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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 98 Arctic Cat 300 4x4 that begins stalling after about 15 minutes of plowing. Up until that point it runs perfectly fine but will stall when I stop to raise or lower the plow. It usually starts right back up and runs fine as I stay on the throttle. Initially I thought it may be overheating so I installed a fan to draw cool air through the oil cooler but this did not solve the problem. I have also cleaned the carb, changed the plug, adjusted the valves and made sure the oil cooler wasn’t plugged. I am at a total loss. Has anyone else experienced a similar issue?
 

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I wonder if your battery is getting weak or the winch is drawing it down too far. Possibly you could fit a bigger battery. I was able to put a full size automotive Yellow Top on my 700 Diesel, helps a lot, still at night with all the lights on including LED's in about an hour, the lights will start to flicker from low voltage. I have a huge 5000 lb winch (way overkill). Even with a decent sized alternator, it can't keep up. I suspect the stator on your 300, just can't keep up. You could instal a volt meter or buy a smaller winch, maybe a 1500 will draw less juice. A bigger battery, fully charged should give you a longer running time. Lastly, you can possibly, change how you plow to use winch less?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I wonder if your battery is getting weak or the winch is drawing it down too far. Possibly you could fit a bigger battery. I was able to put a full size automotive Yellow Top on my 700 Diesel, helps a lot, still at night with all the lights on including LED's in about an hour, the lights will start to flicker from low voltage. I have a huge 5000 lb winch (way overkill). Even with a decent sized alternator, it can't keep up. I suspect the stator on your 300, just can't keep up. You could instal a volt meter or buy a smaller winch, maybe a 1500 will draw less juice. A bigger battery, fully charged should give you a longer running time. Lastly, you can possibly, change how you plow to use winch less?
Thank you for the response! I could be wrong but I honestly don't think it is related to the battery or the winch. It has a brand new AGM battery and I checked the battery voltage after it happened and it was still putting out 11.5-12 volts. Once it warms up I will make a push, come to a stop and it will stall even before I raise the plow. If I allow the ATV to cool down for a half hour or so it will start up and idle great until it warms back up again and the problem reoccurs. It definitely seems to be directly related to warming up.
 

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If your battery is at a11.5 v it is the battery or charging system. Should be putting out 13.7-14.5 when running.

 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
If your battery is at a11.5 v it is the battery or charging system. Should be putting out 13.7-14.5 when running.

I'm sorry I should have been more clear the battery itself had 11.5-12 volts after being removed from my wheeler. I wanted to put it on the trickle charger and swap my old battery back in to see if anything changed. The voltage regulator was checked before I removed the new battery and then once the old battery was put back in and is charging as it should. Swapping the batteries did not change or resolve the issue.
 

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Next question, does it only stall when plowing? I'll bet when the winch is operating, voltage drops a lot. Guessing the stator on a 98 AC 300 has very low charging ability. A tiny battery that has been drawn down to 11.5-12 volts, when it gets hit with a huge draw from the winch, suddenly has all it can do to provide a spark for the motor. Honestly, it sounds exactly like my 700 Diesel. After an hour or 2 (I have a huge driveway and parking lot) voltage will drop, even with a 45 amp engine mounted alternator, it has actually stalled, not from spark plug failing, obviously, but from fuel pump failing to pump diesel. I let it idle and go have a cup of coffee. This winter, I've tried to plow differently and not have had that issue. Instead of lifting the plow all the way up, when backing up, I only lift it a bit or even let it drag. I plowed for several hours yesterday, never bothered. Honestly, if it is showing 11.5-12 volts after only plowing a few minutes, I think it's not related to carburetor or fuel system. The only other thing that I've experienced like that, was crud in the fuel tank of a 2001 AC 500, but that was random stalling. If you remove gas line from carburetor and let it drain into a clear jar, and you get a strong flow of clean gas, it's not that. A misadjusted carburetor float would show up when you weren't plowing... BTW, I was thinking about your issue yesterday while plowing.:grin
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Next question, does it only stall when plowing? I'll bet when the winch is operating, voltage drops a lot. Guessing the stator on a 98 AC 300 has very low charging ability. A tiny battery that has been drawn down to 11.5-12 volts, when it gets hit with a huge draw from the winch, suddenly has all it can do to provide a spark for the motor. Honestly, it sounds exactly like my 700 Diesel. After an hour or 2 (I have a huge driveway and parking lot) voltage will drop, even with a 45 amp engine mounted alternator, it has actually stalled, not from spark plug failing, obviously, but from fuel pump failing to pump diesel. I let it idle and go have a cup of coffee. This winter, I've tried to plow differently and not have had that issue. Instead of lifting the plow all the way up, when backing up, I only lift it a bit or even let it drag. I plowed for several hours yesterday, never bothered. Honestly, if it is showing 11.5-12 volts after only plowing a few minutes, I think it's not related to carburetor or fuel system. The only other thing that I've experienced like that, was crud in the fuel tank of a 2001 AC 500, but that was random stalling. If you remove gas line from carburetor and let it drain into a clear jar, and you get a strong flow of clean gas, it's not that. A misadjusted carburetor float would show up when you weren't plowing... BTW, I was thinking about your issue yesterday while plowing.:grin
Haha I’m glad you’re thinking of me. It stalls whether I’m plowing or not which is why I’m not convinced it’s battery/charging related. I used it this weekend to retrieve a deer and had the very same issue...as soon as it warmed up it wouldn’t idle unless I stayed on the gas. The strange part is that once it starts back up it runs fine it just won’t idle. I am definitely wondering about the fuel tank not venting properly because a lot of people have mentioned that as a possible issue. I also haven’t checked the float for proper adjustment so I’ll try that too. There is definitely a direct correlation to it reaching a certain temperature and not wanting to idle. I’m sure it’s something simple and the old 98 300 isn’t super high tech so there are only so many things it can be.
 

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I had the same problem with our Prowler. It would start stalling when the plow winch was engaged and kill a battery in 15 minutes. Even a car battery! Turned out the warn winch was shot. It still worked but drew enormous amps when in use. Replaced the winch and no more problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I wanted to add some clarification to my original post... A more accurate description would be that it will not idle once it is warmed up. To be clear it is not directly related to plowing or the winch. The reason I mentioned that is because that is when it acts up the most due to the length of time it runs when plowing. Generally speaking I only use it for hauling my deer out, ice fishing or yard work around the house. When doing any of those things it only runs for a few minutes at a time so the issue never really comes up. However, in a few instances where I've had a long drag out of the woods or was driving a longer than normal distance across the ice I would run into the same problem. It runs perfectly fine but it will not idle unless I give it a little gas or let it cool down. It always starts up fairly easy with a little throttle after it stalls and continues to run fine through normal operation. It's when I come to a complete stop and let of the throttle to let it just idle when the issue starts. Whether or not I am operating the winch or not it will not idle unless I feather the throttle. It snowed last night and is still snowing now so hopefully I can troubleshoot it some more tonight. I will keep you guys posted!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Is it a manual choke or auto? Loosen the gas cap to rule out venting issues.
I am going to try loosening the gas cap tonight when it warms up. I have done a lot of research and that has come up a lot and would make perfect sense. I will keep you posted!
 

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Just throwing a spitball here, but have you adjusted the idle speed at all? I'm not familiar with that motor but there should be a screw somewhere to adjust your idle speed in neutral. I have to turn mine up in the winter, but then sometimes after its warm the speed is too high so I have to back down a little.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Just throwing a spitball here, but have you adjusted the idle speed at all? I'm not familiar with that motor but there should be a screw somewhere to adjust your idle speed in neutral. I have to turn mine up in the winter, but then sometimes after its warm the speed is too high so I have to back down a little.
Yes I readjusted the idle after I did the valve adjustment and even with it idling fairly high the problem still occurs.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I have a little bit of an update for you guys... I went out to start my 4 wheeler before plowing the other night and the starter did not want to turn the engine over. After a couple of attempts I started to smell gas so I removed the seat and turned it over again so I could see the carb. When I turned it over I could see fuel spitting from one of the overflow hoses. It had done this to me before but at the time I thought the starter was just acting up and didn't think much of it. After a few more cranks it started up and ran perfectly fine. I plowed the driveway as I normally would and for the first 15 minutes or so it ran great and would idle just fine. After that it would no longer idle when I came to a stop. I tried removing the gas cap so I could eliminate any venting issues and that did not change anything. I also noticed that each time it would stall it was starting harder and harder. To keep it running I feathered the gas and it stalled on my last push and wouldn't start back up. I let it sit for about a half hour and it started up and idled just fine. Assuming that there was an issue with the float adjustment or the needle and seat I removed the carb and disassembled it again. The needle and seat is operating as it should and I adjusted the float to factory specs (.05mm). I also checked the needle jet and the e clip is on the third setting down from the top. I couldn't find any factory specs on that so I left it as it is for now. I reinstalled the carb and it started right up but would not idle. I did some research and I saw a few posts where other people had set their float height at .05mm and had the same issue. From what I read they reset the float between .06mm - .007mm and it solved their issue. Just to be safe I ordered a carb rebuild kit and it should be here sometime next week. I currently have it all apart with bare carb soaking in carb cleaner even though I have already cleaned it a few times. I am hoping that once it is all rebuilt and put back together my issue will be resolved. If it is overloading on fuel it would make sense that it would be causing the issue I am having. What do you guys think? Also, does anyone know the correct e clip setting for the needle jet?
 

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Sounds like you may already have a Dynojet kit in. Factory needle has no grooves, only use washers to adjust. The needle jet actually controls midrange running, mostly. So, I'd wait until you get it idling without stalling, before messing with the jet needle. Overflowing is a good sign that the float is set too low, I believe, but I'm dyslexic. So, first get it starting and idling perfectly. next adjust needle for best midrange, lastly adjust main jet for maximum top speed. Basically, there are 3 "circuits" in the carb, low, midrange and high rpm
 

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Any luck?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Any luck?
The carb is all rebuilt but it hasn’t snowed enough to plow recently so I haven’t used it long enough to duplicate the issue. There is some snow in the forecast soon though so I should know shortly. I will make sure to post an update either way.
 

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Good news! I am confident that the carb rebuild kit resolved the issue that I was having. The only thing that I can think of is that the old needle and seat was allowing a very small amount of gas to seep through. This would explain the excess gas in the carburetor after sitting for an extended period of time and also explain why after warming up it would run poorly. When I went to start it last night I had to choke it before it would it start and idle. It also turned over much easier leading me to believe, that unlike before, the needle and seat was functioning properly. Before rebuilding the carb if you tried to use the choke during start up it would only flood itself out and either run poorly or not start for a few minutes. I was able to plow my entire driveway and it ran great and idled perfect the entire time. Thank you to those of you who offered helpful advice I greatly appreciate it! I hope that if someone is having a similar issue in the future this thread may help them troubleshoot their issue.
 
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