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One EVIL little clinton engine ( I need some ideas )


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  #1  
Old 09-10-2008, 12:49:19 PM
Sky
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Default One EVIL little clinton engine ( I need some ideas )

I ohnestly dont know were to start. This is a clinton 700A model. It obveously takes a better mechanic then i am becouse i have done everything there is to do to make this engine run RIGHT and it STILL refuses to run right. It runs eratic and starts hard. I tell ya i've done everything but do a backflip. I've rebuilt the thing, needed that to start with, i've went through 3 diferent carbs now each one making the engine sing a diferent tune. This last one i've buffed, cleaned, sprayed, poked at and BOILED the dang carb and it STILL runs eratic and hesistates upon taking mid to full throttle. That carb is so clean it's spotless. The valves are good, seating good, it looks as if the engine has seats put in it at one time but those are not loose. Still tight. My clearances are good, everything is good and has been checked. Points are good, coil appears to be good. It jumps a dang near a 3/8 gap so theres nothin wrong with that Plug is good. Points are set at 18 thou. Still no change in the way the clinton runs. Once it's up and running and hot it still is eratic but sets there and idles like a little sowing machine. Wont take gas worth a damn but it idles good when hot. Getting it to start from a cold stand still is like pulling hens teeth but when hot it starts on the first pull. It runs eratic just as if your grounding the plug every 2 seconds making it sound like a hitnmiss. it runs runs runs....spit bog down.....run run run....spit bog down. That sorta thing. Now matter how much i adjust the high speed needle it sorta brings the engine out of it but it still has that run run run...spit and bog down thing going on. I just CANT get it to pull out of it. Im gonna sell this thing if i cant get it to act right. I forgot to say it has the Tillotson ML7A carb.
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  #2  
Old 09-10-2008, 01:46:57 PM
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Default Re: One EVIL little clinton engine ( I need some ideas )

Are ya sure it's not an erratic spark problem??
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Old 09-10-2008, 01:47:22 PM
hitnmiss hitnmiss is offline
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Default Re: One EVIL little clinton engine ( I need some ideas )

Try a different spark plug. Sometimes they work in the air but not under compression
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Old 09-10-2008, 02:05:50 PM
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Default Re: One EVIL little clinton engine ( I need some ideas )

Thats one of the things i tryed. No change. Sparks fine. acording to the neon tester but acording to my briggs tester it doesnt jump the set gap. Should it? It's set for briggs but does it really matter? If it does then maybee i'll try a new coil. Maybee. I've already got more in this engine then what its really worth. I'll never get it back out of it but i guess thats how it goes 90 percent of the time.
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Old 09-10-2008, 05:15:39 PM
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Default Re: One EVIL little clinton engine ( I need some ideas )

Intake air leak? Really loose intake valve guide?
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Old 09-10-2008, 05:38:46 PM
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Default Re: One EVIL little clinton engine ( I need some ideas )

sounds like ignition. My briggs was doing the same thing but now that it all apart. I think what you should do is replace coil condenser if it has one and plug did u do the points where they burned or pitted
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Old 09-10-2008, 05:57:19 PM
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Default Re: One EVIL little clinton engine ( I need some ideas )

Im thinking on a coil. Everyting else check fine. Seems to have real good spark just turning by hand but when running it's sputtery as the dickens even though the neon tester says it's firing. Im not so sure how acurate the neon tester are though. One thing i do know is that it doesnt jump the gap tester but the gap tester is for briggs. I dont know if that has anything to do with how it will spark but i think im gonna give the engine one more shot and buy a coil for it. If this doesnt do it im selling it. The hard starting is why im leaning towards a coil becouse as i said before, the valves are set right.

Last edited by Sky; 09-10-2008 at 06:04:36 PM.
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Old 09-10-2008, 06:23:31 PM
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Default Re: One EVIL little clinton engine ( I need some ideas )

You're on the right track, I do believe. One thing you might look at is the little "clamp" that holds the condencer down. It may not be grounding to the engine like it should. Before I bought a coil, I'd invest in a new set of points and condenser. It's cheaper, to start with. Usually, coils die when they get hot, and work find when they're cold. It might be the condenser itself. While you're at it, stick a new plug in. The extra coupla bucks is a safe gamble, especially if you have a Champion plug.
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Old 09-10-2008, 08:52:13 PM
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Default Re: One EVIL little clinton engine ( I need some ideas )

Sky,
Try this. Knock the spark plug gap back to about .020". See if it responds to this. Reducing the gap makes the coil not have to work as hard, especially if it's weak. It's an old trick to spot a funky coil. Another thing that crossed my mind; how good is the points spring? What kind is the mag? Phelan? Scintilla? If it's a Clinton mag with shuttle points, look no further. Those shuttle points kinda were a pain to begin with. Hope this helps, -Brian
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Old 09-10-2008, 10:41:35 PM
Don Naismith Don Naismith is offline
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Default Re: One EVIL little clinton engine ( I need some ideas )

Check the gas flow from the tank to the carb. Doesn't explain the hard starting though.
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Old 09-10-2008, 11:27:19 PM
makoman1860 makoman1860 is offline
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Default Re: One EVIL little clinton engine ( I need some ideas )

Hey All,
I had one of those engines as well a few years ago. The ignition was marginal when the engine was new, and sketchy at best as it got on in years. As I recall when looking at the coil seconday output with the scope, it was a slow rise coil with little spark energy, an aging condenser, dirty points and weak magnet only make it worse. Knocking down the spark gap could help as is reduces secondary voltage demand, also fitting a plug with an aux. gap can help since its a slow coil.
Now here is one other tidbit, setting the ignition timing...the clinton ignitions had a habit of opening the points right at the neutral flux position in flywheel rotation, or slightly before neutral, this seems to have be a manufacturing tolerance issuse. Most magneto degigns develop maximum spark energy with the points opening between 5 and 10 degrees AFTER the neutral position. This is common in aircraft magnetos ( or for you tractor guys ), thats why there is "internal" timing and "external" timing for a mag. Internal is point opening vs. magnet position, and external is point opening vs. crank angle.

-Aaron
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Old 09-10-2008, 11:45:00 PM
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Default Re: One EVIL little clinton engine ( I need some ideas )

Im not fermiliar with the name of the coil but its the coil with the 2 clips that hold it on the armature. The plug was set at .020 but i didnt think to variate the gap. The points look like the kind out of a tecumseh but diferent in mounting. Seems springy enough. Timing is pretty much fool proof on this one. the timing plate has no slots to move. It's pretty "fixed" As i said before the coil lights the neon tester but fails to jump that 3/8 gap with the briggs tester or what ever that gap is. sure looks like 3/8. Funny thing is it wont jump that gap in the tester but it will when you hold the wire 3/8 or a little less from the aluminum head.
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Old 09-10-2008, 11:52:37 PM
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Default Re: One EVIL little clinton engine ( I need some ideas )

come on sky u cant sell the engine so what it gives you a hard time you will figure it out eventualy i say keep it get it running show it whose smarter and whose the man
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:21:20 PM
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Default Re: One EVIL little clinton engine ( I need some ideas )

Some clinton engines had an issue where the mag side bearing/bushing would wear and cause the points to become inconsistant. If you have any play at all there I'd suggest trying an aftermarket electronic ignition module (one of those little things you just run the wires and use your old coil) and see if that fixes things. Yes, I know it's not original that way but is much easier than trying to redo the bearing/bushing.
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Old 09-11-2008, 03:04:30 PM
Sky
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Default Re: One EVIL little clinton engine ( I need some ideas )

well my green clinton doesnt have bearing problems fortunatly. Just the nutty coil i think. My black one has that bearing trouble though. Bearings and bushings isnt really a problem for me though. I can get one from bobs small engine repair or ebay or just make one. I've had to make alot of bushings and such so it's not a problem. Even though i see what your saying that the electronic ignition module probably would be easyer.
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Old 09-11-2008, 03:27:20 PM
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Default Re: One EVIL little clinton engine ( I need some ideas )

Well Sky, you and I have already traded ideas about why our Clintons won’t run right. I’ve tried everything on mine too- to no avail. I’m about ready to give mine a good bash with an Irish Shalaly and see if that will do it some good; I think I’ve tried nearly every thing else.

Last edited by Craig DeShong; 09-11-2008 at 08:26:21 PM.
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Old 09-11-2008, 04:12:46 PM
Sky
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Default Re: One EVIL little clinton engine ( I need some ideas )

I ohnestly dont know what to do besides take a shot at the coil. If this dont fix it i can ohnestly say that this will be the ONLY engine that has ever beat me simply becouse there is just NOTHING else to try or do
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Old 09-11-2008, 04:45:23 PM
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Default Re: One EVIL little clinton engine ( I need some ideas )

give it time that prob will rear its ugly head. And when it does grab the hammer and give it a good wack
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Old 09-11-2008, 11:13:31 PM
Bill Sherlock Bill Sherlock is offline
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Default Re: One EVIL little clinton engine ( I need some ideas )

Not saying this will be your problem but I once had a Clinton on an old rototiller that I picked up years ago. After cleaning all the old grundge off it and doing a few minor things, I tried starting it. Got one little pop and then nothing. After changing condenser, filing points, replacing magneto, nothing. Finally out of desperation took the points off and touched them gently to a grindstone, then replaced them and gapped them to spec. The engine started on the first pull then and every time afterwards as long as I owned it.

Bill
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Old 09-11-2008, 11:43:38 PM
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Default Re: One EVIL little clinton engine ( I need some ideas )

wow that sounds a bit extreme it didnt contanimate anything. I would say use a dremel first
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