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The mystery one-cylinder ETEC

ETEC coils fouling Cylinder

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#1 Geezjeff

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 09:23 AM

Hello All - First time poster, long time reader.  

 

I recently acquired a 2015 MXZ 600 H.O. ETEC TNT which was in great condition has around 3900 miles on it. 

 

On my first real outing on a lake with a combo of hard pack and fresh snow riding, the sled started exhibiting this weird bogging-down / seems like it was running on one cylinder after about 6 -10 miles (don’t know for sure).  It was intermittent, but got worse the more I rode. I didn’t want to put many miles on it with that happening, so before trailering, I parked it on the lake to let it cool down and reproach the problem.  

 

After letting it sit for about 2 hours, I came back out and it started right up without issue. It ran clean for a bit then starting having the same problem.  I limped it back to our trailer and put it away and went running for this forum.  

 

After reading similar posts on similar year ETEC motors, I changed out the coils, and the wires.  Put dielectric grease on everything and put the plug wire clips back on.  Plugs seemed good, properly indexed to be facing the injector the right way, maybe a bit on the rich side, but nothing terrible (previous owner said he had the plugs changed last season).  I also replaced the aftermarket belt with a new OEM belt, and put some dielectric grease on the DESS contacts, as someone posted that that was a culprit for them. I ran it for like 12 mins in my garage (no room to test stuff out in my area) and it ran great.  

 

Well, I took it out riding last night and it ran like a champ for about 30 trail miles.  We stopped multiple times and shut it down and restarted.  I thought I was cured. UNTIL - we were nearly back at the trailer and it started happening again.  The one-cylinder bog down.  Put ‘er back on the trailer and tried to stay positive, but come to this place for some help on where to turn.  

 

Thanks for the help.  

-Jeff



#2 Spud800

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 12:15 PM

New plugs now?Any mods of it. Any codes?

#3 Geezjeff

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 12:20 PM

New plugs now?Any mods of it. Any codes?


Not new plugs as previous owner said he just changed them. No mods, no codes.

Also, should be said that it has backfired at low RPMs when this happens

#4 Spud800

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 12:23 PM

New does not always mean they’re good. Change them and index properly. Also if you have a second Dess cord try that.

Edited by Spud800, 17 January 2021 - 12:24 PM.


#5 mikmaze

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 12:24 PM

what  do the plugs look like? 



#6 12/3

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 12:59 PM

I agree with Spud, check the plugs for proper indexing so you know they are done right. Good chance this isn't your issue from what you're describing but you need to start some where.

Next, how do the reed boots look. Pull the air box and take a peak for any cracks in them.

How about a compression test if these two recommendations look good.

Fuel filter would be my next guess.

Edited by 12/3, 17 January 2021 - 06:56 PM.


#7 Geezjeff

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 02:32 PM

New does not always mean they’re good. Change them and index properly. Also if you have a second Dess cord try that.

 

I will - gonna order them from the dealer for certainty.  No second key at this point, and would rather not get a new one, but I’ve seen this around on other posts as well, which is why I greased and re-seated the connector on the underside.  Curious though - how would this actually work?  Why would the engine bog with a bad DESS?  Thx for the help.  

 

 

what  do the plugs look like? 

 

They were definitely rich, but since the sled is new, and I haven’t worked on ETECs before (tons of 2/4-stroke though), not sure if that was normal.  When pulled, I carefully brass-brushed them off and then hit them with the air compressor.  More fuel came out of them than seemed very good, but though maybe that was due to the coils (which I replaced).  They weren’t the nice toasted marshmallow.  Richer than that.  

 

I agree with Spud, check the plugs for proper indexing so you know they are done right. Good chance this isn't your issue from what you're describing but you need to start some where.

Next, how to the reed boots look. Pull the air box and take a peak for any cracks in them.

How about a compression test if these two recommendations look good.

Fuel filter would be my next guess.

 

You both have convinced me!  I’ll do the plugs when I can get them. Thx!  Question though is indexing just orienting them the correct way so that the electrode doesn’t interfere with the injector, or what other complexities?  Especially if I get the right plugs from the Dealer. 

 

I’ll scope out the reed boots, though, initial glance didn’t show anything.  

 

I did a compression test, but frankly, don’t trust my kit that much, as it was low on almost everything I tested.  Kid’s kitty cat, collector 1988 AC Jag, and this sled showed 105 or so on both cylinders (I was primarily checking for symmetry since I didn’t know what the value was supposed to be)  It was a cheap kit from amazon (blue driver kit HERE).  The other thing is that it runs GREAT... until it sort of goes into this mode.  Which is why i went straight for electrical problems first. But when I get new plugs I’ll do a follow-up test.  

 

The thing I’m currently thinking is that I need to do the fuel sock and the fuel filter. Not the most fun job, but spec says it should be done around this age/mileage anyway.  

 

FINALLY:  could me getting the plug wires crossed be an issue that pops up like this?  I also read somewhere on here that there was a ECM recall for some sleds related to this, but can’t find it.  Could be crossing my mental wires on that though.... 



#8 12/3

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 02:58 PM

It's very difficult to mess up the indexing as the threads on the plug and head are cut so when the plugs are torqued they will be in the proper position. However, always a good idea to verify alignment, just make sure that the electrode strap isn't blocking the spray from the injector.

Edited by 12/3, 17 January 2021 - 03:06 PM.


#9 Spud800

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 02:58 PM

Did the previous owner say there was any work done on it recently? New battery?

#10 Daag44

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 03:03 PM

In the linked compression tester there are 4 plug hole adapters in the kit. Was any of those used for the test?


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#11 Geezjeff

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 03:44 PM

Did the previous owner say there was any work done on it recently? New battery?

 Only said work done by dealer, new plugs.  Battery looks good, but not sure if it is new.  Curious what you’re thinkin! 



#12 Geezjeff

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 03:45 PM

In the linked compression tester there are 4 plug hole adapters in the kit. Was any of those used for the test?

 Yes!  Adapter was needed.  



#13 Geezjeff

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 03:45 PM

It's very difficult to mess up the indexing as the threads on the plug and head are cut so when the plugs are torqued they will be in the proper position. However, always a good idea to verify alignment, just make sure that the electrode strap isn't blocking the spray from the injector.

I’m going to have all apart shortly to dive back into inspecting and testing anyway, so I’ll pull them and toss a picture of them to the forum.  Appreciate the help.  



#14 Spud800

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 04:52 PM

ANY issues that show up shortly after work performed are usually a result of human error. So I was thinking maybe main batt ground loose or any major connection having intermittent contact. Fuel filter or sock will not likely be the issue if you’re certain it goes down on one cylinder when this happens. If it has good top end power when it runs right then a filter cannot clog and unclog...fuel pump on the other hand can be intermittent for sure. When it runs like crap hook up a self powered timing light to one plug wire at a time a verify steady spark to both cylinders. Also try using the RER button and see if it all of a sudden runs better?

#15 Bluestream

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 04:53 PM

does it drop down to one, or just run rough?  Have you checked spark when it displays these symptoms? 

 

Sounds like it could be the pick up coil if it starts to run rough, they can drop out when they get warm.  You need to confirm if you still get good spark on one side


Edited by Bluestream, 17 January 2021 - 07:48 PM.

 2016 MXZ 800

2004  MXZ 600 SDI






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