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Unread 10-09-2019, 07:50 PM   #1
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Default 2005 MCI 'spitting' after lift kit even with rebuilt engine

I'm only guessing this is MCI related since these versions of the Robin never run right on a lifted golf car. they run, but they 'spit and spat' like tiny backfires when you start them. they run fine after however.

Customer has one he put a lift kit on--car goes around 25 mph (bypassed governor) and it originally came in only running on one cylinder--the other rod had broken and that piston wouldn't move.

We have installed three different rebuilt MCI engines and they run, but they spit and spat on start/restart enough to annoy the customer who's paranoid. We tried different and even OEM carbs too, to eliminate the issue, same result. Same with ignition coils. The Ignitor is a $1000 part and customer won't pay that to 'guess' whether or not it fixes it.

I am blaming the lift kit and bypassed governor on the issue, and the MCI doesn't seem to like running on a lift kit for some reason--changing the RPM/ratio in some way?

He refuses to ditch the lift or pay to convert to non-MCI which IMO was the better of the two series of the twin cylinder. The MCI was such hot garbage with soft heads that the valves wear into, and hideously expensive ignition parts that EZGO even scrapped the entire thing and went to the thumper, or my nickname for the 13HP Kawasaki engine they use today.

I'm not a psychologist--I can't fix paranoia. I'm not sure what to do. Right now we have the third engine out, and waiting for a fourth. Not expecting any change. The governor is back to stock speed but it still spits and spats on start. It does NOT backfire like a gunshot, just goes 'sp! sp!' on a hot start and runs after.
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Unread 10-09-2019, 09:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2005 MCI 'spitting' after lift kit even with rebuilt engine

I found the MCI engines seem to run better than the Pre-MCI versions but I don't like them.
I also don't think it has anything to do with the lift kit.
Have you checked the fuel flow ?
How about fresh fuel ?
I do keep a known good used ignitor in stock for testing just because like you I can't afford to install one and it don't fix the issue. The igniton timing is controlled inside the ignitor from what I read. See if you can borrow one and just plug it in to see if you can ?
They also just about got it right on the MCI's with the updated throttle cable but its always good to check to make sure that throttle plate is opening at the right time.
There are steps in the manual on how to set the cable.
Explains it here starting on page 73
http://products.jacobsen.com/img/manuals/605586.pdf
I usually disconnect the choke cable on the MCI engines because they start so great. You pull the choke and those plugs gets flooded, at least that is what I have noticed.
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Unread 10-09-2019, 09:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2005 MCI 'spitting' after lift kit even with rebuilt engine

I'd have to agree with trig. I dont think the lift kit has anything to do with it. Theres tons of people with lifted carts and mci motors with no problems. And the mci powered ezgo's I've had never needed choke either.

What plugs are installed in it? What is valve lash set at? Incorrect valve lash can cause starting issues such as you describe. Where are these motors coming from? If from one of the Ebay engine rebuilder sellers know they dont use OEM parts for the rebuilds so in my eyes, everything is questionable
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Unread 10-10-2019, 06:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2005 MCI 'spitting' after lift kit even with rebuilt engine

the plugs are FR2A-D NGK. I know it's not a carburetor or ignition coil issue since we've swapped many and nothing changes. Fuel is new, we already sucked out the old gas since it had gotten stale, the fuel lines are new, fuel pump pumps really good (line off the carb) and oil is at the correct level.

We've adjusted the valves according to the service manual. Double and triple checked the timing, and flywheel and pulsar coil. All is normal. The throttle plate is closing like it should when you stop, and opens correctly. Now this one does not have the redesigned throttle cable with the 'loop' at the end like the later MCIs, it still uses the old spring assembly from the Pre-MCI days. It's a 2005 so I'm guessing this was the first year for the MCI?

Unfortunately I've never had a 'spare' MCI ignitor and since it costs $1000, there's no way the customer much less the boss wants to spend that kind of money in order to rule it out. I'm sadly kinda stuck.

I've personally had bad experience with the MCI engines myself, Almost always one of the valves wears into the soft head and you adjust one that comes in with Mal-adjusted valves, or so you assume, and it runs 50 feet and then changes adjustment and stops running again, or the parts are super high price, and I always made a guess that EZGO hated the change so much they scrapped it in 2009 and went to the Kawasaki which I despise with every fibre of my being. The pre-MCIs are great little engines.

The rebuilt engines we just send the cores of the bad ones to a company known as BG Parts that rebuilds and subsequently tests them on a dyno before sending them back as verified running/ready to install.

The engine runs fine once it starts but if you stop and immediately take off, it hesitates a tiny bit going 'sp! sp!' and then takes off and runs perfectly fine. I've only seen this happen on MCIs on lifted golf cars, and assumed it was because the engine/governor has to go faster to pull the larger tires (you gain 2-3 MPH on lifted tires without changing the governor at all)

Also this one still uses the older square box air box, not the later round one.
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Unread 10-10-2019, 07:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2005 MCI 'spitting' after lift kit even with rebuilt engine

You seem to have covered everything., well almost.
All these engines have did this with me over the years , so its not only the MCI.

I just sold a 1998 cart that was doing this exact thing but the person didn't care. It had the Pre-MCI engine in it. You could drive it for 30 minutes. You would stop and let it sit for a minute and hit the gas hard to take off and it would spit-spatter for a few seconds and then go. Ran great except for that one little hiccup

I also ran into this during the 16 years I worked at a golf course that had both MCI and Pre-MCI engines. I was around when all the upgrades took place trying to solve all these issues they had. The intake valves were made soft on all these engines and after time they would pull into the head, especially if someone was running it faster than it is supposed to go.
The only difference in the spark plug you are using and the ones I used is it takes a 5/8th socket to remove them. I normally tossed them because of the 60 carts we had I didn't want to be changing sockets. I used the BP4ES in the PreMCI and BP5ES in the MCI's.

Have you tried a new OEM carburetor from ezgo ? They are high priced and most people don't want to pay so they try and clean theirs. There is a part under the main jet that can't be cleaned without removing and I never had any luck getting one out. Ultrasonic Cleaners are supposed to work but I just never bought one. I just pay the price for a new carb and normally that gets the problem gone

From what I was told in 2008 that the Robbins/ Subaru could not meet federal emissions so they opted out and went with the Kawasaki . The MCI engines were made starting in 2004 until 2008 when they starting putting the jerking, jumping loud Kawasaki's in but that another story
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Unread 10-10-2019, 07:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2005 MCI 'spitting' after lift kit even with rebuilt engine

I don't think it is lift created either. But I agree, you hate to just swap parts till you get it. You may have too in this situation to find the problem.
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Unread 10-11-2019, 06:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2005 MCI 'spitting' after lift kit even with rebuilt engine

We already tried an OEM one to rule out that supply of crappy garbage "mokini' carbs we tend to end up with (most of the time three out of a box of 5 are bad out of box). Same result. Actually, it was a bit more pronounced. it would do a loud gunshot BANG! when you took off especially if you drove long ways full throttle.

I've already made a rant about the Kawasakis before here, and they're a royal PAIN to work on. The drive clutches freeze up a lot and that alone is $650 down the drain, and almost always the fleets we get to resell have bad drive clutches AND ate up starter brushes.
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Unread 10-11-2019, 08:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2005 MCI 'spitting' after lift kit even with rebuilt engine

If you lived close I would let you borrow an ignitor to eliminate that part.
Your first post
It does NOT backfire like a gunshot, just goes 'sp! sp!' on a hot start and runs after.

Your last post
Actually, it was a bit more pronounced. it would do a loud gunshot BANG! when you took off especially if you drove long ways full throttle.
Has it changed since first post ? or maybe got worse ?
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Unread 10-11-2019, 08:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2005 MCI 'spitting' after lift kit even with rebuilt engine

the only change between the tiny spits and the loud bang was the difference between an OEM carb (I read the package and it was designed for the larger cubic inch version, not the 295 so perhaps that's the issue there) and the original carb it had when it rolled in, and any aftermarket version after.

As it sits now, there's no engine in the car at all. we sent it back waiting for our fourth rebuilt. Not holding out much hope though.

Most customers ignore the spitting and act as if it's just par for the course. Sadly, with this guy having known about the broken rod on his old engine, he's paranoid of anything now, including the spitting. He wants the car to remain governor-delete and able to go 25-30MPH which I told him will only ruin the new engine anyway, but he isn't very open minded. We get a lot of that with folks in Kentucky where we are located, especially with any who use garbage Rural King batteries because they're cheap on their electric car.

Before we removed the last engine I had the car set to 17 MPH, reduced the spitting a lot, but not eliminated it. Customer wants 25-30 MPH. I told him to get a side-by-side if that's the goal. He didn't take kindly to that.
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Unread 10-11-2019, 08:42 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2005 MCI 'spitting' after lift kit even with rebuilt engine

If you set the governor to where the cart would run what the factory said 12-14 MPH then would it do this ?
I do understand your pain. Let us know how you come out with different engine even though i don't expect any difference.

If everything is right on these carts then you should not ever have any spit and sputter when you first take off. I own three and none do this. No MCI engines but that shouldn't matter.

One of mine did have the MCI in it but I converted it to Pre-MCI after I bought it with a large hole in block.

Like you I don't even want to see any EZGO later than 2007 in my shop. Worst mistake ever by a company but I ain't going there .

Wish someone would come up with a clone Pre-MCI . They would sell like hot cakes
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