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Old 10-18-2012, 08:39 PM   #1
vladislav
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Default 1987 EZGO 2cycle Ignition Coil Mystery!

Hello everyone.

I've got a complete mystery on my hands. Fixing my dad's 1987 EZGO 2-cycle gas golf cart. He had it in to a small mechanic 4 times. The guy basically threw parts at it (some or many may have originally been needed). Here is what has been replaced already:

crankcase seals
piston and rings
carburator
fuel pump
ignitor
spark plug
air/fuel filter


The symptom it still has is that it will fire right up now and drive for about 5-10 minutes. Then, when you try to start it again, it will simply crank and won't fire at all. I deduced that this was a problem with a weakening/shorting ignition coil. Like car coils I've dealt with, the coil functions well at cool temps and as soon as it heats up, it starts shorting and loses all spark. I've verified this by running the cart till it stops, then quickly pulling the spark plug cable and testing for spark with a second good plug....and no spark. So the old ignition coil has to be bad right?

So here is the mystery. I bought a new coil on ebay to replace it. The exact same coil with the same green and orange wires and connectors. Identical as can be from the looks of it. It also give spark when I put in a plug and ground it somewhere. I hooked it all up and the engine will not fire up one bit....just crank forever with the battery. Eventually, things flood up and I get fuel spilling out the exhaust pipe. After messing around with the carburator, cleaning it, checking fuel pump diaphrams, etc...I decided to just try the old coil back in...and the cart fired right up with one push on the petal. So the old coil works (for a while until it gets hot) but the new one won't work a bit. Did I get a defective coil? Am I missing something? What on earth could be an explanation. Thanks for any suggestions in advance! Please help.
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:48 AM   #2
kyerik
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Default Re: 1987 EZGO 2cycle Ignition Coil Mystery!

You may have gotten a bad coil from the manufacturer. Another person got a bad coil new out of the box a month or so ago.
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:33 AM   #3
Dave Box
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Default Re: 1987 EZGO 2cycle Ignition Coil Mystery!

There is an obscure condition where the regulator fails and starts to charge the battery at 18 volts. This causes the ignitor to overheat and shutdown. When it cools off it starts to work again. Put a voltmeter across the battery and see what the charging voltage is.

Good luck

Dave
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:51 AM   #4
vladislav
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Default Re: 1987 EZGO 2cycle Ignition Coil Mystery!

Thanks for the replies and ideas guys. I don't think it would be the voltage regulator failing, because then I would assume that both the old and new ignition coils would work until they overheat. The fact that the old one works for a while and the new one doesn't work at all leads me to believe that it is simply defective. Still though, it gives spark, so what about it could be defective with it? Weak spark? Not sparking inside the chamber? I guess I'll send it back and have them send me a new one.

Man...defective NEW parts makes it pretty darn hard to troubleshoot an engine like this!

I'll let you guys know what turns out. And if anyone else has any ideas in the mean time, please speak up. Thanks!
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:40 AM   #5
simple man
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Default Re: 1987 EZGO 2cycle Ignition Coil Mystery!

Using a spark plug to test ignition is not a reliable test. Under compression a spark plug needs much more voltage to arc its gap! I would invest in an actual coil tester from either an auto parts store or a mower shop or similar place that handles small engines. It will look like a spark plug without a ground electrode, no threads, and an alligator clip spot welded to its side.
There are more elaborate ones, but the one I just described is reasonably priced and easy to see the spark, even in direct sunlight! :)
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:02 PM   #6
vladislav
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Default Re: 1987 EZGO 2cycle Ignition Coil Mystery!

So I got to the bottom of things. I got a known good coil from the original mechanic and threw it in there....boom, it fired right up. Who would have thought my original coil was going out and my new one was defective. Anyway, the cart runs like new now...what with a basically new engine and all. In any case, I would imagine that many people with symptoms simliar to mine can fix the problem with a new (working) ignition coil.
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