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Function of Condenser on KT17

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While tinkering with my lastest acquisition, a 7117 with a Series II KT17,I got the feeling it just wasn't running right. I started by checking the air filter and plugs and what I found was the plugs were looking quite black and sooty. I cleaned that off and checked the gap and re installed them. Not much difference however after having done that. I next checked the points and what I found here was a wire that came from the coil and was attached to the terminal. A second wire that was coming from the condenser was also present but the end of the wire had no connector on it nor was it attached to anything, it was just loose under the cover where the points reside. Best I can tell from the KT17 manual, it should have also been attached to the terminal of the points. Before I try firing it up, is my assessment correct on where that wire attaches? Also since the engine was starting and running, what is it that the condensor does? Could it run with out being hooked up and did I just dislodge it when I took the points cover off? If it can run without it, I don't know how long it has been like this. Cold running without it have caused any damage to other parts of the engine? Thanks for any help! Brian

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In addition to what Kirk said, the condenser also stabilizes the firing of the points to make it consistent and repetitive. Some engines will run without a condenser, but not smoothly. The condenser attaches to the same point as the coil wire. On many of the Kohler engines the condenser is mounted on the coil and attaches to the same terminal as the points. Hope this helps.

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