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Magnetos, Ignition Coils and Spark Plugs Discussion about magnetos, buzz coils, spark plugs, ignitors and low tension coils.

Magnetos, Ignition Coils and Spark Plugs

Onan EK30 generator spark plugs and timing


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  #1  
Old 07-30-2015, 09:28:28 PM
Sam Vucina Sam Vucina is offline
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Default Onan EK30 generator spark plugs and timing

I have a 1970 Onan Model 30EK-50R 35Kw generator with a Ford model C5PF, 240 Cu. In. engine running on gasoline with 383 hours on it. I don't have any tune up specs for it, an Onan installation manual says the plugs should be gapped at .042 to .046. I think it has the wrong plugs in it (Champion F10-C) because they are gapped at .032. If I try to gap the plugs to .042 - .046 the electrodes will not be parallel any more. What is the correct spark plug type? I also need to know the timing and I'm going to convert the generator to run on natural gas, does the plug gap and timing have to be changed to run on natural gas? Right now it runs like new, starts up in any weather or temperature uses no oil and is good on fuel. Thanks for any help you can provide.
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Old 07-31-2015, 02:04:45 PM
mmcdonald mmcdonald is offline
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Default Re: Onan EK30 generator spark plugs and timing

Champion manual list RF10C for the 240 Ford power unit, so you're probably ok on that. It shows a 0.030" gap in the champion book. That larger gap you mentioned really sounds big to me. Generally speaking, plug gaps more than 0.035" usually have a high energy ignition system. Maybe that engine does, I don't know off hand. In non-automotive applications I have seen problems with too large a plug gap(too hard for spark to jump), but I really can't remember many problems because it wasn't gapped enough. If you can't find a specification, usually something around 0.025" seems to work fine on most non-auto stuff. Just my opinion. Good luck.
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:01:32 PM
Sam Vucina Sam Vucina is offline
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Default Re: Onan EK30 generator spark plugs and timing

Hi
Thanks for your reply. This generator has point ignition, I thought .042 -.046 plug gap is a bit too wide. I have installed thousands of spark plugs in hundreds of different engines and never seen plugs gapped that wide in a point type ignition. When electronic ignition came along the plug gap got wider, up to .080. I have an old tune up manual from the late 60's and the 240 Ford calls for .035 gap and the timing set to 4 degrees BTDC. But that is for an automotive application, the generator may have different timing specs, and when I convert it to natural gas the timing may be different. I'm going to convert the ignition to electronic with a Pertronix 40,000 volt Flame thrower coil and a set of Accel wires. Thanks again for your help, Sam
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Old 08-13-2015, 03:43:28 AM
cobbadog cobbadog is offline
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Default Re: Onan EK30 generator spark plugs and timing

Hi Sam, sounds like a great item and project. I am curious as to why you want to convert the ignition system if it is working perfectly well? I am not being critical of your plans, just curious.
As for the conversion to town gas, we did not have to alter any ignition specifications to run an engine on LPG so I think you will be fine.
Cheers Cobba.
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:06:17 PM
Sam Vucina Sam Vucina is offline
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Default Re: Onan EK30 generator spark plugs and timing

Hi Cobba
I want to convert the ignition system to electronic because being a auto and truck mechanic for over 47 years I have seen so many engines stop running just because the points failed. I also seen too many small engines stop for the same reason and the owners of some of these engines tear them apart trying to find the problem. Every one of those I come across I install an electronic ignition module from NAPA and it usually starts on the first pull. I'm going to use the Onan generator as a emergency generator in my home. I live on the Jersey Shore and with my luck we will be having nor - easter or a blizzard with 60 mph winds and the gen quits. I don't want to be out in that weather swapping out the points. When my cars had points I would replace the points then clean up the old ones and keep them and the capacitor as a backup. I have installed many of those conversion kits and the drivers usually say the engine runs, starts and idles better some claim better fuel economy and the dwell will never change. Back then the points and capacitors were made here who knows where they are made now, probably China so they are made to fail, if you can get them to work at all out of the box. Thanks for your reply
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