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Hello all, I'm reassembling the 1974 Jim Dandy that a friend and I've been refreshing. Somewhere along the line it was repowered with a K341 that ran would run for 10 or 15 seconds before it died when we first got it. It received a new piston and rings, rebuilt carb, new gaskets as necessary and new paint all around. Also new plug and condenser. I set the initial timing as stated in the service manual and set the point gap to specs (.020 if I remember correctly). I've checked the coil and ignition wire with the meter and they all seem in spec according to the info on the isavetractors web site. I know there is juice going to the points because I sparked it accidently when I was setting the gap.

Kind of at loss. Was thinking maybe with the repaint I need to make sure there are bare metal surfaces between the engine, frame and where the battery is grounded under the seat. And maybe even the bracket the condenser sits in and the engine. Not sure if that makes sense but I know having a bad ground can cause various problems.

Thanks and Happy New Year to you all.
 

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From what I see online for that Kohler motor it has a standard (Kettering) ignition system so that should be easy to troubleshoot. You'll need a meter.
I would put meter -- negative lead on battery-- negative (ground). They key on, hold points open, should have about 12.5 volts at coil +. Points closed it would be less if it has external ballast resistor, so maybe 10 volts. Then at coil -- points open should be 12v...points closed zero volts (or close to 0v).
If that checks ok, remove spark plug, still connected lay on it's side touching ground. Key on...plug should spark every time you open points. If not...open points (piece of cardboard is fine), wire from coil -- to ground...just for a second. Every time you take wire away from ground plug should fire. If you're getting +12v to coil +, ground coil -- and plug DOESN'T fire...replace coil (of course assuming plug and plug wire are both good).
You can have a new bad condenser. Bad condenser can cause a very weak spark.
With key off you can unhook coil -- negative lead. Meter on ohms, meter -- neg lead still on battery ground, Rx1 scale...measure to points. Open should be infinity...closed should be close to zero ohms.


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Check that the condenser is connect correctly the condenser lead connects to the - (negitive) termial on the coil also the points could be corroded if old or if new have oil on the contacts either one causing a non contact situation following the previous posters instructions it right on
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the great advice, work and home got rather busy so I didn't get back to the tractor right away but when I did I ran through the list from Sevenhills as best I understood and everything seemed to checkout just fine. Have to admit I was getting a bit discouraged I couldn't figure out this simple engine. I woke up a few days later thinking about the timing and maybe I should have another look at the service manual. Since it was raining to much to work outside Saturday I decided to give it another go. Started from scratch and resest the points to spec, hit the key and just like magic I had a strong, bright spark. I think I set it to the wrong timing mark initially. There's a line about setting it to T or S mark (I forget right now) on all except one model engine and I must have transposed it. Kind of embarrassing to say but there it is. I do feel like I have a much better understanding of the whole ignition system from all this so I guess that is a plus.

Have to find or make a new gasket for the sediment bowl and then I'll be reassembling the fuel tank et al.

Thanks again and keep up the good work.
 
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