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no spark with hand crank, but will start with drill motor starter

  1. 1980 Tecumseh 6 H.P. engine with a magneto , points and condenser ignition that sat 20 years did not run at all.
    There was no spark. Replaced the inop magneto coil, cleaned carb etc. and it runs.

    But it will not start using the stock pull start rope. But if turning it over with a drill motor it will start. Obviously it needs higher RPM's to start. But why?

    In other words, with the spark plug out and grounded, I find there is no spark if using the pull start rope, but there is spark when turning it over with the drill motor.

    I have removed the flywheel, cleaned the magnets , checked the gap to the specified .o12", set the point to the specified .020".

    Condenser obviously works, and the points are very clean (no pitting) indicating an OK condenser. But can condenser be "weak" and require higher than normal RPM's to start?

    Or ???
  2. Yes, replace the condenser. They can fail in several different ways, and not all will result in excess arcing at the points.
  3. Thanks Bill.

    Even if it runs OK?

    Do you still think the condenser could cause failure to start ( or even spark) at low hand crank rpm's?

    Just double checking your answer.
  4. Yes, change the condenser. I'm not saying that has to be the problem, but it is quite possible and they are probably inexpensive. You know I'm not ever eager to "throw parts at a problem", but I think this is a case where it is a practical approach. Condensers (capacitors) can fail/age so as to be "weak" for their intended purpose.
  5. Bill:
    thanks again.
  6. Any one here will say I am stupid, but maybe the crankcage/rope wore thin over the years?? I probably wrote that wrong, but hey, at least I try.

    Try a new rope and maybe you will see a difference, you may get faster revs. I think physics applies here. But what do I know about small engines.
  7. Fixed.

    Cleaned and replaced some internals in the the carb a second time . Got it running with the drill motor start.

    My friend that was trying to start it by hand has a bad shoulder and when I observed him pulling the rope start I noticed he was not taking a "long" pull. I pulled it about twice as far as he could and it started with one pull. No condenser nec.

    Case closed.
  8. Yup, that explains this.
  9. Funny note, my colleague from schefferville works on the small engine side of the business.

    He was fussing with a rope and when he got it back together, no go. I could hear him saying "calisse de tabarnak" french slang

    So on lunch break, I go try the chainsaw. Worked on the very first pull. So I put it down on his workbench and didn't say a word. ;):eek:
  10. Nowhere in my snowthrower manual does it say not to use E10 but does tell you not to drink gas. Mentioned carb problems, kid used E10 after a month or so could pull that starter to death and wouldn't pop. EPA also ended low and high speed mixture controls, is the government for or against us? These could be screwed in to clean the jets.

    When my kid called me, went over with my numbered drill set and my otoscope, was enough corrosion in his jets to learn out the mixture, found the right sized number drill and with my hand, cleaned it out. And get rid of that E10! My newest small engine, like last year, says can use E10, but for a few cents more, do not want to take the risk.

    Adding one ounce of Seafoam to each gallon of gas sure helps these things stay clean, and in my four cycle stuff, only using SAE grade SN oil. Know people paying their small engine shops as much as 150 bucks for a new carb, very seasonal, year warranty is up next season. But they don't tell them not to use E10.
  11. And, the other extreme...

    My wife went out to her mower, that had been sitting in the rain for the last 4-5 months with E10 in the tank. It started on the first couple of pulls for her. Yes, this is the same mower that gave me the fits last year with the kill switch. I have had no problems with E10.
  12. Could California have better E10 than Wisconsin? Our growing season is short so have to use many pesticides and herbicides so maybe this is the problem. And some of the newer stuff can use E10.

    Small engines are lawn, garden, snow removal, and chain saws, RV stuff like ATV's, snowmobiles, outboards, motorcycles, for awhile all we could get was E10 that ate up my Supra, major industries in this state that complained about it was Mercury and Harley Davidson so only could buy it with 91 octane fuel, still this way.

    Another little problem, we could buy three pounds of hamburger for a buck, now its 5 bucks a pound!