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Bolens EK10 - No Spark question


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#1 Joedogs73 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 11, 2017 - 08:07 PM

What is this? External resistor perhaps ???? I can't find it in my parts manual or service manual/electrical diagram. Could this cause no spark? Thanks

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#2 Gtractor ONLINE  

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Posted May 11, 2017 - 09:01 PM

yes,  ballast resistor

 

If its bad and no power gets through it could most definitely cause a no-spark issue


Edited by Gtractor, May 11, 2017 - 09:03 PM.


#3 BRIAN EK7&10 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 11, 2017 - 09:47 PM

the EK10 did not use a ballast resistor as original equipment. someone added it on. check the coil to see if it has an internal resistor,if it does then the ballast resistor is not needed. remove the primary coil wires off of the coil and check the resistance of the primary winding if it is around 3.2-3.8 ohms the coil should be ok and not need a ballast resistor. check for 12 volts at the wire that goes to the + terminal on the coil,should be 12 volts with the key on. connect an ohm meter to the- terminal on the coil and engine ground you should have continuity when the points close and an open circuit when points are open. if the unit has been running with the wrong coil it may have burnt the contacts of the points up try filing them a little. also a shorted condenser will cause a no spark condition. dirty or burnt points will also cause this.
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#4 Eric OFFLINE  

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Posted May 11, 2017 - 11:14 PM

Just a suggestion but you may want to start by simply trying a spark tester plug. You could just have a bad plug. They most likely added the ballast resistor because the coil was replaced and did not have an internal resistor. Just start simple then move to troubleshooting farther.
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#5 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted May 11, 2017 - 11:55 PM

That looks like an old Dodge resister from the 60s and 70s. They were a frequent problem on those cars. The one on my old Dodge pickup had to be replaced about once per year. Start with the engine manual and work through the troubleshooting section. Good Luck, Rick
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#6 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted May 12, 2017 - 08:05 AM

As mentioned above these originally came with 12vt coils with internal resistors that one you have on there was added on by someone who likely installed the wrong coil.

 

Check your points and condenser as well as spark to the plug with a tester, you will be able to see if your getting weak spark with a tester.



#7 29 Chev OFFLINE  

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Posted May 12, 2017 - 10:04 AM

A 12 volt test light can be used as a quick test to check and see if the points are opening and closing on a battery ignition system.  Hook the test light to a good ground and the other end can be connected to the point side of the coil primary circuit terminal with a jumper wire.  Then crank the engine - if the points are opening and closing and there is continuity through the coil with the proper voltage at the battery side of the coil the test light should flash as the engine is turning over.  The flashing action is caused by the voltage going to zero as the points close to ground the circuit.  The test light may light or not when you first connect it depending on whether the points are open or closed.


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#8 Joedogs73 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 16, 2017 - 09:27 PM

I'm still not getting spark, I purchased new points and put them in. I attached a picture of the inside of the breaker box so you guys can see how its wired. I just followed the way it was wired when I got it. The condenser and wire that goes to ignition coil are pretty much attached with same screw under the points. This isn't what wire diagram shows in service manual.
New 12v coil w/ new external resistor
New Spark plug and wire
New Points

I gaped the points to the .020 according to manual. The points move when motor is turned over. I'm a bit confused about the timing on the compression stroke. My understanding (I'm probably wrong about this)is that the timing may contribute to rough running.
So do i need to make sure the timing marks in the fly wheel shroud is good before I even set the points? Should I just disregard the way its currently wired and just go by the Service manual wire diagrams?
I attached the wire diagrams I'm referencing. My breaker box can't be wired the way it is in the diagram (I don't think) and my ignition system is wired the way it is in the diagram except mine has a resister between ignition and positive side of ignition coil.
Do I need to focus on something else that i'm not thinking about?

20170516_221827.jpg

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#9 29 Chev OFFLINE  

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Posted May 17, 2017 - 12:20 PM

Attached is a pdf copy of the pages for setting the points on a TRA10D which I assume is the motor you have.  It shows using a flashlight tool that lights when the two wires make continuity to check to see when the points make and break contact but an analogue ohmmeter can be used in its place or you could make a similar tool from a regular flashlight.  On the second page it shows a better picture of how things were wired originally - looks like someone did away with the insulated stud set up at the bottom.  If you still have the cover check to make sure that it is not shorting out the circuit when it is installed by touching on any of the terminals.

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#10 Joedogs73 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 17, 2017 - 07:45 PM

Thanks for the diagram....In the diagram (fig 14) shows a Starting Switch and a Ignition Switch. The only switch I can trace the wires to is the key ignition on mine. Do you think I have both of these switches? Could the voltage regulator be a possibility? The ground wire looks pretty corroded, not broken that I know of.

#11 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted May 18, 2017 - 06:02 AM

Thanks for the diagram....In the diagram (fig 14) shows a Starting Switch and a Ignition Switch. The only switch I can trace the wires to is the key ignition on mine. Do you think I have both of these switches? Could the voltage regulator be a possibility? The ground wire looks pretty corroded, not broken that I know of.

 

These estate keepers just have a 3 post key switch


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#12 29 Chev OFFLINE  

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Posted May 18, 2017 - 07:13 AM

The voltage regulator should not affect spark if you have battery voltage coming from the key switch wire going to the ballast resistor in the run and start position.  If you have a D.C. voltmeter (or a 12 volt test light) I would check the primary ignition circuit as follows.  Connect the black wire of the voltmeter (or alligator clip on the test light lead) to a good ground source. With the key switch in the on position check to see if you have 12 volts at the key switch side of the ballast resistor by touching the red wire lead of your voltmeter (or test light probe) to the terminal that is connected to the wire coming from the ignition switch. You should have a 12 volt reading on the voltmeter (or the test light should light brightly).  Next turn the key to the start position and crank the engine and make sure you still have a 12 volt reading (or test light should light brightly). Next check the other terminal of the ballast resistor for voltage - you should get a reading between 6 and 12 volts on the voltmeter ( the test light should light but may not be as bright) depending on the value of the ballast resistor and whether the points are open or closed.  Next check to see if you have the same reading at the positive terminal of the coil where the wire from the ballast resistor connects - you should get the same voltage reading (or test light result) as you did at the ballast resistor terminal that is connected to the wire going to the coil.  Lastly connect the red voltmeter lead to the negative terminal of the coil and crank the engine and observe the voltage - it should change between 12 volts and 0 if the points are opening and closing as you crank the engine (or the test light should flash on and off).  If you are using a digital voltmeter the voltage reading may be difficult to observe depending on the quality of the voltmeter - an analog voltmeter or the test light works better for making the last test.  If everything checks out and the coil, condenser and spark plug wire and spark plug are ok then you should have spark.  If you do not then I would suspect the coil, condenser, spark plug wire or spark plug may be bad.  Hope this helps.  



#13 Joedogs73 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 18, 2017 - 07:06 PM

Ok, I did the test using a test light. I can't seem to get the light to come on when key is in run position. I can when I crank it, but not a very bright light. Same goes for the rest of the tests. My ignition switch is very loose, it was stuck until I forced it in order to free it. Also, I don't actually have a battery in it, im just using jumper cables from my car battery. Everything from the resistor to the coil is brand new. Any ideas?

#14 29 Chev OFFLINE  

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Posted May 18, 2017 - 07:43 PM

If you are using the battery from your car then I would strongly recommend that you remove one of the battery cables from the car so the battery is isolated from the car wiring  while you are using it on the EK - something in the EK circuit could accidently short and damage the alternator on your car.  Sounds like you may have a bad or incorrect ignition switch that may be wired different to the one you need.  You could try disconnecting the wire that goes to the resistor at the ignition switch end and hook a jumper wire from the 12 volt positive terminal of the booster cables to the wire - that way you will have removed the ignition switch from the equation.  You may also have a poor connection or voltage loss through the booster cables depending on how long they are and there condition.  If you use the jumper wire do not leave it connected for more than a couple of minutes if the engine is not running or being cranked as the points could get burnt depending on whether they are open or closed in the stopped position and it could also cause damage to the windings of the coil from heat.


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