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Unread 01-08-2019, 07:36 AM   #1
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Default TXT with weak spark

Hi all,
Long time lurker here and I have now found an issue that no other thread seems to help with. Hang in there with me this might be a little long but hoping you guys can help me out.
I have a 03 TXT that made it through Harvey but has not run since. Right after the storm (a week or so) I drained all the fluids and flushed the motor several times with fresh oil. Also hosed the whole cart down but after sitting in salt water for 2 days didn’t help the rust issue.

I have stripped the cart down and pretty much replaced everything you can think of on the cart, electrical wise. Voltage regulator, coil, ignitior, pulsar, solenoid, both micro switch’s, and pretty much every connection has been redone.

I had gotten the cart to turn over and run fairly well but the driven clutch wouldn’t engage. Took me a couple of weeks to figure that out and once I got the clutch to move manually the motor would not turn over.
After testing everything I am to the point when I am only able to get spark on both spark plugs when the gas pedal is depressed. Out side of that there is no spark. I have the original and a brand new coil and both have the same issue.
All grounds have been cleaned and seem to be good.

Does anyone have any ideas or thoughts on what might cause the spark only on depressing the pedal?

Thanks in advance,
Ryan
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Unread 01-08-2019, 08:09 AM   #2
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Default Re: TXT with weak spark

Maybe i'm missing something or misunderstanding... but from what i am gathering, this is normal for a golf cart... there is a switch on the gas pedal to tell the solenoid if pedal is pushed own or not. when you release the pedal it kills solenoid and kills spark so the engine shuts off. press the pedal down and everything goes again (spark, starter/generator, etc).
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Unread 01-08-2019, 09:39 AM   #3
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Default Re: TXT with weak spark

Sorry to be a little more clear, I only get one spark no matter how long I hold the gas pedal down. I am using an inline spark tester.
So you press the gas and get a single spark and then that’s it while the starter/generator turns and the motor spins but doesn’t run.

Also thanks for the quick response.
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Unread 01-08-2019, 10:24 AM   #4
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Default Re: TXT with weak spark

Ok that helps a lot!

Did you use OEM parts or aftermarket? Do you still have the OEM parts? How far underwater was the cart?

I'd start with the basics. Remove all the grounds from the frame and motor, clean both the terminal and the grounding point with a wire brush. I use a small one on a drill or die grinder, works very well. make 100% sure all of your grounds are very solid or you may end up chasing your own tail due to a ground you missed.

Also check your connections for any corrosion inside the connectors. Salt water does nasty things to terminals.

The fact that it was running but now quit either points to a connection that has corrosion/high resistance, or a cheap aftermarket part that has failed. Either is entirely possible. Unfortunately, you replaced EVERYTHING so makes narrowing down to the one part to condemn a bit more difficult, but if you still have the original parts it may be worth testing them with a meter, for swapping around if you can't find corrosion in a ground point or connector. I'd start with ignitor or coil. But double check and clean all of the ground points and connectors first.
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Unread 01-08-2019, 11:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: TXT with weak spark

As far as I can tell the cart was under 6-8 ft of water for several hours but not sure how soon the water receded. So the whole cart was soaked pretty good with salt.

For the most part I tried to get OEM parts but the igniter I hard a hard time finding OEM. It is aftermarket. I started yesterday swapping old parts but so far only changed the voltage reg which did nothing. The micro switches and solenoid were so rusted that I tossed those, everything else I still have. Will continue to try different combinations of parts.

I’ll give it a shot grinding down the ground points but I did that a couple of weeks ago. I am almost wondering if I could rig up a ground bus bar to get rid of the frame ground. I am leaning towards a bad ground somewhere bc of rust that I can’t see.

If it helps anything at all the cart started running after I replace the ignitor but the old coil. However the heatsink going through the coil was pretty rusted so I replace it. The cart had stopped prior to changing the coil though.

Again, thanks for the help!
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Unread 01-08-2019, 01:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: TXT with weak spark

voltage regulator wouldn't kill spark. if they go bad it can blow the main fuse, not charge, or overcharge the battery but wouldn't cause the cart to not run. Microswitches, as long as they are adjusted are just a switch. If the motor is turning by the S/G then the switches should be fine.

I'd start by swapping back the old coil if it worked, but was just replaced because the heat sinks were rusty. Can always put the new one back in later. I would suspect the ignitor first, partially because it is aftermarket and I know from learning the hard way through first hand experience how good the aftermarket ignitors are. I shot 0 for 4 in that trial before giving up on them. One of them actually ran great for about 15-20 minutes, I thought I was good to go. Then it started doing the same thing the previous 3 did... not work lol

You could always check for voltage drops at the ignitor, coil, etc. If you're losing voltage it's either a bad connection or a bad ground. You can temp run a ground wire from the neg battery terminal to the coil bracket, ignitor bracket, etc. for testing purposes if you suspect a bad ground.

I don't know if the MCI engines are the same as pre-MCI, and I don't know if your 2003 is MCI or Pre... but I had a 2001 TXT (pre-MCI) and the whole bracket the ignitor, solenoid, and everything mounts to grounds itself through the mounting bolts at the base of that vertical plate. I was having issues so I used a piece of scrap 10AWG wire I had laying around, crimped on a couple eyelets and ran a ground wire from that mounting bolt on top of the plate to the negative battery terminal. Never had a problem with that again. Turns out there was rust between the mounting plate and the chassis that was preventing the components on that plate from getting a good ground. A little grinding and an additional strap solved all of that real easily.

Just to note, never remove any of the factory grounding points. You can clean, replace with better/bigger wire, terminals, etc. But always use those grounding points. Adding additional grounds almost never creates a problem. But the selected grounding points from the factory aren't just random grounding spots. Those points were carefully selected by a team of engineers that did their homework and decided those were the best points for access, function, etc. If you scrap the whole frame ground and start your own grounding system, you open yourself up to a whole new world of issues.
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Unread 01-09-2019, 12:34 AM   #7
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Default Re: TXT with weak spark

As CP said, Start with the basics.

A lesson learned long ago with these was to check the battery first. I assume you have a new battery fitted so i dont suspect the battery itself is bad BUT and i mean BUT, did you install it correctly! It may seem a stupid question but a battery installed wrong polarity can cause exactly your symptom of a single spark and no more till you hit the gas pedal again.

I know this as years ago, i was working on a guys cart, an EZGO TXT that apparently would not run after he fitted a new battery. After several hours of tracing through what should have been simple fault finding and only getting a single spark each time i hit the gas, i noticed the battery positive was connected to ground. DOH! swapped the leads on the battery and it fired right up.

Definitely worth checking out.
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Unread 01-09-2019, 06:17 AM   #8
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Default Re: TXT with weak spark

Good Info
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Unread 01-09-2019, 09:19 AM   #9
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Default Re: TXT with weak spark

CP241 - Thanks for all of that. Good info there. I hadn't thought about the ground to the coil bracket to test. That will be first on my list of things to check. Also my 03 is pre-MCI and the bracket is grounded to the frame.

If you were to purchase a ignitor do you have a place that you would recommend? I know once of the site sponsors but want to make sure I get another OEM one.

Noted on the a new grounding system. I had gotten so frustrated with the cart that I was dreaming up ways to try to solve for what I felt was the issue. It was either that or buy a new cart LOL.

Cartmaster - Thanks that is interesting that you were only getting one spark with the terminals backwards. I am 99% positive that i have them right but no you make me question myself. :) I'll take a look to make sure!

I should have some time this afternoon to try a couple of things and will update this thread if I am able to do some testing.

Thanks again guys, I sincerely do appreciate the help!
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Unread 01-09-2019, 08:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: TXT with weak spark

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaiderRandal View Post
CP241 - Thanks for all of that. Good info there. I hadn't thought about the ground to the coil bracket to test. That will be first on my list of things to check. Also my 03 is pre-MCI and the bracket is grounded to the frame.

If you were to purchase a ignitor do you have a place that you would recommend? I know once of the site sponsors but want to make sure I get another OEM one.

Noted on the a new grounding system. I had gotten so frustrated with the cart that I was dreaming up ways to try to solve for what I felt was the issue. It was either that or buy a new cart LOL.

Cartmaster - Thanks that is interesting that you were only getting one spark with the terminals backwards. I am 99% positive that i have them right but no you make me question myself. :) I'll take a look to make sure!

I should have some time this afternoon to try a couple of things and will update this thread if I am able to do some testing.

Thanks again guys, I sincerely do appreciate the help!

I couldn't find anywhere online to buy OEM ez-go parts so I bought my parts at my local dealer. Either that or used parts here someone removed for a big block swap.

I understand your frustration completely. My ez-go has been frustrating me ever since I did what should have been a very simple rebuild on the engine... almost to the point of kerosene and a match... but i think (hope) I may have finally gotten it...

But before buying any more (new) parts, I would go through and double check all the grounds. A set of jumper cables for a car, clamp to the negative battery terminal and then clamp to the motor, ignitor mounting plate, etc can be a cheap good down and dirty diag tool.
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