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  1. #1

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    Weird starter problem...

    1996 XP 800, stock engine.

    I finally got this thing to start up last night. It needed a new battery so I put a good one in it. Then as it was cranking I was noticing that the starter was acting funny.

    Sometimes it would only crank a few revolutions then the lights on the dash would go off and it would stop cranking. I had to hit the start button once to get it to beep again and get the lights to re-illuminate so I could try again. I re-verified the battery and it was definitely good.

    Then sometimes I would be cranking with my finger on the start button and the starter would disengage on it's own but it would keep spinning after disengaging. This problem got progressively worse with each attempt at cranking.

    Then all of a sudden it wouldn't engage at all. The starter would just free spin and the engine wouldn't move at all. I figured I had a bad starter so I removed the starter and found the nose and gear had sheared off completely. The whole assembly fell out of the case as I pulled the starter off. It looks to have been a clean break so I don't think there is any metal in the case.

    One thing I noticed while I was in there was that when the previous owner replaced the starter last year, they had decided the bracket on the back of the starter wasn't very important so they left it off... along with the ground strap that normally goes to the starter. I put those two things back on thinking that the lack of a bracket on the back of the starter was the cause for it shearing off, as well as the lack of a ground being the reason for the interrupted cranking.

    As I was replacing the starter I realized that I had the fuel off this whole time so no wonder I couldn't get it to fire up earlier. So I did get it to fire up after a few cranks so it does run and runs pretty good.

    My question is what would cause the first problem? Because for the time being it is the only problem I am still having. The starter still tries for a few revolutions then everything goes dead instantly. It only did it once but it did do it.


  2. #2
    Newb : ( JJLee138's Avatar
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    Look familiar? Happened to me as well (96 XP also). Replaced it and never had this problem again.


  3. #3

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    That is EXACTLY what mine looked like.

  4. #4
    Newb : ( JJLee138's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrislaw View Post
    That is EXACTLY what mine looked like.
    Yup, not completely unheard of. My ski ran hard for several months last season after that and has been out a time or two this season without issue as well. You're case may be different, but here's hoping you're ok.

  5. #5

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    Started it up again tonight to clear the fuel out of the lines and it is still having problem number 1. It will crank for a couple seconds then everything abruptly shuts down and all of the dash lights and fuel gauge go off.

    I still got it started on the 3rd try and it still ran fine other than that.

  6. #6

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    A friend of mine hypothesized that the flywheel may be missing a few teeth and that's why the starter disengages...

    Is that possible? Is that common?

  7. #7
    96XPSS's Avatar
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    Your ground wire is corroded under the heat shrink tubing, at the crimp connector, and intermittently opening under load. To confirm clamp a jumper cable to a good ground on the engine, and the negative terminal on the battery. If it starts fine with nothing shutting down, then the ground wire needs replacing.

  8. #8
    Ziggy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 96XPSS View Post
    Your ground wire is corroded under the heat shrink tubing, at the crimp connector, and intermittently opening under load. To confirm clamp a jumper cable to a good ground on the engine, and the negative terminal on the battery. If it starts fine with nothing shutting down, then the ground wire needs replacing.
    Talk about coincidences! I was just getting ready to install the battery ground and found a perfect example of this. The terminal on the block end just snapped when I was putting the bolt in. Nothing but a corroded mess under the heat shrink. Looked fine from the outside.
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  9. #9
    96XPSS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    Talk about coincidences! I was just getting ready to install the battery ground and found a perfect example of this. The terminal on the block end just snapped when I was putting the bolt in. Nothing but a corroded mess under the heat shrink. Looked fine from the outside.
    Yeah...that's what it looks like!!! I'm part psychic Zig! LOL Now...if I can use that to pick the Mega Millions...then I'd be able to surf here all day

  10. #10
    redemn93's Avatar
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    that happened to me on my 720 xp

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