Golf Course Management

OCT 2013

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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THE INSIDER: shop Scott R. Nesbitt Try improving engine performance with different brands of spark plugs or with an anti-fouling adapter. Photo by Scott Nesbitt NEWS & notes Try cross-brand test for spark plugs Spark plugs are easy to praise or blame. We replace them as part of winter storage, routine Richard Furtado Emerson Bearing Boston, a bearing company catering to original equipment manufacturers and maintenance, repair and operations markets, has recently launched a golf division to specifically cater to the bearing needs of golf courses and facilities using golf cars throughout the United States. Emerson says it created the new division to meet increased demand and significant growth in the golf market over the past two years. Richard Furtado has been appointed to lead the division, and he will assist clients in determining which bearing technologies would be most suitable for their specific equipment needs. Also, as part of its customer care program, Emerson provides a "Bearing Failure Analysis" service, which helps clients determine the cause of bearing failure so that they may prevent future failure and predict reliability. This program may be accessed within the Technical Toolbox on the Emerson website, www.emersonbearing.com. 34 GCM October 2013 maintenance or in hopes of a quick fx for a balky engine. Engine and equipment makers specify plugs tal gauge to check the spark coil output and the for new machines, but what about fve or 10 years condition of the ignition wires from coil to plug. down the road? It often comes down to fndShould you decide to try a different plug heat ing the right "heat range," and that's an inexact range, I suggest frst trying a different brand. science. Stick with the plug specifed by the engine maker. Experience heat range frsthand: Pour hot The photo shows the results of brand-swapping coffee into a thick-walled ceramic mug and into in a 9-year-old 21-hp Briggs Intek twin-cylinder. a thin-walled cup. The mug will be cooler to the At left is an NGK that performed best. Next touch because it takes longer for heat to trans- is the Champion plug from the original equipfer through the thick wall and into your hand. ment that was just a bit worse. Third is a Bosch Likewise, the thickness and shape of the ceramic twin-ground that ran well, but had some probinsulator inside the plug body determines how lems with cold starts. Last is an Autolite Iridium quickly heat transfers away from the plug's metal that simply didn't get the higher-voltage spark it needed. If that plug's black coating was from oil center electrode. In most engines, the electrode tip operates burning, the solution would not be a higher heat between 500 C (932 F) and 800 C (1,472 F). A range, but a "non-fouler" as seen at the bottom plug tip above 850 C (1,562 F) can prematurely of the photo. If my cross-brand test didn't make the engine ignite the incoming fuel charge. Below 450 C (842 F) the plug tip tends to load up with depos- run better, I'd have tried hotter or colder plugs its from unburned fuel, causing engine misfre. within a single brand. Autolite, Bosch and ChamPull the old plug and look for a medium-tan pion use higher numbers for hotter plugs, while to slightly off-white ceramic around the center Denso and NGK use higher numbers for colder electrode. Black deposits can indicate a plug is plugs. With most brands, jumping one number too cold, while an ultra-white color means the means a tip temperature change of roughly 70 to plug's too hot. Before blaming the plug, check 100 degrees C (about 150 to 200 degrees F). Be other factors that can alter the plug's operating careful that you don't jump to a hotter plug that temperature. These include ignition timing, puts you into the danger zone above 850 C. cleanliness (or not) of the air flter, altitude and GCM temperature of the incoming air, fuel quality and carburetor adjustment, cooling system condition, and internal wear of the piston rings and/or Scott R. Nesbitt (ORPguy@windstream.net) is a free-lance writer valves. Use a variable-gap ignition tester or a digi- and former GCSAA staff member. He lives in Cleveland, Ga.

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