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Ignition breaker points arcing

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#1 breimer OFFLINE  

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Posted May 18, 2015 - 10:26 PM

Ford 120 Kohler 12 HP battery powered ignition. Adjusted the points today.Tractor runs better however I noticed visible arcing at the points. Then occasionally it would arc much brighter and simultaneously the engine would labor and nearly stall,sometimes backfire also. Changed the condenser,no difference. Cleaned the points with sand paper and readjusted. Engine now runs almost flawlessly,however there is still some visible arcing. Now the question. Is some arcing normal?

#2 larrybl OFFLINE  


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Posted May 18, 2015 - 10:29 PM

Capasitor is bad.

#3 Chopperhed OFFLINE  

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Posted May 18, 2015 - 10:33 PM

Arcing is indicative of a faulty capacitor(condensor) just changing it may not be enough, a new one is probably required.



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Posted May 18, 2015 - 10:39 PM

If your coil doesn't have an internal ballast resistor, you will need to put one in line.
Some spark is to be expected, as long as its not a big blue arc, you should be fine assuming the new condenser is good.

Edit: make sure the condenser has a good ground.
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#5 EricFromPa OFFLINE  



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Posted May 18, 2015 - 11:07 PM

internal ballast resistor coil or an inline ballast resistor is a must have


Start it up and run it for a bit then try to touch the Coil once you shut it off.If it's a Non resistor coil it will get extremely Hot to the touch.( warning it may burn your skin) An internal ballast resistor coil will get Warm but not hot.



Condenser sounds like it's good or it would fire the coil intermediately or not at all.

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#6 JDBrian OFFLINE  


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Posted May 19, 2015 - 04:48 AM

The points have to be in good shape, not pitted, as this will contribute to more arcing. They also need to be set properly. The lock down screw can sometimes be hard to tighten and can loosen off. Replacing it with an allen key headed screw makes it a lot easier to get it tight. Condenser should be replaced if there is any doubt about it's condition. The coil should measure about 3 ohms of resistance on the low voltage side. If it's much less than that you probably have the wrong coil as noted above.

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#7 breimer OFFLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2015 - 07:13 AM

Thanks all for your replies.I guess for what its worth I should simply replace the points and condenser with new parts and set them properly. I just had a feeling that maybe a small arc was normal and in that case maybe there is nothing wrong. It was kinda dark where the points are hidden because of how the engine is mounted on this tractor so the arcing appears brighter. If the sun shone right at it I may not see arcing at all.
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#8 massey driver OFFLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2015 - 07:28 AM

A small amount of arcing is normal.The points act as a quick switch on & off so in the dark etc: you'll see a bit of arc.This is why over time the points pit etc:

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