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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

Kohler K161 no spark.


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  #1  
Old 10-11-2015, 12:54:19 PM
RecoveryOne RecoveryOne is offline
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Default Kohler K161 no spark.

Hello everyone,
Been lurking on the site for some time as I try to get my old Horse tiller in running shape. Its power plant is a Kohler K161T, Spec Number: 281181j.

Was hoping someone may have some advice.
Following the ohm meter test for coil found in this thread: http://www.smokstak.com/forum/showthread.php?t=76014 I replaced the coil as the old coil was not giving any readings on high tension to block. Napa coil per this thread: http://www.smokstak.com/forum/showth...highlight=k161 as I was informed that the Kohler coil has been discontinued. As noted in the form the wire was extended to the points, but the previous coil also had the same treatment!

While I was at it replaced spark plug, condenser and points. Points are cleaned and gap is set to .020". Plug is also set to .020" No spark...

Magnets mounted inside the flywheel are fairly strong. They hold a screwdriver to them with decent force

I've read up on many different threads here looking for clues, suggestions, ideas and well...frankly I am at a loss.

Current coil high tension ohm reading is 5.17K ohms.
Low tension (points to ground) is 1.4 ohms.

Feeling a bit adventurous I spun the flywheel while holding the high tension in my hand and a finger (from the same hand) to the block. There's a decent zap there as it fires though my finger, just not enough to drive a spark.

I seen a few threads like my title above, however didn't want to resurrect an old thread.

Since everything is tore down at the moment, if anyone want's photo's of the engine,wires, etc...I can easily post them.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post.
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  #2  
Old 10-11-2015, 12:58:41 PM
Roland Hayes Roland Hayes is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K161 no spark.

Hi and welcome to the Stak.

Try closing the plug gap down to 0.010" and see if it will fire,

I've run my tiller fitted with a K161 for years on a small gap when it got hard to start and it has performed perfectly since.
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Old 10-11-2015, 02:36:21 PM
RecoveryOne RecoveryOne is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K161 no spark.

Thanks for the welcome and suggestion Roland.

I adjusted gap on the plug down to .010, still no visible spark (dark garage).

Double checked the points were isolated, points open no reading, points closed 1.2 ohms.

Thanks again!
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Old 10-11-2015, 02:55:26 PM
Gasenginegangster Gasenginegangster is online now
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Default Re: Kohler K161 no spark.

If you have a good coil laying around I would try it. I have had condensers bad out of the box. I would try another good plug also. I have had new plugs bad out of the box also. More then once I have gotten good spark by just changing things. Are your points in good shape. I just file and sand with 600 grit to polish. Just some things I have done. Good Luck
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Old 10-11-2015, 04:43:51 PM
RecoveryOne RecoveryOne is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K161 no spark.

Hey Gas,
Sadly no spare parts. Don't think the misses would be happy with me buying a 2nd set of everything at this time. I could try mix and matching the old condenser, points and plug.

If I get some time tonight I'll poke about it some more.
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Old 10-11-2015, 05:53:48 PM
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Steve Kreiner Steve Kreiner is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K161 no spark.

Did you clean the new points before you put them in they have a coating on them from factory?
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Old 10-11-2015, 07:52:19 PM
RecoveryOne RecoveryOne is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K161 no spark.

Akuna and Steve,
Cleaned the points before I put them on (read that's a common issue here). After dinner I was out putting toys away and gave the engine 1 more spin. Had a sign of life, one blue spark(0.010" gap). Encouraged gave it a few more pulls, nothing.


Thanks for taking the time to post. It is appreciated.
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Old 10-11-2015, 09:07:28 PM
RecoveryOne RecoveryOne is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K161 no spark.

Akuna,
No kill wires, only kill switch is on the points cover which is removed. Short/ground(what ever the correct term is) wire from coil attached to the stator. The wire going to condenser is in a sheath as I (and previous owner) had to extend it. It passes through a small hole in a plate that the stator is mounted to, then to the condenser and up to the points. As far as I can tell no shorts are present.

The short was my first thought, possible high tension wire is arcing to the block as it's passing though the plate?

Before I installed anything, I did give the condenser a capacitance test, came in at 243 micro-farads. Not sure if that's the right value for this engine/coil. (Force of habit of making notes of things for future reference.) I'll get a new one on order soon-ish.

The push rod is opening the points correctly. You mentioned points closed should be zero. Tomorrow I'll remove them, give em another clean/hit with some fine sandpaper and see if I can get closer to 0 ohms.

PS. I'm not used to working on engines, just was hoping 'oh easy fix'...
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:56:32 PM
ArodaPowerCo ArodaPowerCo is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K161 no spark.

Might sound silly to ask, but is your flywheel key ok? I have seen folks not realize it's even there and forget to put it back in. If the crank and flywheel are not in line, it will not spark. The flywheel scoots around a little with every pull of the rope and once in a while you'll get a spark.

Also, in my experience, K-series Kohlers seem to like a point gap around .017-.018" Just a tad more dwell (time that points are closed).
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Old 10-12-2015, 02:11:33 AM
cobbadog cobbadog is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K161 no spark.

I would clean the points again and again. I use methylated spirits / white spirits to dissolve any oil, wax or grease on the new contacts. Many times I have read about also using a piece of white cardboard from a business card to draw through the contacts. I would start at 0.015" for the point gap and 0.025" for the plug. Seems to be a good starting point for flywheel electrics. Double check your join on the wire as already suggested. And again already suggested is the keyway in the flywheel. I read a story out here on a similar problem and found that on his engine the keyway was in place and the flywheel also correct but on his engine the keyway was not sitting in the cam to time it correctly for the points to open at the right time as well. I do not know if your engine has this problem to look at as well.
Keep persisting and with all the help you are being offered you will get this sorted. Good luck with your project.
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:49:47 AM
RecoveryOne RecoveryOne is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K161 no spark.

Everyone,
Wanted to say a quick word of thanks for the info. I've not had a chance to get out and work on it some more. My day job and family life has kept me tied up.

Hopefully one night this week, or at least the weekend can get out and get back to it.

Thanks again!
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:12:31 PM
Bolens 1000 Bolens 1000 is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K161 no spark.

Replacement coils are still available, did your original one look like this?

https:///b...ride-a-matics/

I tried the crappy napa one years ago and had no spark either
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