I purchased my current machine thinking this one was headed for the junkpile) That is when he gave me the great deal on rebuilding the engine. I then ran it for another year and sold it to a friend when I hit 16,000 miles on it.

Now my 450, this incident with the filter was two years ago. The filter must have been getting bad and when I put it in the airbox, I must have caused a small tear in the filter, so I didn't notice it until I removed it a month later. My spare filter was also looking a bit ratty so I tossed them both and bought new ones.

The quad has been acting the same since the filter incident, starting up cold and with a bit of throttle I can see some blue smoke and smell it. It goes away after a few minutes and as long as the engine is warm, I don't smell it anymore. Unlike what happened to my older machine, this has not progressed like I was expecting. Now my older quad had a suzuki motor in it, this one is Arctic Cats H1 engine, I don't know if that makes any difference.

I am starting to see some oil consumption, not bad yet, I have added 1/2 quart so far since last oil change and its down another 1/4 but its due for a change in about 150 miles. (I run full synthetic and change oil every 1,000 miles) So I am not going to bother to top off the oil.

When I picked up the 366 I talked with him and told him what was going on and probably going to take it in next year to have it looked at unless the oil burning goes up.

 

We have our club picnic coming up later this month at Potter county, September we will be at SSRT's pig roast event, riding Bloody Skillet on Friday. Probably the last two camping trips for us, October is Hallsteads ATV poker run, but that is a day trip for me. I may not be able to go because of my work schedule which sucks because I am normally a volunteer for them since they don't have enough members in the hose house on quads to lead all the groups.

 

Mike

 

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