No Spark 1987 Ingersoll 448 - - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-03-2010, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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No Spark 1987 Ingersoll 448

OK guys I need some more help...

I got my 448 running in top shape a couple of months ago by going through a maintenance checklist prescribed by Castoff. Everything has been running excellent and I parked the tractor a week and a half ago. When I went to start it today, it would turn over but not fire. It is getting fuel but the spark is gone. (Pulled the plugs and grounded them on a bolt while turning over the engine.)

I did have an electrical problem previously. The motor would start and run, but then shutdown spontaneously. I did another checklist prescribed by Castoff with a test light and determined the ignition switch was bad. I replaced the switch and the tractor has run great until now.

Any help/suggestions/Castoff checklists are appreciated. I am looking to diagnose the problem rather than replace random parts until it works.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-03-2010, 09:13 PM
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Question Re: No Spark 1987 Ingersoll 448

Hi JSB.. What engine ya got in the 448? Onan or Kohler? Test for power @ the coil/module when the key is turned to 'run'. If it has points, check for cleanliness and signal with a testlight. Just a few ideas..

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post #3 of 6 Old 10-03-2010, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: No Spark 1987 Ingersoll 448

Sorry for the missing data.

The engine is an Onan B48M.

I'll have to find the thread where Castoff explained the test light procedure. I'm not very electrically inclined and all that I have to test with is a light, no meter at all.

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post #4 of 6 Old 10-03-2010, 11:33 PM
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Lightbulb Re: No Spark 1987 Ingersoll 448

Take the points cover off and turn the engine over, if no spark when the points make contact then you can try to file them, adjust the gap .022 and try it again, you may need new points, replace the condenser while your in there. Cheap fix.
I hope this helps and you get it run'n.

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post #5 of 6 Old 10-04-2010, 10:45 AM
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Re: No Spark 1987 Ingersoll 448

- turn the key to "ON"

- put your test light between a good, clean ground on the engine and the + terminal on the coil. Does the test light show that you have power?

- Remove the wire from the - terminal on the coil and put your test light on the same clean ground on the block and the - terminal. Do you have power? If so, good. If not, the coil is defective.

- But we are not through testing the coil just yet. Get a piece of electrical wire a couple feet long and bare both ends of it. Put one end to that nice clean ground on the block and then with the key switch still ON, touch the other end of that wire to the - terminal on the coil momentarily and then remove it. If you do this while the spark plugs are out of the engine, firmly grounded to the block and connected to the coil's high tension leads, you should see a spark develop across BOTH plugs at the same time.

This would indicate that both of the high tension coils inside the coil body are at least functioning.

From there, you need to turn your attention to the points and condensor as well as the wire that connects the coil to the points. That wire is often suspect. It can corrode or break internally as well as short out from an improperly installed points cover so examine it carefully. You can use your test light to check it for continuity by removing it and using it extend one of the test light leads while you go across the positive and negative battery posts.

If the points look badly pitted, why not just replace them along with the condensor? Gap the points as suggested. Reconnect everything and give it try by spinning the engine with the starter while watching for spark at the plugs that are still removed from the engine. If you finally have spark, then screw the plugs back in and snug them up. Put on the plug wires and try to start the engine.

Let us know how you make out and what the root cause was.
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-11-2010, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: No Spark 1987 Ingersoll 448


I finally got some time to spend with my 448 and sort things out. Castoff's checklist worked again. The coil tested fine so I turned my attention to the points. I removed, cleaned and sanded the points and then replaced the wire from the coil. (Looked a little ratty) Put everything back together, had good spark, replaced the plugs and she runs like a dream again.
I'm going to order a new set of points and condenser just to have in my back pocket.

Thanks again for all of the help and the detailed "Ignition Testing for Dummies" instructions!!
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