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1220 Ignition Conversion Questions...

bolens 1220 hh120 ignition conversion

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#1 aldenf OFFLINE  

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Posted June 12, 2020 - 08:21 PM

High folks.  Long time lurker.  New poster.


*TL/DR:  May have to convert to battery ignition on my 1220.  I think I have the 10A charging system.  Will that drive a battery ignition?  Any other thoughts/advice?  Thanks!


I have a 1220 that my dad purchased new when I was six months old.  It's been a solid workhorse for 50+ years!  Dad used it hard back in the 70s, grading driveways and tilling yards for new grass.  He tells me it has to have 3000 hours on it by now.  It certainly doesn't look new.  But it still looks solid.  I put a new set of rings in back in '89, when I was in college.  It had started to smoke just a bit and compression had dropped just below 90.


Dad passed the 1220 on to me in '95 when all he needed anymore was something to cut grass.  He got a Simplicity lawn tractor and hated every bit of it for the 3 years he used it.  He stumbled across a very clean 850 with a deck and paid $150 for it.  He turned around and sold the Simplicity for $600 and pocketed the change.  He still has that 850 and added a snow thrower to it.  At 85, he clears his own driveway and mows his own yard.  The old Wisconsin still runs strong!  Around 2000, we heard the dealer dad bought the 1220 from was going out of business.  We bought a bunch of NOS so we'd have parts around.  I still have a clutch, 5 or 6 open pulleys and 3 deck spindles.  Dad has a box of parts too.


Anyhow...  The 1220 sat all winter because we got no snow worth putting the blade on for.  After draining her dry in March, filling with new fluids and throwing a new plug in, she wouldn't start.  Had fuel and air but no spark, which was really strange because it was running great when parked in mid-November.  I spent the winter working on an old JD 112L that I had picked up for free and rebuilt the Eaton.  I've been cutting with it rather than selling so far this season.  But I miss my Bolens!...  even if the 112L does cut a little nicer. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  I put my tiller on dad's 850 to dig up the garden.  So it's not all bad news.


I have all the Bolens and Tec manuals so I started ripping it apart this morning.  I don't think any wiring is grounding out.  The plug wire is 51 years old.  So there's that.  The leading (long) trigger pin (the left one as you face the flywheel) is sheared off.  The pickup on the magneto obviously made contact with something (maybe the sheared pin?).  The ceramic insulator is crunched a tiny bit.  The trailing (short) pin (the one on the right) seems gapped fine.  I haven't pulled the flywheel yet and my brother has my multi-meter.  So I haven't ohmed the wire or magneto out yet either.


A new wire is just a given at this point.  But I want to check the resistance on the magneto before I start buying parts I may not be able to use.  Trigger pin kits are still available for cheap.  Of course the magneto, if bad, is probably a lost cause.  Worst case, I convert to a battery ignition.  I've been researching that option this afternoon.  Hopefully, my brother will drop my meter off yet tonight.


Best I can tell, I have the 10A charging system.  Is that enough to drive a battery ignition?  Any other advice you can offer?


Damn.  I've darned near written a novel here.  I guess that's what happens when you get furloughed and shelter in place during a pandemic.  Most of NJ is a basket case and I'm bored silly.  I'll add a TL/DR at the beginning of the post.



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#2 Dave in NY ONLINE  

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Posted June 13, 2020 - 05:39 AM

Sent you a PM

#3 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 13, 2020 - 11:52 AM

personally if it were me I'd stick with the OEm system , but there is a guy who makes the 12vt conversions on ebay

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