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Discussion Starter #1
To make a long story short, I have a somwhat junky John Deere SX-95 rear engine riding mower with a Kawasaki 12.5HP FB460V L-head engine that I got for free from a friend. Bottom line is that I cannot get spark. Did a bunch of research and found out that the igniter was prone to failure, but it cost a LOT to replace from OEM Kawasaki.( I forgot the exact price, somwhere around $75) I found an aftermarket one for $15. So I bought that tried to give it a go. It had spark again when I installed it. :trink39: Thought I found the problem and tryed to start it again. Well, it gave a couple pops through the carb and quit making spark again:banghead3. And that's where I left it. No spark at all again.

I did have it running several times and it ran great when it ran. :banghead3

At this point, I do not want to just throw any more parts at it until I know it's the problem.

Crazy idea I know, but how hard would it be to modify it to use a briggs coil with a built in igniter? The coil system seems to be the weak link in these engines and I can probably find a good briggs coil for cheap. Money is defently an issue here as the mower it's self is pretty junky condition and I don't want to put too much money into it until I know everything is working on it.

Any thoughts/suggestions?
 

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Master Service Technician
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Isolate the Engine from the Application...meaning unplug the black ground wire coming off the engine that goes to the mower wiring harness. Now test for spark. If you have an engine that runs/spark the problem lies in your interlock system on the mower itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Isolate the Engine from the Application...meaning unplug the black ground wire coming off the engine that goes to the mower wiring harness. Now test for spark. If you have an engine that runs/spark the problem lies in your interlock system on the mower itself.
That's one of the first things I tried and it did't work. Wish it was that simple.:banghead3

The only thing that is hooked up is one wire that runs from the coil to the igniter. So the problem lies between them. But which one?
 

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close enuff works for me
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My JD 170 has the 12.5 kaw engine,it lost spark. The deere parts guy looked it up and said he sold a lot of coils but only one ignitor. I bought the coil $75, and it worked. I never thought of trying a briggs coil, if it mounted with the correct air gap it might work . If you have an extra coil on hand , give it a try.
 

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I'd try to research some resistance numbers on the two coils in question. Lower resistance equals more current draw, which might have you coughing up another $75. Yeah, I work for the devil.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I guess the bottom line is that is it the coil is bad and causing the igniter to go bad or is the aftermarket igniter no good?

I could buy a brand new OEM coil +igniter and replace them both, but that will cost some serious $$$.

If I had a Briggs coil laying around, I would try to modify it to work.Maybe if I can measure the dimensions of the Kawasaki coil and try to find a Briggs coil that is close to size.

But then is the flywheel compatible with a Briggs coil? Hmm.....
 

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Jersey Mechanic
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Your coil is bad and the coil will NOT cause the ignitor to go bad, the coil and the igniter generally fail within 150 hours of each other, therefor it is a good idea to replace them both at the same time.

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Today I pulled out the coil and bam there is a huge crack in the side of it. :duh:

Well that answers my question. :00000061:
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
After a bunch of googling, I found that somebody accidentally bought the wrong coil from tewarehouse. He needed the one with the built in igniter and bought the one with the external igniter. He sold it to me for 30 bucks shipped. Coil was like brand new. Installed it with my aftermarket igniter, and vrooom, the thing fired up on the first try. Engine ran so smooooth. Awesome.

So it was the coil after all.:trink39:
 
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