Problem: Robin/Subaru EH035 won't start

Discussion in '4-Stroke Engines' started by TracyT, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. TracyT

    TracyT Member

    I got the Robin/Subaru EH035 friction kit from Staton. Yesterday I installed the kit, put in the gas, put in the oil, primed it with the fuel pump and then pulled the dang cord until I thought my arm was going to fall off.

    Any ideas what might be wrong?

    I tried it with the choke open and closed. With the kill switch set to both on and off (in case I wired it wrong). I pulled the spark plug and verified that there was gasoline on it.

    If no one has any ideas, I will call Staton tomorrow. But I was hoping to go riding today. :)


  2. Zev0

    Zev0 Member

    Geeze, my Staton friction EHO35 starts first time everytime. Never had to prime it either. Wonder if perhaps you've flooded it. Haven't a clue what your problem may be.
  3. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    Hi Tracy -- well it appears that you have complected at least the first of the two basic steps when engines will not start -- checking for gas and spark. With the plug removed and the plug casing touching on the engine - used as a ground - test to see if you have spark ?? Looking back to gas - at times a small amount poured into the spark plug opening - plug back in - anything ? Happy Riding from Mountainman
  4. TracyT

    TracyT Member

    The manual said to prime it 7 to 10 times if the engine is cold. Since it hadn't been started before, I went with 10 times. I waited a few hours and then went with 5 pumps. This morning I tried 5 again.

    I'm curious about the on/off switch. Since it only has one wire coming to it, I assume the circuit is completed through the frame of the bicycle. Is it possible that my frame isn't conducting the signal from the switch?
  5. TracyT

    TracyT Member

    Hey Mountainman ...

    I didn't see a spark when I pulled the starter cord. My daughter held the spark plug so that the threads were touching the engine casing right next to the hole where the spark plug screws into the engine. And, of course, the cable was firmly attached to the spark plug.

    So that seems to be a problem. :) Any suggestions?

  6. kerf

    kerf Guest

    If you are using the Staton handlebar kill switch, there should be a small clear plastic shield between the switch and handlebar. Disconnect the kill switch and try again.
  7. sabrewalt

    sabrewalt Guest

    Zevo is right, If it take more than 2 or 3 pulls, stop and start looking for a problem. Disconnect your kill wire and let it hang in the air as Kerf suggested.
  8. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    Hi Tracy -- wow no spark with a new engine --- that is not very common !!! I doubt that this is the problem - but - do you have another spark plug wire that you could borrow -- lawn mower - other small engine `ect.. Second thought - that probably will not work -- I am just getting into these small bicycle engines -- my bet is that the wire to the plug comes out from the case of the engine -- thus making it hard to try another wire. I must say - since this is a brand new engine - I know - THE WAITING IS THE HARDEST PART - calling the factory tomorrow might have to be... I know that many on this site are VERY UP -- good mechanics with small engines -- hopefully someone else has some ideas ---- Remember -- HAPPY DAYS OF RIDING YET TO COME... Mountainman
  9. TracyT

    TracyT Member

    It Worked!

    Woo hoo! The engine started and I had my maiden voyage to the end of the block and back!

    I disconnected the kill switch and it fired on the second pull. Thanks Kerf & everyone!

    So ... now I have a new question: what do I need to do about the kill switch? Is the kill switch bad? Is there a way to test it?

  10. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    Hi Tracy -- had some more ideas for you to try -- but - better yet --- it fired up for you --- grrrrreat !!! Did the instructions say much in regards to break in period ?? Just from what I have done in the past -- Not full speed for a while -- a little chance to cool down now and then durning break in ----- the kill switch - maybe get the bike running and attach the kill switch -- still running ? Kill switch work ? Just some thoughts -- from Mountainman
  11. kerf

    kerf Guest

    Is the clear plastic shield on the switch back? It insulates the wire connection from the handlebar, without it the switch shorts out.
  12. TracyT

    TracyT Member

    Hey Mountainman,

    Yeah, it said not to run it wide open for a while. I'll try re-attaching a the kill switch tomorrow and see what happens.

  13. TracyT

    TracyT Member

    Hey Kerf,

    I checked and the clear plastic shield is still in place. The wire connecting to the switch appears to be fully insulated from the handlebars and looks like it only connected to the screw.

    I'll try hooking my ohm meter up to it tomorrow and see if I can figure anything out.

  14. mark2yahu

    mark2yahu Member

    it sounds like an issue with the kill switch being shorted out. Robin-Subaru motors are excellent and starts on the 1st pull 95% of the time. glad you found where the problem was. maybe just ask GEBE to give you a replacement kill switch.
  15. TracyT

    TracyT Member

    I went home at lunch and tried a few things.

    1) If plugged in and not touching the bicycle, the kill switch doesn't kill the engine at all ... of course, this is to be expected. :)

    2) If plugged in and loosely attached to the handlebars, the kill switch doesn't kill the engine.

    3) If I tighten the screw (see picture named KillSwitch-Sketch.jpg) so that the screw touches the handlebars, it kills the engine regardless of whether it is set to "on" or "off".

    I also took some photos of the switch itself. I did not use the small rubber tube in the picture at all. I thought it might be the insulator between the switch and the handlebars, but the switch and straps barely make it around the handlebar as it is. I couldn't get it to fit with the rubber tube in there.

    I put a call into Staton Inc but they were gone for lunch (I'm guessing since I got the answering machine and it was during the lunch hour). No return call yet.

    If you have any ideas, I'm willing to try them. And I'll keep you all posted on what happens.


    Attached Files:

  16. kerf

    kerf Guest

    See if there is a burr in the solder holding the wire, that may have penetrated the clear plastic insulator.
  17. Sparkee47

    Sparkee47 New Member

    A friend of mine had the same exact problem. For one reason or another his switch was bad/broken/shorted and wouldn't allow the engine to start. He bought a simple switch from Radio Shack and wired it to work... If you're switch is completely intact, I would call David Staton and speak with him to see if there's anything he can do. My friend and I both never received anything but great service and advice from him!

    Stay safe!
  18. hardy101

    hardy101 New Member

    This was the EXACT problem I had as well. The switches Staton sends with the kit are pretty cheap. You can buy a new switch as suggested, or take it apart like I did. There's a small brass thread inside where the screw fits that was off center, causing a completed circuit (i.e. "kill" state) with the frame, regardless of on/off position.

    Unscrew the screw and detach the wire. Pry off the black plastic backing of the switch and you'll see what's inside. I had to straighten the threads and add some electrical tape in addition to the plastic backing. Try to visualize how the switch opens and closes the circuit, and make sure that the circuit is insulated and "open" when in the "on" position.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2008
  19. ChrisEddy

    ChrisEddy New Member

    Staton Kill Switch Problem....

    I just bought a kit from them as well... that Taiwan switch has too long a screw holding the wire is place... when you clamp it down on your handlebars the screw contacts the switch body and grounds out your motor... solution cut about 1/8 inch or less off the screw with a dremel and the problem is solved. After giving Staton $1000 bucks you'd think they'd test their stuff... but apparently not... I verfied this with a VOM because my motor wouldn't start either. Hope this helps - Chris
  20. TracyT

    TracyT Member

    Thanks for all the info on the switch! I ended up taking mine apart and fumbling one of the nuts. So I'll run by Radio Shack after work today and see what I can come up with as a replacement.