Hooray for Nubs. The plugged muffler trick can really happen. I wrote and article about one that I ran into in a book that I have on my website. The following is just a few lines of it:
A plugged up muffler can cause some real headaches in troubleshooting. First off, you aren’t expecting it. Especially with a cart with a 4 stroke engine. In the “old days” it wasn’t uncommon at all with 2 stroke engines. After all, they burn oil (mixed in the gas) and smoke, so why wouldn’t they eventually clog up a muffler? There were even procedures that recommended removing the muffler and “baking” it in your Barbecue to burn out the oily mess in there. I’m not joking. I’ll bet your neighbors would really enjoy that. I’d probably end up in jail if I tried that in the gated community that I live in. I just couldn’t believe it when I ran across one that was plugged up with a 4 stoke engine, but I guess I’m just lucky. I’ve only had one in the last 10 years, but I think it is worth mentioning. You can picture what would be the symptoms of a cart with a clogged muffler. Since it can’t breathe normally, it would run very sluggish, and would probably start OK (since the pressure in the exhaust had time to relieve itself while sitting, but as the pressure would build up again, it would begin to bog down. The old 4 stroke adage of Suck, Squish, Boom, and Blow tells the story. If it can’t Blow, it’s going to have trouble Sucking in the next “charge”.