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2003 Arctic Cat 400 Auto 4x4 Wont Crank

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Trying to help a friend get his machine going. Need help.

It has sat for 10 months. (indoors). We just get the clicking from the solenoid trying to start it.

He had just charged the battery, but I tested it at only 9.5 volts. I replaced it with a used one I had which gave 10.7 volts.

Question: should I not be getting about 12 volts from a good battery?

I tested it to the solenoid, and got the 10.7 volts on the battery side, but only about 1 volt on the starter side of the solenoid when the start button was pushed. Pulled out the 30 amp main fuse and looked good, and tested good with a meter. Cleaned terminals of fuse and re-inserted it. Still the same measurement.

Next was to disconnect the cable from the starter terminal. Now when pushing the start button, I get the battery voltage (10.7) up to the end of the wire for the starter.

Me thinks something in the starter saps the power off???

Next I removed the starter from the engine (easy to get at , at least). Connected the cable back to it and (touching case to ground) had the start button pushed, it spins fine and no sounds come from the solenoid. This is a NO LOAD condition for the starter though. Put it all back in, and no crank, just clicking from the solenoid.

My best guess is a low voltage situation from the battery. I will try jumping it from a vehicle battery today to see if it makes a difference.

My next best guess is a faulty starter, brushes shot and wont handle the load???

Also, as an afterthought, tried the manual pull start, after a few pulls it started right up. This should indicate that the neutral safety switch and emergency kill button are functioning fine and cant interfere with normal starter operation.

Advice would really be appreciated.



Edited by d_spends
More detail.

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Your doing what I'd do, but you may also have a bad solenoid, your eliminating things as you go, and unfortunately that's all you can do. Another thing I'd be concerned with would be how the carb. looks by sitting 10 months weather indoors or not. Bet it is a little gummy in there! Good luck and hope you get it!

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Just got back. Jumped the battery from his truck, and MAGIC. Started right up.

His battery was a premium one, only 2 years old, but is garbage because of poor care.

He is off to buy a new battery and a battery tender unit to keep it up.


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To close this issue, and help others with the same situation/tests, the new battery is the same premium battery, charged with the Junior Battery tender, and although it is going to be left on charge until tomorrow, is already reading 13.2 volts.

Morrow of the story, more volts turns starters. Make sure you have a proper battery tender and use it.

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Typically the stock batteries are junk and don't last long. I replaced mine with an aftermarket maintenance free one and its been working well.


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Now that you have it running you might want to check the oil. If it was left outside and there was gas in the tank it may have migrated to the crank case. I picked up one that was sitting for a year and had to drain 4 gallons of gas from the crank case.

I ran sea foam through the tank as well and it cleared up the smoking issue i had. Just a thought.

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