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Thread: cdi problem?

  1. #1

    cdi problem?

    Hello. I have a 96 sl900 that im trying to fix myself because no shops in my area will touch it. the plugs have strong spark, and the engine is getting fuel. it will start and idle, but it is only running on the back cylinder. i can remove both of the front plug wires with no effect, so it seems like some sort of timing issue to me. i just replaced the cdi with a used unit that supposedly came off of a running boat. the ignition system is the original with the 4060137 cdi. is the cdi or the stator the part that actually tells the plugs when to fire, or is it a combo of both. would the update kit likely solve this problem for me and be more reliable? any info you guys could provide would be much appreciated. thanks

  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    near Toronto, Canada

    It sounds like the spark plug wires may be swapped around.

    Unplug and ground the PTO (rear) and MAG (front) plug wires. Now connect the CEN (center) plug wire to the front spark plug.

    Try and start the engine. You may need to hold the throttle part way open to get it to run on one cylinder. If it starts and runs, even for a few seconds, that is enough. Mark that plug wire with MAG or 1, for the front cylinder.

    Now unplug that front wire, and ground it. Take the next plug wire, and connect to the center spark plug. If the engine will run on that cylinder, mark the wire CEN, or 2.

    If it does not run, swap the remaining wire onto the center cylinder, and try it again.

    If the engine does not start while trying a cylinder, don't crank it for a long time. That builds up fuel in the exhaust, and you risk a backfire when you eventually do get ignition

  3. #3
    Thanks for the post K447. I tried this and am still having the same problem. It will still only fire on the rear cylinder. Any other suggestions? Thanks

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    near Toronto, Canada
    Well then, time to diagnose more deeply...

    You say all three spark plugs have strong spark, but only the REAR cylinder is actually running?

    The front MAG cylinder is the one that is directly connected to the flywheel, so the MAG cylinder timing should always be correct.

    The stator contains the Hall Effect sensors, which tell the CDI when to fire the ignition coils.

    Check that the flywheel has not twisted on the crank shaft. Position the front MAG cylinder at TDC, and confirm that the timing mark on the top of the flywheel is where it should be.

    While you are in there, also check that the crank index is correct. When each piston is at TDC, the other two pistons should be exactly the same distance downwards in their cylinders.

    If the engine has compression (you checked compression - correct?), and you have tried priming the 'dead' cylinders with a little extra fuel to no effect, then perhaps you need an Ignition System Update Kit.

    Polaris Domestic (red) engine

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