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Old 02-29-2012, 11:52 PM   #1
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CDI unit, ignition coils, stator, pulser coil......

Can someone thoroughly explain the electrical system to me??? Very foggy subject for me.
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Old 03-03-2012, 05:04 AM   #2
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Sled: 2000 ZRT 1107 Ron Hunyady Motor
10-11 Mileage:
09-10 Mileage: 1000
08-09 Mileage: 1000
07-08 Mileage: 1000
06-07 Mileage: 1000
Go to my youtube channel and start watching videos. long story short: The main components are the flywheel, stator, trigger/pulser coil and CDI box. THe stator outputs ac power to both the CDI box and to your voltage regulator. The cdi box has diodes in it and converts the ac power to dc power and outputs that power to the coils. The coils amplify the dc voltage to 3,000 to 18,000 volts and then sends the voltage to the spark plugs. The trigger tells the cdi box when to release the voltage. There are raised ribs on the flywheel every 180 degrees on a twin and 120 degrees on the triple. When those raised ribs go past the trigger it "pulses" and sends that pulse to the cdi telling it to release the stored voltage in the capcitor to the coils. In 2000 they have a TPS (Throttle Position Switch) added to the sleds. The TPS is used by the cdi to help "pick" the right timing map in the CDI. The CDI controls the timing on a sled...i.e. how soon or late the spark is sent to the spark plug. You can put an offset key on the crank shaft end that rotates your flywheel "X" amount of distance (there are all kinds of offset keys..some are 1 degree, some are 2 degrees ect... but the more you advance it the more you can experience issues like detonation ect..) and so when the flywheel is advanced clockwise (on most models) those raised ribs get to the trigger "sooner" and starts the spark much sooner. The cdi and coils do not go abd very often. CDI's only go bad slightly more than that which still isn't very often. Most of the time when people have problems the TSS (Throttle safety switch) malfunctions, the kill switch on the handlebars shorts out, sometimes a key switch goes bad or there is a short in the wiring harness as well as the stator going bad. If you think about it, it makes sense. The stator "makes" the power (with the flywheel rotating around it to excite the coils) for both the ac power to power the lights and send power to the ignition, the cdi stores/converts it, the trigger tells the cdi to release the power and the coils amplify the power to drive the spark across the spark plug gap. The stator puts out 25-30 ac volts to the regualtor, the regulator keeps it in the 11-14 volt range and that is what powers the lights, gauges, handwarmers ect.. Some EFi sleds have both an AC regulator for the lights ect...and also a DC rectifier/regulator for charging the battery.
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:06 PM   #3
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Sled: 1992 prowler,1993 couger
10-11 Mileage:
09-10 Mileage: 800
08-09 Mileage: 1,600
07-08 Mileage: 1200
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Bypass kill and tss

Blain, first of all i want to say thank you. You have been a lot of help . I'm not sure if i understand corectly, i am working on a 1997 zr 580 efi,[open system] to bypass both kill and throtle switch would i cut and connect all 3 wires together and put plug back together?
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Old 04-02-2012, 05:02 AM   #4
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Can you help me?
I have a 1994 Artic cat Sled Panter 440 EFI with 1200 miles
I have a problem with Spark, sometimes I have, most of the time I do not, If I turn the key on and off serveral times, I will have spark, now none, unplug cfi I will have spark, How can I find out what I need to do to repair this, great sled,
I am 65 and enjoy this sled, I would like to fix it
Sincerely Servando
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:53 AM   #5
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Sled: 2000 ZRT 1107 Ron Hunyady Motor
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08-09 Mileage: 1000
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 Quote: Originally Posted by jfl28 View Post
Blain, first of all i want to say thank you. You have been a lot of help . I'm not sure if i understand corectly, i am working on a 1997 zr 580 efi,[open system] to bypass both kill and throtle switch would i cut and connect all 3 wires together and put plug back together?
open system all you have to do is unplug it. The closed system you have to use the jumper wire or connect wires.
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:55 AM   #6
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06-07 Mileage: 1000
 Quote: Originally Posted by Servando View Post
Can you help me?
I have a 1994 Artic cat Sled Panter 440 EFI with 1200 miles
I have a problem with Spark, sometimes I have, most of the time I do not, If I turn the key on and off serveral times, I will have spark, now none, unplug cfi I will have spark, How can I find out what I need to do to repair this, great sled,
I am 65 and enjoy this sled, I would like to fix it
Sincerely Servando
Closed Ignition: Primarily Pre-1998
A "Closed" ignition means the wiring needs to have a closed circuit in order to run. If the connection to any switch; key, kill, tether, throttle safety switch, etc.. is interrupted, you will no longer be power to the ignition system and spark will cease. All Cats 1997 and earlier run a closed ignition, with the exception of the 1997 ZR 580 that is an open ignition.

Diagnosing no spark, weak spark or intermittent spark issues
First you want to see if it an issue in the switches/handlebars or if it is in the primary ignition components: stator, cdi, coils, trigger coil or possibly plugs, plug wires or plug caps.
  • There is both an EFI fuel management system box on it and a CDI box on it. The type of fuel injection system, magneto powered or battery powered, can be identified by the color/location of the ECU box. on battery powered systems, the ECU is located next to the chaincase and the box is shiny (aluminum). on batteryless systems the ECU is mounted on the airbox and is black.
  • First put the spark plugs in the spark plug boots and lay them on a cylinder head bolt so they are grounded. Make sure the plugs are not near the spark plug holes when you pull it over.
  • Pull the recoil rope checking the spark at the plug. Is there spark at each spark plug? Is the spark blue (indicating a strong spark) or is it yellow/orange (indicating a “weak” spark). If you have nice blue spark on one plug (if it is a twin) or two plugs (if it is a triple) and not the others, it may be as simple as having a bad/fouled out plug. Try replacing the non-sparking or weak sparking plug/plugs with new a new plug.
  • On the Battery EFI sleds the battery voltage is very important. If you have a weak, dead or corroded battery, you will not have spark. As mentioned in step 6, there is an in line 15 amp fuse that is located close the battery coming off of the + or positive side of the battery cable. If that is blown, you will not have spark.
  • The stator has 2 plugs and at least one ground wire coming from it (some models have 2 ground wires). The 4 prong plug only goes to the DC and AC regulators and the 3 prong plug goes to the CDI box. The 3 prong plug is only wired to the ignition coils on the stator. Depending on the wiring diagram you look at the DC regulator goes to several places including charging the battery. The AC regulator powers the traditional things like gauges, hand warmers and lights. Only on the CARB sleds you can unplug the 4 prong connector from the stator containing the 2 yellow wires and 2 non-yellow wires and use a jumper wire on the 2 non-yellow wires to bypass all switches, the wiring harness ect... You CANNOT do this on the battery EFI models. As previously mentioned the 4 prong plug from the stator on the battery EFI models only goes to both the AC and DC regulators and is not part of the ignition like it is on the carb sleds.
  • If the battery is charged and there is no spark: the likely culprit is probably one of the ignition components like the stator, TSS, tether, trigger, kill switch, in line 15 amp fuse is blown (in line close to the battery positive terminal) or ground wire broken/not making good contact. Of course you could end up having a bad CDI box or coils, but that likelyhood is low…not impossible but low.
  • There is a 3 prong connector in your handlebars that if you unplug and jump the male and center female connectors it will bypass your kill switch and your TSS switch. It does not bypass your key switch or your tether. After bypassing these switches you will only be able to start and turn off your sled with the key or tether. The 3 prong connector is usually not by the thumb throttle but rather just a little bit down the steering column about at the point where the console containing the key switch is located. If you’re not sure which connector it is, just follow the group of wires from right handlebar area down to where the plug is located. I have a video on youtube showing how to bypass your tss/kill switch for testing purposes. If you bypass the TSS/kill switchs and you have spark, then you know that one or both possibly even both of them are bad.
  • If you bypass the tss/kill switch and do not have any spark then you also need to test the tether connection by bypassing the tether. You can just cut the wires in the back of the tether and splice the wires together which "completes" the circuit, you can use a jumper wire on the back of the tether so it “completes” the connection or you can even install a new or used tether to check it. Remember if you replace it with a used tether, the used tether could be bad or it could be an “open loop ignition” tether and will not work correctly on your model. The tethers are known for going bad sometimes and causing intermitten spark issues.
  • If you’ve checked everything and still don’t have any spark you could have a short somewhere in the wiring harness. There is no easy way to find these. Sometimes you can just wiggle the harness at different points and see if you get spark when you pull it over. If you all of a sudden do get spark, you should be able to narrow down an approximate location of the short and fix it.
  • Also be sure to check the connection from the stator to the cdi. Make sure all connections are free of moisture, are tight and use a little bit of dielectric grease on it. This also goes for the trigger/pulser coil 2 wire connection going from the trigger to the CDI. Check the ground. You should have a ground wire coming from your stator and your CDI/ECU box. Make sure the grounds are clean, tight and that the ground wires are not broken. Sometimes the ground wire is pinched and broken inside the eyelet connection and is making only intermittent if any connection. Some older model Arctic Cats have the ground up closer to the handle bars on what some would consider the “firewall” of the sled and they are notorious for rusting/corroding out badly.
  • If all connections are solid and the ground checks good then you start electrically checking components. Cat pretty much just uses 2 triggers: One trigger ohm specs are 90-100 or so with new ones up to 115ohms. The other trigger used is 170-190 ohms. If your trigger measures in one of these 2 ranges then it is probably ok. Many of the manuals give the wrong trigger spec for the wrong models. If your manual calls out a 90 ohm trigger and yours measures 178, then yours falls into the other category and is actually ok. If you have a trigger that ohms out at 260ohms, 0 ohms or 40 ohms when cold..then more than likely your trigger is bad especially if it measures 0. I have a video on youtube showing how to check it. It is very easy and quick to test. The frustrating part about the trigger coil is that it can test good, but still be bad.
  • Next you want to test the stator itself. I have several videos for different models on youtube. I show how to test a couple of different kinds of EFI stators. Most Battery EFI Stators have ohm specs of 450ohms and 45ohms.
  • If you continue to have no spark/weak spark and both your trigger and stator test ok then we may be looking at a secondary coil issue. First you want to make sure the spark plug caps are on tight. They just screw on and off the spark plug wire. If your wires are long enough unscrew the spark plug caps, trim a ½ inch off the end of the wire and then screw the spark plug cap back on. Also, some spark plug wires unscrew from the coil itself. I had 2 sets of coils go “bad” on my sled. My triple coils showed 1 spark plug with extraordinary blue spark and the other 2 plugs were weak/yellow-ish in color. After I trimmed them and screwed them back together they ran perfect. Warn spark plug ends usually cause a miss or acts like a rev limiter. Be warned though that I did have one wire that would not unscrew from a coil and I ended up tearing the spark plug wire. Also, always check the spark plug gap and set it to the correct specifications.
  • If you have no spark and your trigger tests ok, your stator tests ok and you have trimmed the plug wires, grounds are good ect… then we’re looking at the possibility of a bad CDI box There is no real good way to test the CDI other than swapping the box out with a known good CDI box. There are specialty testers that can check the DC voltage coming out of the CDI box, but they are expensive.
  • There is always the chance you have a bad key switch.
  • 13. Lastly, if everything ohms out ok, tests ok, but you still don’t have spark or have a weak spark condition ect….you may want to take the stator out of the sled or put the snowmobile in a warm room if your stator ohms are a little on the low side. I have seen stators that ohms out at 430 and 44 in the cold, but when you bring them up to room temp (50-70 degrees F), one of the ignition coils will measure higher than it is supposed to. On a 450 & 45 ohm stator for instance; if the low speed coil measures 455 when it is at 50-70 degrees F, then it is bad. If the 45ohm high speed coil is at 48 ohms when tested at 50-70 degrees F, then it is bad. If an OEM stator ever measures higher than the specs given, it is bad. I have seen several measure anywhere from 420-440 when cold but only after they were warmed up to 50-70 degrees F did their stator ohms actually measure higher and reveal that the stator was actually bad.
  • Here are a few things I tested/checked to see if they had any bearing on the ignition spark:
Fuel Injector malfunctioning/open condition- It still sparked when pulled over
AC regulator was unplugged: It still sparked when pulled over
DC regulator was unplugged: It still sparked when pulled over
With the Blue relay unplugged on the back of the EFI box: It clicked, no fuel priming but it still sparked
With the Brown relay unplugged on the back of the EFI box: No click, no fuel priming but it still sparked
With the kill switch pressed down: it would not prime the fuel pump and no spark
With the tether pulled: it would not prime the fuel pump and no spark
With the 4 prong plug from the stator to the wiring harness unplugged: It still sparked
With the air temp sensor unplugged: It still sparked
  • Also, bad reeds on a sled will cause it to back fire and run poorly acting like it is an electrical issue.
  • Codes the ECU will flash:
EFI Blinking Light Codes
1996 and earlier
1 long & 1 short = Open or short in Throttle Position Sensor
1 long & 3 short = Open or short in intake Air Temp Sensor
1 long & 4 short = Open or short in Engine Coolant Temp Sensor
2 long & 1 short = Faulty #1 mag injector control circuit in ECU or open or short in circuit to the #1 injector
2 long & 2 short = Faulty #2 pto injector control circuit in ECU or open or short in circuit to the #2 injector
4 long & 1 short = open or short in the injector timing sensor
4 long & 2 short = open or short in the ignition timing sensor

1997-On Models
1 flash = Open or shortin Throttle Position Sensor
2 flash = Open or short in Engine Coolant Temp Sensor
3 flash = Open or short in Intake Air Temp Sensor
4 flash = Open or short in the barometric Pressure Sensor
5 flash = Faulty Fuel Injectors
6 flash = Servo failure
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:16 AM   #7
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Weird spark pulse coil not hooked up

I have a 92 Wildcat 700 carb. Does anyone explain or show me where the pulse trigger coil wires in to cdi. This a project I aquired from a guy.
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:15 PM   #8
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06-07 Mileage: 1000
Just find the 2 wire connector plugging into the cdi and that is the trigger. Some triggers are on top of the flywheel housing, some are on the side and some are on the inside...the easiest thing to do is to just find the 2 wire plug going to the CDI, unplug it and measure the ohms.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:51 PM   #9
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Can I put CDI in a1972 cat 340 Kawasaki motor it has points now
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:55 AM   #10
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Points come together and that is what lets pass/releases the stored up voltage to the coils and then to the spark plugs. A CDi does the same thing...as long as there is a trigger to tell the CDi when to release the voltage to the coils. Both ignition systems do the same thing...just using a differnt method to do it.
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