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Old 13 May 2008
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HELP with a 1989 XT600

Hello gang, new to the website as of today..cool place. I live in Vermont, USA.

3 months ago I bought a 1989 Yamaha XT600 w/ 6,000 miles on her (kickstart only). She ran great for about 1,000 miles until one day.

I went for a ride, parked her, came back 10 minutes later and she wouldn't start. I kicked and kicked for 2+ hours and nothing. Checked the plug, it was fine. Compression is good as well. I took the plug cable off, stuck a screw driver in there and turned her over. Result..a pretty weak spark.

I had her towed to a Yamaha dealer, who's taking forever to look at her...so a month later, I still don't know what is wrong. I read that the CDI boxes are junk on these things, so I got one off Ebay (used), replaced it and still no start. Actually no improvement at all. Sure my new CDI box could be toast, but I'm thinking it's something else.

Here are the symptons:
She WANTS to start..sounds like she's ready to fire up. Air being pushed through the air filter. Compression is good. She does have gas. She has that new-used CDI box and still no improvement.

I can't even get her running when jump starting. Every now & then when jump starting her from a hill she catches on, but she sounds very "faint" and as soon as I give her gas, she dies.
I cleaned the carb a week before she died, and for that week she ran superb.
I'm thinking I'll take her away from the dealer and just try to fix her myself.

Anything I mentioned makes sense to anyone as to what the problem could be?

Thank you for any help.
Safe miles everyone.
89 and 88 XT600.

Last edited by icehole; 13 May 2008 at 18:59.
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Old 13 May 2008
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1) new spark plug, just in case
2) take out the carb, move the rubber joints between carb and head, with enough strenght. Maybe the rubber part is old and partially broken, letting air inside. Replace them, about 30-40 euros on ebay here in europe, don't know in US.
3)still not going? Technical Article: Fault Finding Guide - ElectroSport Industries
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Old 13 May 2008
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Wink Fuel + spark = an explosion

Originally Posted by icehole View Post
I had her towed to a Yamaha dealer, who's taking forever to look at her...so a month later, I still don't know what is wrong.I cleaned the carb a week before she died, and for that week she ran superb.
I'm thinking I'll take her away from the dealer and just try to fix her myself.

Safe miles everyone.

Dealers are the same the world over: it is now late spring/early summer and they want to sell and service new bikes: you are trying to get in their way with that business plan!

So, yes get your bike back from them and persevere: it will be something pretty simple because the bike is simplicity itself.
Adjust or experiment with one thing at a time, from standard settings, and see what happens + think very carefully about what has changed that could have caused this - something about your recent cleaning of the carb for instance?

As an example, I had a weak spark because I took the plug cap off so many times that the plug cable became loose by tugging on it: I unscrewed the connections back to the coil, cleaned them up etc and the spark was much fatter immediately!
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Old 14 May 2008
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thank you guys.
I called my dealer today and will be taking her back home after work. No wrench time invested by the dealer, so I owe them nothing.

I will start with what I know. Take the carb off again and see the rubber thingies in the head. I'll clean the jet in the carb as well, since I didn't do that last time. It was my 1st ever carb cleaning job, so I didn't do the needle/jet. Maybe that could be the problem. I'll look into all connections, make sure there is a tight connection all over. I'll check out the spark plug wire, coil etc.
Hopefully I'll succeed. That bike is TOO COOL to not be working!

Thanks again guys.
89 and 88 XT600.
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Old 15 May 2008
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Just my two penneth worth but... might be an idea to check all earth connections in the ignition system. The last time my XT had intermittent/no spark it was the earth connection on the coil, looked fine but when i took it off and went to replace it the connection fell off in my hands.

good luck with it

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