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No spark at any point even before coil, tried to, take out for replacement coil wire but looks like there is a cotter pin around it never seen this before how do i get wire out. thanks james

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Hmmm well I have an old stihl that I believe looked like that. The plug wire was burned though and bad. I removed that metal clip thing and discovered that the inside of the coil tower where the spark plug wire comes out is threaded. The new wire was just twisted into it clockwise. Getting the old wire out was a bugger though. it was so old that it fell apart and we ended up taking it out in little pieces.
Get the clip out and try "unscrewing" it. You didnt give any specifics as to year and make and model of saw. However the Stihls are the way I described and other coils may be as well.

Posted on Jul 28, 2010

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Just purchased new engine. Has gas in the engine and oil. There is a flashing light showing that it's getting spark, but their is no spark at spark plug. It won't start.


Hi Gavin,
I will try to give you a few suggestions for your problem. With no spark at the spark plug what you will have to work on is the wiring, switch and coil also anything that is hooked up to that system in some way. Do you have a V.O.M. (volt, ohm, meter)? If you do check the continuity of all the wiring, switch and coil. Start with the plug wire, the plug connector sometimes comes out of the wire and the coil end of the plug wire sometimes slides out of the coil connect point. Take a look at the switch to make sure it is working like it should and not staying grounded. Check the coil for cracks and damage to the windings. All the wiring should be checked for damaged insulator or fraying that could ground out the electrical system. Does this new engine have points and condenser? If yes then that system has to be checked also. But if this is a new engine it has no points and condenser, most haven't for the past few years. Have you checked the spark plug, sometimes they are bad even if new? Check for any safety systems that saw might have to make sure that it is working properly. I have heard about a saw that had good spark with the cowling off but when the cowling is on there is no spark. The answer was that a wire was pinched and grounding out with the cowling on and was very hard to see on the wire. You could check the coil to flywheel gap and make sure it is to spec. and get the rust off the magnets. I have seen rust ground out the system so that is a possibility. I hope these few suggestions help you out even a bit. All the best and good luck. Any questions welcome.

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No spark to the plugs or the coil


Troubleshooting No Spark Your new engine won't start or your old engine suddenly quit and won't run. You're pretty sure there is no spark but how do you determine what the exact cause is? Definitely do a test for spark at the plugs. Remove one of the plug wires from a plug and hold it near grounded metal. (If the plug end has a long insulated shroud, you may have to improvise to get ground close enough to the end of the wire.) Have someone crank the engine while you watch for spark. If you get an 1/8" or so of spark, that should be enough to fire. If you don't have a helper, you can do it this way: Pull the hi-tension lead out of the distributor cap and hold near ground.
With ignition On, turn the engine pulley CW past the TDC mark. You should get some kind of spark, although if you turn slowly the spark may be weak.Check the distributor cap inside for signs of cracks or carbon arc tracks.
Also, check to see that the little carbon contact for the center terminal is in place; without that you can have spark but it won't get to any plug wires!It's rare, but a rotor with an internal short or carbon tracks on the surface can kill the spark before it even gets to the cap.

Quick review: The coil is a big transformer with a magnetic core. Current from the battery goes into the primary winding on Terminal #15. That same current goes out Terminal #1 and through the point contacts. This current creates a magnetic field in the core of the coil.When the points open, the magnetic field in the coil core collapses, creating a high voltage in the seconday winding, which is fed to the center Hi-tension terminal. The condensor across the points helps to control arcing at the points, which would soon destroy them, and also makes the spark a higher voltage by creating a resonant (ringing) circuit with the coil winding. All we really need to know is that without the condensor, the spark would be pretty weak.
Troubleshooting: You can find out quite a lot about the coil circuit with very basic tools. A voltmeter is helpful (I prefer the older analog meter with a needle over the digital ones because changes in readings are more easily seen.)If you don't have a meter handy, a simple test lamp will do just as well. If your car is 12 volt, use a 12 volt bulb; if 6 volt, use a 6 volt bulb. Put some wires on the bulb, maybe with alligator clips, and you're in business.Connect the tester (meter or bulb) from ground (engine case) to Terminal #15 on the coil. Never mind what the actual markings on the coil say; connect to the terminal which has the thick Black wire from the main harness on it. I say never mind the markings on the coil because someone may have swapped wires around which could lead you astray.The tester should show 12 volts (or 6v). If it doesn't, there is no power from the Ignition Switch. Track that down (bad switch?).Double check that there is power at Terminal #15 while cranking the engine with the key. This is important because sometimes power will be lost while cranking due to a contact failure inside the ignition switch.OK, you have power going to the coil. Now, hook the tester from ground to Terminal #1 on the coil (where the Green wire from the points connects).Leave the Hi-tension lead out of the cap. With ignition On, turn the pulley by hand (or have someone crank the engine). The tester should go On and Off twice each revolution. If it does that, you should get spark.If the tester stays ON while cranking, the points are not closing. Watch them while turning the pulley to see if they appear to close. If they do, there may be a surface film on the points or the points are eroded and pitted. Replace the points. I strongly recommend using Bosch points as many of the off-brand points give very poor life. In a pinch, you might lightly file the points. When replacing points, be sure to put a tiny amount of grease on the cam lobes or else the fiber rubbing block will rapidly wear and change the point gap. One other rare cause of an "open points" condition is failure of the tiny braided pigtail lead which grounds the advance plate. If the pigtail is broken, the advance plate may only be intermittently grounded. This will cause loss of spark as the advance plate moves or maybe no spark at any time. (There is no pigtail on distributors which have no vacuum advance.)If the tester stays OFF while cranking, there are 3 possibilities:
Points shorted (stuck closed).
Condenser shorted.
Coil open.Take the Green points wire off the coil terminal. If the tester now goes ON , either the points or the condenser is shorted. Replace both.If removing the Green wire still did not turn the tester ON , the coil may be open.
Double check that there is still power to Terminal #1 on the coil. Also look to make sure that there are not any other wires connected to Terminal #1.
(Sometimes, someone will mistakenly connect the Backup light wire to Terminal #1; this will cause no spark when in Reverse!)
Replace the coil if the above test shows the coil open.



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Feb 28, 2010 | 1989 Mercedes-Benz 190

1 Answer

1940 9n will not start, have replaced the points, condensor, 12 v coil, wires, new carb and the stark plugs. The only thing happening is gas coming out of the itake from the air cleaner. Also I replaced...


Is it cranking? Is there a spark? If there is no spark. I would look at the points again; unless you mean you replaced them now instead of in the fall. Look at the points and if they look frosted then try sanding them or replace them again. They can go bad quickly if there is moisture in the cap. Recheck the gap. It is possible that you got a bad condensor if the points are good. Check the cap and rotor for corrosion and remove this coorosion or replace them. Check that you have voltage at the coil. It might be a bad ignition switch. If all this is good turn the crank till the points close, turn the key on and check for a spark with the coil wire within a 1/4" of a ground when you open the points with a screwdriver. If it has spark; try spraying a little starting fluid into the carb. Let us know what you find out.

Feb 15, 2010 | Ford 8n,9n,2n, Tractor Starter With Drive

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Still no fire , toro 8/32 briggs stratton engine snowblower


Repair Manual (Antique) - CE8069 for engines built prior to 1981

Point setting should be .020" after they are full open. I am nut sure that TDC will give full open.

Armature/coil air gap should be 'the thickness of the cardboard' of the box it came in.
*note: the coating on the wire from the coil to the points should be sanded off where they connect to the points.

The voltage coming from the coil is DC and may be as much as 8,000 to 15,000 volts. You WILL know it when it has spark, as in, you may have to change your underwear if it sparks and you are touching the end of the wire.

The 'afterthought' is that an electronic coil could have been mounted to eliminate the points to aid in a sharper spark and easier starting.

Final note: make sure all snwoblower frame wiring and switches are working correctly, as this can 'kill' the spark.

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1 Answer

Brand new machine unbalanced (really unbalanced) during spin cycle. When unpacking there are two plastic "rip cords" that are supposed to remove a total of three cotter pins. Only one cotter pin came out...


oh yea sounds like there still in there alright!!!, tip the unit back if possible and give a look underneath, you see2 or 3( depending on model) plastic tubes approx 2in long mounted to the under carriage around the base. They are there for the sole purpose of "catching" the cotter pins after pulling the rip cord. there should be a cotter pin in each of the tubes. if you see any empty ones look directly above it and youll find the pin, you may have to manually grab the cotter pin to release it withe a set of needle nose pliers or something but the definitely need to be removed.

Mar 10, 2008 | Washing Machines

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