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cadman

still no spark, I must be doing something wrong

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cadman
I have a 10 hp briggs cast iron engine 243341 with no spark. The coil that came off of it was a OEM Briggs coil without points. I think I must be wrong however I had thought that I read somewhere that the solid state coil OEM number was 398811, anyway I purchased a oregon brand aftermarket coil from ebay that stated it replaces 398811. After receiving this coil I installed it and gapped to .010" turned the engine over with the starter/generator....no spark. I thought that I received a bad coil so I purchased another aftermarket coil this time through NAPA and it stated for applications requiring OEM 398811, I gapped it with the paper card that it said to use that was in the package and still no spark. I checked the card thickness and found that it was .008", I then tried other gaps from .009" to .014" and still no spark. I have done many points style coils in the past and set it to .010" and was done, this is the first solid state coil I have done. I did some searching through past "talking tractor" forums here and discovered 298968 is for point style ignitions. 398811 solid state is for 7-16 hp applications. 492341 solid state is for 10-13 hp L-head applications. Is 398811 the wrong coil for this engine? I am so confused I feel like an idiot, this has always been so simple in the past. Should I be using the 492341 coil instead. Sincerely, Colin Morris

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DMedal
Hi Colin, Let me see if I understand your case right and let me ask a couple of questions, ok? a) This engine has always had a pointsless ignition (Magnetron, I assume). b) You've tried several different coils which should be intended for this engine, all without success. You're thinking you may not have the right coil now. c) you've got the same flywheel as you had when it worked. c2) DID it ever work for you, or did you acquire it dead? d) in all this changing of coils have you tried replacing the electronic module? e) What about the ignition kill wire? if that's shorted to ground somewhere or at the switch, it would cause this symptom. f) what was the behavior right before it quit? Welcome to our helpful web site. I think you're going to get some good suggestions here. -Don

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cadman
a) This engine has always had a pointsless ignition (Magnetron, I assume). Yes -------------------------------------------------------------------------- b) You've tried several different coils which should be intended for this engine, all without success. You're thinking you may not have the right coil now. Yes -------------------------------------------------------------------------- c) you've got the same flywheel as you had when it worked. Yes -------------------------------------------------------------------------- c2) DID it ever work for you, or did you acquire it dead? I bought this 1964 Simplicity Landlord in 1990, the previous owner had a new 1989 10 hp cast iron engine installed by the dealer, it has started very nicely up until about a month ago. This tractor is the reason that I am so loyal to these very well engineered machines. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- d) in all this changing of coils have you tried replacing the electronic module? This engine has only the solid state coil on it with the sensor molded into the coil body and the wire coming off of the primary side of the coil that leads out to a insulator that is mounted on the side of the block, to kill the ignition. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- e) What about the ignition kill wire? if that's shorted to ground somewhere or at the switch, it would cause this symptom. The wire is new and it is routed properly. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- f) what was the behavior right before it quit? It has been starting harder and harder over the last 2 months

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cadman
Ron, I have checked the spark with coil wire or hitched to plug and to a good ground. The key is good, however if the key was sheared as long as the crankshaft turned there would be spark, just would not run well or at all until key was changed. I made a folding bench that these cast iron singles sit on for repairs and am enclosing pictures of the engine, just for giggles.

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firefoxz1
How are the magnets in the flywheel? Do you feel a good magnetic pull? Other than totally disconnecting the kill wire and checking for spark, as Duckman suggested, can't think of anything more. This may sound stupid but you didn't mount them upsidedown did you? If you compared thickness, curvature and trigger placement from the new to the old coil that should give you a good idea if it should work.

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cadman
In all tests for spark, the grounding wire was disconnected from the coil to absolutely rule out any grounding issues at all. The magnet in the flywheel seems as strong as any other that I have observed, it easily pressed the .010" feeler gauge flat against the radius of the magnet. Mount what upside down? the coil? I don't think it can be installed up side down. Well thanks to all for the input. This tractor has run flawlessly for 17 years and has outlasted 3 MTD lawn tractors in the this time belonging to friends. I wish the block was drilled for the plunger so I could convert it to the old style magneto with points.

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Al
Hi, You do not need the kill wire connected to the module for it to function. If you put the coil on and DON'T connect the wire you should have spark. Be sure you have the coil on right side out. If you don't have spark it is a module problem. If you then connect the wire and the spark goes away, you have a ground on that kill line. You can crank it over easily by taking a pair of jumper cables and connecting to the engine and touching the other to the A terminal of the starter generator. I will check the coil numbers tomorrow. Al Eden

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Al
Hi, As I remember the rivets that hold the laminations together, the heads go to the block and the swauged end with the crossed go out. There should be a little instruction sheet in the box also. I don't remember which way the plug wire comes out, usually I just put them on as the old one came off. If he has the original, he should be able to see the marks where the posts were and the round marks for the screws. I would need to look up to see what is right. Al Eden

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cadman
Whew.........finally.........progress I would have never thought it would take three different coils to get one that works. A friend of mine stopped over this evening with a fresh brandy new OEM Briggs and Stratton 398811 coil straight from the local Simplicity dealer, it has serious spark now. The lesson learned for me: beware of aftermarket parts especially electrical. Shame on me! 1st and 2nd coils were aftermarket and from different manufacturers at that. Oh well my lawn is in real bad need of a Simplicity attitude adjustment......the lawn is longer than it ever has been during the time I have owned both my Foot Draggers. Thank you to all that had thoughts on this situation, I am truly grateful that this site exists in the first place. Sincerely, Colin Morris

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Al
Hi, I just walked across the street and turned the computer on and the 398811 coil is the correct number. Also the coil goes on with the plug wire coming out on the side away from the block and as you look at the engine should point off to the right. Al Eden

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Al
Hi, The most common problem we see with aftermarket is ignition switches. There are a number of ignition switches made by Indak. They are all 5 terminal group and a number of different pin outs, for both Magneto and Battery ignition. Add to this the new ones with the 5 pin layout , pluss the additional terminal and there about 14 combinations. We see units that have gone to Napa etc and have a "SWITCH" that "plugs in" and it is not the correct switch. The customer has "plugged it in" and the switch they have has put 12v on the Ign kill line and we now have a destroyed ignition module. They then need the correct switch AND a NEW ign module. We see it all the time,YUP, SEE IT HAS 5 TERMINALS AND YOUR PLUG WILL PLUG IN. Like bonus sales for us. Al Eden

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