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Thanks Smitty. Got a big disappointment this weekend. She wouldn’t start. Been running great. Last 2 starts were difficult but ran great after start. This weekend it wouldn’t start. It’s getting fuel. Got a fully charged battery and changed plugs. I read about ignition modules so tried the heat and cold. Neither worked. Do y’all have any suggestions?

 Thanks 

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That's a big let down Kevin, sorry to hear this. I've been there and done that as well back in 2013 if I remember correctly. Can you post a picture of your ignition modules for me? Please don't keep trying to start it as you'll wreck the sprag and your wallet wont forgive you. But if you need ignition modules your wallet still isn't gonna forgive you, sorry. Post a pic or two when you can please.

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On 11/11/2022 at 6:34 PM, Brudy said:

 

Shawn you may have missed your calling of installing avionics for a living, plus you love it.

Smitty 

 

Thanks Smitty, I really do enjoy the avionics side of aviation. It's oddly satisfying. :D

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Perfect, thanks. The engine is a 2009 so it's possible that they finally went belly up. You can remove them and send them to Lockwood for a test. This is probably the easiest part. I was fortunate enough to be sharing a hangar at the time mine went bad with another LSA owner and he let our mechanic remove his known good modules and install them in my plane for a test. My plane started right up so I knew mine were bad. Actually one was bad but you replace both with the newest ones with soft start.

The part number on my new modules is 965-444 and I believe the latest ones are 965-446 but you can verify this with LEAF or Lockwood.

When you install the new ones with the soft start feature, if this is indeed the issue, you'll need to add wires to the connectors/harness in the plane and run that wire over to the start solenoid. It's all outlined in the instructions and I can share a copy with you if needed.

Here's a pic of my new modules with Thermax temp strips installed. Anything over 170° will kill these modules.

 

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Thank you for your help Shawn. From the stuff I have read, it says the yellow stripe indicates they are soft start. They have 6 pin connectors. If needed, are the new ones gonna be plug and play or will they need some kind of mods? Also everyone seems to say that the heat and cold “jumps” them to life, if they are going bad. Seems crazy to me but I keep reading that. Do they go bad where the heat and cold don’t do the kickoff for them?

 Thanks 

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What's odd is that the Rotax part number on the side of the module is correct but the year of the engine and the year of the plane both came before Rotax ever released their soft start ignition modules. If I remember correctly they released the new ignition modules in 2010 or 2011. Is there a log entry for any repair or replacement of the ignition modules? Are there 6 wires in the Molex style plug on the aircraft side?  This will tell you if there are any modifications needed with new modules. Is one of them violet? When the plane did start did you confirm the soft start working when the engine started?

I've never tried the hot/cold method to get the plane to start so I cant answer that question.

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It has 6 pin connectors on both sides. I’ll check the logbook to see what I can find. I’m not sure how to tell the difference when it started. I just shipped them to Lockwood for testing. Thank you very much for the info.

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The black wires coming out of the connectors in the photo with the blue zip tie are the wires that were added and should run to the start solenoid. This is what activates the advanced start feature. After the engine starts, approximately 4-8 seconds later the rpm should increase slightly and the engine smooths out. This is the soft start feature working.

I've personally never heard of the new modules going bad but there's a first time for everything.

Maybe our resident Rotax guru Roger has some insight. 

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I’ve heard that yellow stripe indicated as well, but my modules (upgraded) on my 2008 are not yellow. There is a noticeable increase in revs (+1800 rpm’s) a few seconds after engine start, without touching the throttle.

Kevin, where are you in Eastern NC? I’m live in Wilmington & my SC is based at ACZ.  Now there are 5 SportCruiser’s around Eastern NC, the others I know of are: a Blue/White SC based at ILM, a Red/White SC based at 60J, and another Red/White SC based at MYR.

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Welcome Kevin.  I don't post much, but I follow this forum closely and it is an invaluable source of information.  Purchased my 2010 Pipersport almost two years ago and have zero regrets.  Has been a terrific first airplane for this newbie pilot.  

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5 hours ago, Kevin said:

Thanks uropilot. I agree. This site seems to have great folks that are willing to help out and share their experience. This is also my first plane. Really enjoy it, as soon as I get it cranked again!

Did you happen to brainstorm with the techs at Lockwood about your issue? I chat with Dean from time to time and he's forgotten more than I've learned about the 912. :D A wealth of knowledge just a phone call away.

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I can’t remember the guys name but I told him what it was doing and asked about testing the modules. He said to fill the form out and send them so that’s where I’m at. I’ll let you know what I find out from the test. 

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5 hours ago, Kevin said:

I can’t remember the guys name but I told him what it was doing and asked about testing the modules. He said to fill the form out and send them so that’s where I’m at. I’ll let you know what I find out from the test. 

Great, thank Kevin. Fingers crossed that's all it is. Wont be cheap but it's a simple fix for sure.

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Hey Shawn. Joe from Lockwood called this afternoon. I didn’t get the call till after work and they were closed then. He left a message and said one of my modules tested bad. I’ll call him back Monday. I would think if only one tested bad it should have started with the other. 

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35 minutes ago, Kevin said:

Hey Shawn. Joe from Lockwood called this afternoon. I didn’t get the call till after work and they were closed then. He left a message and said one of my modules tested bad. I’ll call him back Monday. I would think if only one tested bad it should have started with the other. 

That's what happened to mine, one tested bad. I of course replaced both as mine were 2007 modules without the advanced "soft start" feature. I don't know of anyone who has been able to get the engine started with one ignition module. I've heard it can be done but don't know anyone who has been successful at it. You'd need a very strong battery to turn the engine over fast enough to get any spark.

This is the first time I've heard of the new modules going bad. Yours are over 13 years old so maybe this is the life span of these modules. They do take a lot of vibration and heat in the location they are mounted. Consider adding a Thermax heat strip to them like I did to monitor their temps. 

Back to your heat/cool attempt to get it started. I'm not sure how long you tried the ice or heat on your modules but you have to apply either for about 10-15 minutes as all the components inside are fully potted and it takes a while for the heat or cold to reach the board and components. Maybe you gave up too soon. Either way the riddle has been solved.

Be sure you're sitting down when Lockwood calls with the total of the bill for new modules. :o I was lucky enough to find the "2 for 1 special" deal when Rotax was offering this when they first came out with these soft start modules. I had to order from the UK as they were sold out in the US but it was worth the wait. There are aftermarket versions out there but I wanted piece of mind with the OEM Rotax ones.

You'll be back in the air in no time.

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Thanks Shawn. I was wondering about the only 1 testing bad. Everything I’ve read says that when one goes bad you never know it until the other goes bad, then it fails to start. From what you are saying maybe this is my only problem. Thank you for your help. I’ll keep you up with what happens 

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Hey Shawn. Thank you very much for all your help. While I’m waiting on my modules, I’ve got another question for you. When I first got my plane the strobe light quit. I have fixed it. It was a problem in the Triple magnum box. While I was checking voltage I saw that the autopilot switch has no wires on the bottom. The autopilot works, with the switch in either position. I’m wondering if that might have gotten changed when the G5s were installed? And if it should be ok like that. I’m attaching a pic of the back of the switch. It’s the one on the left with only the 2 white stripe wires on top. Again, I really appreciate your helpD971D191-D165-4391-974F-82EB6A61E37F.thumb.jpeg.3ab45ec26a725c9d51d8eb6e11cd8a01.jpeg

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I see the switch and the two wires on it are for the light in the switch. It the AP works all the time then the GMC305 and servos could be wired through a circuit breaker only and they are powered up when the master is turned on. I see the additional aux circuit breaker panel under the copilot panel, are those new breakers for the G5's, GMC305 and other items? There are also two breakers in the panel also not labeled, what are those? This is a test. :D

As long as you can pull the breakers and power down the servos and the GNC305 it's safe enough. This is not how I would have wired it but it must work. To be safe in the event of an electrical fire or short you should be able to power down all components by pulling breakers or shutting off switches. If you can do this I'd feel better. Of course, as long as you have the smoothing cap installed on the voltage rectifier, you can simply shut off the master and power EVERYTHING down and still fly the plane. As long as you don't turn the key off (or run out of fuel :o) the engine will stay running no matter what.

That said, I would have wired the power for the AP breakers (GMC305 and servos) through that switch so you can power off the AP if it's not needed. Especially when doing tests or service on the ground with the master on you don't need the AP powered up. Make sense? 

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Yea. I understand. I’ll check it out a little more when I make it back to my plane. Start tripping breakers and see what’s what. It’s really got a bird nest back there! I think there is some stuff in there that’s not wired in anymore. Someday I’d like to clean that mess up. 

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48 minutes ago, Kevin said:

Yea. I understand. I’ll check it out a little more when I make it back to my plane. Start tripping breakers and see what’s what. It’s really got a bird nest back there! I think there is some stuff in there that’s not wired in anymore. Someday I’d like to clean that mess up. 

Definitely turn everything on and pull the unmarked breakers and see what they control and label them. You'd need to know in case of an emergency. 

When we design your new panel you can clean up the "birds nest" and remove unused dead weight. :D

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