2001 Honda TRX90 Won't Start

reacoomin

New Member
Dec 25, 2017
6
Woodland, WA
It was running well one day, and then the next it just wouldn't start (It has been very cold while trying to start it). I checked spark, it was meh, so I replaced it. After that it got blue spark. Still won't start. Cleaned out the carb (It was quite bad), still wouldn't start. Bought a new carb, put it on, still won't start. Gas is getting to the carb and the plug is dry. It's got compression (Not measured, just put hand in front of exhaust), spark, and gas. It'll start for a second it I put gas in the plug hole, but then I'm back to a dry plug. Any ideas on why it won't start?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,945
South Puget Sound, WA
If this is like some other Honda motors it might be swollen seals in the shut-off valve? I have this issue on my splitter if gas is left in it for an extended period of time. If left to sit it will eventually fill the fuel bowl, but the flow is not strong enough to run. Probably would not happen with ethanol free gas.
 

reacoomin

New Member
Dec 25, 2017
6
Woodland, WA
If this is like some other Honda motors it might be swollen seals in the shut-off valve? I have this issue on my splitter if gas is left in it for an extended period of time. If left to sit it will eventually fill the fuel bowl, but the flow is not strong enough to run. Probably would not happen with ethanol free gas.
Already have changed the valve, and there is gas in the carb.
 

SCOTT S.

Burning Hunk
Mar 22, 2014
243
Waupaca WI
Did you check the air filter? I’ve had mice pack the filter box so full of nesting material on a buddy’s atv it wouldn’t start. Also stupid but did you check the kill switch?
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
5,053
NE Ohio
Well if you can put gas in the cylinder and make it run for a second, then it is not getting fuel...as evidenced by a dry plug also.
Pull the air filter off and spray some gas directly in the intake (spray bottle works) while cranking with the choke on...if it fires and runs while you pump fuel then there is something wrong with that new carb...I'd take it back...is it an OEM carb?
Make sure when you are doing this that you have a good fire extinguisher nearby...I've had backfires out the intake go badly! I like a Co2 extinguisher because of no clean up afterward...but a good ole ABC powder extinguisher will still save the day.
Just FYI, with backfires out the intake causing fires, the best thing you can do immediately is to keep cranking the engine...it will suck the fire in and no harm no foul, as long as no external gas soaked items have already been lit up that is.

Make sure the gas is good too...dump any old gas that is in the tank, and make sure any new gas put in the tank is of good quality...I had a Honda 250 that kicked my butt until I tested the fuel by dumping a little bit in the driveway and then lighting it with a torch...it went out as soon as the torch was pulled away...this was new fuel that was supposedly just purchased at a local GasMart! I dumped the fuel and put known good quality fuel in it...problem solved...weeks worth of headache...caused by junk fuel! !!! :mad: ::P
 

redktmrider

Burning Hunk
Jan 21, 2012
196
Southern IN
Did you try starting fluid? If the compression is marginal, the cold may be enough to not let it start.
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
5,053
NE Ohio
I don't like starting fluid in gas engines...it can cause a lot of damage...I've seen the ring lands blown off gas pistons by using SF.
That said, if it is completely necessary to use SF, just give it a very quick snort AFTER you have already started cranking the engine...and I would only do this on an old piece of junk that it won't matter if it is blown up.
Heck I don't even like using SF on diesel engines...that stuff has been responsible for TONS of engine rebuilds over the years...cylinder pressures can get SOOO high using SF!
I won't even let a can of it on the premises at work.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
5,053
NE Ohio
Also, check the choke, make sure it is actually working...not a broken cable, or linkage, anything like that.
 

redktmrider

Burning Hunk
Jan 21, 2012
196
Southern IN
If it is pretty cold, try warming up the crankcase with a heater or such. A buddy and I kicked an XR400 for about an hour, then took it in his house for a while, it started first kick after being in the house for about 2 hours.
 

DodgyNomad

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
546
West Michigan
starting fluid for the win. If it blows up, it wasn't meant to be.
 

reacoomin

New Member
Dec 25, 2017
6
Woodland, WA
Well if you can put gas in the cylinder and make it run for a second, then it is not getting fuel...as evidenced by a dry plug also.
Pull the air filter off and spray some gas directly in the intake (spray bottle works) while cranking with the choke on...if it fires and runs while you pump fuel then there is something wrong with that new carb...I'd take it back...is it an OEM carb?
Make sure when you are doing this that you have a good fire extinguisher nearby...I've had backfires out the intake go badly! I like a Co2 extinguisher because of no clean up afterward...but a good ole ABC powder extinguisher will still save the day.
Just FYI, with backfires out the intake causing fires, the best thing you can do immediately is to keep cranking the engine...it will suck the fire in and no harm no foul, as long as no external gas soaked items have already been lit up that is.

Make sure the gas is good too...dump any old gas that is in the tank, and make sure any new gas put in the tank is of good quality...I had a Honda 250 that kicked my butt until I tested the fuel by dumping a little bit in the driveway and then lighting it with a torch...it went out as soon as the torch was pulled away...this was new fuel that was supposedly just purchased at a local GasMart! I dumped the fuel and put known good quality fuel in it...problem solved...weeks worth of headache...caused by junk fuel! !!! :mad: ::P
It is not OEM, but this was also happening with the original, which worked one day and stopped the next. The gas should be good (It was pretty new and it ran the day before), i'll try spraying some gas into the intake tomorrow.

Also, check the choke, make sure it is actually working...not a broken cable, or linkage, anything like that.
Choke is good.

If it is pretty cold, try warming up the crankcase with a heater or such. A buddy and I kicked an XR400 for about an hour, then took it in his house for a while, it started first kick after being in the house for about 2 hours.
Will try this tomorrow.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
5,053
NE Ohio

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,079
Northern Canada
I don't like starting fluid in gas engines...it can cause a lot of damage...I've seen the ring lands blown off gas pistons by using SF.
That said, if it is completely necessary to use SF, just give it a very quick snort AFTER you have already started cranking the engine...and I would only do this on an old piece of junk that it won't matter if it is blown up.
Heck I don't even like using SF on diesel engines...that stuff has been responsible for TONS of engine rebuilds over the years...cylinder pressures can get SOOO high using SF!
I won't even let a can of it on the premises at work.
Up here in the cold country starting fluid is part of life.Since i sprayed my first starting fluid when i was a kid with a Skidoo till now using it on all my diesel equipment i have never seen or heard of starting fluid damage other than on forums like this.
I once drove a Yamaha ET 250 about a mile and a half at -40C on starting fluid to get home.Used that machine for years after that,even raced it one winter in a Oldest machine class had to drive it 160 miles as fast as it would go to stay ahead of the sweeper trucks.I placed second in the class because it was one of two that finished and i won the oldest machine Won over $750 USD.This race is the only race in Canada that is held on a closed highway so it is full throttle for 80 miles,turn around after an hour and head back.
I have 2 highway trucks that have factory starting fluid kits one is a Kenworth and one is a Western Star both have Cat 3406B engins,and 2 Cat backhoes that came stock with starting fluid kits.Had and sold a Ford L9000 that had a Detroit 671T that had a factory starting fluid kit as well.These kits use a cylinder like a small propane cylinder and last most of the winter.
I don't even think twice about using starting fluid.If you have glow plugs be a little more sparing with it.
 

DodgyNomad

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
546
West Michigan
Up here in the cold country starting fluid is part of life.Since i sprayed my first starting fluid when i was a kid with a Skidoo till now using it on all my diesel equipment i have never seen or heard of starting fluid damage other than on forums like this.
I once drove a Yamaha ET 250 about a mile and a half at -40C on starting fluid to get home.Used that machine for years after that,even raced it one winter in a Oldest machine class had to drive it 160 miles as fast as it would go to stay ahead of the sweeper trucks.I placed second in the class because it was one of two that finished and i won the oldest machine Won over $750 USD.This race is the only race in Canada that is held on a closed highway so it is full throttle for 80 miles,turn around after an hour and head back.
I have 2 highway trucks that have factory starting fluid kits one is a Kenworth and one is a Western Star both have Cat 3406B engins,and 2 Cat backhoes that came stock with starting fluid kits.Had and sold a Ford L9000 that had a Detroit 671T that had a factory starting fluid kit as well.These kits use a cylinder like a small propane cylinder and last most of the winter.
I don't even think twice about using starting fluid.If you have glow plugs be a little more sparing with it.
Same here. I think you want to go easy on it with 2 strokes for lubrication concerns, but a squirt of ether is a lot cheaper than taking out your rotator cuff while wearing yourself out pulling on that thing. I've never personally seen or heard anyone who has had starting fluid cause any damage, but I use it sparingly, and only when necessary.

Spray away.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
5,053
NE Ohio
Up here in the cold country starting fluid is part of life.Since i sprayed my first starting fluid when i was a kid with a Skidoo till now using it on all my diesel equipment i have never seen or heard of starting fluid damage other than on forums like this.
I once drove a Yamaha ET 250 about a mile and a half at -40C on starting fluid to get home.Used that machine for years after that,even raced it one winter in a Oldest machine class had to drive it 160 miles as fast as it would go to stay ahead of the sweeper trucks.I placed second in the class because it was one of two that finished and i won the oldest machine Won over $750 USD.This race is the only race in Canada that is held on a closed highway so it is full throttle for 80 miles,turn around after an hour and head back.
I have 2 highway trucks that have factory starting fluid kits one is a Kenworth and one is a Western Star both have Cat 3406B engins,and 2 Cat backhoes that came stock with starting fluid kits.Had and sold a Ford L9000 that had a Detroit 671T that had a factory starting fluid kit as well.These kits use a cylinder like a small propane cylinder and last most of the winter.
I don't even think twice about using starting fluid.If you have glow plugs be a little more sparing with it.
Well, that's true, it does act completely different in really cold weather...and good point on the glow plugs.
I've seen engines "lock up" after a snort of SF in warm weather...let it sit for 5 minutes and it is back to normal.
But for me, here in Ohio, I will continue to avoid it. (other than for cleaning parts before assembly, it works great for that)
I do recall seeing older JD tractors with the factory cold start kits.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,091
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Now that the problem has been resolved I am quite curious . . . is this your kid's ATV and not a firewood hauler?
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
5,053
NE Ohio
After trying some troubleshooting it turns out that it needed to be primed (I basically just put something over the intake and pulled the starter a few times), and now it starts every time.
I was just gonna ask how things went.
That's weird that you had to "prime" it...that's what the choke plate does...or is supposed to do. I would really wonder about compression...specifically the intake valve...Yamaha used to make little 80 and 100cc quads that were famous for the valves going tight, acted a lot like this when it happened...except the next time you went to do a cold start it was back to the same thing.
Anyways, glad to here its working for you.
Now that the problem has been resolved I am quite curious . . . is this your kid's ATV and not a firewood hauler?
These are kid sized quads...big enough that an adult can kinda sorta ride it...suppose you could move some wood with it...but not the ideal machine for that for sure.
 

reacoomin

New Member
Dec 25, 2017
6
Woodland, WA
Now that the problem has been resolved I am quite curious . . . is this your kid's ATV and not a firewood hauler?
I was just gonna ask how things went.
That's weird that you had to "prime" it...that's what the choke plate does...or is supposed to do. I would really wonder about compression...specifically the intake valve...Yamaha used to make little 80 and 100cc quads that were famous for the valves going tight, acted a lot like this when it happened...except the next time you went to do a cold start it was back to the same thing.
Anyways, glad to here its working for you.

These are kid sized quads...big enough that an adult can kinda sorta ride it...suppose you could move some wood with it...but not the ideal machine for that for sure.
Well, it was a free atv, and it's my atv. We do plan on using it for moving some things from where a truck can't get to. I know it's not the best thing to use, but it was free so I'll be using it for that.
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
5,053
NE Ohio
Well, it was a free atv, and it's my atv. We do plan on using it for moving some things from where a truck can't get to. I know it's not the best thing to use, but it was free so I'll be using it for that.
Hey, "if its free, its for me" ;lol
 
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WiscWoody

Minister of Fire
Up here in the cold country starting fluid is part of life.Since i sprayed my first starting fluid when i was a kid with a Skidoo till now using it on all my diesel equipment i have never seen or heard of starting fluid damage other than on forums like this.
I once drove a Yamaha ET 250 about a mile and a half at -40C on starting fluid to get home.Used that machine for years after that,even raced it one winter in a Oldest machine class had to drive it 160 miles as fast as it would go to stay ahead of the sweeper trucks.I placed second in the class because it was one of two that finished and i won the oldest machine Won over $750 USD.This race is the only race in Canada that is held on a closed highway so it is full throttle for 80 miles,turn around after an hour and head back.
I have 2 highway trucks that have factory starting fluid kits one is a Kenworth and one is a Western Star both have Cat 3406B engins,and 2 Cat backhoes that came stock with starting fluid kits.Had and sold a Ford L9000 that had a Detroit 671T that had a factory starting fluid kit as well.These kits use a cylinder like a small propane cylinder and last most of the winter.
I don't even think twice about using starting fluid.If you have glow plugs be a little more sparing with it.
Yeah it’s gets pretty cold up here in northern Wisconsin too and I’ve used SF, not a lot... just enough to get the engine to fire with no problems yet, knock on wood! I’ve also went up one heat level on spark plugs during the winter on my ATV when it was being cold blooded and it helped. Honda was ok with it and recommended it in the ATV’s manual.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,091
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Well, it was a free atv, and it's my atv. We do plan on using it for moving some things from where a truck can't get to. I know it's not the best thing to use, but it was free so I'll be using it for that.
Free is good . . . small ATV though and not really made to haul much. A fat guy like me would make the poor ATV struggle mightily. :)
 

SCOTT S.

Burning Hunk
Mar 22, 2014
243
Waupaca WI
BD0E67CC-F8DD-4961-A187-0B21DAF66011.png These little Honda’s are in high demand. If It was my atv and not for kids I would definitely look to sell or trade it. You could get a older full size atv for what these bring around me.
 

DodgyNomad

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
546
West Michigan
View attachment 219404 These little Honda’s are in high demand. If It was my atv and not for kids I would definitely look to sell or trade it. You could get a older full size atv for what these bring around me.
Very good idea if you plan on working it. You'll break that little one, and struggle with it if you plan on using it much.

I'd look for a used suzuki king quad 300 4x4 if you're using it for wood hauling. They are one of the toughest little quads, and very popular in logging camps. Almost bulletproof, and can be had cheap.