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I bought a new to me 1999 sportsman 500 4x4. He said he ran it last weekend. The battery terminal post melted. And the cooling fan won’t kick on. Right now I can’t get the electric system working without arcing the battery and making smoke and risking fire. Because I can’t get the electric system to turn on without setting itself of fire I can’t find out why the cooling fan won’t work. The guy that owned it before me replaced the starter and it’s hooked up correctly. We took the starter off by itself and hooked it up to the battery. The starter by itself does engage like it is supposed to. Any thoughts on where to start? I figured find a ground that isn’t right?
 

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#1 - are you connecting neg to ground and pos to the wiring harness?

#2 - unplug the rec/reg and see if the arc is still present.

#3 - if it has a winch disconnect it or at least don't attempt to connect it.

It's simply a process of elimination - to get an arc there has to be a complete circuit and it will run without a battery - try starting it with the recoil starter for temporary use with out using the lights (they will burn out without the battery connected if the rec/reg is plugged in to the alternator) - with the rec/reg unplugged, the lights should not work at all without the battery connected.
 

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Yeah the battery is hooked up correct. And the relay looks correct. No winch on it. I assume you mean the voltage regulator when you talk about the “rec/reg” I don’t know where that is.
 

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My new recoil starter came in today gotta go pick it up to see if she runs on her own.
 

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So now I have a new starter solenoid, bendix, and starter. The good news is the battery isn’t arcing or melting anymore. But now I have no spark. I have a new plug wire and magneto. Anything else I should check?
 

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Unplug the black wire at the CDI box and check for spark - If you get spark with the blk wire unpluggrd, it's juast a matter of figuring out which kill device is closed or shorted to ground - if no spark, got to figure out which connection or component is faulty.
 

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Ok I put on a new plug wire. That didn’t fix it. I’m wondering if my magneto was damaged when the old bendix from the previous owner was in a million pieces wedged inbetween the magneto? Or if the stator is most likely bad? The flywheel is super rusty. Are there any screws that hold the flywheel on? Or it should slide right off with a puller?
 

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Oh and now I know my kill switch is bad.... when I lift it up the starter won’t turn. But when you jump the solenoid cranks no problem
 

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If the Bendix 'exploded', a piece could get inside the flywheel and take out the stator - rust will not affect the flywheel, but if you have it off, the rust may be removed by a number of methods - in my shop, I glass bead the rust off and make the flywheel look like new - at home you can use white vinegar (acetic acid) to remove the rust soak it for a day and repeat if necessary, then rinse it off with water and scrub it with a plastic bristle (hand scrubbing) brush, dry it and spray it with WD-40 or a fogging oil to prevent rapid return of the rust.

To verify the start function has failed, disconnect the white wire with the red stripe from the solenoid - use a meter or test light and check for voltage in the wire when the switch is activated. To test the solenoid - jump from the battery pos to the where the wht/red wire connected - if the solenoid does not operate (click) check the ground. It is grounded by it's mounting to the vehicle - if the solenoid fails to operate, replace it.
 

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Yeah - I think the magnets should stuck to the flywheel and not the stator

I don't see any visual damage to the stator other than where puller bolts were tightened against the core - that probably did not damage the stator beyond use, but the stator need to be checked for continuity between the phases and phase to ground then when the new flywheel is installed, check to assure no interference between the magnets and poles - pressure against the stator may have deformed it changing the designed clearance
 
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