April 30, 2015 at 4:10 am #47253
Hi again. Ok I posted here a couple weeks ago about my starter/spark issues on my leopard and it’s not going well. Here’s the latest – sent 2 power packs to Russell for repair. 1 came back external start only the other was marked fully functioning. Installed the fully functioning one kart started fine RIGHT UP UNTIL I UNLOADED ST THE TRACK. Now I have nothing again. Hit the button and not a thing happens.
Fully charged battery
Ground is good
2 starters with brushes that appear fine.
It’s starts with an external
What now? This sucks.
Anyone have any ideas?
April 30, 2015 at 4:42 am #47255Clark Gaynor Sr.Participant
OK, you’re going to really hate this, but go with the external starter and be done with it. We went through the same issues. Ours were always broken brushes or weak batteries. It’s a fine little 2 stroke motor, but the starter system just sucks!!!
We have two which we road race. A MY07 and a MY09 and they both would randomly go through the same problems. When we’re on the grid and the flag goes up, they MUST start! At this point all the starting components are in place, but the starters aren’t even plugged into the harness. And they really couldn’t care less how charged the battery is!
For $250 you can get a brand new Coleman with battery from any kart supply house or vendor, and it will start your Leopard EVERY time.
It’s just not worth the nonsense. Been there, done that!!! Like I said, great little motor, but I hate the starter!!!
April 30, 2015 at 5:23 am #47256Samir ShahParticipant
Hi Mark. I’ve been going through the starter system on my engine, and have kind of figured it out.
Is there any life at all when you push the button.
A) Check the voltage going to the starter, either at the plug, or at the screw/blade on top of the starter when you press the button.
If power is getting to the starter, and its not spinning – then the harness and switch are fine.
B) Take the starter out. See if you can spins it by hand.
If it does not spin by hand, then the bearing is broken, or a magnet has come out inside the starter and jammed it up. You need a new starter.
C) Next apply power directly to the starter from a battery – positive to blade, negative to body of starter.
Does the motor start and spin? If is does not, then you need new brushes. Or your armature is shot.
D) Going back to A). If no power is getting to the starter, then most likey you have an intermittent break in your harness somewhere. A pin or connector in a plug might be loose, corroded, etc. Inspect it all closely. Play with and twist connectors and wires to see if it comes alive.
A weak battery will still make noise from the starter, and a ping or single crank from the engine, but it wont catch as there is not enough power to spin the bendix enough.
If it pings, try hooking a car battery to the system with jumper cable. That will have enough cranking power. If the engine starts, then you have a weak battery with not enough current.
E) Take out the bendix gear reducer. Clean it in gas. Many times. Also clean out the space it lives in. DO NOT LUBE IT. Dry it with air. See if it spins. Oil can coagulate and jam it up, and prevent it from reaching the flywheel.
In my case, it was many things – broken magnet inside starter, broken brushes, AND a bad bendix. I’m now waiting for a replacement bendix.
Stator is for charging the battery, so not relevant here. Coil is for firing the spark, so not relevant here. Both these parts have nothing to do with spinning the engine for starting.
April 30, 2015 at 5:36 am #47257
I’m working on the external starter thing but my biggest issue is I’m by myself some of the time at track and it’s gonna be hard to use an external from the seat. It can be done though. I get it but I’m irritated that it has to be this dumb.
Samir– I’ll do the bench test of the starter it’s not gonna be any of the other things you. Mentioned. I’ve through this thing 17 ways to Sunday. I’ll post again later after I test starters
April 30, 2015 at 6:13 am #47258Ric mcDadeParticipant
Here is what I’ve found. Low voltage from a “fully charged” battery, will burn the starter relay out on your push button box. I always ck mine, and anything under 12, while seeming to be good, will zap my relay.
April 30, 2015 at 6:29 am #47263Stu HaynerParticipant
Welcome to “TAG”. Like Clark said, just use a Burris or Coleman external mini starter all the time. You’ll never have to worry again.
I’ve been going to the track by myself for many years and get my kart out / on the stand / on the ground / started every time / run all day / back in the truck – completely by myself if I have no help.
I’ve had every problem you’re describing over the years with the TAGs, but haven’t worried about it since I got a remote starter.
Our kart shop has new and used mini starters and builds a wheeled dolly kit for the mini starters to make starting yourself a breeze.
Email me at email@example.com or text me at 714 305-6123 and I’ll send you pictures.
April 30, 2015 at 6:50 am #47269
I totally get it about the external starter. I’ve already cut my bodywork for it BUT there’s no way I can hrt one for a few weeks so in the meantime I need to try and make this work. Even though it cost me very little to send in my boxes the fact that worked exactly 3 times in my garage and not at all when it mattered after waiting the 2 weeks is pretty irritating.
O and both starters bench tested fine.
April 30, 2015 at 6:57 am #47270
Ric. Brand new battery that came right off the charger everytime I tried it. I don’t think it had a chance to get low. I’ll check voltage though.
April 30, 2015 at 10:40 am #47286
Sometimes I think IAME hired a British electrical engineer whose prior experience was with Lucas (“the prince of darkness”)
External starter is your best option. Option 2 is bypass the box by running a + line direct from the battery to the starter, i.e., a jumper cable. If that works, splice a high-current switch into the line and mount it permanently.
Option 3 is trade your leopard in for a new motor (welcome to karting, where even cheap racing isn’t as cheap as you’d like).
April 30, 2015 at 10:55 am #47289
LOL not even a Lucas system sucked this bad
I’m working on the external ASAP
So would I connect the negative batt terminal to the starter as ground just like when bench tested them?
April 30, 2015 at 10:56 am #47290
If I thought I could unload both my 08’s for a good 09 I’d be all over it. Don’t see it happening though :-(
April 30, 2015 at 12:31 pm #47295
I’m assuming the starter is grounded through the chassis, but you could run a wire direct from the bat – terminal to a starter mounting bolt just to be sure. My main concern (never actually owned a push-button ignition version) is whether the primary wire to the coil still is energized now that part of your box is dead. The “external starter only” box might be the ticket.
I’m really loving my X125t and you could trade in with one 2008 and then sell your other 2008 to offset part of the cost, but the X125t might not be eligible where you are racing.
April 30, 2015 at 2:50 pm #47305
I had the exact same thought about the coil. The only way to know is to rig it up and try it. If I wasn’t trying to get in on the free practice weekend at my track I’d just wait a week or 2 until I had the external lol. I’m going either way but maybe I won’t have to bum a light from someone every session. :-)
No x125’s here at all I was trying to ride out the leopards until next year because I want to switch to an 80 shifter.
April 30, 2015 at 3:06 pm #47307
Since Russell sent back one box “external start only,” that means the coil can be energized even if the starter relay is fried (if that is the only thing fried). Since the box has no other “on” switch other than to engage the starter, the coil likely is energized all of the time (heck, why not?). This might be a reason why Leopards will drain a battery even when supposedly “off.”
April 30, 2015 at 3:17 pm #47308
That makes sense
September 21, 2015 at 10:38 am #54509
Yes and no I guess would be the answer to that. Boxes got sent to Russell the one that came back so called fixed is no more reliable than before I sent it in. It works when it wants to. I bought a brand new external starter. Problem solved :-)
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