Hard starting Husky

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May 24, 2001
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#1
Hello-I recently got a '79 390 Husky CR. I have it running nicely, but it is a bear to start cold. I have put the pilot jet back to stock
45 and this allows the bike to start warm but cold is still questionable. Any other suggestions? I am at 5300' elevation.
TIA
 
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#2
What kind of carb do those things have?
 
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#3
It has a 38mm round slide mikuni, currently with a 45 pilot and 300 main, needle in the middle slot. It runs a tad rich at the bottom with that pilot and I
am going to try it at 40 this weekend. It had a 35 in there, but King Kong
couldn't get it started with that jet.
 
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#4
Let's make sure yourcylinder is free on any gas from a leaky petcock. If you prime the cylinder with starting fluid does that help?t
 
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#5
I am a little leary of using the starting fluid, I have heard that bad things can happen using it. Petcock is tight.
 
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#6
With some of my old Huskys, I found it easier to prime the motor by taking out the spark plug and spraying some fresh starting fluid from a can with about a four second burst into the cylinder area. Starting fluid gets the motor running then I open the gas petcock and use the gas from the tank. Other trick you might use the old Maico trick of laying the bike down before kicking to clear out the carb bowl of old gas, water deposits, etc.. It's easier to start with fresh gas.

Any further questions can best be answered by a husky dealer. Give Hall's in Springfield, Ill. or a major dealer associated with older huskys out west with your exact weather conditions a call and you should come out a winner.

Those 390's ran pretty strong. The old petcocks can leak if you don't monitor them and flood the carb.
 
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#7
I have an '81 430 that was a bear to start also. It ended up being the petcock not closing all the way. Once I figured that out it's been fine ever since. Also check for air leaks around reeds and such.
 

weimedog

Damn Yankees
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#8
Ditto Oregon trail. I have a 1982 XC430 that has had spells of hard starting. The petcock leaks a bit filling the motor if left for a long time. I just disconnect the fuel line now if its going to sit for more than a week.

I also rejetted the thing using the old technic of putting in a over sized main and getting the pilot right first, the needle and slide right second, and then dropping the main until it was right. That helped a lot.

But I still think that old ignition system is marginal. Mine starts pretty easy now. But when I look at the spark, its a thin blue spark, not the fat blue spark I would like to see....and my bet is many of those old Husky's would be well served with a new aftermarket ignition. (PVL):)
 
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#9
Weimedog,

How long have you had the Husky and has it always been hard to start? The motoplat may have started going south. That will make it real hard to kick start but it might bump start. That was the case with my 74' 250. I replaced it with a with a PVL ignition and it made a huge difference.

Another thing to consider is throttle position. If you don't have much experience with early reed valve 2 strokes, it's possible you may not be giving it enough throttle. I copied the following text from the Northwest Vintage Husqvarna page, tech tips. It refers to a Mag (like mine), but you might want to try it out.

Cold Starting a 250 Mag
Bill Caputo from Sacramento, CA recently sent me copies of Dirt Bike magazine's 11/74 250 Mag test (and bunch of other cool articles/ads- thanks Bill!). As Mag owners, both of us concur that the following paragraph (especially the bold portion) is an absolute revelation:

"Starting the new CR 250 is not easy, even when you know the ritual- which follows. For cold engine starting, flood the Bing until it leaves a puddle on your cases and tweak the throttle while you're flooding it. If you don't lift the carb slide, none of the gas will get inside and you'll kick your brains out for half a day trying to get it running. After flooding, crack the throttle slightly and blast away on the awkwardly located kickstarter. If you work everything just right and jetting and timing are spot-on, it should light off in two kicks. Once its warm, one or two boots should do it. However, every once in a while the SOB will just refuse to fire easily and you'll have a sweaty 15-20 kick hassle. Resist the temptation to richen up the pilot jet for easier starting, for the bike will blubber badly at low rpm if you do so."


Good luck,

Whoops
 
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#10
I HAVE A HARD STARTING KAWASAKI KDX 400. I LIVE IN THE MOUNTIANS IN NORTH CAROLINA THE ELEVATION IS 2800'. WHEN ITS COLD ANY 2 STROKE'S STARTING BECOMES MORE COMPLICATED. PUSH STARTING IS NOT AN OPTION BECAUSE OF THE LARGE CYLINDER BORE; THE REAR WILL LOCK UP VERY EASILY. WHEN IT IS COLD FUEL DOES NOT VAPORIZE AS WELL AND FORMS LARGE BEADS IN THE CYLINDER. I FOUND THAT BY HOLDING A HEAT GUN UP TO THE CYLINDER NEAR THE INTAKE IT WOULD START UP ON THE FIRST KICK. HOPE THIS HELPS!
 
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#11
DG. What kind of heat gun are you talking about? Is is a hair dryer or something like that but not a actual flame or torch. You could always have some kind of gas leak around the motor and tank area and you don't want to start a fire or burn something up with an open flame. Thats where the letters BBQ came from.

Try the trick with the starting fluid in a can. Clear out the carb, take out the spark plug, give it a four of five second burst, replace the plug and connection, kick the bike over with no gas on and you should be set to go depending on how much work it is taking out the spark plug. Starting fluid ignites at a different level than gasoline and thats why it works easier.