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BillyBlast01

1987 Suzuki LTF 230 troubleshooting help

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 My older brother gave me his old 1987 Suzuki LTF 230. It was running back in the summer however it does need some minor work. I have replaced a back rim and put a tube in that tire due to the bead not sealing. New brake shoes for the back needs to be put on and the front brakes don't work. But for some reason it has lost power from the battery. He has a car battery hooked up to it and it cranked over last week but then it stopped and the neutral light was out the headlight stopped working etc. Being disabled and on a fixed income I can't take it to a shop so now I need to troubleshoot. Any suggestions would be great. 

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If the battery is being jumped with a car battery and it cranks, my guess is that you have a bad battery and I would start with that. Unless the battery isn’t recovering a charge due to a bad stator or wiring issue. Have you tested anything with a meter yet?

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No it's not being jumped my brother before he gave it to me took a small car battery and hooked it up to it. He already had that battery and the atv battery was bad so he hooked the car battery up on it. It does not have an actual atv battery it has the car battery. I am going to check it with my volt meter but his battery charger showed it to be fully charged. 

As for testing anything yet no not yet I just put new batteries in my test meter tonight

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I'd start with the main fuse  between the  battery  and the main solenoid; then the battery as suggested. If the fuse is blown, then  look for a short or bare wire  before replacing the fuse.

Once you have 10  posts you can go to the download section of the forum to  get the service manual with a wiring diagram for that quad.  Batteries can show good or charged but have a defective cell or  be so  badly sulphated they have  no capacity left.

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@davefrombc Thanks for the info. Before my brother gave me the quad, he was riding it. It had only been sitting for a couple months or so. He had a bad rim that would not seal around the bead is why he stopped riding it. When his atv battery went bad he out a small car battery in a plastic milk crate and strapped it to the back rack. He did add extra cable to the battery cables. It's trying to rain here now so I'm having to wait on the weather it's sitting outside in the yard. As for fuses, there are 2 15 amp fuses by the battery box and both are good. I have a service manual I bought on ebay. Getting info from everyone will help me with areas to look at first. 

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Here is the history on the quad as it was told to me. My brother's neighbor bought the quad from an elderly man in the local area. He was supposed to be the original owner. My brother got it from him. Now his neighbors son is an awesome mechanic and he can work on anything. He's built several quads from junked quads. He can fix any lawnmower too. He lives about 45 minutes away and we're going to try to get him over here this weekend. He can find it faster than I can...

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Hey davefrombc, Brian had to work late today so he didn't come by. However I did some checking this morning. I unplugged the 5 pin switch and checked every wire on the battery side to the switch. I could not get any fire from any wire. Now I can't guarantee I had a good ground but I did try lol. Brian said he would be here tomorrow after work if he doesn't have to work late again. 

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Good morning everyone, here is a quick update. Brian never showed up. His dad came by Wednesday evening and in small talk he stated the Brian has not came by because he was mad at him. He was supposed to come by and help his dad and he keeps putting him off. So I have bought a new atv battery and ordered a new OEM ignition switch and the hi/low range knob that was missing. The ignition switch is the original switch so I'm changing it out to be sure it's not an issue. If I still have no power I'm going to check the neutral switch next. So that's where I'm at at this time. It's sitting in the front yard so I'm having to work on it around the weather and waiting on my deliveries. More rain coming in today and clear Saturday but a chance of a winter mix on Sunday with little to no accumulation expected. 

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How did you get on Billy ?

I've got the wiring diagram for that thing here and there isn't much to it. There's one red wire that goes from the battery to both those fuses. It branches inside the wiring before it gets to them. One fuse is for the auxillary power plug, and the other one feeds the key switch and the voltage regulator. The wire coming out of the aux fuse is red and white, and we can ignore that one, and the other one coming out of the other fuse is all red. That red wire coming out of the fuse branches again inside the wiring loom, and goes to the key and to the voltage regulator which I think is up near the front of the fuel tank and on the right hand side. Unless the regulator is shorting out it won't be causing the problem, and if it is shorting out it should have blown the fuse. To be sure though that it isn't shorted and draining any small amount of power that might be getting through a bad connection somewhere, it would be a good idea to unplug the regulator.. but it is hard to get to. If you can't get at the reg don't worry about it at the moment, we will diagnose it by elimination. In the meantime you should check for power at the back of the key switch, it is easy to get to. you pull a bit of plastic off in front of the dash and it's right there. There should be power to the red wire.

Since you have an electrical gauge I guess you understand how a dirty connection can let a little bit of power through when there's no load on, but then show no power when there is a load. That's why it would be good if you can to disconnect the regulator in case there is a bad connection, such as the join inside the wiring where the red wire branches. But don't worry too much at this stage about that.

So.. First check what the battery voltage is before you go checking the key, and be sure to check the battery voltage with the key off and also with it turned on. It should be twelve volts with the key off and stay near twelve when the keys on too. If the battery doesn't have near full volts in both cases you have a bad/flat battery. Then, if the voltages are ok, check the key switch red wire at the switch with the key off and it should have full battery voltage. If it does, then turn the key on and check the voltage there again.. It should be near twelve still, perhaps eleven and a half. If the voltage drops below about ten when the key is on, then there is a bad connection between the fuse and that point.

Check those things and take note of what the various voltages are at the different places and with the different key positions. You could draw up a little grid chart with key on, and key off columns, and the various test points drawn across under them.

If you have any questions or aren't sure what we are doing here holler out and I'll explain further.

Edited by Mech

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The manual I have is for a 250 but I'm sure they are the same.. If the wire colours seem wrong let me know and I'll check my manuals for the colours you have. I'm in New Zealand and we have different models here..

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@Mech I ordered a new ignition and a guaranteed main harness waiting on a few other things and some warmer weather before I get busy stripping it down and putting it back together. 

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@ScrappyD This is what I have done so far. I bought a new battery made for the quad, a new ignition switch and a used wiring harness. Right now I am waiting on the weather to dry up so I can do the ignition switch and the wiring harness. I will keep everyone posted. 

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@davefrombc @Mech @ScrappyD Sorry for the late reply. There has been some things going on here and I have been very busy. I bought a 2002 Polaris Ranger 2x4. I traded my old Jeep in for a 2018 Ford F150 AND I got a new puppy for Christmas so my time has been limited. I'm crate training him to be a house dog. Snow coming in later tonight. Oh Joy lol I do have someone now that can help me work on both the side by side Polaris and my quad. 

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Sounds good Billy.. A late christmas..  Hope the little fellah's keeping you amused.

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