Tool of the month

Tool of the month
Date:1 August 2010 Tags:

Simple spark plug tester

Your (insert internalcombustion- operated device here) won’t start. You’ve worn down the battery, pulled the starter rope, hand-propped or jumped on the kickstart until you’re blue in the face. Sure, you’ve got sophisticated electronic scan tools for diagnosing virtually anything wrong with your new OBDequipped automobile, but where do you plug that R3 000 scan tool into the dirt bike or snowmobile? The first thing to check for is spark. The time-honoured way is to pull a plug wire and use a spark tester or the spark plug itself to visualise a tiny 0,56 mm spark jumping a plug gap. Getting this wrong can make the spark jump to your arm, which, I assure you, really freakin’ hurts.

There’s a middle ground. Our pals at Graham Tool (grahamtool.com) sent us this simple-to-use spark tester. Just pull the high-voltage wire from the spark plug and put the tester in series with the plug and coil using the short high-voltage jumper cord. Crank the engine, and if there’s spark, the tester will flash. It works even on distributorless ignition systems.

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