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Starting issue on 01 Kodiak


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I need some help with a starting issue on an 01 Kodiak. I picked up the machine from the owner to fix the stuck choke, change oil, and work on battery connections that would not stay tight. I performed this work and used it for about a week with no issues at all.

The day that I was going to return it to the owner, it would not start. I quickly diagnosed that it had no spark at the plug. I checked a few basic things and could not find anything obvious. So the owner wanted me to take it to the local Yamaha dealer to have it diagnosed and fixed. The dealer diagnosed a bad pulser and replaced that part. It still had no spark, so they said it needed a CDI box. They installed a brand new CDI box and then the spark was back. But for some reason it still will not start. The dealer was terrible to work with so the owner and I agreed to pick it up from them.

So here is the current condition: it will turn over fine with the starter, but it wants to kick back sometimes. But it will only kick back when the choke is on. I know it’s getting fuel because the plug is soaked and fouled quickly. Once or twice it sort of started to fire, but not much.

I am thinking somehow the timing is off. I pulled the cover off and the key is NOT sheared. The piston is at TDC when the T mark lines up with the small hole in the cover. I plan on cranking the engine over and using the timing light to see if the T lines up with the observation hole.

What else can I check?? Thanks in advance for any ideas that can help me solve this problem.

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