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Hey there, been lurking the forums all winter. First post! This is my first owned sled, but ive rode sleds all my life and worked on some over the years.

Machine: 1996 Formula III 600 (9800kms)

Love the sled. Been great to me most of this season.

One day 2months ago, took it out for a rip around property for ~30min, started fartin and barkin (backfiring) and died out. Took 20-30 pulls got her going again, moved the machine ~200ft, died again. Repeat another 2 times and makes it back to garage.

Checked compression, 130-140 across the board. Good.

Check for spark, none.

Ok, so i let it sit for a couple days to think about things. (wiring/connections, stator, cdi, switches, etc.)

I come back to work on it, figured i'd try to fire it up, pull the rope and it starts and idles fine for 30seconds then dies.

This was the last time I had spark. I figured it was stator, but I replaced my switches and tried another used cdi. Still nothing.

When i ohmed everything out, every part checked out. Hence why i tried a different CDI because I didnt know how to test the cdi. I assumed that all 3 of my ignition coils were fine since it was running on all 3 cylinders when it last fired up. I lastly put a new pickup in it and decided to grab a used stator.

SO, a few weeks ago, i finally dropped in a used stator. It was from a 97 Formula 3 600 w/ roughly 5500kms. and it was in way better looking shape, it even came with the flywheel which barely had a speck of rust on it. Almost looked new. Mine had noticable rust marks all over it. So i figured i bought a good used stator.

First pull had great spark. Yes, it was stator, sweet deal.

So i run the machine for a night and the next day, and then ~30min into my ride that next day the machine dies like I hit the kill switch this time. (no backfiring, nothing) I'm stumped now and am thinking I have a short / chaffed wire thats grounding out my system and killing it. I'm also thinking that maybe the used stator coincidentally crapped out on me. stator ohms out fine once again but i dont trust it since my last 'bad' stator did the same thing.

Now, my real question is this. Is it possible that a chaffed wire in my harness can burn my stators out? I'm not even sure if thats possible or not.

I don't know whether to rip out all the wiring and inspect, or If I just had really bad luck and another stator went and I should just replace. Is it even possible that a short can kill my stator? I just dont know lol would like to tackle the right thing here! What could cause my stators to go? I could go grab one now but im scared that something is causing them to go. Possible? Or just bad luck? Just so everyone knows, I have 2 cdi's here that both worked recently and I've tried both so i'm pretty sure ive ruled that out. Everything else is new and has worked and has been tested. almost 100% sure the stator is the issue, but need to know why ;)

If anyone could give me some input I would really appreciate it!!! I still got 2-3ft of snow here in Ontario and its still snowing!

Thanks fellow Doo'ers!

-Mike
 

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I have the exact machine, fun fast machine.. I haven't had a spark issue yet but I know there is some wiring under the engine.. there could be a bad ground strap or exposed wire shorting out your ignition.. yuo might have to pull the pipes off to have a look underneath.. it might turn out to be something simple..
 

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Ok, so I have an update.

I talked to my local skidoo guy, explained a bit more to him. Heres what we came up with. What do you guys think?

I forgot to mention one thing in the first post.

After the second time losing spark (like kill switch was hit) I noticed that the plug that the 2 yellow wires from the stator go to was melted (did not notice b4). (Its a 4 prong plug, one spot is empty. The 2 yellow wires (lighting coil) go to half the plug, then there is a 3rd wire going to ground on the recoil. This plug was melted somewhat. I cut the plug out and wired everything direct.

My guy says those yellows go to the voltage regulator, which makes sense i guess because it needs to regulate the AC before it goes to all the lights, etc.

It may be possible that the regulator was messing up and possibly outputting to much voltage and plug melted , voltage arc, and since connected to stator, burned the stator out.

He says my best bet is to get another used stator, change the voltage regulator and make sure its clean along with the ground. And go from there. I did check the voltage regulator b4 and cleaned it up, made sure ground was clean. but if the regulator is acting up i would never know.

What do you think? Sounds plausible eh? Could the voltage regulator cause my stator to go in that situation?
 

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It's a little far fetched for me. Thinking the melted plug was caused by a bad/dirty connection within. Ign coil and lighting coil are separate so the jump is just to far. JMO though.

With components installed, and the no spark issue present, do the voltage checks on the stator. If that passes, check the cdi.
 

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That was my theory as well, that the ignition coil off the stator is separate from the lighting coil off the stator. I can't see how the lighting coil side could affect ignition unless it was burning the stator out. Is it possible that the lighting coil side can burn the stator out on the ignition side? sounds far fetched to me as well. I'm just not knowledeable enough to know what could affect what.

Im almost sure the stator is shot, but want to know whats causing it to go. I don't believe I have such bad luck and the used stator just crapped out that fast. Also my skidoo guy (licensed for +25years own shop) seems to think the voltage regulator is killing the stator. I guess I just want to know if thats even possible? B4 i buy another used stator and replace the voltage regulator.

Any others that could chime in with there thoughts?
 

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WELL I HAVE A 98 GT700SE AND I HAD A PROBLEM SIMALER sorry for the caps ....i lost all spark once and it was caused by a grounded out tumb warmer ..the machine would run fine if i would pull the fuse but would arc out and die if i tryed to put the fuse in ..just somthing to check could be simple
 

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Good point. I recall a few folks have found shorts in wiring as it comes out of the h bars and where it feeds into the cab.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow. This has gotten my attention guys. Thank you. All my accessories were working except for my handle bar warmers which hadnt worked all winter. Im gojng to be tearing out the wiring harness as soon as I get a chance to go over it.

Has anyone ever got the wiring harness out from underneath the engine before to inspect without lifting the motor? Would save alot of hassle. Its looks like its doable buy I worry about the point where it comes up the back of the motor and not sure if all the plugs will fit through that spot. I know ill definately try first lol.
Too many things are pointing to bad wiring. Ill also volt meter the stator b4 hand to make sure its outputting proper voltage. Anyone have luck with a digital meter? Or does it not work
 

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not sure if you have a riser on your machine but i would take the bar pad off and do some inspections in that area 1st either way let us know how it turns out ...i love to read soultions to all problems..
 

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Hah!

Ive worked on this thing like nuts. no bar riser. all switches replaced except tether switch, which i tested and know it works. Ive even unplugged all ignition components (tether, turnkey ignition, kill switch) to make sure it wasn't those. Is it possible for the handle bar warmers to ground out the machine in the handle bar area?

I know I had a small coolant leak that I fixed a bit ago, was slowly seeping out from where the 'T' is above the oil pump beside the cdi. The clamp had come somewhat loose and it was seeping and dropping right onto the wiring harness by the pump. And, with further inspection, the harness is covered with the corrugated plastic covering or whatever its called, but it looks as if the wires inside have expanded, and 2-3 colors are poking out through the plastic. I can't see any exposed, but I'm going to be ripping the harness out to further inspect. It may very well be the culprit. Gotta love these old triples. haha. I'll keep ya updated
 

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It's a little far fetched for me. Thinking the melted plug was caused by a bad/dirty connection within. Ign coil and lighting coil are separate so the jump is just to far. JMO though.

With components installed, and the no spark issue present, do the voltage checks on the stator. If that passes, check the cdi.
Hey David,

Just for future reference, do you know how exactly to test the cdi? I was under the impression there isn't a way to ohm the cdi. I guess it needs to be done with volt meter on the 3 coil wires to see if the cdi is outputting correct voltage to the external coils?

Also, if I unplug my handle bar warmers, will my machine still be able to start? I would think so because its not part of the ignition system i believe. Im asking because my handle bar warmers haven't worked since I bought the machine. Im just trying to eliminate the wires shorting out in the handle bars that would possibly ground the machine and cause no spark.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Yeah, you can unplug the heaters. Pretty sure you can take the v-reg out and still run. No lights or gauges of course.

I don't know of a resistance check for the cdi. Just output and yes, each HV coil plug gets the check. Looking at the 97 (likely the same as the 96) manual however, there seems to be some special meter they reference with specific settings for the meter. My 98 manual gives me specific voltage. Not sure how to help you interpret the 97 (96) instructions.
 

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Yeah, you can unplug the heaters. Pretty sure you can take the v-reg out and still run. No lights or gauges of course.

I don't know of a resistance check for the cdi. Just output and yes, each HV coil plug gets the check. Looking at the 97 (likely the same as the 96) manual however, there seems to be some special meter they reference with specific settings for the meter. My 98 manual gives me specific voltage. Not sure how to help you interpret the 97 (96) instructions.
Thats funny,

Yesterday I wanted to check the voltage regulator to make sure it had a good ground and the threads on the bolt hadn't come loose or anything. I removed the exhaust muffler and pushed the pipes outta the way. Unscrewed the V-reg which was on there tight, little dirty tho so i wanted to take it out and clean it up along with the ground.I barely fit my hand underneath the front of the motor, and i mean barely lol, then proceded to unplug the V-reg with 1 hand, and a flathead reached in to assist with the plug. Cleaned it all up and reinstalled. Didn't take very long but was kinda a b**** lol

Since the machine can run without the V-reg I doubt its my problem. But i imagine that ground still needs to be connected? or does it ground at the stator for the spark / ignition system?

Oh, and I didnt have the time but by the looks of it, I should be able to remove both air boxes, then unplug all connectors along the wiring harness starting at the front for all the guages/lights/switches, then the V-reg, then to the oil and coolant resevoirs, etc, all the way to the cab, but I don't wanna remove the seat to actually get the whole harness out cuz it goes into the gas tank. I gotta cut all the plastic ties on the way of course. I should be able to inspect that way without fully removing it from the machine. I can't wait to try! Putting it back in will be a pain i imagine lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok, I don't have an analog volt-meter to check the stator and I was stuck on thinking that a wire rubbed through and is shorting the system out.

So I had the whole harness out, went over the whole thing and taped back together. Harness is fine.

The only thing that I could find is the handle bar warmers wires were rubbed through at the end of the handle bars where it connects to the warmer and since I have knobs on the ends of the handle bars it was grounding out. The handle bar warmers have never worked, and the machine ran fine before.

So I'm back to thinking I have the worst luck ever and I got another shot stator and need a new one.

So I'll be changing the stator probably with another used one to see if it'll fire up. Might change my voltage regulator as well even tho I think mines fine. I'll keep yas updated.
 

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Oh, and i tried unplugging the handle bar warmers, still no spark, so must be stator.

Anyone ever use a digital multi-meter to check voltage coming off stator before? I would think the numbers would be way to fast too see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
New OEM stator on order, chances are its what it needs. Ill let y'all know. $204 CDN from the dealer. Lots of the new oem stators are like 500! SCORE! lol
 

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Check the old stator for rub through where the harness passes behind the flywheel...common issue.When you replace the the stator be sure to dry out the the wiring harness and the CDI you intend to use. 45 minutes in a warm oven will dry the cdi boxes pretty well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Check the old stator for rub through where the harness passes behind the flywheel...common issue.When you replace the the stator be sure to dry out the the wiring harness and the CDI you intend to use. 45 minutes in a warm oven will dry the cdi boxes pretty well.
hmm, definately could have been what happened. Nice observation thumbdoctor. When i installed the used one the wires could've been touching the flywheel, who knows. I wasn't even thinking of that cuz I was to excited to get it in there and start riding. I'll be more careful this time. I'll also let ya know if thats what happened in another day or 2 when i get the new one. Thx.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yup, I have the worst luck ever, blew the second used stator next day.

Replaced with new one from dealer. No problems now. Thanks all for the help!
 
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