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Jeff Miller

Starting problem 2004 Suzuki Twin Peaks

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I'm trying to troubleshoot a starting issue. For a while, maybe a year sometimes I would hit the starter button and I'd hear a single loud click, but the starter wouldn't turn. Usually if I could pull the pull start or roll it in gear it would then start. (now I'm thinking that was coincidence) Now it only clicks. I tried to check what I could, battery is good, solenoid clicks strong, cleaned all connections (which were 80% clean anyway). I started thinking the starter wasn't spinning. I pulled it and it spins freely. The gear that it contacts in the engine-I can wiggle it maybe 1/16th to 1/8th inch back and forth. When I reinstall the starter I feel it jerk when I hit the button. I'm thinking maybe it's the starter clutch? It seems when there's a problem with them they usually just spin freely and don't engage at all. Is it possibly something is causing it to lock? I'm a bit lost now.

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Hey @Jeff Miller welcome to Quadcrazy. When you pulled the starter out did you happen to bench test it with a battery ? It could be as simple as starter brushes or just a bad starter.  Pull the starter, strap it down to a work bench so it does not jump and then test it with a battery.   

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Thanks Frank-when the starter was out I did put power to it. It spun fast and freely, no hesitation or odd noises. I don't know if it could spin like that, but be faulty in a way where there's not enough torque to spin the gears when it's installed? 

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If that starter was bench tested and spun freely and not on the atv it's probably fine.  
Do this; tap on the starer with a rubber mallet while your trying to start it.  If it works then its the starter or brushes. If not then jump the wires (larger ones) on the solenoid with a screwdriver. If the starter cranks then the relay is most likely bad.   You know what wires I'm talking about on the relay yes ? 

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When you jump the solenoid is there a spark by any chance? 
Take a tester put the positive lead on the starter wire at the starter and the other on the negative terminal on the battery.  Press the start button and see if you hear the relay click and get a voltage reading on the tester.  If not jump the relay and see if you get a reading that way.   
 

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There is spark and it acts the same as when I press the start button. I'll try to get a voltage reading now-it's def powering-it will spin when everything is hooked up, but the starter is outside of the engine.

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Yep prob wont work under a load. Feel the starter for any slight click when you press the start button. 
Im guessing its the starter.  

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I get a low voltage reading, of around 2v jumping +starter to -battery. I feel a strong click in the starter when I hit the button. It really feels like it's trying to spin.

Like I had mentioned in the original post when I try to move the gear that the starter gear meshes with it wiggles either every so slightly, but I can't really move it.

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If you have a strong click from the starter when you press the start button the only thing that could be wrong would be the starter.   OR the engine is locked up! But since you said the engine runs makes me lean toward the starter.  
When you pull start the engine is it hard to pull start as if the decompression device is not working ? 
Pull the spark plug and try to crank the starter. Let me know what happens.  

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first-thanks for taking the time with me, much appreciated. This did happen every once in a while over the last year, but usually worked again if I rolled it in gear or pulled the cord. I thought it was something where I just needed to move the pistons a bit.

I can pull the cord, but it's hard as heck and I definitely can't start it that way. I've never had to use it to start, is there a decompression lever somewhere. I had a DR350 that had one, but I don't know on here. Weather is crappy today so I'm not sure I can do the other test, but will as soon as possible.

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Your welcome on the help but its no biggie. 
The decompression lever is usually at the top of the engine.  Take a look there for it and definitely pull the spark plug and see if the starter will crank the engine.  It could be a broken spring on the automatic decompression device which is located on the cam shaft.  But that depends on the model and if yours has one.  I would have to look at the manual to verify.  Im just going off of the top of my head on what a lot of the atv engines have built in.  

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Yes on the cam itself there is a spring actuated decompression device.   It works on centrifugal force to help the starter out.  In some instances the spring breaks and the decompression will not work.   
 

There are a few different types. Pics below. 

D71BB28F-CFA7-4BAA-A46B-81518B143D60.jpeg

F4BDDFA8-B9B1-42C0-A799-C2E75E16C6DB.jpeg

3B0B405A-5696-4BC8-B024-C19E88F12BAF.jpeg

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OK, found it in the manual. So the spring holds everything closed for decompression and when the engine is running they open up? So the theory would be if the spring is broken or the arms are somehow stuck there will be too much compression for the starter to overcome?

KACR unit quad.png

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Something along those lines.  Its a low speed turning that releases compression out of the exhaust valve.  When the rpms come up it dose not allow the ex valve to open. 
Thats why i think if you pull the plugs and crank the engine its a good indicator as to what's going on.    

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ok- now I'm even more confused. Pulled the rear plug-made no difference. Put it back in and tried the pull start. Almost sounded like it might turn over, but really hard to pull. Figured I'd clean things a little while I had some plastic off. Hosed down a little, hit the starter for kicks and it fired right up. Turned it off and on a few times and all normal. What the heck?

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ha, well that was short lived. Went to start it again and something must have let go-now it's spinning like there's no resistance at all. Maybe the audio from this will help?  

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Sounds like the starter clutch went. Listen brother I'm sure your more then capable to fix this machine but your probably doing more harm then good by not listening to what we are telling you.  The trick here was to pull the plugs and crank the engine to see if the starter worked. If it did turn with the starter button then it would tell you if the decompression device is failing.  If you keep trying to crank the engine and think its magically going to fix itself its not.   Im not going to say for sure the high compression broke the starter clutch but its possible.  
I also am telling you that testing leads to results, its a process of elimination thing.   
Please don't take this the wrong way but i am calling it like it is.  You haven't posted one answer to what we suggest to do here.  If you did try any  those things we would not know based on your responses.  
 

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