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I have a 2006 Mule 3000 KAF620G with 1600 hours used on the ranch and completely OE Stock. While idling I could smell smoke and immediately disconnected the battery. I towed it into my shop and found out the goo (insulation inside of the sealed unit) was dripping out of the igniter. I removed the igniter, checked all of the fuses and wires there was nothing amiss that I could identify with visual and physical inspection.
After researching the different forums and doing some rudimentary testing I ordered a new OEM igniter 21119-0045. I did look to see if there was a way to bypass or change to a non OEM because the price was $280; there was nothing I could find that would be a workable solution.
I replaced the igniter and replaced the spark plugs since it had been a few years and I read some threads about the importance of good plugs. The Mule started up and didn't heat the igniter while idling so I drove up the road about .3 miles and again I could smell smoke and disconnected the battery to find the exact same problem.
Firstly I can't understand why a fuse wasn't blown and what could possibly be drawing enough power to heat up the insulation and cause failure to the electronics and nothing else show damage.
There are several paths to go but I would like to put this out and see if there is anyone who possibly has had this problem or has a better way for me to trace out the problem. I am thinking the fuel pump could be a problem because of late it takes lots of cranking to get it started seems like the fuel takes more time to get into the carburetor however since I bought this used from the USAF several years ago it has always required lots of cranking.
Secondly, I am wondering if there is a problem with the coils because it seems as of late it didn't rev up like normal. When I was able to drive the .3 miles it seemed like the throttle was throated but not missing so maybe only one cylinder was firing.
Is it possible for the fuel relay to stay open or malfunction providing power full time to pump and this would cause the igniter to heat up? If so how can I test the relay and or put a fuse inline so it won't burn the next igniter. Or can I bypass the fuel relay with an aftermarket fuel pump and an on/off switch (hate to do this but it could be used as a security system for theft)
Is it possible for the ignition system to heat-up the igniter if one of the cylinders isn't firing or is malfunctioning? if so how can I test and repair or replace the coil or pickup coil. I don't see a fuse between the igniter and the pickup coil.
Lastly could it be the resister or rectifier? I have tried to follow the schematic and see commonality is to however if the voltage increases past tolerable perimeters then maybe. There are no other signs that would lead me to the assumption there of an increase in voltage.
I am thinking about trying to disassemble the igniter and see if i can trace the burnt area to a specific part however this isn't built to come apart. Thank you in advance for any assistance.
 

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Craig that's a really sad story. I feel for you.

Is there any chance you were sold the wrong igniter? The early G series (G1 to G5) all used a different igniter (21119-1583). The 21119-0045 igniter is for the G6F or G7F Mules.

Can you confirm that yours is a G6F or G7F so we know you have the correct igniter?

At this point, if it were me, I would check the wiring harness and all connections. With the correct wiring diagram, trace out each wire that has anything to do with the igniter. With a good service manual you can do a lot of testing.
If everything checks out, I think my next step would be to remove the wiring harness and remove its protective tape so each wire can be examined. This sounds like an intermittent fault, so if two wires have rubbed or melted their insulation off, then they can intermittently short. I have found horror stories underneath wiring harness tape even though the tape was intact. Yes, this is a lot of work, but I doubt you want to risk another igniter meltdown.
 

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After some more thought, you should also test the charging system. If the voltage regulator is bad it could be sending too a high a voltage to the bike (including the igniter) which could cause the melting and would explain why it does not get hot at idle. Put a voltmeter across the battery with the Mule running at idle, you should see somewhere around 12 volts DC. Then rev it up to around 4,000 RPM and you should get around 14 volts. Anything much higher than that and things start to fry. Again a service manual would give you the exact specs and procedure for tests like this.

The other thing that can harm the igniter, is if the ignition coils are not matched to what the igniter was designed for. If someone put aftermarket coils with incorrect ohm rating, that could cause the igniter to run hot.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Craig that's a really sad story. I feel for you.

Is there any chance you were sold the wrong igniter? The early G series (G1 to G5) all used a different igniter (21119-1583). The 21119-0045 igniter is for the G6F or G7F Mules.

Can you confirm that yours is a G6F or G7F so we know you have the correct igniter?

At this point, if it were me, I would check the wiring harness and all connections. With the correct wiring diagram, trace out each wire that has anything to do with the igniter. With a good service manual you can do a lot of testing.
If everything checks out, I think my next step would be to remove the wiring harness and remove its protective tape so each wire can be examined. This sounds like an intermittent fault, so if two wires have rubbed or melted their insulation off, then they can intermittently short. I have found horror stories underneath wiring harness tape even though the tape was intact. Yes, this is a lot of work, but I doubt you want to risk another igniter meltdown.
Thank you for the information. This is a 2006 and the old igniter was a 21119-0045. The model number says its a 620G so I assume the part number is correct. We also have an older model and I was going to switch the igniters but the older one was not the same and wouldn't fit.
However that is a great idea because on the other one we had two wires rot/corrode completely out from within the sealed connectors and it took me a long time to trace and identify them. Thank you again for your time and I will start tracing the wires. As a wise mad said if you want to find where a wire goes you put one hand in front of the other.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
After some more thought, you should also test the charging system. If the voltage regulator is bad it could be sending too a high a voltage to the bike (including the igniter) which could cause the melting and would explain why it does not get hot at idle. Put a voltmeter across the battery with the Mule running at idle, you should see somewhere around 12 volts DC. Then rev it up to around 4,000 RPM and you should get around 14 volts. Anything much higher than that and things start to fry. Again a service manual would give you the exact specs and procedure for tests like this.

The other thing that can harm the igniter, is if the ignition coils are not matched to what the igniter was designed for. If someone put aftermarket coils with incorrect ohm rating, that could cause the igniter to run hot.
Do you know if there is a way to check the charging system without starting the engine? I would prefer to not burn up another igniter.
 

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Yes there are a number of bench tests that you can do but you would need the service manual as it gets pretty complicated and you will need a power supply and a good multimeter.

Or if you remove the regulator and take it to a competent dealer, they should be able to perform the test for you.
Regulators tend to be a lot cheaper than an igniter, especially aftermarket ones.
 

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check grounds (via voltage drop test and under a load)

check all of the wires at the battery against the shop manual (the correct one).

check charging system output after you get it running again. No more than 14.5v.

Also check your pickup coil.

Finally go through ALL of the wiring and make sure there ain't something amiss.

I assume the battery is "good" (12.7-12.8v with no load on it)?
 
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