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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2001 Mule 3010.
Always ran great using Rec Fuel.
Use it at least a little bit daily.
Yesterday it just lost power, struggled to make it up my pretty steep drive way.
When in neutral the RPMs will rev high but when I put it in gear and put the pedal down it only goes about 1/2 speed and as I mentioned struggles with any sort of incline.
Any ideas?
 

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Mine is doing the exact same thing. I’ve replaced fuel pump, rebuilt carb, adjusted valves, bypassed the fuel pump relay. I’m stuck.
 

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is it running on both cylinders?? Grab a spray bottle with some water in it and spray the exhaust pipes where they come out of the engine. Do this after starting the engine from cold state, within about a minute of starting it. The cylinder that is running will evaporate the water MUCH more quickly than the dead cylinder. The dead one, check the spark plug first. If it's ok replace it anyway. If that don't solve it, it's possible to have a spark, compression or carburetor problem.
 

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Mine is doing the exact same thing. I’ve replaced fuel pump, rebuilt carb, adjusted valves, bypassed the fuel pump relay. I’m stuck.

It ended up being the front coil even thought the coil tested good.
Pulled the plug wire off front cylinder and motor kept running.
I put the front plug wire back on and pulled off the rear and the motor quit. This told me it was running off one cylinder, the rear one.
I tested front coil and it tested good. Even the manual says if it tests good still try a known good coil. The rear coil is so hard to get to I just ordered a new coil.
Put the new coil on the front and it's fixed.
 

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I have the same problem... 2006 kawasaki mule 4x4 - Just bought it, it ran great for 2 weeks. it started hesitating under load or full throttle, replaced fuel filter, spark plugs & carb kit... it ran better for a day and problem returned - pulled front plug wire and it died, pull rear plug wire it stayed running so thought it was a coil. Replaced rear coil and plugs again (champions was all napa had), no improvement. Just replaced cdi two days ago - it ran great on a long ride. Now yesterday the problem returned... I have checked compression - 70ish in each cylinder & adjusted the valves back to spec (rear was loose, front was good)
Any other ideas? About to drag this thing to the shooting range and drop a thermite on it....
 

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If you are measuring compression in pounds per square inch (PSI) then 70 is NOT good.

I don't have the specs for your machine but typically you need 130 to 170 psi for an engine to run properly.
Add a teaspoon of oil thru the sparkplug hole and then retest. If the compression goes up, you have bad rings.
 

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If you are measuring compression in pounds per square inch (PSI) then 70 is NOT good.

I don't have the specs for your machine but typically you need 130 to 170 psi for an engine to run properly.
Add a teaspoon of oil thru the sparkplug hole and then retest. If the compression goes up, you have bad rings.
I'll double check the compression. It was a auto zone compression tester rental, not sure if it was in psi.
Would it make sense that both cylinders were the same but still had issues, or that one was dying and not the other...?
 

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You would expect both cylinders to wear equally and thus if your Mule has a lot of hours on it, the compression could be equal and could be too low for it to have any power. But if it ran great and suddenly did not, then it is probably something else.

Anyway, compression is always a good place to start. Remove both plugs but leave them grounded and hold the throttle wide open while doing the compression check. Report results back here and we can look at next steps.
 

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WFO-KZ Thanks for putting me right.
Amended comp readings below.

You would expect both cylinders to wear equally and thus if your Mule has a lot of hours on it, the compression could be equal and could be too low for it to have any power. But if it ran great and suddenly did not, then it is probably something else.

Anyway, compression is always a good place to start. Remove both plugs but leave them grounded and hold the throttle wide open while doing the compression check. Report results back here and we can look at next steps.
That makes sense. I’ll check compression again today. I always did one at a time, leave one plug in, check other cylinder and so forth... should I have both unplugged at the same time?

On losing power “suddenly”, yes it seemed to indicate coil or something when I pulled front plug wire and it would die but stay running if I pulled the rear.

Is there any way to test a CDI? It ran like a new machine Friday when I put the new one in
 

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Yes, remove both plugs but make sure the spark plugs remain grounded so they can spark while you crank. Removing both plugs allows the engine to crank faster and is considered the best way to check compression. If you don't ground the plugs you risk damage to your ignition system.
 

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Checked compression again, more confused now.... about 70-90psi in both cylinders just cranking. If i pump the gas the front would go up to 180-200, the rear up to 120 or so.
I pulled the plugs, both brand new, the front is fine, the rear is coated in soot. i definitely think theres an issue with the rear cylinder but when i started it and pulled the rear and front plug wires it stayed running for both...
 

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You are supposed to hold the throttle wide open during the test. I would repeat the test with wide open throttle, but the numbers are indicating a problem with the rear cylinder. Once you have repeated the test, remove plug and add a teaspoon of engine oil to the cylinder with the lowest compression and then repeat the compression test.
 

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I did that, the rear is definitely below spec. Without complete disassembly of the engine its impossible to tell if its just needing a ring or the the piston and cylinder are trashed, no? If cylinder wall is scored, is it more cost effective to get a replacement motor?
 

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I did that, the rear is definitely below spec. Without complete disassembly of the engine its impossible to tell if its just needing a ring or the the piston and cylinder are trashed, no? If cylinder wall is scored, is it more cost effective to get a replacement motor?
Yes you can tell and that is why I asked you to add oil and test again. If the compression goes up after adding oil, it is your rings, if it makes no difference at all, you have a tight or burned valve or a small hole in the piston.
Cylinder wall scoring can be seen with one of those small inspection cameras thru the spark plug hole, or you can drop the exhaust pipe and look at the side of the piston. This will tell you if you need a new piston, rings and maybe a rebore.
 

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Thank you very much, i appreciate it.

Could you think of a reason why it would run with zero issues after replacing the CDI? (for a day anyway...)

I'll double check valves tonight, .010 gap correct?
 

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I don't have a service manual so I cannot confirm valve clearance. Make sure you are following proper procedure when setting valves as this can affect compression.

Can you post your final compression test results for both cylinders with throttle held wide open, and then the results with oil added?
 

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I don't have a service manual so I cannot confirm valve clearance. Make sure you are following proper procedure when setting valves as this can affect compression.

Can you post your final compression test results for both cylinders with throttle held wide open, and then the results with oil added?
Double checked the valves, they're set at .010 still. After adding oil to the rear (bad cylinder) on three attempts it read 240psi, 230, 230. The front read 240 all three times.
Would that indicate only rings?
 
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