xl600 hard starting!!!!!!!


9 replies to this topic
  • soccermania688

Posted February 11, 2006 - 08:24 AM

#1

i have a 1987 xl600r and it has a hard starting problem! it takes about six to seven kicks to get it started when its cold! but i can never get it started when its hot it justs to hard to kick and when i do get a good kick it doesn't fire up! the only way i cna really get it started is roll-start down my driveway. i need to find the solution so i can take it on trails and not have to worry about it. it has a manaul de-compression only. also a supertrapp muffler if that means anything. also whats a hot-start lever, should i have one of thoses to start it when its hot? i'm new to big-bore bikes, but i am a mechanic and not new to dirt bike either so i'm open to any suggestions! the carb has just been cleaned so i dont think this is the problem!

  • bajabinder

Posted February 11, 2006 - 09:13 AM

#2

1- Hard starting cold usually means it's too lean on the air screw or pilot jet.
2- Hard start when hot usually means too much fuel.

You did'nt tell us how it runs when it is running....so I'm just gonna make some suggestions.

- When you cleaned the carb, did you disassemble/clean the jets? Check the float level?

- Have you tested the ignition? (i.e. pulse generator, stator output, coil, plug and wire) You can't check the CDI, BUT if the CDI is going bad then it could cause the symptoms that you're describing.

I have a '87 XR600R and had all sorts of problems over the last year with it being hard to start, and then cutting out when hot. I went through the carbs several times....no luck. Then I checked all wires and ignition components...no luck. Then I replaced the coil/plug/wire...no luck. Then I replaced the Stator....yup, no luck. At this point the bike was running better when it ran, but still not starting well and it was still cutting out. Then I finally replaced the CDI box....now it starts and runs better than any XR that I've owned. To sum it up, I got most of my info here on the board by using the SEARCH function. I had read several times about the earlier XR's having issues with the CDI, but I did'nt want to believe it. In the end though, I gained an expert knowledge about how to diagnose and tune my machine. So, do a search and read up on all the great help that is available. Then, start with the simple/ cheap fixes first before dropping big$$. Sorry for the long reply.....lots-o-coffee this a.m. :thumbsup:

  • soccermania688

Posted February 11, 2006 - 09:27 AM

#3

it runs amazing when you get it running, but if you stall it for some reason(not b/c of bike stalling, like up a hill in to high of a gear) it is impossible to get started again! i ordered a new coil from the dealer b/c mine is all ripped and cracked on the wire and i have a back-up CDI box i bought on ebay and pick-up coil and i could try that! i cleaned the pilot and main jets a couple days ago and it didn't do anything, i didn't touch the floats so i dont know if that is the problem but they work fine!!

  • bajabinder

Posted February 11, 2006 - 09:53 AM

#4

OK, how many turns OUT is the air screw? It should be about 1 and 3/8ths turns out stock.
What's your starting procedure when it's hot? DO NOT give it any throttle when starting. If it wont start, then try holding the decomp. lever open and kick it through several times to clear it out....again DO NOT give any throttle. Now try starting again.
BTW, what is your elevation? Stock jetting? What color is your plug?

  • soccermania688

Posted February 11, 2006 - 10:46 AM

#5

my new plug is already black! the air screw is out alot not sure i have to check( more then 2) i'm at a low elevation at like 30ft or something. i dont give it gas whenever im starting it and i do clear it out it just doesn't fire and then i just give up! could weak spark be a problem too, just wondering has nothing to do with this though

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  • bajabinder

Posted February 11, 2006 - 12:33 PM

#6

Sounds like weak spark. Start replacing the ignition parts that you have one by one and see if you can isolate the problem. As you replace a part make sure the connection is clean/ tight/ and greased with dialectric grease. Put your backup CDI on and your new coil and wire. It's easy to check the pulse generator resistance, so check that first before going through the hassle of replacing it. Do you have a manual for this PIG?

  • soccermania688

Posted February 11, 2006 - 05:18 PM

#7

yes i have a manual i checked the resistance on the coil and the spark plug and it was out of spec. and i also have a back-up pulse generator and i did check the resistance and its good. so its either the CDI box or the coil i guess. what about the carb. i have the screw out like 3 or more turns out but it runs great like that, should i worry about jetting it too! whats up with the jetting with two carbs. it does have a cut air box and a aftermarket exhaust on it right now.

  • JohnBG

Posted February 12, 2006 - 07:35 PM

#8

1- Hard starting cold usually means it's too lean on the air screw or pilot jet.
2- Hard start when hot usually means too much fuel.

You did'nt tell us how it runs when it is running....so I'm just gonna make some suggestions.

- When you cleaned the carb, did you disassemble/clean the jets? Check the float level?

- Have you tested the ignition? (i.e. pulse generator, stator output, coil, plug and wire) You can't check the CDI, BUT if the CDI is going bad then it could cause the symptoms that you're describing.

I have a '87 XR600R and had all sorts of problems over the last year with it being hard to start, and then cutting out when hot. I went through the carbs several times....no luck. Then I checked all wires and ignition components...no luck. Then I replaced the coil/plug/wire...no luck. Then I replaced the Stator....yup, no luck. At this point the bike was running better when it ran, but still not starting well and it was still cutting out. Then I finally replaced the CDI box....now it starts and runs better than any XR that I've owned. To sum it up, I got most of my info here on the board by using the SEARCH function. I had read several times about the earlier XR's having issues with the CDI, but I did'nt want to believe it. In the end though, I gained an expert knowledge about how to diagnose and tune my machine. So, do a search and read up on all the great help that is available. Then, start with the simple/ cheap fixes first before dropping big$$. Sorry for the long reply.....lots-o-coffee this a.m. :thumbsup:


I was having a helluva time trying to start my '87 XL600R (that I recently rebuilt) this afternoon in about 50 degree weather. I kicked like hell for about 20 minutes, and when it finally did start it wanted to backfire and sputter for the first few minutes and was blowing white smoke for a while. It usually blows a little white smoke (which I think indicates a lean condition, right?) when starting but goes away pretty fast.

Once she warms up and levels out and will idle she runs great, just a little popping on decelleration, but I think I have a slight exhaust leak where the header pipe meets the park arrestor (needs a new clamp).

I guess I need to richen up the mixture a little for better starting? Right now it's set per the manual at 1-1/2 turns out, running the stock air box/filter with a Skyway-Cobra spark arrestor.

Does turning the mixture screw out (on the primary carb) make it richer or leaner?

I usually like to let my air cooled moters run a little rich, especailly here in the summer time in Florida.

  • bajabinder

Posted February 13, 2006 - 10:15 AM

#9

Hey JohnBG.....you need to richen up the pilot a little. Try another 1/8 to 1/4 turns IN on the airscrew. The airscrew lets more air in at idle when turned out, and less air in when turned in. I was running too lean with my '87 with a K&N/ Supertrapp. I ended up going to a #48 pilot, and #128 mains. My airscrew is @1.5 turns out and I rarely get a popping. When it's colder outside the air is more dense; therefore, you need more fuel. That "popping" is a lean condition on decel.

Soccermania....there's a resistor inside the plug wire that can fail. Take the plug boot off....use a screwdriver in the "plug side" and unscrew the clip which holds the top of the plug. Behind the clip is a resistor....clean the contacts and reassemble. Now check the resistance of the plug wire again. I have'nt seen the resistor fail, but I have found that they lose good contact sometimes. My "NEW" plug boot and wire had this problem right out of the box....... :thumbsup:
Also, your airscrew needs to be closer to stock i.e. @1.5 turns out (or less). When you "cleaned" the pilot jet, did you remove the airscrew and clean/ blowout the passage? This passage can become blocked by oil/dirt, and if restricted, it will not let the pilot circuit operate correctly. You may need to re-jet since opening up the airbox and exhaust leaned it out. My motor is stock except I too leaned it out by opening up the airbox and exhaust. I'm at #48 pilot (@1.5 turns), and #128 mains.....my elevation ranges from 0' - 2000'. What jets are you running? Did you do the mods or the prior owner?

  • JohnBG

Posted February 13, 2006 - 01:02 PM

#10

Hey JohnBG.....you need to richen up the pilot a little. Try another 1/8 to 1/4 turns IN on the airscrew. The airscrew lets more air in at idle when turned out, and less air in when turned in. I was running too lean with my '87 with a K&N/ Supertrapp. I ended up going to a #48 pilot, and #128 mains. My airscrew is @1.5 turns out and I rarely get a popping. When it's colder outside the air is more dense; therefore, you need more fuel. That "popping" is a lean condition on decel.


Thanks I will try that. I'll turn the screw in a little and see if that helps. :thumbsup:





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