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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

Assist Starting Fairbanks Z Rotary Mag With a Buzz Coil?


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  #1  
Old 06-23-2018, 01:34:12 PM
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Default Assist Starting Fairbanks Z Rotary Mag With a Buzz Coil?

I have a 1 1/2 HP Fairbanks Z with a R Type rotary mag. I can start the engine on the mag if I get it spinning fast enough with a hand crank to get a spark. My problem is that last year the engine backfired while chankinig it over with the hand crank and injured my thumb and a muscle in my forearm so I will no longer use a crank (Learned my leason). But now I can not pull it over fast enough by hand to get a spart and start it. Is there a way to hook up a buzz coil to help start the engine on low speed and then switch over to the mag once started? Any thoughts shared are appreciated.

Regards,
Doug
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  #2  
Old 06-23-2018, 03:53:14 PM
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Default Re: Assist Starting Fairbanks Z Rotary Mag With a Buzz Coil?

To keep it from backfiring hold the intake valve open with your left hand and get the flywheels spinning with your right hand. Then let go of the intake once the flywheels have some speed and momentum, the Magneto will be moving fast enough to give you plenty of spark, and it will take off for you. It might cough out the intake while you spin it up, but no big deal.
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Old 06-23-2018, 11:01:09 PM
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Default Re: Assist Starting Fairbanks Z Rotary Mag With a Buzz Coil?

I did try to start it that way but no luck. Maybe my mag doesn’t have the spark that it should at lower speeds.

Thanks,
Doug
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Old 06-24-2018, 02:24:00 AM
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Default Re: Assist Starting Fairbanks Z Rotary Mag With a Buzz Coil?

Sounds as if the magneto needs some attention. It should always have enough spark at low revs to start the engine. An impulse mechanism might help you in making it easier to start but the magneto has to be in good working condition to start with. Get the magneto looked at or go through it yourself and make sure everything Is up to scratch. Coil, points, condensor and magnetism and also check that the magneto is timed correctly.
I know it is tricky to do but don't wrap your thumb around the crank handle as all you can get is hurt.
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Old 06-24-2018, 10:42:45 AM
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Default Re: Assist Starting Fairbanks Z Rotary Mag With a Buzz Coil?

My next step will be to take a good look at the mag.

Thanks,
Doug
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Old 06-26-2018, 10:22:45 PM
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Default Re: Assist Starting Fairbanks Z Rotary Mag With a Buzz Coil?

Just a follow up on this problem. Tonight I took off the mag and put it on my bench and just by turning the mag gear over by hand I was getting a good blue spark. I noticed that when I restored this engine years ago that I painted all the bracket surfaces. I removed the paint under the mag and reinstalled it and turned the engine over, but no spark. There is also a conversion adapter bracket under the mag with a 4th gear that is between the crank and mag for adapting this engine from an older style mag, I think an AB33, to this Type R. So this engine has 4 gears on it. A crank, cam, adapter, and mag gear. That adapter bracket is probably painted under it also. Not enough time to remove that and sand off the paint tonight. I jumpered the mag body to the threads of the spark plug and turned the engine over and got good spark. I hooked up the plug wire and got it to fire right away. Now the timing is way off and all the books I have don’t show how to time that set up with the 4th gear, so I will play with it this weekend until I can get it to fire 20 - 25 degrees before inside dead center.

Doug
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Old 06-28-2018, 11:30:25 PM
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Default Re: Assist Starting Fairbanks Z Rotary Mag With a Buzz Coil?

Well it continues. I am having troubles timing this engine. It turns out this unit has a Bosch to Type R Magneto conversion kit installed. To make matters worse I can’t find any timing marks on the crank gear, and the idler gear between the crank and mag does have an M marked on it, but it looks like someone put multiple double punch marks on teeth all around the gear so they are not making any sense. The Type R mag gear does have a taper filed on one tooth so that may help. Does anyone have any suggestions on how go go about timing this engine based on this info?

Doug
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Old 06-29-2018, 02:20:04 AM
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Default Re: Assist Starting Fairbanks Z Rotary Mag With a Buzz Coil?

I'm not sure but I would try the simplest way first. Bring piston to about 3' BTDC and set points to be just opening at that point.
Glad that the magneto is fine so keep following up on grounding it to the engine.
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Old 07-01-2018, 11:16:11 PM
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Default Re: Assist Starting Fairbanks Z Rotary Mag With a Buzz Coil?

I finally was able to get the engine to start by pulling on the flywheels and without the hand crank. I ended up doing several things. I figured out the timing (gear mesh) to fire about 12 degrees before TDC, but that didn’t help. I removed paint from between the brackets for a good ground for the mag, and checked with an ohm meter which was near 0 ohms. Then I decided to take the mag rear cover off to check points I cleaned grease off the carbon ground brush at the rear of the armature, it was quite greasy. I also cleaned the points, and verified where they opened to check my timing. I put the mag cover back on. The mag gear filed tooth is no where near where it meshes with the idler gear when timed. Someone had punched two marks on teeth where the gear meshes at about 23 degrees before TDC (maybe me years ago ) so those are probably the previous timing marks but I am going with 12 degrees now. Then I decided to recharge the magneto magnets with my Rex charger. When done I had a nice blue spark, but I thought it was pretty good before . I reinstalled the mag, timed it, set the needle valve to 3/8 open, choked to get a little fuel at the intake. I turned over the engine and it coughed a few time but didn’t start . I decided to clean the plug again and decrease the gap. It was gapped at .025” so I decreased it to .015”. I reinstalled it and it started right up . Now I can start it and it is running well at this timing. I think my problem was the rotary mag wasn’t making enough spark when turning slow when not using the hand crank and the smaller plug gap may be the help it needed for the smaller spark during the slow speed starting.

Regards,
Doug
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Old 07-02-2018, 02:16:53 AM
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Default Re: Assist Starting Fairbanks Z Rotary Mag With a Buzz Coil?

Good news Doug and well done. I feel that the plug gap might be a bit too tight so try opening it up to 0.020" and see how it goes.

That sure is one very desirable magneto re-charger!
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:07:44 AM
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Default Re: Assist Starting Fairbanks Z Rotary Mag With a Buzz Coil?

Thanks, I will try and open the gap up to .020” and see how it works now that I have it figured out.

The charger was a fun project. If you check my posts from back in 2010 I posted the steps I did to build it. I followed the Rex directions pretty close. It works well, I just hook it up to my truck battery for power when usung it.

Regards,
Doug
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