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Meat-Run

I HAVE A SICK FEELING!!!!!!

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This weekend I was plowing my driveway with my ATV and it started to bog down really bad and quit running I think from getting to warm. I'm afraid i have lost power and possible burnt piston I need some advice or help!?!?

Details:

2004 Suzuki 400 oiled cooled, carbirated not EFI

w/1,300 miles on it.

What happend:

plowed most of the driveway and detailed (almost 2hrs) work and then was pushing the road infront of house for awhile. The fan was kicking in and out like it should be while I was out plowing and it started to bog down to a point it wouldn't run anymore. So i turned the wheeler off and let cool down for about 5 minutes. It started back up but with a little help with throttle, went about another 100 yards and died. Let it sit for about 15 minutes longer and started up and ran it back to the garage. At the end there was a hissing noise coming from the exhaust and it wasn't running with the umph it normally had.

So I let it sit for about two hours last night and went to start it and it started fine but the exhaust just didn't have the pop like it usually does. Did I push my luck this morning and plowed the snow at the end of my driveway from the county plow but then it got boggy again and was it just starting to hiss when I pulled it in the garage....

Somebody please tell me I just have a fowled spark plug or something like that, there is no snow in the fan or against the radiator so it has to be something internal. Please help me because I just don't know what it would be other than a motor issue. Also I just changed the oil about two weeks ago and it's full so it isn't a matter of enough oil.

Any thoughts or prayers would be welcome!?

mr

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Ok, I called my local suzuki mechanic and he says to start with the exhaust system and the air box(thanks roofer) and see if those two are restricting the air flow. He says that there might be a piece in the muffler that might have broken off inside to restrict the flow and cause it to loose power. I'll start there and pick up a spark plug also to eliminate any other possibilities.

mr

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If the air box and muffler issue don't fix the problem, and you don't mind tearing it down a little, take the necessary plastic off to give you a clear view inside the cylinder when you pull the spark plug out. Use a flashlight and try to turn it over to get your piston to TDC and look for anything abnormal on top of the piston.

It might take a little bit, but you could set your mind at ease.

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It may also be caused by steam. When plowing snow, the melted snow on the exhaust causes steam which can enter the airbox and make the machine run poorly. It's possible that this is happening with yours, which can be remedied by a snorkel of some sort, or adding vents that allow the steam bypass your airbox.

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Ok, so I check my airbox and it's perfectly fine. The exhaust/muffler doesn't sound good and seems to be restricting airflow. I'm going that route for now and will be taking that off when I get some time and warmer weather. Thanks for your input, I'll keep you posted.

mr

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Look at the rear of that muffler 1st. It may be the kind where you can pull the baffle out and not have to remove the whole muffler. That happened to a Yamaha Warrior I had. The baffle packing deteriorated inside the muffler.

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I'm getting a compression tester today and checking that because I have spoken with a buddy and said he had the same thing happen to him. It has power at first when cold then as it warms up or starts to work a little bit you get blow buy on the piston then it ultimately looses compression and dies.

I'll keep you posted but I'm really thinking this might be the case and not a restriction in the muffler.

mr

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I had the EXACT, I mean EXACT same thing happen to my 07 artic cat 650 H1. I actually had the word VOLT come across my screen. I called the mechanic and he told me that you drained your battery when you were running your winch that much and your alternator can't keep up because your constintly running the winch. I was told I get about an hour to 2 hours of plowing and then I got to put the battery charger on my battery. has anyone else every heard of this?

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Walleye12,

I have a battery tamer on all the time and my battery has been very strong from what I can tell. Are you stating that my battery is weak and the alternator is not keeping the wheeler running? If so than how come I have little or weaker exhaust coming out of the muffler? Just curious?

So when you say VOLT come across your screen, are you talking about the screen on your handle bars? Please fill me in? My Suzuki doesn't have a screen or display for "issues".

thanks for reading my post and replying.

mr

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My '94 Polaris 300 did the same thing a few years back. It turned out that the oil slinger in the crank failed/broke/whatever and the piston was not being lubricated, resulting in overheating. When cold, it would run fine. But, after warming up, it bogged down and died. Nothing a $700 overhaul couldn't fix.

I hope this isn't the deal with your machine. Good luck.

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I do have a screen with all the gauges in between the handle bars. My exhaust was doing the same thing, I don't think you have weak battery it just takes alot to work the winch and your run your four wheeler for that period of time.

I put a battery charger on last night and fired mine up this morning and it purred like a kitty, no spitting and sputtering

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My Honda has been a plow machine since new in 2000, original battery still in the machine. I've never had a battery go dead from winching the plow, and I run a lot after dark with the headlights on. I've heard of this being an issue with some machines though, some guys in the forum have brought this up over time if I recall.

Meat-Run: The muffler could definitely be the culprit. I replaced mine after the inside rusted away, and it looked like some of inside parts blew out the exhaust when it failed. I had a major backfiring issue with the bad muffler. Winters are hard on mufflers with moisture built up and such.

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ChuckN and others,

You guys have been very helpful with ideas that I would never have thought of. Tonight if my hands can handle the cold will put the compression tester on cold and hot and see what the results are. I'm thinking it will be a black and white after that. I hope it is the muffler and actually crossing my fingers it is. Right now its easier to do a pressure test than try to get the muffler loose or off because it looks like one big piece and I would have to remove more feiring than I would like.

I will post back tomorrow.

mr

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When you checked the air box did you make sure the air filter wasn't plugged with frozen snow? I've had my sled act up at times after running in similar conditions. It was just snow blocking the prefilter. Just an idea of an easy cheap thing to check.

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Black Bay,

Yup, it's clean as a whisle. No snow, debri, nothing to cause it to snuff out the airflow. I even ran it without the air filter just to make sure and it still bogged down and died yesterday. I can count the air filter out for sure.

thanks,

mr

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Is there any chance you have bad gas in it or got water in the gas somehow? I have had problems like this in th past when there was water in the carb bowl. I would have bet it was snow/ice on the filter becaue I have had the same thing happen a few times but that obviously isn't the problem.

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Johnsonator,

I will not count it out but because the lack of exhailed exhaust or POP of the exhaust makes me think its a compression issue. Just got off the phone with my local Suzuki dealer and they say I should have 142psi. We'll see!

mr

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While you're doing the compression test, check the tip of your spark plug to see what color it is.

A properly running motor will have a cocoa brown color. Black and/or wet and your running rich. White/gray indicates a lean condition.

This is the time of year also that mice have been seeking shelter. If the machine has been sitting for some time prior to this issue (it doesn't take long), check your entire air intake for the motor to make sure the mice haven't clogged it up.

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Last night I unfortunetly had a company xmas party to go to so my compression test didn't happen. I will be going home during lunch hour and seeing what I can do. LEP7MM, I have replace the spark plug since Sunday and the one I took out was really bad but even with the new plug it still proceeded to bog down and die.

I will keep you posted.

mr

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Walleye12,

I always have my wheeler plugged into a battery tamer so I'm sure the battery is fine. It always starts fine and the lights don't neccesery go dim when I use the winch.

To answer your question no but if I do what should I be looking for a low charge?

mr

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Walleye12,

To answer your question no but if I do what should I be looking for a low charge?

mr

ya, I would slow trickle charge it over night and see if that helps. It helped me, like I said, I had the exact same thing happen to me! After charging the battery mine has run excellent. I was out plowing again lastnight for an hour or so and I could tell the battery was starting to drain again, I put it back in the garage with the charger on it. It might be worth a shot!

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Walleye12,

Your right its worth a shot. I'll give that a try and see what happens, thanks for your help.

I appreciate everyones .02 on this issue I'm having with my atv. People like you guys make this site very rewarding and fun to visit. When I can I will give back the same about of input that you guys have for me.

thanks,

mr

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