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  1. #1

    1996 polaris sl 900 wiring problems

    Hey guys, I have a 1996 SL 900 and it works great when it is running, however, so far it feels like we've had to replace almost everything on it. Anyway, we just installed a new drive unit before the end of the season and then the start of the next season when we put it in the water I drove it for about 30 seconds and it quit on me. I popped the seat off and the smoke started rolling out like crazy and I noticed that some wires were on fire but quickly went out. Long story short, a friend told me that what probably happened is that the oil cable wore through a wire from the stator and shorted the whole thing out because all of the negatives in the electrical box and the stator wires and the choke and oil cables were fried. I bought a stator from ebay that was off a running 1050 and installed it along with new cables. I unplugged the old stator wires and the new ones went right in with the exception of a wire coming from the orange block (in the box) as an orange wire that somebody changed the end into a red/purple wire with a female connector on the end. The red/purple from the stator has three connectors on it and they plugged all in where they should except I don't know where the ORANGE-RED/PURPLE wire goes to. I left it undone and it tried to start it. It sparks just fine (maybe a little weak) but still fires, but it just won't stay running. I unplugged the stator red/purple to the CDI and plugged the ORANGE-RED/PURPLE to the CDI and you can press the button all day without starting untill the moment the button is released, then it fires 2-3 times strong and then dies. I looked at the spark and it only sparks when you let go of the button. The orange block has four wires plugged into it when I could only figure out three from the wiring diagram so I think that this mysterious wire was added. It could be that I have a bad battery, but what also is curious is that the display clock works ok, but it won't do anything else and the light at the top just stays on. Also the fuel and oil levels aren't displayed on the sides. Can anybody help me? I really think that a picture of a good electric box would help or just some good advice. If you need me to clear something up I'd be more than happy to.


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjacake View Post
    ... 1996 SL 900

    ...I bought a stator from ebay that was off a running 1050 and installed it along with new cables. I unplugged the old stator wires and the new ones went right in with the exception of a wire coming from the orange block (in the box) as an orange wire that somebody changed the end into a red/purple wire with a female connector on the end.

    The red/purple from the stator has three connectors on it and they plugged all in where they should except I don't know where the ORANGE-RED/PURPLE wire goes to. I left it undone and it tried to start it.

    It sparks just fine (maybe a little weak) but still fires, but it just won't stay running.

    I unplugged the stator red/purple to the CDI and plugged the ORANGE-RED/PURPLE to the CDI and you can press the button all day without starting until the moment the button is released, then it fires 2-3 times strong and then dies. I looked at the spark and it only sparks when you let go of the button.

    The orange block has four wires plugged into it when I could only figure out three from the wiring diagram so I think that this mysterious wire was added.

    It could be that I have a bad battery, but what also is curious is that the display clock works ok, but it won't do anything else and the light at the top just stays on. Also the fuel and oil levels aren't displayed on the sides...
    Welcome

    There are several things going on.

    - Battery voltage must be above 10.6 volts while cranking, or you will not have spark. These machines require a very strong battery.

    - What is the part number on your CDI, and on the stator you installed?

    Polaris has two versions of the 1996-1999 ignition system. The original system, and an update kit that retro-fits into the older domestic models. CDI and stator from the different versions can not be mixed.

    - The Red/Purple wire from the CDI (and only that Red/Purple wire) is supposed to be connected to the Orange terminal. That was a Service Bulletin update from Polaris.

    - All other Red/Purple wires should connect to the Red/Purple terminals. That includes the Red/Purple wire from the stator, which ONLY connects to the Red/Purple terminal.

    - All Orange wires should connect to the Orange terminals.

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  4. #3
    Thanks for your help.

    The first thing that i'll do is plug the orange-red/purple wire back in to the CDI and test the battery. It sparks really good when the button is released that's why I thought the battery was bad.

    The reason I asked is because there is one red/purple wire from the stator and it is split into three, one female round connector, and two flat connectors that I plugged back in to the right places. The female connector from this and the orange-red/purple wire connector were the two odd things.

    Also do you know anything about the display or why it is acting strange.

    Thanks again.

  5. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjacake View Post
    ...there is one red/purple wire from the stator and it is split into three, one female round connector, and two flat connectors that I plugged back in to the right places.

    The female connector from this and the orange-red/purple wire connector were the two odd things...
    What places are you connecting the Red/Purple stator wire to?

    It should connect to ONE Red/Purple terminal. No other terminals.

  6. #5
    Well, the red/purple round connector from the stator isn't connected, but the the two flat connectors I hooked back up where I took the old ones out from.
    I think that they went to the terminal on the bottom and something on the inside of the top cover. I'll look later to make sure where they go, but they are plugged in to where the old wires came from.

  7. #6

    CDI Re/Purple to Orange Spade Terminal

    After years of aggravation and several ineffective and costly fixes by various dealers, this simple fix finally solved our intermittent starting problems. Thanks so much!
    Symptoms included no start (hot or cold) and spark only when letting off the start switch. Disconnecting and connecting the battery sometimes resolved the problem but only for one start.

  8. #7
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    hey K447 when did the service bulletin for connecting the CDI red/pur to OR come out? Does that give the CDI regulated 12V?

    I had the same issue with mine in 04-05. What a long nightmare. The dealer finally got it to spark with the case open and the ground wire between the two haves cut. That was the break thru I needed. Of course when you bolt the cases together it didn't spark, but with the case open it isolated the ignition from the MFD, and aux stuff pulling down the cranking voltage. Turned out a previous repair attempt was a bad crimp on the start switch.

    I soldered all the crimps and keep the batt charged. I haven't had any other issues.

  9. #8
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retro jet View Post
    hey K447 when did the service bulletin for connecting the CDI red/purple to Orange come out?

    Does that give the CDI regulated 12V?...
    That service bulletin PWC-00-05 dates from 2000.

    It does not provide regulated 12 volts to the CDI.

    What the modification does is supply switched 12 volt power to the CDI. When the engine is off, the power feed (Orange wire) to the CDI is zero volts. When the engine is cranking or running, the power feed to the CDI is switched on.

  10. #9
    Hey, I'm back. I got really frustrated and gave up on trying to get it working, but now I wanna ride it this summer, so here I am. I forgot to mention that I'm sure I had the updated cdi and stator before it self destructed, but now I have the updated cdi with a stator I bought from ebay. So I was wondering if it happened to be a first gen stator if it would make any spark at all? Or if it is just a wiring problem because it will make a spark just not stay running?
    Thanks a bunch guys!

  11. #10
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjacake View Post
    ... I got really frustrated and gave up on trying to get it working, but now I wanna ride it this summer, so here I am. I forgot to mention that I'm sure I had the updated cdi and stator before it self destructed, but now I have the updated cdi with a stator I bought from ebay.

    So I was wondering if it happened to be a first gen stator if it would make any spark at all? Or if it is just a wiring problem because it will make a spark just not stay running?...
    It would be good for you to provide a complete update of where things are at, and what is what.

    As far as I know, if you mix a Gen III stator or Gen III CDI with either Gen I or Gen II stuff you will not have spark.

    Best way to avoid frustration is with complete information. And step by step diagnostics. Clear photos never hurt

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