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Discussion Starter #1
So with my new toy, I have a question for the experts.

Ignition....how do I troubleshoot? I know points and condenser are cheap, but I hate to spend money that I don't have too.



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First test: connect the plug to the mag and turn it over by hand. At TDC you should hear a snap from the mag, and see a spark.

If you don't hear a snap, the impulse coupling is malfunctioning. Easiest fix is a replacement mag. Alternate fixes include opening up the mag and lubing the impulse. It's just a pawl and spring arrangement, so not too hard to fix ir it's just gunked up.

If you do hear a snap, but no spark, open the mag and file/reset the points. If that doesn't get you a spark, replace the points and condensor. Richard can set you up.

What kind of mag is it? Wico? FM? Bendix? Something else?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have the "snap" so I'm good there. I'm not sure if my plug wire is bad or not, but I get not spark even with a new plug. Cleaned up the points with 220 grit.

Best best is for to find a spark plug wire for it. I've heard stories of the juice that comes out of a magneto, or I would stick my finger and check.

Its a Wico

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You can do a quick check of the coil with an ohmmeter. Between the metal magneto case and the spark plug wire or wire socket you should read 4500 to 6500 ohms. That is checking the secondary windings of the coil; if you get a higher reading or no reading, remove the front cover and try again right at the contact button on the coil.

If you still have no reading or an open, then the coil is bad. If the reading is below 4500 ohms, then some of the windings may have shorted out to each other.

If your tractor has the stop button in the right handle bar, remove the stop wire from the magneto post and try again, the wiring for the stop switch shorts out some times.

If the coil checks, and you cleaned and set the points, try replacing the condenser, Richards or Todd White can help you out.

I just looked at your photos again of the tractor, yes do get another spark plug wire and make sure that it has a wire core, not carbon.

We see the yellow color, does it have any Postal numbering? The U.S. Post Office used a lot of yellow Gravelys.

Roger,
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Gonna try your suggestions...haven't found any postal stickers on it anywhere.

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Discussion Starter #6
You can do a quick check of the coil with an ohmmeter. Between the metal magneto case and the spark plug wire or wire socket you should read 4500 to 6500 ohms. That is checking the secondary windings of the coil; if you get a higher reading or no reading, remove the front cover and try again right at the contact button on the coil.

If you still have no reading or an open, then the coil is bad. If the reading is below 4500 ohms, then some of the windings may have shorted out to each other.

If your tractor has the stop button in the right handle bar, remove the stop wire from the magneto post and try again, the wiring for the stop switch shorts out some times.

If the coil checks, and you cleaned and set the points, try replacing the condenser, Richards or Todd White can help you out.

I just looked at your photos again of the tractor, yes do get another spark plug wire and make sure that it has a wire core, not carbon.

We see the yellow color, does it have any Postal numbering? The U.S. Post Office used a lot of yellow Gravelys.

Roger,
I took my multi meter and checked the coil. Still not sure if it is good or not. It was no where near 4500, it was 5 point something but I think it meant 5000. Check out my pic and tell me what you think

1366253426919.jpg

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5.27 k (5270) ohms is right in the ballpark for the secondary windings are good.
 

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As Jim said, that is a good reading, now try that same reading between magneto case and the spark plug end of the wire, or even to the tip of the electrode in the spark plug, the plug has got to be hooked up to the wire of course.

I believe it's time for a new condenser.

Check real close around the stop post on the side of the magneto to make sure that nothing is shorting out to the case, look inside the cover also.

Roger,
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ordered a new condenser, points, spark plug wire and plug today. We will see if I get spark at the end of this.

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I'll bet you a bag of fresh 'mud bugs', that will at least get you spark.

And then we can start paying attention to your other problems.

Roger, ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I believe it will work. I do believe this machine will run with a little work

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I do believe this machine will run with a little work
No question about it.

One of the cool things about these old beasts is that they're amazingly bulletproof. I've had some which looked like total junk, but with a bit of work turned into solid runners. Yours looks like it needs some TLC, which you're providing.

Looking forward to pix and video of the finished product :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I hope to have a video of it running here soon. Turkey season is in here and the Air Force is sending me to TX for some training next month, plus we will be heading to upstate NY to see the wife's dad, so I'm hoping to at least getting it to run before all of that. You guys help me tremendously.... thanks

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Discussion Starter #14
New condensor, points and spark plug wire and I now have spark....

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Yay!

Have you absorbed the timing procedure yet? Very simple, really. When you turn the mag slowly, like on a bench or when starting, you'll hear and audible snap and see a spark. That snap/spark wants to be at TDC.

All these mags have some sort of impulse coupling which retards spark and also makes the snapping noise when the spring unwinds. They all also have some other timing marks.

For your Wico, one procedure is to loosen the mag coupling so that you can twist it, then turn the mag so that the marks on the drive and case line up, then turn the engine until the piston is 5/16" BTDC. Then tighten up the coupling and recheck.

Good luck, and :wwp:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I checked the timing from what I have read here and I believe it is in time. Tomorrow I believe I will clean the gas tank up and once my head gasket gets here, hopefully Monday or Tuesday, I will try to get it started.

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