IAME Leopard Ignition Issues - Comet kart

Got the Tag karts out again last weekend after our last outing was cut short due to the stator going bad. So I ordered a new stator from Comet and it arrived as a “drop shipped” item. Well, the new stator lasted 14 laps after getting them to the track. After calling Comet they referred me to the iame importer that they ordered it from. These guys are ghosting me, I’ve called them four times, each time they tell me Brandon is going to call me back. I realize these older leopards aren’t the most reliable things around, especially the electronics. However if you are going to sell new items for them you should stand behind the product to some extent. $180 bucks, 14 laps on top of track fees, gas… You guys know. Where do you guys order your parts from?

Sucky situation, but I’m not sure it’s really Comet’s fault that you possibly got a faulty part from IAME. Comet is generally a good go-to for most people ordering parts online.

Are you sure there isn’t some other underlying short or something that’s causing you to burn through stators like this?

Franklin is an IAME dealer and has a good online selection as well. www.franklinkart.com

The new stator only lasted 14 laps? I get electronics do crap out at any given time, but I would think at 14 laps you have other issues that is killing stators. A short in the line, a bare/exposed wire rubbing somewhere. It all may run fine at first, but all it takes is one bump in a corner or the kart hopping and boom, it’s over with.

I’ve bought parts from just about every major retailer/dealer in the USA and even Mondokart…I’ve always had the best of luck with the folks at Italkart though, pricey but good service, and John from Fastech-Racing.

I’m assuming this is the old style Red/Green push button power pack style? Or the Keystart ignition?

It can be a nuisance to check all the wiring over, but an open or a short to ground is going to kill every stator you put on, no matter who you order it from.

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Has anyone had an issue that caused a stator to burn up? I’m open to the possibility. We are looking into retrofitting some other electronics to these things. Any one have experience in that? Miles, I believe they are the old style without the battery box. They have starters but not being used because the starter ring gears aren’t on them. Box start only.

From what I can gather there is only one iame parts importer that these guys get their parts from. And I don’t nessesarily believe Comet should exchange this as they said iame is responsible for any defective claim. I just want someone to help me move forward.

That’s some mighty fine QC.

For me, the store you purchase an item from is directly responsible for exchanging it if it’s faulty. Personally I dislike Comet, they call themselves an international store but you can only pay by wiring cash to them or with a US based bank card. And they were quite bolshy about explaining that to me, like I was a 5 year old.

I use kartstore.it for pretty much everything, super pleasant guys and if you’re shopping outside of Europe they automatically set your account to tax free. Good honest service.

However, a stator is just a bunch of wires wrapped around a laminated core, a bad diode in the rectifier will dump AC current back into a system, effectively ‘unloading’ the stator. The AC current heats up the stator and the heat destroys the insulation and ultimately carbonizes it turning it into a low resistance brick. Considering this is the second stator gone bad I’d replace the rectifier- regulator unit at the same time as putting on a new stator - sucks I know but I’d say the new stator wasn’t faulty.

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Two stators failing within such a short period of time definitely suggests there is an underlying electrical problem. Regardless of your experience with Comet as a retailer, it is incredibly unlikely that the part is defective in this case.

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Has the problem with the stators been investigated? Have they shorted out or developed an open circuit?

What Richard said… Two stators failing back to back is a sign of something else wrong. Possibly the Rectifier is bad or something else is shorting to ground causing the system to over heat. Do you see any physical evidence of the Stator getting hot? Do you still have continuity in the circuit? Are you sure the Stator is actually bad or are you guessing because the same symptoms happened after 14 laps?

This may help narrow down the issue:

Granted it looks a little different (on the Leopard, the magnets are on the rotor hub on the crank shaft and they spin on the inside of the Stator), but the principal is the same.

Thanks for the tips guys. Unfortunately we haven’t had time to work on the problem since posting. I’m planning to cut the wiring harness apart to inspect it, I think I will be replacing it anyway. Possibly with an x30??

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If you don’t have a digital volt meter, DVM, pick one up off of Amazon. $15 to $25 will get you a basic meter. Check for continuity, opens or shorts between wires. If there is a break in a small gauge wire, your won’t see it.
Your problem sounds more like a coil that either shorts or opens up with heat.

Can’t go wrong with an x30, I made the switch recently. It lacks the bottom end that a leopard has but it makes up for it in the mid range.

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Replacing the engine, or the ignition?

Miles, is it reliable though. I love the 2 stroke but I’m about to trash it for a 206. I want seat time and these things are beginning to look like a time suck money pit!

James, I have spare leopard engines and parts so I am considering getting the x30 electronics if they will work.

Do you know if the coil and stator are interchangeable?

I have no idea if they are interchangeable I’m afraid.

Sidenote: If you’re looking for similar power to just get seat time, a Rotax Max is hard to beat. Long service intervals.

How are the electronics on the rotax? Is that package known to be generally more reliable?

Thanks for the input everyone! I’m getting tired of the gremlins as I’ve had around 25 laps in three outings. It’s making me lean toward reliability and cost vs using the equipment that I have. It’s really the electronic stuff that bums me out. At this point I’d rather have an engine grenade instead. That’s my other worry, if they run long enough will they just blow lol!? On the fence as to what to do. Season one wasted.