Trouble getting Maxter MXL started


My son has bought an old kart for a bit of fun without knowing anything much about it. We cannot get it started.

The engine is a Maxter MXL 100cc. It seems to have plenty of compression and turns over fine. We’ve tried the following:

- Rebuilt the Tillotsen HL carb.
- Put a new plug in and checked it's sparking (it does).
- Checked the reed valves. They appear fine i.e. I can't see any light through them.
- Retarded the timing in the hope it'll start easier.
- Warmed the head up.
- Tried starter spray.
- Cleaned the tank out and replaced the fuel lines.
- Tried various throttle openings, amounts of choking (hand on carb intake) and jet settings.

I’m not expecting it to run like an engine tuned by a pro but I’m surprised we can’t even get a pop or bang out of it!

Any suggestions (or reading material) e.g. basic setup info that might help an amateur would be greatly appreciated. I’d also be interested to know if it’s still possible to get spares for the engine. I’d like to strip the engine down but don’t want to if I can’t get new seals etc.

Dan Scofield

Nice engine!

Are you sure you’re getting spark? (Never mind you already did). Where in the timing at. Avoid starter fluid if you can. One thing to keep in mind is that it won’t spark until a about 450RPM

Parts are available, so don’t worry too much.
I think I’d look at air leaks next. Seals like you said. Reed gaskets.

Did you bleed the fuel line to the carburetor? It won’t draw any by itself. Loosen the screw at the top, blow into the breather, and wait until fuel comes out to tighten it down.

Thanks for the replies. Yes, we bled the fuel line, the fuel is getting to the plug (it’s gets wet) and there’s a good spark when grounded on the engine and spining the engine with an electric drill on the crank sprocket nut.

I don’t really know where the timing is set. How is this normally done, dial gauge in the plug hole maybe or is there a rough setting just to get us going?

Where can I get crank seals and other bits.


1 Like

That’s exactly it. 1.6mm TDC is pretty conservative as a starting point for that engine. You can pull the head off and sit the gauge on the top of the barrel too, that will be good enough to get started. Let me see where the cool kids get their 100cc parts from in the US. I always got mine from Koene in the Netherlands but it’s been while since I’ve bought some.

Couple more questions…

Where are you based?
How are you starting it… (Push, rope, both?)

Here is what I’d do:
Set advance to 2.1mm
Reeds you checked already
If all checks out and you have spark, then it’s the carb.

Most likely it’s an IBEA L5?

Rebuild it, test opening and closing pressure: 11.5 / 8.8 PSI
If it doesn’t open at all, most likely it’s the rubber gasket on the fuel needle seat.

Set Low 1 + 30 min
Set High 1 + 5 min

Make sure the two screws aren’t inverted…black is high, silver is low.

To start easier, close the low by 1/4 to 1/2 turns, as soon as it starts move back out to pre-set above. Do not choke on start

Fuel…high octane, 6% mix with high castor oil

Hi again.

Some great advice, thanks again. I can see I’ll have to buy some tools!

The carb is a Tillotsen HL322. We’ve put a new needle, seat, spring etc. in it. It seems to work ok based on suck blow test with a bit of rubber tubing (same for the ball check valve in the main port). Unfortunately, I don’t have a vacuum tester to check it properly. First tool on the shopping list.

Will double check the needles aren’t the wrong way round. What would start up settings for this carb be?

I’m an Englishman who’s been living in Denmark for the last 17 years. I’ve not had much luck finding spares for this engine online. Any links would be great.

Will get some 100 oktane petrol and try the 6% mix.

Timing - a dial gauge is the second tool on the shoppi g list.

We did try push starting but have resorted to a power drill on the crankshaft after repeated failure :slight_smile: