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Discussion Starter #1
Purchased a 2007 Prairie 360 a few weeks ago. Put it in the shed as a surprise gift for my teen/adult kids. When I checked it out seemed to run fine. Started with no problem although the previous owner did say it was a "cold starter". He suggested idling with the choke out for several minutes when starting a cold engine.

Since I purchased I ran it around once in my yard. I started it a few more times...including yesterday. It's really never started well the few times I tried. Lots of sputtering and small backfires. After running a while with the choke on, once turned off it would idle for less than a minute and then stall.

Of course this morning, Christmas, with my whole family out in the cold discovering the surprise, the damn thing turned over, but wouldn't fire up. I tried manually starting with the pull cord. Nothing. Let it sit for an hour and tried again...one huge backfire (like a gunshot) and still wouldn't start.

Starting to think I've been had. Could the previous owners have done something to start it when I checked it out (like spray gas in the carb)?

I've read a bit on this forum. The Prairies seem to have valve issues and a lot of recommendations indicate adjusting the valves. I'm extremely non-mechanical...I don't know a valve from a Volvo...so except for very basic steps there's not much I can do.

It's very frustrating that my family won't get to play with their present. Unless there is a simple fix I'll be taking our new/used Kawasaki to a local shop for repairs before we even get to use it. Any idea appreciated?

Thanks! Merry Christmas!!
 

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It may have flooded up and fouled the spark plug due to all the idling with the choke on. Once you get it running, give it a hard run to clean it out.
The 360's do have a tendency for the valves to go tight, which causes a loss of compression, which will cause hard starting and various other problems. You should have the valves adjusted.
 

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I should have posted earlier:
Welcome, and that's a great gift!
I'm a believer in starting it, putting on my helmet, and driving it. I won't let it idle for a long time as it loads the motor up with fuel and contaminates the oil.
 

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i agree with nova on the valves and plug. after that the 360's still will start with the choke on cold but they dont like to run well until warm and the best way to warm it is ride it, it doesnt get warm enough to run right putting around the yard or idling sitting still. as you start riding it you can fade off the choke, but it wont idle right till its warm still
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You Guys Are Good

Thanks for the advice. My neighbor came over and tried to help me start it. Charged the battery to make sure it was good. It was. Then he mentioned the spark plug issue. I removed it with an 18 mm deep socket. Sure enough the spark plug was fouled. The neighbor tried to clean it up with sand paper. Put it back in. Started briefly (which was a good sign). Decided to wait until today and get a new one.

Fingers crossed this will all work. The guy I bought it from emailed me assuring me it has always started. He seemed genuine. I think it was my screw up. I'll not let it idle for any significant time going forward. When the inevitable happens and I need to put it into the shop for any reason I'll ask them to adjust the valves. I have the numbers 13 mm for the input and 18 mm for the exhaust valve in my head...?

Wish me luck. The kids are nearly as anxious as me!
 

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i let my 400 idle all the time before i ride it. the colder the longer i let it run. I only have the choke on for about 30 sec. I do this with all my machines and never foul a plug
 

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i let my 400 idle all the time before i ride it. the colder the longer i let it run. I only have the choke on for about 30 sec. I do this with all my machines and never foul a plug
All machines are different.
There's no need for a long period of idling when cold; there's nothing to be gained.
 

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580 hrs and 6800 miles and I've never let mine 'warm up'. I just start it, hold the gas a little above idle for a few seconds, put it in gear, and ride easy for a couple minutes. Mind you, it spits, coughs, and farts for a minute or two, but it's done it since day one. The mech at the dealer told me that's just how brutes are. After a couple minutes, it purrs like a kitten and never misses a beat all day.
 

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my 650 you can start and let it run a few seconds and put it in gear as you ride away turn the choke off, but the 360's wont unless its over like 50 degrees out. under that you have to kind of fade it over the first 3 or 4 minutes if you are riding around at a low pace, which is what i do in the cold. i have had this since new and my father inlaws 360 is the same
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Geniuses

You guys know your stuff. Replaced the plug I had fouled. Started the darn thing the right way...played all day. Thanks much. Being the mechanical nitwit I am I'm sure you'll be hearing from me again before too long.
 

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Good luck with the new machine!
 

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i know i'm in Arizona but since having my mechanic rebuild the front jug with the 2011 Teryx heads and everything else he did to it, i have been off work the past week hunting every morning....only 41 degrees (brrrrrrr) but the brute now does not even need any choke to start!!!!
before you had to choke it like a chicken then fan it down...now hit the green button, thumb it for about 30 seconds above idle, then go. i can't believe the difference.

and i'm like the OP, know nothing about the internal workings of an engine, only cosmetics, but my mechanic is a genius, when he's sober!

find yourself a good mechanic and not the 'shop' as they will r*pe you like a prison fish!!!!
 

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i know i'm in Arizona but since having my mechanic rebuild the front jug with the 2011 Teryx heads and everything else he did to it, i have been off work the past week hunting every morning....only 41 degrees (brrrrrrr) but the brute now does not even need any choke to start!!!!
before you had to choke it like a chicken then fan it down...now hit the green button, thumb it for about 30 seconds above idle, then go. i can't believe the difference.
and i'm like the OP, know nothing about the internal workings of an engine, only cosmetics, but my mechanic is a genius, when he's sober!

find yourself a good mechanic and not the 'shop' as they will r*pe you like a prison fish!!!!
For it to run that well when cold and no choke, you're pretty much guaranteed that it's too rich once it's warmed up.
 
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