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Unread 12-14-2015, 02:16 PM   #1
Not Yet Wild
Yamaha
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 25
Default It was the Spark Plug...

I drove my 2011 Yamaha Drive G29 Gas Cart around to the front of the house loaded with ladders and christmas lights to decorate the house. It acted like it was running out of gas and died. I checked the fuel level, it was a little low so I added some, it would fire a little, but still wouldn't start.

I pushed it back to the shop for additional troubleshooting. Sprayed a little starter fluid in the carb and it fired up and ran for a few seconds. So I thought it must be fuel related and started troubleshooting the fuel system. Disconnected the fuel line from the carb and cranked the engine, fuel pumped out of the hose, so fuel pump, fuel level, fuel lines are OK. Opened the drain on the carb bowl and fuel drained out, so we thought it must be some kind of gunk in the carb.

We removed the carb, disassembled it and thoroughly cleaned it. It was very clean and we didn't find any dirt, blockage, etc... We reinstalled the carb and tried to start it again. One backfire from the carb and then nothing.

We pulled the spark plug and it was wet with fuel. We cleaned, re-gapped, and reinstalled the plug and it still won't start.

We're now thinking it's a loose connection somewhere in the electrical/ignition system causing an intermittent loss of spark. So out comes the schematic and multi-meter for some electrical troubleshooting. We find nothing and decide to go buy a new spark plug before we dig any deeper.

Connected the new spark plug and laid it against the cylinder so we could see any spark. Cranked the engine and saw a consistent spark. We then swapped the old spark plug and saw no spark. Our first aha moment. Installed the new plug and it started and ran as good as new.

So... after a 1/2 day of troubleshooting it was a $4 spark plug!

The old plug had no visible issues, so we think there may have been an internal crack/short that finally broke for good.
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Unread 12-14-2015, 09:29 PM   #2
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smokindawg's Avatar
Yamaha
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Missouri
Posts: 2,755
Default Re: It was the Spark Plug...

Spark plugs can be a pain for sure. More work than you needed to do but the main thing is your back running.
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Unread 12-15-2015, 08:06 PM   #3
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Yamaha
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Southeastern Pa.
Posts: 285
Default Re: It was the Spark Plug...

Quote:
Originally Posted by technomayor View Post
I drove my 2011 Yamaha Drive G29 Gas Cart around to the front of the house loaded with ladders and christmas lights to decorate the house. It acted like it was running out of gas and died. I checked the fuel level, it was a little low so I added some, it would fire a little, but still wouldn't start.

I pushed it back to the shop for additional troubleshooting. Sprayed a little starter fluid in the carb and it fired up and ran for a few seconds. So I thought it must be fuel related and started troubleshooting the fuel system. Disconnected the fuel line from the carb and cranked the engine, fuel pumped out of the hose, so fuel pump, fuel level, fuel lines are OK. Opened the drain on the carb bowl and fuel drained out, so we thought it must be some kind of gunk in the carb.

We removed the carb, disassembled it and thoroughly cleaned it. It was very clean and we didn't find any dirt, blockage, etc... We reinstalled the carb and tried to start it again. One backfire from the carb and then nothing.

We pulled the spark plug and it was wet with fuel. We cleaned, re-gapped, and reinstalled the plug and it still won't start.

We're now thinking it's a loose connection somewhere in the electrical/ignition system causing an intermittent loss of spark. So out comes the schematic and multi-meter for some electrical troubleshooting. We find nothing and decide to go buy a new spark plug before we dig any deeper.

Connected the new spark plug and laid it against the cylinder so we could see any spark. Cranked the engine and saw a consistent spark. We then swapped the old spark plug and saw no spark. Our first aha moment. Installed the new plug and it started and ran as good as new.

So... after a 1/2 day of troubleshooting it was a $4 spark plug!

The old plug had no visible issues, so we think there may have been an internal crack/short that finally broke for good.

But the important question is, did you get the house decorated?
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Unread 12-15-2015, 11:54 PM   #4
Not Yet Wild
Yamaha
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 25
Default Re: It was the Spark Plug...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SandbaggerYDRA View Post
But the important question is, did you get the house decorated?
Yep, gotta keep the wife happy. Got the house done and will be parking the 86 year old lawn decoration in the front yard on the weekends.
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Unread 12-16-2015, 03:27 AM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ohio
Posts: 464
Default Re: It was the Spark Plug...

Quote:
Originally Posted by technomayor View Post
So... after a 1/2 day of troubleshooting it was a $4 spark plug!
Let me guess............. was it a Champion sparkplug?
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Unread 12-16-2015, 05:39 PM   #6
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Join Date: Nov 2011
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Default Re: It was the Spark Plug...

Quote:
Originally Posted by classycarts View Post
Let me guess............. was it a Champion sparkplug?
No, an original NGK.
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Unread 12-17-2015, 05:04 AM   #7
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Default Re: It was the Spark Plug...

Quote:
Originally Posted by technomayor View Post
No, an original NGK.
WOW, never had a problem like that with a NGK.
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Unread 12-17-2015, 10:37 PM   #8
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Yamaha
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Eastern SD.
Posts: 276
Default Re: It was the Spark Plug...

Something else that can make checking plugs a headache. Sometimes you can check the plug the way you did and it will have a nice arc but will not fire under compression. Back in the late 60's when I worked for Toyota we had a spark plug tester that would check the plugs under compression with a viewing window. You'd be surprised how many times we'd find a plug that would fire just fine until you added air pressure.
As far as spark plugs are concerned, when in doubt, throw it out. They don't cost that much.
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