What Gives with Spark Plugs?: Tools - Gas Power Tools  -- Tools Discussion Forum and Review What Gives with Spark Plugs?: Tools - Gas Power Tools -- Tools Discussion Forum

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 07-18-2008, 17:16 Post: 155394
auerbach



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 What Gives with Spark Plugs?

My 2-cycle whatever won't start, so finally I pull the plug. I clean it thoroughly (brass wire brush, emory paper, rags, compressed air) and inspect it to ensure there's no oil on it, the gap is correct, and both electrodes are unworn. Re-install. Still won't even burp.

Install a new plug, and it starts right up! So what could have been wrong with the old plug? It sure looked like new, but there must have been an electrical fault. Was there some way I could have tested for that?






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 07-18-2008, 18:33 Post: 155396
kwschumm



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 What Gives with Spark Plugs?

You could probably measure the resistance from the center electrode to the top where the plug wire connects. If the new and old measure significantly different the plug would have an open, but that has to be a very unusual problem. I've heard that if the ceramic insulator around the center electrode has hairline cracks it will allow current to bleed away from the center electrode weakening the spark.






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 07-18-2008, 18:38 Post: 155397
harvey



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 What Gives with Spark Plugs?

Even the best cleaning (unless you have a old sand blaster pot) will leave a film that will short to ground.

Use a ohm meter and check for ground short. Typically much simpler to start with a new plug.






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 07-18-2008, 22:36 Post: 155399
earthwrks

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 What Gives with Spark Plugs?

If you consider the task the plug has to handle, not to mention heat and vibration especially on a 2-stroke, they are pretty reliable all things considered.

I had a 2-stroke, 2-cylinder Yamaha Banshee quad set up for racing. It revved somewhere around 8000-10,000 RPM if memory serves. Twice I had plugs that the insulator broke but didn't separate from the metal base--craziest thing to look at: at idle you see the insulator popping up and down like a valve. The popping noise is what drew me to it.






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 07-18-2008, 23:33 Post: 155401
candoarms



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 What Gives with Spark Plugs?

Auerbach,

I'm guessing that your old spark-plug had a hairline crack in the ceramic insulator.

This is a pretty common problem on portable equipment, such as chainsaws, weed trimmers, or any other hand-held equipment.

The insulator can easily be cracked when the tool is kicked, dropped, bumped against something, etc......which happens quite frequently.

A hair-line crack in the insulator would allow the spark to go straight to the engine block.....or ground. Electricity always takes the path of least resistance.

I carry a spare spark-plug in my chainsaw's toolbox, because I've cracked more than one, and it always happens when I'm furthest from home.

Joel






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 07-19-2008, 07:15 Post: 155403
hardwood

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 What Gives with Spark Plugs?

Spark plugs are kind of am amazing thing in that they now go almost forever in a car or pickup without replacement. last time I replaced plugs was in a Venture van with about a hundred thousand miles. Back before EW was born the gas stations used to have samdblasters that cleaned plugs, one of those would probably be an antique now. Frank.






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