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DLE-20 Won't Start After Trying Everything!

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DLE-20 Won't Start After Trying Everything!

Old 03-29-2020, 03:04 PM
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Cub Flyer Fresno
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Default DLE-20 Won't Start After Trying Everything!

HELP! This thing is driving me batty! I've had this engine for quite a while now. Then one day in a hover, the engine up and died on me. I bought a new plane and installed this same engine. But I can't get it running. I have had it running a couple times and the last time I got it tuned up really well. Now I only get pops out of it. Here is what I've done so far:

Replaced the spark plug. NGK CM6
Replaced the ignition.
Replaced the ignition pickup.
Cleaned the carb completely.
Replaced the carb and reed valve. Now has Walbro.
Removed the cylinder head and cleaned the carbon of the top of the piston and out of the top of the cylinder head.
Checked for instructions on the Jtec Wraparound Pitts muffler.
Replaced the clunk filter and fuel line.

Did I miss anything? Think that's it.
Old 03-29-2020, 03:31 PM
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Thats quite a list you have there. Does the engine have good compression? If you remove the plug and turn the engine over, do you hear and feel normal bypass action through the intake ports in the cylinder? When you flip it a while and it doesn't start, is the plug wet with gas or still dry? Are you sure the choke plate is closing fully and staying closed when you flip?
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Old 03-29-2020, 04:05 PM
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It has good compression. I removed the spark plug and it was... damp I guess you could say. Not enough to be flooded. The choke is working, it pulls fuel from the tank. As far as hearing "normal" intake sounds, I don't really hear anything there, just the sound emanating from the spark plug hole.
i haven't been able to see anything, but is it possible I have a crank case leak that would not allow enough pressure differential to operate the pump?
Old 03-29-2020, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Cub Flyer Fresno View Post
It has good compression. I removed the spark plug and it was... damp I guess you could say. Not enough to be flooded. The choke is working, it pulls fuel from the tank. As far as hearing "normal" intake sounds, I don't really hear anything there, just the sound emanating from the spark plug hole.
i haven't been able to see anything, but is it possible I have a crank case leak that would not allow enough pressure differential to operate the pump?
Was trying to establish if the engine mechanics are in good working order. If you have fuel, air, compression and a bypass action to move the fuel and air mix into the cylinder ..... and ignition at the right time the engine should at least fire and try to run a bit. Unless a case leak is major, the engine will still try to run though it may not run right. You may want to send it off to one of the companies that does DLE service.
Old 03-29-2020, 04:42 PM
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Easy stuff first. Battery Voltage. What have you done to confirm there is adequate voltage getting to the ignition module?
Old 03-30-2020, 06:57 AM
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Check that the ignition hall sensor is working, you can take it off and run a magnet by it and it should fire the plug. Common problem
Old 03-30-2020, 07:30 AM
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Apparently his engine has spark when rotated by hand, and does fire a few times occasionally... and he'd checked the magnets as well. All good comments though... and nothing is ruled out at this point, even though much of it's already been considered and checked.

I chatted with Cub Flyer over the phone a few times on it, and we are very perplexed, and he's very well versed on most everything of it... except the actual elusive problem of course.

One thing we didn't chat about, and a point that was mentioned here...(thanks Ahicks), is the actual voltage going to the ignition. That actually has only been ruled out via the obvious spark when rotating the engine. Cub Flyer did totally replace the ignition, but I didn't question, nor did he say if/how/what anything about the IBEC that delivers power to the ign box. Now I'm wondering and thinking that IBEC(or whatever powers the ign) should be checked, and/or swapped... because even if it creates a spark with engine rotation, might not mean it's consistent when it's loaded up for starting or running.

That's a great tip right there... although Cub Flyer just might have checked that IBEC already. I might even go as far as say reassign the ignition, and put the ignition power on a different channel in that receiver. That's if the receiver is the source of power. Many of us run the TechAero, or SmartFly devices, and I never thought to ask what CubFlyer powers the igntion with.

Cub Flyer is a sharp guy, and even with that has reached out for some input, but we're all scratching our heads on this one... and I think we'll learn something in the end too.
Old 03-30-2020, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by DGrant View Post
Apparently his engine has spark when rotated by hand, and does fire a few times occasionally... and he'd checked the magnets as well. All good comments though... and nothing is ruled out at this point, even though much of it's already been considered and checked.

I chatted with Cub Flyer over the phone a few times on it, and we are very perplexed, and he's very well versed on most everything of it... except the actual elusive problem of course.

One thing we didn't chat about, and a point that was mentioned here...(thanks Ahicks), is the actual voltage going to the ignition. That actually has only been ruled out via the obvious spark when rotating the engine. Cub Flyer did totally replace the ignition, but I didn't question, nor did he say if/how/what anything about the IBEC that delivers power to the ign box. Now I'm wondering and thinking that IBEC(or whatever powers the ign) should be checked, and/or swapped... because even if it creates a spark with engine rotation, might not mean it's consistent when it's loaded up for starting or running.

That's a great tip right there... although Cub Flyer just might have checked that IBEC already. I might even go as far as say reassign the ignition, and put the ignition power on a different channel in that receiver. That's if the receiver is the source of power. Many of us run the TechAero, or SmartFly devices, and I never thought to ask what CubFlyer powers the igntion with.

Cub Flyer is a sharp guy, and even with that has reached out for some input, but we're all scratching our heads on this one... and I think we'll learn something in the end too.
Thanks DGrant! But, as you probably can guess, I bypassed the IBEC, or in this case DLE Engines Opto Gas Engine Kill Switch V2.0, and went directly to the ignition with a charged 2 cell LiFe battery. No difference. But, since everything else has been changed, I might try it again just for the heck of it.

NOT GIVING UP! Yet...
Old 03-30-2020, 03:42 PM
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Even the best of us run out of ideas. That's why I love this place and others like it. Very often, when you THINK you've covered all the bases, SOMEBODY comes up with an idea that triggers the thought that FIXES the damn thing! Often, it doesn't take much....
Old 03-30-2020, 06:07 PM
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Okay ahicks, give me that little bit. PLEASE!

So, it was an interesting day. One of my local flying buddies and my personal auto mechanic, came over to help. This guy can do just about anything, from fixing a model airplane engine to repair old radios ,TV's, you name it! The first thing he wanted to check (this time) was the compression. Eyeing my Ultimate that has an identical DLE-20 that hasn't been run in a really long time, he said "Get that one down and let's run it." So after fueling and messing with it for a while to get the fuel flowing, it took just a few flips and the thing ran like a top! Noticing that it does have more compression, his idea was switching the cylinder head and piston over to the non-running DLE-20. We did, fueled it back up and.... IT DIDN'T RUN! Not right away that is. And this is where it gets interesting. He gave up, leaned against my trailer, and just stared at the thing. I, not willing to give up, decided to try again. Choke on, flip a few times util it starts to pop (which it was doing before), choke off, first flip tries to run... then second or third flip she started up! Not having the plane tethered and just sitting on the table top without wings on, I was taken by surprise! Here I am trying to hold the front end with my left hand and then reaching under my left arm with my right hand to grab the transmitter before it fell onto the ground, and my buddy just leaning against the trailer with a dumbfounded look on his face. After I yelled help, he came over to hold it. Now it's at half throttle, so I advanced towards about 3/4 throttle, when it started to die out. I brought it back to half and he opened up the high speed needle a bit. I advanced the throttle slowly and then the engine just died! A few flips and NOTHING!!!

So now we checked the voltage on the ignition battery. 6.53 volts. In my thinking that should be enough. But I am charging it tonight and we'll try again tomorrow. Maybe we should switch out the new ignition for the one in the Ultimate?

Thoughts, ideas?
Old 03-30-2020, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by DGrant View Post
Apparently his engine has spark when rotated by hand, and does fire a few times occasionally... and he'd checked the magnets as well. All good comments though... and nothing is ruled out at this point, even though much of it's already been considered and checked.

I chatted with Cub Flyer over the phone a few times on it, and we are very perplexed, and he's very well versed on most everything of it... except the actual elusive problem of course.

One thing we didn't chat about, and a point that was mentioned here...(thanks Ahicks), is the actual voltage going to the ignition. That actually has only been ruled out via the obvious spark when rotating the engine. Cub Flyer did totally replace the ignition, but I didn't question, nor did he say if/how/what anything about the IBEC that delivers power to the ign box. Now I'm wondering and thinking that IBEC(or whatever powers the ign) should be checked, and/or swapped... because even if it creates a spark with engine rotation, might not mean it's consistent when it's loaded up for starting or running.

That's a great tip right there... although Cub Flyer just might have checked that IBEC already. I might even go as far as say reassign the ignition, and put the ignition power on a different channel in that receiver. That's if the receiver is the source of power. Many of us run the TechAero, or SmartFly devices, and I never thought to ask what CubFlyer powers the igntion with.

Cub Flyer is a sharp guy, and even with that has reached out for some input, but we're all scratching our heads on this one... and I think we'll learn something in the end too.
Sounds like a classic example of if we were all together and had the engine in front of us, we'd probably spot the problem right off. But online, its much more difficult because we can't see, feel and touch to detect a problem. I may differ from some in my approach to a problem like this because I start with the core engine first and determine it's mechanical condition. If good, from there I determine if each external component is in good functioning condition. Sometimes that means substituting known good components to eliminate or confirm the original component as being a problem or not. I try to avoid just throwing new parts at an engine.
Old 03-30-2020, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Truckracer View Post
Sounds like a classic example of if we were all together and had the engine in front of us, we'd probably spot the problem right off. But online, its much more difficult because we can't see, feel and touch to detect a problem. I may differ from some in my approach to a problem like this because I start with the core engine first and determine it's mechanical condition. If good, from there I determine if each external component is in good functioning condition. Sometimes that means substituting known good components to eliminate or confirm the original component as being a problem or not. I try to avoid just throwing new parts at an engine.
Me too, Truckracer. The ignition was free, brand new. It was purchased by another local flyer, given to my mechanic buddy who then gave it to me. We both agreed it must be the carb, so I bought that and the reed valve, just in case.

So, I'll keep at it. Or I should say we! Mainly my mechanic buddy who's coming over again tomorrow. Really great guy!
Old 03-31-2020, 05:08 AM
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In the spirit of providing some ideas-
Regarding the battery, SO many times the voltage will read fine, until it gets a load on it. It's needs to be measured with a load on it, or better yet, swapped for a known good battery. Low batteries will generally run in "limp" mode if the engine is running when they go low. This limp mode is most often diagnosed as a carb issue - because that's just what it acts like. It will run at low throttle settings, but then start acting up at higher rpm/throttle settings.

Reed valves are rarely ever an issue, unless they are the issue. Problems/symptoms will be low compression and hard starting...... If they start easily, there's nothing wrong with the reed valves.
On inspection, if there is an issue, it will nearly always be obvious. Hanging slightly open is typical and NOT an issue. Cracked, chipped, pieces missing and a piece of crap lodged under one of them holding it open (yes that happens!) are the most common issues, IF there is a reed valve issue.

Most often, an engine with low compression will start OK when using an electric starter, but engines that are lean on the low speed can be a nightmare to start too, but then run fine. A hair richer on the low can make a huge difference in how easily the engine starts.

My carb issues, if there were a most common one, are nearly always traced directly to that clear build up that the internal screens seem to collect - like metal to a magnet - only this clear crap is near invisible until you remove that screen. From there it's a feed issue. Stubborn ones generally get an entire new/different system from carb to clunk.

Hopefully, something there will jog your brain.... -Al



Old 03-31-2020, 09:07 AM
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Thanks Al. All good info and things to keep in non-volatile memory... if which I seem to be running low on.

So here is what's happening today. My buddy is coming back over and we'll tackle this again. But I already got a jump on things, with the same results. I charged the battery completely last night, and tried to start it this morning. Every time is the same, choke, flip until it pops plus a couple for good measure, un-choke and flip until it tries to start and then won't even pop anymore. Then repeat those steps with exactly the same result.

I'm waiting till my buddy gets here to go any further. I'll keep you posted.
Old 03-31-2020, 07:35 PM
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In my somewhat reverse order of doing things, given two engines and a situation like this I think I'd be trying some of the components from your bad engine on the engine that does run. For example, restore the running engine to normal configuration then run it to confirm it is still normal. Then one by one, try components from the bad engine. For example, start with the ignition. Does the good engine still run on the questionable ignition? If so .... that component is confirmed good. Then move on to ignition sensor .... confirm good or reject depending on results. Move on to the carb and reed assembly one at a time ..... confirm good or reject as bad ..... and so on, and so on. Have you ever confirmed timing with a degree wheel? Have you confirmed the magnet in the prop hub is still a magnet? Have you confirmed the key between the prop hub and crankshaft is not sheared? You may get down to the point that everything works but an engine assembly that includes just the crankcase and crankshaft. I think you get the picture. Confirm one by one that components are good or bad. If I had known you have a good engine sitting there, I would have made different suggestions from the start.
Old 03-31-2020, 09:47 PM
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That's a great way to go Truckracer. Very good information. Reverse trouble-shooting, using a known good engine, and swapping things one at a time. Very nice and makes all the sense.

It sounds too easy, but yeah... good input right there man.
Old 04-02-2020, 08:40 AM
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So I didn't get much done yesterday. I just reconfigured my tank setup to a two-line. I like that better just because, with the filters I use, I can suck out almost every last drop.

And I also agree Truckracer, that does make sense. I would however have to do extra disassembly of my Ultimate to get everything out, and I wanted to avoid that. I could also just say screw it, and use the Ultimate's engine. But this has now become a quest to conquer this bad boy! I am learning a LOT!!!

Not sure how much more I'll get done this weekend, I have other things to attend to before my vacation is over.

Thanks all!!! I'll keep you posted!
Old 04-02-2020, 05:49 PM
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PERSISTENCE PAYS OFF!
Wow, that kicked my butt! So this whole time I've been working on the engine while it was on the plane. I finally took everything off and mounted it to my stand so I could see fuel flow, any leaks that might be present, etc.. Tried to start it. Same exact thing!!! This time I decided to investigate the ignition in a more controlled environment, in the laundry room where I could darken the room and also hear better without all the bird chatter, lawn mowers, and all the other cacophonous clattering everywhere! Well I'll be a son-of-a-gun if it wasn't firing every time! It would fire the first two or three times, but that's it! I tried my other pick-up with the same results.

So, now what? Has the magnet lost its magnetism that much? Just judging by the feel, I can put my screwdriver on the magnets and I can't tell any difference. Where do I go from here?
Old 04-02-2020, 06:51 PM
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If you have the A-02 version of the ignition, it will only fire if the prop is turned at a brisk speed. It may however fire a time or two at low speeds soon after the ignition is turned on. You may want to check to see if this is the case. The older A-01 version will spark at any prop speed. Both versions of the ignition require a brisk prop flip to retard the spark for starting.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned here is the plug cap. If these caps have every touched the ground like in a bad landing, the internal insulation can be damaged causing the spark to short out inside the cap .... never getting to the plug electrodes. Any ground contact or visible damage usually requires a cap replacement ..... about $10 or less. This can drive guys nuts causing an engine not to run.
Old 04-03-2020, 03:55 AM
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I agree on the potential damaged boot scenario. Until you learn about it, that will have you chasing your tail for sure! Here though, I discounted that theory after reading that he had replaced the ignition - but that was assuming the replacement was in good shape.....
Old 04-03-2020, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by ahicks View Post
I agree on the potential damaged boot scenario. Until you learn about it, that will have you chasing your tail for sure! Here though, I discounted that theory after reading that he had replaced the ignition - but that was assuming the replacement was in good shape.....
Those were exactly my thoughts also. We assumed new ignition in working condition but we donít know for sure until it is confirmed good.
Old 04-03-2020, 07:21 AM
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You can check the magnet by taking off the sensor and running a magnet over the sensor. It should fire the plug, try both north and south poles of the magnet since some sense one pole or the other. If the plug doesn't fire it could be the sensor or a frayed wire on the sensor. I had an electronic ignition module give me the same symptoms and it turned out that the wire to the sensor was broken inside the shrink tubing and was making contact now and then.
Larry
Old 04-03-2020, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Truckracer View Post
If you have the A-02 version of the ignition, it will only fire if the prop is turned at a brisk speed. It may however fire a time or two at low speeds soon after the ignition is turned on. You may want to check to see if this is the case. The older A-01 version will spark at any prop speed. Both versions of the ignition require a brisk prop flip to retard the spark for starting.

...........................
Thanks Truckracer, this sounds most likely and I will check that out today. Instead of just flipping by hand, I'll use my starter. Being that this is (or is supposed to be) a brand new ignition, then I would assume it the A-02 version.
Old 04-03-2020, 12:20 PM
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Oh! I almost forgot: If it is the ignition that's at fault, would an Evolution 20gx ignition work for a DLE 20? One of the guys at our club has a couple.

Thanks!
Old 04-03-2020, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Cub Flyer Fresno View Post
Thanks Truckracer, this sounds most likely and I will check that out today. Instead of just flipping by hand, I'll use my starter. Being that this is (or is supposed to be) a brand new ignition, then I would assume it the A-02 version.
Well, son-of-a... !!! It is the A-02 version and, when spinning with a starter, ignites every time! DANG! Thought I had it. Back to square one.

So, let's talk about timing. How can I make sure I have it set right?

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