Click here to make a donation through PayPal if the valuable information in this website has helped make your life better.

Please visit these other Brian Miller's websites: A-1 Miller's Performance Enterprises - Parts & Services Online Catalog | Hot Rod Garden Tractor and Mini-Truck Pullers Association

Copyright © 1996-Present. This website created, designed and maintained by Brian Miller.

Ignition Solutions for Older Small Engines and Garden Pulling Tractors

Where Science and Common Sense Come Together for Better Engine Performance

Updated 9/5/18. (Click Refresh to see changes or updates.) Optimized for 1024 x 768 screen resolution. To search for a word or phrase in any of my web sites, press CTRL and F to open the Find dialog box in your web browser. Or scroll down, or click the links below...


Unsportsmanshiplike Conduct -

There's a cheater in every sport, and competition tractor pulling is no different. Honest pullers who ignore the cheater(s) are fools. And when there's prize money involved, a fool and their money are soon parted. Anyway, to make competition pulling a fun and fair sport for the entire family, be protective of your equipment! While at the pulls, keep an eye on your killswitch plug! When a competitive or winning pulling tractor is left unattended, it's been known that certain disgruntled pullers (sore losers ) belonging to various associations/clubs, virtually anywhere and everywhere, will pull a competitor's killswitch plug and toss it out of sight. This is one of the easiest, dishonest and sneaky ways to disable and sabotage a competitor's tractor. All a cheater needs is an opportunity in an attempt to gain an advantage on the track. This is also the fastest way for a pulling association or club to gain a bad reputation and lose honest pullers. (Bad news travels fast.) This type of behavior doesn't happen often, but you need to be prepared if or when it does happen. To be prepared for this unforeseeable extra killswitch plug with you. This kind of dishonest behavior doesn't happen often, but you need to be prepared if or when it does happen. Keep an eye on your carburetor, too! Always try to stay one step ahead of a cheater. Because there's cheaters in every sport, and nobody likes a cheater, not even cheaters themselves! But then again, if the winning tractor is suspected of cheating on the track (illegal fuel, engine, weight, etc.), there's always the protest rule. But only if it's enforced by the pulling association. Remember - cheating is devious theft with a sly smirk. Heck, some pulling associations/clubs vote-in and/or change certain rules in a meeting during the off-season, lock them in for several years, but don't even enforce or follow their own rules during the pulling season! They change their rules so often, they might as well just write them in pencil! Another thing I don't understand is when a [prominent] puller of an association/club ask the president of the club if an illegal part can be used in his engine for pulling, and the president says, "yeah, sure!" But the pulling association/club's sanctioning rules, the very same rules that the members (pullers) of the association/club discussed about and voted-on in a meeting, clearly states in black and white that such a part cannot be used.


Safety First! Fabricating a Killswitch - Top of page

Killswitch ComponentsFirst of all, in order to kill both the [battery-powered] ignition system and electric fuel pump, the tractor will need a heavy duty, "connect the wires yourself" 3-prong electrical plug and receptacle. About 4 feet length of minimum 14 gauge 2-wire double-insulated electrical cord will also be needed. Although ordinary lightweight "lamp cord" will work, double-insulated wire would be more durable to prevent a short. Connect the wires so both the ignition and electric fuel pump circuits will be disabled when the plug is pulled from the receptacle.

Here's how to connect the wires:

  1. Simple Diagram of the Killswitch CircuitInside the plug, connect the two flat terminals together with a short, bare wire. This will complete the circuit to power the ignition and electric fuel pump. Don't run any wires outside the plug. Do not connect any wire to the neutral terminal on the plug or receptacle. This terminal will help keep the receptacle from falling out of the receptacle when pulling.
  2. Securely fasten a steel loop on the end of the plug. (A medium size steel key ring works perfect.)
  3. Connect one end of the wire that comes from the ignition switch (that connects to the battery positive (+) post) to one of the [flat] terminals in the receptacle.
  4. For safety, install an inline fuse holder or circuit breaker close to the ignition switch in case there's a short in the 2-wire cord. To determine the size of fuse or circuit breaker, figure how many amps all the connected electrical accessories draw, then use a fuse or an automatic circuit breaker with an amp rating slightly higher to prevent the fuse from burning out or the circuit breaker from overloading and popping. If a short occurs, the fuse will need to be replaced and the circuit breaker will automatically reset itself. Having a fuse or circuit breaker (and ammeter/amp gauge if the engine has a charging system) installed is very important to prevent failure of electrical components. By the time you smell something burning or see smoke, it may be too late.
  5. Connect the other end of the [ignition] wire that goes to the positive (+) coil terminal and electric fuel pump to the other [flat] terminal in the receptacle.
  6. Fabricate a secure bracket to mount the receptacle on the rear of the tractor, just above the hitch.
  7. Route the 2-wire cord in a safe manner along the inside of the tractor frame so it will not get pinched, chafed or make contact with the engine/chassis ground. Make sure the cord is routed to prevent it from being wrapped around the driveshaft, too!

Or for a self-energizing magneto or solid state ignition system, or battery-powered ignition system, the "grounding" type of kill switch can be used. This is actually a break-away safety kill switch for an ATV, jet ski, boat or towing trailer. When the pin pulled, it grounds the ignition coil from producing spark. If using with self-energizing magneto or solid state ignition systems: Connect one wire to the chassis ground, and connect the other wire to the ignition points/condenser wire or to the kill terminal on the solid state ignition module. If using with battery-powered ignition systems: Connect one wire to the chassis ground, and connect the other wire to the coil negative (–) terminal. NOTE: With battery-powered ignition, as soon as pin is pulled (engine will die), manually shut off ignition switch right away to prevent possible damage to the ignition coil and electronic ignition module if equipped with crank trigger ignition. This type of switch do not disable power to the electric fuel pump on a pulling tractor. The electric fuel pump must be shut-off manually by the ignition switch or an OFF/ON switch.


Ignition Solutions -

Spark-ignited engines requires a spark to initiate burning of the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber. The spark in each cylinder is provided by a spark plug and is actually a flow of electrical current through the air and fuel vapor between the closely spaced electrodes of the spark plug. The resistance of air is very high. Therefore, a 15,000- to 30,000-volt potential across the gap is used to fire the plug. Typically, the ignition system must supply this high voltage from a 12 volt power source, such as a storage battery. Moreover, the spark must begin at the proper point in the cycle and must be of sufficient duration.

Whenever a manufacturer wants to sell their latest fancy ignition system, they run a bench test that shows that their unit puts out more voltage than the other guy's. If you read enough ads with claims of extremely high available voltage, you may begin to think that voltage is the only thing necessary to make an ignition system the best in the world. After all, if ignition "A" puts out more voltage than ignition "B", the one you would want is "A", right? Sorry, but that isn't necessarily so. Ignition "A" may put out more voltage, but is it more mechanically dependable than ignition "B"? Did you know that 90% of ignition failures are mechanical, and not electrical? Blame burnt or dirty ignition points, defective condenser/capacitor, defective switch(es), broken or chaffed wires, loose screws or connectors, slipped timing, worn hinge pin hole in ignition points, etc. Apply lubricating grease on the hinge pin before installing ignition points so the hole will last longer. When it's dry, it'll wear prematurely, effecting ignition timing, resulting in loss of engine power. By the way - whenever a condenser/capacitor becomes defective or gets weak, the engine may idle well, but hesitate to accelerate, or if it did accelerate, it may run very erratic. Click here to hear what an engine with a defective condenser/capacitor sounds like. For the record, "condenser" is an age old term, and "capacitor" is a newer term for the same device. Ignition capacitors are still commonly called condensers. NOTE: The condenser body must be securely fastened to the engine/chassis ground for the engine to run smooth. If the condenser is loose in its bracket, the bracket can be squeezed slightly with large pliers to be made oblong or egg-shaped, and then the condenser will remain tight inside it. But if an engine idles well, but runs erratically above idle, like it hits and misses, pops and backfires, then chances are, it needs a new condenser/capacitor. And always install a condenser/capacitor with the wire or terminal facing down so rain water and/or when washing off engine, water will not enter inside condenser/capacitor, ruining it. Which will allow the engine to idle well, but run erratically when accelerated. Click here to hear what an engine with a faulty condenser/capacitor sounds like.

The importance of extremely high secondary voltage for more performance have been somewhat overplayed. An ignition system, regardless of type, produces only enough voltage necessary to jump the spark plug gap and ignite the air/fuel mixture. In perfect condition, a good spark plug wire and spark plug with a gap of .035" can't handle much more than 32,000 volts. If an ignition could produce more than that, then the extra voltage would escape through a leaking spark plug wire, a small crack in the ignition coil tower, etc. Besides, an average engine simply just doesn't need that much voltage. In most cases, an average engine simply don't need a high-output/performance (40,000 volt) ignition coil. If a plug require only 10,000 volts to jump its gap, then a "Super Coil" that's advertised to produce 40,000 volts will produce just 10,000 volts for that same plug under the same conditions. An ignition coil advertised to produce 40,000 volts may have the potential to do it, but unless everything is in excellent condition, only a fraction of that voltage would reach the spark plug.

As a spark plug's electrodes wear, its gap increases, so more voltage is required from the ignition coil before the spark is able to jump across the gap. If uncorrected, the gap eventually increases to the point where the plug requires more voltage than the coil can produce. However, a high-output/performance ignition coil would probably be able to fire the worn plug. Did you know that most stock ignition coils will produce enough voltage to jump a gap of up to 3/4 of an inch? Of course, no spark plug electrode will ever wear that wide. Therefore, the use of a high-output/performance ignition coil really isn't necessary, except in extreme high compression, alcohol-burning engines.


What Exactly is Coil Saturation? (Added 4/6/17)

Basically speaking, full coil saturation is when the ignition points and condenser (or two condensers) or electronic ignition control module/unit (ICU) can deliver more voltage to the coil so it will produce a stronger spark. While electricity itself moves extremely fast, it takes time for the changing magnetic fields in a coil to develop the full potential current and voltage. In other words, electricity moves much faster than magnetism. This is a way of saying that the induced voltage (stepped up voltage) does not develop instantaneously. To keep things simple, think of the coil as an energy storage device that can be "charged up" and "discharged" in a manner similar to a battery. It takes time for the magnetic field of the secondary windings in the coil to "charge" to its full potential, a condition that is called coil saturation. Similarly, it takes time for the coil to discharge some quantity of its electrical energy as it fires a spark plug. It takes more voltage from a condenser/capacitor or virtually any electronic ignition control unit (ICU) through the primary windings within the coil to make the magnetic field stronger to produce more voltage for the secondary windings to fire the spark plug(s) at higher RPM. This allows an engine accelerate at higher RPM. When maximum current flow is present in a winding, a maximum magnetic field is present and the coil winding is considered saturated. Saturation of the primary windings only occurs if the ignition primary switching device provides a ground path long enough to allow maximum current flow (5.5 amps maximum). If a low capacity condenser/capacitor or standard ICU is used, insufficient amount of magnetic field will be induced in the secondary winds, and the engine may idle well, but as it accelerates, due to the higher compression [as the throttle plate is opened more], the (weak) spark at the spark plug's tip literally gets "blown out", and the engine fails to accelerate. Due to coil saturation, certain coils require two standard capacity [Kohler] ignition condensers/capacitors, or one high capacity/performance condenser/capacitor to absorb the full saturation (voltage) of the primary windings within the coil. Go here for more information: Saturation (magnetic). [Return to previous paragraph, section or website]


In most cases, if an engine is kept in perfect tune, the factory stock ignition system provides more than enough voltage for the average garden pulling tractor. Most conventional stock ignitions are designed to provide a strong spark up to a relatively low engine speed. With Kohler engines running in modified form, they will get up as high as 9,000 RPM. But at high RPM or wide open throttle with the ignition points system, the points open and close so quickly that the coil's primary winding has less time to absorb voltage. This means the condenser/capacitor doesn't have enough time to rebuild the capacitance discharge. As a result, with the stock system, secondary voltage to the plug decreases and the engine won't run to full speed (wide open throttle) or it may sputter just when victory is in sight. However, for most garden pulling tractors, a stock ignition system that's in good condition will provide plenty of spark. NOTE: The condenser body must be securely fastened to the engine/chassis ground for the engine to run smooth. If the condenser is loose in its bracket, the bracket can be squeezed slightly with large pliers to be made oblong or egg-shaped, and then the condenser will remain tight inside it. But if an engine idles well, but runs erratically above idle, like it hits and misses, pops and backfires, then chances are, it needs a new condenser/capacitor. And always install a condenser/capacitor with the wire or terminal facing down so rain water and/or when washing off engine, water will not enter inside condenser/capacitor, ruining it. Which will allow the engine to idle well, but run erratically when accelerated. Click here to hear what an engine with a faulty condenser/capacitor sounds like.


There are 5 types of ignition systems that's used on all small gas engines, rather if it's a 2- or 4-cycle engine:

  1. Magneto Ignition is a self-energizing system with mechanically-operated contact points. It has breaker points, a condenser/capacitor and an ignition coil that generates it's own electrical power to produce the spark every time a magnet in the flywheel or rotor w/magnet pass the coil. Any self-generating magneto ignition coil requires a grounding-type OFF/ON key or toggle kill switch to short circuit the primary windings in the coil to shut off the engine. They do not need 12 volts of power because this will burn it up. The ignition timing for the magneto ignition is the same as for the battery ignition. It's set or adjusted by widening or narrowing the gap of the breaker points. This advances or retards the ignition timing. With the engine not running, use an ohmmeter (d) (make sure the battery is fully charged) or a battery-powered test light in the ignition points only (the points will act as a switch) or an automotive strobe timing light (with the engine running) to set the ignition timing on a magneto system, but a 12 volt battery must be available to power the timing light. The timing light connects to the battery and spark plug wire. Because of their compactness and no need for an outside power source, magneto ignition is very popular on virtually all small engine equipment. Such as gas-powered string trimmers, chainsaws, lawn mowers, garden tillers, go-karts, riding mowers, lawn tractors, lawn & garden tractor and small construction equipment engines. How magneto coils produce a spark.
    • NOTE: Most cast iron block and various [bigger] aluminum block air-cooled small gas engines having an obsolete magneto ignition system with ignition points and condenser/capacitor can be easily converted to battery ignition. All that's required is a condenser/capacitor that's designed for battery ignition (automotive or Kohler), a 12 volt automotive-type ignition coil with a bracket, an external ballast resistor (normally white ceramic block 3 to 4 inches long), if the coil requires one, a spark plug wire with terminals and boots, a 12 volt battery and wiring/connectors. The same ignition points and spark plug can be used. Due to the higher output automotive coil, the spark plug gap can be set at .035" for a stronger spark. Also, the key-operated [magneto] ignition/starter switch will need to be changed to an automotive-type switch that's designed for battery ignition. Or, an OFF/ON toggle or key switch to power the ignition and a push-button switch to energize the solenoid/starter motor can be used instead. And with battery ignition, the engine will need a reliable charging system to keep the battery fully charged to crank the engine and so the ignition will produce a strong spark. When converting to battery ignition, remove or disconnect the magneto coil and condenser/capacitor first. Please click here if you need a kit to convert an engine to the battery ignition system.
    • And the reason battery ignition can't be used on the smaller aluminum block Briggs & Stratton engines is because the [B&S] condenser/capacitor is part of the ignition points. For battery ignition to work, the wire on the [battery] condenser/capacitor must be connected to the negative (–) post on the [battery-type] ignition coil, and the body of the condenser/capacitor must be grounded to the engine. Therefore, if the condenser/capacitor is separate from the ignition points, it should work. For a strong and reliable spark on the smaller aluminum block Briggs & Stratton engines with the condenser/capacitor as part of the ignition points, install a Briggs & Stratton's Magnetron™ Solid State ModuleB&S's Magnetron™ electronic ignition module (only for two-post coils), or a universal electronic transistorized ignition module (for two- or three-armature coils).
      • NOTE: Sometimes the Magnetron™ module require that the magnets in the flywheel be re-polarized by Briggs & Stratton to get a spark. But the universal electronic transistorized ignition modules doesn't require that the flywheel magnets be re-polarized. If a spark doesn't occur with the two wires connected to either module, just simply reverse the wires, then it should spark. Magnetron™ doesn't work this way.
      • On engines with a magneto ignition, I believe the best thing to do is install one a universal electronic transistorized ignition module and your ignition problems should be no more. Because sometimes I too, have a hard time with ignition points and condenser/capacitor trying to get a spark from various Kohler engines with magneto ignition. Sometimes I have to set the ignition points as close as .015" just to get a spark. But this makes the timing so retarded, the engine lacks power. So I remove the ignition points and condenser/capacitor, plug the ignition points plunger hole, and install a universal electronic transistorized ignition module. The engine then has a strong spark, starts quicker and produces a lot more power. The module sets the timing right where it needs to be. I always get a good spark with battery ignition. But magneto ignition with ignition points and condenser/capacitor can sometimes be difficult to get a spark and get the timing set right, sometimes due to a worn points lobe on the camshaft.
  2. Self-Energizing Solid State Electronic Ignition is a 100% digital system and requires no mechanical or physical contact to activate any moving parts. It operates on the same general principle as the magneto system but do not use breaker points to time the spark and a conventional condenser/capacitor. Instead, a trigger module containing solid state electronics performs the same function as the breaker points. Any self-generating solid state ignition coil requires a grounding-type OFF/ON key or toggle kill switch to short circuit the primary windings in the coil to shut off the engine. They do not need 12 volts of power because this will burn it up. Because there are no breaker points in this system, there are no requirements for ignition timing (on a small engine). Just like magneto ignition, solid state ignition is self-energizing. Therefore, it does not require an outside electrical source, such as a battery. Solid state ignition is pretty much maintenance free, with very few parts to wear out or become defective. Solid state ignition is used on virtually all small engines built from 1982 to present date.
  3. Kohler Breakerless Ignition and Tecumseh Cast Iron Block Engine Solid State Ignition Systems are also a 100% digital system and requires no mechanical or physical contact to activate any moving parts. Kohler's Breakerless Ignition and Tecumseh's Solid State Ignitions are their version of a flywheel-trigger electronic ignition system as described further down in this website. They operate basically on the same general principle as my flywheel-trigger electronic ignition systems except they are self-generating and do not require 12 volts of power. A trigger module containing solid state electronics performs the same function as the breaker points. Because there are no breaker points in either of these systems, there are no requirements for ignition timing. The Module Sensor, as part of the Breakerless Ignition system, and Tecumseh's Solid State Module are energized by two separate windings (ignition generator coils) on the electrical system charging stator (if equipped on certain engines) under the flywheel. Breakerless and Solid State Ignition are pretty much maintenance free, with very few parts to wear out or become defective. But when they do fail, OEM replacement parts can be very expensive or may no longer be available. My crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition kits can replace a defective Breakerless or Solid State Ignition system for a fraction of the cost of OEM parts, and may very well outlast the life of the engine, with replacement parts readily available. IMPORTANT: The wire that comes from the stator under the flywheel for Kohler Trigger Module or Tecumseh Solid State Ignition Module generates about 250 volts while the engine is running at full governored speed (serious). Do not touch this wire (terminal) with one bare hand and the engine itself with your other hand while the engine is running! It is not needed for any of my crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition systems. So snip off this wire or tape up the terminal to prevent a short circuit or electrocution.
  4. 12 Volt Transistorized Ignition with breaker points is a combination of an analog and digital system. All transistorized ignition systems require 12 volts of power. They produce a strong spark, and allow the ignition points to last longer, perhaps the life of the engine, and it requires no condenser/capacitor. It requires a 12 volt source (battery) to power the system. Ford Motor Company's transistorized ignition system was originally offered on various Ford vehicles from 1965 to 1972, which is no longer available. MSD Performance also offers a transistorized breaker point ignition module that allows the ignition points to last longer. Two things to take into consideration about using a transistorized breaker point ignition system is if an engine sits for a long period of time, the ignition points contacts may become oxidized because there's not enough "spark" or electrical current going between the contacts to burn away the oxidation. Another drawback is being the transistorized breaker point ignition system requires mechanical operation of the ignition points. If the ignition points lobe on the camshaft is worn or becomes worn overtime, this would retard the ignition timing severely, resulting in loss of engine power. There is no way to avoid this except to install my flared-end ignition points pushrod or thread a stainless steel nut on one end of the OEM ignition points pushrod. The flared-end or nut makes contact with the sides of the worn ignition points lobe on the camshaft. And the entire engine must be completely disassembled so the flared-end ignition points pushrod or nut-on-ignition points-pushrod can be installed from inside the crankcase. The flared-end or nut makes contact with the unworn sides of the point lobe to allow full advancement of the ignition timing. There are ignition products called the Trandenser II and PointSaver (which are fine products in my opinion), but these will NOT prevent the points lobe on the camshaft from possibly wearing, which will retard the ignition timing overtime and making timing advancement impossible. Besides, connecting a 1.8 ohm ballast resistor to a coil with a 3 ohm primary resistance or using a 4 ohm coil will basically do the same thing as the Trandenser II and PointSaver. The coil will still produce a strong spark, too. By the way - my custom-made electronic ignition systems is 100% digital and doesn't use the points lobe.
  5. Battery Ignition is an electrically-powered analog system with mechanically-operated contact ignition points. It uses breaker points, and a different type of condenser/capacitor than magneto ignition, and an ignition coil that requires 12 volts of power. Battery ignition is used on most older garden tractors, farm tractors and virtually all older (pre-1974) automobiles.
  6. Maintenance-Free Custom-Made Crank-Trigger and Flywheel-Trigger Electronic Ignition is a 100% digital system and requires no mechanical or physical contact to activate any moving parts. It's a combination of the breakerless and battery ignition because it has no breaker points or condenser/capacitor but does require a 12 volt source (battery) to power the ignition coil and an electronic ignition control module/unit (ICU). Virtually all large engines (farm tractors and automobiles) that's built from the mid-1970s use crank-trigger electronic ignition or a system similar to crank-trigger electronic ignition. FYI - The electronic ignition control modules that's mentioned in this website are designed for older automobiles with a mechanical timing advance (flyweights) built into the distributor. The newer control modules that retards and advances the ignition timing use multiple sensors, one to tell the module that the engine isn't running. Therefore, it retards the timing (at TDC) so the engine will start easier. And another sensor to send the signal that the engine is running, and then another sensor to advance the timing (several degrees BTDC) so the engine will produce full power. The distributor for these don't have (or require) mechanical timing flyweights.

By the way - for a pulling tractor that has engine-mounted starter motor but no charging system, it's best to use a quality-made automotive battery. Not only because an automotive battery holds a charge longer to crank even the highest compression engine after several pulls, they can provide plenty of power to a battery-powered ignition system for a stronger spark for better engine performance.


Information about Ignition Coils -

Some ignition coils have an internal resistor, while others rely on an external ballast resistor (normally white ceramic block 3 to 4 inches long) or a resistor wire (in the wiring circuit) to limit the current flowing through the primary windings within the coil from the 12-volt power source. Various standard-output/stock ignition coils and most high-output/performance ignition coils require a minimum 1.5 ohm ballast resistor (originally came on all 1955-57 General Motors vehicles, all 1953-85 Chrysler, Plymouth and Dodge vehicles, various 1956-75 Ford vehicles, including various makes and models of other older vehicles) or a GM or Ford full-length ignition resistor wire when used with a ignition points and condenser/capacitor ignition system to prevent excessive burning of the ignition points contacts. The 1.4± ohm voltage-reducing wire came on all 1958-74 GM vehicles and various 1969-91 Ford vehicles, and connects between the ignition terminal on the fuse block to the positive (+) coil terminal. A ballast resistor or ignition resistor wire is basically a voltage reducer that reduces 12 volts down to anywhere between 8 to 10-1/2 volts, depending on the load. But if a coil reads "12 VOLTS" on its casing, then it has a built-in resistor.

According to the extensive research I've done, the ohms primary resistance of the internal resistor in most commonly used ignition coils are as follows:

A ballast resistor may not be needed with many new coils because most of them nowadays have an internal resistor. But with crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition, a coil without an internal resistor, rather if it's a standard-output/stock or high-output/performance coil, is required to produce full volts to the spark plug. And using a resistor effects the voltage output of the coil very little. It only prevents premature burning of the ignition points contacts. The reason manufacturers don't install a resistor inside some high-output/performance ignition coils is because these coils draw more amps from the battery or charging system. This cause the resistor to operate at a higher temperature, which could overheat and damage the windings within the coil. If a high-output/performance ignition coil is preferred, when purchasing one, be sure to ask the salesperson if it have an internal resistor or if it requires an external resistor. This is important for the life of the ignition points. The absence of the resistor will, without a doubt, increase voltage to the spark plugs, and will likely reduce the life of the ignition points in a mechanical ignition points ignition system. The plastic lever that one half of the ignition points contacts is fasten to could also melt or become deformed due to the excessive heat from the high voltage going through the ignition points in absence of a ballast resistor. This especially happens when a GM DIS (Distributorless Ignition System) coil or a 6 volt coil is used in a 12 volt system without a 1.6 ohm ballast resistor connected to reduce the voltage. And a high-output/performance ignition coil has no effect whatsoever with crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition when using a GM 4-pin HEI (High Energy Ignition) 4-pin, Chrysler (w/ballast resistor) or Ford electronic ignition control module/unit (ICU). But the Chrysler control module requires a ballast resistor to prevent from burning up. Also, most stock coils produce more than enough voltage when used with even the hottest high performance engines, especially with crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition.


The E3 Spark Plug -

When using E3 spark plugs, for a stronger spark, use the copper core E3 spark plug(s), index it/them with the open gap facing the center of the piston, and use a high capacity/performance ignition condenser/capacitor with a high-output/performance ignition coil to produce a stronger spark for better engine performance.


How to Test an Ignition Coil to Find if it's in Good Condition to Produce a Strong Spark - (Updated 11/3/17)

First of all, the casing or armature frame of a battery-powered ignition coil do not need to connected to the engine/chassis ground (battery negative (–) post). The armature frame of magneto coils do need to be grounded. Anyway, the primary windings is connected from the positive terminal (battery positive (+) post) to the negative terminal engine/chassis ground (condenser/contact ignition points; battery negative (–) post). The primary windings is also connected through an internal resistor to the secondary windings and to the spark plug, which is grounded. This is how coils complete the circuit to make a spark. One way to test the primary windings in a coil to find if it's in good condition is with a digital multimeter (DMM, DVOM) set on the 200 ohms (d) reading. IMPORTANT: Make sure the battery is fully charged and the digital multimeter is warmed to room temperature for an accurate reading! The accuracy of testing a coil is more complicated when performed with an analog multimeter. But not all coils will test good this way! With certain coils, the secondary windings will show no resistance, which will be a false indication that it's a defective coil. Therefore, the best way to test a coil to find if it's in good condition to produce a strong spark is with three jumper wires (with alligator clips), a battery-ignition condenser and a fully charged 12 volt battery, preferably metal core spark plug wire and a known good spark plug. ignition points are not required and is irrelevant in performing this test. Connect the wires as follows, then observe for a spark:

  1. Insert the spark plug wire in the coil and on the spark plug terminal, and connect the battery negative (–) post to the spark plug body, or allow the plug to rest on a clean and rust-free bare metal bench/table top if it's being used as the battery negative (–) ground.
  2. Connect the battery positive (+) post to the positive (+) coil terminal. NOTE: If the two small terminals on the coil aren't marked (+) and (–), then connect the wires to either terminal. The coil's metal casing/frame does not need to be grounded.
  3. Connect the lead on the condenser to the negative (–) coil terminal and connect the body of the condenser to the battery negative (–) ground.
  4. Momentarily make contact with a jumper wire from the negative (–) coil terminal to the battery negative (–) ground. This simulates the opening and closing of the ignition points. A spark should occur at the spark plug's tip each time the jumper wire taps the ground. If no spark, then the coil is defective or recheck the connections. NOTE - A high-output/performance coil will produce a noticeably snappier-sounding and stronger blue spark than a standard-output/stock coil. FYI - The blue color is made by the burning of hydrogen gas in the atmosphere, and the snapping sound is breaking of the sound barrier or a very tiny sonic boom or thunder sound released from the rapid burning of the hydrogen gas.

Self-energizing magneto ignition coils and small battery-powered coils must be used with a metal core spark plug wire and a copper core spark plug. But full-size automotive size battery-powered ignition coils with points and condenser can be used with either a suppression/carbon core spark plug wire (in good condition, is rated at 4.8 to 10 ohms of resistance) or metal core conductor spark plug wire and a resistor type or copper core spark plug. Most automobiles with electronic ignition have the suppression/carbon core spark plug wires. However, if a suppression/carbon core spark plug wire and/or resistor type spark plug is used with a full-size battery-powered coil, and the coil operates at a higher than normal temperature (too hot to the touch), then a metal core spark plug wire and a copper core spark plug should be used.

How to Test the Strength of an Ignition Coil - (Updated 12/1/17)

First of all, I think the inline ignition spark plug tester that connects between the spark plug and spark plug wire should not be used to test for spark! (Personally, I think this is the most ridiculous spark tester I have ever seen.) The reason being is if the spark plug itself is defective, the inline ignition spark plug tester will show a false indication that the entire ignition system is malfunctioning. And a good spark plug will show only if the ignition system is working or not. It will not show the strength of the ignition system or ignition coil. Therefore, a simple and accurate way to check for spark (and/or the condition of the spark plug) is to remove the spark plug, reattach the spark plug wire on the spark plug, place the spark plug on a bare metal part of the engine or chassis so it'll make good contact, then crank the engine and at the same time, observe for spark at the spark plug's tip. (May have to perform this test in the shade because it may be hard to see the spark in bright sunlight.) An ignition system in good condition is supposed to produce a snappy-sounding strong blue spark. (FYI - The blue color is made by the burning of hydrogen gas in the atmosphere, and the snapping sound is breaking of the sound barrier or a very tiny sonic boom or thunder sound released from the rapid burning of the hydrogen gas.) If the spark is visibly white or red in color, either the spark plug is fouled (from excessive raw fuel or oil burning) or has deteriorated (from excessive use), the ignition points contacts are burnt or dirty, suppression/carbon core spark plug wire has deteriorated (if used), or the ignition coil may be weak and needs replacing. Universal Spark TesterTo test the strength of the ignition system, it's best use either a fixed ignition spark tester or an adjustable ignition strength tester, like the ones pictured to the right. These connect between the spark plug wire and engine/chassis ground. The fixed ignition spark tester works great for self-energizing magneto and solid state, and battery-powered ignition systems with a standard-output/stock coil to see if the ignition system is adequate to make a strong spark, but the adjustable ignition strength tester can be used to check and measure the voltage output of the ignition coil. The spark of a typical self-energizing magneto or solid state ignition system in excellent condition will jump a gap of approximately 5/8" (10,000-12,000 volts), and the spark of a typical battery-powered ignition points/condenser, crank-trigger or flywheel-trigger electronic ignition systems with a standard-output/stock coil in excellent condition will jump a gap of approximately 3/4" (20,000 volts), but the spark of a typical battery-powered ignition points/condenser, crank-trigger or flywheel-trigger electronic ignition systems with a high-output/performance coil in excellent condition will jump a gap of approximately 1-1/4" (30,000-40,000 volts). FYI - It takes 1,000,000 volts to jump a gap of 30 feet.

Engines with a ignition points and condenser/capacitor magneto ignition system can be cranked over slowly to produce a spark. But most engines with a solid state ignition (B&S's Magnetron™) must be cranked over quickly to produce a spark. However, on engines with battery ignition, there's really no need to crank the engine to check for spark. What can be done is momentarily and lightly connect the ignition points contacts with a small metal object, such as the tip of a screwdriver.

Also, if the spark plug's tip is black and/or has wet gas on it, and if you think the problem is in the carburetor, well, the carburetor is probably working fine because the engine is obviously getting plenty of gas. As an older, experienced mechanic once said, "Most carburetor problems are electrical." (Meaning faulty ignition system.) This have been proven true more times than I can remember. [Return to previous paragraph, section or website]


No Spark Situation on a Single Cylinder Small Engine -

Self-Energizing Solid State Ignition -

  1. Need to rule out all possibilities first. Remove and test the original spark plug in the engine for spark. Place the spark plug body on a metal engine part, and when cranking the engine, if there's a red or white spark at the spark plug's tip, then the spark plug is definitely fouled. But if no spark, then the spark plug may or may not be fouled.
  2. Use a new spark plug or a fixed ignition spark tester or an adjustable ignition strength tester to check for spark. The new spark plug should have a snappy-sounding strong blue spark. FYI - The blue color is made by the burning of hydrogen gas in the atmosphere, and the snapping sound is breaking of the sound barrier or a very tiny sonic boom or thunder sound released from the rapid burning of the hydrogen gas.
  3. If no spark, check the condition of the ignition wiring (kill wire), spark plug wire, ignition switch, safety switches and for correct or faulty connections.
  4. If still no spark, check that the kill wire coming from the coil/module isn't grounded.
  5. If still no spark, check if the magnet on the flywheel is cracked. If it is, then the flywheel will need to be replaced.
  6. If still no spark, the solid state ignition coil may need replacing.

Self-Energizing Magneto Ignition Points and Condenser/Capacitor Ignition System -

  1. Need to rule out all possibilities first. Remove and test the original spark plug in the engine for spark. Place the spark plug body on a metal engine part, and when cranking the engine, if there's a red or white spark at the spark plug's tip, then the spark plug is definitely fouled. But if no spark, then the spark plug may or may not be fouled.
  2. Use a fixed ignition spark tester or an adjustable ignition strength tester or a new spark plug to check for spark. The new spark plug should have a snappy-sounding strong blue spark.
  3. If no spark, check for a sheared aluminum flywheel key. Install new key if sheared.
  4. If still no spark, check the condition of the ignition wiring (kill wire), spark plug wire, ignition switch, safety switches and for correct or faulty connections.
  5. If still no spark, check if the magnet on the flywheel is cracked. If it is, then the flywheel will need to be replaced.
  6. If still no spark, clean the ignition points contacts with a steel fingernail file or an ignition points file or replace the ignition points if excessively worn or burnt. FYI - Do not use sandpaper or emery cloth to clean ignition points contacts! These will leave a gritty residue between the contacts, causing a faulty connection. A thin, steel ignition points file or steel fingernail file is the only way to thoroughly remove any debris or oxidation from ignition points contacts. Then use electrical contact cleaner, brake parts cleaner, cleaning solvent or paint thinner (these leave no oily residue) and use 150± psi compressed air to clean any oil and metal filings from the ignition points contacts.
  7. If still no spark, check that the ignition points gap is set at .020" with a feeler gauge, or the ignition timing is set at 20º BTDC. In rare cases, when cranking the engine and the ignition points don't open enough or don't open at all, the ignition points lobe on the camshaft may be excessively worn.
  8. If still no spark, check that the condenser/capacitor is connected to the same wire coming from the coil to the ignition points.
  9. If still no spark, check that the coil's ground wire is connected to engine/chassis ground.
  10. If still no spark, the ignition points, condenser/capacitor, spark plug, spark plug wire or coil may need replacing.
  11. If still no spark, or if the engine runs poorly or will idle but will not accelerate, everything with the ignition system checks out great and all hope is lost, convert the engine for use with a battery-powered or custom-made electronic ignition system.

Battery-Powered Ignition Points and Condenser/Capacitor Ignition System -

  1. Need to rule out all possibilities first. Remove and test the original spark plug in the engine for spark. Place the spark plug body on a metal engine part, and when cranking the engine, if there's a red or white spark at the spark plug's tip, then the spark plug is definitely fouled. But if no spark, then the spark plug may or may not be fouled.
  2. Use a new spark plug or a fixed ignition spark tester or an adjustable ignition strength tester to check for spark. The new spark plug should have a snappy-sounding strong blue spark.
  3. If no spark, check the condition of the ignition wiring, spark plug wire, ignition switch, safety switches and for correct or faulty connections.
  4. If still no spark, check if there's full 12 volts going to the coil.
  5. If still no spark, clean the ignition points contacts with a steel fingernail file or an ignition points file, or replace the ignition points if excessively worn or burnt. FYI - Do not use sandpaper or emery cloth to clean ignition points contacts! These will leave a gritty residue between the contacts, causing a faulty connection. A thin, steel ignition points file or steel fingernail file is the only way to thoroughly remove any debris or oxidation from ignition points contacts. Then use electrical contact cleaner, brake parts cleaner, cleaning solvent or paint thinner (these leave no oily residue) and use 150± psi compressed air to clean any oil and metal filings from the ignition points contacts.
  6. If still no spark, check that the ignition points gap is set at .020" with a feeler gauge, or the ignition timing is set at 20º BTDC. In rare cases, when cranking the engine and the ignition points don't open enough or don't open at all, the ignition points lobe on the camshaft may be excessively worn.
  7. If still no spark, check that the condenser/capacitor is connected to the same wire coming from the coil to the ignition points.
  8. If still no spark, the ignition points, condenser/capacitor, spark plug, spark plug wire or coil may need replacing.

Weak or No Spark Situation on a V-Twin Small Engine (Briggs & Stratton Vanguard, Generac, Honda, Kawasaki, Kohler Command, etc.) - (Added 10/25/17)

Need to rule out all possibilities first. So first of all, it's best to check for a sheared flywheel key. Because the last person who replaced the flywheel may not have cleaned the flywheel and crankshaft tapers, which could cause the flywheel to slip on the crankshaft. This will make the ignition out of time with the engine. But if the flywheel key is in good condition, try disconnecting the kill wires from the ignition coils and see if the coils produce a spark. Of the coils connects to a module, it could be bad. Or maybe something is grounding out the ignition kill wire(s). If there's still a weak or no spark, then the ignition coils are obviously bad. The magnet in the flywheel rarely get weak. So there's really no need to worry about it. And if replacement OEM coils or ignition parts are no longer available, the only thing to do is convert the engine to crank-trigger or flywheel-trigger electronic ignition. The magnet in the flywheel can be used to energize a couple of hall effect proximity sensors. An adapter bracket will need to be fabricated to mount the proximity sensors in place of each coil. And two ignition coils will need to be used, one for each cylinder. And chances are, the engine has an automatic compression release, so the ignition timing can be set at 16º± BTDC (depending on the engine). A degree wheel, dial indicator and piston stop will need to be used to indicate exactly where the spark needs to occur so the timing can be set precisely for each piston.


Typical Battery Ignition Points and Condenser/Capacitor Ignition System for a Garden Tractor

If the ignition coil has an internal resistor, connect the wires as shown below...
NOT using a ballast resistor for the coil


But if the coil require an external resistor (ballast resistor), connect the wires as shown below...
Using a ballast resistor for the coil



The differences between a point-ignition coil and an electronic ignition coilAll conventional point-ignition systems that's installed on garden tractor and automotive engines utilizes a standard-output/stock [20,000 volt] coil. And all automotive (distributor) electronic ignition systems utilize a high-output/performance (40,000 volt) coil. The obvious and visual differences in these coils is by the height of the center tower. The standard-output/stock coil has a shorter center tower. In most cases, it's not capable of producing enough volts to short out (jump) to the small terminals. And all high-output/performance coils have a taller tower, to keep the spark from shorting or jumping to the small terminals. Most standard-output/stock battery ignition coils that's designed for a small engine, such as Kohler, Tecumseh, etc., have a 3.0, 4.0 or 5.0 ohm internal primary resistor. And most standard-output/stock coils that's designed for a ignition points/distributor-type ignition system (automotive, farm tractor, etc.) have a 1.5 ohm internal primary resistor. And most high-output/performance coils for electronic/distributor-type ignition systems or Distributorless Ignition System (DIS) have a 0.4 ohm internal primary resistor. The size of the resistor allows for full coil saturation so the ignition points will last longer and so the engine will accelerate to full speed (wide open throttle), and if it's for crank-trigger or flywheel-trigger electronic ignition, to prevent from burning up the control module.

Virtually all canister coils look the same on the outside. The only sure way to tell what the ohms resistance for virtually any ignition coil is with a multimeter set on the ohms (d) resistance. But some coils are marked with printing on the casing to indicate their ohms resistance, and sometimes the wording may not be 100% accurate, or it may read: "Use With External Resistor". But it does not say the size ohms resistance of the external/ballast resistor that should be used. So when replacing a coil or when purchasing a new coil for any particular engine or ignition system, ALWAYS check the value of the ohms resistance to be 100% certain that the coil will be suitable for the ignition system it is designed for. Bring your own digital multimeter with you to check the coil, even if it's at a small engine shop, auto parts store, farm & home store, etc. Click here to learn how to check the ohms resistance in a coil.

Ignition coil with two straps for better supportIf you've ever experienced the metal strap on an ignition coil of breaking due to normal engine vibration (especially at higher RPM or wide open throttle) and because the metal itself is too thin, then what you need to do is either fabricate a strap made of thicker metal, or install two coil straps as shown in the picture to the right, and be sure to fasten the straps securely. This will double the life of the clamps and lessen the chances of either strap of ever breaking again.

Ever had a good run going down the track and all of a sudden the engine dies, and you found the cause was the [failed] ignition coil? Well, chances are, it wasn't designed for use on a garden pulling tractor, especially when the engine is ran at wide open throttle. Even new oil-filled canister coils have been known to fail in a very short time on a garden pulling tractor. The reason some coils fail is due to normal single cylinder engine vibration running at high RPM or wide open throttle. The tiny wires (or windings) inside the coil will vibrate and break over time. Even the insulation on the windings themselves will "rub" or scrape against the other internal wires, resulting in a short, and eventual coil failure. That's why it's best to use an epoxy filled or molded epoxy coil to prevent the windings from vibrating, shorting out and/or breaking. The epoxy holds the wires solid, resulting in no vibration of the windings whatsoever. Most epoxy filled or molded epoxy coils produce up to 45,000 volts, too. So for the little difference in price, accept no substitutes! Epoxy filled or molded epoxy coils are most reliable for use on a garden pulling tractor. To prevent prematurely burning the ignition points, it's best to check the coil with a digital multimeter to determine if it require an external resistor or not.

A coil with a 1.0 ohm internal primary resistor works great in a 6 volt ignition system to prevent premature burning of the ignition points contacts. A coil with a 1.5 ohm internal primary resistor connected to a 1.4 ohm ballast resistor or resistor wire works great with a distributor/point ignition system to prevent premature burning of the ignition points contacts. And a coil with a 3.0+ ohm internal primary resistor works great for a small engine with ignition points & condenser to prevent premature burning of the ignition points contacts. And coil with a 0.4 ohm internal primary resistor works great with self-energizing solid state, or crank-trigger or flywheel-trigger electronic ignition systems, that's mentioned further down in this website.

Any ignition coil with a 1.0 ohm internal resistor or a GM DIS (Distributorless Ignition System) coil can be safely used in a 6 volt ignition system without a ballast resistor or ignition resistor wire. But to use a 6 volt coil in a 12 volt ignition system, simply use a minimum 1.2 ohm ballast resistor in series between the power supply and positive (+) coil terminal to reduce the voltage to the coil and current through the ignition points. The coil should produce a strong spark, operate cool to the touch and last a long time. The ignition points should last a long time, too. To check if a coil is rather for 6 volts (and can be used in a 12 volt ignition system with a ballast resistor) or for 12 volts, perform the test below Ê.

A battery ignition coil with a primary resistance of 0.6 ohms is most definitely a high energy coil with a voltage output of about 30-45,000 volts and the primaries must be switched electronically as that coil will draw around 20 amps. Coils that are around 2.5 to 3.0 ohms are internally ballasted and don't need an external ballast resistor, and have medium voltage output of about 15-35,000 volts. Coils between 4 and 6 ohms are also internally ballasted and do not require a ballast resistor, and have low voltage output of about 12,000-20,000 volts.

Primary resistance is a function of impedence and the lower it is, the faster the rise and fall time of the primary magnetic field and the greater its strength, causing a much higher induced voltage at the secondary winding. ignition points can only handle about 3 amps continuously and thereby put a limit on the coil's output by restricting the primary resistance to 4 or 5 ohms. A ballast resistor is a way of allowing the use of a much lower impedence coil (1.5 ohm) without letting the primary current get too high and burning the ignition points contacts. This almost doubles the coil's output, which, in turn allows for wider plug gaps, so that it can ignite much richer fuel mixtures with the more energetic spark.

Ballast and ignition resistors with a higher ohms value are known as "Point Savers." The higher the ohms primary resistance an ignition resistor has, being if it's a ballast resistor and/or a resistor inside an ignition coil, the longer the ignition points contacts will last (as long as the ignition points/contacts are installed clean, and doesn't become contaminated with dust, oil or water). A 12 volt ignition coil with a 3.0 ohm internal primary resistor connected to a 1.6 ohm ballast resistor (highest value ballast resistor available) when used in a ignition points ignition system will allow the ignition points contacts to possibly last the life of the engine. And just one standard capacity [Kohler] condenser/capacitor can be used. Install the 1.6 ohm ballast resistor between the coil positive (+) terminal and wire coming from the ignition switch to the coil. This will allow the ignition points to possibly last the life of the engine. Because the increased resistance allows a very low current (flow of electricity) pass through the ignition points contacts, resulting in much less electrical arcing of the contacts. This will drastically reduce the premature burning away of the platinum coating on the ignition points contacts. Also, a suppression/carbon core spark plug wire and resistor type spark plug shouldn't be used in this system due to overheating of the ignition coil. Therefore, it's best that a metal core spark plug wire and copper core spark plug be used. The ignition system will still provide a strong spark because an average small engine requires only a fraction of voltage from the coil. And this is best used with general lawn & garden, snow removal, etc. equipment engines, and not for competition pulling.


All automotive high-output/performance or OEM electronic ignition coils, including the popular 12 volt Bosch blue coil with an internal resistor, have more primary and secondary windings than a standard-output/stock coil. This is how they produce more voltage for a stronger spark. When used with a ignition points and condenser/capacitor ignition system, the energy of the primary windings within the coil is transferred in the condenser/capacitor. And in most cases, one standard capacity condenser/capacitor isn't capable of handling the excessive amount of electricity from the primary windings to fully energize the secondary windings within the coil, thus allowing the coil to produce a low voltage or weak spark at any RPM, which will cause the engine to idle poorly and run poorly. Sometimes when using a high-output/performance ignition coil with one standard capacity (Kohler) condenser/capacitor, black smoke will blow out the exhaust at idle and flames will shoot out the exhaust at high RPM or wide open throttle.

For a high-output/performance ignition system operate at 100% efficiency and produce more voltage at any RPM, it's best to use two standard capacity ignition condensers/capacitors or one high capacity/performance condenser/capacitor. Using either two standard capacity (Kohler) condensers/capacitors or one high capacity/performance condenser/capacitor will allow an engine to idle better, run smoother, and produce more power at high RPM or at wide open throttle. When using 2 condensers, connect the wire of each condenser to the negative terminal on the coil and ground the bodies of the condensers. If an engine is built right, the ignition timing is set correct, and if the carburetor is adjusted correctly, with two standard capacity (Kohler) condensers/capacitors or one high capacity/performance condenser/capacitor, the exhaust (appearance) should be cleaner at idle, and with no flames at high RPM or wide open throttle. A stock or standard-output/stock coil will not produce more voltage than what it is designed for with two standard capacity (Kohler) condensers/capacitors or one high capacity/performance condenser/capacitor. But it will produce 100% voltage with two standard capacity (Kohler) condensers/capacitors or one high capacity/performance condenser/capacitor. And with crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition, if an electronic ignition control module/unit (ICU) with a high capacity transistor is used, a standard-output/stock or high-output/performance coil will produce 100% voltage regardless. And if you're wondering, any type of ignition points can be used with any type of coil and condenser/capacitor.

NOTE: The condenser body must be securely fastened to the engine/chassis ground for the engine to run smooth. If the condenser is loose in its bracket, the bracket can be squeezed slightly with large pliers to be made oblong or egg-shaped, and then the condenser will remain tight inside it. But if an engine idles well, but runs erratically above idle, like it hits and misses, pops and backfires, then chances are, it needs a new condenser/capacitor. And always install a condenser/capacitor with the wire or terminal facing down so rain water and/or when washing off engine, water will not enter inside condenser/capacitor, ruining it. Which will allow the engine to idle well, but run erratically when accelerated. Click here to hear what an engine with a faulty condenser/capacitor sounds like.

When choosing a high-output/performance ignition coil, such as a Chrysler electronic ignition canister coil, if it reads on the casing: "use with electronic ignition" (or something like this), all this means is if the coil is used with full 12 volts, and with ignition points and [one standard capacity] condenser/capacitor, the ignition points won't last long due to the higher voltage going through them. To use the coil, simply install a [1.6 ohm resistance] ballast resistor before the coil to decrease the voltage going through the coil and the ignition points, and the ignition points should last longer. And definitely use two standard capacity ignition condensers/capacitors or one high capacity/performance condenser/capacitor so the coil will produce more voltage. (When using 2 condensers, connect the wire of each condenser to the negative terminal on the coil and ground the bodies of the condensers.) NOTE: The condenser body must be securely fastened to the engine/chassis ground for the engine to run smooth. If the condenser is loose in its bracket, the bracket can be squeezed slightly with large pliers to be made oblong or egg-shaped, and then the condenser will remain tight inside it. But if an engine idles well, but runs erratically above idle, like it hits and misses, pops and backfires, then chances are, it needs a new condenser/capacitor. And always install a condenser/capacitor with the wire or terminal facing down so rain water and/or when washing off engine, water will not enter inside condenser/capacitor, ruining it. Which will allow the engine to idle well, but run erratically when accelerated. Click here to hear what an engine with a faulty condenser/capacitor sounds like.

Causes of Engine "Popping" or Backfire -

When replacing the ignition coil on a Kohler engine model KT17, KT17 Series II, KT19 and KT19 Series II, K482, K532, K582, or Onan twin cylinder engines, instead of using the high-dollar standard-output/stock OEM Kohler coil, you can use either two automotive-type canister coils with two condensers/capacitors (one condenser/capacitor per coil), a 2-post Harley-Davidson coil (this particular coil also works great for Kohler engine model KT17, KT17 Series II, KT19 and KT19 Series II, K482, K532, K582, K660/K662, or Onan twin cylinder engines, or a GM DIS (Distributorless Ignition System) coil. The DIS coil has a 0.4 ohm internal primary resistor. So when using a DIS coil with ignition points, two ballast resistors, a 1.0 ohm and 1.6 ohm (which totals the minimum requirement of 3.0 ohms resistance for ignition points), will need to be connected to the coil for longer ignition points life and to prevent premature burning of the ignition points contacts. And two standard capacity ignition condensers/capacitors or one high capacity/performance condenser/capacitor will also need to be used with this coil so it will produce maximum voltage to the spark plugs, allowing the engine accelerate to full speed (wide open throttle) with no hesitation or misfire. Also, the DIS coil is a high-output/performance coil that produces up to 40,000 volts, so the spark plug gaps can be set at .060" each. The DIS coil has molded epoxy internal construction, which makes it vibration-resistant. The DIS coil part numbers are AC Delco D555 or Standard Motor Products DR39X, and was used in select GM vehicles from 1985 to the 2005, one of which is the 2005 Chevrolet Impala. There is no positive (+) or negative (–) connections on the two small terminals on these coils. They can be connected either way. When using ignition points with 12 volts, install a ballast resistor to prevent burning up the coil, and connect two standard capacity ignition condensers/capacitors or one high capacity/performance condenser/capacitor so the coil will produce more voltage. (When using 2 condensers, connect the wire of each condenser to the negative terminal on the coil and ground the bodies of the condensers.) A ballast resistor is not required with crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition or in a 6 volt system. NOTE: The condenser body must be securely fastened to the engine/chassis ground for the engine to run smooth. If the condenser is loose in its bracket, the bracket can be squeezed slightly with large pliers to be made oblong or egg-shaped, and then the condenser will remain tight inside it. But if an engine idles well, but runs erratically above idle, like it hits and misses, pops and backfires, then chances are, it needs a new condenser/capacitor. And always install a condenser/capacitor with the wire or terminal facing down so rain water and/or when washing off engine, water will not enter inside condenser/capacitor, ruining it. Which will allow the engine to idle well, but run erratically when accelerated. Click here to hear what an engine with a faulty condenser/capacitor sounds like.

Go here to see how well the GM DIS coil works: Gravely 817 Onan CCKA Coil Replacement with Chevy GM DIS Coil - YouTube (Video posted by Ralph (rw3dog@yahoo.com)

If the engine is has opposed 180º cylinders, then only one module and one [two post] coil can be used to fire both cylinders. The engine will have a wasted spark. One cylinder will fire on the compression stroke, while other will fire on the exhaust stroke. But being the 90º V-twin engines fire at 90º intervals and not at 180º for each cylinder, two separate modules and two coils will need to be used.

Causes of Ignition Coil Failures -

Most battery-powered ignition coils will last the life of an engine. But if a quality coil keeps going bad for no apparent reason, then there are three things that will cause this. They are...

  1. Lack of a ballast resistor or a resistor wire before the coil. (If the coil requires one.)
  2. Defective voltage regulator or rectifier. If the charging system continues to charge with no gradual moving back of the needle to zero on an analog ammeter/amp gauge (if installed) while the engine is running, this will put too much voltage throughout the entire electrical system, especially the coil, eventually burning out the primary windings within the coil. Overcharging of the charging system could also burn up the electronic ignition control module/unit (ICU) used with a crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic system, burn up the battery (cause the acid to boil), burn out light bulbs, electric PTO clutch and any other electrical accessories. Therefore, if it's not already equipped, it's best to install an ammeter/amp gauge to monitor the charging system. Having an amp gauge installed is very important in monitoring the charging system to prevent premature failure of electrical components. By the time you smell something burning or see smoke, it may be too late.
  3. If a garden tractor is equipped with an automotive battery, it may have a dead cell or all the cells are weak (defective battery.) Unlike in an automobile, and if the starter motor is in good condition, a weak automotive battery will have more than enough cranking amps to crank over a small, single- or two-cylinder engine with no problem, and a drop in the battery's cranking amps wouldn't be that noticeable while cranking the engine to start it. Whether if it's in a garden tractor or an automobile, an automotive battery with a dead cell or weak cells will cause the charging system to continually try to recharge the battery, but instead of the battery taking full charge, the charging system will put too much voltage through the coil for long periods of time, causing the primary windings within the coil to burn up. If an engine has a battery-powered electronic ignition, this too, could burn up the electronic ignition control module, burn out light bulbs and electrical accessories. To determine if a battery is defective, use a load tester for sealed-top batteries, and for batteries with removable caps, test the battery's acid condition with a hydrometer battery tester (glass tube with floating balls [pocket size] or a floating bulb [full size]; which are available at virtually any auto parts store). Therefore, if it's not already equipped, it's best to install an ammeter/amp gauge to monitor the charging system.
  4. Although rare, severe engine vibrations could cause the tiny wires inside the coil to break. Read more about this below Ê.

Why Do Some Magneto Ignition Coils To Go Bad?

I think the Briggs & Stratton, Kohler KT-series and Magnum twin cylinder opposed flathead twin cylinder engines are the best that was made, but their ignition coil has its shortcomings. The real problem with these engines is they use one (small) ignition coil to fire two spark plugs, one per cylinder, and after several years of use, sometimes the coil will fail to produce a spark, rather if the engine has ignition points and condenser/capacitor, Magnetron™ or a solid state module. Unfortunately, some ignition coils don't last the life of the engine. As the spark plug's electrode and/or the resistor in a resistor type spark plug deteriorates, the secondary windings within the coil is forced to produce more voltage to fire the plug at higher RPMs. Eventually, the increase in voltage will overheat and eventually burn up the secondary windings within the coil, causing coil failure. This is why quality-made copper core spark plugs should always be used with a small or magneto ignition coil. The coil burns out because one coil must fire two spark plugs at one time with the plug gaps set at .030" each (factory recommended setting). With these size gaps, this is the same as firing one spark plug with a gap of .060"! Most magneto coils are not designed to produce this much voltage and may not last too long when they do. The coil is forced to produce more voltage than is necessary to fire both plugs and this causes the secondary windings within the coil to overheat and eventually burn out. And as the spark plugs deteriorate with age, the coil is forced to produce even more voltage to make a spark through the weak plugs. So to lessen the chance of a good coil going bad (again), set the spark plug gaps at .015" each. The .015" gaps will simulate having just one spark plug with a .030" gap, and the coil will operate much cooler and should last a lot longer. Dyno tests proved that the engine will still start quickly, idle smooth and accelerate quickly to full speed, run the same and produce just as much power at higher RPM as it did with the .030" spark plug gaps. And be sure to set the ignition coil laminations to flywheel magnet air gap/clearance at .010". The paper box a new coil comes in can be used as a gauge. It has pretty much the same thickness as a business card or poster board.

The use of resistor type spark plugs shortens the life of most small engine self-energizing magneto or solid state ignition coils. Therefore, it's best to use a high quality spark plug with a copper core gapped at .025" for single cylinder and V-twin engines, and .015" each for opposed twin cylinder engines to prevent overheating of secondary windings within the coil and possibly causing premature coil failure. Set the laminations to the flywheel magnet clearance (air gap) at .010". And the easiest and most accurate way to set the air gap is to use a business card, poster board, or part of the box the new coil came in. These measure about .010" thickness. Place a strip of the paper or box between the coil's laminations and magnet in the flywheel and allow the magnet to pull the laminations to it, then tighten the coil mounting screws securely. Also, when a coil goes bad, save the spark plug wire(s) off the defective coil. These have a stranded metal core wire, and with a coil (distributor) terminal and coil tower boot installed, it/they can be used on an engine with a magneto, battery-powered or custom-made crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition system.

Or instead of doing the above È, if an older Briggs & Stratton twin cylinder flathead engine has ignition points, it can be easily converted to the more reliable and higher output battery ignition (for a stronger spark). The B&S ignition points can be still used, but two automotive canister-type ignition coils or a battery ignition coil with dual plug terminals (as described above È) with spark plug wires, and two battery ignition condensers/capacitors will need to be used. The spark plug gaps can be set at .035", and the ignition timing can be set by the width of the ignition points gap (.020") or with an automotive strobe timing light after the flywheel is degreed in with timing marks. The timing light connects to the battery and spark plug wire.

How to Convert a Briggs & Stratton Engine to Battery-Powered Flywheel-Trigger Ignition -

For virtually any B&S engine with a magnet embedded on the circumference of the flywheel, a hall effect proximity sensor can be used in place of the OEM ignition coil to trigger the ignition. Being a non-magnetic pickup coil will generate power as it passes the full width of the North and South poles of the magnet, it will produce a double spark, which may effect how the engine runs. The hall effect proximity sensor on the other hand will work better because it's activated just off the South pole of the magnet, producing a single spark. And a sturdy bracket will need to be fabricated to mount the sensor. The sensor will fire both cylinders at the same time (wasted spark). A Chrysler or Ford ignition control module will need to be used with a single ignition coil with dual wires. The timing will need to be set just as the sensor comes within the leading edge of the South pole of the magnet, so the engine will produce full power.

And if you're wondering if surface rust on flywheel magnets reduces magnetism and/or strength of the spark on the armature of a magneto ignition coil, well, I know for a proven fact that surface rust does not affect magnetism or strength of the spark whatsoever. This is the same as saying that pure, undiluted automotive antifreeze coolant will freeze solid in sub-zero freezing weather. It will NOT freeze! And despite of what you've probably heard, putting sugar in the gas tank will NOT ruin the engine! Read about it here: snopes.com: Sugar in the Gas Tank. Don't just theorize about such things, believe in myths, rumors or what some [delusional] people/mechanics/technicians tell you. Perform a scientific test to prove to yourself and debunk the myths. I always do.

And for anyone who's wondering, an standard-output/stock automotive battery ignition condenser/capacitor with an automotive canister ignition coil will work on any one- or two-cylinder air-cooled engine that use the battery ignition system. But when using two automotive ignition coils on a twin- or two-cylinder engine with conventional ignition points, be sure to use two condensers/capacitors as well, one for each coil, only if the coil(s) requires one. Otherwise, the engine will idle, but may not accelerate. And there's a very little difference between the Kohler battery ignition condenser/capacitor and an automotive [GM, Ford or Chrysler] ignition [ignition points] condenser/capacitor. So either can be used on a small engine.


What are the Best Spark Plugs to Use for an Ordinary Lawn & Garden Tractor or Garden Pulling Tractor?

First of all, avoid using low cost, inferior quality or "cheapie" spark plugs, especially with the wording "LAWN MOWER" printed on the porcelain! I never had one of these last more than 5 minutes in any engine. Also, since I began repairing small engines in 1982, I've heard great things about NGK spark plugs, but in my personal experience, I found that they are nothing but junk! Before installing the [correct type of] NGK spark plug in the engine, to remove all doubts about the strength of the ignition system, I would check the [NGK] spark plug to verify if it has a snappy-sounding strong blue spark, to which it had. Then after installing the plug, to my surprise, it would foul-out (develop a weak spark) when priming the carburetor with gas and cranking the engine to get it started! And if an engine did start, it would only run for a few seconds before another [NGK] plug became fouled. I've had this happen with every NGK spark plug! I hate to say this about a product that many claim to be superior, but it's the honest truth. They say that seeing is believing, and I believe this product to be inferior. If anyone has good luck or results using NGK spark plugs, then maybe they should purchase a lottery ticket, too. FYI - The blue color is made by the burning of hydrogen gas in the atmosphere, and the snapping sound is breaking of the sound barrier or a very tiny sonic boom or thunder sound released from the rapid burning of the hydrogen gas.

I've found that Autolite and Champion non-resistor/copper core type spark plugs are the best quality. These do not foul-out and they last a long time. Also, it'll be a good idea to avoid using resistor type spark plugs in a small engine with self-energizing magneto or solid state ignition. Resistor plugs will cause a good magneto or solid state ignition coil to go bad prematurely because they force the secondary windings within the coil to produce higher voltage to fire the plug, eventually causing the windings to burn out. And unlike gasoline, alcohol fuels (ethanol and methanol) will rarely foul spark plugs. And depending on which gas is burned in a competition pulling engine, use only the type of spark plug that's recommended by the manufacturer of the engine, even if it's a high performance engine. If the wrong or a different type of plug is used, the engine will lose power, run erratically or may not start.


Spark Plug Wires and Spark Plug Boots - (Updated 10/16/16)

Most metal core spark plug wires rarely lose resistance, resulting in a weak spark. The only time they need replacing is when damaged beyond use. Any spark plug wire can be checked with an analog multimeter set on X1K ohms (d) resistance or a digital multimeter set on 2000K ohms (d) resistance. Also, all ordinary small engine spark plug wires have a stranded metal core wire and are considered high performance because they have zero ohms resistance. Any spark plug wire, rather if it's a real-known brand name or aftermarket, should always be checked for it's ohms resistance. The best way to determine if a spark plug wire has a carbon- or metal core wire (without stripping the insulation away) is with a set on the 2000K ohms (d) setting for a digital multimeter or x1K setting for an analog multimeter. Touch the multimeter leads together to adjust for (analog) or take note of (digital) the zero resistance. Now connect the leads of the multimeter to the ends of the spark plug wire. If the reading displays zero resistance, it's a metal core plug wire. But if it displays any resistance at all, it's most likely a suppression/carbon core spark plug wire. Certain [plastic] spark plug caps (boot/terminal) have a built-in resistor, which will deliver about half the voltage to the spark plug, resulting in poor engine performance, especially at high RPM. So for better engine performance, try to avoid using a resistor spark plug cap (boot/terminal). Click here to learn how to check the ohms resistance of a spark plug wire or spark plug boot/terminal.

Copper core spark plugs, such as the Autolite 216 and Champion H10C (844), and small engine spark plug wires, which have a metal core wire, are the best things to use for competition pulling. By using a copper core plug and metal core wire, more voltage will reach the spark plug's tip, especially under high compression when the engine is running at wide open throttle, resulting in a much stronger spark. A stock, standard-output/stock ignition coil with a metal spark plug wire and a copper core spark plug will produce about the same voltage at the spark plug's tip as a high-output/performance coil with a suppression/carbon core spark plug wire and a resistor type spark plug.

On any ignition system, the coil produce is less voltage at idle or cruising speeds (in an automobile) when the throttle plate is partially open, and when the throttle plate is opened more or in the wide open throttle position to increase the engine's RPM, being the combustion chamber is more air (and fuel) to build up more compression, the coil is forced to produce more voltage to fire the spark(s). As a suppression/carbon core spark plug wire and/or resistor type spark plug gets weak (they deteriorate with use), the ignition coil is forced to produce even more voltage. Eventually, as the suppression/carbon core wire and/or resistor plug gets so weak, the coil can't produce enough voltage and an engine misfire occurs, or the engine will die out when accelerated. This will happen even with a high-output/performance coil. It just takes longer for the high-output coil to reach maximum voltage as the suppression/carbon core spark plug wire and/or resistor type spark plug deteriorate to cause an engine misfire. The use of aged and deteriorated suppression/carbon core spark plug wire and/or an old resistor type spark plug will also cause a good coil to eventually fail because the secondary windings within the coil overheat and eventually burn up from producing excessive voltage to fire the plug.

If a spark plug wire has no markings rather if it's a suppression/carbon or metal core wire type, it can be checked with an analog or digital multimeter set on ohms (d) resistance. Connect the leads of the meter to the terminals of the spark plug wire, if it reads full scale, it's a metal core wire type. But if the meter reads about halfway, it's suppression/carbon core spark plug wire. The same test can be performed on a questionable spark plug, with accurate results. And remember - spark plug wires and spark plugs are like women, it's what's on the inside that matters.


And in my experience, it seems that it makes no difference of what type of spark plug works best for gas or methanol fuel. But a wider gap (.060") works better with methanol. And gas burns just fine with a standard gap of .035". Click here for Champion Spark Plug's Numbering System.

And the use of a "cold", "medium", or "hot" heat range of a spark plug doesn't matter in a pulling engine with a steel flywheel with no fins because these engines have no cooling system to cool or extract the heat from the engine and spark plug. When there's no cooling fins on a flywheel or with an electric fan not running to cool the engine, nothing will cool the engine, except for a swift breeze on a cool, windy day.

Did you know that installing two spark plugs per cylinder doesn't help to increase the power output of an engine whatsoever? Simply because one plug will be running hot (exhaust side) and the other will be cool (intake side). Engine power is generated from the heat source, because heat is how an engine produces power. When the spark plug in the cylinder head is located over the exhaust valve, this maintains the majority of the heat in the combustion chamber in one area. When heat is maintained in one particular area in any given combustion chamber, the increase in power will be much greater, especially at high RPM. Burning fuel within a combustion chamber will "find" or locate the main heat source. The fuel will burn more thoroughly, allowing the engine to produce more power at any RPM. If the plug is located in the center of the combustion chamber, the incoming fuel could splash against the plug's tip and cause the engine to misfire or run erratic at high speed, especially when burning methanol fuel. And the plug could easily become fouled when burning gas, especially when the engine is cold. So it's best to install just one spark plug positioned over the exhaust valve with the plug gap set at .060". Because a .060" gap will simulate having two spark plugs. Use of a high-output/performance ignition coil will help produce a stronger spark, too.


Indexing the Spark Plug(s) -

Indexing the spark plug(s) helps to increase engine horsepower and torque. An indexing washer is placed on the threads of the spark plug to set the plug at a certain position in the head with the open or exposed gap toward the center of the piston when the plug is properly torqued in the head. When the open or exposed gap faces the piston, this helps in a more thorough combustion of the fuel so the engine will produce more power and torque at high RPM or at wide open throttle. Indexing washers come in various thicknesses, and one of a certain thickness is used to index the spark plug(s). The thin shims/washers for Kohler balance gears can also be used as indexing washers for spark plug(s). To know exactly where the open gap is when the spark plug is installed, place a mark with a permanent ink felt tip marker (Sharpie, Magic Marker, Marks-A-Lot) on the porcelain in-line with the open gap at the tip of spark plug as shown in the picture to the right.

Furthermore, when the spark plug in the cylinder head is located over the exhaust valve, this maintains the majority of the heat in the combustion chamber in one area, instead of being spread throughout the combustion chamber. Because when heat is maintained in one particular area in any given combustion chamber, the increase in power will be much greater, especially at high RPM. Burning fuel within a combustion chamber will seek out or "find" the main heat source. The fuel will burn more thoroughly, allowing the engine to produce more power at any RPM. If the plug is located in the center of the combustion chamber, the incoming fuel could splash against the plug's tip and cause the engine to misfire or run erratic at high speed, especially when burning methanol fuel. And the plug could easily become fouled when burning gas, especially when the engine is being choked or primed with fuel to start it when it's cold. [Return to previous paragraph, section or website]

Advertisement: (added 11/3/17)
If you would like to purchase any of the parts or services listed below Ê, or virtually any product or service mentioned in this website, please contact A-1 Miller's Performance Enterprises | 1501 W. Old Plank Rd. | Columbia, MO (Missouri) 65203-9136 USA | Phone: 1-573-256-0313 (shop) | 1-573-881-7229 (cell). Please call Monday-Friday, except holidays, 9am to 5pm, Central time zone. If no answer, please try again later. (When speaking with Brian, please be patient because I stutter.) A-1 Miller's shop is open to the public from 9am to 5pm, including weekends, except holidays. Please call before coming so I'll be here waiting for your arrival. E-mail: pullingtractor@aol.com. Directions to our shop | 1501 West Old Plank Road, Columbia, MO - Google Maps or Map of 1501 West Old Plank Road, Columbia, MO by MapQuest.
Indexing Washers for Flat Seat Spark Plugs with 14mm Threads. Position spark plug in combustion chamber with open/exposed gap facing the piston for more power and torque at high RPMs or at wide open throttle. Available in the following thicknesses: .005", .010" and .015". Made of hardened steel. To know exactly where the open gap is when the spark plug is installed, place a mark with a permanent ink felt tip marker (Sharpie, Magic Marker, Marks-A-Lot) on the porcelain in-line with the open gap at the tip of spark plug as shown in the picture to the right.
  • .75¢ each, plus shipping & handling.

Indexing Washers for Tapered Seat Spark Plugs with 14mm Threads. Position spark plug in combustion chamber with open or exposed gap toward the piston for more power and torque at high RPMs or at wide open throttle. Available in the following thicknesses: .010", .021" and .032". Made of copper.

  • $1.50 each, plus shipping & handling.


How to Check the Value of the Ohms (d) Resistance of an Ignition Coil, Ballast Resistor, Ignition Resistor Wire, Spark Plug Wire or Spark Plug Boot/Terminal -

Virtually all ceramic-body ballast resistors do not have any indication or markings of its ohms primary resistance. Therefore, it will need to be tested to verify the resistance for it to work correctly with the connected device. If it's used resistor, inspect the ceramic portion for signs of overheating. An overheated (overloaded) resistor will be dark or blackened. Such a resistor should not be used. And most 12 volt ignition coils have either an 1.5 or 3.0 ohm internal primary resistor. 6 volt coils have a 1.0 ohm internal primary resistor. All battery-ignition coils have an internal resistor and some coils require an additional external resistor for two reasons: 1: to provide a stronger spark so a cold engine will start quicker (as the engine warms up, the resistor gradually drops the voltage to around 9 volts to the ignition points contacts so they will last longer, or to the electronic ignition control unit to keep it from burning up); and 2: to protect the primary windings from current spikes from the charging generator or alternator. Also, certain [plastic] spark plug caps (boot/terminal) have a built-in resistor, which will deliver about half the voltage to the spark plug, resulting in poor engine performance, especially at high RPM. So for better engine performance, try to avoid using a resistor spark plug cap (boot/terminal). Anyway, the best way to determine the value of the resistor is with a digital multimeter. When in doubt of the ohms value in a coil, etc., it can be checked as follows:

  1. Spark plug wires can be accurately checked with either an analog or digital multimeter, but the accuracy of checking the resistor in a coil, ballast resistor or ignition resistor wire is more complicated when performed with an analog multimeter. Therefore, the most accurate way to check the ohms resistance in a coil, ballast resistor or ignition resistor wire is with a digital multimeter (DMM, DVOM). And make sure the battery is fully charged in either multimeter, and that the digital multimeter is warmed to room temperature for an accurate reading.
  2. Switch on the digital multimeter, plug the red test lead connector in the Vd receptacle, and plug the black test lead connector in the COM receptacle, then select the 200 ohms (d) setting. On some digital multimeters, resistance is denoted by the capital Greek letter Omega (d), which stands for ohms.
  3. Digital Ohmmeter Calibration: Touch the test leads together and observe the reading on the display. Be sure to keep your fingers off the metal leads, because your body could disrupt the resistance, resulting in an inaccurate reading. If the meter shows slightly higher than 0.0, this is the resistance in the electronic components of the digital multimeter. This figure will need to be subtracted from the reading of the ballast resistor or resistor in the ignition coil. For example: If the resistor's resistance reading is 1.9 ohms, but when the digital multimeter leads are connected together, the reading is 0.5 Ohms, then the resistor's resistance is actually 1.4 Ohms. Do the arithmetic: 1.9 Ohms - 0.5 Ohms = 1.4 Ohms. This calibration procedure applies only to resistance measurements made in the 200 ohms (d) setting of a digital Ohmmeter. It may take a few seconds for the Ohmmeter to settle until it displays the lowest resistance in the electronic components. Make a note of this reading.
  4. With the ballast resistor, resistor wire, coil or spark plug wire not connected to anything, connect the test leads to the terminals on the ballast resistor, ends of the resistor wire, small terminals on the coil or the terminals of the spark plug wire. Being there's no polarity, it doesn't matter which terminals they're connected to. Again, be sure to keep your fingers off the metal leads or terminals!
  5. The resistance in or of the item being tested will now be displayed on the digital multimeter screen. Again, it may take a few seconds for the digital multimeter to settle so it'll display the lowest resistance. This figure will need to be subtracted from the resistance in the digital multimeter electronic components. If a spark plug wire has more than 10 ohms of resistance per foot, avoid using it. Click here to see a YouTube video on Ignition Coil Test (The Short Version).
  6. Use a permanent ink felt tip marker (Sharpie metallic silver permanent marker for dark colored coils and a Sharpie black permanent marker for bright colored ballast resistors, coils or masking tape on resistor wires and spark plug wires) or paint marker to note on the ignition part its ohms resistance for future reference. [Return to previous paragraph, section or website]

Advertisement:
If you would like to purchase any of the parts or services listed below Ê, or virtually any product or service mentioned in this website, please contact A-1 Miller's Performance Enterprises | 1501 W. Old Plank Rd. | Columbia, MO (Missouri) 65203-9136 USA | Phone: 1-573-256-0313 (shop) | 1-573-881-7229 (cell). Please call Monday-Friday, except holidays, 9am to 5pm, Central time zone. If no answer, please try again later. (When speaking with Brian, please be patient because I stutter.) A-1 Miller's shop is open to the public from 9am to 5pm, including weekends, except holidays. Please call before coming so I'll be here waiting for your arrival. E-mail: pullingtractor@aol.com. Directions to our shop | 1501 West Old Plank Road, Columbia, MO - Google Maps or Map of 1501 West Old Plank Road, Columbia, MO by MapQuest. Please click here to place an order. You can also make the drive to A-1 Miller's shop to personally drop off and pick up your engine, transaxle, tractor, etc. for rebuilding or repairs. "The road to a friend's house (or shop) is never long."
FYI - I can install a custom-made crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition system and/or rewire your lawn & garden tractor, equipment or garden pulling tractor so all the electrical accessories will work and the engine will start quickly every time. I have the knowledge, skills, all the tools and parts necessary to perform a quality job. I've rewired many customer's lawn & garden tractor/equipment or garden pulling tractor with great results. If you're interested, my phone numbers, address and directions to my shop are above È. - Brian Miller
NOTE: All parts listed here are NEW, unless otherwise stated. I do not sell cheap junk! As a matter of fact, most OEM Kohler parts are made in China now. Kohler owns some of the factories in China that make the parts. And most aftermarket parts are also made by Kohler in China. Kohler just place the part(s) in a generic box and sell them for less money. So when purchasing a genuine OEM Kohler part that comes in a box with the Kohler name on it, you're really just paying more money for the name. And as far as some parts being no longer available - either the parts didn't sell well or the EPA is trying to phase out parts for the old cast iron block flathead engines because they produce more air pollution than the newer OHV engines.
Ignition Points for Kohler, Tecumseh and Clinton engines. Fits Kohler engine models K90/K91, K141, K161/K160, K181, K241, K301, K321, K330/K331, K341, K361, KT17, KT17 Series II, KT19, KT19 Series II, K482, K532 and K582 with magneto or battery ignition (use with mounting bracket). Also fits Tecumseh cast iron block engine models HH80, HH100, HH120 with battery ignition (use without mounting bracket); and Clinton engine models 414, 418, 420, 422 (use without mounting bracket). NOTE: Apply clean lubricating grease on the hinge pin before installing points so the hole will last longer. If it's dry, it'll wear over time, effecting ignition timing, resulting in loss of engine power.
  • High quality aftermarket points without mounting bracket. Replaces Tecumseh part #'s 32011, 32011A; and Kohler # 47 150 03-S (reuse existing bracket). $9.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • High quality aftermarket points with mounting bracket. Replaces Kohler part # 47 150 03-S. $10.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler points with mounting bracket, part # 47 150 03-S. $14.30 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Install Hex Socket (Allen) Head Cap Screw and split lock washer (below Ê) in points w/bracket above È, add .50¢.
  • NOTE: The electronic transistorized ignition modules (below) can be substituted for the points and condenser/capacitor for a stronger and more stable spark, quicker starts, and virtually trouble- and maintenance-free magneto ignition system.


Hex Socket (Allen) Head Cap Screw w/split lock washer to replace OEM slotted or Phillips head adjustment/clamp screw in Kohler/aftermarket ignition points for easier access with a 9/64" hex (Allen) L-wrench (below Ê) to precisely set ignition timing with less effort in hard-to-reach places in small engine equipment when the engine sits lengthways (such as Cub Cadet) and securely tighten screw so points will not slip out of adjustment. NOTE: For aftermarket points, the threads may need to be recut with a 8-32 UNC hand tap. And due to risk of stripping threads in points bracket, do not over-tighten this adjustment screw! No extra charge to install hex socket screw in purchased points. An original, ingenious and innovative concept by Brian Miller. Please accept no other advertised copycat products of this kind.
  • .50¢ each, plus shipping & handling.


9/64" Hex (Allen) L-Wrench. Use with hex socket (Allen) head cap adjustment/clamp screw (above È) in Kohler ignition points to accurately set ignition timing with less effort in hard-to-reach places (such as Cub Cadet) and securely tighten screw so points will not slip out of adjustment. Wrench measures 7/8" wide x 2-1/2" length. Made of high strength black alloy steel. NOTE: Due to risk of stripping threads, do not over-tighten adjustment screw!
  • $3.00 each, plus shipping & handling.


Screws and split lock washers for mounting of ignition points and points cover. Phillips and Socket Head (Allen) screws make for easier fastening of points and points cover to engine block in hard-to-get places than slotted head screws . Each: 10-24 UNC (coarse thread) x 3/8" thread length. TIP: When installing a screw to keep it from falling out of the screwdriver, either apply a dab of grease in the head of the screw or temporarily magnetize the screwdriver by rubbing a magnet along the length of the shank.

  • Slotted head screw w/integrated star lock washer. Used and in excellent condition. Discontinued from Kohler. OEM Kohler part # X-131-1-S. .25¢ each, plus shipping & handling.
  • New Phillips head w/split lock washers. $1.00 per pair, plus shipping & handling.
  • New Socket Head (Allen) cap screws w/split lock washers. $1.00 per pair, plus shipping & handling.
Chevy (GM) V8 adjustable ignition points with stiff spring for quick reaction at high RPMs that can be used on the Kohler K-series 10hp-16hp and twin cylinder flathead cast iron block engines. Use with a minimum 3.0 ohm ignition coil to prevent premature burning of points contacts. NOTE: The "Chevrolet" points are actually made for the 1959-'74 American Motors, 1957-'73 Buick, 1956-'73 Cadillac, 1965-'74 Checker, 1957-'73 Chevrolet, 1956-'73 GMC, 1957 Hudson, 1957-'74 International, 1966-'74 Jeep, 1957 Nash, 1956-'73 Oldsmobile, 1957-'73 Pontiac, and 1960-'66 Studebaker vehicles with a V8 engine and Delco-Remy distributor. But these points can be easily adapted for use on Kohler [pulling] engines with an adapter bracket for easy adjustment of the ignition timing with an hex key (Allen) wrench. Points have a stiff spring for quick response at high RPM. Due to the inability to completely seal (cover) the ignition points contacts from dust and debris, these are for competition pulling only, and not for ordinary lawn & garden equipment. And being the bracket for the GM points and the GM points themselves are much larger than Kohler points and bracket, the OEM Kohler points cover will not fit over the GM points and mounting bracket.
  • High quality Chevy points without jam nut. $10.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • High quality Chevy points with 5/16" jam nut to prevent getting out of adjustment due to normal engine vibrations at high RPMs. An original and ingenious idea by Brian Miller. $20.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Stainless steel mounting bracket for Chevy points w/mounting screws. Protective cover not available. $15.00 each, plus shipping & handling. (Limited supply.)
Ignition Points. Fits Kohler engine models K660 and K662 with WICO magneto ignition. NOTE: Apply lubricating grease on the hinge pin before installing points so the hole will last longer. If it's dry, it'll wear prematurely, effecting ignition timing, resulting in loss of engine power. Discontinued from Kohler. Replaces Kohler part # 240611-S. Also replaces Wisconsin part #'s 28-1AT-3076-ES, X5996 and X6942.
  • High quality aftermarket. $16.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • NOTE: The Electronic Transistorized Ignition Modules (below) can be substituted for the ignition points and condenser/capacitor for a stronger and more stable spark, quicker starts, and virtually trouble- and maintenance-free magneto ignition system.
Low Capacity Condensers/Capacitors for Magneto Ignition Coils or Small-Size Battery-Powered Ignition coils. Designed for various Kohler engine models K90/K91, K141, K161, K181, K241, K301, K321, K330/K331 and K341 with magneto ignition. Also used with Kohler engine models KT17, KT17 Series II, KT19 and KT19 Series II. Designed for 15,000± volt output coils. Body length: 33 mm, width: 17 mm. NOTE: If an engine idles well, but runs erratically when accelerated, like it hits and misses, pops and backfires, then chances are, it needs a new condenser/capacitor. And always install a condenser/capacitor with the wire or terminal facing down so rain water and/or when washing off engine, water will not enter inside condenser/capacitor, ruining it. Which will allow the engine to idle well, but run erratically when accelerated. Click here to hear what an engine with a faulty condenser/capacitor sounds like. NOTE: The Electronic Transistorized Ignition Modules (below Ê) can be substituted for the ignition points and condenser/capacitor for a stronger and more stable spark, quicker starts, and virtually trouble- and maintenance-free magneto ignition system.
  • High quality aftermarket. Replaces Kohler part # 47 147 01-S. $16.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part # 47 147 01-S. $23.50 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • High quality aftermarket. Replaces Kohler part # 220434-S. $15.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part # 220434-S. $17.30 each, plus shipping & handling.

Standard Capacity Ignition Condensers/Capacitors for use with Kohler engine models K90/K91, K141, K161/K160, K181, K241, K301, K321, K330/K331, K341, K361, KT17, KT17 Series II, KT19 and KT19 Series II, K482, K532 and K582. Designed for battery powered ignition systems with a standard output 20,000 volt ignition coil. Will not work with a high-output/performance 30,000+ volt ignition (Bosch) coil or distributor-driven ignition system. If an engine idles well, but runs erratically when accelerated, like it hits and misses, pops and backfires, then chances are, it needs a new condenser/capacitor. And always install a condenser/capacitor with the wire or terminal facing down so rain water and/or when washing off engine, water will not enter inside condenser/capacitor, ruining it. Which will allow the engine to idle well, but runs erratically when accelerated. Click here to hear what an engine with a faulty condenser/capacitor sounds like. Each measures: .665" diameter x 1.250" length x 3-1/2" wire length.

  • High quality aftermarket. $7.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler condenser/capacitor part # 230722-S. $17.45 each, plus shipping & handling.

High Quality, Heavy Duty, High Capacity/Performance Ignition Condenser/Capacitor for battery powered ignition systems. Designed for use with a high-output/performance 30,000+ volt ignition (Bosch) coil or distributor-driven ignition system so engine can accelerate to its full potential. Equivalent to ACCEL, Bosch, Mallory, MSD and most other name brand high performance condensers. Reuse OEM Kohler condenser/capacitor bracket where applicable. If an engine has a high-output/performance ignition coil, idles poorly and accelerates with constant black smoke out the exhaust, then it needs a high capacity/performance condenser. And always install a condenser/capacitor with the wire or terminal facing down so rain water and/or when washing off engine, water will not enter inside condenser/capacitor, ruining it. Which will allow the engine to idle well, but run erratically when accelerated. Dimensions: .665" diameter x 1.250" length x 3-1/2" wire length.

  • High Capacity/Performance Ignition Condenser/Capacitor. $10.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

OEM Kohler clamp for the high capacity/performance ignition condenser/capacitor above È when used on Kohler engine models KT17, KT17 Series II, KT19 and KT19 Series II. Has 1/4" mounting hole.

  • Used and in excellent condition. $2.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
Listed below are the most common spark plugs for Kohler and other small engines. These have a copper core, which help produce a stronger spark, plus they allow the ignition coil to last longer. Spark plugs for other makes and models of small engines are also available. When ordering, please specify make and model of engine.
High Quality Copper Core Spark Plugs for Kohler engine models K90/K91, most Briggs & Stratton and small Tecumseh engines. Set gap .025" for self-energizing magneto and solid state ignition systems, and .035" for battery-powered ignition system. 14mm threads x 3/8" thread reach, flat washer seat. Replaces Briggs and Stratton part # 802592S.
  • Autolite® 455. $2.50 each, plus shipping & handling. (Limited quantity.)
  • Champion® 861 (J19LM). $3.20 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part # 41 132 06-S. $7.00 each, plus shipping & handling.


High Quality Copper Core Spark Plugs for Kohler engine models K141, K160/K161, K181/M8, and cast iron block Tecumseh engine models VH80, VH100, HH80, HH100, HH120, OH140, OH150, OH160 and OH180. Set gap .025" for self-energizing magneto and solid state ignition systems, and .035" for battery-powered ignition system. 14mm threads x 3/8" thread reach, flat washer seat.
  • Autolite® 295 Non-Resistor. $2.50 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Champion® 841 (J8C) Copper Plus. $3.20 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part # 41 132 02-S. $9.35 each, plus shipping & handling.


High Quality Copper Core Spark Plugs for Kohler engine models K241/M10, K301/M12, K330/K331, K321/M14, K341/M16, K361, K482, K532 and K582. Set gap .025" for self-energizing magneto and solid state ignition systems, and .035" for battery-powered ignition system. 14mm threads x 7/16" thread reach for stock OEM cylinder heads, flat washer seat.
  • Autolite® 216 Non-Resistor. $2.50 each, plus shipping & handling. (Limited quantity.)
  • Champion® 844 (H10C) Copper Plus. $3.20 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part # 25 132 10-S. $11.10 each, plus shipping & handling.


High Quality Copper Core Spark Plugs for Kohler engine models K241/M10, K301/M12, K330/K331, K321/M14 , K341/M16. 14mm threads x 3/4" thread reach for machined billet cylinder heads, flat washer seat.
  • Autolite® 4056 Copper; Tapered electrode design. $2.50 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Champion® 120 (N5C) Copper Plus. $2.50 each, plus shipping & handling.


High Quality Copper Core Spark Plugs for Kohler twin-cylinder flathead engine models MV16, KT17, KT17 Series II, KT19 and KT19 Series II, M18, MV18, M20 and MV20. Set gap .015" for self-energizing solid state and battery-powered ignition systems. 14mm threads x 15/32" thread reach, tapered seat.
  • Champion® 25 (RV17YC) Copper Plus. $3.65 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part # 52 132 02-S. $9.15 each, plus shipping & handling.


High Quality Copper Core Spark Plugs for most makes and models of OHV aluminum block single- and twin-cylinder air-cooled small engines. Set gap .025" for self-energizing solid state ignition systems. 14mm threads x 5/8" thread reach, flat washer seat.
  • Champion® 71 (RC12YC) Copper Plus. $3.20 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part # 12 132 02-S. $6.10 each, plus shipping & handling.
Spark Plug Grommet for Kohler "Quiet Line" engine models K181AQS, M8, K241AQS, K301AQS, K321AQS and K341AQS. Fastens directly on spark plug in air duct shield (sheet metal) over cylinder head to help maintain cool air over the cylinder head. Made of neoprene rubber.
  • OEM Kohler part # 47 313 01-S. $4.50 each, plus shipping & handling. Not available in aftermarket. L
Indexing Washers for Flat Seat Spark Plugs 14mm Threads. Position spark plug in combustion chamber with open or exposed gap toward the piston for more power and torque at high RPMs or at wide open throttle. Available in the following thicknesses: .005", .010" and .015". Made of hardened steel. To know exactly where the open gap is when the spark plug is installed, place a mark with a permanent ink felt tip marker (Sharpie, Magic Marker, Marks-A-Lot) on the porcelain in-line with the open gap at the tip of spark plug as shown in the picture to the right.
  • .75¢ each, plus shipping & handling.

Indexing Washers for Tapered Seat Spark Plugs with 14mm Threads. Position spark plug in combustion chamber with open or exposed gap toward the piston for more power and torque at high RPMs or at wide open throttle. Available in the following thicknesses: .010", .021" and .032". Made of copper.

  • $1.50 each, plus shipping & handling.
Ignition Points Cover Gasket. Fits Kohler engine models K90/K91, K141, K161/K160, K181, K241, K301, K321, K330/K331, K341, K361, KT17, KT17 Series II, KT19 and KT19 Series II, K482, K532 and K582. Protects points contacts from dust, dirt and water contamination. OEM Kohler part # 52 041 11-S.
  • $1.80 each, plus shipping & handling. Not available in aftermarket. L
Ignition Points Cover/Wire Grommet. Fits Kohler engine models K90/K91, K141, K161/K160, K181, K241, K301, K321, K330/K331, K341, K361, KT17, KT17 Series II, KT19 and KT19 Series II, K482, K532 and K582. Protects points wire from chafing and prevents dust, dirt and water from contaminating points contacts. FYI: RTV Silicone Adhesive Sealant will serve the same purpose. OEM Kohler part # 220297-S.
  • $3.55 each, plus shipping & handling. Not available in aftermarket. L
Ignition Points-to-Coil Primary Ignition Wires w/Connectors and Grommet Assembly. For Kohler engines with battery-powered ignition, models K90/K91, K141, K161/K160, K181, K241, K301, K321, K330/K331, K341, K361, KT17, KT17 Series II, KT19, KT19 Series II, K482, K532 and K582. For converting from Magneto ignition or Kohler's Breakerless Ignition to conventional battery-powered points and condenser/capacitor ignition, or replace OEM wire with frayed/cracked insulation and/or broken connector(s) to prevent a short circuit and/or engine misfire.
  • High quality aftermarket. 10" length, 16 gauge stranded copper wire, crimp connectors and OEM Kohler points cover grommet. For Kohler engine models K482, K532 and K582. Replaces Kohler part # A-231533-S. $9.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • For Kohler engine models K482, K532 and K582. 17" length, 14 gauge stranded copper wire, connectors and points cover grommet. OEM Kohler part # A-231533-S. $14.85 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • High quality aftermarket. 14" length, 16 gauge stranded copper wire, crimp connectors and OEM Kohler points cover grommet. For single cylinder Kohler engines with coil located close to carburetor. $9.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • High quality aftermarket. 22" length, 16 gauge stranded copper wire, crimp connectors and OEM Kohler points cover grommet. For single cylinder Kohler AQS (Quiet Line) engines with coil located above starter motor. $9.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part # 47 125 01-S. 22" length, 14 gauge stranded copper wire, connectors and points cover grommet. $17.55 each, plus shipping & handling.

"Assemble It Yourself" Points-to-Coil Ignition Wire Kit. Includes 22" (cut to length desired), 16 gauge stranded copper wire, two slip-on crimp connectors and OEM Kohler points cover grommet.

  • High quality A-1 Miller part. $5.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.
Ignition Points Cover without Kill Button for Battery Ignition. Fits Kohler engine models K90/K91, K141, K161/K160, K181, K241, K301, K321, K330/K331, K341, K361, KT17, KT17 series 2, KT19 and KT19 Series II, K482, K532 and K582. Protects points contacts from dust, dirt and water contamination. For use with a remote ignition switch to kill engine, such as garden tractors and other equipment. Made of 16 gauge stamped steel. Not available in aftermarket. L
  • Used and in excellent condition. $6.00 each, plus shipping & handling. (When available.)
  • New. OEM Kohler part # 232535-S. $11.61 each, plus shipping & handling.
Ignition Points Cover with Kill Button for Kohler engines with Magneto Ignition. Fits Kohler engine models K90/K91, K141, K160/K161, K181, K241, K301, K321, K341, K482, K532 and K582. Protects points contacts from dust, dirt and water contamination. Push and hold button in to kill engine. For use on self-contained, stand-alone engines without a remote ignition switch to kill engine, such as garden tillers, truck-mounted or portable air compressors, generator/welders, water pumps, etc. Made of 16 gauge stamped steel. Discontinued from Kohler. OEM Kohler part # A-220136-S. Not available in aftermarket. L
  • Used and in excellent condition. $30.00 each, plus shipping & handling. (When available.)
Universal Loop-Type Throttle/Choke Cable Conduit/Wire Clamps. Use to secure wire(s), battery cable, small hose (for my remote fuel primer system), or cable conduit to throttle or choke bracket or bundle of wires along frame for safe routing. Each made of 16 gauge, zinc-plated steel, and requires 3/16" mounting screw.
  • Single wire, throttle cable or small hose clamp. Our part # 03-249. $1.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Double wire, battery cable, throttle cable or small hose clamp. OEM Kohler part # X-728-1-S. $1.25 each, plus shipping & handling.
Grounding-Type Safety Break-Away / Kill Switch with Pull-Pin. Use for competition pulling only; mount on rear of tractor. When the pin pulled, it grounds the ignition coil from producing spark. If using with a self-energizing magneto or solid state ignition systems: Connect one wire to the chassis ground, and connect the other wire to the ignition points/condenser wire or to the kill terminal on the solid state ignition coil/module. If using with a battery-powered ignition system: Connect one wire to the chassis ground, and connect the other wire to the coil negative (–) terminal. NOTE: With battery-powered ignition, as soon as pin is pulled (engine will die), manually shut off ignition switch right away to prevent possible damage to the ignition coil and electronic ignition module if equipped with crank trigger ignition. This type of switch does not disable power to the electric fuel pump on a pulling tractor. The electric fuel pump must be shut-off manually by an OFF/ON switch.
  • Grounding-Type Safety Break-Away / Kill Switch with Pull-Pin. $14.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Replacement Pull-Pin for Break-Away Switch Above. Keep an extra on hand to replace a damaged or "misplaced" pin by a disgruntled competitive puller. $5.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
High Quality Universal Push Button Switches. Use each to crank engine or activate killswitch motor on pulling sled. Each Normally Open; contact made when plunger is depressed. Use to crank over engine,
  • Light Duty 15 Amp Push Button Switch. Use as a safety switch, temporarily power low amperage electrical accessories, such as light(s), etc., or use with starter solenoid/relay to crank engine or to power kill switch motor (on pulling sled). Requires 15/32" mounting hole. 2-1/8" overall length. $9.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Heavy Duty 20 Amp Push Button Switch. Comes with two screws to connect between battery positive (+) post and starter motor. Heavy wire terminals and minimum #8 gauge wire recommended. Starter solenoid/relay may be required if electrical load exceeds 20 amps. Requires 5/8" mounting hole. $14.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
High Quality Universal Self-Grounding OFF/ON Switches for Self-Energizing Magneto and Solid State Ignition Systems. Very durable, tough switches. Each can be mounted in metal (grounded) dashboard, instrument panel, engine control panel, engine flywheel shroud, etc. Single blade on switch connects to ignition points wire or solid state module wire/terminal that kills the engine. Can be used on anything that has ignition points and condenser/capacitor magneto, solid state, or solid state transistorized electronic modules, such as: Kohler Magnum and Command engines, lawn mowers, lawn tractors, garden tillers, go-karts, chainsaws, portable air compressors, generators/welders, water pumps, etc.
  • Universal OFF/ON Toggle Switch. Comes with OFF/ON indicator plate. Requires 15/32" mounting hole. Discontinued from Kohler. Replaces Kohler part # 223072-S. $3.60 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Universal OFF/ON Key Switch. Use for security of equipment. Requires 5/8" mounting hole. $9.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
High Quality Universal OFF/ON Switches for Battery-Powered Ignition Systems. Each can be mounted in dashboard, instrument panel, engine control panel, etc. Very durable, tough switches. Can be used on virtually anything that has a battery-powered electrical system, such as: garden tractors, pulling tractors, mini-rods, hot-rods, farm tractors, automobiles, etc.
  • Universal OFF/ON Toggle Switch. Can be used for lights, ignition, electric fuel pump, electric PTO clutch, etc. 20 amp maximum. Comes with OFF/ON indicator plate and two 6" wire leads. Requires 15/32" mounting hole. Discontinued from Kohler. Replaces Kohler part # 238011-S. $6.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Universal OFF/ON Pull-Push Switch. Pull out = ON, Push in = OFF. Can be used for lights, ignition, electric fuel pump, electric PTO clutch, etc. 5 amp maximum. Two screw terminal connection. Requires 15/32" mounting hole. Discontinued from Kohler. Replaces Kohler part # 275713. $6.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Universal OFF/ON Key Switch. Use for security of equipment. Use #250 slip-on female spade crimp-type wire connectors on terminals when connecting wires to switch. Requires 15/32" mounting hole. $12.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
High Quality Universal 3-Position OFF-IGNITION-START Key Switch for use with Magneto w/Points and Condenser or Solid State Ignition Systems. Can be used to replace OEM switch or for custom applications. Use with a starter solenoid/relay to prevent burning out contacts inside switch. Identification of terminals are as follows: B = Battery, M = Magneto, S = Solenoid, L = Lights (Auxiliary), G = Ground (grounded to body of switch). Key positions: OFF = M+G; IGNITION = B+L; START = B+S. Each terminal identified for correct wire connections. If using an ammeter/amp gauge, connect the gauge/meter to the battery positive (+) post, then to the B terminal on the switch. Trace the wires on your tractor/equipment to see if they match the terminals on this switch. If they don't match, the OEM slide-on spade connectors in the plastic connector housing can be rearranged to match the corresponding terminals on the switch. To remove the connectors from the plastic connector housing, use a small flat blade screwdriver to depress the locking tab and bend the tabs outward slightly before reinserting the connectors in the housing to secure/lock them in place. Or use #250 slide-on female spade crimp-type wire connectors instead to connect the wires to the switch. Switch requires 5/8" diameter mounting hole.
  • Our part # 55-1013. $10.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
High Quality Universal 3-Position OFF-IGNITION-START Key Switch for use with Battery-Powered Points/Condenser or Crank Trigger Electronic Ignition Systems. Can be used to replace OEM switch or for custom applications. Use with a starter solenoid/relay to prevent burning out contacts inside switch. Identification of terminals are as follows: B = Battery, I = Ignition, S = Solenoid, R = Rectifier, A = Auxiliary (lights, electric PTO clutch, etc.). Key positions: OFF = no contact; IGNITION = B+I+R+A; START = B+I+R+S. Each terminal identified for correct wire connections. If using an ammeter/amp gauge, connect the gauge/meter to the battery positive (+) post, then to the B terminal on the switch. Trace the wires on your tractor/equipment to see if they match the terminals on this switch. If they don't match, the OEM slide-on spade connectors in the plastic connector housing can be rearranged to match the corresponding terminals on the switch. To remove the connectors from the plastic connector housing, use a small flat blade screwdriver to depress the locking tab and bend the tabs outward slightly before reinserting the connectors in the housing to secure/lock them in place. Or use #250 slide-on female spade crimp-type wire connectors instead to connect the wires to the switch. Switch requires 9/16" diameter mounting hole.
  • Our part # 430-249. $15.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
Universal wiring harness with five slide-on terminals, 18" length wire leads and protective plastic cover for key switches above. Use for OEM replacement or custom applications.
  • $13.00 each, plus shipping & handling.


Slide-on spade terminal to replace damaged OEM terminal or terminal with a broken crimped wire. No need to replace entire wiring harness. Use wire terminal crimping pliers to install on wire.

  • $1.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
Ignition Points Pushrods for Kohler K-series engine models K141, K160/K161 and K181. Install a flared-end points pushrod when the points lobe on the camshaft is severely worn, or replace a worn (shortened) points pushrod so ignition timing can be fully advanced to factory setting of 20º BTDC. Each made of 304 stainless steel material. NOTE: Used OEM pushrod to be no less than 1.265" in length and .184" in diameter. Measure accurately to determine if need replacing.
  • High quality aftermarket. Replaces Kohler part # 41 411 01-S. $5.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part # 41 411 01-S. $19.88 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Flared-end points Pushrod. Flared-end makes contact with unworn sides of points lobe on camshaft. Can also be used with an unworn lobe for longer wear. Must be installed from inside crankcase. An original, ingenious and innovative concept invented by Brian Miller. Please accept no other advertised copycat products of this kind. Replaces Kohler part # 41 411 01-S. $15.00 each, plus shipping & handling.


Ignition Points Pushrods for Kohler K-series engine models K90/K91, K241, K301, K321, K341, K361, K482, K532 and K582. Install a flared-end points pushrod when the points lobe on the camshaft is severely worn, or replace a worn (shortened) points pushrod so ignition timing can be fully advanced to factory setting of 20º BTDC. NOTE: Used OEM pushrod to be no less than 1.500" in length and .184" in diameter. Measure accurately to determine if need replacing.
  • High quality aftermarket. Replaces Kohler part # 46 411 01-S (aluminum). $5.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • High quality aftermarket. Replaces Kohler part # 47 411 04-S (stainless steel). $7.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part # 46 411 01-S (aluminum). $10.72 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part # 47 411 04-S (stainless steel). $15.36 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part # X-489-8-S (aluminum; listed for K482, K532 and K582 engines). $28.58 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Flared-end Stainless Steel Points Pushrod. Flared-end makes contact with unworn sides of the points lobe on camshaft to allow full advancement of the ignition timing. Can also be used with an unworn lobe for longer wear. Must be installed from inside crankcase. Can be used in Kohler engine models K90/K91, K241, K301, K321, K341, K361, K482, K532 and K582. An original, ingenious and innovative concept invented by Brian Miller, because nobody else advertise this part. Please accept no other advertised copycat products of this kind. $15.00 each, plus shipping & handling. [Return to previous paragraph, section or website]
Oil-Embedded Sleeve Bushings to Repair Worn 3/16" Ignition Points Pushrod Hole. The block will need to be precision-machined with a 1/4" (.250") reamer for installation of these bushings. Comes with two 3/16" i.d. x 1/4" o.d. x 3/8" length bushings. Two bushings required for total length of pushrod hole.
  • $5.00 per two bushings, plus shipping & handling.
Neoprene Rubber O-Ring and Diaphragm Seal for Ignition Points Pushrod. Please choose to use one or the other below Ê, no need to use both. Fits Kohler engine models K90/K91, K141, K161/K160, K181, K241, K301, K321, K330/K331, K341, K361, K482, K532 and K582 with a 3/16" diameter points pushrod. Prevents crankcase oil from contaminating points contacts. O-ring installs on points pushrod, and diaphragm seal slides over pushrod and is held in place by points bracket. Also used as part of the flywheel guard on various Kohler Magnum engine models M10-M16. IMPORTANT: Before installing, apply clean motor oil, gear oil or lubricating grease inside seal lip or on points pushrod for lubrication and to prevent premature wear of the seal. [Return to previous paragraph, section or website]
  • Neoprene Rubber O-Ring. .50¢ each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Diaphragm Seal. Made of clear, silicone rubber. OEM Kohler part # 220074-S. $5.49 each, plus shipping & handling.
NOTE: The use of resistor type spark plugs shortens the life of most small engine self-energizing magneto or solid state ignition coils. Therefore, it's best to use a new high quality spark plug with a copper core gapped at .025" for single cylinder and V-twin engines, and .015" each for opposed twin cylinder engines to prevent overheating of secondary windings within the coil and possibly causing premature coil failure. Set the laminations to the flywheel magnet clearance (air gap) at .010". And the easiest and most accurate way to set the air gap is to use a business card, poster board, or part of the box the new coil came in. These measure about .010" thickness. Place a strip of the paper or box between the coil's laminations and magnet in the flywheel and allow the magnet to pull the laminations to it, then tighten the coil mounting screws securely.
Self-Energizing Solid State Ignition Coil with molded-in Module. Fits Kohler Magnum engine model M8. 15,000± volts output. Use with a new copper core spark plug gapped at .025" for longer coil life. Install with spark plug wire facing engine block as shown in the picture to the right. FYI - Any self-generating solid state ignition coil requires a grounding-type (OFF/ON toggle) kill switch to short circuit the primary windings in the coil to shut off the engine. They do not need 12 volts of power because this will burn it up. And save the spark plug wire off the defective coil. It has a metal core, and with a battery coil terminal and rubber boot installed, it can be used in a battery-powered ignition system.
  • High quality aftermarket. $61.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part # 41 584 03-S. $114.44 each, plus shipping & handling.


Self-Energizing Solid State Ignition Coil with molded-in Module. Fits Kohler Magnum engine models M10, M12, M14 and M16. 15,000± volts output. Use with a new copper core spark plug gapped at .025" for longer coil life. Install with spark plug wire facing engine block as shown in the picture to the right. FYI - Any self-generating solid state ignition coil requires a grounding-type OFF/ON key or toggle kill switch to short circuit the primary windings in the coil to shut off the engine. They do not need 12 volts of power because this will burn it up. And save the spark plug wire off the defective coil. It has a metal core, and with a battery coil terminal and rubber boot installed, it can be used in a battery-powered ignition system.

  • High quality aftermarket. $60.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part # 47 584 03-S. $114.44 each, plus shipping & handling.


Self-Energizing Solid State Ignition Coil with molded-in Module. Fits Kohler Magnum opposed (flathead) twin cylinder engine models MV16, M18, MV18, M20 and MV20. 15,000± volts output. Use with new copper core spark plugs gapped at .015" for longer coil life. Install with spark plug wires facing outward. FYI - Any self-generating solid state ignition coil requires a grounding-type OFF/ON key or toggle kill switch to short circuit the primary windings in the coil to shut off the engine. They do not need 12 volts of power because this will burn it up. And save the spark plug wires off the defective coil. They have a metal core, and with a battery coil terminal and rubber boot installed, they can be used in a battery-powered ignition system.

  • High quality aftermarket. $70.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part # 52 584 02-S. $141.00 each, plus shipping and handing.
Self-Energizing Solid State Ignition Coil with molded-in Magnetron™ Module. Fits Briggs and Stratton horizontal and vertical shaft opposed (flathead) twin cylinder engines. 15,000± volts output. Use with new copper core spark plugs gapped at .015" for longer coil life. FYI - Any self-generating solid state ignition coil requires a grounding-type OFF/ON key or toggle kill switch to short circuit the primary windings in the coil to shut off the engine. They do not need 12 volts of power because this will burn it up. And save the spark plug wires off the defective coil. They have a metal core, and with a battery coil terminal and rubber boot installed, they can be used in a battery-powered ignition system.
  • High quality aftermarket. $35.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Briggs and Stratton part #'s 392329, 394891, 394988, 590781. $45.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
Self-Energizing Magneto Ignition Coil. Fits all Kohler engine models K91 with magneto ignition. Spark plug wire (not included) inserts into coil. 15,000± volts output. NOTE: Usually, the point gap sets at .020", but sometimes it will need to be set as close as .015" just to get a spark. This coil will work better when used with a Universal Solid State Ignition Module (see below ). The short wire on the coil is for ground, the longer wire connects to the ignition points and condenser/capacitor or Universal Solid State Ignition Module, and may need to be made longer depending on your application. Dimensions: .500" x .500" square hole (across flats) x 1.700" o.d. x 1.080" length. When installing, the coil must fit snug on the laminations to receive the full effect of the magnetic field through the stator from the rotating magnet(s) to fully energize the windings to create a strong spark. If the laminations on your stator are too big for the hole in this coil, they can be ground or filed smaller so the coil will fit snug, then bend one laminate over to retain the coil. Or if the laminations are too small, thin strip(s) of steel can be added as shim(s) so the coil will fit snug. (Sometimes one must make changes for a replacement part to work.) Do not attempt to enlarge the hole in the coil! How magneto coils produce a spark. NOTE: The electronic transistorized ignition modules (below ) can be substituted for the ignition points and condenser/capacitor for a stronger and more stable spark, quicker starts, and virtually trouble- and maintenance-free magneto ignition system.
  • High quality aftermarket coil. Discontinued from Kohler. Replaces Kohler part # 220435-S. $42.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
Self-Energizing Magneto Ignition Coil. Fits various Kohler engine models K141, K161 and K181 with coil mounted on U-shaped ignition stator on bearing plate underneath flywheel with magnet rotor on crankshaft. Will also fit various larger cast iron block Clinton engines with coil mounted on cylinder, above flywheel. 15,000± volts output. Spark plug wire not included. Dimensions: 1.750" diameter x 1.450" length x .505" square hole. NOTE: The Electronic Transistorized Ignition Modules (below Ê) can be substituted for the points and condenser/capacitor for a stronger and more stable spark, quicker starts, and virtually trouble- and maintenance-free magneto ignition system.
  • New Old Stock. Discontinued from Kohler. OEM Kohler part # 231718-S. $133.35 each, plus shipping & handing. Not available in aftermarket. L

NOTE: The magneto coil wrapped with varnish-coated paper (Kohler part # 210293), and the stator assembly and rotor shown above are no longer available from Kohler. If you have an engine without these parts and you can't locate them from any source, your only option is to convert the engine to the battery ignition system. A small motorcycle battery or a rechargeable 12 volt sealed lead acid (SLA) battery with a minimum 4AH (Amp Hour) rating will need to be required to power the ignition, and with no charging system, a portable battery charger will need to be used to keep the battery fully charged when the tractor is not in use so the ignition will produce a strong spark. Avoid using a high-output/performance coil because these draw more power from the battery.

Magneto Ignition Coils for certain Kohler K-series engine models K181, K241, K301, K321 and K341 with points, condenser/capacitor and coil located underneath flywheel. Reuse existing spark plug wire with either coil listed below. If the spark plug wire will not pull out of the coil, simply cut it off next to the coil, and use Super Glue to secure it in the new coil. 15,000± volts output. Each coil listed below is identical, except one comes with the retaining clip and the other doesn't. Set spark plug gap at .025" with this coil. Spark plug wire NOT included with either coil listed below. NOTE: The electronic transistorized ignition modules (below ) can be substituted for the ignition points and condenser/capacitor for a stronger and more stable spark, quicker starts, and virtually trouble- and maintenance-free magneto ignition system.
  • Coil Without Retaining Clip. Reuse existing spark plug wire as described above. Listed for various K181, K241 and K301 models depending on engine specification number. OEM Kohler part # 47 145 02-S. $136.25 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Coil With Retaining Clip. Reuse existing spark plug wire as described above. Listed for various K181, K301, K321 and K341 models depending on engine specification number. OEM Kohler part # 47 755 20-S. $141.10 each, plus shipping & handling.
Replace the Ignition Points and Condenser in a Magneto Ignition System with a Universal Solid State Electronic Ignition Module
  • Upgrade the magneto ignition system on virtually any engine with the latest technology! Do away with the ignition points and condenser/capacitor, and install a solid state ignition module. It should be the end of your ignition problems. The ignition points and condenser/capacitor is not to be connected to the coil or module. They need to be removed from the engine and plug the ignition points pushrod hole (Briggs & Stratton or Kohler engines).
  • Universal and high performance. Improves engine performance by producing a strong spark, and by stabilizing the spark, much like my custom-made crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition does, except the detectable target is the magnets on or underneath the flywheel and the coil laminations. This module has a durable die-cast aluminum housing. Weather-proof and very reliable. Ignition timing is automatically set. No kick-back and no timing adjustment required. Works excellent with virtually any magneto ignition coil!
  • Suitable for use with most 2 leg or 3 leg magneto coils and with a flywheel having one or two magnets mounted internally or externally, and with coil mounted underneath or outside of flywheel. Works great regardless of the polarity of the magnets, too. Works on most lawn mowers, chain saws, trimmers, garden tillers, snow throwers, brush cutters, various one or two cylinder outboard boat motors, etc., with ignition points and condenser/capacitor ignition. But will not work with most Stihl trimmers and chain saws, or when the ignition coil is energized by a generator that gets its power from the magnet in the flywheel, such as various outboard boat motors. Usually, the coil don't need replacing when substituting the ignition points and condenser/capacitor with one of these solid state ignition modules. If the engine ran, then the coil is obviously good.
  • Works only with magneto type ignition coils originally connected to contact ignition points and a condenser/capacitor. They will not work with solid state ignition (CDI) coils, battery ignition coils or with flywheels having a ring of magnets mounted internally to which the ignition coil (mounted underneath flywheel also) operates off of, such as the bigger aluminum block Tecumseh engines (8hp and up). Engines can't start under full compression and with advanced ignition timing. One or the other must be "suppressed" in order for the engine to crank over without "kicking back" to start. Either it needs to have an automatic compression release to relieve about half the compression, then the compression will return to full upon start up, or the timing needs to be positioned at TDC, then it can automatically advance upon start up. (With the module, as each magnet pass the coil, it'll produce a spark. And if the spark don't occur at the precise time with the piston at a certain position in the cylinder, the engine will either "kick back" or will not run.) "Kick back" occurs when the crankshaft/flywheel suddenly and violently rebounds or rotates in the opposite direction, which is could bend or break the starter armature shaft or the aluminum starter housing. If the magnets for the charging system won't interfere with the magneto coil(s), then these modules should work well. But if the magneto coil(s) operate off the same magnets for the charging system, then neither module won't work. The modules senses when the magnet pass the coil and that's when it makes the spark. If a bunch of magnets continually pass the coil, then the coil will produce an array of sparks.
  • How the timing is automatically set and how it works: First of all, with ignition points, the point gap determines where the ignition timing is set (on systems with a fixed or non-adjustable ignition coil). Therefore, the spark occurs when the magnet in the flywheel pass the coil laminations the moment the ignition points open. But with no ignition points, the magnet still pass the coil laminations at the same moment, which sends an electrical current through a transistor and electronic components within these modules. This current is sent in the form of a signal to the module; within, a transistor opens the primary circuit in the coil and the spark occurs. All this happens at the speed of electricity, which can be anywhere from about 50% to 99% of the speed of light, depending upon the quality of the electronic components and wire connections. Either module provides unlimited RPM. The conventional ignition points and condenser/capacitor ignition system is less responsive.
  • This module should work very well with most magneto ignition coils. However, a new coil is recommended to use with this module. If a used coil is utilized, a weak spark may occur. This module is not for use on engines equipped with battery ignition, solid state ignition coils or multiple magnets under the flywheel with ignition coil under the flywheel, too. Scroll down for wiring diagrams and installation instructions Ê.

Universal Magneto Solid State Transistorized Electronic Ignition Module Wiring Diagram and Installation Instructions Ê

Use the supplied short wire with the female connector and ring connector to connect to the negative terminal of the module to engine ground with the supplied self-tapping screw. Secure the module with the self-tapping screw to the engine sheet metal with good ventilation and air-flow.

Disconnect or cut-off the ignition points and condenser wire from the coil (leave long). Connect this wire to the supplied long wire to the positive terminal of module and to the kill switch. Use the supplied wire nut to connect the two wires together. Fasten the module to the sheet metal of the engine Replace the blower housing (if removed), crank the engine rapidly and check for spark at the spark plug's tip. If no spark, recheck the wiring for proper or correct connections.

Ignition Points Pushrod/Plunger Hole Plug and Block-Off Plate. Use either of the items below Ê to plug or cover the ignition points pushrod/plunger hole in Briggs & Stratton or Kohler engines when doing away with the ignition points and condenser/capacitor, and converting engine for use with a Universal Solid State Ignition Module, crank-trigger or flywheel-trigger electronic ignition, or from Kohler K-series ignition to Kohler Magnum solid state ignition. Fits very tight; install with a medium size hammer. For the block-off plate, use RTV silicone sealant to prevent an oil leak and OEM ignition points mounting screws to secure in place. Cup plug no longer available from Kohler (25 139 51-S). NOTE: Instead of using any of these items, remove the ignition points and ignition points pushrod. Place the pushrod on a flat, hard surface, and use a sharp cold chisel and hammer to lightly create some knurled raised places on it. Then insert the pushrod in the block and it may need to driven in with the hammer. The knurled places will retain the pushrod in the block.
  • 3/16" Plug to Block-Off Ignition Points Pushrod Hole. Fits all Kohler K-series single cylinder engines and K482, K532 and K582 opposed twin cylinder engines. OEM Briggs & Stratton part #'s 231143, 692882. $6.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Block-Off Plate to Cover Points Pushrod Hole. Fits all Kohler K-series single cylinder engines and KT17, KT19, K482, K532 and K582 opposed twin cylinder engines. Made of 1/8" thickness steel. A-1 Miller part. An original, ingenious and innovative concept by Brian Miller. Please accept no other advertised copycat products of this kind. $4.00 each, plus shipping & handling. [Return to previous paragraph, section or website]
Two Wire Semiconductor Rectifier Zener Diodes. Either can be used as a rectifier in a small engine 3 amp/12 volt non-regulated stator alternator charging system to convert alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) to recharge the battery, power LED lights and/or low-amperage electrical accessories. Not needed to power filament lights or an electric PTO clutch. Or can be used to excite or energize the field windings in a belt-driven automotive alternator or direct-drive 120/240 AC volt portable generator when powered by a small engine so alternator/generator will produce electricity as soon as the engine starts.
  • High quality aftermarket. Heavy duty. .50¢ each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Briggs & Stratton part # 393814. $6.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Diode kit. OEM Kohler part # 25 755 31-S. $12.52 each, plus shipping & handling.
AC Voltage Meter/Monitor. Designed to plug into any 120 volt wall receptacle/outlet, backup house generator or portable generator to provide a continuous, accurate reading of the AC line voltage. Use this meter to set the engine governored speed so generator will produce 120 volts to prevent from under-powering or over-powering electrical equipment.
  • $21.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
NOTE: Most failures of battery ignition coils is caused by overcharging of the electrical system due to a defective voltage rectifier/regulator or defective [automotive] battery. Or the use of aged and deteriorated suppression/carbon core spark plug wire and/or an old resistor type spark plug will also cause a good coil to eventually fail because the secondary windings within the coil must build up more voltage, which cause the windings to overheat and eventually burn up from producing excessive voltage to fire the plug. Therefore, if it's not already equipped, it's best to install an ammeter/amp gauge to monitor the charging system.

High Quality Standard-Size 12 Volt Canister-Type Oil-Filled Ignition Coils w/3.0 ohm internal primary resistor and mounting bracket. 20,000 volts output. Use on small engines (Kohler, Tecumseh, etc.) with ignition points and one standard capacity condenser/capacitor to prevent excessive burning of ignition points contacts for general lawn and garden work or can be used with A-1 Miller's custom-made electronic ignition systems. Set spark plug gap at .035" with this coil.

  • Used and in excellent condition 3 or 4 ohm coil with mounting bracket. $15.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • New Black Casing 3.0 ohm coil with mounting bracket. Replaces Kohler part # 41 519 21-S. $25.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • New Aluminum Casing 3.0 ohm coil with mounting bracket. Replaces Kohler part # 41 519 21-S. $35.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part # 41 519 21-S. Replaces John Deere part # AM38411 and Tecumseh part # 32080. $88.61 each, plus shipping & handling.


High-Output/Performance 12 Volt Battery-Powered Bosch Blue Ignition Coil w/3.0 ohm internal primary resistor and mounting bracket. Vibration-Resistant Epoxy-Filled. 30,000 volts output. Use with ignition points and two standard capacity condensers/capacitors or one high capacity/performance ignition condenser/capacitor for full coil saturation and a strong spark so engine will accelerate to full speed, or can be used with A-1 Miller's custom-made crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition system. Set spark plug gap at .060" with this coil. This genuine Bosch blue coil is epoxy filled with a steel casing. All epoxy filled or molded epoxy coils will hold up to severe vibrations, can be mounted in any position and will not leak oil (because there is no oil). $55.00 each, plus shipping & handling.


Special Size Stainless Steel Nut for small terminals on 99% of canister-type ignition coils. Replace a lost nut, no need to purchase a new coil. Includes split lock washer. Use with 5/16" or 8mm socket. .30¢ each, plus shipping & handling.

New 1.6 Ohm Ballast Resistor for use with any 12 volt ignition coil not having an internal resistor (above È) to prevent excessive burning of ignition points contacts, or use with the Chrysler / Dodge / Plymouth electronic ignition control module/unit (ICU) , or connect with coil having a 1.2 ohm internal primary resistor to prevent burning up the Dynatek Dyna S or PerTronix Ignitor ignition control sensor/modules. Install between the coil positive (+) terminal and wire coming from the ignition switch to the coil. This will allow the ignition points to possibly last the life of the engine. NOTE: Ignition resistors with a higher ohms value are known as "Point Savers." The higher the ohms primary resistance in an ignition coil or a ballast resistor has, the longer the ignition points will last (as long as the ignition points are installed clean, and doesn't become contaminated with dust, oil, water, etc.). Any 12 volt ignition coil with a 3.0 ohm internal primary resistor connected to a minimum 1.6 ohm ballast resistor when used in a ignition points and condenser/capacitor ignition system will allow the ignition points to possibly last the life of the engine. Because the increased resistance allows a very low current/voltage to pass through the contacts in the ignition points. Also, a suppression/carbon core spark plug wire and resistor type spark plug shouldn't be used in this system due to overheating of the ignition coil. Therefore, it's best that a metal core spark plug wire and copper core spark plug be used. The ignition system will still produce a strong spark because an average small engine requires only a fraction of voltage from the coil. This is best to used with general lawn & garden, snow removal, etc., and not for competitive pulling. [Return to previous paragraph, section or website]
  • $8.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
Battery Ignition Coils and Spark Plug Wires specifically for Kohler twin cylinder engine models KT17, KT17 Series II, KT19 and KT19 Series II. But can also be used on Kohler twin cylinder engine models K482, K532, K582, K660/K662, Onan twin cylinder engines or Harley-Davidson motorcycles with a fabricated bracket. Each coil below has 4.0 ohm internal primary resistor, produces a strong spark, and can be used with ignition points and condenser, or A-1 Miller's custom-made crank-trigger ignition systems. IMPORTANT - Must use copper core spark plugs gapped at .015" each so coil will operate cooler and last longer. NOTE: Most failures of battery-powered ignition coils is caused by the use of resistor type spark plugs and/or overcharging of the electrical system due to a defective voltage rectifier/regulator or defective [automotive] battery which will cause a good coil to eventually fail because the secondary windings within the coil overheat and eventually burn up from producing excessive voltage to fire the plug(s). Therefore, if it's not already equipped, it's best to install an ammeter/amp gauge to monitor the charging system.
  • High quality universal 4.0 ohm primary windings epoxy encapsulated ignition coil with molded-in dual metal core spark plug wires. 20,000 volts output. Coil dimensions: 4" overall length including mounting bracket x 2-1/8" body width x 15" low tension wires x (2) molded-in 24" length spark plug wires (can be shortened if desired). Two 90º spark plug boots and terminals included. Use copper core spark plugs gapped at .030" each with this coil. $40.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • High quality chrome-plated 4.0 ohm primary windings oil filled ignition coil with dual metal core spark plug wires. Same diameter as OEM Kohler coil. 20,000 volts output. Includes: (1) dual tower chrome-plated ignition coil, (2) rubber spark plug wire grommets, (2) plastic thread-on coil boots, (2) 90º spark plug boots w/terminals, and (2) 18" length spark plug wires (can be shortened if desired). Coil dimensions: 4-1/4" length (excluding towers) x 2-1/8" body width x 2-1/4" tower end band width. Use copper core spark plugs gapped at .030" each with this coil. Replaces Kohler part # 52 755 48-S. $84.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • High quality aftermarket 4.0 ohm primary windings epoxy encapsulated ignition coil with metal core spark plug wires. Same dimensions as OEM Kohler coil. 15,000 volts output. Use copper core spark plugs gapped at .025" each with this coil. Replaces Kohler part # 52 755 48-S. $118.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler coil with spark plug wires; part # 52 755 48-S. Use copper core spark plugs gapped at .025" each with this coil. $250.71 each, plus shipping and handing.

Spark Plug Wires for above È coils. NOTE: Most OEM Kohler metal core spark plug wires rarely lose resistance, resulting in a weak spark. The only time they need replacing is when damaged beyond use. All spark plug wires can be checked for resistance with an analog or digital multimeter.

  • 11" length. (for #2/left cylinder when facing flywheel.) OEM Kohler part # 52 348 03-S. $18.66 each, plus shipping & handing.
  • 19" length. (for #1/right cylinder when facing flywheel.) OEM Kohler part # 52 348 04-S. $20.27 each, plus shipping & handing.
High Quality, Molded Epoxy, Battery-Powered Ignition Coils for Kohler twin cylinder engine models K482, K532, K582, K660/K662 and Harley-Davidson motorcycles. But can also be used on Kohler twin cylinder engine models KT17, KT17 Series II, KT19 and KT19 Series II or Onan twin cylinder engines with a fabricated bracket. 12 volts input. Can be used with ignition points and condenser or A-1 Miller's custom-made crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition system. NOTE: Coil mounting bracket not included - discontinued from Kohler; if needed, new mounting holes can be drilled through Harley coil's laminations next to existing holes to match the holes in OEM mounting plate, or new holes can be drilled in the OEM mounting plate to match the holes in the Harley coil. And there is no positive (+) or negative (–) connections on the two small terminals. They can be connected either way. And most failures of battery-powered ignition coils is caused by overcharging of the electrical system due to a defective voltage rectifier/regulator or defective [automotive] battery will cause a good coil to eventually fail because the secondary windings within the coil overheat and eventually burn up from producing excessive voltage to fire the plug(s). Therefore, if it's not already equipped, it's best to install an ammeter/amp gauge to monitor the charging system.
  • High quality aftermarket 12 volt Harley-Davidson coil with 5.0 ohm internal primary resistor; 20,000 volts output; suitable for use with ignition points and standard capacity condenser/capacitor or crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition. Part # 31609-65A. $55.00 each, plus shipping & handing.
  • High quality aftermarket 12 volt Harley-Davidson coil with 3.0 ohm internal primary resistor; 30,000 volts output; suitable for use with ignition points and high capacity condenser/capacitor or crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition. Part # 31609-80. $55.00 each, plus shipping & handing.
  • OEM Kohler Coil, part # 277375-S. $242.15 each, plus shipping and handing.

Metal Core Spark Plug Wires for Kohler engine models KT17, KT17 Series II, KT19 and KT19 Series II, K482, K532, K582, K660/K662, or Onan twin cylinder engines. 14" and 18" length each.

  • OEM Kohler part # 48 348 04-S. $21.65 each, plus shipping & handling.
High performance 7mm stranded metal core conductor spark plug wires. Each rated at zero ohms resistance entire length. Don't be fooled by the gray or dark color, these wires provides 100% voltage to the spark plug! Can be used for Kohler engine models K91 (with battery ignition), KT17, KT17 Series II, KT19 and KT19 Series II, K482, K532 and K582 (with wires cut to OEM Kohler length), or for competition pulling. Comes with terminals, one straight and one angled coil boot.
  • 13" length. $5.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • 22" length. $10.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • 25-1/2" length. Replaces Kohler part #'s 238057-S, 25 348 01-S. $10.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

90º Spark Plug Terminal and Boot Kit. No need to purchase a new complete spark plug wire. Prong in terminal penetrates center conductor of spark plug wire, then securely crimp terminal to spark plug wire with pliers. No need to strip the insulation and bend the center conductor over for contact. Boot installs (slips on) easily on 7mm size spark plug wire with WD-40, motor oil, gear oil or lubricating grease.

  • High quality aftermarket. $1.20 each kit, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part # 41 131 01-S. $7.88 each, plus shipping & handling.

Straight Brass Ignition Coil Terminal. Fits female coil tower. No need to purchase a new complete spark plug wire. Center prong installs into center conductor of spark plug wire. No need to strip the insulation and bend the center conductor over for contact.

  • High quality aftermarket. .50¢ each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part # 237923-S. $3.66 each, plus shipping & handling.

Straight Ignition Coil Boot. No need to purchase a new complete spark plug wire. Install easily on 7mm size spark plug wire with WD-40, motor oil, gear oil or lubricating grease. High quality neoprene rubber. Boot installs (slips on) easily on 7mm size spark plug wire with WD-40, motor oil, gear oil or lubricating grease.

  • High quality aftermarket. Fits 5/8" diameter female coil tower. .75¢ each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part # 25 136 13-S. Fits 5/8" diameter female coil tower. $1.82 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Fits 3/4" diameter female coil tower. .75¢ each, plus shipping & handling. [Return to Previous Section, Paragraph or Website]
Complete Battery-Powered Ignition Conversion Kits -When Kohler's OEM magneto or Breakerless Ignition fails, the engine can be converted to a battery-powered ignition system. Battery-powered ignition systems last longer, produces a stronger spark, and when a part goes bad, it doesn't cost much to replace. It's a reliable, simple design and there's no guesswork about it. FYI: Battery-powered ignition conversion kits are intended mainly for various older engines when the OEM magneto or Breakerless Ignition no longer produce a spark, replacement parts are not available or are very expensive (cost prohibitive). Also, the most hassle when using battery-powered ignition without a charging system integrated with the engine to recharge the battery is the use of a remote battery charger. And eventually a new battery will need to be purchased, because they only last a few years. For a battery to power the ignition, a small, lightweight and rechargeable 12 volt sealed lead acid (SLA) battery with a minimum 4Ah (Amp Hour) rating or a small motorcycle battery can be used. Click here for battery-powered ignition wiring diagrams.
Single Cylinder (Flathead) Engines - Convert from Magneto Ignition to Battery-Powered Ignition. Convert virtually any single cylinder, air-cooled cast iron or various aluminum block small gas engine, such as Kohler, Tecumseh, Briggs & Stratton, Clinton, etc., that originally came with a magneto ignition system (having ignition points, condenser/capacitor and ignition coil that has voltage generated by a permanent magnet in the flywheel, instead of being powered by a battery or a self-generating charging coil) into a battery-powered ignition system. NOTE: Must use a universal automotive start/ignition key switch, or a push-button switch to crank the engine with an OFF/ON toggle or key switch to power the ignition. Reuse existing ignition points, but set gap at .020" or set ignition timing at 20º BTDC, and reuse same type of spark plug, but set gap at .035" for a stronger spark. See wiring diagram below Ê.

Ignition Kit with compact-size epoxy-encapsulated ignition coil. Use this kit when there is not enough space on the engine or tractor for a full-size 12 volt canister ignition coil. Kit includes: New 12 volt 3.0 ohm compact-size epoxy-encapsulated ignition coil w/mounting bracket and molded-in 11" length metal core spark plug wire w/90º boot/terminal (set spark plug gap at .030" with this coil), new condenser/capacitor, new ignition points and new 22" length 16 gauge coil-to-ignition points wire w/grommet and terminals.

  • $60.50 per kit, plus shipping & handling.


Ignition Kits to Convert from Breakerless Ignition to Battery-Powered Ignition with Points and Condenser for Kohler engine models K181, K241, K301 and K321. (K341 and K361 engines originally did not come with Breakerless Ignition.) Instead of replacing defective cost-prohibitive Breakerless Ignition components, convert your engine to the inexpensive, low-cost and reliable ignition points and condenser/capacitor ignition. Kit includes: new 3.0 ohm ignition coil w/mounting bracket, new ignition points, new condenser/capacitor, 22" length 16 gauge coil-to-ignition points wire w/grommet and terminals, ignition points pushrod, ignition points cover, ignition points cover gasket and four 10-24 UNC (coarse thread) screws. Use the same OEM spark plug wire and ignition switch that came with the tractor or equipment. NOTE: Use a pointed #6 self-tapping sheet metal or drywall screw and a mini nail puller pry bar to remove the brass block-off plug from ignition points pushrod hole. Do not force the screw into the plug or the plug could go inside the crankcase! Just gently thread it in a few threads, that's all it takes to pull the plug out. But if the engine block has a Briggs & Stratton ignition points plunger plug, the plug can be removed by using a mini nail puller pry bar as well. May need to use a hammer to drive the wedge under the head of the plug to get a good grip on it to pull it out. And if there seems to be no movement for opening and closing of the ignition points, there may be some metal flashing blocking the ignition points pushrod hole where the factory didn't drill all the through the hole. Because all Kohler engines with Breakerless Ignition have the camshaft with the ignition points lobe. Only the Magnum engines have the cam without the ignition points lobe. After this is remedied, set ignition points gap at .020" or better yet, set ignition timing at 20º BTDC, and reuse same type of spark plug. See wiring diagram below Ê. IMPORTANT: The wire that comes from the stator under the flywheel for Kohler Trigger Module or Tecumseh Solid State Ignition Module generates about 250 volts while the engine is running at full governored speed (serious). Do not touch this wire (terminal) with one bare hand and the engine itself with your other hand while the engine is running! It is not needed for any of my custom-made crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition systems. So snip off this wire or tape up the terminal to prevent a short circuit or electrocution.

Breakerless to Points Conversion Ignition Kit with compact epoxy-encapsulated ignition coil. Kit includes: New 12 volt 3.0 ohm compact epoxy-encapsulated ignition coil w/integrated metal core spark plug wire and mounting bracket (set spark plug gap at .030" with this coil), new low capacity condenser/capacitor, new ignition points and new 22" length 16 gauge coil-to-ignition points wire w/grommet and terminals.

  • $70.50 per kit, plus shipping & handling.

Breakerless to Points Conversion Ignition Kit with full-size 12 volt canister-type ignition coil. Kit includes: New 12 volt 3.0 ohm full-size canister-type ignition coil w/mounting bracket (set spark plug gap at .035" with this coil), new 11" length metal core spark plug wire, new condenser/capacitor, new ignition points and new 22" length 16 gauge coil-to-ignition points wire w/grommet and terminals.

  • $70.50 per kit, plus shipping & handling.


[Return to previous paragraph, section or website]

Click Here for a Custom-Made Maintenance-Free Electronic Ignition System for Competition Pulling Only that Operate Off the Crankshaft on the PTO End of the Engine. (Updated 6/9/17) Click Here to Convert from Ignition Points/Condenser Ignition or Breakerless Ignition to a Custom-Made Maintenance-Free Electronic Ignition System that Operate off the Flywheel of the Engine. (Updated 6/9/17)
Universal Analog 10 Amp and 15 Amp Ammeter / Amp Gauge Kits. Gauges registers up to 10 or 15 amps of charge, depending on total output amperage of stator or alternator. Install these gauges to know exactly what the charging system on your engine is doing. Having an ammeter/amp gauge installed is very important in monitoring the charging system to prevent premature failure of electrical components. By the time you smell something burning or see smoke, it may be too late. If the charging system continues to charge on the plus (+) side with no gradual moving back of the needle to zero on the gauge (if installed) while the engine is running at full governored speed, this will send too much voltage to the battery, which could eventually burn up the cells in the battery, or burn up the primary windings in the ignition coil. Overcharging of the electrical system could also burn up the electronic ignition control module/unit (crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger), burn out light bulbs, electric PTO clutch or any other electrical accessories. As battery becomes fully charged, needle slowly moves from positive side (+) to zero (0). Needle will stay on negative side (–) if no charge goes to the battery. Or gauge will not show any charge at all if charging system is not working. Easy 2-wire connections. Connect the positive (+) terminal on back of gauge to the battery positive (+) post, and connect the negative (–) terminal on back of gauge to the wire going to the ignition switch that provides power to the ignition and all accessories. If the wires/connections are reversed, and if the charging system is in good working condition, the gauge will show discharge (–) instead of charge (+). Use minimum 12 gauge stranded wire. Non-lighted gauge. Each requires 2" diameter mounting hole and comes with mounting clamp and nuts. 15 amp gauge discontinued from Kohler. Replaces Kohler part # 48 755 18-S; Replaces Cub Cadet part # 925-3141. [Return to Previous Section, Paragraph or Website]
  • 10 Amp Ammeter / Amp Gauge Kit. $20.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • 15 Amp Ammeter / Amp Gauge Kit. $25.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

How to Accurately Set the [Point] Ignition Timing on Virtually Any Gas Engine - Top of page

First of all, widening or narrowing of the ignition points gap is how the ignition timing is adjusted. Widening the gap advances the timing and narrowing it retards the timing. On a Kohler engine, adjust the ignition points by first positioning the piston at TDC on the compression stroke. Then slightly loosen the set screw on the ignition points and place the flat screwdriver in the slot on the upper part of the ignition points bracket to widen and narrow the point gap. Then use a .020" feeler gauge to set the gap. If the screw that fastens the ignition points to the bracket is hard to get at with a screwdriver on the equipment, then install a socket head (Allen) head screw and use an angled hex key (Allen) wrench to loosen and tighten the screw that clamps the ignition points in place. Delayed acceleration of the engine indicates either low compression, or the ignition timing is retarded and not set at 20º BTDC.

Engines can't start under full compression and with advanced ignition timing. One or the other must be "suppressed" in order for the engine to crank over without "kicking back" to start. Either it needs to have an automatic compression release to relieve about half the compression, then the compression will return to full upon start up, or the timing needs to be positioned at TDC, then it can automatically advance upon start up. On engines with a camshaft having an automatic compression release (ACR), the ignition timing cannot be advanced more than approximately 25º BTDC. If it is, the spark will occur when the exhaust valve opens slightly (to relieve the compression), and the engine may not start or be hard to start. It may pop out the carburetor instead. If the timing needs to be set more than 25º BTDC (for methanol fuel), the ACR will need to be removed from the camshaft, and to make the engine easier to crank over and start under full compression, a high torque gear starter, heavy [steel] flywheel, along with separate starter and ignition switches will need to be used to prevent "kick back" when attempting to start the engine. "Kick back" occurs when the crankshaft/flywheel suddenly and violently rebounds or rotates in the opposite direction, which is could bend or break the starter armature shaft or break the aluminum starter housing. To start any engine with advanced timing and under full compression, two separate switches will need to be used. A push-button switch to crank the engine, and an OFF/ON toggle switch to power the ignition. To make this work, first crank the engine over, and while it's cranking over, choke the carburetor (or use my remote fuel primer system, which is much easier to use), then flip the ignition switch to "put the spark to it." The engine should start easily every time. This method works because the continuing centrifugal spinning force of the flywheel prevents the engine from "kicking back" when power is being supplied to the ignition.

The point gap on virtually all 4-cycle small gas engines, rather if it has one or two cylinders, is set at .020" using a feeler gauge with the piston positioned at TDC on the compression stroke. This is when the valves (#1 cylinder for a twin cylinder) are fully closed. This sets the ignition timing approximately at 20º BTDC (Kohler engines), and is the most easiest and simplest way to basically set the timing. A better way is to statically (engine not running) set the timing. But the most accurate way is use an automotive strobe timing light to dynamically set the timing. The timing light connects to the battery and spark plug wire.

To statically (engine not running) set the ignition timing on an engine with ignition points, condenser/capacitor and a stock flywheel, use an ohmmeter (d) (make sure the battery is fully charged) or a battery-powered test light in the ignition points only (the ignition points will act as a switch). To make this happen...

  1. Connect one lead of the ohmmeter or test light to the ignition points terminal screw or the ignition points wire (disconnect it from the ignition coil first) and the other lead to engine/chassis ground so that the ignition points will serve as a switch to activate the meter or light. To test the connection, set the ignition points gap at .020" with a feeler gauge, then slowly rotate the crankshaft (flywheel) back and forth when the ignition points open and close to see if the meter is activated or light comes on and goes off. IMPORTANT: Do not use sandpaper or emery cloth to clean ignition points contacts! These will leave a gritty residue between the contacts, causing a faulty connection. A thin, steel ignition points file or steel fingernail file is the only way to thoroughly remove any debris or oxidation from ignition points contacts. Then use electrical contact cleaner, brake parts cleaner, cleaning solvent or paint thinner (these leave no oily residue) and use 150± psi compressed air to clean any oil and metal filings from the ignition points contacts.
  2. On Kohler flywheels, there should be a T and an S stamped on the outer edge of the flywheel. Clean the area off, and use a Sharpie metallic silver permanent marker or a paint marker to place a brightly colored mark on the S mark [punched line] so it can be easily seen with the naked eye and with an automotive inductive timing light. The timing light connects to the battery and spark plug wire. T stands for TDC, which is 0º TDC. This is where the ignition timing sets if the engine is equipped with an older two-piece camshaft with a rotating automatic timing advance mechanism (ignition points lobe). And S stands for Spark Advance, which is 20º BTDC. This is where the timing sets if the engine is equipped with a one-piece camshaft that came with an automatic compression release (ACR) mechanism. If there's a timing sight hole in the rear of the bearing plate, then the timing marks are on the backside of the flywheel. If the marks can't be seen, then the flywheel will need to be cleaned off and depending on type of camshaft, a brightly colored mark needs to placed at the T (older two-piece camshaft w/automatic timing advance) or S mark (newer one piece camshaft w/automatic compression release). If there is no visible S mark, then it's located exactly 1-5/8" (1.625") above or before the T mark. Billet steel flywheels with no timing marks must be degreed-in with a degree wheel, dial indicator and piston stop to create new timing marks.
  3. Slowly rotate the flywheel back and forth by hand, and when the timing mark on the flywheel (S for ACR camshaft or T for two-piece camshaft) is aligned with the center of the sight hole or raised mark on the bearing plate and at the same time, observe the ohmmeter (make sure the battery is fully charged) or battery-powered test light. The ohmmeter should show an intermittent connection or the test light should flicker. If necessary, widen or narrow the point gap until the ignition points make contact the exact moment the timing marks are aligned. It is at this position when the ignition timing is accurately set. No further adjustments is required.
  4. Timing for gas fuels can vary from 20º-22º BTDC for low octane; 100% automotive gas, to 30º BTDC for high octane race gas, aviation gas, or automotive gas w/10% alcohol.
  5. Timing for E-85 - 25º BTDC.
  6. Timing for METHANOL fuels - if the spark plug is positioned in the center of the combustion chamber, set the timing at 24-26º BTDC. If the plug is located closer to the exhaust valve, the timing needs to be set around 30º BTDC. And if the plug is directly over the exhaust valve, the timing needs to be set at 38º BTDC to obtain full power. 38º BTDC is the maximum setting for methanol or gas fuels.
  7. It'll be a good thing to check the ignition timing periodically as the ignition points contacts wear.
  8. Engines can't start under full compression and with advanced ignition timing. One or the other must be "suppressed" in order for the engine to crank over without "kicking back" to start. Either it needs to have an automatic compression release to relieve about half the compression, then the compression will return to full upon start up, or the timing needs to be positioned at TDC, then it can automatically advance upon start up. On engines with a camshaft having an automatic compression release (ACR), the ignition timing cannot be advanced more than approximately 25º BTDC. If it is, the spark will occur when the exhaust valve opens slightly (to relieve the compression), and the engine may not start or be hard to start. It may pop out the carburetor instead. If the timing needs to be set more than 25º BTDC (for methanol fuel), the ACR will need to be removed from the camshaft, and to make the engine easier to crank over and start under full compression, a high torque gear starter, heavy [steel] flywheel, along with separate starter and ignition switches will need to be used to prevent "kick back" when attempting to start the engine. With advanced timing, and no mechanical timing retard or no automatic compression release, chances are this will cause the engine to "kick back" when attempting to start it. "Kick back" occurs when the crankshaft/flywheel suddenly and violently rebounds or rotates in the opposite direction, which is could bend or break the starter armature shaft or break the aluminum starter housing. To start any engine with advanced timing and under full compression, two separate switches will need to be used. A push-button switch to crank the engine, and an OFF/ON toggle switch to power the ignition. To make this work, first crank the engine over, and while it's cranking over, choke the carburetor (or use my remote fuel primer system, which is much easier to use), then flip the ignition switch to "put the spark to it." The engine should start easily every time. This method works because the continuing centrifugal spinning force of the flywheel prevents the engine from "kicking back" when power is being supplied to the ignition.

The most accurate way to set the ignition timing is dynamically. This is with the engine running and an automotive strobe timing light. The timing light connects to the battery and spark plug wire. Connect the timing light (if it has an adjustable degree wheel, set it at 0º), then start the engine. With the engine running at idle speed, shine the timing light through the sight hole in the flywheel shroud to see the painted "S" mark on the flywheel and the raised mark on the bearing plate. When the marks are perfectly aligned, this is when the timing is set exactly at 20º BTDC. This cannot be done on an aftermarket steel flywheel or [starter] pulley on the PTO end of the crankshaft with no timing marks.

The ignition timing greatly depends on where the spark plug is located in the combustion chamber. Most plugs are centered in the combustion chamber. But if it's closer to the exhaust valve, the timing must be advanced slightly more. Location of the spark plug in the combustion chamber and proper ignition timing are two things that's very important in engine performance. Actually, it's best to set the timing with some test pulls or with the engine connected to an engine dynamometer.

Setting the Ignition Timing with an Automotive Non-Inductive or Inductive Strobe Timing Light -

NOTE: The above È method is sufficiently accurate and useful in building a fresh engine and not having to mess with adjusting the ignition points just to get the engine started for the first time. However, after getting the engine started, it's always a good thing to use either an automotive non-inductive or inductive strobe timing light to check to see if the timing is set exactly where it's supposed to be. The timing light connects to the battery and spark plug wire. This is called setting the timing dynamically. Use a timing light when the timing marks on both the bearing plate and flywheel are perfectly aligned. The ignition timing setting for Kohler engines burning GAS is 20-22º BTDC. NEVER run over-advanced timing (beyond the 22º setting) with gas just to try to get "more power" out of an engine! All that'll do is seriously overheat the engine and ruin parts. [Return to previous paragraph, section or website]

To use a non-inductive strobe timing light (these are very old and are considered obsolete because they produce a dim light), connect one lead on the spark plug itself (on a twin cylinder engine, connect it on the #1 cylinder spark plug) and connect the other lead on the coil, then start the engine.

To use an inductive strobe timing light, the engine can be running while connecting the clamps on the battery posts in their respective order, then connect the inductive pickup on the spark plug wire. On a twin cylinder engine, connect it on the #1 cylinder spark plug wire. (The #1 cylinder is the one closest to the flywheel.) If using an inductive strobe timing light with an advance adjustment, make sure it's set at 0 (zero) before setting the timing at the S mark.

Engines can't start under full compression and with advanced ignition timing. One or the other must be "suppressed" in order for the engine to crank over without "kicking back" to start. Either it needs to have an automatic compression release to relieve about half the compression, then the compression will return to full upon start up, or the timing needs to be positioned at TDC, then it can automatically advance upon start up. If an engine has an automatic compression release on the camshaft and the valve clearance is set right (at least for the exhaust valve), chances are the engine will not "kick back" when attempting to start the engine. "Kick back" occurs when the crankshaft/flywheel suddenly and violently rebounds or rotates in the opposite direction, which is could bend or break the starter armature shaft or break the aluminum starter housing. To start any engine with advanced timing and under full compression, two separate switches will need to be used. A push-button switch to crank the engine, and an OFF/ON toggle switch to power the ignition. To make this work, first crank the engine over, and while it's cranking over, choke the carburetor (or use my remote fuel primer system, which is much easier to use), then flip the ignition switch to "put the spark to it." The engine should start easily every time. This method works because the continuing centrifugal spinning force of the flywheel prevents the engine from "kicking back" when power is being supplied to the ignition.

The ignition on Kohler engines aren't like the ignition on most automotive engines. You don't dwell-in the ignition points on a Kohler engine. Instead, you set the point gap at .020" as the initial setting just to get the engine running. Then the ignition timing is set by widening or narrowing the ignition points gap until the timing is at 20º BTDC by observing the alignment timing marks on the flywheel.

NOTE: If the ignition timing is set right and the engine kicks back when trying to start, sometimes, but not always, the compression release isn't releasing enough compression from the combustion chamber. Try setting the valve clearances to specs and see if that makes a difference. If the timing is retarded to reduce the possibility of kickback, then the engine will run sluggish and not produce enough power. [Return to previous paragraph, section or website]


Another simple way to set the ignition timing is to use a dial indicator to measure the distance of the piston from the top of the block. On the K241 (10hp) Kohler engines, the ignition points just begin to open when the piston is located exactly at .125" BTDC. And on the K301 (12hp), K321 (14hp), K341 (16hp) flathead engines and K361 (18hp OHV) engines, the ignition points just begin to open when the piston is located exactly at .100" BTDC. Distances shown is when the S mark on the flywheel is aligned with the mark on the bearing plate. Take into consideration if the piston doesn't come flush with the top of the block, or if it protrudes out of the cylinder. EXCEPTION: When setting the ignition timing on an older Kohler engine with the old style two-piece camshaft, set the ignition points so they just begin to open with the piston positioned on the compression stroke at 0º TDC (T mark on the flywheel). As soon as the engine starts, the ignition points lobe rotates on the cam pin and flyweights on the cam gear automatically advances the timing to 20º BTDC. Don't set the initial timing at 20º BTDC (S mark) with the old style two-piece camshaft. Due to the absence of an automatic compression release (these engines start under full compression), setting it at 20º BTDC will advance the timing too much and cause the engine to "kick back" when attempting to start the engine. ""Kick back" occurs when the crankshaft/flywheel suddenly and violently rebounds or rotates in the opposite direction, which is could bend or break the starter armature shaft or break the aluminum starter housing. To start any engine with advanced timing and under full compression, two separate switches will need to be used. A push-button switch to crank the engine, and an OFF/ON toggle switch to power the ignition. To make this work, first crank the engine over, and while it's cranking over, choke the carburetor (or use my remote fuel primer system, which is much easier to use), then flip the ignition switch to "put the spark to it." The engine should start easily every time. This method works because the continuing centrifugal spinning force of the flywheel prevents the engine from "kicking back" when power is being supplied to the ignition.

How To Read A Dial Indicator -

Dial IndicatorEach mark on the face of a dial indicator represents one thousand of an inch (.001") graduations. The marks with a number (10, 20, 30, etc.) represents every ten thousands (.010"). Depending on the size of the engine, for a reading of .050" or .070" BTDC, first, run the piston up at true TDC, then set the dial indicator at the .050" or .070" mark. Then, slowly rotate the crankshaft in opposite of normal engine rotation until the needle reads 0 degrees BTDC. The needle will move in the counterclockwise direction (back to the 0 degree mark) as the piston moves downward in the cylinder.


Differences in Kohler's flywheel shroudsWhere is the Timing Sight Hole in the Flywheel Shroud?

On the small [8"] flywheel without the starter ring gear and with the starter/generator, the timing sight hole is on the right when facing the front of the flywheel, or on the same side as the starter/generator. But on the large [9-1/2"] flywheel with the starter ring gear and gear starter, the timing sight hole is on the left when facing the front of the flywheel, or on the same side of the carburetor.

To set the ignition timing on the 7hp and 8hp Kohler engines, there's a sight hole in the backside of the bearing plate on the starter/generator side, just behind the flywheel. It has a metal hole cover plug in it. Remove the plug, then slowly rotate the flywheel by hand until you see the S mark. Place a white paint mark on the line. Now connect an automotive strobe timing light, start the engine and note if the mark appears midway in the sight hole. If not, adjust the ignition points until the mark is centered in the hole. This is how you set the ignition timing with a timing light. The timing light connects to the battery and spark plug wire.

It is recommended that a steel flywheel be degreed in on an engine to locate true TDC. Mark the flywheel every 5 degrees out up to 35 degrees BTDC. NOTE: With a steel cam and ground-on point lobe, do not correlate ignition points gap with engine timing – there is a range from approximately 10 degrees BTDC to 40 degrees BTDC! Use a continuity tester to set ignition points to desired ignition timing by gapping ignition points.

Ignition timing must be properly set for any engine for it to produce full power. Ignition timing is set according to when the piston reaches its Before Top Dead Center (BTDC) position in the cylinder on the compression stroke. When measuring the piston distance, take in consideration if a piston protrudes out of the cylinder or if it doesn't come flush with the top of the block. And don't trust strange markings on the flywheel.

For precise accuracy, use an ohmmeter (d) (make sure the battery is fully charged) or a battery-powered test light in the ignition points only (the ignition points will act as a switch), a dial indicator to measure the distance of the piston in the cylinder, fasten a degree wheel to the crankshaft flywheel end and you'll need to fabricate a piston stop. On a flathead engine, to serve as a piston stop, a long reach spark plug can be used, and the cylinder head must be positioned so the spark plug is over the piston.

Degree Wheel, Dial Indicator and Piston Stop - The Correct Tools Required to Locate the Ignition Timing Marks and Accurately Set the Ignition Timing - FYI - A degree wheel, dial indicator and piston stop are also used in degreeing in the camshaft.

Degree Wheel

The degree wheel is a round disc (usually made of aluminum) with the facing edge marked off in degrees, similar to the markings on a protractor. When used in conjunction with a dial indicator, it's installed on the crankshaft during the engine build to degree the cam in and check for correct valve timing events. It can also be used to check for accurate ignition timing. When in use, a degree wheel is fastened to the front of the crankshaft (automotive engines) or flywheel end (small engines). If it's fastened to the PTO end, it will need to face the engine block and be read from that position. Degree wheels can be purchased off of eBay.

Dial Indicator and Magnetic Base

A dial indicator is necessary to check for correct valve timing to tell precisely when a valve starts to open and the moment it closes. This opening and closing is very critical for high performance engines and cannot be done by feel or by sight. A dial indicator can also be used to set accurate ignition timing in relation to piston travel. Each mark on the face of a dial indicator represents one thousandth of an inch (.001") graduations. The marks with a number (10, 20, 30, etc.) represents every ten thousandths of an inch (.010", .020", .030", etc.). A dial indicator always mounts on top of the engine block. Dial indicators are very precision and delicate instruments. Care must be used in handling one. Dial indicators can be purchased from LittleMachineShop.com.

Piston Stop Tool

A piston stop tool is used to accurately find the piston's true Top Dead Center (TDC) in the engine block. The piston stop tool is always used on the #1 piston, which is closest to the flywheel on a multi-cylinder air-cooled engine, and closest to the front of an automotive engine.

As far as I am aware of, a deck-mounted, flat bar piston stop cannot be purchased from any source. One will need to be made from scratch. To use a very simple piston stop for a flathead engine, if the spark plug is perpendicular (at a 90º angle) with the head, a long-reach (long threaded) spark plug can be used in the head to serve as the bump-stop. Adjustment of the spark plug is used to "stop" the piston. Simply position and fasten the head on the block with a couple of bolts with the plug over the piston. The spark plug can be adjusted up or down to find true top dead center of the piston in relationship with the degree wheel. A blunt-end (not to damage the piston) steel rod may need to be welded on the end of the plug for an extended reach. If a piston pops out of the cylinder at TDC, then install flat washers as needed so the head will clear the piston at TDC.

For a universal deck-mounted, flat bar type of piston stop, the bar should be made of minimum 1/4" thick x 1" wide flat steel or aluminum, drilled with a couple of holes so that it can be fastened to the top of the block with a couple of head bolts, directly over the piston. A minimum 1/4" bolt with a thin jam nut, is threaded in the bar to serve as the bump-stop. Adjustment of the bolt is used to "stop" the piston. If a piston pops out of the cylinder at TDC, then install flat washers as needed so the bar will clear the piston at TDC.

To check and adjust the cam or ignition timing on an OHV (Over Head Valve) engine with the cylinder head installed on the engine block, a low-cost and simple bump-stop piston stop tool can be made from a 14mm spark plug non-fouler. (Spark plug non-foulers are used in automotive engines that burn/consume a lot of oil to help prevent oil-fouling of the spark plugs.) To convert a spark plug non-fouler into a bump-stop for a piston stop...

  1. Acquire a 3/8-24 UNF (fine thread) full-length threaded rod (All-Thread) of the appropriate length depending on depth of combustion chamber and depression in piston.
  2. Drill through the non-fouler with a 21/64" drill bit.
  3. Cut threads through the non-fouler with a 3/8-24 UNF (fine thread) tap.
  4. Weld a "T" handle on the end of the threaded rod to rotate it up and down in the non-fouler.
  5. Place a thin jam nut and flat washer on the threaded rod, insert the threaded rod through the non-fouler to serve as the bump-stop.
  6. To use, the non-fouler will need to be tightened in the head, then the bolt can be adjusted for piston travel in relationship with the degree wheel. [Return to previous paragraph, section or website]

With an aftermarket steel flywheel or a stock flywheel with no timing marks, the most accurate way to set the ignition timing [on virtually any engine] is performed by measuring the distance of the piston before it reaches top dead center with a dial indicator in conjunction with a degree wheel fastened to the crankshaft flywheel end. To learn more, read on....

Find TRUE Top Dead Center (TDC) on an Engine with a Steel Flywheel to Accurately Set the Ignition Timing! Parts needed are a degree wheel, dial indicator and piston stop. Or on a flathead engine, a long reach spark plug can be used, and the cylinder head can be positioned it so the spark plug is over the piston.

  1. Connect the ohmmeter or test light as described above È.
  2. Remove the cylinder head from the engine.
  3. Fashion a rigid pointer from stiff wire or an old coat hanger and attach it to the engine block. This pointer locates the degrees on the degree wheel.
  4. With a degree wheel installed on the flywheel or PTO end of the crankshaft, and with the flywheel fastened onto the crankshaft, rotate the crankshaft by hand in normal running rotation until the piston at the very top of the cylinder with both valves fully closed (this is the Top Dead Center position on the compression stroke), and adjust the pointer to zero (0º TDC) on the degree wheel.
  5. Now turn the crankshaft opposite the running rotation approximately 15-20 degrees. Install the piston stop on the top of the engine block fastened in place by two head bolts. NOTE: If a piston protrudes out of the cylinder at TDC, then to use the piston stop, you'll need to install several flat washers or a spacer between the piston stop and engine block so the piston will clear it and go past the TDC mark.
  6. Continue to turn the engine in the same direction until the piston comes back up and just touches the piston stop. Make a note of the exact number on the degree wheel that the pointer is on.
  7. Rotate the engine in the other direction (running rotation) until the piston comes back up and touches the piston stop. Again note the number where the pointer is.
  8. Remove the piston stop and rotate the crankshaft to the midpoint of the two marks. At this point the piston is at the true top dead center. Loosen the degree wheel and adjust it so it will read 0º TDC at the pointer. Don't rotate the crankshaft to do this!
  9. Slowly rotate the engine in reverse normal rotation. The test light should be on. If not, adjust the ignition points so it is on.
  10. Rotate the crankshaft by hand in its normal direction until the degree wheel is where you want the timing to be set at (20º), then adjust the ignition points so they just begin to open. The test light should've gone off or flickered by now. If not, set the ignition points so they just start to open and the light flickers. Once the degree wheel is in the proper position, the breaker points should just begin to open. Or, when using crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger ignition, check or set the initial timing by positioning the center of the magnetic pickup coil or 3-wire inductive proximity sensor with the center of the detectable target, rather if it's a small magnet, screw, pin, projection (hump) or OEM protruding bolt head on the edge of a flywheel or on a rotating disc. It is at this moment when spark occurs. And it's at this point that the ignition timing is set correctly. Mark the flywheel or front pulley where the timing marks are on the degree wheel for setting the timing with an automotive inductive strobe timing light in the future. The timing light connects to the battery and spark plug wire.

Magnetic pickup coils and proximity sensors are very sensitive to mechanical damage (and electrical damage if connected wrong). For magnetic pickup coils, set the air gap/clearance from the detectable target (screw, pin or small raised area on the rotating disc) at .010"-.060" with a brass, plastic, business card, poster board, stainless steel (anything non-magnetic) feeler gauge. And being 3-wire inductive proximity sensors have a farther detection range, set the air gap/clearance at .010"-.188". If the gap is wider than specified with either sensor, the engine could have no spark or misfire at higher RPM. To prevent the possibility of an out of time spark occurrence, the detectable target needs to be a minimum of 3/16" higher than or above the circumference surface of a steel or cast iron rotating disc or flywheel. Direct metal contact with either sensor could damage them. When in doubt if a sensor is mechanically damaged, look at the end of it with the strong magnifying glass to see any damage. If it is damaged, it needs to be replaced. A magnetic pickup coil can be tested with a digital multimeter set on 200m DC, with the negative lead of the meter on the white wire of the pickup coil and positive lead on the black wire, then pass a small steel screw or bolt over the end of the magnetic pickup coil. If the meter shows a reading, the pickup coil is in good condition.


How 3-Wire Inductive and Hall Effect Proximity Sensors Work -

The 3-wire inductive and hall effect proximity sensors requires external power and function with three wires: BLUE (power +), BROWN (power +) and BLACK (signal). Proximity Sensors are a like a switch and a small generator. They come in two versions: Normally Open (N/O) and Normally Closed (N/C). FYI - PNP and NPN has absolutely nothing to do with whether the sensor is Normally Open (N/O) or Normally Closed (N/C). I.E. A PNP sensor may be either N/O or N/C, as can an NPN be either N/O or N/C. Anyway, Normally Open is the same as when a mechanical switch is turned off. In other words, the circuit is open or disconnected, and no power is supplied to the electronic ignition control module/unit (ICU) . And Normally Closed is the same as when a mechanical switch is turned on. The circuit is closed or connected, and power is supplied to the electronic ignition control module. A Normally Open proximity sensor produces electrical current to the ignition module only when it comes in close proximity of a detectable ferrous metal (steel or cast iron) object, then the circuit is closed (LED sensor comes on). Proximity Sensors can only generate electricity when they come in close proximity of a small or narrow detectable iron-based ferrous metal object that a magnet can stick to. They will not work with non-magnetic metals, such as: aluminum, brass, copper, stainless steel, titanium, etc. Normally Open proximity sensors are used mainly for crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition systems on gas engines. 3-wire inductive proximity sensors also work somewhat like metal detectors; if the metal comes close enough to the sensor, with a Normally Open proximity sensor, the alarm will sound. But a Normally Closed sensor works opposite.

The "inductive" proximity sensors can only detect iron-based metal objects that a magnet can stick to. They will not work with non-magnetic metals, such as: aluminum, brass, stainless steel, titanium, etc. And the "hall effect" proximity sensors can only detect the presence of a magnetized metal object, such as the head of a ferrous metal steel screw fastening a magnet to a disc or flywheel. Proximity sensors produce electrical current to the module at all times (LED sensor goes off) while external power is supplied to it except when it comes in close proximity of a detectable ferrous metal object, then the circuit is opened (LED sensor comes on). Some proximity sensors have an LED (Light Emitting Diode) on the rear of unit. If the proximity sensor is wired incorrectly, the LED will stay on and go off when activated. Proximity sensors are used mainly in places where security is needed. They can be used for exterior windows or doors in a secured building. When a window or door with a detectable ferrous metal object is moved away from the sensor, the circuit will be closed and an alarm will sound and/or lights will come on. Also, when a Normally Open proximity sensor is used with electronic crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger ignition, the wider the gap in the rotating disc, the longer the duration of the spark, which makes for a more thorough burning of the fuel. It's almost impossible to tell the difference between a Normally Open and Normally Closed sensor just by looking at them because they appear to be identical. If a 3-wire inductive proximity sensor has no markings or indications to show that it's a Normally Open (N/O) and Normally Closed (N/C), a 100% sure way to determine the type, is read the label on the sensor (may need to use a strong magnifying glass), or test it with the wires connected in a circuit as shown in the drawings further down in this website. Ê Click here for more information: Proximity Sensor - YouTube.

Using a Proximity Sensor and Ignition control Module to Power an LED or Light Bulb - (Added 8/19/17)

A proximity sensor cannot only be used with crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger ignition, but they can also be used to illuminate an LED (Light Emitting Diode) or low-amp (maximum 2 amp) 12 volt filament light bulb. When a mechanically-operated push-button switch is subject to a lot of moisture, dirt and debris (such as the switch for a brake light and/or safety indicator light on a pulling sled), which can clog up the plunger in the switch and damage or corrode the internal contacts, and cause it to malfunction, a proximity sensor can take its place because they're completely sealed, making them dirt and water proof. For the proximity sensor work with an LED or light bulb, it will need to be used with an ignition control module, such as the ordinary/stock GM 4-pin HEI module. The LED or light bulb connects in place of the ignition coil. All LED's have a positive (+) and negative (–) wires. The positive wire (usually red in color) connects to the B terminal on the module, and the negative lead connects to the C terminal. And the two wires on the light bulb can connect either way to B and C. Also, two separate proximity sensors, one used for a brake light and the other for a safety indicator light, and one module can be used to power one LED or one low-amp light, but both proximity sensors must be either Normally Open or Normally Closed. One will not work with the other with the same module.

How Magnetic and Non-Magnetic Pickup Coils Work -

A magnetic pickup coil works like a Normally Open proximity sensor. Magnetic pickup coils have two wires, are self-generating and require no external power. They can only generate electricity when they come in close proximity of a small or narrow detectable iron-based ferrous metal object that a magnet can stick to. They will not work with non-magnetic metals, such as: aluminum, brass, copper, stainless steel, titanium, etc. And a non-magnetic pickup coil also have two wires, are self-generating and require no external power. They can only generate electricity when it comes in close proximity of a small or narrow detectable magnet or magnetized metal object, such as the head of a ferrous metal steel screw fastening a magnet to the edge of a disc or flywheel. Click here for more information: Magnetic Pickup Coil - YouTube.

Magnetic pickup coils and proximity sensors are very sensitive to mechanical damage (and electrical damage if connected wrong). For magnetic pickup coils, set the air gap/clearance from the detectable target (screw, pin or small raised area on the rotating disc) at .010"-.060" with a brass, plastic, business card, poster board, stainless steel (anything non-magnetic) feeler gauge. And being 3-wire inductive proximity sensors have a farther detection range, set the air gap/clearance at .010"-.188". If the gap is wider than specified with either sensor, the engine could have no spark or misfire at higher RPM. To prevent the possibility of an out of time spark occurrence, the detectable target needs to be a minimum of 3/16" higher than or above the circumference surface of a steel or cast iron rotating disc or flywheel. Direct metal contact with either sensor could damage them. When in doubt if a sensor is mechanically damaged, look at the end of it with the strong magnifying glass to see any damage. If it is damaged, it needs to be replaced. A magnetic pickup coil can be tested with a digital multimeter set on 200m DC, with the negative lead of the meter on the white wire of the pickup coil and positive lead on the black wire, then pass a small steel screw or bolt over the end of the magnetic pickup coil. If the meter shows a reading, the pickup coil is in good condition.


How to Set the [Points and Condenser] Ignition Timing on an Aluminum Block Flathead Tecumseh Engine - Top of page
First of all, on virtually any spark-ignition engine, advancing or retarding of the ignition timing is performed by widening (advancing the timing) or narrowing (retarding the timing) the ignition point gap, and on all Tecumseh engines with ignition points/condenser ignition, this is performed by rotating the ignition stator (the aluminum part the ignition points, condenser/capacitor and coil are fastened onto) one way or the other. On all aluminum block flathead Tecumseh engines, the entire ignition system is located under the flywheel. (There is no ignition points lobe on the camshaft.)
  1. Use a feeler gauge to set the ignition points at .020" with the end of the plastic lever ignition points arm is on the highest side of the rubbing block (ignition points lobe) in alignment with the arrow (6). And make sure the feeler gauge, ignition points contacts and rubbing block are absolutely clean of dirt or debris, too! Also, it's important to apply a small amount of motor oil on the lubricator felt or a dab of lubricating grease on the rubbing block to prevent the plastic actuator lever from wearing, which will eventually retard the ignition timing, resulting in hard starting and loss of engine power.
  2. To set the ignition timing, with the cylinder head removed, for all Small Frame Tecumseh engines (up to the small block 5hp; including all walk-behind lawn mowers, certain midsize snowblowers, garden tillers, etc.), rotate the crankshaft in normal rotation (clockwise when facing the flywheel) until the piston is positioned at .070" BTDC. For all Medium Frame Tecumseh 5hp [medium size block] and 6hp cast iron and aluminum block engines, position the piston at .050" BTDC. And for the Medium Frame Tecumseh 7hp, 8hp and 10hp aluminum block engines, position the piston at .090" BTDC. To set the piston at the correct distance in the cylinder, use a dial indicator or use a large flat washer of either .050", .070" or .090" thickness placed on top of the piston with the washer flush with the edge of cylinder deck.
  3. With the piston set at the correct distance in the cylinder (do not disturb the rotation of the crankshaft), slightly loosen the two stator retaining bolts, and rotate the stator by hand JUST when the ignition points begin to open. It is at this point when spark occurs. Do not rotate the crankshaft to do this! You can visually see when the ignition points begin to open. For a more accurate setting, use a multimeter set on the Ohms (d) resistance (make sure the battery in the multimeter is fully charged) or use a battery-powered test light in the ignition points, with the ignition points acting as a switch to turn the light off and on.
  4. When the timing is correctly set, securely tighten the stator bolts.

NOTE: If the ignition timing is set correct and the engine kicks back upon starting, sometimes, but not always, the compression release mechanism on the camshaft isn't releasing enough compression from the combustion chamber. When this happens, try setting the valve clearances to specs (.008" intake / .010" exhaust) and see if that makes a difference. If the timing is retarded to reduce the possibility of kickback, then the engine will be hard to start, run sluggish and not produce adequate power.


To install a solid state electronic magneto ignition module on a small and medium frame Tecumseh engine without a charging stator and ring of magnets under the flywheel, the ignition points will need to be installed as described above only to set the stator in the correct position for the ignition timing, and then the solid state ignition module can be installed.

If the stator mounting bolts are loosened and the stator is rotated for any reason, the setting of the timing with the ignition points as described above will need to be repeated. Therefore, it's best to place a scribe mark made with a wide-blade cold chisel against the edge of the stator housing and one or both of the raised bolt bosses on the engine block. This way, the stator can be reinstalled with the chisel mark(s) aligned and the timing will be set correctly. But if the original stator is replaced with one from another engine, the setting of the timing with the ignition points will need to be repeated


How to Fix the Problem with a Severely Worn Ignition Points Lobe on a Kohler Camshaft -

Sometimes the ignition points lobe on a single cylinder Kohler camshaft will become worn or have a groove worn in it so severe that the ignition timing can't be advanced to the factory setting of 20º BTDC so the engine will produce adequate power. There's a way to fix this, and there's no need to purchase another camshaft or do welding on the ignition points lobe. Simply install a stainless steel nut on the OEM ignition points pushrod. A stainless steel nut is very hard, yet slicker than a plain steel nut, which will allow it to slide against the ignition points lobe with less friction, lessening wear to the unworn area of the ignition points lobe. The nut will make contact with the unworn sides of the lobe, allowing the ignition timing to be fully advanced to 20º BTDC as if the lobe isn't worn at all. The flared-end ignition points pushrod or "nut on the pushrod" can also be used for an unworn ignition points lobe for longer wear of the lobe. To fix the problem with a severely worn ignition points lobe...

  1. Completely disassemble the engine and remove everything from inside the crankcase, except for the governor gear and shaft. I realize this is a lot of work just to replace one small part, but it must be done this way.
  2. Acquire a stainless steel 10-24 UNC (coarse thread) or 10-32 UNF (fine thread) (thread size) x 3/8" (wrench size) hex nut.
  3. Cut very short threads perpendicular on one end of the pushrod so the nut will not be crooked on the rod. For accuracy, this is best performed in a small metal lathe with a tailstock die holder. And to maintain correct pushrod length, cut the length of the threads the same thickness of the nut.
  4. Install the nut on the ignition points pushrod. The nut is threaded onto the pushrod and jammed where the threads end. And if you're concerned about the nut coming off the pushrod while in use, well, it'll be impossible for it to come off because for one thing, the nut will be jammed tight against the short threads on the pushrod and it'll be held against the ignition points lobe. But if preferred, use high strength liquid threadlocker (Red Loctite, Permatex or equivalent) to secure the nut on the rod. FYI - When storing an opened container of liquid threadlocker or Super Glue, store it upright and not laying flat. The [capped] tip will not dry out and clog when stored upright.
    The length of Kohler engine models K90/K91, K241, K301, K321, K341, K361, K482, K532 and K582 ignition points pushrod is 1.500" minimum and 1.550" maximum (new). And the length of Kohler engine models K141, K160/K161 and K181 ignition points pushrod is 1.260" minimum and 1.265" maximum (new). As long as it's anywhere between these two measurements, the ignition points should adjust and work fine. If either pushrod is too short, the ignition points contacts won't open enough or at all, and the rod will need to be replaced with a longer one. But if either pushrod is too long, the ignition points' contacts won't touch and the rod will need to be shortened. So measure accurately before (re)installing! The diameter of each pushrod is minimum .184" and .1875" (3/16") maximum (new).
  5. On the K141, K160/K161 and K181 engines, due to clearance in the block, the nut will need to be reduced in diameter (in a small metal lathe), and the inside of the block will need to be ground away slightly for additional clearance of the nut.
  6. Remember the pushrod must be inserted from inside the block before the camshaft (and everything else) is reinstalled!
  7. See image below Ê for a better understanding of this.

Points Pushrod w/Nut[Return to previous paragraph, section or website]

Grinding of the Point LobeIf doing the above È doesn't help to advance the timing quite far enough (for gas and especially methanol fuel), grinding (and polishing) of the lobe may need to be done. Grind about .050" deep in the surface just before the lobe (see drawing to the right) and about 1/2" from the lobe to right next to the lobe, but not on the lobe itself! A die grinder with a porting stone works excellent for doing this. After doing this, the timing can then be advanced as far as 50º BTDC!

When advancing the ignition timing past 24º± BTDC, and if the camshaft has an automatic compression release, it will need to be removed because the spark will occur when the exhaust valve opens slightly to relieve some of the compression, preventing the engine from starting. And to make the engine easier to crank over under full compression, a high torque starter motor with separate starter and ignition switches to prevent "kick back" will need to be used. "Kick back" occurs when the crankshaft/flywheel suddenly and violently rebounds or rotates in the opposite direction, which is could bend or break the starter armature shaft or break the aluminum starter housing. To start any engine with advanced timing and under full compression, two separate switches will need to be used. A push-button switch to crank the engine, and an OFF/ON toggle switch to power the ignition. To make this work, first crank the engine over, and while it's cranking over, choke the carburetor (or use my remote fuel primer system, which is much easier to use), then flip the ignition switch to "put the spark to it." The engine should start easily every time. This method works because the continuing centrifugal spinning force of the flywheel prevents the engine from "kicking back" when power is being supplied to the ignition.


To keep crankcase oil from contaminating the ignition points on a Kohler engine is to install a new [stainless steel] ignition points pushrod and/or if the hole in the block is slightly worn, install a small, snug-fitting neoprene rubber O-ring on the ignition points pushrod. Place the O-ring on the outside [of the block] and close to the engine block. The oil will travel out to the O-ring and drip off, staying off the ignition points. But if the ignition points pushrod hole is excessively worn, this will effect the ignition timing as well, and the block will need to be machined for installation of a bronze sleeve bushing, or the hole can be plugged, and solid state or crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition installed.

Another way to keep crankcase oil from contaminating the ignition points on a Kohler engine, install an OEM Kohler Diaphragm Seal. It's made of clear, silicone rubber, slides over the pushrod, and is held in place by the ignition points mounting bracket. IMPORTANT: Before installing the seal, apply clean motor oil, gear oil or lubricating grease inside seal lip or on ignition points pushrod for lubrication and to prevent premature wear of the seal.


Ignition System Options - Top of page

If a Kohler K-series engine originally came with ignition points and condenser/capacitor ignition, and you're looking for a more reliable and maintenance-free ignition system, well, you have these options...


100% Digital and Maintenance-Free, Custom-Made Crank-Trigger and Flywheel-Trigger Electronic Ignition Section
(Updated 5/21/17) Top of page [Return to previous paragraph, section or website]

Get That Old Engine Running Again With 21st Century Technology Using 100% Digital Crank-Trigger and Flywheel-Trigger Electronic Ignition, Even When New Replacement Parts Are Obsolete or Cost-Prohibited!

This is the era of modern wonders, where everything is electronic, transistorized, digitized and miniaturized. Yet even today, many garden pulling tractors with an older engine still use the old-fashioned breaker point ignition systems. For other people, the frustration of attempting to keep a breaker point-fired tractor in peak running condition has been enough of a reason to join the electronic/solid state ignition era. Breaker point systems do have some positives, though. ignition points are cheap and somewhat easy to install. And many people are comfortable with installing their own ignition points. The bad side of using ignition points is, besides the ignition points contacts burning, pitting and wearing out, if or when the ignition points lobe on the (Kohler) camshaft and/or the ignition points pushrod become worn, this will narrow the gap on the ignition points, and retard the ignition timing. The ignition points lobe can wear so much that resetting the ignition points at the factory setting of .020" or setting the ignition timing at 20º BTDC becomes impossible. As the point gap gets too narrow, the ignition timing will become retarded (less than the factory setting of 20º BTDC), which will cause the engine to run sluggish and lose power, and when it gets too wide, the timing will become too advanced (more than the factory setting of 20º BTDC), which will cause the engine to run hotter than normal, which could cause premature engine wear and oil burning, eventually resulting in an engine rebuild. There's also less chance of a dangerous fire due to non-existence of ignition points.

Try to avoid using a suppression/carbon core spark plug wire with an electronic ignition system! The reason being is if the suppression/carbon core spark plug wire becomes extremely weak and deteriorated with very high resistance, this can cause the ignition coil and possibly the electronic ignition control module to burn up.

When the timing is retarded, the engine may be difficult to start, and when does start, it may not idle well, and it'll lack sufficient power. Also, with retarded timing, all of the fuel in the combustion chamber will not be burned. Part of the raw fuel will exit out of the exhaust, while the rest will remain in the chamber combustion and cling to the cylinder wall, causing the lubricating crankcase oil to become diluted and contaminated with gas. When this happens, "cylinder wash down" will result. Cylinder wash down is when the gas dilutes the thin coat of oil on the cylinder wall, and the piston rings will no longer be adequately lubricated, causing them to wear (scrape) against the cylinder wall excessively, resulting in worn rings, possibly a worn cylinder wall, and eventually a smoky engine. Cylinder wash down can also happen to a diesel engine when the fuel injectors are "turned up" or fuel delivery is increased so the engine will produce more power. (It will also blow more black smoke out the exhaust.)

But when the ignition timing is too advanced, this will cause the engine to run hotter than normal, which will likely cause the piston to swell more than usual, allowing it to make metal to metal contact against the cylinder wall, causing excessive wear and friction. And the rings will lose their expansion against the cylinder wall as well. Eventually, due to the lose-fitting piston in the cylinder, the engine (piston) will make a rattling sound and start smoking out the exhaust, and it will ultimately need to be rebuilt.

Crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition delivers twice the voltage and twice the duration of spark to the spark plugs, increasing engine performance and spark plug life. No ignition points to burn, no moving parts to wear out. Epoxy molding of the ignition components makes them impervious to dirt, oil, grease and moisture. Stable timing, no need for adjustment - ever! If installed correctly, crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger stabilizes the ignition timing and will always have a strong spark, so you won't ever have to worry about it. There'll be less of a chance of spark plug fouling, and the fuel will be burned more thoroughly. The engine will produce more power and you will have more confidence that the engine will last longer. So for the utmost precision ignition timing and maintenance-free convenience, crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition is the way to go! It will allow the engine to idle better, accelerate and run smoother, and produce more power at high RPM or wide open throttle.

Tired of changing or constantly adjusting the ignition points? Convert to the 100% digitized crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition! For improved performance, easier starting, and less moving parts to leave your tractor dead on the track. Shock and moisture resistant, and all it takes is a few simple hand tools to install. In my opinion, getting rid of the ignition points and condenser/capacitor has been the best advance ever in engine technology.

Virtually Any Gas Engine Can Be Converted To the Crank or Flywheel-Trigger Electronic Ignition!

My custom-made crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition kits will work with virtually any 2- or 4-cycle engine, as long as the magnetic pickup coil or 3-wire inductive proximity sensor, or the Dynatek Dyna S or PerTronix Ignitor modules can be mounted securely, and there's a trigger rotor or disc of some kind, that can also be secured in place.

If an engine is connected to a battery (and if it has a charging system to keep the battery fully charged for prolong use), and if there's room on the PTO end of the crankshaft for the ignition disc, and a place to mount the bracket for the magnetic pickup coil or 3-wire inductive proximity sensor, then the engine can be converted to crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition. And the ignition disc doesn't have to be made of aluminum. If there's a steel hub mounted on the end of the crankshaft, it could be used to trigger the ignition. As long as the head(s) of the detectable target, rather if it's a small magnet, screw, pin, projection (hump) or OEM protruding bolt head on the edge of a flywheel or on a rotating disc, is/are higher than the outer edge of the [steel] hub (signal detection), the magnetic pickup coil or 3-wire inductive proximity sensor will detect it/them.

Kohler Breakerless Ignition (and Tecumseh Cast Iron Block Engine Solid State Ignition) are also a 100% digital system and requires no mechanical or physical contact to activate any moving parts. It operates basically on the same general principle as crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger ignition. Kohler's Breakerless Ignition and Tecumseh's Solid State Ignitions are their version of a flywheel-trigger electronic ignition system as described further down in this website. A trigger module containing solid state electronics performs the same function as the breaker points. Because there are no breaker points in this system, there are no requirements for ignition timing. The Module Sensor, as part of the Breakerless Ignition system, is energized by two windings on the charging stator under the flywheel. Breakerless Ignition is pretty much maintenance free, with very few parts to wear out or become defective. But when it does fail, OEM replacement parts can be very expensive. My crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger ignition kits can replace a defective Breakerless Ignition system for a fraction of the cost of OEM Kohler parts. IMPORTANT: The wire that comes from the stator under the flywheel for Kohler Trigger Module or Tecumseh Solid State Ignition Module generates about 250 volts while the engine is running at full governored speed (serious). Do not touch this wire (terminal) with one bare hand and the engine itself with your other hand while the engine is running! It is not needed for any of my crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition systems. So snip off this wire or tape up the terminal to prevent a short circuit or electrocution.

Kohler's Breakerless Ignition System was used on various Kohler engine models K181, K241, K301 and K321. The Trigger Module (the part that's fastened to the bearing plate, extends over the ring gear and is triggered by the projection (hump) or OEM protruding bolt head on the edge of the flywheel) is part of the Breakerless Ignition. To test this part, refer to Kohler K-series Single Cylinder Engine Service Manual TP-2379.

Kohler Engine Models and Specification Numbers That Originally Came With The Breakerless Ignition System:
K181-30296, 30518, 30529, 30666; K241-46513, 46536, 46566, 46578, 46591, 46613, 46614, 46615, 46624, 46634, 46640, 46651; K301-47145, 47147, 47204, 47232, 47249, 47252, 47255, 47275, 47277, 47278, 47284, 47289, 47295, 47303, 47304, 47305, 47313, 47314, 47335, 47336, 47339, 47340, 47346, 47350, 47362, 47363, 47365, 47367, 47371, 47374, 47375, 47378, 47387, 47389, 47391 47397, 47400, 47402, 47403, 47407, 47410, 47420, 47422, 47423, 47424; K321-6006, 6008, 6010, 60105, 60121, 60124, 60124B, 60125, 6013, 60131, 60132, 60133, 60176, 6017B, 60187, 60189, 6019B, 60201, 60213, 6022B, 60239, 6025B, 60275, 6038B, 6041B, 6051, 6053, 6055, 6058, 6071, 6079, 6081, 6088, 6093.

If the Trigger Module no longer works, and installing a new one is cost-prohibitive (Kohler part # A-237339-S, $242.00 retail, still available as of 2017. The Breakerless Ignition coil has been discontinued by Kohler), and you're looking for an alternative lower-cost and reliable ignition system, well, you have the two options below... (Updated 4/20/17)

Click Here to convert from Breakerless Ignition to Flywheel-Trigger Electronic Ignition, or for a Unique Ignition Setup that Operate off the Flywheel, and not the Crankshaft on the PTO end of the Engine Block. By the way - Kohler's Breakerless Ignition coil will not work with any of my flywheel-trigger electronic ignition systems. (Updated 4/29/17)


Advertisement:
If you would like to purchase any of the parts or services listed below Ê, or virtually any product or service mentioned in this website, please contact A-1 Miller's Performance Enterprises | 1501 W. Old Plank Rd. | Columbia, MO (Missouri) 65203-9136 USA | Phone: 1-573-256-0313 (shop) | 1-573-881-7229 (cell). Please call Monday-Friday, except holidays, 9am to 5pm, Central time zone. If no answer, please try again later. (When speaking with Brian, please be patient because I stutter.) A-1 Miller's shop is open to the public from 9am to 5pm, including weekends, except holidays. Please call before coming so I'll be here waiting for your arrival. E-mail: pullingtractor@aol.com. Directions to our shop | 1501 West Old Plank Road, Columbia, MO - Google Maps or Map of 1501 West Old Plank Road, Columbia, MO by MapQuest.

Flywheel-Trigger Electronic Ignition Conversion Kits for Kohler opposed twin cylinder engine models KT17 Series II and KT19 Series II. These ignition systems works flawlessly! Replaces ignition points and condenser. ignition points can be removed and the ignition points pushrod hole can be permanently plugged with a short 1/4" bolt, Allen set screw or Clear RTV Silicone Adhesive Sealant. Each ignition system listed below works excellent with the OEM Kohler 4.0 ohm twin cylinder ignition coil to produce a strong, reliable spark. NOTE: Two bosses on the #1 cylinder (right side when facing flywheel) must be drilled and tapped to accept 1/4-20 UNC x 1" mounting bolts (drill only 3/4" deep; do not drill all the way through the cylinder wall), and a specific location on the edge of the flywheel must be drilled and tapped to accept the 6-32 UNC (coarse thread) detectable target screw or magnet w/cushioning/isolator rubber washer and screw. The sensor is activated by the South pole of the magnet, so do not remove the screw from the magnet! Install screw in flywheel with high strength liquid threadlocker (Red Loctite, Permatex or equivalent), and tighten screw/magnet just when the rubber begin to bulge. FYI - When storing an opened container of liquid threadlocker or Super Glue, store it upright and not laying flat. The [capped] tip will not dry out and clog when stored upright. An original, ingenious and innovative concept design invention by Brian Miller. These ignition systems will not work on the first design KT17 and KT19 engines because there are no bosses on the cylinder(s) to drill for bolt holes to mount the ignition bracket. However, the cylinder(s) off a KT17 Series II, MV16, M18 and MV18 will work on a first design KT17 engine, and the cylinder(s) off a KT19 Series II, M20 and MV20 engine will work on a first design KT19 engine. The only difference between the KT17, KT17 Series II, MV16, M18 and MV18 cylinders, and KT19, KT19 Series II, M20 and MV20 cylinders is the length of the valves. I realize this would be a lot of work just to use electronic ignition on a first design KT17 or KT19 engine, but this is the best way of making it happen.

Complete ignition kit with PerTronix Ignitor module/sensor and mounting bracket. Module is triggered by a small magnet fastened on edge of flywheel. Simple two wire hook-up; Black wire on module/sensor connects to coil negative (–) terminal, and Red wire on module/sensor connects to coil positive (+) terminal, which also connects to ignition switch. Picture of PerTronix Ignitor Kit mounted on a KT17 Series II engine posted to the right.

  • $150.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.

Complete ignition kit with cube-shaped 3-wire inductive proximity sensor and GM 4-pin HEI module with mounting bracket. Sensor is triggered by a small screw with a 1/4" length aluminum spacer fastened on edge of flywheel. Kit comes with ignition components fastened on an aluminum plate and prewired. Simple two wire hook-up; Black wire connects to coil negative (–) terminal, and Red wire connects to coil positive (+) terminal, which also connects to ignition switch. Picture of this ignition kit mounted on engine will be posted here soon.

  • $125.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.

To convert the Kohler opposed twin cylinder engine models KT17 Series II and KT19 Series II to solid state ignition, parts off of a Kohler Magnum opposed twin cylinder engine model MV16, M18, MV18, M20 or MV20 will need to be used. Parts needed are: flywheel, solid state ignition coil, coil mounting bracket and mounting screws. The flywheel is a direct replacement, but to mount the coil bracket, two 1/4-20 UNC (coarse thread) holes will need to be drilled and tapped in the bosses of the #1 cylinder (on your right when facing the flywheel) for two 1/4-20 UNC (coarse thread) x 1" length bolts. The ignition points can be removed and the ignition points pushrod hole can be permanently plugged with a short 1/4" bolt, Allen set screw or Clear RTV Silicone Adhesive Sealant. The solid state ignition system will not work on the first design KT17 and KT19 engines because there are no bosses on the cylinder(s) to mount the bracket for the ignition coil. However, the cylinder(s) off an MV16, M18 and MV18 will work on a first design KT17 engine, and the cylinder(s) off a KT19 Series II, M20 and MV20 engine will work on a first design KT19 engine. The only difference between the KT17, KT17 Series II, MV16, M18 and MV18 cylinders, and KT19, KT19 Series II, M20 and MV20 cylinders is the length of the valves. I realize this would be a lot of work just to use solid state ignition on a first design KT17 or KT19 engine, but this is the best way of making it happen. Also, a magneto ignition switch will be need to be used to ground the coil to shut off the engine. Check with your local small engine repair shops/salvage yards, search eBay, Craigslist or the Internet for the required Magnum engine parts.

To convert the Kohler K-series single cylinder engines (K141, K160/K161, K181, K241, K301, K321 or K341) to solid state ignition, the flywheel, bearing plate, starter motor and solid state ignition coil off of a Kohler Magnum M8, M10, M12, M14 or M16 engine will need to be used. The M8 parts can be used on the Kohler engine models K141, K160/K161 and K181. And the M10, M12, M14 or M16 parts can be used on the Kohler engine models K241, K301, K321 and K341. The ignition stator (under the flywheel) charging system will need to be used, too.


Stable ignition timing is a necessity in high performance engines. In most cases, a ignition points ignition will do just fine, but when you start making big time horsepower with extreme cylinder pressures and higher RPM, the timing is critical to both the performance and life of the engine. The ignition must be triggered at a precise time in relation to the position of the piston during the compression stroke. However, the timing can get erratic or fluctuate at high RPM or wide open throttle with the ignition points system, due to camshaft end play, clearance in both the crank and cam gears and mechanical flexing that takes place through the camshaft support pin, especially when using a high lift cam with very stiff valve springs. In fact, if you ever checked the timing on an engine with camshaft-operated ignition points using an inductive strobe timing light, you may have noticed that the timing mark on the flywheel (or starter pulley on the PTO end) will fluctuate or "move up and down" a few degrees. And it'll fluctuate more as the engine RPM increases. This won't happen with crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition. It totally eliminates spark flutter or fluctuations and erratic timing problems common with point ignitions. With crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition, the "tighter" the main bearings are, the more stable the timing is.

When checking the timing with an inductive strobe timing light on an engine with crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic and main ball bearings, it's best to run the engine until it reaches normal operating temperature. The reason for this is the free play in the ball bearings is lessened as the bearings get warm, providing a more stable spark.

The crankshaft knows exactly where the piston is, plus the crankshaft is the most stable component in an engine in relation to piston position. That's why crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition is so important in high-horsepower/high RPM or wide open throttle engine applications. With this ignition, you get absolutely stable timing with 1/10th± of a degree of accuracy from 0 to 15,000+ RPM without missing a beat (when using an electronic ignition control module/unit (ICU) with a high capacity transistor). The 1/10th± of a degree is the result of the oil clearance in the main bearings. With a high capacity electronic ignition control module, the crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition system will work flawlessly without missing a hit even if the engine is capable of turning up to 100,000 RPM! Because it works as fast as the speed of electricity, which can be anywhere from about 50% to 99% of the speed of light, depending upon the quality of the electronic components and wire connections. As long as the crank trigger ignition system is installed and the timing is set correctly, it'll help a competition pulling tractor scream down the track. Also, with the crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition system, you can set the ignition timing and forget it!

The crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition is when the mechanical breaker points and condenser/capacitor are totally eliminated and replaced by solid state transistorized electronic components. Actually, it works on the same principle as the electronic ignition that's used in the older automobiles (before computerized ignition systems). The conventional ignition points ignition system is considered as old-fashioned technology by today's standards. Even the [high dollar] aftermarket adjustable ignition plate that's made for Chevy ignition points is considered old-fashioned by today's standards!

Using ignition points versus crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition is up to you. Personally, I prefer the crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger ignition setup because it's very reliable and virtually maintenance free. With conventional ignition, the ignition points will ALWAYS go bad or wear out. The contacts on ignition points can get dirty, worn, burnt, oily (oil seepage from the crankcase through the ignition points pushrod hole), out of adjustment, wet (whenever the tractor is washed off or rained upon) or even oxidized (light corrosion). The use of a high-output/performance ignition coil can also shorten the life of ignition points. And the condenser/capacitor can become defective.

Because all high-output/performance ignition coils draw more power from the battery, if they are not used with a ballast resistor, they will likely burn a good set of ignition points in a short time. All high-output/performance ignition coils also require two standard capacity ignition condensers/capacitors or one high capacity/performance condenser/capacitor so it can produce more voltage. But high-output/performance ignition coils have no effect whatsoever on the Chrysler (w/ballast resistor) or Ford electronic ignition control module/unit (ICU), even if two automotive-type canister coils, a 2-post Harley-Davidson coil (this particular coil also works great for Kohler engine models KT17, KT17 Series II, KT19, KT19 Series II, K482, K532, K582, K660/K662, or Onan twin cylinder engines, a GM DIS (Distributorless Ignition System) coil is used! The DIS coil part numbers are AC Delco D555 or Standard Motor Products DR39X, and was used in select GM vehicles from 1985 to the 2005, one of which is the 2005 Chevrolet Impala. There's no certain way to connect the wires to the primary windings in the Harley-Davidson or GM DIS coil. There is no positive (+) or negative (–) side. Just connect the wires to either terminal. The DIS coil is a high-output/performance coil, which means the spark plug gaps can be set at .060" each. When using ignition points with 12 volts, install a ballast resistor to prevent burning up the coil, and connect two standard capacity ignition condensers/capacitors or one high capacity/performance condenser/capacitor so the oil will produce more voltage. (When using 2 condensers, connect the wire of each condenser to the negative terminal on the coil and ground the bodies of the condensers.) A ballast resistor is not required with crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger ignition or in a 6 volt system. And crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger ignition is much safer than ignition points. Because ignition points contacts creates a spark (which is normal), there's always danger of a fire if there's ever a fuel leak. The only spark that occurs with crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger ignition is at the spark plug's tip. The bracket to mount the Harley coil on a Kohler twin cylinder engine is not included. This part is discontinued by Kohler. If needed, new mounting holes can be drilled through the Harley coil's laminations next to the existing holes.

Go here to see how well the GM DIS coil works: Gravely 817 Onan CCKA Coil Replacement with Chevy GM DIS Coil - YouTube (Video posted by Ralph (rw3dog@yahoo.com)

At very high RPM or wide open throttle, with conventional ignition points and condenser/capacitor ignition, the ignition coil operates at about 80% efficiency. The same is true with high-output/performance ignition coils because they require more power from the battery. But with crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger ignition, using the GM 4-pin HEI, Chrysler (w/ballast resistor) or Ford electronic ignition control module/unit (ICU), any type of coil operates at 100% efficiency at any RPM, which produces a much stronger spark. This is why Chevrolet refers to their 1974-'90 electronic ignition as HEI, meaning High Energy Ignition. The reason there's a stronger spark is because at higher RPM, there's no condenser/capacitor to break down the voltage in the primary circuit in the coil.

When a magnetic pickup coil is used with crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger ignition, the duration of each spark lasts about twice as long than with ignition points and condenser/capacitor ignition. And when a 3-wire inductive proximity sensor is used with crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger ignition, the spark duration is about 4 times longer than with ignition points and condenser/capacitor ignition, because a 3-wire inductive proximity sensor can detect the target, rather if it's a small screw, pin, projection (hump) or OEM protruding bolt head on the edge of a flywheel or on a rotating disc, at the farther distance than a magnetic pickup coil. A longer spark duration burns the fuel more thoroughly, especially at very high RPM, resulting in more power. Although a 3-wire inductive proximity sensor can be used on a stock engine running at around 4,000 RPM with no problems, it's more suited for a high performance engine (than the magnetic pickup coil) due to its longer spark duration. In other words, a stock engine with limited RPM will not benefit from the longer spark duration. Also, the closer the magnetic pickup coil or 3-wire inductive proximity sensor is set to the target, rather if it's a small screw, pin, projection (hump) or OEM protruding bolt head on the edge of a flywheel or on a rotating disc, the longer the duration will be.


Items Needed and Details on How to Install a Crank or Flywheel-Trigger Electronic Ignition System (on virtually any gas engine) - Top of page

ü A Universal Magnetic Pickup Coil, Crankshaft Position Sensor, Tach/Speed Sensor or a 3-Wire Inductive Proximity Sensor. Virtually any automotive engine speed sensor or crank position sensor will work for this system. These all work the same. These sensors require no power from the battery or module because they self-generate an AC signal. Be sure to use a magnetic one that produces a small electrical current whenever a small steel (nonmagnetic) object is passed quickly over the end of it. Most magnetic pickup coils generate 2-3 volts. Also, there needs to be a way to mount it on the engine so the air gap/clearance and ignition timing can be set and/or adjusted. A universal magnetic pickup coil is most common for this application. It's an engine speed sensor (Tach Sensor) that threads in the bellhousing of a late model truck with a Diesel engine for activation of the tachometer. A crank position sensor is an automotive unit that threads in the engine block and reads off a cogged wheel mounted on the crankshaft. It's for a crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition system that's on an automobile with a computer-controlled engine that has electronic fuel injection.

The Ford (various 1987-2009 models) ABS wheel speed sensor will work as the magnetic pickup coil with the crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger ignition. And various GM crank position sensors have three or more wires, but use just two wires. (They're nothing more than a magnetic pickup coil.) The third (or other) wire(s) is ground or neutral and really don't need to be used with crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger ignition. When you buy a sensor, test it to see which wires produce the electrical current, then just snip off the (useless) other wire(s). A 3-wire inductive proximity sensor, magnetic pickup coil and crank position sensor can be easily tested by connecting it to an analog or digital multimeter that's set on the lowest AC scale, then quickly pass the head of a small steel bolt or nail back and forth across the end of the sensor. If the analog needle fluctuates slightly or the digital display goes up and down each time the metal object makes a pass, the sensor is in working order. The more voltage a sensor produces, the stronger the spark. Use a small magnet or a telescoping magnetic pickup tool with a small magnet to test a non-magnetic pickup coil or 3-wire hall effect proximity sensor. The stronger the magnet, the more voltage the sensor will produce, resulting in a stronger spark.

Magnetic pickup coils and proximity sensors are very sensitive to mechanical damage (and electrical damage if connected wrong). For magnetic pickup coils, set the air gap/clearance from the detectable target (screw, pin or small raised area on the rotating disc) at .010"-.060" with a brass, plastic, business card, poster board, stainless steel (anything non-magnetic) feeler gauge. And being 3-wire inductive proximity sensors have a farther detection range, set the air gap/clearance at .010"-.188". If the gap is wider than specified with either sensor, the engine could have no spark or misfire at higher RPM. To prevent the possibility of an out of time spark occurrence, the detectable target needs to be a minimum of 3/16" higher than or above the circumference surface of a steel or cast iron rotating disc or flywheel. Direct metal contact with either sensor could damage them. When in doubt if a sensor is mechanically damaged, look at the end of it with the strong magnifying glass to see any damage. If it is damaged, it needs to be replaced. A magnetic pickup coil can be tested with a digital multimeter set on 200m DC, with the negative lead of the meter on the white wire of the pickup coil and positive lead on the black wire, then pass a small steel screw or bolt over the end of the magnetic pickup coil. If the meter shows a reading, the pickup coil is in good condition.


(Updated 6/9/17) ü The GM 4-pin HEI (High Energy Ignition) 4-Pin Electronic Ignition Control Module/Unit (ICU) can be used for the crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition system. The GM 4-pin HEI module can safely operate with full 12 volts, is completely sealed, making it water-proof. It's also vibration-resistant because it has an micro-electronic circuit board, meaning there's no internal loose wires to vibrate and break due to normal engine vibration. Crimp-type, slip-on female spade wire connectors can be used on the terminals of the module when connecting the wires. Ground the module through the two mounting holes (so it will work) and when mounting the GM 4-pin HEI module, always fasten it with dielectric, thermal or heat sink grease/paste on a clean, flat aluminum plate with plenty of fresh air circulation to dissipate the heat while in operation. Also, the GM 4-pin HEI module has no spark advance. The ignition timing stays constant at all times. Which means it doesn't advance or retard the timing at any RPM. However, at idle, the GM 4-pin HEI system will experience a dwell time (duration of the spark) of 10 to 15 degrees and will increase to 30 to 35 degrees by 2,500 to 3,000 RPM.

Grind away the two alignment pins on the GM 4-pin HEI module so the base will make full contact with the flat aluminum surface for 100% cooling of the unit. And when mounting the GM 4-pin HEI module, always fasten it with dielectric, thermal or heat sink grease/paste on a clean, flat aluminum plate with plenty of fresh air circulation to dissipate the heat while in operation.

UPDATED 8/8/17: Now when used on a small engine, the GM 4-pin HEI electronic ignition control module lives up to its name, High Energy Ignition!

The ordinary/stock GM 4-pin HEI module will produce a very strong spark and accelerate the engine at high RPMs only when used with the cube-shaped 3-wire inductive proximity sensor, regardless of the ohms resistance or voltage output of the coil, any type of spark plug wire (with a maximum of 4.8 ohms resistance, but best to use a metal core spark plug wire) and spark plug. It makes no difference when the cube-shaped 3-wire inductive proximity sensor is used with the high-output/performance GM 4-pin HEI module. This system works great for lawn & garden engines and competition pulling engines alike. With this setup, the spark plug gap can be set at .035" with a stock/standard-output/stock coil, and .060" with a high-output/performance coil.

But the high-output/performance GM 4-pin HEI module will allow the engine accelerate to its full potential with the magnetic pickup coil only with a 1.0 ohm ignition coil, metal core spark plug wire and non-resistor spark plug with the gap set at .025". This system works great mainly for ordinary lawn & garden engines only.

This concept revolutionizes the use of this small, compact and versatile ignition module! This is a thoroughly tested, researched and proven reliable ignition systems invented by Brian Miller. NOTE: The round-body proximity sensors and magnetic pickup coils will allow the engine accelerate to its full potential only when used with the Chrysler or Ford electronic ignition control modules, regardless of the ohms resistance and voltage output of the coil, any type of spark plug wire (with a maximum of 4.8 ohms resistance, but best to use a metal core spark plug wire) and spark plug. With this setup, the spark plug gap can be set at .035" with a stock/standard-output/stock coil, and .060" with a high-output/performance coil. NOTE: Module will burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than 5 minutes with the engine not running.

The GM 4-pin HEI module have four terminals. The terminals are marked as follows: W (White), G (Ground), C (Coil) and B (Battery). The one small terminal (G) on the module accepts the 187 (.187" / 3/16" wide) female spade crimp connector, and the three bigger terminals (W, B and C) accepts the 250 (.250" / 1/4" wide) female spade crimp connector.

Being the GM 4-pin HEI module is small and compact, it's ideal for use on lawn & garden equipment, or a garden pulling tractor with limited space. The magnetic pickup coil w/ mounting adapter or cube-shaped 3-wire inductive proximity sensor w/mounting adapter will need to be installed on the bearing plate at the 10:30 position, and be used with the Kohler flywheel that is designed for Breakerless Ignition. The ideal location to mount the [high output/performance] GM 4-pin HEI module on a Kohler 10-16hp engine with a starter/generator, 8" flywheel and small size bearing plate is directly on the bearing plate with dielectric, thermal or heat sink grease/paste at the 10:30 position, just underneath the magnetic pickup coil. And the ideal location to mount the [ordinary/stock] GM 4-pin HEI module on a Kohler 10-16hp engine with a gear starter, 9-1/2" ring gear flywheel and large size bearing plate is directly on the outside of the bearing plate with dielectric, thermal or heat sink grease/paste, next to where the mechanical fuel pump goes. Use a close quarters drill to bore small mounting holes in the bearing plate and 8-32 UNC (coarse thread) hand tap (self-tapping screws are easier to install) to fasten the module to the plate.

FYI - The electronic ignition control modules that's mentioned in this website are designed for older automobiles with a mechanical timing advance (flyweights) built into the distributor. The newer control modules that can retard and advance the timing use multiple sensors, one to tell the module that the engine isn't running, therefore, it retards the timing so the engine will start easier. And another sensor to send the signal that the engine is running, and then another sensor to advance the timing so the engine will produce full power. The distributor for these don't have (or need) a mechanical timing advance.


A Dodge, Plymouth or Chrysler (MOPAR) Electronic Ignition Control Module/Unit (ICU) can also be used for flywheel-trigger ignition. The ordinary OEM Chrysler ignition module works great on a garden pulling tractor for durability and all-out performance. Plus, it's vibration-resistant because the internal electronic components are sealed in epoxy. This means there's no internal wires to vibrate and break due to normal engine vibration. And being a new wiring harness for the Chrysler electronic ignition control module cost about $38.00-$68.00, so to save money, I recommend getting the wiring harness (connector w/wire leads and retaining screw) off a 1972-1992 Chrysler, Dodge or Plymouth vehicle that's in a salvage yard. But if you want to get a new one, the part number is Standard S-516. If a used OEM Chrysler wiring harness can't be found or if a new one is cost-prohibitive, four, slip-on female bullet wire connectors with different colored wires can be used to make a wiring harness for the Chrysler ignition module, and secure the connectors in place with Clear RTV Silicone Adhesive Sealant. (Sometimes one must make changes for a replacement part to work. ) This module can be used with virtually any ignition coil, regardless of the ohms resistance or voltage output.

Fasten the module with the mounting base holes to engine/chassis ground (battery negative (—) post) so it will work. This type of module was used from 1972 through 1992, except on vehicles with the "lean burn" ignition. Also, tests has proven that an ordinary/stock Chrysler module performs just as well as an aftermarket high performance [Mopar] modules when used on a garden pulling tractor. For accurate and detailed wiring information and diagrams, please click here or scroll down further in this web page. I offer this module for sale further down in this website.

FYI - The electronic ignition control modules that's mentioned in this website are designed for older automobiles with a mechanical timing advance (flyweights) built into the distributor. The newer control modules that can retard and advance the timing use multiple sensors, one to tell the module that the engine isn't running, therefore, it retards the timing so the engine will start easier. And another sensor to send the signal that the engine is running, and then another sensor to advance the timing so the engine will produce full power. The distributor for these don't have (or need) a mechanical timing advance.

The electronic ignition control module, magnetic pickup coil or 3-wire inductive proximity sensor could burn up (possibly instantly) if the wires aren't connected to the right terminals! When connecting the wires, take your time and make sure to use different colored wires to avoid confusion. And be sure to fasten all wiring securely to avoid breakage or loose connections from normal engine or tractor vibration. And when mounting the Chrysler module, mount it away from excessive heat and remember that the exposed power transistor is electrically active while the power is on. The module should be mounted in an area which minimizes the possibility of shorting the transistor when working in the engine area. And to avoid an electric shock, do not touch the switching transistor, and to prevent from damaging the module, do not short the switching transistor to the heat sink or any ground with a metal object! And the module will burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than 5 minutes with the engine not running.

Virtually any automotive parts supply store carries the stock type Chrysler electronic ignition control module. They retail for about $21.00 and up. Various manufacturer's part numbers are: EL110 (G.P. SORENSEN, available at Advance Auto Parts stores); MPETP50SB (NAPA); LX101 (STANDARD); CBE14 (Borg-Warner); AL403 (NIEH); TP51 (ECHLIN, available at NAPA Auto Parts stores); CH301 (FILK); CR109 (WELLS); E106 (KEM); C1900Z (AC DELCO) and AL-401 (NIEHOFF IGNITION). Or just tell the counter person it's for a 1972 Chrysler Imperial.

ü A Ballast Resistor or a Full-Length Resistance Ignition Wire is required with the Chrysler module!
The Chrysler electronic ignition control module (off any 1972-85 Chrysler, Dodge or Plymouth vehicle), whether if it's a stock or a high performance one, require a ballast resistor (off any 1955-57 GM vehicle) or a full-length resistance ignition wire (off any 1958-74 GM vehicle) to prevent putting too much voltage in it and burning it up. It's best to use a minimum 1.2 ohm ballast resistor for the Chrysler electronic ignition control module. Anything less, and the module could burn up. A ballast resistor or resistor wire is basically a voltage reducer that reduces 12 volts down to between 6-9 volts, depending on the load. (The ballast resistor shown here is the same used on the 1955-57 GM vehicles.) The reason the Chrysler module doesn't have an internal resistor is because as the resistor heats up while the module is in operation, the heat from the resistor could travel to and damage other sensitive internal electronic components within the module.


ü Another type of electronic ignition control module/unit (ICU) that works great for crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger ignition is one that's made for various domestic Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles. This type of module operates with full 12 volts, which means it does not require a ballast resistor. It's also a high-output/performance module when used on a small engine or garden pulling tractor. And just like the Chrysler module above, this one is also vibration-resistant because the internal electronic components are sealed in epoxy. This means there's no internal wires to vibrate and break due to normal engine vibration. The correct module to use has a blue grommet and comes with its own wiring harness. The OEM connectors/plugs can be snipped off and crimp-type connectors installed when used on a small engine or garden pulling tractor. Ground the module with the mounting base holes so it will work. This module can also be used with virtually any ignition coil, regardless of the ohms resistance or voltage output. And this is not a spark advance module. The ignition timing stays constant at all times with this module. Which means it doesn't advance or retard the timing at any RPM. I offer this module for sale further down in this website.

FYI - The electronic ignition control modules that's mentioned in this website are designed for older automobiles with a mechanical timing advance (flyweights) built into the distributor. The newer control modules that can retard and advance the timing use multiple sensors, one to tell the module that the engine isn't running, therefore, it retards the timing so the engine will start easier. And another sensor to send the signal that the engine is running, and then another sensor to advance the timing so the engine will produce full power. The distributor for these don't have (or need) a mechanical timing advance. And the module will burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than 5 minutes with the engine not running.

Here's a list of Ford and Motorcraft part numbers for the Ford blue grommet electronic ignition control module/unit (ICU) :
Auto Parts Stores Cross Reference -
FF402 (NIEHOFF); MF-481 (Mitech); F0306 (Filko); F102 (AmpcoWells); E302 (Kem); EL107M (G.P. SORENSEN, available at Advance Auto Parts stores); LX203 (STANDARD); F1910 (AC DELCO), ECHTP36 or ECHTP40 (ECHLIN, available at NAPA auto parts stores); F100 (Duralast).

Ford -
D6AB-12A199-A1B, A2B; D6AE-12A199-A1A, A1B, A2A, A2B, AA; D6AZ-12A199-A, B; D6TE-12A199-A1A D6TZ-12A-199-A; D7AZ-12A199-B; D8AE-12A199-A1E; D8VE-12A199-A1A, A1B, A1C, A2A, A2B, A2C; D9VZ-12A199-A; E1FZ-12A199-A; E8PF-12A199-AA, AB; E9VZ-12A199-A; F2PF-12A199-AA; F2PZ-12A199-AA.

Motorcraft -
DY-184, A, B, C; DY-198, DY337, DY-611, DY-683, DY-893.

Donor Vehicles -
American Motors: AMX 78-80; Concord 78-81,83; Eagle 80-81, 83-87; Gremlin 77-78; Hornet 77; Matador 77-78; Pacer 77-80; Spirit 79-81,83.
Ford: Bronco 76-87; Custom 75-77; E Van 89-89,95; Elite 75-76; Escort 81-82; EXP 82; F Pickup 76-87,97; Fairmont 78-83; Fiesta 78-80; Gran Torino 75-76; Granada 75-82; LTD 75-86; LTD II 77-79; Maverick 76-77; Mustang 79-85; Mustang II 76-78; P series 76-77; Pinto 76-80; Ranchero 76-79; Ranger 83-88; Tempo 84-87; Thunderbird 75-83; Torino 75-76.
Jeep: Cherokee 77-85; CJ5 77-83; CJ7 77-86; Grand Wagoneer 84-87; J series 77-87; Scrambler 81-85; Wagoneer 77-85.
Lincoln: Continental 76-80, 83-85; Mark IV 76; Mark V 77-79; Mark VI 80,82-83; Town Car 82-83; Versailles 77-80.
Mercury: Bobcat 76-80; Capri 77-76,79-86; Comet 76-77; Cougar 76-84; Grand Marquis 76-83; LN7 82; Lynx 81-82; Marquis 76-85; Monarch 76-80; Montego 76; Topaz 84-87; Zephyr 78-83.

The electronic ignition control module, magnetic pickup coil or 3-wire inductive proximity sensor could burn up (possibly instantly) if the wires aren't connected to the right terminals! When connecting the wires, take your time and make sure to use different colored wires to avoid confusion. And be sure to fasten all wiring securely to avoid breakage or loose connections from normal engine or tractor vibration. And when mounting the Chrysler module, mount it away from excessive heat and remember that the exposed power transistor is electrically active while the power is on. The module should be mounted in an area which minimizes the possibility of shorting the transistor when working in the engine area. Shorting the power transistor to the heat sink or any ground could damage the module.


Engines can't start under full compression and with advanced ignition timing. One or the other must be "suppressed" in order for the engine to crank over without "kicking back" to start. Either it needs to have an automatic compression release to relieve about half the compression, then the compression will return to full upon start up, or the timing needs to be positioned at TDC, then it can automatically advance upon start up.

The only reason any engine would need the ignition timing retarded or a spark advance system is so the engine won't "kick back" when attempting to start it. "Kick back" occurs when the crankshaft/flywheel suddenly and violently rebounds or rotates in the opposite direction, which is could bend or break the starter armature shaft or the aluminum starter housing. Virtually all small gas engines nowadays have a compression relief mechanism on the camshaft (that opens the exhaust valve slightly halfway on the compression stroke), which allows the engine to crank over easily without kicking back. And most pulling engines have a long duration camshaft with the compression relief mechanism (if using a cast cam) and a heavier-than-stock [steel] flywheel. Which will also allow an engine to crank over easily without kicking back when starting. So you see, a spark advance really isn't necessary. To start any engine with advanced timing and under full compression (no automatic compression release), first crank the engine over, and while it's cranking over, choke the carburetor or use my remote fuel primer system (which is much easier to use), then flip the ignition toggle switch to "put the spark to the engine." The engine should start easily every time. The centrifugal force of the spinning flywheel prevents the engine from "kicking back" when power is supplied to the ignition.


Magnetic pickup coils and proximity sensors are very sensitive to mechanical damage (and electrical damage if connected wrong). For magnetic pickup coils, set the air gap/clearance from the detectable target (screw, pin or small raised area on the rotating disc) at .010"-.060" with a brass, plastic, business card, poster board, stainless steel (anything non-magnetic) feeler gauge. And being 3-wire inductive proximity sensors have a farther detection range, set the air gap/clearance at .010"-.188". If the gap is wider than specified with either sensor, the engine could have no spark or misfire at higher RPM. To prevent the possibility of out of time spark occurrence, the detectable target needs to be a minimum of 3/16" higher than or above the circumference surface of the steel or cast iron rotating disc or flywheel. Direct metal contact with either sensor could damage them. When in doubt if a sensor is mechanically damaged, look at the end of it with the strong magnifying glass to see any damage. If it is damaged, it needs to be replaced. A magnetic pickup coil can be tested with a digital multimeter set on 200m DC, with the negative lead of the meter on the white wire of the pickup coil and positive lead on the black wire, then pass a small steel screw or bolt over the end of the magnetic pickup coil. If the meter shows a reading, the pickup coil is in good condition.


Electronic Ignition Control Module/Unit (ICU) Wiring Connections/Diagrams with a Magnetic Pickup Coil and 3-Wire Proximity Sensor


GM 4-Pin HEI Electronic Ignition Control Module Wiring Connections/Diagram with a Magnetic Pickup Coil

This electronic ignition system operates with full 12 volts. It is recommended only for ordinary lawn & garden equipment. In order for the engine to accelerate at full RPM, the magnetic pickup coil requires a high-output/performance 4-pin GM HEI module, 1.0 ohm ignition coil, metal core spark plug wire and a copper core spark plug gapped at .025". IMPORTANT: The coil and/or module may burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than 5 minutes with the engine not running. (The module does NOT have a built-in timing retard.)


GM 4-pin HEI Electronic Ignition Control Module Wiring Connections/Diagram with the Cube-Shaped 3-Wire Inductive Proximity Sensor

This ignition system operates with full 12 volts. UPDATED 8/8/17: In order for the ordinary/stock GM 4-pin HEI module allow the engine to accelerate at full speed, it must be used with the cube-shaped 3-wire inductive proximity sensor, and can be used with virtually any ignition coil, regardless of the ohms resistance or voltage output. This concept revolutionizes the use of this small, compact and versatile module! This is a thoroughly tested, researched and proven reliable ignition system invented by Brian Miller for ordinary lawn & garden engines and competition pulling engines. IMPORTANT: The coil and/or module may burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than 5 minutes with the engine not running.


Chrysler / Dodge / Plymouth Electronic Ignition Control Module/Unit Wiring Connections/Diagram with a Magnetic Pickup Coil

This module requires a minimum 1.2 ohm ballast resistor to prevent from burning up unit. Can be used with virtually any magnetic pickup coil or proximity sensor and ignition coil, regardless of the ohms resistance or voltage output, and will produce a strong spark so the engine will idle smooth and accelerate quickly to full speed (wide open throttle) with no hesitation or misfire. IMPORTANT: The coil and/or module may burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than 5 minutes with the engine not running.


Chrysler / Dodge / Plymouth Electronic Ignition Control Module /Unit Wiring Connections/Diagram with a 3-Wire Inductive or Hall Effect Proximity Sensor

This module requires a minimum 1.2 ohm ballast resistor to prevent from burning up unit. Can be used with virtually any magnetic pickup coil or proximity sensor and ignition coil, regardless of the ohms resistance or voltage output, and will produce a strong spark so the engine will idle smooth and accelerate quickly to full speed (wide open throttle) with no hesitation or misfire. IMPORTANT: The coil and/or module may burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than 5 minutes with the engine not running.


Ford / Mercury / Lincoln Electronic Ignition Control Module/Unit Wiring Connections/Diagram with a Magnetic Pickup Coil

This ignition system operates with full 12 volts. Can be used with virtually any magnetic pickup coil or proximity sensor and ignition coil, regardless of the ohms resistance or voltage output, and will produce a strong spark so the engine will idle smooth and accelerate quickly to full speed (wide open throttle) with no hesitation or misfire. IMPORTANT: The coil and/or module may burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than 5 minutes with the engine not running.


Ford / Mercury / Lincoln Electronic Ignition Control Module/Unit Wiring Connections/Diagram with a 3-Wire Inductive or Hall Effect Proximity Sensor

This ignition system operates with full 12 volts. Can be used with virtually any magnetic pickup coil or proximity sensor and ignition coil, regardless of the ohms resistance or voltage output, and will produce a strong spark so the engine will idle smooth and accelerate quickly to full speed (wide open throttle) with no hesitation or misfire. IMPORTANT: The coil and/or module may burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than 5 minutes with the engine not running.


Crank or flywheel-trigger Ignition Will Work on Virtually Any Single- or Multi-Cylinder Gas Engine.

Degree Increments for a Super Spacer or Rotary Table with a Self-Centering 3-Jaw Chuck -
This chart is for installing multiple detector/trigger screws or pins in the ignition disc for the crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger ignition. It also comes in handy for drilling 5 holes in axle flanges and other things.
NOTE: The degrees shown is not for the spark to occur at 0º TDC for each cylinder. They are so each cylinder will have equal timing or distance of spark between them.

Number of holes to be drilled - 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
For a 2 cylinder engine or 2 holes 180º
For a 3 cylinder engine or 3 holes 120º 240º
For a 4 cylinder engine or 4 holes 90º 180º 270º
For 5 holes 72º 144º 216º 288º
For a 6 cylinder engine or 6 holes 60º 120º 180º 240º 300º
For an 8 cylinder engine or 8 holes 45º 90º 135º 180º 225º 270º 315º
For 9 holes 40º 80º 120º 160º 200º 240º 280º 320º

In a multi-cylinder engine, when each detectable target (screw or pin) is equally spaced apart in the ignition disc and the timing for each screw is precisely aligned when its piston is at whatever degrees BTDC it's supposed be, they will fire at whatever degrees BTDC for that piston. It wouldn't matter if a screw creates a spark when the piston that isn't aligned with it or near TDC because there wouldn't be any compression at the position. It'll be a multiple, but wasted spark. This is why MSD (MSD Performance) stands for Multiple Spark Discharge. Also, being the timing will be in the advanced setting at all times with no retard (and no automatic compression release), two switches will be required to start the engine. One being a push button switch to crank the engine, and the other an OFF/ON toggle or key switch to power the ignition. To start the engine, first crank it over, and while it's cranking, choke the carburetor (or use my remote fuel primer system, which works much better and is easier to use), and then "put the spark to the engine" by flipping on the toggle switch or turning on the key switch. The engine should start easily and quickly every time. This works because the centrifugal force of the heavy spinning flywheel prevents the engine from "kicking back" when power is first supplied to the ignition. If the engine has an automatic compression release, this will not need to be done.

When using a magnetic pickup coil or a Normally Open 3-wire inductive proximity sensor for a multi-cylinder engine, a steel sprocket can be used as the trigger disc. The pickup coil or sensor will detect the [raised] sprocket teeth as the triggering objects. And being sprocket teeth are equally spaced apart, they're already degreed in. Use an even number teeth sprocket for an even numbered spark engine, and an odd number teeth sprocket for an odd numbered spark engine. Just grind away the teeth between the ones that needs to make the spark for each cylinder. But be sure to grind away the metal so the disc will maintain perfect balance.


crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger ignition will spark on the compression stroke for each piston when used on a multiple cylinder engine. It'll also work excellent on any 2-cycle engine, because it fires on every stroke of the piston. On a twin or two cylinder engine, use just one Chrysler or Ford electronic ignition control module/unit (ICU) , one magnetic pickup coil or 3-wire inductive proximity sensor, one detectable target (screw or pin) in the ignition disc located at approximately 20º BTDC on the compression for the #1 cylinder. It'll spark for the #2 cylinder at 20º BTDC on the compression stroke, too. And you could install two standard-output/stock automotive ignition coils, one for each cylinder. Wire them together as you would for one coil. As the detectable target (screw or pin) pass the pickup coil, a spark will be produced for each cylinder, one piston being on the compression stroke and the other on the exhaust stroke and vice-versa. It'll work identically the same as Briggs & Stratton's Magnetron™ ignition on their twin cylinder flathead (valves in block) engines. Because the flathead Briggs twins use a single ignition coil. By the way, the stock timing on Briggs engines for gas is set at 11º BTDC. Special-made offset flywheel keys for Briggs & Stratton engines.To advance the timing for methanol fuel, a special-made 3/16" square offset flywheel key must be used. Offset flywheel keys are originally made for racing go-karts and Junior Dragsters with the 5hp Briggs & Stratton engine. They come in 2º, 4º, 6º and 8º increments. Do a Google search for an offset flywheel key. Use the 6º key for a setting of 17º BTDC (11º + 6º = 17º). A special-made key stock will need to be used when advancing the ignition timing on an engine that use a woodruff flywheel key (Kohler Magnum).

For a Kohler Magnum or any other make of engine with fixed solid state ignition, to advance the ignition timing when burning either E-85 or methanol fuel, either an offset flywheel key will need to be installed, or a new keyway will need to be broached in the flywheel taper a several degrees advanced from the original keyway. Precise calculation will need to be made to determine the amount of offset in the key, or where the new keyway should be. If cutting a new keyway, the original keyway will need to be filled-in with either bronze brazing or steel stock the same width as the keyway silver-soldered in place to prevent the metal from breaking next to the original keyway when broaching the new keyway slot.


If installed correctly, nothing could possibly go wrong with the crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition system. Mainly because everything is totally sealed. There's no moving parts to wear and it could very well outlast the life of a typical tractor, even when used in high performance conditions! It's virtually maintenance free, extremely reliable. That's why auto manufacturers, virtually all small engine manufacturers (Kohler's Magnum engines ignition system operates much like crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger ignition) and most high performance/racing vehicles nowadays use electronic [or better yet, computerized] ignition. Plus it's something fancy to show off. It's powered by full 12 volts and features a more stable spark than the convention point ignition. You can also use your existing standard ignition coil. And remember, a high-output/performance ignition coil will draw more power from the battery.

crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger ignition will work on virtually any small engine, but only if there's room on the crankshaft (preferably the PTO end, which is opposite the flywheel end) for mounting of the rotating disc that contains the detectable target (screw, pin, magnet, or small raised area on the rotating disc) (see below Ê). The detector/trigger screw(s) or small magnet can also be fastened onto the factory flywheel. Be sure to allow the head of [each] screw extend approximately 1/8" above the outer edge of the flywheel to prevent an out of time spark occurrence. And when mounting the magnetic pickup coil or 3-wire inductive proximity sensor, make sure it's mounted rigid and stable to prevent erratic timing fluctuations.

On a single cylinder engine, this type of ignition will produce a spark on both the compression and exhaust strokes, which is harmless. Camshaft driven point ignitions only spark during the compression stroke. By the way, Kohler engine is mentioned here only as an example, because they're most common in garden tractor pulling.

The crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition system is nothing to be afraid of. Once you understand how it works, it's actually quite simple and you'd feel more confident using it. Also, once you've tried this type of ignition, you'd be reluctant to go back to ignition points. If the crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger ignition is installed correctly on an engine and the timing is set right, it'll bring a pulling tractor to life and help it scream down the track! But if an engine already have a factory-installed solid state ignition that is triggered off the flywheel, you really don't need crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger ignition. Factory-installed flywheel-trigger ignitions are very stable, reliable and they produce a strong spark. But if you're installing a machined steel flywheel with no detector/trigger magnets or pins on an engine that originally came with solid state ignition and/or there's no provisions (no threaded bolt holes present) on the block to install ignition points, you will need the crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition system.


Degreeing the ignition disc -

To simplify degreeing the ignition disc, after finding true 0º TDC on the disc, use a 6" protractor to make timing degree marks on the disc. Refer to the animated drawing to the right for identification. Hold the protractor on the disc, align the 0º TDC mark on the disc with the zero on the protractor, and then, facing the disc as if it were mounted on the PTO end of the engine, and with the magnetic pickup coil or 3-wire inductive proximity sensor mounted either above the disc or on the side of the engine block, make the marks on the disc going counterclockwise of the TDC mark. Going counterclockwise of the 0º TDC mark would be advancing the ignition timing, and clockwise of the 0º TDC mark would be retarding it. Degree it as shown in the drawing to the left. But make sure that the marks on the disc are according to how the disc is going to be mounted on the crankshaft, with the center protruding hub facing toward the engine or away from it. Otherwise, the marks could be on the wrong side of the disc. (Most of the time, the protruding part of the hub face away from the engine.)

The ignition disc doesn't have to be made of aluminum. If there's a steel hub or disc mounted on the end of the crankshaft, it could be used to trigger the ignition. As long as the head(s) of the detectable target(s) is/are higher than the outer edge of the [steel] hub, the magnetic pickup coil or 3-wire inductive proximity sensor will detect it/them and not the hub or disc.

NOTE: The detectable target (screw or pin) can be located anywhere in the ignition disc, as long as it's positioned 20º BTDC. Find the true 0º TDC on the disc, then locate the 20º BTDC position from there. On an engine that runs clockwise when facing the front of the engine (flywheel or harmonic balancer), with the disc on the PTO end of the crank, and when facing the PTO end, the 20º position will be counterclockwise from the 0º TDC mark. On flywheel end, the 20º BTDC position is clockwise from 0º TDC.

Use a Sprocket as an Ignition Disc -

If you don't have a capabilities to machine your own ignition disc, then using a steel sprocket with all but one tooth removed should work excellent. Just make sure the sprocket is perfectly round and balanced so the engine won't vibrate. Use a Weld-A-Sprocket hub or some type of hub to securely fasten the sprocket disc to for correct alignment of the ignition timing. And as long as the single tooth is extended a minimum of 3/16" higher than or above the rest of the disc, and the disc is not oblong or egg-shaped, the sensor should detect it instead of the disc. And as for the diameter of the disc, for most engines, a 6" diameter disc works well. But just to make sure for any particular engine, figure where the sensor will be mounted and then measure out from the center of the crankshaft to the end of the sensor.


Set the ignition timing according to piston travel in the cylinder, as mentioned earlier in this web page. Install a timing degree indicator mark (with a felt marker) on the disc and a mark on the engine block, then make a final check of the ignition timing with engine running using an inductive strobe timing light. The timing light connects to the battery and spark plug wire.


How It Works:

The magnetic pickup coil or 3-wire inductive proximity sensor is able to detect the presence of the detectable target (screw, pin, small magnet, or small raised area on the rotating disc) without any physical contact. Each time the detectable target in the rotating disc passes the magnetic pickup coil or 3-wire inductive proximity sensor, this generates a small electrical current within the pickup coil or sensor. This current is sent in the form of a signal to the electronic ignition control module/unit (ICU) ; within, a transistor opens the primary circuit in the ignition coil and the spark occurs. All this happens at the speed of electricity, which can be anywhere from about 50% to 99% of the speed of light, depending upon the quality of the electronic components and wire connections. Each module provides unlimited RPM. The conventional ignition points and condenser/capacitor ignition system is less responsive.

Checking for Spark -

Because this system produces a spark at very low cranking speeds, once installed, you can check for spark simply by rotating the crankshaft (rotating disc) back and forth by hand so the steel detectable target (screw, pin, small magnet, or small raised area on the rotating disc) pass the magnetic pickup coil or 3-wire inductive proximity sensor. But turn the ignition switch on first. Also, after the engine is ran, and because there may be some raw fuel remaining in the combustion chamber, crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger ignition will produce a single spark each time the ignition switch is turned on. Sometimes this spark will make the engine go "POOF", which is harmless in most cases.

How to Test if a GM 4-pin HEI, Chrysler (w/ballast resistor) or Ford Electronic Ignition Control Module/Unit is Functioning or Not -

To test if a GM 4-pin HEI, Chrysler (w/ballast resistor) or Ford electronic ignition control module is functioning or not, connect a fully charged 1.5 volt [flashlight] battery to the two terminals on the module that connects to the magnetic pickup coil or 3-wire inductive proximity sensor (being there's no polarity in these modules, it doesn't matter which of the two terminals is connected to the battery, but disconnect the pickup coil first!) and connect the other terminals/wires on the module as shown in the diagrams above. With the battery connected, a constant, continuous array of sparks should result at the spark plug's tip. Don't connect the battery to the magnetic pickup coil! It'll burn it up! This test proves only if the module is functioning or not. It won't show if it's in good working condition. (FYI - The continuous spark would come in handy as a temporary or replacement pilot light, such as to ignite a burner in a gas stove/heater or forced air heater when the factory igniter unit has failed.) And don't use a 12 volt automotive portable battery charger alone to supply the power to check for spark or test a module. If a battery charger is used, the crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition system may produce a constant, continuous array of sparks at the spark plug's tip even when the magnetic pickup coil or 3-wire inductive proximity sensor (or 1.5 volt battery) isn't connected. Battery chargers constantly switch between high to low voltage at 60 cycles per second. The crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger ignition module sees this as the ignition being switched on and off, resulting in the constant, continuous array of sparks described above. Therefore, only a fully charged 12 volt battery should be used for testing.

How to Check for Spark with the GM 4-pin HEI, Chrysler (w/ballast resistor) or Ford Modules -

After either ignition system is installed on the engine and power is supplied, simply rotate the flywheel, pulley, etc., containing the detectable target (screw, pin, small magnet, or small raised area on the rotating disc) on the crankshaft back and forth by hand. Each time the screw passes the sensor, spark should occur. NOTE: Do not use a battery charger alone to perform this test. Battery chargers constantly switch between high and low voltage at 60 cycles per second, and the module sees this as the ignition being switched on and off resulting in a continuous, constant array of sparks. By the way - I have not received any complaints from our customers or the readers of this website concerning the crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger ignition about their engine(s) running erratic or misfiring at high RPM, unless of course, the sensor has too much clearance or they installed a defective module.

The simple way to set the ignition timing STATICALLY (engine not running) for the GM 4-pin HEI, Chrysler (w/ballast resistor) or Ford modules -

  1. Rotate the crankshaft by hand to align the timing marks or timing tape on flywheel or starter pulley with the pointer to set the timing where it needs to be.
  2. With the locking collar w/embedded rare earth magnet loose on the crankshaft, rotate the ring by hand to align the magnet with the center of the sensor/module.
  3. Securely tighten the Allen set screw and the engine can now be started.

How to accurately set the ignition timing STATICALLY (engine not running) for the GM 4-pin HEI, Chrysler (w/ballast resistor) or Ford modules - (This is also how to test if the module is functioning or not.)

  1. Connect the wires correctly for the sensor/module as specified in this website with a fully charged 12 volt battery connected in the circuit.
  2. Connect a 12 volt test light or multimeter [set on the 12 volt reading] between the negative (–) coil terminal and engine/chassis ground. The light should be off or the multimeter should show no voltage reading.
  3. Rotate the crankshaft to position the flywheel, pulley, etc., with the desired timing mark aligned with the timing pointer or indicator on the engine. This is close to where the timing needs to be set.
  4. If using a locking magnet or screw head ring, with the Allen set screw loose in the ring, rotate the ring side to side by hand when the detector/trigger (screw, pin, small magnet, or small raised area on the rotating disc) is centered with the magnetic pickup coil or 3-wire inductive proximity sensor.
    • For the magnetic pickup coil, the light should flicker or the multimeter should momentarily display approximate battery voltage (digital meter) or the needle should bounce (analog meter). It is at this point when spark occurs.
    • For the 3-wire inductive proximity sensor, the light should stay on or the multimeter should show approximate battery voltage. The LED in the 3-wire inductive proximity sensor can also be used for this test. It is at this point when spark occurs.
  5. Tighten the Allen set screw in the ring on the crankshaft. The ignition timing is now set close to where it needs to be.

How to precisely set the ignition timing DYNAMICALLY (engine running) with an automotive inductive timing light for the GM 4-pin HEI, Chrysler (w/ballast resistor) or Ford modules. (This is the most accurate way to set the timing.) NOTE: Timing can be checked, but not set while the engine is running!

  1. Start the engine, shine the timing light on the timing mark on the flywheel, pulley, etc., in relation with the pointer on the engine block to see exactly where the timing needs to be set.
  2. If the timing is not set correctly, shut off the engine and loosen the Allen set screw in the locking collar w/embedded rare earth magnet, or move the magnetic pickup coil or 3-wire inductive proximity sensor one way or the other in the slot to advance or retard the timing, and tighten the Allen set screw in the ring, or magnetic pickup coil or 3-wire inductive proximity sensor.
  3. Start the engine again, shine the timing light to see if the timing is set exactly where it needs to be.
  4. Repeat steps 1, 2 and 3 if necessary until the timing is set exactly where it needs to be, and securely tighten the Allen set screw, or magnetic pickup coil or 3-wire inductive proximity sensor.
  5. No further adjustments are required.

Advertisement:
If you would like to purchase any of the parts or services listed below Ê, or virtually any product or service mentioned in this website, please contact A-1 Miller's Performance Enterprises | 1501 W. Old Plank Rd. | Columbia, MO (Missouri) 65203-9136 USA | Phone: 1-573-256-0313 (shop) | 1-573-881-7229 (cell). Please call Monday-Friday, except holidays, 9am to 5pm, Central time zone. If no answer, please try again later. (When speaking with Brian, please be patient because I stutter.) A-1 Miller's shop is open to the public from 9am to 5pm, including weekends, except holidays. Please call before coming so I'll be here waiting for your arrival. E-mail: pullingtractor@aol.com. Directions to our shop | 1501 West Old Plank Road, Columbia, MO - Google Maps or Map of 1501 West Old Plank Road, Columbia, MO by MapQuest. Please click here to place an order. You can also make the drive to A-1 Miller's shop to personally drop off and pick up your engine, transaxle, tractor, etc. for rebuilding or repairs. "The road to a friend's house (or shop) is never long."
FYI - I can install a crank or flywheel-trigger electronic ignition system and/or rewire your lawn & garden tractor, equipment or garden pulling tractor so all the electrical accessories will work and the engine will start quickly every time. I have the knowledge, skills, all the tools and parts necessary to perform a quality job. I've rewired many customer's lawn & garden tractor/equipment or garden pulling tractor with great results. If you're interested, my phone numbers, address and directions to my shop are above È. - Brian Miller

100% Maintenance-Free, Electronic Ignition Systems That Operate Off the PTO End of a Competition Pulling Small Engine - Eliminates Ignition Points and Condenser

(Updated 12/9/17) Top of page

100% Digital Crank-Trigger Ignition Kits with Self-Contained Dynatek Dyna S or PerTronix Ignitor / Ignitor II Sensor/Modules for Single- or Opposed Twin-Cylinder Engines - (Updated 12/9/17)

A new way to revolutionize the ignition system on virtually any small gas engine! Virtually trouble- and maintenance-free, and water-proof. These ignition modules/sensors is a small, lightweight, compact and completely self-contained electronic ignition system built with the latest state-of-the-art engineering with the use of microelectronics. Fits entirely on the PTO end of the engine block; no ignition box and additional wiring to clutter the engine compartment because the electronic ignition control module and pickup coil/sensor are contained in the same sealed casing. The Dynatek Dyna S and PerTronix Ignitor sensor/modules will allow the engine to idle smoothly and accelerate quickly to full speed (wide open throttle) with no hesitation or misfire.

The Dynatek Dyna S sensor/module operates on 12-1/2 to 15 volts negative ground, and requires an ignition coil with a 3.0 ohm resistor. And the PerTronix Ignitor sensor/module operates on 8 to 15 volts negative ground, and also require an ignition coil with a 3.0 ohm resistor. Using a coil with either sensor/module with less than total of 3.0 ohms of primary resistance for a long period of time will cause them to overheat and the engine may misfire until it cools down, or the sensor/module might fail prematurely. A metal core conductor spark plug wire and non-resistor/copper core spark plug should be used. If the voltage drops below the minimum requirement for either sensor/module, the engine may idle well, but not accelerate, or the engine may run erratic. Either module/sensor can be used with a standard-output/stock or high-output/performance ignition coil, as long as the coil has a 3.0 ohm internal primary resistor, or a ballast resistor is connected that totals 3.0 ohms of resistance.

These crank-trigger ignition setups have been thoroughly tested and proven very reliable for general lawn & garden use, and all classes of single and twin cylinder competition pulling engines. One sensor/module is needed for an opposed twin cylinder engine, and two modules/sensors spaced exactly at 90º apart are required for V-twin engines. These are the same ignition used by professional pullers everywhere. Reliable at high RPMs, the Dynatek Dyna S or PerTronix Ignitor modules provides unlimited RPM. They allow the ignition system to operate at the speed of electricity, which can be anywhere from about 50% to 99% of the speed of light, depending upon the quality of the electronic components and wire connections.

Spark occurs when a small and super strong neodymium/rare earth magnet embedded in an aluminum locking ring, which is much like an automotive reluctor ring, that's fastened on the crankshaft's PTO end pass the sensor/module. (Neodymium and rare earth magnets are the strongest available. Five times stronger than ceramic (ferrite) magnets for a stronger detection.) Either sensor/module packs a lot of punch and allows the ignition system operate at 100% efficiency for a stronger spark.

Dynatek Dyna S and PerTronix Ignitor Crank-Trigger Ignition Installation Instructions -

Our universal flat mounting plate can be adapted for use on various makes and models of one or two cylinder (twin opposing cylinders) engines by drilling new mounting holes. And being there are so many different bolt patterns on the PTO end of Kohler and other makes and models of engines, these are not a simple "one kit fits all" bolt-on ignition kit. Therefore, customer will need to locate and drill holes in the mounting plate in alignment with the bolt holes on the PTO end of the engine block. If there are no bolt hole(s) on the PTO end of the block, they will need to be drilled and tapped. Minimum of 1/4" bolts can be used. Locate and drill (machine) slotted adjustment holes in the mounting plate, fasten plate to PTO end of engine block. And then drill and cut 4-40 UNC (coarse thread) threads in the mounting plate for positioning/clearance of the sensor/module clearance to the locking collar w/embedded rare earth magnet. Additional spacing of modules/sensor may be required so magnet will be aligned with the center of the sensor on various applications. The air gap/clearance between the sensor/module and locking collar w/embedded rare earth magnet is .010"-.060". Sensor/module may not operate or engine may misfire if gap is wider than .060". When mounting the GM 4-pin HEI module, always fasten it with dielectric, thermal or heat sink grease/paste on a clean, flat aluminum plate with plenty of fresh air circulation to dissipate the heat while in operation. NOTE: Do not allow sensor/module to make contact with locking collar w/embedded rare earth magnet while engine is running!

NOTE: The Dynatek Dyna S and PerTronix Ignitor crank-trigger ignition kits with the locking collar w/target magnet or screw (just below Ê) installs and operate off the PTO end of the engine block, and is intended for competition pulling only. The collar is specifically for competition pulling engines, because these engines have nothing on the PTO end of the crankshaft, such as a clutch assembly. The collar can't work on the flywheel end because there's no place to mount it. Click HERE for electronic ignition kits that operates off the flywheel end of the engine. These can be used for stock competition pulling engines and/or ordinary lawn & garden engines.


(Updated 2/28/18) Designed Specifically for Single Cylinder Garden Pulling Tractors, these Self-Contained 12 Volt High Performance Dyna S or Pertronix Ignitor Ignition Kits are Integrated with a Durable 3.0 Ohm High Energy Ignition Coil Are Built with the Latest State-of-the-Art Engineering. Thoroughly tested and proven to be very reliable. Self-contained and very compact. Each kit includes: Sensor/module, coil, bracket and locking collar w/embedded detector/target magnet. No need for a separate/remote-mounted ignition coil and additional wiring. Unlike the advertised competition, these module/sensor and coil ignition kits are fastened to a sturdy aluminum plate which mounts on the PTO end of the engine block. Customer may have to drill and tap the block to mount the crank trigger or modify the bracket if necessary. Each ignition kit comes prewired with one or two simple wire connection(s): Connect the RED wire to the ignition switch (battery positive (+) post, and connect the BLACK wire to the self-grounding killswitch (if equipped), or snip off the black wire if not needed. Do not connect the wires in reverse or sensor/module will burn up instantly when power is supplied! Set the air gap/clearance between sensor and magnet in locking collar at .010"-.060", and set spark plug gap at .035". Please specify diameter of crankshaft PTO end for locking collar w/embedded rare earth magnet. Most common crankshaft PTO end diameters are 1" and 1-1/8", but 3/4", 1-1/4", 1-3/8", 1-7/16" and 1-1/2" are rare. Most billet steel crankshafts have a 1-1/2" diameter PTO end (raised shoulder). Please specify diameter of crankshaft PTO end for locking collar w/embedded rare earth magnet. Made in USA Picture and video of each product coming soon. IMPORTANT: Do not connect the wires in reverse or sensor/module will burn up instantly when power is supplied! And module will burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than 5 minutes with the engine not running. Set the air gap/clearance between sensor and magnet in locking collar at .010"-.060", and set spark plug gap at .035". Please specify diameter of crankshaft PTO end for locking collar w/embedded rare earth magnet. Most common crankshaft PTO end diameters are 1" and 1-1/8", but 3/4", 1-1/4", 1-3/8", 1-7/16" and 1-1/2" are rare. Most billet steel crankshafts have a 1-1/2" diameter PTO end (raised shoulder). Please specify diameter of crankshaft PTO end for locking collar w/embedded rare earth magnet. Made in USA. Picture and video of each product coming soon.

  • Ignition Kit with Dynatek Dyna S Sensor/Module and Locking Magnet Collar. Must be used with a minimum 3.0 ohm coil regardless of the voltage output to prevent from burning up module. $90.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.
  • Self-Contained Ignition Kit with Dynatek Dyna S Sensor/Module, Integrated High Energy 3.0 Ohm Ignition Coil (coil fastened on same mounting plate with module) and Locking Magnet Collar. $125.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.
  • Ignition Kit with PerTronix Ignitor (Black) Sensor/Module and Locking Magnet Collar. Must be used with a minimum 3.0 ohm coil regardless of the voltage output to prevent from burning up module. $90.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.
  • Self-Contained Ignition Kit with PerTronix Ignitor (Black) Sensor/Module, Integrated High Energy 3.0 Ohm Ignition Coil (coil fastened on same mounting plate with module) and Locking Magnet Collar. $125.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.
  • Ignition Kit with PerTronix Ignitor II (Red) Sensor/Module and Locking Magnet Collar. The Ignitor II module can be used with virtually any coil with a minimum of 0.3 ohms resistance or module may burn up (test the coil to be used to make sure), and if the red and black wire connections are connected in reverse and power is supplied, the Ignitor II module will NOT burn up. Also, the Ignitor II has a built-in automatic-reset circuit breaker. It will automatically shut off if the ignition switch is left on for a long period of time with the engine not running, and it has a built-in over-current protection, which shuts down the module, preventing component damage. Once it cools, it should work again. $120.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.
  • Self-Contained Ignition Kit with PerTronix Ignitor II (Red) Sensor/Module, Integrated High Energy Ignition Coil (mounted on same plate with module) and Locking Magnet Collar. $155.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.

Dynatek Dyna S sensor/module or (Black) PerTronix Ignitor (non-magnetic) sensor/module only. $60.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

PerTronix Ignitor II (Red) sensor/module only. $90.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

Aluminum Locking Collar w/Embedded Rare Earth Magnet and Allen Set Screw. Please specify diameter of crankshaft PTO end for locking collar w/embedded rare earth magnet. Most common crankshaft PTO end diameters are 1" and 1-1/8", but 3/4", 1-1/4", 1-3/8", 1-7/16" and 1-1/2" are rare. Most billet steel crankshafts have a 1-1/2" diameter PTO end (raised shoulder). Other sizes available. $15.00 each, plus shipping & handling.


How to Check for Spark and Set the Timing for the Dynatek Dyna S and PerTronix Ignitor module/sensors - After either setup is installed on the engine and power is supplied, simply rotate the locking collar w/embedded rare earth magnet (loose) on the crankshaft back and forth by hand. Each time the embedded detector/trigger magnet pass the sensor/module, spark should occur. NOTE: Do not use a battery charger alone to perform this test. Battery chargers constantly switch between high and low voltage at 60 cycles per second, and the module sees this as the ignition being switched on and off resulting in a continuous, constant array of sparks.

The simple way to set the ignition timing STATICALLY (engine not running) for either sensor/module -

  1. Rotate the crankshaft by hand to align the timing marks or timing tape on flywheel or starter pulley with the pointer to set the timing where it needs to be.
  2. With the locking collar w/embedded rare earth magnet loose on the crankshaft, rotate the ring by hand to align the magnet with the center of the sensor/module.
  3. Securely tighten the Allen set screw and the engine can now be started.

How to accurately set the ignition timing STATICALLY for the Dynatek Dyna S, PerTronix Ignitor and 3-Wire Inductive Proximity Sensor/Module - (This is also how to test if the sensor/modules or the ignition system is functioning or not.)

  1. Connect the wires correctly for either sensor/module as specified above with a fully charged 12 volt battery connected in the circuit. NOTE: Do not use a battery charger alone to perform this test. Battery chargers constantly switch between high and low voltage at 60 cycles per second, and the module sees this as the ignition being switched on and off resulting in a continuous, constant array of sparks.
  2. Connect a battery-powered test light or multimeter [set on the 12 volt reading] between the negative (–) coil terminal and engine/chassis ground.
    • For the non-magnetic Dyna S or Ignitor modules and 3-wire inductive proximity sensor, with the magnet in the locking ring not centered or aligned with the sensor in the module, the light should be off or the multimeter should show no voltage.
    • For the magnetic Ignitor module, with the screw head in the locking ring not centered or aligned with the sensor in the module, the light should illuminate or the multimeter should show approximate battery voltage.
  3. Rotate the crankshaft to position the flywheel or starter pulley with the desired timing mark aligned with the timing pointer or indicator on the engine. This is close to where the timing needs to be set.
  4. With the Allen set screw loose in the locking ring, again...
    • For the non-magnetic Dyna S or Ignitor modules and 3-wire inductive proximity sensor, with the magnet in the locking ring centered or aligned with the sensor in the module, the light should illuminate or the multimeter should show approximate battery voltage. It is at this point when spark occurs.
    • For the magnetic Ignitor module, with the screw head in the locking ring centered or aligned with the sensor in the module, the light should be off or the multimeter should show no voltage. It is at this point when spark occurs.
  5. Tighten the Allen set screw in the ring on the crankshaft. The ignition timing is now set close to where it needs to be.
  6. Something cool to show off: To make a 12 volt in-dash indicator light or LED flash while cranking the engine and illuminate while the engine is running, for the Dyna S, Ignitor modules or 3-wire inductive proximity sensor connected to the HEI, Chrysler or Ford module, connect the light or LED to the negative (–) coil terminal and engine/chassis ground. The LED may shine bright, but the light will be dimly lit. The light or LED will not effect the performance of the ignition system whatsoever. It'll also let you know if the ignition system is working or not.

How to precisely set the ignition timing DYNAMICALLY (engine running) with an automotive inductive timing light for either sensor/module. (This is the most accurate way to set the timing.) NOTE: Timing can be checked, but not set while the engine is running! Do not allow sensor/module to make contact with locking collar w/embedded rare earth magnet while engine is running! -

  1. Start the engine, shine the timing light on the timing mark on the flywheel or starter pulley in relation with the pointer on the engine block to see where the timing needs to be set. NOTE: Do not use a battery charger alone to perform this test. Battery chargers constantly switch between high and low voltage at 60 cycles per second, and the module sees this as the ignition being switched on and off resulting in a continuous, constant array of sparks.
  2. If the timing is not set correctly, shut off the engine and loosen the Allen set screw in the locking ring, slightly rotate crankshaft by hand one way or the other to advance or retard the timing, and position the ring with the magnet or screw head centered with the sensor in the module, and tighten the Allen set screw.
  3. Start the engine again, shine the timing light on the timing mark on the flywheel or starter pulley in relation with the pointer on the engine block to see if the timing is set where it needs to be.
  4. Repeat steps 1, 2 and 3 if necessary until the timing is set exactly where it needs to be, and securely tighten the Allen set screw.
  5. No further adjustments are required.


100% Maintenance-Free, Electronic Ignition Systems That Operate Off the Flywheel End of a Lawn & Garden Small Engine - Eliminates Ignition Points and Condenser

(Updated 7/10/17) Top of page

Get That Old Small Engine Running Again With 21st Century Technology Using 100% Digital Electronic Ignition, Even When New Replacement Parts Are Obsolete or Cost-Prohibited!

This is the era of modern wonders, where everything is transistorized, digitized and miniaturized. Yet even today, many garden tractor pullers still use breaker point ignitions on their garden pulling tractors. For other people, the frustration of attempting to keep a breaker point-fired tractor in peak running condition has been enough of a reason to join the electronic era. Breaker point systems do have some positives, though. ignition points are cheap and somewhat easy to install. And many people are comfortable with installing their own ignition points. The bad side of using ignition points is, besides the ignition points contacts burning, pitting and wearing out, if or when the point gap gets too narrow, the ignition timing can get retarded, and when it gets too wide, the timing will become too advanced.

When the timing is retarded, the engine may be difficult to start, and when does start, it may not idle well, and it'll lack sufficient power. Also, with retarded timing, all of the fuel in the combustion chamber will not be burned. Part of the raw fuel will exit out of the exhaust, while the rest will remain in the chamber combustion and cling to the cylinder wall, causing the lubricating oil (from the crankcase) to become diluted. When this happens, "cylinder wash down" will result. Cylinder wash down is when the gas dilutes the thin coat of oil on the cylinder wall, and the piston rings will no longer be adequately lubricated, causing them to wear excessively, resulting in a smoky engine overtime. Cylinder wash down can also happen to a diesel engine when the fuel injectors are "turned up" or fuel delivery is increased so the engine will produce more power. (It will also blow a lot more black smoke out the exhaust.)

But when the ignition timing is too advanced, this will cause the engine to run too hot, which will likely cause the piston to swell, allowing it to make metal to metal contact against the cylinder wall, causing excessive wear. And the rings will lose their expansion against the cylinder wall as well. Eventually, due to the lose-fitting piston in the cylinder, the engine will create a rattling sound and start smoking out the exhaust, and it will ultimately need to be rebuilt.

If installed correctly, when the ignition is triggered off the flywheel, it stabilizes the ignition timing, so you won't ever have to worry about it. The engine will produce more power and you will have more confidence that the engine will last longer. So for the utmost precision ignition timing and maintenance-free convenience, flywheel-trigger ignition is the way to go! It will allow the engine to idle smoothly and accelerate quickly to full speed (wide open throttle) with no hesitation or misfire.

Tired of changing or constantly adjusting the ignition points? Convert to the 100% digitized flywheel-trigger ignition! For improved performance, easier starting, and less moving parts to leave your tractor dead on the track. Shock and moisture resistant, and all it takes is a few simple hand tools to install. In my opinion, getting rid of the ignition points and condenser/capacitor has been the best advance ever in engine technology.

If a Kohler flywheel has no projection (hump) or OEM protruding bolt head for Breakerless Ignition, but does have a 3/4" wide area between the fins and ring gear (as shown in the pictures above È), or a billet steel flywheel, to use a magnetic pickup coil, 3-wire inductive proximity sensor, a small, short steel Phillips or button head socket head (Allen) screw and a minimum 1/4" length aluminum spacer secured with a split lock washer or high strength liquid threadlocker (Red Loctite, Permatex or equivalent) can be used as the signal detection for the flywheel-trigger electronic ignition. A steel dowel pin or knurled steel pin could be used instead of a screw or spiral pin, but because of exerted centrifugal force, the screw would be more secure due to its thread retention. FYI - When storing an opened container of liquid threadlocker or Super Glue, store it upright and not laying flat. The [capped] tip will not dry out and clog when stored upright.

The curvature or dome shaped heads of button- and Phillips-head screws makes them ideal for use on a trigger disc or flywheel. Spark occurs at the leading (high side) edge of the hump or screw, and not in the center of the hump or screw. When the magnetic pickup coil or cube-shaped proximity sensor is at the leading edge of the hump and when the S mark on the flywheel is aligned with the raised mark on the bearing plate, it is at this point the timing is at 20º BTDC. But if the flywheel has the 3/4" wide area, but no projection or hump", with the magnetic pickup coil or cube-shaped proximity sensor installed on the bearing plate and the 20º BTDC mark on the flywheel aligned with the raised mark on the bearing plate.

When using an inductive proximity sensor, being proximity sensors detect a farther distance (up to 3/16") than a magnetic pickup coil, install a 3/4" length steel screw with a 1/4" length aluminum spacer (to retain flywheel balance). This will extend the detectable target 1/4" above the surface of the flywheel to prevent an out of time spark occurrence by the flywheel itself. Or if using a non-magnetic pickup coil, 3-wire hall effect proximity sensor or a non-magnetic PerTronix Ignitor sensor/module, a small ring magnet fastened by a small screw can be used to create a rotating magnet detection target. The head of the retaining screw will become magnetized.

An 8-32 UNC (coarse thread) and 10-32 UNF (fine thread) x 1/2" length screws with a split lock washer (and small magnet) only weighs about 1/10 of an ounce or 3 grams, so this will not make the flywheel significantly noticeably or dangerously out of balance. But if you're concerned about the flywheel being out of balance with the target screw/bolt, pin or screw w/ring magnet installed, the flywheel can be static balanced by weighing the flywheel and screw/bolt, pin or screw w/ring magnet separately on a precision scale, make a note of the exact weight of each item, and either install a stainless steel screw of the same exact weight as the trigger screw and magnet on the opposite side of the flywheel (180º apart), or drill a couple of shallow holes into the flywheel next to or beside the installed target screw/bolt, pin or screw w/ring magnet to put the flywheel back in balance. Make sure the flywheel is perfectly clean of dirt and debris, too. Actually, it's best to have the flywheel with the target screw/bolt, pin or screw w/ring magnet installed dynamically precision spin-balanced on a automotive balancing machine. Again, make sure the flywheel is perfectly clean of dirt and debris.

And for the ignition timing to be set at 20º BTDC, with the S mark on the flywheel and raised line on the bearing plate aligned, the screw will need to be located at 2-3/8" when using a magnetic pickup coil or proximity sensor. This setup can be adapted to a Kohler engine with the flywheel that has the starter/generator and gear starter alike. Or it can be applied to an engine with a steel flywheel for competition pulling. And the mounting holes in the angled bracket for the magnetic pickup coil can be elongated for precise adjustment/setting of the timing. If there's already a projection (hump) or OEM protruding bolt head on the flywheel, then there's no need to modify the flywheel for this conversion or upgrade. If they're not already present, new 10-24 UNC (coarse thread) threads will need to be drilled and tapped in the two raised bosses in the bearing plate to mount the bracket for the sensor's bracket. An original, ingenious, thoroughly researched and innovative concept invented by Brian Miller, because nobody else advertise this for use on a small engine. Please accept no other advertised copycat products of this kind.


flywheel-trigger Ignition Kit for Kohler engine models K141, K160/K161, K181, K241, K301, K321 and K341 with a small (8") flywheel and starter/generator. This simple and reliable ignition system kit produces a very strong spark, and the ignition timing will always be set at 20º BTDC, or wherever you set it. This system can be used on lawn & garden or stock competition pulling engines, with a cast iron or [8"] steel flywheel. Kit includes a non-magnetic PerTronix Ignitor sensor/module, aluminum channel spacer w/drilled holes and mounting screws, small neodymium/rare earth ring magnet, rubber cushioning/isolator washer and mounting screw. The sensor is activated by the South pole of the magnet, so do not remove the screw from the magnet! Tighten the screw/magnet just when the rubber washer begin to bulge. The Ignitor must be used with a minimum 3.0 ohm coil or it may burn up. NOTE: Neodymium and rare earth magnets are the strongest available. Five times stronger than ceramic (ferrite) magnets for stronger detection. So be extra careful when handling neodymium/rare earth magnets. They are very brittle and can break when snapped onto something or when the screw is overtightened. $75.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.

Directions to install this kit...

  1. Align or center the S timing mark on the flywheel with the timing sight hole in the bearing plate, and draw a line on the edge of and lengthways with the flywheel at the 10:30 position.
  2. Draw another line 1" from the bearing plate crossways with the line on the flywheel. The magnet will install where the two lines intersect. This spot will allow the magnet to clear the flywheel shroud mounting boss on the bearing plate at the 4:30 position.
  3. Drill and tap 6-32 UNF (fine thread) threads in the flywheel and install the magnet with the supplied rubber cushioning/isolator washer and screw where the two drawn lines intersect. IMPORTANT: Install the rubber cushioning/isolator washer between the magnet and flywheel, and secure the screw with high strength liquid threadlocker (Red Loctite, Permatex or equivalent). And install the ring magnet with the depression facing the flywheel. The ignition will not work otherwise. FYI - When storing an opened container of liquid threadlocker or Super Glue, store it upright and not laying flat. The [capped] tip will not dry out and clog when stored upright.
  4. Thoroughly clean the bearing plate, and with the S mark on the flywheel aligned or centered with the timing sight hole in the bearing plate, center the Ignitor with the magnet, allow .010"-.060" clearance, mark on the bearing plate and drill and tap 6-32 UNC (coarse thread) threads in the bearing plate to mount the Ignitor and spacer. Be sure to apply dielectric, thermal or heat sink grease/paste between the Ignitor and aluminum spacer to help cool the module, and securely fasten the Ignitor/block to the bearing plate with the supplied 6-32 UNC (coarse thread) screws and split lock washers. Do not allow the module to make contact with the magnet/screw while engine is running!
  5. Drill a 1/4" or 3/8" hole through the bearing plate behind the Ignitor and route the wires from the Ignitor to the ignition coil. Wallow out the drilled hole or use a rubber grommet to prevent the insulation on the wires from rubbing and possibly being shorted, or apply RTV silicone sealant in the hole to hold the wires rigid.
  6. Disconnect and do away with the wires to the ignition points and condenser. Connect the BLACK wire on the Ignitor to the coil negative (–) terminal, and connect the RED wire on the Ignitor to the coil positive (+) terminal and to the ignition switch (battery positive (+) post). IMPORTANT: If the wires are connected in reverse, the Ignitor will burn up instantly when power is supplied!
  7. Spark plug should be gapped at .035". Turn on the ignition switch, rotate the flywheel back and forth by hand or crank the engine with the starter/generator, and observe for a strong, blue spark at the spark plug's tip. An original, ingenious, thoroughly researched and innovative concept invented by Brian Miller, because nobody else advertise this for use on a small engine. Please accept no other advertised copycat products of this kind. Click here to print out these installation instructions.


Electronic Ignition Kits (Below) for Converting from Breakerless Ignition or ignition points/Condenser Ignition to flywheel-trigger Ignition for Kohler engine models K241, K301 or K321. (K341 and K361 engines originally did not come with Breakerless Ignition.) Do away with the old fashioned ignition points and condenser ignition, or defective and cost-prohibitive Breakerless Ignition components, and convert your engine to the reliability, dependability and durability of flywheel-trigger ignition. NOTE: These flywheel-trigger ignition parts do not install on the PTO end of the crankshaft and engine block. Instead, they install next to the flywheel on the OEM bearing plate. To replace the ignition points/condenser with flywheel-trigger, engine can have the small bearing plate with two drilled holes to install the triggering device and 8" flywheel with a small screw/bolt (for magnetic pickup coil or 3-wire inductive proximity sensor) or a small ring magnet (for the non-magnetic PerTronix Ignitor sensor/module installed on edge of flywheel in a specific place for timing purposes and to trigger the ignition, OR engine can have the large bearing plate with two mounting bosses to install the triggering device and 9" flywheel with 3/4" wide area with the OEM projection (hump) or OEM protruding bolt head or install a small screw/bolt (for magnetic pickup coil), or small ring magnet (for non-magnetic PerTronix Ignitor sensor/module on edge of flywheel in a specific place for timing purposes and to trigger the ignition. Must use a universal battery ignition key switch, or an OFF/ON toggle- or key-switch (for ignition) and push-button starter switches for either ignition system listed below Ê. NOTE: No need to remove the brass welch plug from ignition points pushrod hole. Ignition timing will be set at 20º BTDC with kit, and reuse same type of spark plug, but set gap at .035". An original, ingenious, thoroughly researched and innovative concept invented by Brian Miller, because nobody else advertise this for use on a small engine. Please accept no other advertised copycat products of this kind. IMPORTANT: The wire that comes from the stator under the flywheel for Kohler Trigger Module or Tecumseh Solid State Ignition Module generates about 250 volts while the engine is running at full governored speed (serious). Do not touch this wire (terminal) with one bare hand and the engine itself with your other hand while the engine is running! It is not needed any of my flywheel-trigger electronic ignition systems. So snip off this wire or tape up the terminal to prevent a short circuit or electrocution.

Option #1 - Flywheel-Trigger Ignition Kit to Convert from Points and Condenser to A-1 Miller's Custom-Made Electronic Ignition with a 9-1/2" Flywheel that has a 3/4" wide edge with no projection (hump) (popular on certain older John Deere garden tractors.) Includes:

  • New cube-shaped 3-wire inductive proximity sensor w/mounting adapter and two Allen head mounting screws (mounts in place of Trigger Module next to flywheel or on two raised bosses on bearing plate). 59" length cable wire.
  • New high quality ordinary/stock 4-pin GM HEI electronic ignition control module w/dielectric grease (mounts on backside of bearing plate), four slip-on crimp wire connectors, two wire clamps and two 8-32 UNC self-threading mounting screws (requires two #29 or 9/64" drilled holes, T-20 Torx bit).
  • New Autolite 216 or Champion H10C spark plug.
  • Customer supplies own coil and spark plug wire.


Option #2 - Flywheel-Trigger Ignition Kit to Convert from OEM Kohler Breakerless Ignition to A-1 Miller's Custom-Made 4-pin GM HEI Electronic Ignition System. Includes:

  • New cube-shaped 3-wire inductive proximity sensor w/mounting adapter and two Allen head mounting screws (mounts in place of Trigger Module next to flywheel or on two raised bosses on bearing plate). 59" length cable wire.
  • New high quality ordinary/stock 4-pin GM HEI electronic ignition control module w/dielectric grease (mounts on backside of bearing plate, as shown in picture above), four slip-on crimp wire connectors, two wire clamps and two 8-32 UNC self-threading mounting screws (requires two #29 or 9/64" drilled holes and T-20 Torx bit).
  • New 3.5 ohm epoxy-encapsulated ignition coil (can withstand high vibrations) with molded-in 11" length metal core spark plug wire and 90º spark plug terminal/boot, and mounting bracket (mounts in place of Breakerless coil on side of engine). Comes with two slip-on crimp wire connectors. Set spark plug gap at .030" with this coil.
  • New Autolite 216 or Champion H10C spark plug.


Option #3 - Flywheel-Trigger Ignition Kit to Convert from OEM Kohler Breakerless Ignition to A-1 Miller's Custom-Made 4-pin GM HEI Electronic Ignition System. () Includes:

  • New cube-shaped 3-wire inductive proximity sensor w/mounting adapter and two Allen head mounting screws (mounts in place of Trigger Module next to flywheel or on two raised bosses on bearing plate). 59" length cable wire.
  • New high quality ordinary/stock 4-pin GM HEI electronic ignition control module w/dielectric grease (mounts on backside of bearing plate, as shown in picture above), four slip-on crimp wire connectors, two wire clamps and two 8-32 UNC self-threading mounting screws (requires two #29 or 9/64" drilled holes and T-20 Torx bit).
  • New 1.0 ohm canister ignition coil w/mounting bracket (mounts in place of Breakerless coil on side of engine). Set spark plug gaps at .035" each with this coil.
  • New 11" length metal core conductor spark plug wire with 90º spark plug terminal/boot.
  • New Autolite 216 or Champion H10C spark plug.


Ignition Points Pushrod/Plunger Hole Plug and Block-Off Plate. Use either of the items below Ê to plug or cover the ignition points pushrod/plunger hole in Briggs & Stratton or Kohler engines when doing away with the ignition points and condenser/capacitor, and converting engine for use with a Universal Solid State Ignition Module, crank-trigger or flywheel-trigger electronic ignition, or from Kohler K-series ignition to Kohler Magnum solid state ignition. Fits very tight; install with a medium size hammer. For the block-off plate, use RTV silicone sealant to prevent an oil leak and OEM ignition points mounting screws to secure in place. Cup plug no longer available from Kohler (25 139 51-S). NOTE: Instead of using any of these items, remove the ignition points and ignition points pushrod. Place the pushrod on a flat, hard surface, and use a sharp cold chisel and hammer to lightly create some knurled raised places on it. Then insert the pushrod in the block and it may need to driven in with the hammer. The knurled places will retain the pushrod in the block.

  • 3/16" Plug to Block-Off ignition points Pushrod Hole. Fits all Kohler K-series single cylinder engines and K482, K532 and K582 opposed twin cylinder engines. OEM Briggs & Stratton part #'s 231143, 692882. $6.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Block-Off Plate to Cover ignition points Pushrod Hole. Made of 1/8" steel. A-1 Miller part. An original, ingenious and innovative concept by Brian Miller. Please accept no other advertised copycat products of this kind. $4.00 each, plus shipping & handling. [Return to previous paragraph, section or website]


A-1 Miller's Custom-Made Electronic Ignition System for Tecumseh engine models VH80, VH100, HH80, HH100, HH120, OH120, OH140, OH150, OH160 and OH180. Concept and design by Brian Miller. (Added 7/16/18)

Ignition Kit with PerTronix Ignitor Non-Magnetic Module/Sensor. Module detects small magnet w/screw installed in flywheel at a precise location for correct ignition timing. Ignition coil mounts on outside of engine. Kit comes with new non-magnetic PerTronix module/sensor, mounting plate, small magnet w/mounting screw, 3.0 ohm ignition coil, carbon core spark plug wire, new Autolite 295 or Champion J8C spark plug.

  • Complete Kit. $119.00 each kit, plus shipping & handling.

Ignition Kit with PerTronix Ignitor Magnetic Module/Sensor. Module detects short steel OEM pin in flywheel. Ignition coil mounts on outside of engine. Kit comes with new magnetic PerTronix module/sensor, mounting plate, 3.0 ohm ignition coil, carbon core spark plug wire, new Autolite 295 or Champion J8C spark plug.

  • Complete Kit. $149.00 each kit, plus shipping & handling.

(Updated 3/22/18) Custom-Made Self-Contained Electronic Ignition Systems Designed for Tecumseh engine models VH80, VH100, HH80, HH100, HH120, OH120, OH140, OH150, OH160 and OH180. Concept and design by Brian Miller.

A-1 Miller's Self-Contained Custom-Made Electronic Ignition Systems Designed for Tecumseh engine models VH80, VH100, HH80, HH100, HH120, OH120, OH140, OH150, OH160 and OH180. Our 12 Volt Flywheel-Trigger High Performance Electronic Ignition Conversion Ignition Systems Integrated with a Durable High Energy Ignition Coil Are Built with the Latest State-of-the-Art Engineering. Works equally for lawn and garden use as well as for competition pulling. These systems works much better than a CDI ignition designed for a Chinese motorbike. Ignition components and ignition coil will be pre-wired and fastened onto a durable 3/16" thick 6061-T6 aluminum plate that mounts in place of the OEM Tecumseh solid state ignition module. No need for additional wiring and a separately-mounted ignition coil to clutter up the engine compartment. Grind down protruding block of metal on cylinder for clearance of GM 4-pin HEI module. Use lock washers on the screws and tighten screws securely when fastening the plate to the engine block to prevent loosening. Each ignition system have been thoroughly tested, produces a very strong spark, are very reliable and requires 12 volts of power with one wire hook up. Drive the long steel firing pin (0º TDC) flush with the surface of the flywheel or remove it entirely. Set clearance/air gap between short steel firing pin and sensor at 1/8". And being this ignition system is triggered off the short pin in the flywheel (20º BTDC), the timing will be in the advanced setting at all times with no retard and no automatic compression release. Therefore, two switches will be required to start the engine. One being a push button switch to crank the engine, and the other an OFF/ON toggle or key switch to power the ignition. To start the engine, first crank it over, and while it's cranking, choke the carburetor (or use my remote fuel primer system, which works much better and is easier to use), and then "put the spark to the engine" by flipping on the toggle switch or turning on the key switch. The engine should start easily and quickly every time. This works because the centrifugal force of the heavy spinning flywheel prevents the engine from "kicking back" when power is first supplied to the ignition. If the engine has an automatic compression release, this will not need to be done. Also, do not connect the wire coming from the stator (behind the flywheel) to any of my custom-made electronic ignition systems or they will burn up. IMPORTANT: The coil and/or module may burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than 5 minutes with the engine not running. Each ignition system replaces Tecumseh CDI system part #'s 610-748, 610-855, 610-906 and John Deere part # AM31741. Made in USA. Comes with a one year warranty from date of purchase. Concept and design invented by Brian Miller. "Perfection takes time. If it's worth having, it's worth waiting for." NOTE: These ignition systems will not work on a Tecumseh engine with a flywheel that has an embedded external magnet to fire the magneto ignition with points and condenser. With this type of flywheel, when the OEM magneto ignition coil fails, which may be no longer available, the engine can be converted to a reliable battery-powered ignition system instead. A battery-ignition key switch will also need to be used. Top of page.

  • Self-Contained Custom-Made Electronic Ignition Conversion System for Tecumseh engine models VH80, VH100, HH80, HH100, HH120, OH120, OH140, OH150, OH160 and OH180. Includes a cube-shaped 3-wire inductive proximity sensor, high quality ordinary/stock GM 4-pin HEI electronic ignition control module, and epoxy-encapsulated armature-frame ignition coil. Set air gap/clearance between short pin and sensor at 1/8", and set spark plug gap at .035". $175.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Self-Contained Custom-Made Electronic Ignition Conversion System Designed Specifically for Tecumseh engine models OH120, OH140, OH150, OH160 and OH180 only. Includes a cube-shaped 3-wire inductive proximity sensor, high quality ordinary/stock GM 4-pin HEI electronic ignition control module, and epoxy-encapsulated armature-frame ignition coil. Set air gap/clearance between short pin and sensor at 1/8", and spark plug gap can be set at .060". (Limited supply.) $175.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

If you would like to purchase any of the parts or services listed below Ê, or virtually any product or service mentioned in this website, please contact A-1 Miller's Performance Enterprises | 1501 W. Old Plank Rd. | Columbia, MO (Missouri) 65203-9136 USA | Phone: 1-573-256-0313 (shop) | 1-573-881-7229 (cell). Please call Monday-Friday, except holidays, 9am to 5pm, Central time zone. If no answer, please try again later. (When speaking with Brian, please be patient because I stutter.) A-1 Miller's shop is open to the public from 9am to 5pm, including weekends, except holidays. Please call before coming so I'll be here waiting for your arrival. E-mail: pullingtractor@aol.com. Directions to our shop | 1501 West Old Plank Road, Columbia, MO - Google Maps or Map of 1501 West Old Plank Road, Columbia, MO by MapQuest.

(Posted 11/3/17) A-1 Miller's Flywheel-Trigger Custom-Made Electronic Ignition Conversion Kits for Kohler opposed twin cylinder engine models KT17 Series II and KT19 Series II. This ignition system works flawlessly! Replaces ignition points and condenser. The points can be removed and the points pushrod hole can be permanently plugged with a short 1/4" bolt, Allen set screw or Clear RTV Silicone Adhesive Sealant. Each ignition system listed below works excellent with the OEM Kohler 4.0 ohm twin cylinder ignition coil to produce a strong, reliable spark. NOTE: Two bosses on the #1 cylinder (right side when facing flywheel) must be drilled and tapped to accept 1/4-20 UNC x 1" mounting bolts (drill only 3/4" deep; do not drill all the way through the cylinder wall), and a specific location on the edge of the flywheel must be drilled and tapped to accept the 6-32 UNC (coarse thread) detectable target screw or magnet w/cushioning/isolator rubber washer and screw. The sensor is activated by the South pole of the magnet, so do not remove the screw from the magnet! Install screw in flywheel with high strength liquid threadlocker (Red Loctite, Permatex or equivalent), and tighten screw/magnet just when the rubber washer begin to bulge. FYI - When storing an opened container of liquid threadlocker or Super Glue, store it upright and not laying flat. The [capped] tip will not dry out and clog when stored upright. An original, ingenious and innovative concept design invention by Brian Miller. These ignition systems will not work on the first design KT17 and KT19 engines because there are no bosses on the cylinder(s) to drill for bolt holes to mount the ignition bracket. However, the cylinder(s) off a KT17 Series II, MV16, M18 and MV18 will work on a first design KT17 engine, and the cylinder(s) off a KT19 Series II, M20 and MV20 engine will work on a first design KT19 engine. The only difference between the KT17, KT17 Series II, MV16, M18 and MV18 cylinders, and KT19, KT19 Series II, M20 and MV20 cylinders is the length of the valves. I realize this would be a lot of work just to use electronic ignition on a first design KT17 or KT19 engine, but this is the best way of making it happen.

Complete ignition kit with PerTronix Ignitor module/sensor and mounting bracket. Module is triggered by a small magnet fastened on edge of flywheel. Simple two wire hook-up; Black wire on module/sensor connects to coil negative (–) terminal, and Red wire on module/sensor connects to coil positive (+) terminal, which also connects to ignition switch. Picture of PerTronix Ignitor Kit mounted on a KT17 Series II engine posted to the right.

  • $150.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.

Complete ignition kit with cube-shaped 3-wire inductive proximity sensor and GM 4-pin HEI module with mounting bracket. Sensor is triggered by a small screw with a 1/4" length aluminum spacer fastened on edge of flywheel. Kit comes with ignition components fastened on an aluminum plate and prewired. Simple two wire hook-up; Black wire connects to coil negative (–) terminal, and Red wire connects to coil positive (+) terminal, which also connects to ignition switch. Picture of this ignition kit mounted on engine will be posted here soon.

  • $125.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.

3-Wire Inductive and Hall Effect Proximity Sensors | Magnetic Pickup Coils

Magnetic pickup coils and round-shaped proximity sensors are very sensitive to mechanical damage (and electrical damage if connected wrong). For magnetic pickup coils, set the air gap/clearance from the detectable target (screw, pin or small raised area on the rotating disc) at .010"-.060" with a brass, plastic, business card, poster board, stainless steel (anything non-magnetic) feeler gauge. And being 3-wire inductive proximity sensors have a farther detection range, set the air gap/clearance at .010"-.188". If the gap is wider than specified with either sensor, the engine could have no spark or misfire at higher RPM. To prevent the possibility of an out of time spark occurrence, the detectable target needs to be a minimum of 3/16" higher than or above the circumference surface of a steel or cast iron rotating disc or flywheel. Direct metal contact with either sensor could damage them. When in doubt if a sensor is mechanically damaged, look at the end of it with the strong magnifying glass to see any damage. If it is damaged, it needs to be replaced. A magnetic pickup coil can be tested with a digital multimeter set on 200m DC, with the negative lead of the meter on the white wire of the pickup coil and positive lead on the black wire, then pass a small steel screw or bolt over the end of the magnetic pickup coil. If the meter shows a reading, the pickup coil is in good condition.

Normally Open 3-Wire Inductive Proximity Sensors for flywheel-trigger electronic ignition. Recommended for use with the Chrysler and Ford electronic ignition control module/units. Detects head of small ferrous metal (steel) screw or bolt fastened to rotating disc or flywheel to generate power in sensor. Spark will occur when aligned with head of steel screw (Kohler. etc.) or pin (Tecumseh) in rotating disc or flywheel. Wide operating temperature range. Epoxy encapsulated, mechanically rugged. Impervious to dirt, oil and water. No maintenance required. Sensor is capable of powering flywheel-trigger electronic ignition and digital tachometer at the same time. Durable metal shielded threads with two stainless steel thin jam nuts and three, 10 foot long wire leads. Dimensions of each item below: 15/32" (12mm) diameter x 1-3/8" thread length. Some proximity sensors have an LED (Light Emitting Diode) on the rear of unit. If the proximity sensor is wired incorrectly, the LED will stay on and go off when activated. Being 3-wire inductive proximity sensors have a farther detection range, set the air gap/clearance at .010"-.188". Direct metal contact with either sensor will damage them. And if the gap is wider than specified, the engine could have no spark or misfire at higher RPM. To prevent the possibility of an out of time spark occurrence, the detectable target needs to be a minimum of 3/16" higher than or above the circumference surface of a steel or cast iron rotating disc or flywheel. Click here for wiring diagrams.
  • 15/32" Diameter x 2-1/2" Length x 43" Cable Length Hall Effect Proximity Sensor. (Senses the South pole of a small magnet embedded in an aluminum rotating locking collar, disc, or OEM magnet embedded in a flywheel.) $10.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • 15/32" Diameter x 2-1/2" Length x 43" Cable Length Inductive Proximity Sensor. (Senses the head of a small steel screw in a rotating locking collar, disc or flywheel.) $13.00 each, plus shipping & handling. [Return to previous section]


Magnetic Pickup Coils for flywheel-trigger electronic ignition. All magnetic pickup coils are Normally Open. Detects head of small ferrous metal (steel) screw or bolt fastened to rotating disc or flywheel to generate power in magnetic pickup coil. Install screw head extended minimum 3/16" higher than or above the surface of the flywheel to prevent an out of time spark occurrence by the flywheel itself. Wide operating temperature range. Epoxy encapsulated, mechanically rugged. Impervious to dirt, oil and water. No maintenance required. Self-generating power. Durable metal shielded threads with two jam nuts. Please specify size when ordering. Can be used with a steel bracket without interference of magnetism. By the way - The 3/8" magnetic pickup coil works exactly the same as the 5/8" ones. There is absolutely no difference in performance. The 3/8" one can be used where space is limited, and the 5/8" one can be used where space is no problem. Set the air gap/clearance from the detectable target (screw, pin or small raised area on the rotating disc) at .010"-.020" with a brass, plastic, business card, poster board or anything non-magnetic feeler gauge. Click here for wiring diagrams.

  • 3/8" diameter x 1" thread length housing, w/two, 7-1/2" length wire leads. Can be used with the high-output/performance GM 4-pin HEI module w/1.0 ohm coil, or with the Chrysler or Ford electronic ignition control module/units. $60.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • 3/8" diameter x 2-3/16" thread length housing, w/two, 7-1/2" length wire leads. Can be used with the high-output/performance GM 4-pin HEI module w/1.0 ohm coil, or with the Chrysler or Ford electronic ignition control module/units. $60.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • 5/8" diameter x 2-1/8" thread length housing, w/two, 10 foot long wire leads. Recommended for use with the Chrysler or Ford electronic ignition control module/units. $50.00 each, plus shipping & handling. [Return to previous paragraph, section or website]
Detectable Target Screws for Flywheel-Trigger Electronic Ignition. Install on the edge of an aluminum or steel locking ring, disc or flywheel when using a magnetic pickup coil or 3-wire inductive proximity sensor. The curvature or dome shaped heads of button- and Phillips-head screws makes them ideal for use as a detectable target on a trigger disc or flywheel. Secure in place with a split lock washer and/or high strength liquid threadlocker (Red Loctite, Permatex or equivalent). FYI - When storing an opened container of liquid threadlocker or Super Glue, store it upright and not laying flat. The [capped] tip will not dry out and clog when stored upright. An original, ingenious, thoroughly researched and innovative concept invented by Brian Miller, because nobody else advertise this for use on a small engine. Please accept no other advertised copycat products of this kind.
  • Steel Phillips Head Screw only. 10-32 UNF (fine thread) x 3/8" length. .30¢ each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Button Head Socket Head (Allen) Screw. 10-32 UNF (fine thread) x 3/8" length x 3/8" head diameter. .50¢ each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Steel Phillips Head Screw with 1/4" Aluminum Spacer. Screw: 8-32 UNC (coarse thread) x 1" length. Weighs less than 1/10 oz. $1.50 each, plus shipping & handling.


Detectable Target Neodymium/Rare Earth Ring Magnet, Rubber Cushioning/Isolator Washer and Steel Retaining Screw for Flywheel-Trigger Electronic Ignition. Each weighs 1/10 oz. / 6 grams. Fasten magnet w/screw and cushioning/isolator washer on the edge of aluminum or steel disc, or flywheel when using a non-magnetic pickup coil, 3-wire hall effect proximity sensor or non-magnetic PerTronix Ignitor sensor/module. Head of screw will become magnetized. NOTE: Being the PerTronix Ignitor senses a certain polarity of the magnet, do not remove the magnet from the screw. (The PerTronix Ignitor I and II, Dynatek Dyna S modules and hall effect proximity sensors are activated by the South end of the magnet. They won't do anything from the North end.) And neodymium and rare earth magnets are the strongest available. Five times stronger than ceramic (ferrite) magnets for stronger detection. Be extra careful when handling rare earth/neodymium magnets. They are very brittle and can break when snapped onto something or when the screw is tightened too much. Install the rubber cushioning/isolator washer between the magnet and flywheel, and secure the screw with high strength liquid threadlocker (Red Loctite, Permatex or equivalent). Tighten the screw/magnet just until the rubber washer begins to bulge. FYI - When storing an opened container of liquid threadlocker or Super Glue, store it upright and not laying flat. The [capped] tip will not dry out and clog when stored upright. An original, ingenious, thoroughly researched and innovative concept invented by Brian Miller, because nobody else advertise this for use on a small engine. Please accept no other advertised copycat products of this kind.

  • Short Ring Magnet Assembly. Approximately 1/4" height with screw head, magnet and cushioning washer. Thread size: 8-32 UNC. $5.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Tall Ring Magnet Assembly. Approximately 15/32" height with screw head, magnet and cushioning washer. Thread size: 12-24 UNC. $5.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
High Quality High-Output/Performance GM 4-Pin HEI Module. The high-output/performance 4-pin GM HEI electronic ignition control module connected to a magnetic pickup coil (below Ê) works excellent with an ignition coil that have a 1.0 ohm internal primary resistor, metal core spark plug wire and non-resistor/copper core spark plug gapped at .025". This combination of ignition parts produces a strong spark so the engine will accelerate at full speed. And when mounting the GM 4-pin HEI module, always fasten it with dielectric, thermal or heat sink grease/paste on a clean, flat aluminum plate with plenty of fresh air circulation to dissipate the heat and cool the unit while in operation. Actual weight of module: 1.1 oz. Wiring diagram coming soon.
  • $30.00 each, plus shipping & handling.


3/8" Magnetic Pickup Coil w/Mounting Adapter to Convert from Breakerless Ignition or Ignition Points and Condenser and Upgrade to Flywheel-Trigger Electronic Ignition. Fits Kohler K-series K241-K361 engines with the 9" ring gear flywheel w/projection (hump) or OEM protruding bolt head on flywheel or 3/4" wide area (to install trigger screw with a minimum 1/4" length aluminum spacer) and large bearing plate with the two bosses for mounting this item, as pictured above. Includes two 10-24 UNC Allen socket head mounting screws and split lock washers. If they're not already present, new 10-24 UNC (coarse thread) threads will need to be drilled and tapped in the two raised bosses in the bearing plate to mount the bracket for the sensor's bracket. NOTE: Set air gap/clearance from projection (hump) or OEM protruding bolt head on flywheel at .010"-.060" with a brass, plastic, business card, poster board or anything non-magnetic feeler gauge. Ignition timing will be fixed at 20º BTDC. Click here for wiring diagrams. An original, ingenious, thoroughly researched and innovative concept invented by Brian Miller, because nobody else advertise this for use on a small engine. Please accept no other advertised copycat products of this kind.

  • $90.00 each, plus shipping & handling.


Now the ordinary/stock 4-pin GM HEI electronic ignition control module lives up to its name, High Energy Ignition! When used on a small engine, in order for an ordinary/stock 4-pin HEI module allow the engine to accelerate at full speed, it must be used with the cube-shaped 3-wire inductive proximity sensor, and can be used with virtually any ignition coil, regardless of the ohms resistance or voltage output. A metal core conductor spark plug wire and non-resistor/copper core spark plug should be used. Set spark plug gap at .035". Sensor is also capable of powering an HEI flywheel-trigger electronic ignition and a digital tachometer at the same time. This concept revolutionizes the use of this small, compact and versatile module! This is a thoroughly tested, researched and proven reliable ignition system invented by Brian Miller for ordinary lawn & garden engines and competition pulling engines. And when mounting the GM 4-pin HEI module, always fasten it with dielectric, thermal or heat sink grease/paste on a clean, flat aluminum plate with plenty of fresh air circulation to dissipate the heat while in operation. Click here for wiring diagrams. [Return to previous paragraph, section or website] IMPORTANT: The wire that comes from the stator under the flywheel for Kohler Trigger Module or Tecumseh Solid State Ignition Module generates about 250 volts while the engine is running at full governored speed (serious). Do not touch this wire (terminal) with one bare hand and the engine itself with your other hand while the engine is running! It is not needed for any of my flywheel-trigger electronic ignition systems. So snip off this wire or tape up the terminal to prevent a short circuit or electrocution.

  • High Quality Ordinary/Stock 4-pin GM HEI module. Comes with packet of dielectric grease. Actual weight of module: 1.1 oz. $20.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Cube-Shaped 3-Wire Inductive Proximity Sensor Without Mounting Adapter and Screws. This sensor can be used for many applications, ignition and electrical, very versatile. 59" length cable wire. Comes with two 6-32 UNC mounting screws and split lock washers. Customer fabricates own mounting adapter. $20.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Cube-Shaped 3-Wire Inductive Proximity Sensor With Mounting Adapter and Screws. 59" length cable wire. $60.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
New High Quality Chrysler / Dodge / Plymouth Electronic Ignition Control Module/Unit for flywheel-trigger electronic ignition. Requires a minimum 1.2 ohm ballast resistor to prevent burning up module. Click here to learn how to check the resistor in a coil or ballast resistor. This module can be used with the magnetic pickup coil or proximity sensor and virtually any ignition coil, regardless of the ohms resistance or voltage output, and will allow the engine to idle smoothly and accelerate quickly to full speed (wide open throttle) with no hesitation or misfire. Actual weight of module: 14 oz. Click here for wiring diagrams.
  • $20.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

New 1.6 ohm Ballast Resistor for use with Chrysler module (above È) to prevent burning up module, or ballast resistor can be used with a 12 volt ignition coil with low ohm internal primary resistor to prevent excessive burning of point contacts.

  • $8.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
New High Quality Ford / Mercury / Lincoln Electronic Ignition Control Module/Unit for flywheel-trigger electronic ignition. Operates with full 12 volts. Requires no ballast resistor. This module can be used with the magnetic pickup coil or proximity sensor and virtually any ignition coil, regardless of the ohms resistance or voltage output, and will allow the engine to idle smoothly and accelerate quickly to full speed (wide open throttle) with no hesitation or misfire. Actual weight of module: 1 lb. 7 oz. Click here for wiring diagrams. [Return to previous section]
  • $30.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
High Quality Inductive Wireless Handheld Small Engine Tachometer. A tachometer is required in setting the correct RPMs (normally 3,200 or 3,600 maximum for small engines) of an engine to prevent from over-revving and possible damage to the engine or dangerous flywheel explosion. For gas/spark ignite engines only. Works with magneto and battery-powered ignition systems. Very accurate. This handheld analog tachometer works great for checking/setting the RPM on various small engines in the shop, and/or for checking/setting the RPM [tech] on stock governored competition pulling engines. Hold sensor (antenna) close to spark plug wire for reading. Operates off a self-contained replaceable 9 volt battery. Has built-in battery voltage check. Reads up to 5,000 RPM on the low scale, and 15,000 RPM on the high scale.
  • $85.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
High Quality Inductive Small Engine Tachometer/Hour Meter. A tachometer is required in setting the correct RPMs (normally 3,200 or 3,600 maximum for small engines) of an engine to prevent from over-revving and possible damage to the engine or dangerous flywheel explosion. Very accurate. Can be used for lawn & garden equipment or competition pulling engines. Can be hand-held to temporarily set engine RPM or permanently mounted to monitor engine RPM at all times. Large 3/8 inch LCD display. Works with magneto and battery-powered ignition systems. Works with all spark ignition engines by selecting engine type using S1 and S2 buttons. If tachometer does not turn on automatically as soon as engine starts, press and hold the two buttons at the same time. Instructions included. Tachometer reads up to 99,999 RPM. Hour meter reads up to 9999:59 hours/minutes then resets to Zero. Programmable maintenance hour setting with service icon, a reminder when to change oil or other service. Can be manually reset to Zero hours. Programmable maintenance hour setting with service icon, a reminder when to change oil or other service. Easy installation: Single wire wraps around spark plug wire and secured with two supplied nylon zip-ties. No wire terminal connections required. Tachometer can be surface-mounted and secured with two screws. Has battery that last up to 4 years. Sealed unit; weather and water resistant. Dimensions: 2" wide x 1-3/4" depth x 3/4" height.
  • $20.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
High Quality Digital Tachometer/Proximity Sensor Kits. A tachometer is required in setting the correct RPMs (normally 3,200 or 3,600 maximum for small engines) of an engine to prevent from over-revving and possible damage to the engine or dangerous flywheel explosion. Will work with single- or twin-cylinder small engines or multi-cylinder automotive engines, gas or diesel. Works with magneto (with a battery to power the proximity sensor and tachometer) and battery-powered ignition systems. Very accurate. Can be used for lawn & garden equipment or competition pulling engines. Designed to be permanently mounted to monitor engine RPM at all times. This precision digital tachometer operates with external power and on the same principle as my crank- or flywheel-trigger ignition systems with a proximity sensor to detect a target, which can be a small ferrous steel screw or pin, or magnet in a rotating disc on the crankshaft or on/in flywheel. Cannot be wired in conjunction with the Dynatek Dyna S or PerTronix Ignitor ignition modules. It must be wired separately or can be used with any of my crank trigger ignition systems that also use a proximity sensor. A sturdy steel or aluminum bracket will need to be fabricated by customer to mount the sensor in close proximity of the detector/trigger target. Set air gap/clearance at .010"-.188". Tachometer works with 8-24 volts DC, proximity sensors works with 6-36 volts DC. Tachometer can be in-dash or panel-mounted. Dimensions for mounting hole: 3" wide x 1-17/32" wide. Tachometer measures 1" in depth. Tachometer works with 8-24 volts DC, proximity sensors works with 6-36 volts DC. Dimensions of each proximity sensor below: 15/32" (12mm) diameter x 1-3/8" thread length. Some proximity sensors have an LED (Light Emitting Diode) on the rear of unit. If the proximity sensor is wired incorrectly, the LED will stay on and go off when activated. Displays up to 9,999 RPM. Very accurate. Tachometer returns to zero [0000] when power (ignition) is turned off. Wiring Instructions: #1 wire on tachometer connects to brown wire on (either) proximity sensor and ignition switch (12 volt power), #2 wire on tachometer connects to blue wire on (either) proximity sensor and engine/chassis ground (battery negative (–) post), and #5 wire on tachometer connects to black wire on (either) proximity sensor. Wires #3 and #4 connects to nothing. Wiring can also be integrated with crank trigger ignition with a proximity sensor. Choice of RED or BLUE numeric display.
  • Tachometer only. Can be used with virtually any Normally Open 3-wire hall effect, inductive or cube-shaped proximity sensor. $12.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Complete Kit with Tachometer and 15/32" Diameter x 2-1/2" Length x 43" Cable Length Hall Effect Proximity Sensor. (Senses the South pole of a small magnet embedded in an aluminum rotating locking collar, disc, or OEM magnet embedded in a flywheel.) $22.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
    • Aluminum Locking Collar w/Embedded Rare Earth Magnet and Allen Set Screw. Please specify diameter of crankshaft PTO end for locking collar w/embedded rare earth magnet. Most common crankshaft PTO end diameters are 1" and 1-1/8", but 3/4", 1-1/4", 1-3/8", 1-7/16" and 1-1/2" are rare. Most billet steel crankshafts have a 1-1/2" diameter PTO end (raised shoulder). Other sizes available. $15.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Complete Kit with Tachometer and 15/32" Diameter x 2-1/2" Length x 43" Cable Length Inductive Proximity Sensor. (Senses the head of a small steel screw in a rotating locking collar, disc or flywheel.) $25.00 each, plus shipping & handling. . [Return to previous section]


Using a 4-pin GM HEI (High Energy Ignition) 4-Pin Module Ignition Distributor on an Older Automotive, Farm-Use, etc., Engine (Hybrid Ignition System) - Top of page.

Chevy HEI DistributorIf you have an automotive-type gas engine in an old car, truck, farm tractor, forklift, construction equipment, boat motor, etc., with a worn out or troublesome point ignition distributor, and/or parts are no longer available or if you want to upgrade it to the modern, higher output, trouble- and maintenance-free electronic ignition system, then all the engine will need is a battery-powered, non-computer controlled 4-pin GM HEI distributor (with the 4-pin electronic ignition control module) and spark plug wires from a 1975-84 General Motors vehicle (Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick, Cadillac or GMC truck) with an L4, L6, V6 or V8 engine. These type of distributors are considered high performance because they produce a very strong spark (about 40,000 volts to the spark plugs) for quicker starts, smooth idling and more engine power, and is ideal for use in other makes of engines because the ignition parts are self-contained; the coil is located in the distributor cap and the electronic ignition control module is located in the distributor itself. And there's only one 12 volt wire to power the 4-pin GM HEI distributor. A Chevy V8 HEI distributor is shown to the right. The 4 and 6 cylinder engine distributors are similar. And to get even a stronger spark to the spark plugs, install an MSD Low Resistance Bushing 8412. This part installs in the center of the distributor cap, underneath the coil.

If there's not enough space or clearance on an engine for the 4-pin GM HEI distributor, a smaller diameter non-computer controlled electronic ignition distributor from a Ford, Mercury or Lincoln, or Chrysler, Plymouth or Dodge (MOPAR) vehicle can be used instead. The Ford or MOPAR electronic ignition control module and ignition coil will need to be mounted elsewhere on the vehicle or equipment, such as on the firewall or inner fender well. And the spark plug wires that's designed for these distributors will also be needed. These type of distributors and ignition systems are also considered high performance because they produce a very strong spark.

How To Convert It:

  1. Cut off the upper half of the old distributor housing and shaft (discard the upper half). Be sure to cut it close to the distributor head.
  2. Cut off the lower half of the 4-pin GM HEI, Ford or MOPAR distributor housing and shaft (discard the lower half). Be sure to cut it far from the distributor head.
  3. Machine and adapt the shafts and housings of the lower part of the old distributor onto the upper half of the modern distributor head, and pin the two shafts together (like for shortened automotive axles). Scroll down for information on how to securely pin two shafts together.
  4. Connect just one 12 volt wire from the ignition switch to the 4-pin GM HEI distributor. And for the Ford or MOPAR ignition systems, connect the wiring as shown above È in this website for the electronic ignition control module and ignition coil.
  5. The firing order and ignition timing are set the same as for the old distributor/engine.
  6. It'll probably be a lot of work setting it all up, but it'll be worth it in the long run.

How To Securely "Pin" Two Shafts Together:

  1. Carefully measure each shaft to the length they need to be, then cut each in half.
  2. In a small metal lathe (with a self-centering 3-jaw chuck), in one of the shafts, bore a hole .625" (5/8") deep in the end of the shaft that needs to be joined to the other shaft. The diameter of the hole is to be determined by the outside diameter of the shaft.
  3. In the lathe, and on the other shaft, turn down a stub that's in .750" (3/4") in length. Be sure to machine the stub .003" larger so it'll be a press fit for the shaft with the hole. Bevel the stub so it'll press in straight and easy.
  4. Using a hydraulic press, carefully press the two shafts together, leaving an 1/8" gap for a bead of weld. But first align the shafts so the rotor cap will point to the # 1 cylinder on the distributor cap when the distributor is installed in the engine.
  5. Thoroughly weld the two shafts together, and grind away any lumps of weld so the shaft will slide in the distributor housing(s) (that have been joined together also) with no problems.


Advertisement:
If you wish to have your Kohler stock or pulling engine tested on a dynamometer (dyno), please contact A-1 Miller's Performance Enterprises | 1501 W. Old Plank Rd. | Columbia, MO (Missouri) 65203-9136 USA | Phone: 1-573-256-0313 (shop) | 1-573-881-7229 (cell). Please call Monday-Friday, except holidays, 9am to 5pm, Central time zone. If no answer, please try again later. (When speaking with Brian, please be patient because I stutter.) A-1 Miller's shop is open to the public from 9am to 5pm, including weekends, except holidays. Please call before coming so I'll be here waiting for your arrival. E-mail: pullingtractor@aol.com. Directions to our shop | 1501 West Old Plank Road, Columbia, MO - Google Maps or Map of 1501 West Old Plank Road, Columbia, MO by MapQuest.

A-1 Miller's Fully Computerized Stuska Water Brake Engine Dynamometer (Dyno) Service with DPM Data Logger Software!

For performance testing engines up to 200hp at speeds up to 12,000 RPM. The only engine dyno service in Missouri for Kohler pulling engines! Now set up and fully operational, customers can rent dyno time, fine tune and make adjustments or changes to their engines for maximum horsepower and torque, and print-out the results so their tractor(s) will be truly competitive on the track. NOTE: A fresh-built engine may not produce full power until it's broke-in. This is when the valves wear-in with the seats to completely seal in the compression. The rings will likely hold the compression, but the valves may leak slightly until they wear into the seats. This is normal for all engines and may take several hours or pulls to happen, then the valves will be able to hold full compression. Lots of pullers tell me after I've built their engines that it seems to pull stronger every time they pull it.

Engine Dyno Rental Fee: $30.00 per hour run time from the moment the engine is started. No setup fee for Cub Cadet engines with a 3- or 6-pin/stud clutch driver. An adapter may need to be needed or fabricated for other makes and models of engines. Only engines with the narrow base oil pan can be tested. Engines with the wide base (tall) oil pan cannot be tested at this time.


To place an order and/or for FREE professional and honest technical assistance and support, please contact:

A-1 Miller's Performance Enterprises | 1501 W. Old Plank Rd. | Columbia, MO (Missouri) 65203-9136 USA | Phone: 1-573-256-0313 (shop) | 1-573-881-7229 (cell). Please call Monday-Friday , except holidays, 9am to 5pm, Central time zone. If no answer, please try again later. (When speaking with Brian, please be patient because I stutter.) A-1 Miller's shop is open to the public from 9am to 5pm, including weekends , except holidays. Please call before coming so I'll be here waiting for your arrival. E-mail: pullingtractor@aol.com. Directions to our shop | 1501 West Old Plank Road, Columbia, MO - Google Maps or Map of 1501 West Old Plank Road, Columbia, MO by MapQuest. If you're the kind of person who don't trust delivery/shipping companies (mis)handling your high-dollar and fragile merchandise, you can always make the long drive to A-1 Miller's shop to personally drop off and/or pick up your engine, transaxle, tractor, etc. "The road to a friend's house (or shop) is never long."

To place an order, please call the number below Ê or send an email with your name, complete and correct postal address and phone number and so I can figure the total with shipping cost and USPS Tracking. For payment options for parts ordered or services performed, or to make a donation to my websites, I accept cash (in person), USPS Postal Money Orders, cashier's checks, business checks, MasterCard, VISA, Discover, American Express (please add 2.5% to the total for the credit/debit card processor's surcharge), Western Union Money Transfer, MoneyGram Money Transfers or Popmoney. (If a part for a specific purpose is high-output ordered, your debit/credit card may be charged for the full amount or as a deposit right after your order is placed; please do not send your debit/credit card information in email!) Or you can pay me through PayPal. (My PayPal account name is my email address. And be sure to mention in PayPal a description of what the payment is for.) If sending a money order, please include a note in the envelope with your name, complete and correct postal address, phone number and a description of what the payment is for. My mailing address and phone number are below Ê . I'll make a note of your order, and I may have to order some of the parts, which should take a few days to come in, but I will send the parts to you as soon as I have everything in stock after I receive your payment.

IMPORTANT - When sending your part(s) to me for rebuilding or repair, package everything securely so the item(s) won't get damaged in shipping and please include a note in the box with your name, mailing address, phone number (in case I have any questions) and a description of what you want done. When shipping heavy parts, it's best to put a slightly smaller box inside a larger box, to double the strength and integrity of the package. Because the clumsy "gorillas" or incompetent and uncaring workers that work for certain delivery services mishandle the heavy packages and don't care. And when the work is completed, I'll either call or email you an invoice with the total including shipping & handling.

To figure the shipping cost, I weigh the package with the parts, then I go online to the USPS Postage Rate Calculator website. I type in the weight, my zip code and your zip code, then it shows me the prices for various ways to ship the package. I always choose US Postal Service because I believe that's the most fastest, economical and reliable method.

Shipping: (United States and it's territories)
To save you shipping charges, item(s) in a package or cushioned envelope weighing less than 13 oz. is sent by First Class Mail for a 2-6 day delivery. Most packaged item(s) weighing over 13 oz. is sent by US Priority Mail for a 2-3 day delivery. To save you even more on shipping heavy items, I always try to use the US Postal Services' Flat Rate Priority Mail envelope and boxes (if the item(s) can fit inside the envelope or boxes). Some heavy items weighing no more than 70 lbs. is sent by US Mail Parcel Post. Item(s) weighing over 70 lbs. is sent by FedEx Ground. Again, if you're the kind of person who don't trust delivery/shipping companies (mis)handling your high-dollar and fragile merchandise, you can always make the long drive to A-1 Miller's shop to personally drop off and/or pick up your engine, transaxle, tractor, etc.

We Ship to Canada and Worldwide -
Item(s) in a package or cushioned envelope weighing less than 1 lb. is sent by US Postal Service Airmail Letter Post for a 4-7 days delivery. Packaged item(s) weighing over 1 lb. and up to 66 lb. is sent by US Postal Service Airmail Parcel Post for a 4-10 days delivery. I cannot use the US Postal Services' Flat Rate Priority Mail envelopes and boxes to ship outside U.S. territories. Item(s) weighing over 67 lbs. or more is sent by FedEx Ground or equivalent services.


We Accept PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, American Express & Discover Credit & Debit Cards
(When placing an order through PayPal, please provide a list of which parts you need.)

To make a payment to me through PayPal, go to PayPal's secure website ( https://www.paypal.com/ ) and click on Send and Request -> Pay for goods or services. Type in my email address, or copy and paste this: pullingtractor@aol.com, the amount and follow the directions. Be sure to mention in PayPal a description of what the payment is for. After you've finished, PayPal will send me an email notifying me that you have made a payment to me for the product(s) or services and amount entered. Then I go to their website and direct PayPal to deposit the money in my bank account. And I will send the parts to you as soon as I receive your payment. But I may have to order some of the parts if they're not in stock, which should take a few days. In that case, I will send you the parts as soon as they come in. PayPal protects your financial privacy and security. With PayPal, privacy is built in. It's a way for you to pay without exposing their financial information.


Coming Soon - Detailed Illustrated Plans on How to Construct a Professional Pull-Back Garden Tractor Pulling Sled, and a Motorized/Self-Propelled Garden Tractor Pulling Sled. FYI - My professionally-built motorized/self-propelled pulling sled, Track Master (click the picture to the right to see a larger image of my sled), is the only one I've ever built and I got it right the first time, with very few changes that had to be made to it. I guess I'm just one of those kind of guys that knows what he's doing. Pullers really like pulling my sled, too. They say it's the best sled they've ever pulled. (Not bragging, just stating the truth.) By the way - Track Master sled is engineered so well (by Brian Miller), other sled owners/builders have copied my well thought-out and proven design. Anyway, I have lots of work to do in my shop and I work on the sled plans in my spare time. As soon as my plans with an inventory list of parts to use are perfected, I'll post the update in my websites. Remember - Perfection takes time. If it's worth having, it's worth waiting for. Also, I plan to acquire a bigger shop and I may build high quality garden tractor pulling sleds in the future to offer for sale. Please call me at 573-256-0313 (shop) or 573-881-7229 (cell), or email me at pullingtractor@aol.com or pullingtractor@yahoo.com if you're interested. - Brian Miller


à Return to Main Pulling Tips Page | Return To Previous Page | Reputable Garden Pulling Tractor Engine Builders, Parts Suppliers and Service Providers | Hot Links to Reputable Garden Tractor Pulling Clubs and Associations | Top of Page

Copyright © 1996-Present. This website created, designed and maintained by Brian Miller.