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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently bought a 2014 Wildcat X with 250 hours on it.

Last weekend I took it for a short ride. All was well until the engine stuttered for couple of seconds and then drove well.
About one hour later I was riding a high speed trail. I slowed down and then the engine stuttered for couple of seconds, stalled and didn’t start since.

The solenoid clicks but the engine won’t crank.
Seems like the stater died. Connected a new battery and jumped the solenoid - nothing.
I removed the starter and connected it directly to a battery - nothing.
So I will order the new heavy duty starter kit.

But, what I don’t understand is if the problem is a bad starter, why the engine stuttered and stalled?
Maybe there’s some other issue I’m missing and even when I’ll replace the starter the problem will persist.

What do you think?
 

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Your thinking is good - a failed starter should not kill the engine. There has to be something else going on as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was thinking of some other electrical problem.
I just noticed that when I turn off the ignition switch, it takes about 5 seconds for the dials to turn off. Is that normal? Looks weird to me.
 

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A few thoughts.. Check roll over switch. Check engine oil level. Check main 30a fuse.
 

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My X always had a slight delay between turning the key off and the gauge shutting down. When my Main fuse holder was beginning to die, the delay got even longer. I can't explain why, but that is what I noticed. Perhaps the corrosion at the fuse limited the power getting through so much that a relay in the ECM couldn't open.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I took off the starter and connected it directly to a working car battery - it turns over.
Its teeth show noticeable wear, no broken teeth, but I will order the heavy duty kit just in case.

I also replaced the battery with a 70Ah working car battery, same thing. Solenoid clicks and nothing happens. Jumped the solenoid and nothing happens as well.

Going now to pull all the fuses off and clean everything with a contact cleaner. Will also inspect the tilt sensor.
Any other electrical connectors \ components I should inspect and clean?
 

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Time to drain the oil and pull the stator cover. You can do this with the engine installed. i fear that your starter intermediate gear boss has broken and the intermediate gear is jammed. With the stator cover off you will know right away (the gear will fall out) Hopefully all is well with the gears and it's something else, but check it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Mystery solved, and not in a good way.
I opened the drain plug, the first thing that was flowing out was green coolant, followed by brown colored engine oil...

The starter gears are in perfect condition.

What's next?
Any chance I can do something at home to possibly save the engine or is it time to go to the dealer?
 

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Pull the plugs and turn the engine over (hopefully it turns over). If there was a hyrdo-lock the coolant will come out the plug holes. I don't know how handy you are with a wrench; I would then pull the engine and then the heads and cylinders. inspect and replace/repair. It's a full weekend project.
 
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Sand-n-Sea beat me to it. I'm thinking right along with him - minimum damage is probably a blown head gasket, and that is WAY better than a busted starter gear boss.

Which reminds me of an anecdote from my road racing history. I became friends with a guy running a Formula Ford. He had owned Corvettes forever and got bitten by the racing bug. He was having problems one weekend and his friends collectively diagnosed the situation as a blown head gasket. He looked confused and said he didn't understand, because he had removed and reinstalled the head multiple times over the season and that the gasket had never been a problem. He meant that ONE gasket, which he had re-used half a dozen times.

I no longer assume people with fun, complex toys have the requisite experience to work on them, no matter how long they have been playing with those toys.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I will take off the plugs and see if coolant comes out.
What's the best way to rotate the engine?
 

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Do you have the lefthanded bolt that threads into the stator end of the crankshaft? If so, pop off the rubber cover and use the bolt to turn the crank. If not, remove the clutch cover and rotate the crank via the clutch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Alright, today I removed the plugs and turned the engine using the clutch.

What I found out:
  1. The engine turns.
  2. There is a 'hard spot' while turning. I need to apply more force to get passed it.
  3. No coolant came out of the cylinders while turning the engine with the plugs off.
  4. The tip of the rear cylinder plug is broken. The other one is fine. See images below.
What's the next step?
Should I remove the rear cylinder head to inspect?

252431


252432
 

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Yup. Sorry to say but something inside let loose and smacked the plug. Most likely piston than a valve as it looks like some aluminum on that plug.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Can you remove the head when the engine installed on the vehicle or do I need to pull it off to do that?
Not sure I want to get into removing the engine from the vehicle, if that's needed I might take it to the shop for them to continue.
 

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I'm not sure if you could pull the front cylinder head due to clearance to the frame, but the rear will come off easily, and that seems to be your problem cylinder.

With what you said about taking it to a shop if the engine has to come out, maybe you should just go ahead and do that now?? That picture of the sparkplug makes me think the cylinder may need to come out, and possibly replaced, along with repairs to the cylinder head. That could be done in the chassis, but if the repairs are that major, it will be so much easier to do with the engine out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The main reason I'm reluctant to remove the engine is that I don't have a way to get an engine hoist.
Is it a must for the Wildcat 1000 or is there a way to do it safely without it?
 

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Maybe someone else has done it without a hoist, but what I recall is that the front of the engine has to be finessed around a lateral frame tube, and then the engine has to be lifted pretty high to clear the back end of the frame. This isn't like two guys pulling the engine out of a bugeye Sprite with a 4x4 and some seatbelts (BTDT).
 
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Pull the engine. Harbor Freight sells a cherry picker for about 150. i use that one. You can also rent one easily. Don't try and pull it without a hoist. The engine isn't heavy, but as mbrandt1402 said; it needs to be finessed in and out. One man job with a hoist.
 

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Assuming you have the free time (retired people tend to forget that the rest of you guys have to do this sort of stuff evenings or weekends), I'll bet the HF cherry picker will easily pay for itself compared to shop rates for pulling and reinstalling the engine.

Mostly just normal tools are needed to pull the engine, with one exception: the exhaust to cylinder head bolts are 12 pt. 8mm, and IIRC, you can get a 1/4" drive socket on some, but have to use a box-end wrench on others.
 
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