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Hit & Miss Gas Engine Discussion

IHC LA, trying to start... mag issues? spark plug issues?


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  #1  
Old 02-06-2011, 05:14:02 PM
wielenberg123 wielenberg123 is offline
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Unhappy IHC LA, trying to start... mag issues? spark plug issues?

I have been working on this engine off and on the last couple months. One day I figured out the timing was off(it was firing at BDC). I got that set very close. As it fires at IGN as marked on the flywheel now. I have been using a spark plug test light to check the magneto. When I pull the spark plug out and hold it against the valve cover nut it has a beautiful blue spark and the test light shows a nice big orange light. Once I install the spark plug in the head, I crank it over and my test light show a spark half the size or less then before. I have tried shooting carb cleaner in the cylinder and gasoline and cannot get it to fire at all. It has good compression. I have noticed someone put a rubber gasket between the mag and the block is that gonna be a problem? Am I not getting a proper ground or something. The spark plug is an autolite 3076 and is very close to new. It has a Wico H mag on it. My goal was to make sure the engine would fire before I tried to pull gas out of the gas tank. And I cannot get it to fire. Does anyone have some idea's for me. Thanks
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Old 02-06-2011, 05:24:44 PM
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Elden DuRand Elden DuRand is offline
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Default Re: IHC LA, trying to start. mag issues???spark plug issues???

I would be skeptical of timing and the condition of the spark plug.

Pull the plug, lay it on the head connected to the mag. Now stick a piece of wire into the combustion chamber.

Rotate the flywheel in the proper direction and watch for the intake valve to open. It should begin to open a little bit before the piston is at the top of the stroke.

Now turn the flywheel until the piston is at the bottom of the stroke. The intake valve should be closing near this point.

Another half turn and, near the top of the stroke again, the mag should click and you should get a spark.

If all that's okay, you have compression and fuel, the only thing left is a bad spark plug and these can be tricky, making a fine spark outside the engine but failing under compression. As a last resort, try a different, known good plug.

Keep on a-havin' fun!

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Old 02-06-2011, 05:35:37 PM
Roger Kirschenman Roger Kirschenman is offline
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Default Re: IHC LA, trying to start. mag issues???spark plug issues???

the test light is robing the current from the plug
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Old 02-06-2011, 06:26:11 PM
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Dale Barnett Dale Barnett is offline
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Default Re: IHC LA, trying to start. mag issues???spark plug issues???

No one has said this yet but what gap are you running on the plug 30 + is to much.
Try closing it to about 15 to 20 and see what happens.
I had a la 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 that the condenser tested OK but would not run but had good spark when laid on the engine knocked back the gap and bang she fired and ran.
The gap was just to much for the tired ol mag under compression.

PS: get the test light out of the mix as stated it is robbing you.

Last edited by Dale Barnett; 02-06-2011 at 06:28:16 PM. Reason: added
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:55:43 PM
wielenberg123 wielenberg123 is offline
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Thumbs up Re: IHC LA, trying to start. mag issues???spark plug issues???

Well thanks for the replies guys!! After reading them I took a trip back to the shed. With my glass of winsdor and coke!! The first thing I tried was to take the test light out. Still nothing. Then I took a piece of wire and double checked the timing. And just like I thought it was set to fire just a touch before TDC. Then I decided to take a W-14 spark plug out of a running motor and try that. I dumped a bit of gas in the cyclinder, put the plug in, on about the 3rd time cranking over it fired. I cranked again and it fired again. Took the plug out and added more gas, and after cranking it fired a time or two more. So now I know it fires on the W-14 plug. So i decided to close the gap on the autolite 3076 and try that again.I dumped some gas in and cranked a couple times and it never fired. So I decided after reading your replies the Autolite plug must not be firing under compression. Thanks again for the replies. I have decided that I need to get a factory crankhandle in the flywheel before I go any further with the engine. I dont want to take a chance of getting a busted up hand.
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Old 02-06-2011, 09:18:59 PM
Farmboy1 Farmboy1 is offline
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Default Re: IHC LA, trying to start. mag issues???spark plug issues???

Alot of times brand new Autolites will fail, it is a first i check when i have verified good spark, and it doesnt have to be a factory handle that you put on, you could make your own out of some bar stock, it wouldnt snap back into the flywheel but centrifical force would pull it back in, much like the ones on john deere's and Nelson bros engines.
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Old 02-07-2011, 12:05:40 PM
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Elden DuRand Elden DuRand is offline
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Default Re: IHC LA, trying to start. mag issues???spark plug issues???

I've got some of the Autolite plugs and, once at a show, one of them quit. It was the only one I had and didn't want to WALK to the swap area to get another one so I tipped it up, filled the insulator cavity with kerosene and used a bristle brush to scrub it around.

I didn't think it would work but it did fine for the rest of the show.

When one fouls, I now clean it and let it rest in a plastic bag until I have to call on it again.

Remember NOT to use a wire brush of any type on these plugs. The central insulator inside is not glazed and you will rub metal off of the brush to the insulator and just make the problem worse.

This has something to do with "the Mother of invention"

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Old 02-07-2011, 09:27:36 PM
wielenberg123 wielenberg123 is offline
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Default Re: IHC LA, trying to start. mag issues???spark plug issues???

Yeah farmboy I know I could make a handle. I think I have one in my coffee can of spare accumulated parts. I do like to try keeping them looking original. I'm waiting for some warmer temperatures to get back in the shop. Off course the temp is below zero up here, and when I run a sunflower heater in my shop. Without having the ceiling insulated yet its kinda like being in a water sprinkler. Unfortunately everything takes time and money.
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