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: Points or Eletronic Ignition


smoothracing
01-22-2012, 03:10 PM
I was just wondring how many have converted there points ignition over to eletronic,and indexing the spark plugs.I been thinking of converting my Onan over.Kirk Engines,Inc sells the point savers and coils.Might just be a cheap way to get a little more ponys out of the Onan.

Richard-tx
01-22-2012, 08:15 PM
I wouldn't touch the Onan points and condenser system for all the tea in China. It is so reliable and so trouble free that nothing would be gained by putting a electronic ignition on an Onan CCKA or B series engine. I think I changed the points and condenser on my 818T when I got it over 15 years ago. I have not touched it since.

The only failure I ever had on my CCKA engines was the 6 volt coil. The epoxy that was used to encapsulate the coil is now starting to break down due to age. As a result the spark will arc from a crack in the case to ground.

If you have the old style coil and want to upgrade something, get a new style Onan coil. I think they have a higher output voltage than the old one. Don't forget to take the voltage dropping resistor out of circuit. The new coil is a 12 volt coil. I think I paid about $60 for a new Onan coil.

smoothracing
01-22-2012, 09:16 PM
They also make them for Kohlers too,was just pondering the idea,we put transisterized ignition on my neighbors 5600 (8hp kohler) and it made a world of difference on it.

Walt 2002
01-22-2012, 10:43 PM
"we put transisterized ignition on my neighbors 5600 (8hp kohler) and it made a world of difference on it."

?? My experience has been that there is no improvement in performance and engines equipped with points and cond. in good shape start easier, fewer rpm required to fire.

Walt Conner

CADplans
01-22-2012, 10:59 PM
Anybody got part #'s/link for the Kohler conversion??

I would love to look at it!!

Richard-tx
01-22-2012, 11:12 PM
I agree with Walt. A properly functioning points and condenser will make no difference when converted to electronic. If the wiring is bad, the condenser old or the points corroded then an improvement will be experienced when converted to electronic.

Now if a different coil was used, then the coil change will likely show an improvement over the stock coil but the electronics had nothing to do with the improvement.

How the path to ground on the primary side of the coil is switched on and off makes no difference in spark quality. It is the coil itself that makes the difference.

Here is some food for thought. Inside the electronic ignition are usually some electrolytic capacitors. That is exactly what a condenser is. So what happens when the capacitors fail? Convert back for $30 or replace a $100 (future price) ignition module?

Richard-tx
01-22-2012, 11:28 PM
Anybody got part #'s/link for the Kohler conversion??

I would love to look at it!!.

I did a Google search for "Kirk Engine" and found it.

Gravely Model L Guy
01-23-2012, 06:10 AM
I converted my K301 that is on my Commercial 12 from Electronic to points ignition and I think it runs better on points

gravely-power
01-23-2012, 07:37 AM
I also converted my K301 to points. Like Richard said, who wants to buy a $100 dollar coil?

LilysDad
01-23-2012, 08:24 AM
If you check on Brian Miller's site, he states that the stock Kohler coil puts out more than enough voltage to burn properly.

The stock Kohler points aren't going to float at max. recommended RPM, so the only other problem that points and condenser might cause would be if the owner had a problem with setting the timing. If proper technique is used in setting it, or better yet, a timing light, then stick with points.

The answer I have gotten is that indexing the plugs gives only a slight increase in HP, which would only interest a racer. I believe you might find more improvement with trying different brands of plugs.

Walt 2002
01-23-2012, 08:25 AM
I converted my K301 that is on my Commercial 12 from Electronic to points ignition and I think it runs better on points

My eldest brother converted his Kohler K341 from points to electronic and then changed it back to points shortly afterwards.

Walt Conner

Richard-tx
01-23-2012, 11:42 AM
Ignition systems are somewhat of a mystery to some people. Once certain principles are understood, then one can more closely evaluate the claims made by manufacturers.

I remember all the gizmos and gadgets that were advertised in the JC Whitney catalog. If all the claims were true for fuel regulators, spark plugs, water injectors, coils, CDI, fuel line magnets, etc. then it would be easy to get 150 miles to the gallon from a 454 engine and get a 150% increase in horsepower too.

Fla Don
01-23-2012, 11:47 AM
Ignition systems are somewhat of a mystery to some people. Once certain principles are understood, then one can more closely evaluate the claims made by manufacturers.

I remember all the gizmos and gadgets that were advertised in the JC Whitney catalog. If all the claims were true for fuel regulators, spark plugs, water injectors, coils, CDI, fuel line magnets, etc. then it would be easy to get 150 miles to the gallon from a 454 engine and get a 150% increase in horsepower too.

I'd be happy to get 30 MPG from the 8.1L. :D

The place where electronic ignition would help is down here. Points fail here due to moisture.

CADplans
01-23-2012, 12:28 PM
I'd be happy to get 30 MPG from the 8.1L. :D

The place where electronic ignition would help is down here. Points fail here due to moisture.

From my work on very low current flow contactors', the Kirk ignition would perform poorly in the Florida humidity.

Since the points are still used, the points appear to operate at very low current when converted to the electronic system.

At very low current the points will oxidize and fail to conduct current.

We prototyped 2 methods to resolve this problem on ship mounted (high humidity) contactors.
1) the contacts were gold plated.
2) the contacts were redesigned to "rub" at contact to break the oxide.

Method #2 was going to be real expensive to tool so we went with method #1.

Anybody know where I can get some gold plated Kohler point sets!!!??? :drunkie:

Jimmy in NC
01-23-2012, 01:20 PM
From my work on very low current flow contactors', the Kirk ignition would perform poorly in the Florida humidity.

Since the points are still used, the points appear to operate at very low current when converted to the electronic system.

At very low current the points will oxidize and fail to conduct current.

We prototyped 2 methods to resolve this problem on ship mounted (high humidity) contactors.
1) the contacts were gold plated.
2) the contacts were redesigned to "rub" at contact to break the oxide.

Method #2 was going to be real expensive to tool so we went with method #1.

Anybody know where I can get some gold plated Kohler point sets!!!??? :drunkie:

I'll sell you some points for $250! Then you would swear they were gold plated! :trink39:

Guaranteed not to rust, bust, or gather dust until they get out of the shipping package!

CADplans
01-23-2012, 01:47 PM
I'll sell you some points for $250! Then you would swear they were gold plated! :trink39:

Guaranteed not to rust, bust, or gather dust until they get out of the shipping package!

Woot!! :drunkie: I love infomercials!!

You would do great!! :fing32:

Jimmy in NC
01-23-2012, 02:09 PM
Woot!! :drunkie: I love infomercials!!

You would do great!! :fing32:

It's our standard warranty around the office (site work contractor/asphalt plant) as we seem to destroy everything including anvils with rubber mallets. We have some special people around here.

Richard-tx
01-26-2012, 10:17 AM
I recently heard about a tail light warranty. It is good for as long as the purchaser can see the seller's taillights.

Walt 2002
01-26-2012, 10:21 AM
I tell them, "warrantied all the way, all the way to the end of the gravel on my driveway."

When they look stunned, I say, "What kind of warranty would you give me if I were to buy your truck?" They usually grin and say no more.

Walt Conner

Fla Don
01-26-2012, 01:36 PM
5 minutes or 5 miles whichever comes first.

bleoh
01-26-2012, 10:33 PM
I was just wondring how many have converted there points ignition over to eletronic,and indexing the spark plugs.I been thinking of converting my Onan over.Kirk Engines,Inc sells the point savers and coils.Might just be a cheap way to get a little more ponys out of the Onan.

I am getting ready to install this on my 816, I'll let you know how it goes. I am not expecting any miracles, but a properly designed electronic ignition will outperform points all day long.

The point saver uses the points as a trigger, so you don't have to touch them at all. Just disconnect the points wire from the negative side of the coil and connect it to one of the three wires on the point saver. Then one of the points saver wires goes to the negative side of the coil and one goes to a good ground source. All the wires are color coded and it comes with very good installation instructions. It is all on the website, but for some reason I can only see everything in Internet Explorer and not using Firefox.

Brian.

Richard-tx
01-26-2012, 11:40 PM
\a properly designed electronic ignition will outperform points all day long.



Yes they will provided a new coil is part of the equation. If the same coil is used then there is no net gain.

On my CCKA Onan, simply replacing the 6 volt coil with a 12 volt one made a huge difference. If my CCKA started any faster, it would be running already. Same with my B48.

Like I said, if the same coil is used, there will be no change assuming the points and condenser were good to begin with. Put another way, a collapsing magnetic field is a collapsing magnetic field no matter what interrupts the current flow.

Speaking of ignitions, I remember one fellow at my first job. He changed all of his resistor wires on his car for copper wires. The car ran like crap. He tried all kinds of things and it was no better. He asked me about it and after explaining to him why resistor wires are on there, he put the old wires back on. Then it ran great.

There is a limit to the voltage that a coil can put out. If the voltage gets too high, then the insulation will break down quickly. GM found that out with their HEI system. Now manufacturers are putting on one coil per plug. It keeps the duty cycle low allowing the coils to run cooler and last longer.

bleoh
01-27-2012, 08:12 AM
A transistor based switch will be much faster then points. The faster switching will cause the field in the coil to collapse quicker which creates more spark energy. Also, the transistor closes quicker then the points (it does not have to wait for the points to close again), allowing for more dwell time. This is very helpful when starting a cold engine. Transistors can also easily flow more amps then points. Combine this with less wear on the points and I think it is worth a try, specially when it only costs $28.

For that cheap it might seem like snake oil, and it may be, I'll reserve my judgement until I have seen it with my own eyes. However, the components to make this box are very cheap and the circuit is very simple to make. For example, here is what is used in MegaSquirt.

The transistor, mica, nut and bolt for mounting and resistor cost $8.50.

http://www.diyautotune.com/catalog/bosch-bip373-coil-driver-mod-kit-p-230.html

Here is a more complete description of the component. Current limiting to 11.5 amps, thermal protection, etc.. all for $8.50. I don't know what transistor is used in the Points Saver. If you all want, I can ask David for specs on it. I am just showing this as an example of what is out there.

http://www.diyautotune.com/tech_articles/using_bosch_bip373s_with_megasquirt.htm

Here is the portion of the ignition circuit driving the coil. This is the same circuit used, just duplicated, for single coil with distributor, wasted spark, or coil on plug. It is half way down on this page called "High Current Driver".

http://www.megamanual.com/ms2/pcb.htm

Just to be easier to find, here is the picture I am talking about. Again, I don't know what the points saver circuit is, could be fairy dust in there for all I know. This is just an example of how simple these things are to show that $28, with some profit, is very possible.

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa170/bleoh/MegaSquirt/v3pcb_5.gif

I'll let you guys know how it goes. Brian.

Richard-tx
01-27-2012, 11:38 AM
If the points break cleanly, then the current is disrupted and the magnetic field collapses causing an induced voltage across the secondary. If one does not take into account I/R losses and capacitive reactance, the voltage rises to infinity. It will not matter if the disruption is points or a transistor. If the condenser is of the correct value, then the primary's inductive reactance is canceled out thus creating a clean break with no arcing of the points. Yes, the collapsing field causes an arc across the primary of the coil too.

In practice, the stronger the current through the coil, the greater the magnetic field and therefor the higher the voltage is across the secondary when the magnetic field collapses. The amount of voltage presented to the spark plug is dependent on the windings. The more turns there are, the higher the voltage and the bigger the gap it will cross,. The greater the diameter of the wire, the more current is available and thus the fatter the spark. Manufacturers balance cost with acceptable performance when designing coils. As a result they put in only what s necessary to generate an acceptable spark, noting more.

There is one advantage to a solid state ignition that is triggered by a crankshaft sensor and that is greater accuracy in when the spark occurs. In some cases electronic ignition can reduce maintenance costs but the TCO is no different long term as the electronic ignition will eventually fail. A very good design should last the lifetime of the engine even through rebuilds, but that is pretty rare in aftermarket units.

I had some close dealings some years ago with a fellow by the name of Dave Stringer. He was employed by Borg Warner writing embedded controller software. I had a design project that I was working on for my job and needed a little advice. As we discussed the issues I was having he also explained to me the design requirements that they had for their electronic systems which covered ignition systems, gauges, dashboards, ECU, etc. It was rather amazing how robust the Borg Warner electronics was due to the extreme design and testing. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then so where BW quality is now is unknown to me.

There is one trick that could be done to nearly double the output of a coil and that would be to reverse the polarity of the coil's primary instead of just shutting off the current. That would force the field's reversal. The down side is that it could easily cause internal arcing of the coil which will destroy the coil that was not designed for such a system.

What the point saver is doing is to place the majority of the current of the primary onto a different device. That means that the points are switching single digit milliamps. Look at it like a relay. I think there are about $1 worth of parts there in the point saver. Like cell phones, the most expensive part of it is the case.

bleoh
01-27-2012, 12:52 PM
My understanding is the voltage created in the secondary is directly proportional to the change in voltage of the primary, so I believe the speed difference between a transistor and points will make a difference in the spark energy.

CADplans
01-27-2012, 01:08 PM
My understanding is the voltage created in the secondary is directly proportional to the change in voltage of the primary, so I believe the speed difference between a transistor and points will make a difference in the spark energy.


My understanding of the secondary voltage is that the voltage is determined by the distance the spark has to jump, so plug gap determines voltage.

This is the reason owners of old tractors would pull the coil wire, make the spark gap longer, to get the tractor to start.

Hard on the coil, but, it gets the engine started!!

Richard-tx
01-27-2012, 08:54 PM
You are right. The voltage will rise to infinity (dismissing I/R losses) unless it ionizes the air and jumps to ground. What happens with a high voltage coil is that the duration of the spark will be a bit longer. Almost impossible to see but it is measurable.


The funny thing about arcs is that it takes a lot to start the arc but very little to keep it going.

Jimmy in NC
01-28-2012, 06:41 AM
The funny thing about arcs is that it takes a lot to start the arc but very little to keep it going.

That's exactly what Noah said.... Lots to get this thing going.. but when she's a going it just runs its self....

(I'm sorry, I know it's off topic but it just popped into my head this early in the morning)