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Clinton engine on walk behind rototiller sputters under load


 
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Larry Bush
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 5:47 pm    Post subject: Clinton engine on walk behind rototiller sputters under load Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I've had this rototiller for 54 years, that I remember, and it always was difficult to start. However, I have mastered that finally, but for the last couple of years, it only runs well at a little more than idle. When you open it up with the tiller in gear, it pops and sputters. This has a Clinton engine, with no indication of HP or model ID. I've cleaned the carb, drained the fuel tank to look for debris, gapped the plug to different degrees (it seems to start and idle well when the plug is set about .020), a larger gap makes it much harder to start, and still does not run well then. Does anyone know what the gap should be on this small 4 stroke engine? This spring, it ran perfect (after sitting all winter and using old gas) for about an hour. Same thing last year when I first ran it. I have no book on it, and don't know anything about small engines. Are there points somewhere? A coil?
 
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T.R.K.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Clinton engine on walk behind rototiller sputters und... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Larry,
If your tiller is 54 years old, it has points.

I am thinking you should be able to run much more plug gap. Like .30 or so. You may need to install new points if you can find them. (I don't know a source for Clinton parts.) Also your magneto coil may be on its last legs, since it sounds like it gives the most trouble after it runs for an hour.
 
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Larry Bush
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Clinton engine on walk behind rototiller sputters und... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Thanks for the quick reply, would the points be under the rope starter cover?
 
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Dannie 1
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:29 am    Post subject: Re: Clinton engine on walk behind rototiller sputters und... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Points are behind flywheel.Thay are set at .20.Some of the old Tec. points are the same.You may be able to clean and file ,the old points,even after 54 years.You may have a seal bad letting an oil film get on the points.Been a long time since I repaired one.Good Luck
 
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Larry Bush
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:27 am    Post subject: Re: Clinton engine on walk behind rototiller sputters und... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Thanks Dannie, I'll take a look. As long as I've had it I remember getting it tuned up about 18 or 19 years ago, after ACE tuned it, I didn't need it till the next spring and by then I couldn't get it started, so it sat for many years. At least since then, the points have never been touched. It sat until 2 years ago when I took the carb apart, and reconditioned the rest of it (new gas, oil, greased). When I got done, it ran perfect, roto-tilled with good power, and after about 5 hours of use that spring it started the present problem. Now doing that same thing and cleaning the gas tank didn't fix it. So, I bet the points are corroded. I know big engines, but never took apart a small one nor had any interest. This will be interesting.
 
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Trailer Trash Tractors
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Clinton engine on walk behind rototiller sputters und... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Tulsa Engine Warehouse has some Clinton parts.
Replace the Condenser, try local NAPA Auto Parts. I agree the coil could be bad, fails hot.
Points can be cleaned / filed, condensers require replacement.
Tulsa 1 800 501 - 8061
 
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hlc
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:19 am    Post subject: Re: Clinton engine on walk behind rototiller sputters und... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I know it is rare but I have seen even a new spark plug that would cause problems after warm up.
 
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John Van Valkenburgh
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Clinton engine on walk behind rototiller sputters und... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Larry,

Remove the engine cover and you will see the flywheel (under the rope starter). Remove the flywheel and you should see the housing which contains the points.

Something to try... Run the old girl hard till she starts acting up then quickly shut it down, remove the spark plug and check for spark. You should have a nice blue spark at the plug. Yellow spark indicates weak ignition system or badly fouled spark plug. First likely suspect in the ignition system is the condenser. Then check the points for cleanness and gap. Check the wire running to the points for broken insulation. Finally check the magneto to see that it's in good shape and is relatively close to the flywheel. Flywheel should show good magnetism. The flywheel magnet should pretty much want to grab a screwdriver and not let go.

The power produced by passing the flywheel magnet through the magneto frame is what creates your spark. The more magnetism the better the spark. Magnetos have a large coil of very small gauge wire wound around them The insulation on this wire (usually shellac) can break down due to vibration and old age causing partial shorts. A partial short in the magneto means less wire to induce a current into from the magnetic field.

Finally the points are used to ground the magneto coil and open at just the right time to produce the spark at the proper moment. When the points open the magnetic flux around the coil wire is lost and is picked up (induced) into the coil for the spark plug. The coil for the spark plug has many more turns than the pickup coil and so it multiplies the voltage many times over (not much current but a real high voltage). The high voltage breaks down or ionizes the air between the spark plug gap and allows the spark to jump.

Probably more than you wanted to know...

John
 
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Larry Bush
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Clinton engine on walk behind rototiller sputters und... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Thanks for this info, actually, this is the type of info I like, lots of detail, and I'll put it to good use.
Larry
 
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