Power Equipment Australasia

TECH TALK A Sydney-based small engine repair technician has invented a new spark plug testing kit for small engines, which has recently been released to the Australianmarketplace. According to the kit’s inventor, John Leeson, the patented design provides a safe way to view the colour of a spark, away from the engine in order to accurately diagnose its strength and not exposing it to potential fuel vapour. It also eliminates the potential for electric shock from unsafely grounding the spark plug to an external metal part of the engine. Mr Leeson says that he has been very happy with the reaction to the kit. “People love it, and everyone who sees it - DIY, auto electricians, mechanics, everyone - just say that it’s a long overdue product,” he said. “What it does is it diagnoses instantly why the engine won't start by being able to view the colour of the spark in the spark plug.” “You take the spark plug out of the engine, put it in a small, totally sealed safety unit and you can actually see the type of spark on the spark plug. A perfect spark, whether it’s a new spark plug or an old spark plug, is always blue or purple. If your plug has got a blue spark then there’s nothing wrong with your electric system. If it hasn’t and it’s got a weak yellow spark, there’s usually a problem with the spark plug,” Mr Leeson said. The spark is viewed through a clear protective safety dome made of Lexan – a polycarbonate that has heat-resistant, flame-retardant properties and is also used in electrical components, CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray disks, as well as in automotive and aircraft components. The kit also contains a decompression earthing unit that comes in three sizes (10mm, 12mm, and 14mm), available separately or as a kit of three; and a fully insulated extension lead, allowing the user to safely view the spark at a distance. The decompression unit screws into the cylinder head to give a solid grounding so as to eliminate the potential for electric shock. At the same, it prevents debris from entering the engine which could cause serious damage, as well as allowing for decompression of the cylinder chamber so the engine can be easily turned over. The kit does not contain any bulbs, fuses, batteries or electronics to falter and give false readings. The components of the kit are currently manufactured all around the world. The plastic dome is made in China to IOS stand- ards and the leads are made in the United Kingdom to OEM standards. Mr Leeson says that he is currently working towards having all components manufactured inAustralia. The kit has already been purchased by Kennards Hire, Complete Hire Victoria, and Penrith City Council, who purchased several units following a workplace incident testing a spark plug on a leaf blower, which resulted in an explosion and hospitalization of a council mechanic with burns to his face and arm. Numerous other life-threatening incidents involving spark plugs, including a death repairing a golf cart, have been recorded in recent times. Mr Leeson, 82, is a qualified Motor Engineer and once a member of AIME Australia as far back as the 1960s. He has owned, operated, repaired and over-hauled all components in a variety of trucks, earthmoving equipment and small engines for well over 60 years. “There’s basically not an engine or a gear box or something out there that I don’t know every nut and bolt in,” he said. Mr Leeson currently operates a small engine repair business five days per week and developed the Spark Plug Testing Kit as a side project. His sonDarren, and daughter, Justine are on board to help bring the kit to market. MORE INFORMATION www.sparktester.net A new diagnostic tool to both safely and accurately determine why a petrol engine has starting issues has hit the Australian market. It enables the user to view the strength of the actual spark on the spark plug in a safe environment. Spark plug testing kit DECEMBER - JANUARY 2018 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 19