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How do I test the magneto coil?

It is a Model 61

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There not much you can test. for. It either works or not. Disconnect the kill wire and try starting checking for spark. If spark is present then coil is working a further generating voltage. Check flywheel magnets to see if they good and strong.

Now ignition can fail to operate under compression so a spark gap test set at .166" need to be used. If works at this gap then it should under compression unless the high voltage is broken internally. A resistance test can tell if this is the case. Open circuit reading will most likely be broken wire. Most coil have non-replaceable leads.

Posted on Apr 18, 2015

  • Rob North Apr 18, 2015

    Thanks Eugene. It looks like a broken HT wire as I get a zero ohm reading accross the HT side.

  • Eugene Rounds Apr 18, 2015

    Actually that is good if you are testing just the lead itself or shorted secondary of the coil. It should read a few thousand ohms from the plug end to the coil metal frame. An open circuit would your DVM max reading on the ohms scales.



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So you don't have echo

No Spark can be one of 3 faults.
The wire to the spark plug is either shorted somewhere along its length. An open circuit along the wire coming out of the magneto or
the magneto is not generating a spark.
Best way to test for a spark is to use a neon test lamp.
Hold one end and bring the other end close to high voltage wire under test. Test on your running car first.
Trace the HV wire back to the magneto on side of engine. rotate engine by hand to get magneto to generate a current. Remove spark plug to allow engine to rotate easier without compression.
The high voltage is generated from a coil inside magneto assembly.
Good Luck

Aug 17, 2014 | Garden

1 Answer

Won't start, changed plug, set gap on magneto still no spark

To test magneto leave properly mounted and gapped to the motor. unplug black wire from magneto. Crank motor and test for spark. If you get spark with the wire unplugged then the magneto is fine and your problem is in the wiring system, likely a safety switch. If you have no spark with the wire unplugged then the magneto is bad and needs to be replaced.
BTW, the black wire is a ground. That is what shuts the motor off when you turn the key to off or when you get out of the seat, etc. So the motor will not shut off with that wire unplugged. Also, putting any voltage on that wire will immediately damage the coil.

Oct 20, 2012 | Mtd Garden

1 Answer

No spark at the plug

What is this? What year ,make , model and engine size is this?

Apr 22, 2012 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

I have a Powermate Generator which I bought about 3 years ago from Lowe's. I start it up and run it every few months. Now it will not start. I took the magneto off and cleaned the inductor magnet in...

Remove all the wires at the coil and retest. Good idea to use a new plug for testing or insert metal into plug cap and then hold close to metal of engine. If still no spark, remove the coil and take to small engine shop for free test (may have been damaged by heat if it was making contact with flywheel). I use a growler to test the coil. If retest produces spark, most likely faulty oil sensor. Remove the wire from oil sending unit. Dont replace the oil sending unit, just check oil often.

Sep 09, 2011 | Briggs Stratton IC Horizontal OHV Engine ...

1 Answer

I have a 82 gs550l if i charge the battery and then ride it the battery wont stay charged and when the headlight is on it drains the battery even faster

You have either a rectifier or charging coil(magneto) issue. The rectifier changes the AC pulse from the magneto to 12V DC. If that checks out, you'll need to test the magneto. Either case you'll need to have a multimeter handy and access to the factory repair manual for the testing parameters and wiring diagrams. Good luck!

Jun 13, 2011 | Suzuki Gs 550 L Motorcycles

2 Answers

Id like to know if you can test your magneto without a multi circuit tester ? if i am getting spark, is my magneto still good? how do i read the numbers to know what year i in fact have ?

If you are getting a strong, blue, spark on a known, good spark plug, then the magneto is good. If the spark is weak (barely visible), then it is most likely the clearance or rust build up.

The easiest thing to do is check for rust on the surface of the magneto and the surface of the pick-up coil. Emery cloth is good for removing rust on both. Then check for the clearance between the pick-up coil and the magneto. The closer to the magneto, the more powerful the spark (but rotate the magneto to ensure it never touches). When you loosen the screws on the pickup coil to adjust, make sure you have a business card to place between the surfaces to keep them from touching. The strong magnet in the magneto will pull the pickup coil to itself. Tighten the screws and remove the business card. Check for clearance as you rotate the magneto.

The only thing that can go bad in a magneto situation is the pickup coil. So, if you're getting a spark, it most likely is not the pickup coil because it will either produce a spark or won't.

May 31, 2011 | Suzuki RM 250 Motorcycles

1 Answer

I am getting no spark at plug. Briggs model 31c707 motor. I have charged battery, adjusted valves, verified fuel line clear. Pull spark plug put into wire hold to motor and crank (no spark)

Hello, the next couple of things to check would be under the engine lid.

  1. Remove the screen over the air fan on the top of the fly wheel.
  2. Remove the 4 bolts securing the main lid and remove. Depending on the year of this engine it may have a secondary cover that Craftsman put on that will need to be removed first.
  3. When the lid is off you will see the magneto coil right above the spark plug; just follow the spark plug wire up to it.
  4. Use a wrench to see if the magnet on the fly wheel is strong. If the magnet is bad or really weak the flywheel will need to be replaced.
  5. Next check the magneto ground out wire. It will be a small black wire on the magneto. Unplug it then crank the engine. If the engine starts plug the wire back on the magneto and if it shuts down there is a short along the wire. It should only shut down or short out when the key is shut off. You will need to find the short if this is the problem.
  6. If the magnet is strong and the above test still fails to provide a spark then it is likely that the magneto is bad. You will need the rest of the model number; it will look something like: 31c707- # # # # - # # The part runs somewhere around $35.00 from Sears, but you might find it on-line cheaper.
  7. Replacing the magneto is pretty straight forward from there.
  8. Remove the old one and replace the old one adjusting it as far away from the flywheel as possible.
  9. Turn the flywheel until the magnet is directly across from the magneto.
  10. Put an ordinary business card between the magneto & the flywheel.
  11. Loosen the 2 screws that hold the magneto in place just enough for it to tighten up to hold the business card in place.
  12. Tighten the screws holding the magneto & rotate the flywheel to remove the business card.
  13. Test rotate the flywheel by hand a couple of full turns to ensure there is no contact with the magneto.
  14. Replace the small black wire, spark plug and spark plug wire, then test fire the engine.
  15. Shut the engine down and replace all the remaining parts in the reverse order as removed.
You should be good to go after this. If this was helpful please vote yes. Thank You!!

May 06, 2011 | Craftsman 17.5 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor...

1 Answer

Bike wont start

hi buddy to check the magneto just find the wires from the magneto and test them out with a volt metre if you have nothing there must be the stator plate gone get back to me buddy

Sep 20, 2009 | 1997 kawasaki ZX-7R

1 Answer

Need to know spacing requirments for magneto on mcculloch model # 600016h. is it possible to test coil and how would you do so?

Spacing is probably .010. You can test it by getting a flashlight battery and light. Connect the base of the light to the spark plug cable. Connect the ground wire of the coil to the bottom of the battery, and hold the other end of the battery on the light. If the light lights, the coil is good. If not, the coil is bad.

Do not use anything over a 1.5 volt flashlight bulb and battery. The bulb does not have to glow, just light, to prove the coil.

Jan 23, 2009 | McCulloch Garden

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