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1986 Kawasaki Bayou 300 - Starting Issues


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Had it running this winter, but tried to get it going this spring with no luck. First problem is the starter won't turn over even when boosted. I've cleaned the terminals. That didn't work. I just get a "clicking" near the battery box, but it won't even attempt to turn over. I connected the booster cables directly to the starter, and it still won't turn over. Does this almost certainly mean I need a new starter? Any idea what these cost? battery was never much good, so I guess I need a battery too.

I tried pulling the quad to start it last night. It didn't fire once. I suspected fuel problems, but there is fuel to carb. The fuel is "rusty". Anyone know how to fix a rusty tank?

I pulled the plug. It is wet. I assume this means it isn't firing. I tried to push the quad and check for spark. I didn't see any - but it's kind of hard to push and watch. Never had problems starting the quad before, so I'm inclined to think there isn't spark.

Next step is to get a new plug (I think). Anyone with any thoughts or ideas? Is there any way that the starter "getting fried" could be related to a possible ignition failure?

Thank you

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If you jumped the starter and it is not engaging, then the starter is probably bad. The tank I think you'll just have to pull out and clean or replace. The spark plug could be wet because it flooded out from attempting to start it so much and it didn't. But that's cheap enough to just replace also. and you tried jumping from the battery? Or charging up that battery?

Maybe you didn't jump the starter properly and all you need is a battery...

* Added issue and manufacturer to thread title.

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Is there anything that could fail in the electrical system that would take out the starter and the spark?

It looks like the cheapest place for parts is E-Bay. A starter is $42! I was getting worried that it might not be worth fixing, but I think there is hope!

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If you put power straight to the starter and it did not work, then the starter itself is most likely the problem. They are a bit spendy, so it would be worth your time to take it out, take it apart and try cleaning it up. I have resurected many old starters by just cleaning them. You may also want to get new brushes for it, they are probably about $10. Once you get the starter working, you can check for spark by grounging the spark plug to the motor while turning it over. There is a very good chance that your gas is bad, and the carb needs a good cleaning. Take the carb off, take it completely apart and clean ever single nook, cranny and orifice. You will probably need to replace the tank if it is all rusted.

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I read somewhere that old starters are easy to repair....so I took it apart. I found a short to ground in one of the wires that connects to the brushes. I fixed that. I also found a brush that was "stuck" and not in spring loaded contact with the rotating thing (armature???). I fixed that too. This last problem likely explains why the starter always turned over so slow (because it turns over fast now). I thought it was just a weak battery. Live and learn!

I changed the spark plug. There was good spark. So I installed, and it fired up in a couple seconds of cranking.

So then I removed the fuel tank. Some prior holes had been fixed by brazing. I have 4 neighbors that are welders by trade. I called 2 of them up (the ones I know) and I asked them if they would braze the tank. Both gave me the same response - they hadn't brazed since school, and they were reluctant to do my tank. One told me about JB Waterweld. So I decided to give it a try. I haven't reinstalled yet, but I suspect it sealed the leak. I've fixed leaking tanks in an old Oldsmobile with saran wrap and glue that cures in fuel - so I expect the JB Waterweld will work - it is advertised for this application.

The aluminum piece with the valve on the bottom of the tank was showing corrosion. I wonder if it is galvanic corrosion? Anyways, it is difficult to get the O-ring to sit proper because the aluminum has wasted away in places under and around the O-ring. I threw out the "spacer" piece which was corroded the worst. As far as I can tell, you can still operate the valve fine without this spacer piece and the valve bolted directly to the tank. Fortunately I had a couple shorter bolts on my work bench that worked perfectly. I'm also planning to only use the reserve setting and I've cut the tube off so it sucks right from the bottom of the tank. I suspect water sits in the bottom of the tank and corrodes - I would rather have the engine sucking this junk out so it doesn't accumulate and perhaps I can slow the corrosion in the gas tank.

I haven't put it togther yet, but I expect it will work fine. I will post back if I have problems.

When you replace the starter, you need to take off the cover on the opposite side that houses the gear on the starter, the chain, etc. This is done so you can engage the splined started shaft into the gear. There was a bit of oil in this side (just enough to drip on the floor). Do I need to add some oil to this compartment? I suspect it is engine oil that must feed into there and drain out when stopped, but I'm not sure. I'm thinking I don't have to worry about adding oil to this side, but I thought I would ask.

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