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nylyon

'68 Electro 12 Electronic Ignition

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It is still too cold here to do any work on any of the tractors, but today I wanted to check the general condition of the Electro 12. The previous owner said that the only problem was the carb, which was off the tractor when I bought it. I have the carb and air cleaner, and for kicks I squirted a little carb cleaner and cranked it over. Nothing, not too surprising though. Taking out the plug its condition is close to fouled, again not too surprising.

Checking for spark I cranked it over and it has a nice blue arc which I was happy to see, but there is no external coil. The plug wire runs into the flywheel housing, so I am thinking this is electronic ignition but there is a wire coming from the points cover and an external condenser mounted to the lower front of the engine, not sounding like electronic ignition.

What is it? Is this electronic ignition, or is the coil just mounted under a shroud?

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Sounds like a magneto ignition to me, Karl.

It's pretty much the same as chainsaws, motorcycles, and older Briggs & Stratton and Tecumseh push mower engines had. A "special" magnet mounted inside the flywheel revolves around a laminated 3 pole armature which creates current in the primary windings of the coil by the directional reversing of the N / S poles. (sort of like a backwards electromagnet) The energized primary windings are located within the secondary windings and for every one turn of primary wire there are about 100 turns in the secondary winding. (You know -- A transformer. :D ) Collapsing the field in the primary windings creates a high voltage discharge of the secondary windings (controlled by the breaker points) that travels through the high-tension lead to the spark plug.

A magneto is self supporting ("stand alone") and requires no additional or external power source. (battery) When they are working correctly they are great. The only parts that need regular maintenance are the points and condenser.

The condenser is nothing more than a "surge protector" that absorbs the extra "energy" at the contacts of the points (caused by the collapse of the seconday windings of the coil "feeding back" power through the primary windings) resulting in longer point life. They can short out and cause problems, or they can burn out and cause accelerated burning of the contacts.

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There were actually three types of ignition systems used on the K's , Karl. Magneto, Battery, and Breakerless (transistorized).

The magneto ignition was more "popular" on the K-90 to K-181 models, but - depending on the application and buyers request - some of the big-blocks had it too. The battery ignition is undoubtedly the most popular system used, and what you'll probably see the most of on the Wheel Horses.

The transistorized ignition system wasn't well accepted and replacement parts are rather expensive.

Kohler "jumped on board the technical wagon" around 1986 by basically "copying" the B&S Magnetron ignition system -- and with a few slight changes to the K series bearing plate, flywheel, and sheetmetal, the Magnum engine was essentially "born".

P.S. > Someday you'll run across a pull start 16hp K-341 and say :wtf:

Most folks would never think of pull starting a big Kohler, but there were lots of 241's & 301's (and a few 321's & 341's too) that were recoil and mag equipped. Thanks to the compression release, they really weren't that hard to pull over. :D

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Got me thinking now, I never checked the engine numbers to be sure it's a K301. Guess I check tomorrow.

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My '68 Raider 12 had a magneto and a 10 amp stator until I changed it to battery ignition. (Its' a K301 spec. no. 47147D)

Your Electro 12 should have a K301S / spec. no. 47147B according to the Toro MPV.

Funny thing is -- the MPV "says" my Raider should have a K-301/4712B -- which is a Starter/Generator engine. Mine has a gear starter and it is original. (The MPV also says a '68 Charger 12 should have that same engine -- which is wrong too. :D (Goes to show you that you can't believe everything on there)

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You guys talking about this reminds me I have questions on my Bronco 14's electrical system. It's got some "strange" components on it. It runs great, but it's got stuff on it I've never seen before.

I'll get some pics and make another thread later. Didn't mean to hijack this one. :D

Kevin

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Checked the engine, it is a K301 spec 47147B so it's probably the correct engine for the tractor.

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I've been spying a K301 on a concrete saw at the junk yard, it has pull start and a mag. I know it has ACR, but it still pulls over kinda hard, you would want it in top tune so it would start on the first pull. It's the first big block pull start I've seen. Didn't meen to get :D Kelly in MI.

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You guys talking about this reminds me I have questions on my Bronco 14's electrical system. It's got some "strange" components on it. It runs great, but it's got stuff on it I've never seen before.

I'll get some pics and make another thread later. Didn't mean to hijack this one. :D

Kevin

If your Bronco 14 has a strange "transformer-looking" coil (they remind me of an old motorcycle coil) mounted to the side of the blower housing -- like this one:

94_1.jpg

and a trigger ("pick up") mounted to the bearing plate above the flywheel (under the blower housing), that would be breakerless transistorized ignition. This system also requires a special stator to produce power for the ignition coil.

It's a predecessor to the CDI systems used on dirt bikes and ATV's.

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I've been spying a K301 on a concrete saw at the junk yard, it has pull start and a mag. I know it has ACR, but it still pulls over kinda hard, you would want it in top tune so it would start on the first pull. It's the first big block pull start I've seen. Didn't meen to get :D Kelly in MI.

I guess I'm the one responsible for leading off topic, but all this stuff just seems to fit together.

I know it normally takes two hands to pull a big K over with a rope -- especially when the oil is cold!

Good thing weed-eaters don't pull that hard -- I'd have ALL of mine smashed with a hammer by now! :(:P :(

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So thats why this bad boy costs so much for the vertical Kohlers

KV181Scoil1.jpg

Edit sorry for going on off topic :D

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Yep -- that's P/N 236826-S and is right around $130.00 from Kohler.

The stators are now hitting about $275.00 and the trigger is about $130.00 ! :P

It's no wonder so many of these are being converted to battery ignition. :D

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Gues I'll have to start watching for K181 and K161 parts to keep on hand for when one dies :D

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Keep your eyes open on ebay for "unknowing" sellers. Sometimes you can buy a blower housing with a coil still attached real cheap! :D

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OK will do. The graet thing about the verticals is most f the parts cross over to K161s and a few to K181s. Everything but the tin work, crank and cam. Crank and cam will run you about $300 each from Toro :D

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I guess I'm the one responsible for leading off topic, but all this stuff just seems to fit together.

This is 100% on-topic with the intent of the subject. I know what mine is now, feel kinda silly as it makes perfect sense now... but never knew what the others looked like, very educational.

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Well, Karl......

I did a little digging (actually A LOT of digging) and found the bearing plate, stator (minus the ignition coil) and the flywheel off of my 1968 Raider 12.

You can see the special bolt-in magnet ring * in the flywheel and also the split 10 amp charging coils of the stator. The bare "post" at the 2 o'clock position on the stator is where the actual ignition coil mounts. It pushes down over the armature and is held in place by a wire clip.

*Newer flywheels have the magnets glued in with spacers between each one -- if any of them ever fall out they can be reglued (with epoxy), but proper orientation of the poles must be observed.

magign301.jpg

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I suppose the beauty about this system is if it fails the conversion to battery ignition would consist of a wire, coil and I would suspect a new key switch.

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Thats' correct, Karl.

Where you run into a problem is when the stator goes bad. That's when you end up with spare parts like the ones in the picture. :P

I changed it over to a newer 15 amp system from a '77 C-120 and haven't had a bit of trouble since. :D

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As Terry said you can pick them up off ebay cheap I just a few weeks ago I got a blower housing and other tin with the coil from a 71 raider 12 shipped to me for $17 The engine chucked a rod, He left the rest of the motor at the repair shop and they tossed it all, I asked about the rest of the parts. I've seen a few of the coils on ebay.

Can anyone tell me if my 68 Electro 12 would of had this set up on it from the factory? I'd like to restore it as close to new as I can. I know :D Maybe I should start a new tread about it? Kelly in MI.

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TT, that is exactly what is on my Bronco. Thanks for the info! I guess as long as she runs OK, I won't worry.

And by the way- Sometimes you scare me... :P

Just kidding of course. You are a wealth of knowledge on Kohler engines and different WH tractors for certain! :D

There is one thing wrong with my electrical on my Bronco though. It'll crank every time, just won't shut off with the key. I haven't looked yet to see why. Hopefully a simple fix.

Thanks for your patience Karl!

Kevin

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Can anyone tell me if my 68 Electro 12 would of had this set up on it from the factory? I'd like to restore it as close to new as I can.

Kelly in MI.

Yours is the same as Karl's, (the first post in this topic) Kelly.

Your 1968 Electro 12 should also have a K301 / spec. no. 47147B.

It should have the magneto ignition and flywheel identical to the picture about 4 posts above this one. :D

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Can anyone tell me if my 68 Electro 12 would of had this set up on it from the factory?

Kelly that's what this one is, it's a 1968 Electro 12. So you should have the same engine as this one does a magneto ignition.

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