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Thread: Hard starting cold Yamaha VK 540

  1. #1
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    Default Hard starting cold Yamaha VK 540

    Last winter I posted a thread requesting suggestions on getting a VK 540 started at -35C and colder. I couldn't even pull the engine over at that temperature it was so stiff!

    I got some very usefull suggestions such as: use Amsoil Interceptor synthetic oil ( I changed over from Shell Advance), install a fuel primer (I did). Why Yamaha didn't have a primer as standard equipement is beyond me! Buy a SkiDoo (I didn't)!

    So far so good! It pulls over niecely at -35C to -40 temps. and has started up quite well too. Must let it warm up at least 5 minutes before it will move though.

    Thanks very much to those with the great suggestions and Merry Christmas!

  2. #2
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Yeah, a primer sure does the trick. Recently, I helped a guy get his started by filling his airbox with map gas from a map gas torch I had. The big ole triple fired right up.

  3. #3

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    Glad to here it all worked out for ya! I've found that if I pull the cord slowly for 5 minutes, the engine loosens up and I can pull it over if I hold down the gas.

  4. #4
    Member alaska4ever's Avatar
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    I was having a hard time starting my Polaris trail 550 also. So, I now carry a small propane heater in the cowling and when it's to cold to start, I turn the heater on for a few minutes and that does the trick.
    JOHN

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    What kind of propane heater works for you? I tried a Coleman catalytic heater that screws to a 1 lb bottle. Not much room to put it under the cowling and the heat went straight up melting the tarp I had the machine horded in with! One more for experience!

  6. #6
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    how do you get the propane to light up when it is really cold ?

  7. #7
    Member alaska4ever's Avatar
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    This is the heater I use. I set it on my exhaust pointed towards the engine. here is my heater. I use stick matches to light it. Maybe tomorrow I will post a pic on how I mount it. I put the heater up front by the exhaust and I wrap the propane and keep it in the compartment behind my seat. I have a canvas cover. Tarps are plastic carry a small blanket to drape over your cowlingIMG_2653.jpg
    JOHN

  8. #8

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    alaska4ever, What is the brand on the heater and where did you git it? Looks like it would do the trick.

  9. #9
    Member alaska4ever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bend View Post
    alaska4ever, What is the brand on the heater and where did you git it? Looks like it would do the trick.

    It's a Coleman. You can find them on Ebay real cheap or You can buy them at the Sportsman Warehouse across from the Diamond Mall. They are pretty expensive there I think.
    JOHN

  10. #10

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    Hey Mainer in AK: did you turn the torch on and send some warm air into the intake or simply open the valve on the torch (unlit) and send some raw map gas into the intake? You did this because it was really cold out and it just wouldn't start or ?

    Thanks

  11. #11
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpost View Post
    Hey Mainer in AK: did you turn the torch on and send some warm air into the intake or simply open the valve on the torch (unlit) and send some raw map gas into the intake? You did this because it was really cold out and it just wouldn't start or ?

    Thanks

    Nope, didn't turn the torch on, I just filled the airbox with the map gas, and kept it on so it would stay idling until you could hear that the carb was finally receiving fuel. It was a big Yamaha triple, and didn't want to start. Another thing I did do though.........was pulled all three plugs and turned the torch on and heated the plugs a bit, and sent the flame down into each cylinder for just a few seconds. And this is where I insert an excited Maine-style success statement:

    "she fiahed right up in the back yahd, she made a WICKED grumble in that cold weathah........yesah!"

  12. #12
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    Default Cold start

    If any of you people that are having a cold start problem have access to electricty at your cabin at night just remember to bring a drop light with a 100 watt bulb in it. Put the light right up against the engine close the cowling and plug her in and say good nite. This works good even in the coldest weather.

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