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How To Check You Spark Plug's Spark
Generally, if you canít get a lawn mower to start, the first thing you do is check the plug for a spark. But when you pull the cord to start the mower, even if thereís a spark you canít always see it from where youíre standing.
  Rod Mattison came up with an easy way to check the spark using a short length of electrical cord with a plug at one end and 2 alligator clips at the other.
  ďI cut the cord off an old lamp about 10 in. up from the plug end, separated the 2 wires in the cord, and attached an alligator clip to each one. I remove the spark plug from the mower and attach one of the clips to the spark plug and the other clip to the mowerís handle to serve as a ground. I squeeze the prongs on the plug together about as wide as the gap in the spark plug. When I pull the cord the spark jumps between the prongs and is clearly visible or I can hear it snap. It works a lot better than taking the wire off the spark plug and trying to get close to the plug.
  ďIíve used this idea for years and it works. Itíll work on any engine with a spark including the engines on bigger tractors. But the toolís real niche is its use on small engines, push mowers and riding mowers. As long as the coil is working youíll get a spark every time the distributor lines up with the spark plug wire.Ē
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Rod Mattison, 134 Schell Rd., Berne, N.Y. 12023 (ph 518 872-1200; mattison.millie@yahoo.com).

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2011 - Volume #35, Issue #6