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2005 JD Trail Buck 650 AKA Traxter 650, starts temporarily

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Recent JD Trail Buck (Can-am Traxter 650) only starts when I spray starter fluid directly into the carb or the cylinder. Runs for a few seconds and dies.

Given its age, I installed new carb, new mechanical fuel pump and replaced broken choke cable while I was there. No hose cracks/leaks anywhere but I still have the same issue starting. Also don't see any inline fuel filter anywhere so not sure where to check.

Best places to check for fuel/air flow? It is obviously not getting fed.

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Welcome to the site

I don't know that machine, but if it mimics the fuel system like on my old 400, there are a couple of problem areas that come to mind.

Does the fuel pump take its vacuum signal from the big hose in-between the head and the carb? That hose had split on me, sucking air, so the fuel pump couldn't work.

Are the fuel lines rubber? They could have collapsed over the years, or the pickups in the tank could have rotten away, and the pumps not able to pull fuel.

There was no OE fuel filter on that setup, the screens in the tank and carb served as the "filters"
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Once you get your problem solved, it is good to install an inline fuel filter, between the tank and the carburetor It prevents many fuel and carburetor problems from my experience. You could remove the hose beyond the tank, lower it below the tank and see if fuel will run out full stream. If so, the problem is not in the tank. If not, remove the fuel fill cap. If fuel flows the problem would be tank venting. If fuel flows from the tank make sure the screen in the carburetor at the fuel inlet is clean and the rubber hoses are good.
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Alright, problem resolved!

Disconnected fuel line (inlet to fuel pump, from tank) and gas flowed without obstruction.
Disconnected pulse line while trying to start and confirmed it was sucking air.
Took a closer look at the new fuel pump and realized the manufacturer had REVERSED the intake/outlet. I switched inlet/outlet and it runs just fine! BTW, the part was from SKU HFP-283-53353 (Can-Am Traxter 2005 but really my 2005 John Deere Trail Buck 650).

Some lessons here:
1) The internet is sometimes helpful (thank you!)
2) Don't trust that replacement parts are identical.

Thanks again.

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