Ignition Solutions for Older Small Engines and Garden Pulling Tractors

Serving the Small Engine and Garden Tractor Pulling Community Since 1996. Where Science and Common Sense Come Together for Safety and Better Engine Performance
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Updated 4/18/20. (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...
Safety First! Learn how to fabricate a foolproof killswitch for a competition pulling tractor. Learn how to accurately set the [points and condenser] ignition timing on virtually any gas engine (without using a feeler gauge).
Learn how to set the [points and condenser] ignition timing on an aluminum block flathead Tecumseh engine. Replace the Points and Condenser in a Magneto Ignition System with a Universal Solid State Electronic Ignition Module.
100% Maintenance-Free, Electronic Ignition Systems That Operate Off the Flywheel End of a Lawn & Garden Small Engine - Eliminates Points and Condenser. 100% Maintenance-Free, Crank-Trigger Electronic Ignition Systems That Operate Off the PTO End of a Competition Pulling Small Engine - Eliminates Points and Condenser.
Click or tap here for custom-made self-contained electronic ignition systems for Tecumseh engine models VH80, VH100, HH80, HH100, HH120, OH120, OH140, OH150, OH160 and OH180. Learn how to use a GM 4-Pin HEI (High Energy Ignition) distributor assembly on an older automotive, farm-use, etc., engine (Hybrid Ignition System).

Cub Cadet Factory Wiring Diagrams (http://www.cubfaq.com/wiringdiagrams.html)

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 male plug and matching female receptacle. About 4 feet length of minimum 14 gauge 2-wire lamp cord will also be needed. Connect the wires so both the battery-powered ignition system and electric fuel pump circuits will be disabled when the plug is pulled from the receptacle.

Here's how to connect the wires:

  1. Inside the electrical male plug, connect the two flat terminals/prongs together with a short, bare wire. This will complete the circuit to power the battery-powered ignition system and electric fuel pump. Don't run any wires outside the plug. Do not connect any wire to the neutral terminal/prong in the plug or receptacle. The neutral prong will help secure the plug in the receptacle when pulling.
  2. Securely fasten a medium size steel key ring on the end of the male plug so the hook on the killswitch pull cable can connect to it.
  3. Route the 2-wire lamp 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. And make sure the cord is routed/fastened securely to prevent it from being damaged or wrapped around the clutch assembly and/or driveshaft!
  4. Simple Diagram of the Killswitch CircuitConnect each wire of the 2-wire lamp cord to each terminal inside the female receptacle. Do not connect any wire to the neutral terminal.
  5. Connect one of the wires on the 2-wire lamp cord to the ignition switch terminal that connects to the battery positive (+) post.
  6. Connect the other wire of the 2-wire lamp cord to the wire that goes to the ignition coil positive (+) terminal and electric fuel pump.
  7. For safety, install an inline fuse holder (within easy access) or an automatic circuit breaker with a minimum 5 amp rating in case the 2-wire lamp cord becomes shorted to ground. By doing this, if a short occurs, the fuse will need to be replaced, and the circuit breaker will automatically reset itself until the short is fixed.
  8. Fabricate a secure bracket to mount the female receptacle to the center rear of the tractor, just above the drawbar/hitch.
  9. Test the killswitch with the engine running and fuel pump working by pulling on the steel ring to make sure it works as it should.

Or for a self-energizing magneto or solid state electronic 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 is pulled, it grounds the ignition coil from producing any spark, instantly killing the engine. If using this type of kill switch with a self-energizing magneto or solid state electronic ignition system: Connect one wire to the engine or chassis ground, and connect the other wire to the ignition points/condenser wire or to the kill terminal on the solid state electronic 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 the pin is pulled (the engine will die), immediately shut off the ignition switch to prevent power going to the ignition coil (and electronic ignition module if equipped with crank-trigger ignition) to keep from over-heating and burning up. This type of switch will 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 DC 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 rev up, or if it did rev up, it may run very erratic. Click or tap 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 revved up. Click or tap 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, produce 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" at full throttle, 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 to rev up 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 revs up, 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 rev up. Due to coil saturation, certain coils require two medium 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 revved up. Click or tap 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, which are two metal contacts with a corrosion-resistant coating made of platinum, silver or tungsten, that open and close, just like an OFF and ON switch. Magneto ignition systems have breaker points, a condenser/capacitor and an ignition coil that generates it's own electrical energy to produce the spark every time a magnet in the flywheel or rotor w/magnet pass the coil. All self-generating magneto ignition coils requires a grounding-type OFF-ON toggle/flip switch or an OFF-ON key switch (for security purposes) 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.
    • IMPORTANT - A 12 volt battery has absolutely nothing to do with powering a magneto ignition system. All self-energizing magneto ignition systems get their power from the magnets on the flywheel, which generates an electrical charge in the primary windings of the coil. This is how the spark is made. If a battery is used to power a magneto ignition, it would burn up the coil instantly. Only battery-powered ignition systems, such as on virtually all vintage automobiles, antique farm tractors, garden tractors, etc., require a battery to energize the ignition system. And no charging system is required with a magneto ignition system. The charging system is only required to recharge the battery and provide power to fully energize electrical accessories, such as the [battery-powered] ignition system, electric PTO clutch, lighting, etc.
    • 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 [magneto] OFF-IGNITION-START key switch will need to be changed to an OFF-IGNITION-START key switch that's designed for battery ignition. Or, an OFF-ON toggle/flip switch or [security] key switch, or an OFF-IGNITION-START 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 Electronic 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 produce 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/module requires a grounding-type OFF-ON toggle/flip switch or [security] key 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 electronic ignition is self-energizing. Therefore, it does not require an outside electrical source, such as a battery. Solid state electronic ignition is pretty much maintenance free, with very few parts to wear out or become defective. Solid state electronic 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. Breakerless ignition is a technology that is still in use today in the form of magnetic pickup coils or proximity sensors used in various small engines and automotive engines. 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 Electronic 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 Electronic 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 Electronic 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 governed 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 DC 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. This pushrod allows maximum opening of the points so the ignition timing can be set at factory specifications. 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 DC 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.

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.


How to Test an Ignition Coil to Find if it's in Good Condition to Produce a Strong Spark -

First of all, the metal casing or the laminations on battery-ignition coils do not need to be connected to the engine or chassis ground (battery negative (–) post). Only the ground wire on magneto and solid state ignition coils must be grounded for it to work. Anyway, on a battery-ignition coil, the primary windings is connected from the positive terminal (battery positive (+) post) to the negative terminal engine/chassis ground (ignition points/condenser; 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 and the part to be tested are warmed to room temperature (72°F) 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 conductor 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 burning of nitrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere when they are energized, and the snapping sound is breaking of the sound barrier resulting in a very tiny sonic boom released from the rapid burning and explosion of the nitrogen and oxygen.

Metal Core Conductor Spark Plug Wires VS Suppression/Carbon Core Spark Plug Wires, and Non-Resistor/Copper Core Spark Plugs VS Resistor-Type Spark Plugs - (Added 2/26/20)

When testing the resistance of a metal core conductor spark plug wire versus a suppression/carbon core spark plug wire with an ohm meter, the meter will show no resistance with the metal core conductor wire, and it will show about half (40%-50%) of resistance with the suppression/carbon core wire. It takes about 10,000-12,000 volts to fire the average spark plug in an engine. Therefore, most high-output/performance ignition coils that produce a minimum of 30,000 volts, like the ones used in most automobiles, are able to fire a [quality made] suppression/carbon core spark plug wire and a resistor-type spark plug with no problem, because about half the voltage from the coil goes through the wire and plug. But if a [quality made] suppression/carbon core spark plug wire and a resistor-type spark plug is used with a standard output ignition coil that produce 15,000-20,000 volts, like the ones used on most small engines, it may not be able to successfully fire the plug under full compression (wide open throttle). This is why ALL magneto/solid state small engine ignition coils use a copper core spark plug wire, and Kohler uses metal core conductor spark plug wire(s) with a compact- or standard-size ignition coil. If a metal core conductor spark plug wire and non-resistor/copper core spark plug is used with a high-output/performance ignition coil, such as the popular Bosch blue coil, the coil will only produce 10,000-12,000 to fire the plug. It will NEVER produce the maximum voltage it was designed for through the metal core wire and copper core plug. Only most factory automotive engines since 1974 with electronic ignition use a high-output coil, suppression/carbon core spark plug wires and resistor-type spark plugs. The reason suppression/carbon core spark plug wires and resistor-type spark plugs are used is because these eliminate high frequency radio-air-waves, which cause static (rapid tick-tick-tick sound) on most car radios and TVs with an antenna when you drive by a house. Single- or twin-cylinder small engines with only one or two metal core spark plug wires don't produce enough radio-air-waves to cause static on most radios and TVs.

Self-energizing small engine magneto ignition coils and battery-powered coils with either points and condenser or electronic ignition must be used with a metal core conductor spark plug wire and a copper core/non-resistor spark plug. Most automobiles with electronic ignition have suppression/carbon core spark plug wires. However, if a suppression/carbon core spark plug wire and/or a resistor type spark plug is used with a magneto or battery-powered ignition coil, the coil may operate at a much higher than normal temperature (too hot to the touch), and either the coil will fail or the engine will idle well, but hesitate to rev up at high RPM due to he high resistance in the suppression/carbon core spark plug wire and/or a resistor type spark plug. And avoid using a suppression/carbon core spark plug wire with an electronic ignition system on a small engine! 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.

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

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 test 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 burning of nitrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere when they are energized, and the snapping sound is breaking of the sound barrier resulting in a very tiny sonic boom released from the rapid burning and explosion of the nitrogen and oxygen.) 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 electronic, 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 test and measure the voltage output of the ignition coil. The spark of a typical self-energizing magneto or solid state electronic 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 electronic 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.

FYI - If the spark plug's tip is black and/or has wet gas on it, and if the carburetor has been thoroughly cleaned (multiple times), but you think the problem is still in the carburetor, well, the carburetor is probably working fine because the engine is obviously getting plenty of fuel. As an older, experienced mechanic once said: "Sometimes carburetor problems are electrical." Meaning a faulty/weak ignition system. There is also another old saying: "Sometimes ignition problems are mechanical." Meaning a loose or poor wiring connection, or a faulty ignition switch. [Return to previous paragraph, section or website]


No Spark Situation on a Small Engine -

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

  1. Need to rule out all possibilities first! Remove and test the condition of the original spark plug in the engine. With the spark plug wire connected, place the spark plug on a metal engine part, and while cranking the engine, observe for spark at the spark plug's tip. If there's a red or white spark, then the spark plug is definitely fouled and needs replacing. But if there's no spark, then the spark plug may or may not be fouled, or the ignition system may be faulty.
  2. Universal Spark TesterUse a new copper core spark plug to test for spark. The new spark plug should have a loud, snappy-sounding brilliant blue spark. Or connect the spark plug wire to a fixed ignition spark tester or an adjustable ignition strength tester to check for spark. For a magneto ignition system that's in excellent condition with points and condenser, the spark should jump a gap of about 5/8" (10,000-12,000 volts).
  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 points contacts or replace the points if excessively worn or burnt. FYI - Sometimes oxidation will form on points contacts from sitting in storage. This happens A LOT on ignition points, small engine and automotive. Use a clean steel fingernail file to remove the oxidation between the points contacts, then drag a piece of clean lint-free paper through the points contacts while they are closed to remove any left-over residue. And 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 debris and metal filings from the ignition points contacts. This will guarantee 100% connection with the points. Do not use sanding material, such as sandpaper or emery cloth, to clean ignition points contacts! These will leave a gritty residue between the contacts, causing a faulty connection.
  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 rev up, 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.

Self-Energizing Solid State Electronic Ignition -

  1. Need to rule out all possibilities first! Remove and test the condition of the original spark plug in the engine. With the spark plug wire connected, place the spark plug on a metal engine part, and while cranking the engine, observe for spark at the spark plug's tip. If there's a red or white spark, then the spark plug is definitely fouled and needs replacing. But if there's no spark, then the spark plug may or may not be fouled, or the ignition system may be faulty.
  2. Universal Spark TesterUse a new copper core spark plug to test for spark. The new spark plug should have a loud, snappy-sounding brilliant blue spark. Or connect the spark plug wire to a fixed ignition spark tester or an adjustable ignition strength tester to check for spark. For a solid state ignition system that's in excellent condition, the spark should jump a gap of about 5/8" (10,000-12,000 volts).
  3. If no spark, test the condition of the ignition wiring (kill wire), spark plug wire, ignition switch, safety switches and for correct or faulty connections. FYI - if the solid state ignition system is in good condition, the engine will still produce a spark even with a sheared aluminum flywheel key.
  4. If still no spark, check that the kill wire coming from the coil/module isn't grounded to the engine or a metal part.
  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 electronic ignition coil with molded-in module may need replacing.

Battery-Powered Ignition with Points and Condenser/Capacitor -

  1. Need to rule out all possibilities first! Remove and test the condition of the original spark plug in the engine. With the spark plug wire connected, place the spark plug on a metal engine part, and while cranking the engine, observe for spark at the spark plug's tip. If there's a red or white spark, then the spark plug is definitely fouled and needs replacing. But if there's no spark, then the spark plug may or may not be fouled, or the ignition system may be faulty.
  2. Universal Spark TesterUse a new copper core spark plug to test for spark. The new spark plug should have a loud, snappy-sounding brilliant blue spark. Or connect the spark plug wire to a fixed ignition spark tester or an adjustable ignition strength tester to check for spark. For a battery-powered ignition system that's in excellent condition with a small size epoxy-encapsulated ignition coil, the spark should jump a gap of about 5/8" (10,000-12,000 volts). With a full size stock canister coil, the spark should jump a gap of about 3/4" (15,000-20,000 volts). But with a high-output/performance coil, the spark should jump a gap of about 1-1/4" (30,000-40,000 volts).
  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 sanding material, such as 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 debris and metal filings from the ignition points contacts and then drag a piece of lint-free paper through the points contacts while they are closed to remove any left-over residue.
  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)

If there's a strong spark at the spark plug(s) tip (snappy blue color spark), and the engine will not start, then 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


[Return to previous paragraph, section or website]


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 rev up 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 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 test the value of the ohms resistance to be 100% certain that the coil will be suitable for the ignition system it is designed for. Being virtually all ignition coils (and ballast resistors) look alike and there's no indication on them of their ohms resistance, before purchasing a new coil (or ballast resistor), take a digital multimeter in the small engine shop, auto parts store, farm & home store, etc. with you and test the item for its ohms resistance just to make sure you get what you pay for. Click or tap here to learn how to test 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 epoxy encapsulated coil that can withstand high engine vibrations 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 coils produce up to 45,000 volts, too. So for the little difference in price, accept no substitutes! 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 electronic, 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 30,000-45,000 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 impedance 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 impedance 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 medium 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 conductor spark plug wire and copper core/non-resistor 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 secondary wire windings than in a standard-output/stock coil. This is how they produce more voltage to create 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 medium 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 medium 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 medium 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 the 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 medium 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 medium capacity (Kohler) condensers/capacitors or one high capacity/performance condenser/capacitor. But it will produce 100% voltage with two medium 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 revved up. Click or tap 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 contacts will not last long and burn up prematurely 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 medium 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 revved up. Click or tap 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 1.6 ohm ballast resistors, 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 points contacts. And two medium 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 rev up to full speed (wide open throttle) with no hesitation or misfire. Also, the DIS coil is a high-output/performance coil that produce 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 medium 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 revved up. Click or tap 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.

How to Install Electronic Ignition on a Kohler engine model K482, K532 and K582 - (Added 3/14/19) More information to be added later.

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 analog voltage regulator or solid state electronic voltage rectifier/regulator. 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 electronic 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/non-resistor 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 rev up 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 electronic ignition coil/modules. Therefore, it's best to use a high quality spark plug with a copper core/non-resistor 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 conductor 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.


The E3 Spark Plug -

When using E3 spark plugs, for a stronger spark, use the copper core/non-resistor 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 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 (detects a magnet) 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 rev up. 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! Also, since I began repairing small engines in 1982, I've heard great things about NGK spark plugs and how many people brag about them, but in my personal experiences, I found that they are nothing but junk! Personally, before installing the [correct type of] NGK spark plug in an 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! NGK spark plugs have also been known to cause a good ignition coil to fail prematurely. 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 perhaps they should purchase a winning lottery ticket, too. And it's best to use new AC Delco, Autolite or Champion copper core spark plugs so the ignition coil will last longer. FYI - The blue color is made by burning of nitrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere when they are energized, and the snapping sound is breaking of the sound barrier resulting in a very tiny sonic boom released from the rapid burning and explosion of the nitrogen and oxygen.

I've found that Autolite and Champion copper core/non-resistor 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 electronic ignition. Resistor plugs will cause a good magneto or solid state electronic ignition coil/module 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 conductor 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 tested 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 conductor 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 tested for it's ohms resistance. The best way to determine if a spark plug wire has a carbon- or metal core conductor 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 conductor 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 or tap here to learn how to test the ohms resistance of a spark plug wire or spark plug boot/terminal.

Copper core/non-resistor spark plugs, such as the Autolite 216 and Champion 844 (H10C), and small engine spark plug wires, which have a metal conductor wire, are the best things to use for competition pulling. By using a copper core/non-resistor plug and metal core conductor 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/non-resistor 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 revved up. 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 conductor wire type, it can be tested 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 conductor 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 produce 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.


Index the Spark Plug(s) to Help Increase Engine Horsepower and Torque -

An indexing washer is a special washer of a specific thickness. They are placed on the threads of the spark plug(s) to position it with the open/exposed gap facing 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 or burning of the fuel so the engine will produce up to 10% more power and torque when using a tractor under extreme conditions, such as heavy mowing, garden plowing, pushing/blowing snow, or for competition pulling. 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 in the head, use a black felt tip ink marker (Sharpie, Magic Marker, Marks-A-Lot) to place a mark (line) on the porcelain in-line with the open gap at the tip of spark plug as shown in the picture to the right. And on flat seat spark plugs, leave the original compression washer on the spark plug and add the indexing washer(s) as needed until the open gap faces the piston.

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]

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Indexing Washers for Flat Seat Spark Plugs with 14mm Threads. Position spark plug in combustion chamber with open/exposed gap facing the center of the piston in flathead engines for up to 10% more power and torque when using tractor under extreme conditions, such as heavy mowing, garden plowing, pushing/blowing snow, or for competition pulling. To know exactly where the open gap is when the spark plug is installed, use a felt tip ink marker (Sharpie, Magic Marker, Marks-A-Lot) to place a mark (line) on the porcelain in-line with the open gap at the tip of the spark plug as shown in the picture to the right. And on flat seat spark plugs, leave the original compression washer on the spark plug and add the indexing washer(s) as needed so the open gap faces the piston. Available in the following thicknesses: .005", .010" and .015". Made of hardened steel. .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 in OHV engines for up to 10% more power and torque when using tractor under extreme conditions, such as heavy mowing, garden plowing, pushing/blowing snow, or for pulling competition. Made of copper. Available in the following thicknesses: .010", .021" and .032". $1.50 each, plus shipping & handling.


How to Test 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 tested as follows:

  1. Spark plug wires can be accurately tested with either an analog or digital multimeter, but the accuracy of testing the internal resistor in a coil, ballast resistor or ignition resistor wire is more complicated when performed with an analog multimeter. Therefore, the most accurate and easiest way to test the ohms resistance of the before mentioned is with a digital multimeter (DMM, DVOM). Make sure the battery is fully charged in either multimeter, and that the digital multimeter and the part to be tested are warmed to room temperature (72º) 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 felt tip ink 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.

Being virtually all ignition coils and ballast resistors look alike and there's no indication on them of their ohms resistance, before purchasing a new coil or ballast resistor, take a digital multimeter in the small engine shop, auto parts store, farm & home store, etc. with you and test the item for its ohms resistance to make sure you get what you pay for. [Return to previous paragraph, section or website]

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If you would like to purchase any of the parts or services listed 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; text or when leaving a voice message, please speak slowly and clearly). 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.) E-mail: pullingtractor@aol.com. When you call, text, email or visit our shop, you will be dealing directly with the owner for the best customer service. 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. 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 make the long drive to A-1 Miller's shop to personally drop off and/or pick up your carburetor, clutch assembly, engine, transaxle, tractor, etc. "The road to a friend's house (or shop) is never long." (We're planning to relocate to other property with a bigger and better shop so we can provide many more high quality parts and professional services.)
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.
Replace the Points and Condenser in a Magneto Ignition System with a Universal Solid State Electronic Ignition Module
  • Designed to convert a self-energizing magneto ignition system into the more reliable and dependable electronic ignition. Will NOT work with 12 volt battery-powered ignition systems. (Module will burn up instantly when power is supplied.)
  • Upgrade the magneto ignition system on virtually any engine with the latest technology! Do away with the ignition points and condenser/capacitor (plug the points pushrod hole), and install a solid state electronic 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 electronic 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 electronic 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 momentarily 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 Wiring 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 electronic ignition coil/module or multiple magnets under the flywheel with ignition coil under the flywheel, too. Scroll down for wiring diagrams and installation instructions Ê.

Wiring Diagram and Installation Instructions for Universal Solid State Electronic Magneto Ignition Module are as follows:

  1. Fasten the module to the engine sheet metal that has plenty of cool air circulation with the supplied mounting screw.
  2. Connect the supplied wire to one of the terminals on the module and to engine ground.
  3. The ignition coil has two small wires coming out of it. Leave the original (short) wire connected (grounded) to the stator laminations, and connect the wire that went to the points and condenser to the unused terminal on the module.
  4. Remove the spark plug from the cylinder head, and connect the high tension coil wire to a new spark plug positioned on a (grounded) metal part of the engine.
  5. Crank the engine rapidly, and at the same time, observe for a blue, snappy spark. If there's no spark, try reversing the two wires on the module. (This is due to reverse polarity in the flywheel magnet.)
3/16" Plug to Replace Kohler Points Pushrod. Use in Kohler engine models K90/K91, K141, K160/K161, K181, K241, K301, K321, K341, K361, K482, K532 and K582 when converting from magneto to solid state ignition (above), Magnum solid state ignition, flywheel- or crank-trigger electronic ignition (further down in this website). Install with a medium size hammer; fits very tight. OEM Briggs & Stratton part #'s 231143, 692882. $6.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

Block-Off Plate to Cover Kohler Points Pushrod Hole. Use in Kohler engine models K90/K91, K141, K160/K161, K181, K241, K301, K321, K341, K361, KT17, KT17 Series II, KT19, KT19 Series II, K482, K532 and K582 when converting from magneto to solid state ignition (above), Magnum solid state ignition, or flywheel- or crank-trigger electronic ignition (further down in this website). Made of 1/8" thickness aluminum or steel. Apply RTV silicone sealant to prevent oil leak and use OEM ignition points mounting screws to secure in place. A-1 Miller part. An original, ingenious and innovative concept by Brian Miller. Please accept no advertised copycat product of this kind. (But I do appreciate them acknowledging my intelligence.) $4.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

NOTE: The alternative to using either of the above items is to remove the ignition points and points pushrod. Place the pushrod on a flat, hard surface, and use a hammer and sharp flat cold chisel to lightly create knurled raised places or marks midway on the pushrod. Then install the pushrod in the engine block with the hammer. The knurling will retain the pushrod in place. [Return to previous paragraph, section or website]

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 magneto or 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. Or magneto ignition system can be upgraded with the virtually trouble- and maintenance-free electronic transistorized ignition module or battery-powered flywheel-trigger/crank-trigger ignition for a stronger and more stable spark, quicker starts, better idle and smoother running engine.
  • 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, add $1.00.


Hex Socket Head (Allen) Cap Screw w/split lock washer for Easier Adjustment of the Ignition Points on Kohler single cylinder engines. Replaces the slotted head adjustment screw in points. This Allen screw makes it much easier to precisely set the point gap and/or ignition timing with a 9/64" hex (Allen) L-wrench in garden tractors with a longitudinal engine, such as Cub Cadet, Economy Power King, Ford, hydrostatic-drive John Deere, Pennsylvania Panzer, Meteor, Copar, etc., so the points will not slip out of adjustment. No need to use this on garden tractors with a transverse engine, such as older Bolens, John Deere, Sears Suburban, Wheel Horse, etc. NOTE: The threads in aftermarket points may need to be recut with a 8-32 UNF hand tap for this adjustment screw. And due to risk of stripping threads in the thin metal points bracket, do not over-tighten this adjustment screw! An original, ingenious and innovative concept by Brian Miller. Please accept no advertised copycat product of this kind. (But I do appreciate them acknowledging my intelligence.)
  • Hex Socket (Allen) Head Cap Screw w/split lock washer. $1.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • 9/64" Hex (Allen) L-Wrench. Measures 7/8" wide x 2-1/2" length. Made of high strength black alloy steel. $3.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

High Quality Adjustable Chevy (GM) Ignition Points with Stiff Spring for Quick Reaction at High Engine RPMs. Includes locking/jam nut. Loosen nut with a 5/16" wrench, set ignition timing with adjustment screw (and timing light), and tighten nut to prevent adjusting screw from vibrating out of adjustment due to high engine RPM. For use on Kohler competition pulling engines only. An original and ingenious idea by Brian Miller. $15.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

Phillips and Socket Head (Allen) screws with split lock washers for mounting of ignition points and points cover on Kohler engines. These type of screws make for easier fastening of points and points cover to engine block in hard-to-get places than the OEM slotted head screws on garden tractors with a transverse engine, such as older Bolens, belt-drive John Deere, Sears Suburban, Wheel Horse, etc. Each screw replaces Kohler part # X-131-1-S. Dimensions: 10-24 UNC x 3/8" thread length. An original, ingenious and innovative concept by Brian Miller. Please accept no advertised copycat product of this kind. (But I do appreciate them acknowledging my intelligence.) TIP: When installing a screw to keep it from falling out of the screwdriver, for ordinary steel screws, temporarily magnetize the screwdriver by rubbing a magnet along the length of the shank, or for stainless steel screws, apply a dab of grease in the head of the screw.
  • New Phillips head w/split lock washers. $1.00 per pair, plus shipping & handling.
  • New Socket Head (Allen) cap screws w/split lock washers. $2.00 per pair, plus shipping & handling.
Ignition Points Pushrods for Kohler K-series engine models K141, K160/K161 and K181. Each made of 304 stainless steel. OEM points pushrod is made of aluminum. NOTE: Used OEM pushrod to be no less than 1.265" in length and .184" in diameter. Measure accurately to determine if need replacing.
  • Stainless Steel. High quality aftermarket. Replaces Kohler part # 41 411 01-S. $5.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Aluminum. OEM Kohler part # 41 411 01-S. $22.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Flared-End Stainless Steel Points Pushrod. Install this special-made points pushrod when the points lobe on the camshaft is severely worn. Flared-end makes contact with unworn areas (sides) of points lobe on camshaft. This pushrod allows maximum opening of points so ignition timing can be set at factory specifications. Can also be used with an unworn points lobe for longer wear. NOTE: Engine or governor assembly MUST be completely disassembled to install this part. The alternative to using this part is to install a custom-made flywheel- or crank-trigger electronic ignition system. An original, ingenious and innovative concept invented by Brian Miller. Please accept no advertised copycat product of this kind. (But I do appreciate them acknowledging my intelligence.) 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. NOTE: Used OEM pushrod to be no less than 1.500" in length and .184" in diameter. Measure accurately to determine if need replacing.
  • Stainless Steel. High quality aftermarket. Replaces Kohler part # 47 411 04-S. $5.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Aluminum. OEM Kohler part # 46 411 01-S. $11.90 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Stainless Steel. OEM Kohler part # 47 411 04-S. $17.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Aluminum. (Listed for K482, K532 and K582 engines.) OEM Kohler part # X-489-8-S. $31.70 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Flared-End Stainless Steel Points Pushrod. Install this special-made points pushrod when the points lobe on the camshaft or breaker cam inside the governor assembly is severely worn. Flared-end makes contact with unworn areas (sides) of points lobe. This pushrod allows maximum opening of points so ignition timing can be set at factory specifications. Can also be used with an unworn points lobe for longer wear. NOTE: Engine or governor assembly MUST be completely disassembled to install this part. The alternative to using this part is to install a custom-made flywheel- or crank-trigger electronic ignition system. An original, ingenious and innovative concept invented by Brian Miller. Please accept no advertised copycat product of this kind. (But I do appreciate them acknowledging my intelligence.) $15.00 each, plus shipping & handling. [Return to previous paragraph, section or website]
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. Each prevents any leakage of crankcase oil from contaminating points contacts.
  • Neoprene Rubber O-Ring. Installs on points pushrod close to engine block, and allows any leakage of crankcase oil to drip down, staying off points contacts. .50¢ each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Diaphragm Seal. Made of translucide, silicone rubber. Slides over points pushrod and is held in place by points bracket. IMPORTANT - Before installing, apply clean motor oil, gear oil or lubricating grease inside seal lip or on points pushrod to prevent premature wear and possible oil leakage of the seal. Also used as part of the flywheel guard on various Kohler Magnum engine models M10-M16. OEM Kohler part # 220074-S. $5.65 each, plus shipping & handling. [Return to previous paragraph, section or website]
Oil-Embedded Bronze Sleeve Bushing to Repair Worn 3/16" Ignition Points Pushrod Hole in Kohler Engines. Dimensions: 3/16" I.D. x 1/4" O.D. x 5/8" length. To install, the points pushrod hole will need to be precision-machined (enlarged) exactly to .250" (1/4") for a press-fit installation.
  • $4.00 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.
  • $2.00 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 against cover and prevents dust and dirt from contaminating points contacts. FYI: RTV Silicone Adhesive Sealant will serve the same purpose.
  • OEM Kohler part # 220297-S. $4.20 each, plus shipping & handling. Not available in aftermarket. L
"Assemble It Yourself" Points-to-Coil Ignition Wire Kit. 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 frayed/cracked insulation OEM wire and/or broken connector(s) to prevent a short circuit and/or engine misfire. Includes 22" 16 gauge stranded copper wire (cut to length if desired), two slip-on crimp connectors and OEM Kohler points cover grommet. High quality A-1 Miller part. $5.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.

Assembled Points-to-Coil Ignition Wire Kits -

  • 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.
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.)
Low Capacity Ignition Condensers/Capacitors. Each designed for use with self-energizing magneto ignition or a 12 volt small-size epoxy encapsulated ignition coil. Use on Kohler engine models K90/K91, K141, K160/K161, K181, K330/K331, KT17, KT17 Series II, KT19, KT19 Series II, K482, K532 and K582. Including Tecumseh cast iron block engine models HH80, HH100, HH120 with magneto ignition, Onan model P, and various other makes and models of small engines with a small size ignition coil. Body length: 33 mm, width: 17 mm. NOTE: If an engine idles well, but runs erratically when revved up, 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 revved up. Click or tap here to hear what an engine with a faulty condenser/capacitor sounds like. NOTE: Magneto ignition system can be upgraded with the virtually trouble- and maintenance-free electronic transistorized ignition module or battery-powered flywheel-trigger/crank-trigger ignition for a stronger and more stable spark, quicker starts, better idle and smoother running engine.
  • 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. No longer available from Kohler. Replaces Kohler part # 220434-S, and Tecumseh part # 32015. $15.00 each, plus shipping & handling.


Medium Capacity Ignition Condensers/Capacitors. Designed for use with standard-output 12 volt ignition coils. Will not work with a high-output/performance 30,000+ volt (Bosch) coil or a distributor-driven ignition system. Use on Kohler engine models K90/K91, K141, K160/K161, K181, K241, K301, K321, K330/K331, K341, K361, KT17, KT17 Series II, KT19, KT19 Series II, K482, K532, K582, and Tecumseh cast iron block engine models HH80, HH100, HH120, and various other makes and models of small engines with a standard size battery-powered canister-type ignition coil. Each measures: .665" diameter x 1.250" length x 3-1/2" wire length. If an engine idles well, but runs erratically when revved up, 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 revved up. Click or tap here to hear what an engine with a faulty condenser/capacitor sounds like. NOTE: Battery-powered ignition system can be upgraded with the virtually trouble- and maintenance-free flywheel-trigger/crank-trigger ignition for a stronger and more stable spark, quicker starts, better idle and smoother running engine.

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


High Capacity/Performance Ignition Condenser/Capacitor. Designed for use with a 30,000+ volt high-output/performance 12 volt ignition (Bosch) coil or a distributor-driven ignition system so engine will rev up to full throttle. Equivalent to ACCEL, Bosch, Mallory, MSD and most other name brand high performance condensers. Reuse OEM Kohler condenser/capacitor bracket/clamp where applicable. Use on Kohler engine models K90/K91, K141, K160/K161, K181, K241, K301, K321, K330/K331, K341, K361, KT17, KT17 Series II, KT19, KT19 Series II, K482, K532, K582, and Tecumseh cast iron block engine models HH80, HH100, HH120, and various other makes and models of small engines with a battery-powered ignition system. Dimensions: .665" diameter x 1.250" length x 3-1/2" wire length. If an engine has a high-output/performance ignition coil, idles poorly and revs up 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 revved up. Click or tap here to hear what an engine with a faulty condenser/capacitor sounds like. NOTE: Battery-powered ignition system can be upgraded with the virtually trouble- and maintenance-free flywheel-trigger/crank-trigger ignition for a stronger and more stable spark, quicker starts, better idle and smoother running engine.

  • 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. Has 1/4" mounting hole.

  • Used and in excellent condition. $2.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
High Quality Copper Core/Non-Resistor Spark Plugs for Kohler engine models K90/K91, most Briggs & Stratton and small Tecumseh engines. Copper core spark plugs allows ignition coil to operate cooler and last longer. Set gap at .025" with a self-energizing magneto or solid state electronic ignition system, .035" with a full size battery-powered ignition coil, and .060" with a high-output/performance battery-powered coil. 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/Non-Resistor 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. Copper core spark plugs allows ignition coil to operate cooler and last longer. For best engine performance, set gap at .025" with a self-energizing magneto or solid state electronic ignition system, .035" with a full size battery-powered ignition coil, and .060" with a high-output/performance battery-powered coil. 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/Non-Resistor Spark Plugs for Kohler engine models K241/M10, K301/M12, K330/K331, K321/M14, K341/M16, K361, K482, K532 and K582. Copper core spark plugs allows ignition coil to operate cooler and last longer. For best engine performance, set gap at .025" with a self-energizing magneto or solid state electronic ignition system, .035" with a full size battery-powered ignition coil, and .060" with a high-output/performance battery-powered coil. 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.
  • Champion® 844 (H10C) Copper Plus. $3.20 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • AC Delco C45L Copper Core. $3.50 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part # 25 132 10-S. $11.10 each, plus shipping & handling.


High Quality Copper Core/Non-Resistor Spark Plugs for Kohler engine models K241/M10, K301/M12, K330/K331, K321/M14 , K341/M16. Copper core spark plugs allows ignition coil to operate cooler and last longer. For best engine performance, set gap at .025" with a self-energizing magneto or solid state electronic ignition system, .035" with a full size battery-powered ignition coil, and .060" with a high-output/performance battery-powered coil. 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/Non-Resistor Spark Plugs for Kohler twin-cylinder flathead engine models MV16, KT17, KT17 Series II, KT19 and KT19 Series II, M18, MV18, M20 and MV20. Copper core spark plugs allows ignition coil to operate cooler and last longer. For best engine performance, set gap at .025" with a self-energizing magneto or solid state electronic ignition system, .035" with a full size battery-powered ignition coil, and .060" with a high-output/performance battery-powered coil. 14mm threads x 15/32" thread reach, tapered seat.
  • Autolite® 26 Non-Resistor. $2.50 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • 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/Non-Resistor Spark Plugs for most makes and models of OHV aluminum block single- and twin-cylinder air-cooled small engines. Copper core spark plugs allows ignition coil to operate cooler and last longer. For best engine performance, set gap at .025" with a self-energizing magneto or solid state electronic ignition system, .035" with a full size battery-powered ignition coil, and .060" with a high-output/performance battery-powered coil. 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.


High Quality Copper Core/Non-Resistor Spark Plugs for most models of Onan twin-cylinder air-cooled small engines. Copper core spark plugs allows ignition coil to operate cooler and last longer. For best engine performance, set gap at .025" with a self-energizing magneto or solid state electronic ignition system, .035" with a full size battery-powered ignition coil, and .060" with a high-output/performance battery-powered coil. 14mm threads x 11/16" thread reach, flat washer seat.

  • Autolite® 106 Non-Resistor. $2.50 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • AC Delco R44LTS Copper Core. $3.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Champion® RS17YX Copper Plus. $3.20 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 with 14mm Threads. Position spark plug in combustion chamber with open/exposed gap facing the center of the piston in flathead engines for up to 10% more power and torque when using tractor under extreme conditions, such as heavy mowing, garden plowing, pushing/blowing snow, or for competition pulling. To know exactly where the open gap is when the spark plug is installed, use a felt tip ink marker (Sharpie, Magic Marker, Marks-A-Lot) to place a mark (line) on the porcelain in-line with the open gap at the tip of the spark plug as shown in the picture to the right. And on flat seat spark plugs, leave the original compression washer on the spark plug and add the indexing washer(s) as needed until the open gap faces the piston. Available in the following thicknesses: .005", .010" and .015". Made of hardened steel. .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 in OHV engines for up to 10% more power and torque when using tractor under extreme conditions, such as heavy mowing, garden plowing, pushing/blowing snow, or for competition pulling. Made of copper. Available in the following thicknesses: .010", .021" and .032". $1.50 each, plus shipping & handling.

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 electronic 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 electronic 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 Self-Grounding OFF-ON Kill Switches for Self-Energizing Magneto Ignition w/Points and Condenser, Solid State Ignition Installed on Various Aluminum Block Engines, or OEM Solid State Ignition Installed on Tecumseh's Cast Iron Block Engines. 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 electronic module wire/terminal that kills the engine. Can be used on anything that has ignition points and condenser/capacitor magneto or solid state 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.
  • OFF-ON Toggle/Flip Switch. Comes with OFF-ON indicator plate. Use #250 slip-on female spade crimp-type wire connector on terminal when connecting ignition wire to switch. Grounded through body of switch. Requires 15/32" mounting hole. Discontinued from Kohler. Replaces Kohler part # 223072-S. $3.60 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OFF-ON Key Switch. Use for security of equipment. Grounded through body of switch. Requires 5/8" mounting hole. $9.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
High Quality Universal OFF-ON Switches for Battery-Powered Points/Condenser Ignition or Battery-Powered Flywheel/Crank-Trigger Electronic Ignition. 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.
  • OFF-ON Toggle/Flip switch. Can be used for lights, ignition, electric fuel pump, electric PTO clutch, etc. Maximum 20 amp capacity. Comes with OFF-ON indicator plate and two 6" wire leads. Requires 15/32" mounting hole. Discontinued from Kohler. Replaces Kohler part # 238011-S. $3.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OFF-ON Pull-Push Switch. Pull out = ON, Push in = OFF. Can be used for lights, ignition, electric fuel pump, electric PTO clutch, etc. Maximum 5 amp capacity. Two screw terminal connection. Requires 15/32" mounting hole. Discontinued from Kohler. Replaces Kohler part # 275713. $6.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • 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. [Return to Previous Section, Paragraph or Website]
High Quality Universal Light Duty OFF/ON 15 Amp Capacity Momentary Push Button Switch. BLACK button; Normally Open; push to connect circuit. Use as starter switch to crank engine, as a safety switch, temporarily power electrical accessories, such as light(s), etc., or to power kill switch motor (on pulling sled). Starter solenoid/relay may be required if electrical load exceeds 15 amps. Use #250 slip-on female spade crimp-type wire connectors on terminals when connecting wires to switch. Requires 15/32" mounting hole. 2-1/8" overall length. $12.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

High Quality Universal Light Duty ON/OFF 15 Amp Capacity Momentary Push Button Switch. RED button; Normally Off; push to disconnect circuit. Use as a safety switch for transmission shifter in a pulling vehicle to disconnect power to the starting circuit when transmission is in gear. Use #250 slip-on female spade crimp-type wire connectors on terminals when connecting wires to switch. Requires 15/32" mounting hole. 2-1/8" overall length. $16.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

High Quality Universal Heavy Duty 20 Amp Capacity Momentary Push Button Switch. Normally Open; push to connect circuit. 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. [Return to Previous Section, Paragraph or Website]

High Quality Universal 3-Position OFF-IGNITION-START Key Switch for use with Self-Energizing Magneto Ignition w/Points and Condenser, Solid State Ignition Installed on Various Aluminum Block Engines, or OEM Solid State Ignition Installed on Tecumseh's Cast Iron Block Engines. Use with a starter solenoid/relay to crank the engine to prevent burning out internal contacts in switch. Identification of terminals in clockwise rotation are: B = Battery (+); G = Ground (ground to body of switch); L = Lights (Auxiliary); M = Magneto (Ignition); S = Solenoid (starter). Key positions: OFF position makes contact with M+G; IGNITION position makes contact with B+L; START position makes contact with B+S. Each terminal identified for correct Wiring 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 plug-in spade connectors/wires can be rearranged in the plastic connector housing to match the corresponding terminals on the switch. To do this, use a small flat blade screwdriver to depress the locking tab/tang so the plug-in connector can be pulled out from the plastic connector housing. Bend the locking tab/tang up slightly before reinserting it in the plastic connector so it will be secured in place. Or use #250 slip-on female spade crimp-type wire connectors on terminals when connecting wires to switch. Requires 5/8" diameter mounting hole.
  • Our part # 9158. $15.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
High Quality Universal 3-Position OFF-IGNITION-START Key Switch for use with Battery-Powered Points/Condenser Ignition or Battery-Powered Flywheel/Crank-Trigger Electronic Ignition. Use with a starter solenoid/relay to prevent burning out internal contacts in switch. Identification of terminals in clockwise rotation are: I = Ignition; A = Auxiliary (lights, electric PTO clutch, etc.); R = Rectifier; B = Battery (+); S = Solenoid (starter). Key positions: OFF position = no contact; IGNITION position makes contact with B+I+R+A; START position makes contact with B+I+R+S. Each terminal identified for correct wiring 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 plug-in spade connectors/wires can be rearranged in the plastic connector housing to match the corresponding terminals on the switch. To do this, use a small flat blade screwdriver to depress the locking tab/tang so the plug-in connector can be pulled out from the plastic connector housing. Bend the locking tab/tang up slightly before reinserting it in the plastic connector so it will be secured in place. Or use #250 slip-on female spade crimp-type wire connectors on terminals when connecting wires to switch. Requires 9/16" diameter mounting hole.
Brass Slide-On Spade Wire Connector with Locking Tab/Tang. Replace damaged or broken OEM connector in plastic connector housing used on most Off-Ignition-Start key switches, voltage rectifier/regulators, etc. To remove old connector from plastic housing, depress locking tab/tang from opposite the wire end with a small flat screwdriver, and pull connector out of the housing. Solder or use terminal crimping pliers to install on wire. Before installing the new connector, make sure locking tab/tang is slightly bent outward, and slide connector into plastic housing in the correct position until it locks/snaps in place. This part was never available from Kohler.
  • $1.40 each, plus shipping & handling.
OFF-ON Main Disconnect/Cutoff Switch. Use this 100 amp capacity switch to disconnect power to everything on the equipment. Connect between battery negative (–) post and ground. Useful when equipment is not used for a period of time to prevent a slow drain on the battery, prevent short circuits when performing electrical service on equipment, or for a pulling tractor to prevent accidental starts or to prevent sabotage at the pull sites from disgruntled pullers. Copper terminals with brass hex nuts for improved continuity. Comes with protective weather cap and two removable nylon key locks. Mounting hardware not included. [Return to previous paragraph, section or website]
  • $19.00 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 electronic ignition coil/modules. Therefore, it's best to use a new high quality spark plug with a copper core/non-resistor 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 Electronic Ignition Coils with molded-in Module. FYI - All self-energizing solid state electronic ignition coils/modules require a self-grounding OFF-ON toggle/flip 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 instantly burn up the coil. And save the spark plug wire off the defective coil. It has a metal conductor, and with a battery coil terminal and rubber boot installed, it can be used in a battery-powered ignition system.

Solid State Electronic Ignition Coil with molded-in Module. Fits Kohler Magnum engine model M8. NOTE: Use with a new Autolite or Champion copper core/non-resistor spark plug of the correct type gapped at .025" for longer coil life. Install with spark plug wire facing engine block as shown in picture to the right.

  • High quality aftermarket. $61.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part # 41 584 03-S. $114.44 each, plus shipping & handling.


Solid State Electronic Ignition Coil with molded-in Module. Fits Kohler Magnum engine models M10, M12, M14 and M16. NOTE: Use with a new Autolite or Champion copper core/non-resistor spark plug of the correct type gapped at .025" for longer coil life. Install with spark plug wire facing engine block as shown in picture to the right.

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


Solid State Electronic Ignition Coil with molded-in Module. Fits Kohler Magnum opposed (flathead) twin cylinder engine models MV16, M18, MV18, M20 and MV20. NOTE: Use with new Autolite or Champion copper core/non-resistor spark plugs of the correct type gapped at .015" for longer coil life. Install with spark plug wires facing outward. Coil may fail prematurely in competition pulling with wide open throttle operation. Use crank-trigger ignition instead.

  • High quality aftermarket. $60.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part # 52 584 02-S. $196.30 each, plus shipping and handing.
Self-Energizing Solid State Electronic Ignition Coil with molded-in Magnetron™ Module. Fits Briggs and Stratton horizontal and vertical shaft opposed (flathead) twin cylinder engines. NOTE: Use with new Autolite or Champion copper core/non-resistor spark plugs of the correct type gapped at .015" for longer coil life. FYI - Any self-generating solid state ignition coil/modules requires a self-grounding OFF-ON toggle/flip 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 conductor, 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. 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 should produce a stronger spark when used with a Universal Solid State Electronic Ignition Module (see above). The short wire on the coil is for ground, the longer wire connects to the ignition points and condenser/capacitor or Universal Solid State Electronic 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 improvise when certain parts are obsolete.) Do not attempt to enlarge the hole in the coil! How magneto coils produce a spark.
  • High quality aftermarket. Discontinued from Kohler. Replaces Kohler part # 220435-S. $45.00 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. Spark plug wire not included. This coil should produce a stronger spark when used with a Universal Solid State Electronic Ignition Module (see above). Dimensions: 1.750" diameter x 1.450" length x .505" square hole.
  • New Old Stock. Discontinued from Kohler. OEM Kohler part # 231718-S. $137.00 each, plus shipping & handing. Not available in aftermarket. L

NOTE: The magneto coil wrapped with varnish-coated paper (Kohler part # 210293), and the ignition stator assembly and ring shown above È are Discontinued 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-powered 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. Common with engines mounted to a generator or welder. Set spark plug gap at .025" with each coil. This coil should produce a stronger spark when used with a Universal Solid State Electronic Ignition Module (see above).
  • High Quality Aftermarket Universal Magneto Coil. Spark plug wire molded in coil and protrudes opposite side of OEM Kohler coil. NOTE: This universal coil can be substituted for the obsolete OEM Kohler part # 275756 coil by grinding down the laminations to 1/2" x 1/2" square. Do not grind out inside of coil! To secure coil on laminations, bend one lamination over end of coil. Replaces Tecumseh part # 30560A. $25.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler Coil Without Retaining Clip. Spark plug wire NOT included with coil. Reuse existing spark plug wire. If the spark plug wire will not pull out of the old coil, simply cut it off close to the coil, and use Super Glue to secure it in the new coil. To secure coil on laminations, bend one lamination over end of coil. OEM Kohler part # 47 145 02-S. $143.70 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler Coil With Retaining Clip. Spark plug wire NOT included with coil. Reuse existing spark plug wire. If the spark plug wire will not pull out of the old coil, simply cut it off close to the coil, and use Super Glue to secure it in the new coil. To secure coil on laminations, bend one lamination over end of coil. OEM Kohler part # 47 755 20-S. $148.85 each, plus shipping & handling.
Ignition Coils for Kohler engine models K141, K161, K181, K241, K301, K321, K341 and K361, and other various makes and models of small engines (Tecumseh, etc.) with a 12 volt ignition ignition system. Each can be used with points and condenser or A-1 Miller's custom crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition. NOTE: Most failures of battery ignition coils is caused by overcharging of the electrical system due to a defective solid state electronic 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. IMPORTANT - All coils will burn up if the ignition switch is left on with the points closed for more than a few minutes with the engine not running. To prevent this from possibly happening and/or for security reasons, use an OFF-ON key switch and/or a master disconnect switch with a removable key instead of just a toggle/flip switch to power the ignition system.

(Added 1/26/20) High Quality Small Size Epoxy Encapsulated High Energy 12 Volt Ignition Coil w/3.5 ohm internal primary resistor and integrated copper core spark plug wire. Ideal for use in a compact engine compartment. Can be used for general yard and garden engines, or for competition pulling with battery ignition points and low capacity condenser, or with crank trigger ignition. Coil can withstand high engine vibrations. Dimensions - overall length of laminations: 3-1/2" x diameter of coil body: 1-1/4" x widest width of coil body: 1-1/2" x mounting hole spacing: 3-1/8" x length of spark plug wire: 13-1/2". Fasten on outside of flywheel shroud next to carburetor with two supplied 10-24 UNC or 10-32 UNF screws and spacers with matching nuts welded to inside of flywheel shroud. Use #250 slip-on female spade crimp-type wire connectors when connecting wires to this coil terminals. For general yard and garden use, set spark plug gap at .030" with this coil. $25.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

Used and in excellent condition. Standard/Full-Size 12 Volt Canister-Type Oil-Filled Ignition Coil w/3.0 or 4.0 ohm internal primary resistor and mounting bracket. 20,000 volts output. Use with medium capacity condenser. Set spark plug gap at .035" with these coils. Tested on my test engine and they work great. Comes with a 90 day limited warranty. $15.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

New Aftermarket Black Casing Standard/Full-Size 12 Volt Canister-Type Oil-Filled Ignition Coil w/3.0 ohm internal primary resistor and mounting bracket. 20,000 volts output. Use with medium capacity condenser. Set spark plug gap at .035" with this coil. Replaces Kohler part # 41 519 21-S. $25.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

New Aftermarket Aluminum Casing Standard/Full-Size 12 Volt Canister-Type Oil-Filled Ignition Coil w/3.0 ohm internal primary resistor and mounting bracket. 20,000 volts output. Use with medium capacity condenser. Set spark plug gap at .035" with this coil. Replaces Kohler part # 41 519 21-S. $35.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

OEM Kohler Coil, part # 41 519 21-S. Replaces John Deere part # AM38411 and Tecumseh part # 32080. $88.61 each, plus shipping & handling.

New High-Output/Performance Bosch Blue Standard/Full-Size 12 Volt Canister-Type Ignition Coil w/3.0 ohm internal primary resistor and mounting bracket. 30,000 volts output. Vibration-Resistant Epoxy-Filled. Set spark plug gap at .060" with this coil. Use with ignition points and two medium capacity condensers/capacitors or one high capacity/performance ignition condenser/capacitor for full coil saturation and a strong spark so engine will rev up to full speed, or can be used with ignition points and condenser or A-1 Miller's custom crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition systems. 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). $60.00 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 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 conductor spark plug wire and copper core/non-resistor 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 for Kohler twin cylinder engine models KT17, KT17 Series II, KT19 and KT19 Series II. 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 produce a strong spark, and can be used with ignition points and condenser or A-1 Miller's custom crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition systems. NOTE: Use each coil with new Autolite or Champion copper core/non-resistor spark plugs of the correct type gapped at .025" each for longer coil life. And 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 solid state electronic 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. IMPORTANT - All coils will burn up if the ignition switch is left on with the points closed for more than a few minutes with the engine not running. To prevent this from possibly happening and/or for security reasons, use an OFF-ON key switch and/or a master disconnect switch with a removable key instead of just a toggle/flip switch to power the ignition system.

High quality universal 4.0 ohm primary windings epoxy encapsulated ignition coil with molded-in dual metal conductor spark plug wires. Can withstand high engine vibrations. 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 terminals and boots included. $40.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

High quality chrome-plated 4.0 ohm primary windings oil filled ignition coil with dual metal core conductor 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. Replaces Kohler part # 52 755 48-S. $64.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

High quality aftermarket 4.0 ohm primary windings epoxy encapsulated ignition coil with metal core conductor spark plug wires. Same dimensions as OEM Kohler 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. $250.71 each, plus shipping and handing.

High Quality, Epoxy Encapsulated, Battery-Powered Ignition Coils for Kohler twin cylinder engine models K482, K532, K582, K660/K662 and Harley-Davidson motorcycles. 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. Either coil below can be used with ignition points and condenser or A-1 Miller's custom crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger electronic ignition systems. Long terminal/stud connects to ignition switch, short terminal/stud connects to points and a low capacity condenser, or electronic ignition module. NOTE: Coil mounting bracket not included - discontinued from Kohler; if needed, new mounting holes can be drilled through coil's laminations next to existing holes to match the holes in OEM Kohler mounting plate, or new holes can be drilled in the OEM Kohler 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 solid state electronic 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. Use each coil with new Autolite or Champion copper core/non-resistor spark plugs of the correct type gapped at .025" each and with metal core conductor spark plug wires for longer coil life. IMPORTANT - All coils will burn up if the ignition switch is left on with the points closed for more than a few minutes with the engine not running. To prevent this from possibly happening and/or for security reasons, use an OFF-ON key switch and/or a master disconnect switch with a removable key instead of just a toggle/flip switch to power the ignition system.
  • High quality aftermarket 12 volt coil with 5.0 ohm internal primary resistor; 20,000 volts output; suitable for use with points and standard capacity condenser/capacitor or crank-trigger electronic ignition. $55.00 each, plus shipping & handing.
  • High quality aftermarket 12 volt coil with 3.0 ohm internal primary resistor; 30,000 volts output; suitable for use with points and high capacity condenser/capacitor or crank-trigger electronic ignition. $55.00 each, plus shipping & handing.
  • OEM Kohler Coil, part # 277375-S. $293.10 each, plus shipping and handing.
High Performance Copper Core 7mm Spark Plug Wire Assemblies for Kohler engine models K161, K181, K241, K301, K321, K341 and K361, or KT17, KT17 Series II, KT19, KT19 Series II, K482, K532, K582 (with wires cut to correct length) and other makes and models of small engines with a 12 volt ignition ignition system. Universal design for many applications. Copper strand core delivers maximum energy with zero ohms resistance, which allows ignition coil to operate cooler and last longer. Solid brass terminals for maximum conductivity and corrosion resistance. Quality rubber boots keep out dirt and moisture for fast starts. Engineered for reliability and long life. Spring-lock terminals insure positive and fold for extra secure connection through the toughest conditions and multiple spark plug changes. Can be used for general lawn & garden, or for competition pulling. Don't be fooled by the dark color, these wires provide 100% voltage to the spark plug! Each come with terminals, one straight coil boot and one angled spark plug boot, as shown in the image to the right.
  • 10" length. For certain Kohler K241, K301, K321 and K341 engines with coil mounted high on flywheel shroud next to carburetor. High quality aftermarket. $5.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • 13" length. For certain Kohler K161, K181, K241, K301, K321, K341 and K361 engines with coil mounted low on flywheel shroud on carburetor side of engine, and for AQS (Quiet Line) engines. High quality aftermarket. $5.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • 22" length, or cut to length required. High quality aftermarket. $10.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • 13" length. OEM Kohler part # 238057-S. $43.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • 25-1/2" length. OEM Kohler part # 25 348 01-S. $13.65 each, plus shipping & handling.

90º Spark Plug Terminal and Boot. No need to purchase a complete new spark plug wire assembly. 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 lubricating grease. Also, this part can be used to replace the boot/terminal with an integrated resistor on certain solid state ignition coil spark plug wires so the coil will last longer.

  • High quality aftermarket. $1.20 per kit, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part # 41 131 01-S (boot only). $9.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

Straight Brass Ignition Coil Terminal. Fits female coil tower. No need to purchase a complete new spark plug wire assembly. 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 Boots. No need to purchase a new complete spark plug wire assembly. Each installs easily on 7mm size spark plug wire with lubricating grease. High quality neoprene rubber.

  • Fits 5/8" diameter coil tower. High quality aftermarket. .75¢ each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Fits 5/8" diameter coil tower. OEM Kohler part # 25 136 13-S. $1.82 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Fits 3/4" diameter coil tower. High quality aftermarket. .50¢ each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Fits 3/4" diameter coil tower. OEM Kohler part # 237923-S. $3.66 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, produce 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.

FYI - Kohler's Breakerless Ignition and Tecumseh's Solid State Ignition (SSI) systems use a key switch that's also made for a self-energizing magneto or magneto-type solid state ignition system. Unlike the key switch for a battery-powered ignition system, the Breakerless Ignition is self-energizing, and to kill the engine, the key switch grounds out or shorts the [low voltage] circuit between the energizing coil and ignition module. And the battery-powered key switch opens the circuit to kill the engine. So with the battery-powered points and condenser ignition system (along with a 12 volt coil), you will need to use a battery-powered key switch, or an OFF-ON toggle/flip switch or [security] key switch to power the ignition and a momentary push button switch to crank the engine could be used instead. If swapping out the OEM Breakerless Ignition, magneto or solid state ignition key switch for a battery-powered ignition key switch, the wire connectors in the wiring harness will need to be rearranged to match the terminals on the key switch to power the ignition, crank the engine and run other electrical accessories. I've done this before on some of my customer's garden tractors and it works great. Click or tap here for battery-powered ignition wiring diagrams.

Personally, I had a customer's John Deere model 110 with a K181 Kohler engine with magneto ignition and a 10 amp alternator charging system (the ignition coil and charging coils was on the same stator plate) in our shop for repairs. The engine would start right up and idle well, but not rev up. It would just die out when throttled up. So I cleaned the entire carburetor, including clearing out anything that may have been in the main jet, tried a new Autolite 295 copper core spark plug gapped at .025", installed a new magneto ignition coil, different flywheel, different stator assembly, but the engine would still die out, no matter what. The OEM magneto ignition/charging system would not produce a strong spark, which wouldn't allow the engine to rev up. This ignition system is obviously a notorious, poor design from Kohler. Although this ignition/charging system is still available from Kohler, Kohler discontinued installing this on their engines only after a short time (for an obvious reason). Anyway, I had no choice but to convert the engine to the more reliable battery-powered ignition system. Being the 110 has an engine compartment with a confined space, there is no place for a full-size canister 12 volt ignition coil. So I fastened a new small size epoxy encapsulated 12 volt 3.5 ohm ignition coil on the carburetor side of the flywheel shroud. I removed the flywheel shroud, located where to drill two 7/32" holes for mounting of the small coil, and tack-welded a couple of 10-24 UNC or 10-32 UNF nuts to the inside of the shroud. Then I used a couple of spacers for the coil, and fastened the coil to the shroud with a couple of matching 10-24 UNC or 10-32 UNF screws with split lock washers. (The coil looked almost factory installed.) I could have tack-welded the head of the screws on the inside of the flywheel shroud instead, and fastened the coil with a couple of nuts on the screws from the outside. Either way would've worked fine. Anyway, then I replaced the OEM 110 off-ignition-start magneto key switch with a new battery-powered ignition key switch. I traced each wire from the OEM key switch and rearranged the slide-on spade connectors in the plastic connector housing to match the terminals on the battery-powered key switch and connected the "I" terminal on the switch to the (+) terminal on the coil so the ignition system will work. I also reused the same ignition points and small [magneto ignition] condenser (my customer previously installed new points and condenser) with this small size coil. The magneto ignition condenser worked well with the small coil. I set the spark plug gap at .030" with this small coil. Anyway, when I finished, the engine started right up, idled smoothly and revved up at full throttle with no hesitation or misfire. See the picture to the right of this setup. If you have a similar ignition problem like this and if you're interested, I offer all the parts, including a new small size epoxy encapsulated 12 volt 3.5 ohm ignition coil, that can be used to convert the magneto ignition to battery-powered ignition in your tractor. See the complete ignition conversion kit(s) below. I also can convert your tractor from a faulty magneto ignition to the more reliable battery-powered ignition if you don't mind bringing your tractor to my shop. - Brian Miller Please contact A-1 Miller's if you're interested in any of these parts or services.
Convert virtually any single cylinder, air-cooled cast iron or various aluminum block small gas engine, such as Kohler, Tecumseh, Briggs & Stratton, Clinton, etc., with a failed magneto ignition system to the battery-powered ignition system. NOTE: Must use a universal automotive off/ignition/start key switch, or a push-button switch to crank the engine with an OFF-ON toggle/flip switch or [security] key switch to power this ignition. Reuse same type of spark plug and existing ignition points (if in good condition), but set the point gap at .020" or set ignition timing at 20º BTDC. See ignition kits and wiring diagram below Ê.


Ignition Kit to Convert from Kohler Magneto Ignition to Battery-Powered Ignition with a Small-Size Coil for a Compact Engine Compartment. New parts include: small size epoxy encapsulated high energy 12 volt ignition coil w/3.5 ohm internal primary resistor and integrated copper core spark plug wire, and mounting spacers/screws/nuts, low capacity condenser/capacitor, ignition points, points cover gasket, 9" length "assemble-it-yourself" 16 gauge coil-to-points wire w/terminals (reuse original points wire grommet), and new spark plug (please specify model of engine when ordering for correct type of spark plug). Dimensions of coil - overall length of laminations: 3-1/2" x diameter of coil body: 1-1/4" x widest width of coil body: 1-1/2" x mounting hole spacing: 3-1/8" x length of spark plug wire: 13-1/2". Fasten coil on outside of flywheel shroud next to carburetor or above starter gear through drilled holes with two supplied spacers and 10-24 UNC or 10-32 UNF screws with matching nuts lightly welded to inside of flywheel shroud. Use #250 slip-on female spade crimp-type wire connectors when connecting wires to this coil terminals. Set spark plug gap at .030" with this system. IMPORTANT - Either a OFF-ON-START 12 volt battery-ignition key switch, or a momentary push button switch (to crank the engine) and an OFF-ON toggle/flip switch or an OFF-ON key switch (for security purposes; to power the ignition) MUST be used with this type of ignition system. Go here for choice of switches. The original magneto coil can be removed from the stator. It will not be needed. If the stator has charging coils, leave them installed and connected so they can recharge the battery and power electrical accessories. IMPORTANT - All coils will burn up if the ignition switch is left on with the points closed for more than a few minutes with the engine not running. To prevent this from possibly happening and/or for security reasons, use an OFF-ON key switch and/or a master disconnect switch with a removable key instead of just a toggle/flip switch to power the ignition system.

  • Complete Ignition Kit above without switches. (Customer supplies own switches.) $59.50 per kit, plus shipping & handling.
  • Complete Ignition Kit above with OFF-ON-START battery-ignition key switch. $74.50 per kit, plus shipping & handling.
  • Complete Ignition Kit above with OFF-ON toggle/flip switch or [security] key switch (to power the ignition) and momentary push button switch (to crank the engine). $74.50 per kit, plus shipping & handling..


Ignition Kit to Convert from Kohler Magneto Ignition to Battery-Powered Ignition with a Full-Size Coil for an Unlimited Space Engine Compartment. New parts include: full-size canister-type 12 volt ignition coil w/3.0 ohm internal primary resistor and mounting bracket, 11" length metal core conductor spark plug wire, medium capacity condenser/capacitor, ignition points, points cover gasket, 12" length "assemble-it-yourself" 16 gauge coil-to-points wire w/terminals (reuse original points wire grommet), and new spark plug (please specify model of engine when ordering for correct type of spark plug). Set spark plug gap at .035" with this system. IMPORTANT - Either a OFF-ON-START 12 volt battery-ignition key switch, or a momentary push button switch (to crank the engine) and an OFF-ON toggle/flip switch (to power the ignition) MUST be used with this type of ignition system. Go here for choice of switches. And the original magneto coil can be removed from the stator. It will not be needed. If the stator has charging coils, leave them installed and connected so they can recharge the battery and power electrical accessories. IMPORTANT - All coils will burn up if the ignition switch is left on with the points closed for more than a few minutes with the engine not running. To prevent this from possibly happening and/or for security reasons, use an OFF-ON key switch and/or a master disconnect switch with a removable key instead of just a toggle/flip switch to power the ignition system.

  • Complete Ignition Kit above without switches. (Customer supplies own switches.) $61.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.
  • Complete Ignition Kit above with OFF-ON-START battery-ignition key switch. $76.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.
  • Complete Ignition Kit above with OFF-ON toggle/flip switch or key switch (to power the ignition) and momentary push button switch (to crank the engine). $76.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling..


[Return to Previous Section, Paragraph or Website]

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

Click or Tap Here for 100% Maintenance-Free, Crank-Trigger Electronic Ignition Systems That Operate Off the PTO End of a Competition Pulling Small Engine - Eliminates Points and Condenser.

New points, condensers/capacitors, coils and spark plugs for other makes and models of engines are also available. Please call or email A-1 Miller's for your needs. Please contact A-1 Miller's if you're interested in any of the above È parts.
Universal Analog 10 Amp and 20 Amp Ammeter / Amp Gauge Kits. Gauges registers up to 10 or 20 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 governed 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 everything. 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 gauges. Each requires 2" diameter mounting hole and comes with mounting clamp and nuts. [Return to Previous Section, Paragraph or Website]
  • 10 Amp Ammeter / Amp Gauge Kit. $20.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • 20 Amp Ammeter / Amp Gauge Kit. Discontinued from Kohler. Replaces Kohler part # 48 755 18-S; Replaces Cub Cadet part # 925-3141. $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, on a single cylinder cast iron block Kohler engine, anything less than a .020" (which is 20º BTDC) points gap is retarding the ignition timing less than its normal setting, and more than .020" is advancing the timing beyond its normal setting. But sometimes the points lobe on the cam will wear, and the ignition timing can't be fully advanced with a .020" points gap for the 20º BTDC setting. On a Kohler (and virtually any engine without an ignition distributor), widening or narrowing of the points gap is how the ignition timing is adjusted. Widening the gap advances the timing and narrowing it retards the timing, and rotating the distributor does the same. On a Kohler engine, adjust the ignition points by first positioning the piston at TDC on the compression stroke. This is when both valves are fully closed. Then slightly loosen the adjustment screw on the ignition points and place the flat screwdriver in the slot on the points bracket and points lever to widen and narrow the point gap. Then use a [clean] .020" feeler gauge to set the gap. If the screw that fastens the ignition points to the bracket is difficult 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 or hesitant 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 quickly momentarily 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/flip switch or [security] key 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 sanding material, such as 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 debris and metal filings from the ignition points contacts and then drag a piece of lint-free paper through the points contacts while they are closed to remove any left-over residue.
  2. On Kohler flywheels, there should be a T and S stamped on the outer edge of the flywheel with a line stamped underneath each letter. Clean the area off, and use a Sharpie metallic silver permanent marker, yellow or white paint marker, or a white or yellow paint mark with a small artist brush, 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. On the Kohler K-series 10-16hp cast iron block engines, there are three different places where the timing sight hole is located. It's on either side of the flywheel shroud, or on the back of the bearing plate on the right side, such as with engines having a starter/generator, when facing the flywheel. You will need to look under the starter bracket to see the sight hole. It may have a factory installed zinc hole plug in it. If the timing sight hole is on either side of the flywheel shroud, then the timing marks are located on the outer edge of the flywheel. But if the timing sight hole is on the backside of the bearing plate, then the timing marks are located on the backside edge 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 that's in the engine, the brightly colored mark with a Sharpie metallic silver permanent marker, yellow or white paint marker, or a white or yellow paint mark with a small artist brush, needs to placed on the stamped line under the T mark (0º TDC) for the older two-piece camshaft with the automatic timing advance, or on the stamped line under the S mark (20º BTDC) for the newer one piece camshaft with the automatic compression release (ACR). If there is a T mark, but no visible S mark on the flywheel, for flywheels with the timing mark on the outer edge on the left side, the S is located exactly 1-5/8" (1.625") above the T mark. And for flywheels with the timing mark on the outer or backside edge of the flywheel on the right side, the S is located exactly 1-5/8" (1.625") below the T mark. If there's no timing marks at all on the flywheel, such as with certain billet steel flywheels, the flywheel will need to be degreed-in with a degree wheel, dial indicator and piston stop to create new timing marks. Some billet steel flywheels have the timing marks inscribed on the backside edge of the flywheel, and must be transferred to the outer edge for visibility when using a factory flywheel shroud.
  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 quickly momentarily 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/flip switch or [security] key 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 spinning centrifugal 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/flip switch or [security] key 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 spinning centrifugal 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 "kick back", 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 quickly momentarily 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/flip switch or [security] key 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 spinning centrifugal 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 Accurately Set the Ignition Timing - FYI - These tools are also used to degree in a high performance 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. It's actually two 180º protractors put together to form a 360º circle. 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.

Dial Indicator and Magnetic Base

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 with a sturdy bolt-on bracket or a magnetic base. Dial indicators are very precision and delicate instruments. Care must be used in handling one.

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 - NPN or PNP has absolutely nothing to do with whether the sensor is Normally Open (N/O) or Normally Closed (N/C). I believe there's no difference between NPN or PNP proximity sensors. Click here for Google definitions of NPN and PNP. 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 produce 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, such as steel, 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.)

I've replaced many of these points and condensers over the years. I also had to reset the ignition timing whenever I removed the stator to replace the oil seal or rebuild the engine. But I learned instead of manually resetting the timing, before removing the stator, I placed a flat chisel alignment mark on the stator mounting flange & engine block. This puts the stator back in its original position when reinstalling it. The original indention of the serrated washer under each bolt can also be used to put the stator back in its original position.

By the way - instead of using a dial indicator to find the distance of the piston BTDC, I've always used a .035" or .070" thickness large flat washer to set the ignition timing. I place the washer on top of the piston, then run the piston up on the compression stroke until the washer comes flush with the deck of the block.

  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 "kick back", then the engine will be hard to start, run sluggish and not produce adequate power.


To install a solid state electronic 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 electronic 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 laminations 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 the camshaft in a single cylinder Kohler engine or the breaker cam (points lobe) in the governor assembly on Kohler engine models K482, K532 and K582 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 "stainless steel 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 - Store a container of liquid threadlocker or Super Glue 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). If you're using a stock Kohler camshaft, then the OEM points pushrod should be long enough. But personally, I've seen certain aluminum mounting brackets for Chevy points have the points mounting holes drilled and tapped too far out (away from the engine block), making the pushrod too short for activation of the points. If this happens, then the points mounting holes will need to be drilled and tapped closer to the engine block. 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).
    NOTE: Certain custom-made aluminum mounting brackets for Chevy points have the points mounting holes drilled and tapped too far from the engine block, making the OEM-length points pushrod too short and adjustment of the points gap impossible. The best solution to this, besides making a longer points pushrod, is new points mounting holes will need to be drilled and tapped closer to the engine block.
  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! The alternative to using the flared-end points pushrods is to install a custom-made flywheel- or crank-trigger electronic ignition system.

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/flip switch or [security] key 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 spinning centrifugal force of the flywheel prevents the engine from "kicking back" when power is being supplied to the ignition.

To install the flared-end points pushrod in Kohler engine models K482, K532 and K582, first of all, the governor assembly unit is located on top of the engine. Remove the points cover and points, disconnect the linkage and remove the two mounting bolts; disassemble the unit; install the flared-end points pushrod from inside the unit; reassembly the unit; and when reinstalling the unit, it MUST be timed by following the instructions below; reinstall the points and set the gap at .020"; and the ignition timing will also need to be precisely set by following the instructions below.


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

Get That Old, Antique Small Engine Running Again with 21st Century Technology Using 100% Reliable Digital Electronic Ignition, Even When New Placement Parts Are Obsolete or Cost-Prohibited! Please contact A-1 Miller's if you're interested in any of these parts or services. [Return to previous paragraph, section or website] [Top of Page]

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 electronic 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.

Self-energizing small engine magneto ignition coils and battery-powered coils with either points and condenser or electronic ignition must be used with a metal core conductor spark plug wire and a copper core/non-resistor spark plug. Most automobiles with electronic ignition have suppression/carbon core spark plug wires. However, if a suppression/carbon core spark plug wire and/or a resistor type spark plug is used with a magneto or battery-powered ignition coil, the coil may operate at a much higher than normal temperature (too hot to the touch), and either the coil will fail or the engine will idle well, but hesitate to rev up at high RPM due to the high resistance in the suppression/carbon core spark plug wire and/or a resistor type spark plug. And avoid using a suppression/carbon core spark plug wire with an electronic ignition system on a small engine! 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, rev up 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 Flywheel- or Crank-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. [Return to previous paragraph, section or website]


Kohler's Breakerless Ignition System -

Kohler Breakerless Ignition (and Tecumseh Cast Iron Block Engine Solid State Ignition) are 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 are no longer available from any source. But my crank-trigger and flywheel-trigger ignition kits can replace a defective Breakerless Ignition and Tecumseh's Solid State ignition systems. 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 governed 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 engines with the Breakerless Ignition System are rare. In fact, out of the 1,000's of Kohler engines that were manufactured, only 92 of these originally came with Breakerless Ignition. Most originally came with points and condenser ignition because it's more reliable. Apparently, there's a good reason why Kohler stopped installing Breakerless Ignition after a short time. The models and specification numbers of Kohler engines that originally came with Breakerless Ignition are as follows: K181-30296, 30518, 30519, 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, 4739, 47400, 47402, 47403, 47407, 47410, 47420, 47422, 47423, 47424, 47814; K321-6006, 6008, 60105, 60121, 60124, 60125, 6013, 60131, 60132, 60133, 60176, 60187, 60189, 60201, 60213, 60239, 60275, 6051, 6053, 6055, 6058, 6071, 6079, 6081, 6088, 6093.

The 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 and 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 System. To test the Coil and Trigger Module, refer to Kohler K-series Single Cylinder Engine Service Manual TP-2379. If the Breakerless Ignition fails to produce a spark, the Coil and Trigger Module have been discontinued by Kohler. And if you're looking for an alternative and reliable replacement ignition system to get your engine running again, well, you have the three options below... (Updated 1/30/20)

FYI - Kohler's Breakerless Ignition and Tecumseh's Solid State Ignition (SSI) systems use a key switch that's also made for a self-energizing magneto or magneto-type solid state ignition system. Unlike the key switch for a battery-powered ignition system, the Breakerless Ignition is self-energizing, and to kill the engine, the key switch grounds out or shorts the [low voltage] circuit between the energizing coil and ignition module. And the battery-powered key switch opens the circuit to kill the engine. So with the battery-powered points and condenser ignition system (along with a 12 volt coil), you will need to use a battery-powered key switch, or an OFF-ON toggle/flip switch or [security] key switch to power the ignition and a momentary push button switch to crank the engine could be used instead. If swapping out the OEM Breakerless Ignition, magneto or solid state ignition key switch for a battery-powered ignition key switch, the wire connectors in the wiring harness will need to be rearranged to match the terminals on the key switch to power the ignition, crank the engine and run other electrical accessories. I've done this before on some of my customer's garden tractors and it works great. Click or tap here for battery-powered ignition wiring diagrams.


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If you would like to purchase any of the parts or services listed 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; text or when leaving a voice message, please speak slowly and clearly). 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.) E-mail: pullingtractor@aol.com. When you call, text, email or visit our shop, you will be dealing directly with the owner for the best customer service. 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. 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 make the long drive to A-1 Miller's shop to personally drop off and/or pick up your carburetor, clutch assembly, engine, transaxle, tractor, etc. "The road to a friend's house (or shop) is never long." (We're planning to relocate to other property with a bigger and better shop so we can provide many more high quality parts and professional services.)

A-1 Miller's Custom Flywheel-Trigger Electronic Ignition Conversion Kit for Kohler opposed twin cylinder engine models KT17 Series II and KT19 Series II. This ignition system works flawlessly! Replaces points and condenser. Ignition points can be removed and the points pushrod hole can be permanently plugged with a short self-tapping 1/4" bolt, Allen set screw or clear RTV silicone adhesive sealant. The ignition system listed below works excellent with the OEM Kohler 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 w/magnet just when the rubber washer begin to bulge. FYI - Store a container of liquid threadlocker or Super Glue 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 KT17 and KT19 first design 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 KT17 first design engine, and the cylinder(s) off a KT19 Series II, M20 and MV20 engine will work on a KT19 first design 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 KT17 or KT19 first design engine, but this is the best way of making it happen. Scroll down for more information.

For General Yard & Garden Work, or Competition Pulling. This ignition system produce a strong spark. It will allow the engine to start quicker, idle smooth and rev up to full throttle with no hesitation or misfire. Complete Flywheel-Trigger Ignition Kit for the Flywheel End of Opposed Twin Cylinder Kohler engine models KT17 Series II and KT19 Series II. This ignition system may outlast the life of the engine. This revolutionizes the ignition system for the opposed twin cylinder Kohler engines! Use this setup for durability instead of points and condenser. Use with the OEM off/ignition/start key switch and ignition coil. Simple two wire hook-up; RED wire on module/sensor connects to 12 volt ignition switch (battery positive (+) post), and BLACK wire on module/sensor connects to coil negative (–) terminal. Kit includes PerTronix Ignitor module/sensor w/mounting bracket and hardware, and small magnet/screw/cushioning washer. PerTronix Ignitor module/sensor is triggered by a small magnet fastened in a specific place on edge of flywheel. Use the OEM ignition coil with metal core spark plug wires and copper core spark plugs gapped at .025" each. FYI - The module is diode-protected, and will NOT burn up if the wires are connected in reverse with power supplied. IMPORTANT - Module will burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than a few minutes with the engine not running. To prevent this from possibly happening and/or for security reasons, use an OFF-ON key switch and/or a master disconnect switch with a removable key instead of just a toggle/flip switch to power the ignition system. An ingenious and innovative concept by Brian Miller because nobody else advertise this type of ignition setup.

  • Flywheel-Trigger Ignition Kit for Kohler engine models KT17 Series II or KT19 Series II. $175.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.


(Posted 1/26/20) For Competition Pulling Engines Only. Complete Self-Contained Crank-Trigger Ignition Kit that Operate off the PTO End of Opposed Twin Cylinder Kohler engine models KT17 Series II, KT19 Series II, and Magnum engine models M18 and M20. Produces a very strong spark. Use this setup for durability when the OEM type of solid state ignition coil keeps failing. Fastens on PTO end of engine. Dynatek Dyna S module/sensor is triggered by a small magnet embedded in a locking set screw collar. Simple one wire hook-up; RED wire on module/sensor connects to 12 volt ignition switch (battery positive (+) post). Kit includes: Dynatek Dyna S module/sensor and dual wire epoxy encapsulated ignition coil with two molded-in metal core conductor spark plug wires and 90º spark plug terminals/boots fastened on aluminum mounting plate, and small magnet embedded in a locking set screw collar, and new battery ignition OFF-IGNITION-START key switch (do not reuse OEM Magnum solid state ignition key switch with this system) or momentary push button switch (to crank the engine), OFF-ON toggle/flip switch or an OFF-ON key switch (for security purposes; to power the ignition) and fully insulated male and female slip-on spade crimp-type wire connectors (to easily connect/disconnect the ignition system to/from the power source). Remove the OEM solid state ignition coil and aluminum bracket. They will serve no purpose with this kit. Use with copper core spark plugs gapped at .030" each. Coil can withstand high engine vibrations. Please specify diameter of crankshaft PTO end for the locking collar when ordering. Picture of this setup will be posted here soon. An ingenious and innovative concept by Brian Miller because nobody else advertise this kind of ignition system.

  • Crank Trigger Ignition Kit for Kohler engine models KT17 Series II or KT19 Series II. Supplied without battery ignition OFF-IGNITION-START key switch. (Customer can reuse the original key switch.) $175.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.
  • Crank Trigger Ignition Kit for Kohler Magnum engine models M18 or M20. Supplied with battery ignition OFF-IGNITION-START key switch. $200.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.
  • Crank Trigger Ignition Kit for Kohler engine models KT17 Series II, KT19 Series II, M18 or M20. Supplied with momentary push button switch and OFF-ON toggle/flip switch or [security] key switch. $200.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.

To convert the Kohler opposed twin cylinder engine models KT17 Series II and KT19 Series II to solid state electronic 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 electronic ignition coil/module, 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 electronic 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 electronic 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 electronic ignition, the flywheel, bearing plate, starter motor and solid state electronic ignition coil/module 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 wiring 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 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 medium 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 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 produce 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 Flywheel- or Crank-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 (detects iron/steel) 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 produce 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 produce, 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 thermal paste (to dissipate the operating heat) on a clean, flat aluminum plate with plenty of cool 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 thermal paste (to dissipate the operating heat) on a clean, flat aluminum plate with plenty of cool 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 rev up 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 conductor 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 rev up to full throttle with the magnetic pickup coil only with a 1.0 ohm ignition coil, metal conductor 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 rev up to full throttle 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 conductor 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 a few minutes with the engine not running. To prevent this from possibly happening and/or for security reasons, use an OFF-ON key switch and/or a master disconnect switch with a removable key instead of just a toggle/flip switch to power the ignition system.

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 compact. 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 thermal paste (to dissipate the operating heat) 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 thermal 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 or tap 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! NOTE: Module will burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than a few minutes with the engine not running. To prevent this from possibly happening and/or for security reasons, use an OFF-ON key switch and/or a master disconnect switch with a removable key instead of just a toggle/flip switch to power the ignition system.

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. IMPORTANT - Module will burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than a few minutes with the engine not running. To prevent this from possibly happening and/or for security reasons, use an OFF-ON key switch and/or a master disconnect switch with a removable key instead of just a toggle/flip switch to power the ignition system.

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 quickly momentarily 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 the 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 turn on the toggle/flip switch or [security] key switch to "put the spark to the engine." The engine should start easily every time. The spinning centrifugal force of the 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 rev up to full RPM, the magnetic pickup coil requires a high-output/performance 4-pin GM HEI module, 1.0 ohm ignition coil, metal conductor spark plug wire and a copper core/non-resistor spark plug gapped at .025". IMPORTANT - The coil and/or module may burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than a few minutes with the engine not running. To prevent this from possibly happening and/or for security reasons, use an OFF-ON key switch and/or a master disconnect switch with a removable key instead of just a toggle/flip switch to power the ignition system. (This system 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 electronic ignition system operates with full 12 volts. The combination of ignition parts below produce a very strong spark, even with a stock ignition coil, allowing the engine to rev up to full speed. In order for the ordinary/stock GM 4-pin HEI module allow the engine to rev up to full speed, it must be used with a high-output 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. The systems below can be used with virtually any ignition coil with a minimum 0.4 ohm internal resister, and best to use a metal core conductor spark plug wire and non-resister type spark plug gapped at .035" for a strong spark. IMPORTANT - The coil, sensor and/or module may burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than a few minutes with the engine not running. To prevent this from possibly happening and/or for security reasons, use an OFF-ON key switch and/or a master disconnect switch with a removable key instead of just a toggle/flip switch to power the ignition system. (This system does NOT have a built-in timing retard.)


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

This electronic ignition system operates with full 12 volts. This module requires a minimum 1.2 ohm ballast resistor to prevent from burning up unit. The combination of ignition parts below produce a very strong spark, even with a stock ignition coil, allowing the engine to rev up to full speed. 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 start quicker, idle smooth and rev up to full throttle with no hesitation or misfire. This system can be used with virtually any ignition coil with a minimum 0.4 ohm internal resister, and best to use a metal conductor spark plug wire and non-resister type spark plug gapped at .035" for a strong spark. IMPORTANT - The coil and/or module may burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than a few minutes with the engine not running. To prevent this from possibly happening and/or for security reasons, use an OFF-ON key switch and/or a master disconnect switch with a removable key instead of just a toggle/flip switch to power the ignition system. (This system does NOT have a built-in timing retard.)


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

This electronic ignition system operates with full 12 volts. This module requires a minimum 1.2 ohm ballast resistor to prevent from burning up unit. The combination of ignition parts below produce a very strong spark, even with a stock ignition coil, allowing the engine to rev up to full speed. 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 start quicker, idle smooth and rev up to full throttle with no hesitation or misfire. This system can be used with virtually any ignition coil with a minimum 0.4 ohm internal resister, and best to use a metal core conductor spark plug wire and non-resister type spark plug gapped at .035" for a strong spark. IMPORTANT - The coil, sensor and/or module may burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than a few minutes with the engine not running. To prevent this from possibly happening and/or for security reasons, use an OFF-ON key switch and/or a master disconnect switch with a removable key instead of just a toggle/flip switch to power the ignition system. (This system does NOT have a built-in timing retard.)


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

This electronic ignition system operates with full 12 volts. The combination of ignition parts below produce a very strong spark, even with a stock ignition coil, allowing the engine to rev up to full speed. 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 start quicker, idle smooth and rev up to full throttle with no hesitation or misfire. This system can be used with virtually any ignition coil with a minimum 0.4 ohm internal resister, and best to use a metal core conductor spark plug wire and non-resister type spark plug gapped at .035" for a strong spark. IMPORTANT - The coil and/or module may burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than a few minutes with the engine not running. To prevent this from possibly happening and/or for security reasons, use an OFF-ON key switch and/or a master disconnect switch with a removable key instead of just a toggle/flip switch to power the ignition system. (This system does NOT have a built-in timing retard.)


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

This electronic ignition system operates with full 12 volts. The combination of ignition parts below produce a very strong spark, even with a stock ignition coil, allowing the engine to rev up to full speed. 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 start quicker, idle smooth and rev up to full throttle with no hesitation or misfire. This system can be used with virtually any ignition coil with a minimum 0.4 ohm internal resister, and best to use a metal core conductor spark plug wire and non-resister type spark plug gapped at .035" for a strong spark. IMPORTANT - The coil, sensor and/or module may burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than a few minutes with the engine not running. To prevent this from possibly happening and/or for security reasons, use an OFF-ON key switch and/or a master disconnect switch with a removable key instead of just a toggle/flip switch to power the ignition system. (This system does NOT have a built-in timing retard.)


Crank- or Flywheel-Trigger Ignition Will Work on Virtually Any Single- or Multi-Cylinder Gas Spark-Ignited Engine.

Degree Increments for a Super Spacer or Rotary Table with a Self-Centering 3-Jaw Chuck -
The chart below is for installing multiple detectable trigger targets (screws, pins or magnets) in the ignition disc for a crank- or flywheel-trigger ignition system. This chart also comes in handy for drilling multiple holes of equal spacing 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 the locations of the spark for each cylinder so they will have equal timing or exact distance of spark between them. And the reason 7 holes is not shown is because 360º cannot be easily divided equally into 7 spaces.

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

For a multi-cylinder engine, when each detectable trigger target (screw, pin or magnet) is equally spaced apart in the ignition disc and the timing for each target 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 momentary push button switch to crank the engine, and the other an OFF-ON toggle/flip switch or [security] 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 turning on the toggle/flip switch or [security] key switch. The engine should start easily and quickly every time. This works because the spinning centrifugal force of the heavy 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).

For a Kohler Magnum or any other make of engine with fixed solid state electronic 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. A special-made offset woodruff flywheel key will need to be used when advancing the ignition timing on a Kohler Magnum engine. 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 electronic ignition that is triggered by 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 electronic 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 website. Install a timing degree indicator mark (with a black felt tip ink marker) on the disc and a mark on the engine block, then make a final check of the ignition timing with the engine running using an inductive strobe timing light. The timing light connects to the battery posts 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 wiring connections. Each module provides unlimited RPM. The conventional ignition points and condenser/capacitor ignition system is less responsive. When wired correctly, it's normal for the flywheel- and crank-trigger ignition systems to make a spark when first powered up. And if it makes a spark as the sensor passes the metal target object, then the ignition system is working as it should.

Checking for Spark -

Because this system produce 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.

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

  1. Place a mark (line) with a permanent ink marker (Marks A Lot or Sharpie) or a flat chisel on the side of the locking collar next to the embedded magnet. This is to indicate where the magnet is located from the side of the collar.
  2. Align the timing mark on the flywheel in alignment with the raised boss on the bearing plate where you want the timing to be set.
  3. Align the mark on the collar with center of the module/sensor with the timing mark on the flywheel and raised boss.
  4. Tighten the set screw in the collar and the timing will be correctly set.

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 collar, with the Allen set screw loose in the collar, rotate the collar 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 collar 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 set screw collar w/embedded 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 collar, 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.

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If you would like to purchase any of the parts or services listed 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; text or when leaving a voice message, please speak slowly and clearly). 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.) E-mail: pullingtractor@aol.com. When you call, text, email or visit our shop, you will be dealing directly with the owner for the best customer service. 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. 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 make the long drive to A-1 Miller's shop to personally drop off and/or pick up your carburetor, clutch assembly, engine, transaxle, tractor, etc. "The road to a friend's house (or shop) is never long." (We're planning to relocate to other property with a bigger and better shop so we can provide many more high quality parts and professional services.)

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

Get That Old, Antique Small Engine Running Again with 21st Century Technology Using 100% Reliable Digital Electronic Ignition, Even When New Placement Parts Are Obsolete or Cost-Prohibited! Please contact A-1 Miller's if you're interested in any of these parts or services. [Return to previous paragraph, section or website] [Top of Page]

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. Points are cheap and somewhat easy to install. And many people are comfortable with installing their own points. The bad side of using points is, besides the 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 by the flywheel, this stabilizes the ignition timing, so you won't ever have to worry about it changing. 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 electronic ignition is the way to go! This ignition system produce a strong spark. It will allow the engine to start quicker, idle smooth and rev up to full throttle with no hesitation or misfire.

Tired of changing or constantly adjusting the ignition points? Convert to the 100% digitized 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 points and condenser/capacitor has been the best advance ever in engine technology.

FYI - Kohler's Breakerless Ignition and Tecumseh's (cast iron engine) Solid State Ignition (SSI) systems use a key switch that's also made for a self-energizing magneto or magneto-type solid state ignition system. Unlike the key switch for a battery-powered ignition system, the Breakerless Ignition is self-energizing, and to kill the engine, the key switch grounds out or shorts the [low voltage] circuit between the energizing coil and ignition module. And the battery-powered key switch opens the circuit to kill the engine. So with the battery-powered points and condenser ignition system (along with a 12 volt coil), you will need to use a battery-powered key switch, or an OFF-ON toggle/flip switch or [security] key switch to power the ignition and a momentary push button switch to crank the engine could be used instead. If swapping out the OEM Breakerless Ignition, SSI, magneto or solid state ignition key switch for a battery-powered ignition key switch, the wire connectors in the wiring harness plug will need to be rearranged to match the terminals on the key switch to power the ignition, crank the engine and run other electrical accessories. I've done this before on some of my customer's garden tractors and it works great. Click or tap here for battery-powered ignition wiring diagrams.

FYI - I've sold many various custom electronic ignition systems for the past several years and haven't received one complaint from a customer about the performance of their engine. Because I use technology that I learned from experiences with my competitive competition pulling engines to help factory stock lawn & garden engines perform better. And as a matter of fact, other people have emailed me or called me to complain to me about my competitor's Tecumseh replacement ignition systems. They said their tech help was of no use. No joke. Apparently, my competitors haven't quite figured it out yet.


Solid State Electronic Ignition Module - | Please contact A-1 Miller's if you're interested in any of these parts or services. | [Top of Page]
Replace the Points and Condenser in a Magneto Ignition System with a Universal Solid State Electronic Ignition Module
  • Designed to convert a self-energizing magneto ignition system into the more reliable and dependable electronic ignition. Will NOT work with 12 volt battery-powered ignition systems. Module will burn up instantly when power is supplied.
  • Upgrade the magneto ignition system on virtually any engine with the latest technology! Do away with the ignition points and condenser/capacitor (plug the points pushrod hole), and install a solid state electronic 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 electronic 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 electronic 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 quickly momentarily 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 Wiring 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 electronic ignition coil/module or multiple magnets under the flywheel with ignition coil under the flywheel, too. Scroll down for wiring diagrams and installation instructions Ê.

Wiring Diagram and Installation Instructions for Universal Solid State Electronic Magneto Ignition Module are as follows:

  1. Fasten the module to the engine sheet metal that has plenty of cool air circulation with the supplied mounting screw.
  2. Connect the supplied wire to one of the terminals on the module and to engine ground.
  3. The ignition coil has two small wires coming out of it. Leave the original (short) wire connected (grounded) to the stator laminations, and connect the wire that went to the points and condenser to the unused terminal on the module.
  4. Remove the spark plug from the cylinder head, and connect the high tension coil wire to a new spark plug positioned on a (grounded) metal part of the engine.
  5. Crank the engine rapidly, and at the same time, observe for a blue, snappy spark. If there's no spark, try reversing the two wires on the module. (This is due to reverse polarity in the flywheel magnet.)
3/16" Plug to Replace Kohler Points Pushrod. Use in Kohler engine models K90/K91, K141, K160/K161, K181, K241, K301, K321, K341, K361, K482, K532 and K582 when converting from magneto to solid state ignition (above), Magnum solid state ignition, flywheel- or crank-trigger electronic ignition (further down in this website). Install with a medium size hammer; fits very tight. OEM Briggs & Stratton part #'s 231143, 692882. $6.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

Block-Off Plate to Cover Kohler Points Pushrod Hole. Use in Kohler engine models K90/K91, K141, K160/K161, K181, K241, K301, K321, K341, K361, KT17, KT17 Series II, KT19, KT19 Series II, K482, K532 and K582 when converting from magneto to solid state ignition (above), Magnum solid state ignition, or flywheel- or crank-trigger electronic ignition (further down in this website). Made of 1/8" thickness aluminum or steel. Apply RTV silicone sealant to prevent oil leak and use OEM ignition points mounting screws to secure in place. A-1 Miller part. An original, ingenious and innovative concept by Brian Miller. Please accept no advertised copycat product of this kind. (But I do appreciate them acknowledging my intelligence.) $4.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

NOTE: The alternative to using either of the above items is to remove the ignition points and points pushrod. Place the pushrod on a flat, hard surface, and use a hammer and sharp flat cold chisel to lightly create knurled raised places or marks midway on the pushrod. Then install the pushrod in the engine block with the hammer. The knurling will retain the pushrod in place. [Return to previous paragraph, section or website]


Converting the Ignition System on a Kohler Engine with the Starter/Generator and 8" Flywheel to Maintenance-Free Flywheel-Triggered Electronic Ignition -

Flywheel-Trigger Ignition Kit for Kohler engine models K141, K160/K161, K181, K241, K301 and K321 with the small (8") diameter flywheel and starter/generator. The PerTronix Ignitor module/sensor electronic ignition sends more energy to the coil, which delivers twice the voltage to the spark plug, increasing horsepower, engine efficiency and spark plug life. Hall Effect integrated circuit means no points to burn, and no moving parts to wear out. Epoxy molding makes the module impervious to dirt, oil, grease and moisture. Stable timing - no need for any adjustments. This simple and reliable ignition system produces a strong spark, and the ignition timing will always be set at the factory recommended 20º BTDC, or wherever you set it. This system can be used on ordinary lawn & garden engines or for competition pulling engines (if rules permit). This ignition system may outlast the life of the engine. This revolutionizes the ignition system for older cast iron block Kohler engines with the starter/generator and 8" flywheel! The PerTronix Ignitor must be used with a minimum 3.0 ohm coil or it may burn up. Most small engine battery ignition coils have a 3.0 ohm internal primary resistor. But test your coil just to make sure! Click or tap here to learn how to test the ohms resistance in a coil. Kit includes: New PerTronix Ignitor non-magnetic sensor/module, aluminum spacer, thermal grease and mounting screws, small ring magnet/rubber cushioning/isolator washer/mounting screw (weighs 1/10 oz. / 6 grams), and plug for the points pushrod hole. Complete Kit: $96.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.

Directions to Install This Kit -

  1. Remove the points and condenser and block-off the points pushrod hole with the supplied plug.
  2. Draw another line 1" from the bearing plate crossways with the line on the flywheel. The magnet/cushioning washer/screw will install where the two lines intersect. This spot will allow the magnet to clear the flywheel shroud mounting boss on the bearing plate located at the 4:30 position.
  3. 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.
  4. Drill and tap 6-32 UNC (coarse 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 - The module/sensor is activated by the South pole of the magnet, so do not remove the magnet from the screw. And use caution when handling rare earth/neodymium magnets. They are very brittle and can break when snapped onto something or when the screw is overtightened. Secure the screw threads with high strength liquid threadlocker (Red Loctite, Permatex or equivalent), and when installing the magnet/screw/rubber washer on the flywheel, tighten it just until the rubber washer begins to bulge. FYI - Store a container of liquid threadlocker or Super Glue upright and not laying flat. The capped tip will not dry out and clog when stored upright.
  5. 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"-.050" 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 thermal paste (to dissipate the operating heat) between the Ignitor module and aluminum spacer to help cool the module, and securely fasten the Ignitor module on top of the aluminum spacer to the bearing plate with the supplied 6-32 UNC (coarse thread) screws and split lock washers. IMPORTANT - Gently rotate the flywheel back and forth by hand to check and see that the module/sensor does not make contact with the screw head. Damage to the module/sensor will occur if it makes contact with the screw head!
  6. Drill a 5/16" hole through the bearing plate behind the Ignitor and route the wires from the Ignitor to the ignition coil. Bevel or chamber the drilled hole, use a rubber grommet or apply clear RTV silicone adhesive sealant in the hole and around the wires to hold the wires rigid to prevent the insulation on the wires from rubbing and possibly being shorted.
  7. Disconnect and do away with the wires to the 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). FYI - The module is diode-protected, and will NOT burn up if the wires are connected in reverse with power supplied. IMPORTANT - Module will burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than a few minutes with the engine not running. To prevent this from possibly happening and/or for security reasons, use an OFF-ON key switch and/or a master disconnect switch with a removable key instead of just a OFF-ON toggle/flip switch to power the ignition system.
  8. With an ordinary stock coil, set the spark plug gap .035" and place the spark plug on a grounded metal cover. Turn the ignition switch on, rotate the flywheel back and forth by hand so the magnet passes the Ignitor 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 advertised copycat product of this kind. (But I do appreciate them acknowledging my intelligence.) Click or tap here to print out these installation instructions.


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 (detects iron/steel) 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 - Store a container of liquid threadlocker or Super Glue 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 part of 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 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 advertised copycat product of this kind. (But I do appreciate them acknowledging my intelligence.)


Information About Converting from Kohler's Breakerless Ignition to Battery-Powered Points/Condenser Ignition: The single wire that comes from the stator under the flywheel for the Kohler Trigger Module or Tecumseh Solid State Ignition Module generates about 250 volts (serious) while the engine is running at full governed speed. Do not touch this terminal with one bare hand and the engine 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 securely to prevent a short circuit or risk of electrocution. And there is a brass block-off cup plug in the points pushrod hole. This will need to be removed for the points pushrod. To remove this plug, carefully and gently drill a 3/32" pilot hole through the plug, then use a #6 self-tapping drywall screw with Vise-Grips to pull the plug out of the hole. Because the self-tapping drywall screw by itself may not be able to bore a hole through the plug without pushing it deeper into the drilled hole. And do not force the drill bit into the plug or it could fall inside the crankcase! And a 3/16" drill bit or hand reamer may need to be used to clean out any debris from the pushrod hole. After the points is installed, and with the piston positioned at TDC on the compression stroke, set the point gap at .020". Or better yet, set the ignition timing at 20º BTDC, and reuse the same type of spark plug gapped at .035".

Custom Electronic Ignition Kits (Below) for Converting to Flywheel-Trigger Ignition for Kohler engine models K241, K301, K321, K341, K361 that came with points/condenser ignition or with Breakerless Ignition. Do away with the old fashioned 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: Engine must 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), OEM protruding bolt head, or install a small screw/bolt (so the sensor can detect it). Must also use an OFF-ON toggle/flip switch- or an OFF-ON key switch (for security purposes; for ignition) and momentary push-button switch (to crank the engine) for ignition system below Ê. With this ignition setup, the ignition timing will be set at 20º BTDC, and reuse same type of spark plug, but set gap at .035" for a stronger spark. IMPORTANT - On the Breakerless Ignition, the wire that comes from the stator under the flywheel generates about 250 volts (serious) while the engine is running at full governed speed. Do not touch this wire (terminal) with one bare hand and the engine with your other hand while the engine is running! This wire is not required with any of my custom flywheel-trigger electronic ignition systems. So snip off this wire or tape up the terminal to prevent a short circuit or electrocution.
  • Compact and out-of-the-way design. Sensor fits under the flywheel shroud and module fastens to the backside of the bearing plate. No "bulky ignition box" to clutter the engine compartment.
  • Stable ignition timing with solid state electronic circuitry. No points to burn or wear, and no need for adjustment... ever!
  • Epoxy molded sealed sensor and module makes these parts impervious to dirt, oil, grease and moisture.
  • 2:1 improvement over points in current fall time for increased coil output.
  • Compatible with most ignition coils with a minimum of 0.3 ohms primary resistance.
  • Delivers twice the voltage to the spark plug, increasing horsepower and torque, spark plug life, and possibly engine life.
  • Cold weather engine start-up energy boost and maintains peak energy throughout the entire engine RPM.
  • An innovative and ingenious concept by Brian Miller.

Option #1 - Convert from OEM Kohler Breakerless Ignition to A-1 Miller's Custom-Made Flywheel-Trigger Electronic Ignition Kit. This ignition system operates with full 12 volts and produce a strong spark. It will allow the engine to start quicker, idle smooth and rev up to full throttle with no hesitation or misfire. This ignition system may outlast the life of the engine. This revolutionizes the ignition system for older cast iron block Kohler engines! NOTE - This ignition system operates with 12 volts of power. The OEM key switch for Breakerless Ignition will not work with any battery-powered ignition systems. The switch used with Breakerless Ignition is actually a magneto ignition switch, which when the engine is shut-down, it grounds the self-energizing wire connected to the ignition. And battery ignition requires a switch that disconnects the coil from the power source (battery). So with my this ignition system, you will need either an OFF-ON-START battery-ignition key switch, or an OFF-ON toggle/flip switch or an OFF-ON key switch (for security purposes; to power the ignition) and a momentary push button switch (to crank the engine). Go here for choice of switches. To install this replacement ignition system; the ignition coil mounts in place of the Breakerless Ignition coil; the proximity cube sensor/bracket mounts in place of the Breakerless Trigger Module; and the GM HEI ignition control module with thermal paste (to dissipate the operating heat) fastens on the backside of the bearing plate, on the left side when facing the flywheel. Two 9/64" holes will need to be drilled and tapped to mount the module. (Sometimes one must improvise when certain parts are obsolete.) This kit has a limited one year warranty. Kit Includes:

Option #2 - Complete Kit to Convert from Kohler's Breakerless Ignition to Battery-Powered Points and Condenser Ignition with a Full-Size Canister-Type 12 Volt Ignition Coil. New parts include: 12 volt 3.0 ohm full-size canister-type ignition coil w/mounting bracket, 11" length metal core conductor spark plug wire, medium capacity condenser/capacitor, ignition points, stainless steel points pushrod, points cover, points cover gasket, four 10-24 UNC Phillips head screws w/lock washers, Autolite 216 or Champion 844 (H10C) spark plug, and 12" cut-to-length 16 gauge coil-to-points wire w/grommet and terminals. Set spark plug gap at .035" with this system. NOTE - This ignition system operates with 12 volts of power. The OEM key switch for Breakerless Ignition will not work with any battery-powered ignition systems. The switch used with Breakerless Ignition is actually a magneto ignition switch, which when the engine is shut-down, it grounds the self-energizing wire connected to the ignition. And battery ignition requires a switch that disconnects the coil from the power source (battery). So with my this ignition system, you will need either an OFF-ON-START battery-ignition key switch, or an OFF-ON toggle/flip switch or an OFF-ON key switch (for security purposes; to power the ignition) and a momentary push button switch (to crank the engine). Go here for choice of switches. IMPORTANT - All coils will burn up if the ignition switch is left on with the points closed for more than a few minutes with the engine not running. To prevent this from possibly happening and/or for security reasons, use an OFF-ON key switch and/or a master disconnect switch with a removable key instead of just a toggle/flip switch to power the ignition system.

Option #3 - Convert from Battery-Powered Points and Condenser Ignition to A-1 Miller's Custom-Made Flywheel-Trigger Electronic Ignition System. This is for Kohler engines with a 9-1/2" flywheel that has the 3/4" wide edge with the projection (hump). This ignition system produces a strong spark. It will allow the engine to start quicker, idle smooth and rev up to full throttle with no hesitation or misfire. To install this replacement ignition system; the ignition coil mounts in the usual location; the proximity cube sensor/bracket mounts on the two bosses located at the 10:30 position on the bearing plate; and the GM HEI ignition control module fastens on the backside of the bearing plate, on the left side when facing the flywheel. Two 9/64" holes will need to be drilled and tapped to mount the module. The original key switch can be used with this ignition system. This kit has a limited one year warranty. The OEM OFF-ON-START battery-powered key switch, or a momentary push button switch (to crank the engine) and an OFF-ON toggle/flip switch or an OFF-ON key switch (for security purposes; to power the ignition) CAN be used with this ignition system. Kit Includes:


3/16" Plug to Replace Kohler Points Pushrod. Use in all Kohler K-series single cylinder engines, and K482, K532 and K582 opposed twin cylinder engines when converting engine for use with a Universal Solid State Electronic Ignition Module, to Kohler Magnum solid state ignition, or flywheel- or crank-trigger electronic ignition. Fits very tight; install with a medium size hammer. OEM Briggs & Stratton part #'s 231143, 692882. $6.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

Block-Off Plate to Cover Kohler Points Pushrod Hole. Use on Kohler K-series engines when converting to Kohler Magnum solid state ignition, or Kohler KT-series KT17, KT19 engines when converting to Kohler Magnum solid state ignition, or flywheel- or crank-trigger electronic ignition, or K482, K532 and K582 opposed twin cylinder engines when converting to crank-trigger ignition. Made of 1/8" thickness steel. Apply RTV silicone sealant to prevent an oil leak and OEM ignition points mounting screws to secure in place. A-1 Miller part. An original, ingenious and innovative concept by Brian Miller. Please accept no advertised copycat product of this kind. (But I do appreciate them acknowledging my intelligence.) $4.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

NOTE: An alternative to using the above items, remove the ignition points and points pushrod. Place the pushrod on a flat, hard surface, and use a sharp flat cold chisel and hammer to lightly create knurled raised places on the pushrod. Then install the pushrod in the engine block with a hammer. The knurled places will retain the pushrod in the block. [Return to previous paragraph, section or website]


A-1 Miller's Custom-Made Replacement Electronic Ignition System for Cast Iron Block Tecumseh Engines

A-1 Miller's Custom-Made Replacement Electronic Ignition Kits for Tecumseh engine models VH80, VH100, HH80, HH100, HH120, OH120, OH140, OH150, OH160 and OH180 with a gear starter that has a failed OEM Solid State Ignition. This ignition system produce a very strong spark. It will allow the engine to start quicker, idle smoothly and rev up to full throttle with no hesitation or misfire. Epoxy molding makes the coil and module impervious to dirt, oil, grease and moisture. This ignition system may outlast the life of the engine. This revolutionizes the ignition system for older cast iron block Tecumseh engines! This replacement ignition system installs in place of the OEM Tecumseh Solid State Ignition (SSI) module unit and is completely hidden under the flywheel shroud from outside view, with only one wire connection. NOTE - This ignition system operates with 12 volts of power. The OEM key switch for the Tecumseh Solid State Ignition (SSI) will not work with any battery-powered ignition systems. The switch used with SSI is actually a magneto ignition switch, which when the engine is shut-down, it grounds the self-energizing wire connected to the ignition. And battery ignition requires a switch that disconnects the coil from the power source (battery). So with my this ignition system, you will need either an OFF-ON-START battery-ignition key switch, or an OFF-ON toggle/flip switch or an OFF-ON key switch (for security purposes; to power the ignition) and a momentary push button switch (to crank the engine). Go here for choice of switches. Limited one year warranty. Actual picture of ignition system shown above. Concept and design by Brian Miller.


Replacement Tecumseh Electronic Ignition Kit with Inductive PerTronix Ignitor. (Detects short steel pin in flywheel.) Includes: new PerTronix Ignitor Inductive module/sensor and new high quality, high energy, small-size epoxy encapsulated ignition coil w/integrated copper core spark plug wire, both fastened on aluminum mounting plate, new Autolite 295 or Champion J8C spark plug, new momentary push-button switch (to crank the engine; optional) and new OFF-ON toggle/flip switch/flip switch or [security] key switch (to power the ignition; optional).

Installation Instructions for Replacement Tecumseh Electronic Ignition System with the Inductive PerTronix Ignitor:

  1. The module/sensor detects and fires off ONLY the short firing pin in the flywheel so the engine will run right and produce full power. Therefore, remove, drive down or grind off the long firing pin until it's flush with the surface of the flywheel. FYI - I've done a lot of research on this and the long pin MUST be absent for this ignition system to work right.
  2. Set air gap/clearance between firing pin and module/sensor at .010"-.050" with a paper, plastic or brass feeler gauge, and securely tighten the mounting fasteners. IMPORTANT - Gently rotate the flywheel back and forth by hand to check and see that the module does not make contact with the firing pin. Do not allow the module make contact with the pin while the engine is running!
  3. Determine the required length of the spark plug wire, shorten if necessary (don't make it too short!), and install the spark plug boot and terminal. If necessary, apply oil or grease on the spark plug wire and inside boot so the boot will slide on easily.
  4. Set the spark plug gap at .030" with this kit.
  • Replacement Tecumseh Electronic Ignition System with momentary push-button switch (to crank engine) and OFF-ON toggle/flip switch or [security] key switch (to power ignition). $195.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.
  • Replacement Tecumseh Electronic Ignition System above without momentary push-button switch (to crank engine) and OFF-ON toggle/flip switch or [security] key switch (to power ignition). (Customer supplies own switches.) $175.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.
  • Click or tap here to print out the installation and wiring instructions for this system.


Replacement Tecumseh Electronic Ignition Kit with Hall Effect PerTronix Ignitor. (Detects installed screw/magnet on flywheel.) Includes: new PerTronix Ignitor Hall Effect module/sensor and new high quality, high energy, small-size epoxy encapsulated ignition coil w/integrated copper core spark plug wire, both fastened on aluminum mounting plate, 12-24 UNC thread screw/magnet/cushioning washer, new Autolite 295 or Champion J8C spark plug, new momentary push-button switch (to crank the engine; optional) and new OFF-ON toggle/flip switch or an OFF-ON key switch (for security purposes; to power the ignition; optional).

Installation Instructions for Replacement Tecumseh Electronic Ignition System with the Hall Effect PerTronix Ignitor:

  1. Remove the short OEM firing pin from the flywheel, and enlarge the hole with a #16 drill bit, then cut new threads with a 12-24 UNC hand tap. (Use Hanson 1765537; Google search link.)
  2. Install the supplied 12-24 UNC thread screw/magnet/cushioning washer on the flywheel with high strength liquid threadlocker (Red Loctite, Permatex or equivalent). The module/sensor is activated from the South pole of the magnet, so do not remove the magnet from the screw! To prevent from breaking the magnet, do not over-tighten the screw! Tighten screw just enough to squeeze out the rubber cushioning washer. No need to remove the long pin. It will serve no purpose. The module/sensor detects and fires off the screw/magnet on the flywheel so the engine will produce full power.
  3. Set air gap/clearance between screw/magnet and module/sensor at .010"-.050" with a paper, plastic or brass feeler gauge, and securely tighten the mounting fasteners. IMPORTANT - Gently rotate the flywheel back and forth by hand to check and see that the module does not make contact with the screw/magnet. Do not allow the module make contact with the screw head while the engine is running!
  4. Determine the required length of the spark plug wire, shorten if necessary (don't make it too short!), and install the spark plug boot and terminal. If necessary, apply oil or grease on the spark plug wire and inside boot so the boot will slide on easily.
  5. Set the spark plug gap at .030" with this kit.
  • Replacement Tecumseh Electronic Ignition Kit with momentary push-button switch (to crank engine) and OFF-ON toggle/flip switch or [security] key switch (to power ignition). $200.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.
  • Replacement Tecumseh Electronic Ignition System above without momentary push-button switch (to crank engine) and OFF-ON toggle/flip switch or [security] key switch (to power ignition). (Customer supplies own switches.) $180.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.
  • 12-24 UNC High Speed Steel Hand Tap. $8.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Click or tap here to print out the installation and wiring instructions for this system.

How to Start the Engine with Either Ignition System Above -

  1. First, choke the carburetor. (Or install an A-1 Miller's fuel primer kit, which is much easier and convenient to use.)
  2. Crank the engine with the momentary push button switch.
  3. While it's cranking over, flip ON the toggle/flip switch/flip switch or turn ON the key switch to "put the spark to it". Don't forget to open the choke as soon as the engine starts.
  4. The engine should start right off, idle smoothly and rev up to full RPM every time.
  5. And being the engine may draw fuel through the idle fuel passageway with the throttle plate in the idle position with the engine warm, without using the choke (or primer bulb), it's best to use this same starting procedure every time to start the engine.
  6. Failure to start the engine in this procedure will result in engine "kick back". This is when the crankshaft/flywheel rebounds sharply, which could cause the starter armature to bent or break off. By starting the engine this way, due to centrifugal spinning force of the flywheel, it won't kick back and the engine will start with no problems whatsoever. You may think this would be a hassle at first, but once you get used to doing it this way, you'll think nothing of it. By the way - This is how many pulling truck and tractor drivers, and race car drivers start their high performance engines under full compression with fixed advanced ignition timing setting (no timing retard, and obviously no compression release), with no hesitation and without damaging the starter motor.


A-1 Miller's Economy Replacement Electronic Ignition Kit. Includes: New 3/8" x 1" magnetic pickup coil w/1/8" thickness angled mounting bracket, choice of new Chrysler ignition control module w/new ballast resistor or new Ford ignition control module, new 1.0 ohm full-size canister coil w/new spark plug wire, and new Autolite 295 or Champion J8C spark plug. Magnetic pickup coil and angled mounting bracket installs in place of OEM SSI module, and replacement ignition control module and coil fastens on outside of engine. Click or tap here for wiring instructions and diagrams. An original concept and design by Brian Miller. Please accept no copycat product of this kind. (But I do appreciate them acknowledging my intelligence.)

  • Tecumseh Electronic Ignition Kit above without momentary push-button switch (to crank engine) and OFF-ON toggle/flip switch/flip switch or [security] key switch (to power ignition). (Customer supplies own switches.) $143.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.
  • Tecumseh Electronic Ignition Kit above with momentary push-button switch (to crank engine) and OFF-ON toggle/flip switch/flip switch or [security] key switch (to power ignition). $163.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.

(Posted 8/24/20) FYI - I've been getting several emails from people who purchased another type of custom-made electronic ignition system for Tecumseh engines from another person online, and if you're experiencing problems with this system, you will need to complain to the person you purchased it from. Because being I'm not familiar with another man's custom ignition system, the advice I give you to get your engine running right may not be 100% accurate. It'll be like a Chevrolet car dealer trying to tell someone how to fix a Ford vehicle. I thoroughly tested all my custom electronic ignition systems that I offer in my websites, and they work flawlessly. - Brian Miller

If you would like to purchase any of the parts or services listed 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; text or when leaving a voice message, please speak slowly and clearly). 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.) E-mail: pullingtractor@aol.com. When you call, text, email or visit our shop, you will be dealing directly with the owner for the best customer service. 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. 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 make the long drive to A-1 Miller's shop to personally drop off and/or pick up your carburetor, clutch assembly, engine, transaxle, tractor, etc. "The road to a friend's house (or shop) is never long." (We're planning to relocate to other property with a bigger and better shop so we can provide many more high quality parts and professional services.)


A-1 Miller's Custom Flywheel-Trigger Electronic Ignition Conversion Kit for Kohler opposed twin cylinder engine models KT17 Series II and KT19 Series II. This ignition system works flawlessly! Replaces points and condenser. Ignition points can be removed and the points pushrod hole can be permanently plugged with a short self-tapping 1/4" bolt, Allen set screw or clear RTV silicone adhesive sealant. The ignition system listed below works excellent with the OEM Kohler 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 w/magnet just when the rubber washer begin to bulge. FYI - Store a container of liquid threadlocker or Super Glue 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 KT17 and KT19 first design 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 KT17 first design engine, and the cylinder(s) off a KT19 Series II, M20 and MV20 engine will work on a KT19 first design 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 KT17 or KT19 first design engine, but this is the best way of making it happen. Scroll down for more information.

For General Yard & Garden Work, or Competition Pulling. This ignition system produce a strong spark. It will allow the engine to start quicker, idle smooth and rev up to full throttle with no hesitation or misfire. Complete Flywheel-Trigger Ignition Kit for the Flywheel End of Opposed Twin Cylinder Kohler engine models KT17 Series II and KT19 Series II. Produces a very strong spark. This ignition system may outlast the life of the engine. This revolutionizes the ignition system for the opposed twin cylinder Kohler engines! Use this setup for durability instead of points and condenser. Use with the OEM off/ignition/start key switch and ignition coil. Simple two wire hook-up; RED wire on module/sensor connects to 12 volt ignition switch (battery positive (+) post), and BLACK wire on module/sensor connects to coil negative (–) terminal. Kit includes PerTronix Ignitor module/sensor w/mounting bracket and hardware, and small magnet/screw/cushioning washer. PerTronix Ignitor module/sensor is triggered by a small magnet fastened in a specific place on edge of flywheel. Use the OEM ignition coil with metal core spark plug wires and copper core spark plugs gapped at .025" each. FYI - The module/sensor is diode-protected, and will NOT burn up if the wires are connected in reverse with power supplied. IMPORTANT - Module will burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than a few minutes with the engine not running. To prevent this from possibly happening and/or for security reasons, use an OFF-ON key switch and/or a master disconnect switch with a removable key instead of just a toggle/flip switch/flip switch to power the ignition system. An ingenious and innovative concept by Brian Miller because nobody else advertise this type of ignition system.


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

Be Ahead of the Competition with 21st Century Technology Using 100% Reliable Digital Electronic Ignition! Please contact A-1 Miller's if you're interested in any of these parts or services. [Return to previous paragraph, section or website] [Top of Page]

FYI - I can install a crank-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

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 sensor/module produce a strong spark and will allow the engine to start quicker, idle smooth and rev up to full 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. Using a coil with less than total of 3.0 ohms of primary resistance for a long period of time will cause the module to overheat and the engine may misfire until it cools down, or the sensor/module might fail prematurely. A metal conductor spark plug wire and copper core/non-resistor spark plug should be used. If the voltage drops below the minimum requirement for either sensor/module, the engine may idle well, but not rev up, 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 is required for V-twin engines. These are the same ignition used by professional pullers everywhere. Reliable at high RPMs, the Dynatek Dyna S module 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 wiring connections.

Spark occurs when a small magnet embedded in an aluminum locking set screw collar, which is much like an automotive reluctor ring, that's fastened on the crankshaft's PTO end passes the sensor/module. These sensors/modules packs a lot of punch and allows the ignition system operate at 100% efficiency for a stronger spark. When wired correctly, it's normal for the flywheel- and crank-trigger ignition systems to make a spark when first powered up. And if it makes a spark as the sensor passes the metal target object, then the ignition system is working as it should.

Dynatek Dyna S 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 set screw collar w/embedded 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 set screw collar w/embedded magnet is .010"-.050". 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 thermal paste (to dissipate the operating heat) on a clean, flat aluminum plate with plenty of cool air circulation to dissipate the heat while in operation. NOTE: Do not allow sensor/module to make contact with locking set screw collar w/embedded magnet while engine is running!

NOTE: The Dynatek Dyna S crank-trigger ignition kits with the locking set screw 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 set screw 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 set screw 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.


Designed Specifically for Single Cylinder Garden Pulling Tractors, these Self-Contained 12 Volt High Performance Dyna S Kit is Integrated with a Durable 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 set screw 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 fastens 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. FYI - Unlike the competition of this part, this ignition system is diode-protected, and will NOT burn up if the wires are connected in reverse with power supplied. IMPORTANT - Module will burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than a few minutes with the engine not running. To prevent this from possibly happening and/or for security reasons, use an OFF-ON key switch and/or a master disconnect switch with a removable key instead of just a toggle/flip switch to power the ignition system. Set the air gap/clearance between sensor and magnet in locking set screw collar at .010"-.050", and set spark plug gap at .035". Please specify diameter of crankshaft PTO end for locking set screw collar w/embedded 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 set screw collar w/embedded magnet. Made in USA. Picture and video of each product coming soon.

Wiring Directions for Either Module Shown Below: Connect the BLACK wire on module to the negative (–) terminal on the ignition coil (and to nothing else), and connect the RED wire on the module to the positive (+) terminal on the coil and to the ignition switch (positive (+) battery post). . FYI - The module/sensor is diode-protected, and will NOT burn up if the wires are connected in reverse with power supplied. IMPORTANT - Module will burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than a few minutes with the engine not running.

Dynatek Dyna S Sensor/Module Fastened on Aluminum Mounting Plate and Locking Set Screw Collar w/Embedded Magnet. This ignition system produce a strong spark. It will allow the engine to start quicker, idle smooth and rev up to full throttle with no hesitation or misfire. Can be used on Kohler 10-16hp single or opposed twin cylinder horizontal shaft engines. Ignition module fastens on PTO end of engine block, and coil mounts remotely on side of flywheel shroud or elsewhere in engine compartment. Ignition coil not included, purchase separately. Must be used with a minimum 3.0 ohm coil regardless of the voltage output to prevent from burning up module. Set the clearance between the module and locking collar at .010"-.050". IMPORTANT - Gently rotate the flywheel back and forth by hand to check and see that the module does not make contact with the locking collar. Do not allow the module make contact with the locking collar while the engine is running! Wiring instructions: Connect RED wire to coil positive (+) terminal and to ignition switch (battery positive (+) post), and connect BLACK wire to coil negative (–) terminal. FYI - Unlike the competition of this part, the module is diode-protected, and will NOT burn up if the wires are connected in reverse with power supplied. IMPORTANT - Module will burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than a few minutes with the engine not running. To prevent this from possibly happening and/or for security reasons, use an OFF-ON key switch and/or a master disconnect switch with a removable key instead of just a toggle/flip switch to power the ignition system. NOTE: Slotted mounting holes will be machined in the ignition plate. If the bolt holes in the PTO end of the block don't match the ones in the plate or if bolt holes are not present, then new bolt holes will need to be drilled and tapped in the engine block. This ignition setup is pictured above. $80.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.

Self-Contained Ignition System with Dynatek Dyna S Sensor/Module with the Dynatek Dyna S module/sensor and a High Energy Small-Size Epoxy Encapsulated Ignition Coil w/integrated metal core conductor spark plug wire fastened on same aluminum mounting plate, with a Locking Set Screw Collar w/Embedded Magnet. This ignition system produce a strong spark. It will allow the engine to start quicker, idle smooth and rev up to full throttle with no hesitation or misfire. Designed to be used only on Kohler 10-16hp single cylinder engines. Entire ignition system fastens on PTO end of engine block; cleans up the engine compartment on a Cub Cadet. Coil can withstand high engine vibrations. Set the clearance between the module and locking collar at .010"-.050". IMPORTANT - Gently rotate the flywheel back and forth by hand to check and see that the module does not make contact with the locking collar. Do not allow the module make contact with the locking collar while the engine is running! Simple wiring instructions: Connect RED wire to coil positive (+) terminal and to ignition switch (battery positive (+) post). Set spark plug gap at .035" with this system. Kit also includes fully insulated male and female slip-on spade crimp-type wire connectors (to easily connect/disconnect the ignition system to/from the power source). FYI - This ignition system operate with 12 volts negative ground, is diode-protected, and will NOT burn up if the wires are connected in reverse with power supplied. IMPORTANT - Module will burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than a few minutes with the engine not running. To prevent this from possibly happening and/or for security reasons, use an OFF-ON key switch and/or a master disconnect switch with a removable key instead of just a toggle/flip switch to power the ignition system. NOTE: Slotted mounting holes will be machined in the ignition plate. If the bolt holes in the PTO end of the block don't match the ones in the plate or if bolt holes are not present, then new bolt holes will need to be drilled and tapped in the engine block. Picture of this ignition system coming soon. $165.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.

Replacement Dynatek Dyna S hall effect sensor/module with red and black wires. FYI - The module is diode-protected, and will NOT burn up if the wires are connected in reverse with power supplied. IMPORTANT - Module will burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than a few minutes with the engine not running. To prevent this from possibly happening and/or for security reasons, use an OFF-ON key switch and/or a master disconnect switch with a removable key instead of just a toggle/flip switch to power the ignition system. Use with small magnet in aluminum rotating disc to trigger the spark. $60.00 each, plus shipping & handling.


(Posted 1/26/20) For Competition Pulling Engines Only. Complete self-contained crank-trigger ignition system that operate off the PTO end of opposed twin cylinder Kohler engine models KT17 Series II, KT19 Series II, and Magnum engine models M18 and M20. Produces a strong spark. Use this setup for durability when the OEM type of solid state ignition coil keeps failing. Fastens on PTO end of engine. Dynatek Dyna S module/sensor is triggered by a small magnet embedded in a locking set screw collar. Simple one wire hook-up; RED wire on module/sensor connects to 12 volt ignition switch (battery positive (+) post). Kit includes: Dynatek Dyna S module/sensor and dual wire epoxy encapsulated ignition coil with two molded-in metal core conductor spark plug wires and 90º spark plug terminals/boots fastened on aluminum mounting plate, and small magnet embedded in a locking set screw collar, and new battery ignition OFF-IGNITION-START key switch (do not reuse OEM Magnum solid state ignition key switch with this system) or momentary push button switch (to crank the engine), OFF-ON toggle/flip switch/flip switch or an OFF-ON key switch (for security purposes; to power the ignition) and fully insulated male and female slip-on spade crimp-type wire connectors (to easily connect/disconnect the ignition system to/from the power source). Remove the OEM solid state ignition coil and aluminum bracket. They will serve no purpose with this kit. Use with copper core spark plugs gapped at .035" each. Coil can withstand high engine vibrations. Please specify diameter of crankshaft PTO end for the locking collar when ordering. FYI - The module is diode-protected, and will NOT burn up if the wires are connected in reverse with power supplied. IMPORTANT - Module will burn up if the ignition switch is left on for more than a few minutes with the engine not running. To prevent this from possibly happening and/or for security reasons, use an OFF-ON key switch and/or a master disconnect switch with a removable key instead of just a toggle/flip switch/flip switch to power the ignition system. Picture of this setup coming soon. An ingenious and innovative concept by Brian Miller because nobody else advertise this setup.



How to Test 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 magnet (loose) on the crankshaft back and forth by hand. Each time the embedded detector/trigger magnet passes the sensor/module, spark should occur. NOTE: Do not use a battery charger alone for power 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 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 magnet loose on the crankshaft, rotate the collar 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 Inductive 3-Wire 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 inductive 3-wire proximity sensor, with the magnet in the locking set screw collar 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 collar 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) using 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 the locking collar w/embedded 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 collar, slightly rotate crankshaft by hand one way or the other to advance or retard the timing, and position the collar 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.


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 or tap here for wiring diagrams.


Magnetic Pickup Coils for flywheel- or crank-trigger electronic ignition. All magnetic pickup coils are Normally Open. Either 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. 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 magnetic pickup coils below work exactly the same. There is absolutely no difference in performance. 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 or tap here for wiring diagrams.

Detectable Target Screws for Flywheel-Trigger Electronic Ignition. Install on the edge of an aluminum or steel locking collar, 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 - Store a container of liquid threadlocker or Super Glue 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 advertised copycat product of this kind. (But I do appreciate them acknowledging my intelligence.)


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 - Store a container of liquid threadlocker or Super Glue 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 advertised copycat product of this kind. (But I do appreciate them acknowledging my intelligence.)


High Quality Ordinary/Stock GM HEI 4-Pin Ignition Control Module w/packet of thermal paste (to dissipate the operating heat). Use with a high-output hall effect or inductive proximity sensor. Virtually any ignition coil regardless of the internal primary resistor can be used. Best to be used with a metal core conductor spark plug wire and copper core/non-resistor spark plug gapped at .025" or .035" (depending on size of coil) for best performance. This combination of ignition components produce an extremely strong spark, allowing the engine to rev up to full speed. When mounting the GM 4-pin HEI module, always fasten it with thermal paste on a clean, flat aluminum plate with plenty of cool circulating air to dissipate the heat and cool the unit while in operation. All GM HEI modules that I offer for sale have been tested personally by Brian Miller on my Kohler test engine to insure proper operation. Requires one (1) 3/16"/.187"/2.8mm and three (3) #250 slip-on female spade crimp-type wire connectors. Actual weight of each module: 1.1 oz. $25.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

High Quality High-Output/Performance GM HEI 4-Pin Ignition Control Module w/packet of thermal paste (to dissipate the operating heat). This particular module connected to a magnetic pickup coil (below Ê) works excellent with a stock ignition coil that have a maximum 1.0 ohm internal primary resistor, metal core conductor spark plug wire and copper core/non-resistor spark plug gapped at .025, which produce a strong spark, allowing the engine to rev up to full speed. When mounting the GM 4-pin HEI module, always fasten it with thermal paste on a clean, flat aluminum plate with plenty of circulating cool air to dissipate the heat and cool the unit while in operation. Requires one (1) 3/16"/.187"/2.8mm and three (3) #250 slip-on female spade crimp-type wire connectors. Actual weight of each module: 1.1 oz. $35.00 each, plus shipping & handling. (Limited supply.)


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 or tap 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 advertised copycat product of this kind. (But I do appreciate them acknowledging my intelligence.)


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 rev up to 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 copper core/non-resistor 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 thermal paste (to dissipate the operating heat) on a clean, flat aluminum plate with plenty of cool air circulation to dissipate the heat while in operation. Click or tap 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 Electronic Ignition Module generates about 250 volts while the engine is running at full governed 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.


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 or tap 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 start quicker, idle smooth and rev up to full throttle with no hesitation or misfire. Actual weight of module: 14 oz. Click or tap here for wiring diagrams.

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.

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 start quicker, idle smooth and rev up to full throttle with no hesitation or misfire. Actual weight of module: 1 lb. 7 oz. Click or tap here for wiring diagrams. [Return to previous section]


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 governed 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.


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 over-revving and possible damage to the engine or dangerous flywheel explosion. Very accurate. Can be hand-held to temporarily set engine RPM or can be surface-mounted and secured with two screws. mounted to monitor engine RPM at all times. Large 3/8 inch LCD display. Works with all spark ignition engines by selecting engine type using S1 and S2 buttons. Works with magneto and battery-powered ignition systems. 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. Dimensions: 2" wide x 1-3/4" depth x 3/4" height.


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. Choice of a RED or BLUE numeric display. Will work with single- or twin-cylinder small engines or multi-cylinder automotive engines, gas or diesel. The great thing about this type of tachometer is it needs no setup. It displays accurate RPMs as soon as the engine cranks over to start. Displays up to 9,999 RPM. Very accurate. Tachometer returns to zero [0000] when engine is shut down. Operates totally independent of the ignition system. Can be used for lawn & garden equipment or competition pulling engines. Designed to be permanently mounted to monitor engine RPM at all times. Tachometer can be in-dash or panel-mounted. This precision digital tachometer operates with external power and on the same principle as my flywheel- or crank-trigger ignition systems with a proximity sensor to detect the target, which can be a small ferrous steel screw or pin, or magnet in a rotating disc on the crankshaft or on/in flywheel. 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 sensor works with 6-36 volts DC. Dimensions for mounting hole for tachometer: 3" wide x 1-17/32" wide. Tachometer measures 1" in depth. Dimensions of proximity sensor: 15/32" diameter x 1-3/8" thread length. Wiring Instructions: #1 wire on tachometer connects to brown wire on proximity sensor and ignition switch (12 volt power), #2 wire on tachometer connects to blue wire on 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 is the same for the hall effect and inductive proximity sensors. Some proximity sensors have an LED (Light Emitting Diode) on the rear of unit. If the proximity sensor is wired incorrectly, the LED will illuminate within the target. Click or tap here for YouTube videos to see how well this tachometer works. Cannot be wired in conjunction with the Dynatek Dyna S or PerTronix Ignitor ignition modules. This tachometer must be wired separately or wiring can be integrated with my crank-trigger ignition system that use a proximity sensor.


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.


A-1 Miller's Computerized Stuska Water Brake Engine Dynamometer (Dyno) Service with DPM Data Logger Software to Test Horsepower and Torque! | [Top of Page]

For performance testing of 10-16hp single cylinder Kohler stock or competition pulling engines at speeds up to 12,000 RPM. 100% accurate, customers can rent dyno time, fine tune and make adjustments or changes to their engines to gain maximum horsepower and torque, and print-out the results so their tractor(s) will be truly competitive on the track. With an engine dyno, the puller can adjust their engine to get maximum horsepower and torque, and gear their tractor appropriately to have an advantage over the competition. 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 A-1 Miller's after I've built their engines that it seems to pull stronger every time they pull it.

Engine Dyno Rental Fee: $50.00 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. [Return to Previous Section, Paragraph or Website]


Coming Soon - Detailed Illustrated Plans on How to Construct a Professional Pull-Back and Self-Propelled Garden Tractor Pulling Sled. FYI - The professionally-built self-propelled pulling sled is the only one I've ever built (click the picture to the right to see a larger image of this sled), and I got it right the first time, with very few changes or modifications 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 our sled, too. They say it's the best sled they've ever pulled. (Not bragging, just stating a fact.) By the way - Track Master sled is engineered so well (by Brian Miller), that other sled builders/owners have copied my well thought-out and proven design. And I do appreciate them acknowledging my intelligence. 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 with the prices of the plans. Remember - Perfection takes time. If it's worth having, it's worth waiting for. Also, I plan to acquire a bigger shop and may build high quality garden tractor pulling sleds in the future to offer for sale. Please call 573-256-0313 (shop) or 573-881-7229 (cell; text or voice message), or email pullingtractor@aol.com if interested. - Brian Miller


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

If you would like to purchase any of the parts or services listed 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; text or when leaving a voice message, please speak slowly and clearly). 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.) E-mail: pullingtractor@aol.com. When you call, text, email or visit our shop, you will be dealing directly with the owner for the best customer service. 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. 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 make the long drive to A-1 Miller's shop to personally drop off and/or pick up your carburetor, clutch assembly, engine, transaxle, tractor, etc. "The road to a friend's house (or shop) is never long." (We're planning to relocate to other property with a bigger and better shop so we can provide many more high quality parts and professional services.)

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 or MoneyGram Money Transfers. (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 A-1 Miller's 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 A-1 Miller's 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 A-1 Miller's 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 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 try to keep our shipping cost to customers within reason. Therefore, we don't ship our products in a fancy-looking package with our company name and/or logo on it because most customers will just toss it in the trash after they remove the contents.


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 A-1 Miller's 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 A-1 Miller's an email notifying me that you have made a payment to A-1 Miller's 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.


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