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PatRarick

Ignition Problem

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PatRarick
Jhall's post on the leaking points plunger on the 23D reminded me of a problem I had this spring that just about drove me nuts. A customer brought in an early B-10 that he just couldn't get running. He lost the spark and converted the engine to a battery type ignition. It started and ran fine for a while, then would dramatically lose power and be hard to start, then go back to running like a top. Checked everything I could think of. I finally did away with the battery ignition and reconnected the magneto. It ran fine. Started it a bit later and it ran fine. Decided to try mowing with it and it ran fine for about 10 minutes, then lost the spark. I replaced the magneto armature, and timed the engine according to specs. The engine fired once or twice, and I lost the spark again. Checked the timing to make sure that was right on, and found it about 15 degrees off. Not enought room on the mounting slots to line up the timing marks. Flywheel key was fine. Reinstalled the flywheel and the engine timed perfectly. Decided to bench test rather than installing on the tractor, and it ran fine. About a half an hour later, I tried to start it again. Fired once or twice, then lost the spark. Timing was way off again. Knowing that the timing was so far off, I knew that the battery ignition was not the way to go. It would provide spark, but the timing would still be way off. I pulled the engine apart to check the point lobe on the camshaft. When I pulled the cam, I found no problem. When I laid the engine down to re-install the cam, the point plunger fell out. For those of you who are not aware, the end of the point plunger that rides on the cam is like the head of a nail. When I picked up the point plunger to put it back in, I found that half of the head had been broken off. When the plunger rotated, it occasionally was in a position where the broken part would ride against the came. It essentially shortened the plunger so that it did not open the points until well after the flywheel magnets had past the armature. Just a note for anyone who may run into a similar ignition problem. Pat

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mbrook
Pat, Thank you for posting info like this. I had problems with my 7013 when I bought it this spring, I replaced the spark plug, points, condensor, and magneto. All at different times, trying to eleminate the problem. I think I have it fixed now (magneto), had that not been the problem I would not have known where to look next. Its info like this that helps to make this a great site. Thanks Pat and to ALL that help us out.

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Dutch
Pat, I may have had the same problem on a twin 18. The plunger wasn't moving. I just installed a trigger and never looked into the cause. What would cause half the plunger head to break?

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BLT
Dutch, I'm assuming you are talking Briggs. I looked it up and it appears that on that engine, it had a fibre type plunger typical on all aluminum blocks and am taking a guess that on yours, the fibre worn down. On Pat's problem, given the age maybe it brinelled by not rotating enough?

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PatRarick
Dutch, Not sure what could have caused it to break. It had a fiber head on it. Maybe someone at one time had pulled the points back to file them, then let them snap back, slamming the plunger into the camshaft? That's the only possible way I could see for it to break. The replacement plunger, scrounged from a 241401, had an all steel head. Bob, Yes, we are talking Briggs. The plunger on the cast iron engines is steel. Some, I'm assuming older models, had only the head of the plunger (riding against the camshaft), made of fiber. Pat

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EDS
Thank you Pat a bunch. I have a 23D on a wards tractor we use for snow plowing. Last winter in the snow I could not get the points adjusted beceause the travel in the plunger would not give me the .020 I was looking for. The plunger seemed too short. Maybe the head of the plunger is not what it use to be.

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gretsch
Pat, Just curious, how do you "charge" when working on something like that? Sounds like it took quite a bit of time to get it fixed though it turned out to be a small part.

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PatRarick
Gretsch, I'm just glad that problems like that are few and far between. In most cases, I sit down with the customer and explain the situation. I show them the full price bill, then negotiate with them. I have to eat a lot of the labor, but it comes back to me in their repeat business. I also chalk it up to experience. With a problem like that, I am on a mission. Sam, see this thread: http://www.simpletractors.com/club2/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=19342 With the style 1 bushing, you would have to disassemble the engine to replace only the plunger. With a style 2, you can remove the bushing and plunger, replace the plunger, then re-install the old bushing. Pat

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gretsch
We need a lot more people with your attitude. I think you will be in business for a long time. If you don't have the trust of your customers they will not come back or refer others to you. Take care.

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