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Allis Chalmers Discussion Forum
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WD Magneto Question

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AGR 538

09-11-2007 14:22:27




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Bought a WD. There is no wire on the magneto. How do I shut the engine off? Do I need a wire to start it and where does the wire go? Is it hot, is it grounded? I am a decent mechanic but I don't know anything about magnetos. Bought the tractor not running but probably just needs points.




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Steve in N.J.

09-11-2007 21:04:32




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 Re: WD Magneto Question in reply to AGR 538, 09-11-2007 14:22:27  
Depending on what model Magneto it is, most mags have a little tang on the ground lead side of the points inside the magneto. Push the tang to the body of the mag and it grounds that circuit to the points in the mag. If the grounding tang is missing, you can add a remote switch up near the drivers seat with a wire running down to the mag to shut it down. We have a remote switch kit we sell just for that reason.
There are three wires that go to the points, One is from the coil, one from the condenser, the other is the grounding circuit that I mentioned inside the mag to shut down the engine. If you have any problems, give us a jingle, be happy to help you out. We offer Magneto rebuilding, service and parts.
Steve@B&B (973) 632-5596

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steve(ill)

09-11-2007 19:07:01




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 Re: WD Magneto Question in reply to AGR 538, 09-11-2007 14:22:27  
if a coil wont spark, one good possibility is a bad condneser. after cleaning the point, change the condneser and try that.



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AGR538

09-11-2007 18:59:55




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 Re: WD Magneto Question in reply to AGR 538, 09-11-2007 14:22:27  
Guys, thanks for your time and help. OK, let me ask another question. When I replaced the points, I put the condenser wire, red wire and black wire all on the points screw. Was I supposed to put the black wire on another screw. I feel really stupid asking this question but while I was in the middle of replacing points my 2 yr old daughter stripped naked running around in the front yard. Yes, I had to stop what I was doing and lost all train of thought. Didn't think about those wires until I got in the house.

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stu (ON)

09-11-2007 19:41:03




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 Re: WD Magneto Question in reply to AGR538, 09-11-2007 18:59:55  
My WD and parts mags are 85 miles from me; so I can't go out & look. However, it doesn't seem right that you have three wires going to one screw. Isn't there a ground screw there somwhere that gets a wire? Maybe a black wire? Sorry, but can't go by memory. Blowing up the drawing in the manual in the link might prompt your memory, but it is too fuzzy to see the detail.



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El Toro

09-11-2007 17:44:39




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 Re: WD Magneto Question in reply to AGR 538, 09-11-2007 14:22:27  
third party image

Here's the picture. Hal



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El Toro

09-11-2007 17:42:42




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 Re: WD Magneto Question in reply to AGR 538, 09-11-2007 14:22:27  
third party image

You can always convert your mag to a distributor
by using an auto type coil if you have battery start on your tractor. You would use the points
that's in the mag as shown in this picture. Hal



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AGR538

09-11-2007 17:12:29




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 Re: WD Magneto Question in reply to AGR 538, 09-11-2007 14:22:27  
Thank you very much for your help. It still amazes me how quick we can share good information on these old tractors. However, I am still not getting fire out of my mag. I have tried new points and at this point I am out of ideas. Any thoughts? The rotor is turning. I have checked that out.



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old

09-11-2007 19:31:59




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 Re: WD Magneto Question in reply to AGR538, 09-11-2007 17:12:29  
Send me an e-mail and I'll send you a copy of a mag manual. Just tell me which one you have. A faribanks or the J4 type I have both manuals for them



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stu (ON)

09-11-2007 17:50:21




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 Re: WD Magneto Question in reply to AGR538, 09-11-2007 17:12:29  
A few thoughts come to mind. Do you have the mag off of the tractor? Are you turning the impulse coupling by hand?

Or have you left the mag on the tractor all along without disturbing the timing at the impulse coupling?

If turning the coupling by hand, are you hearing the snap of the impulse coupling, which is required to create enough speed to generate a spark.

Are you testing for spark only at the four sparkplug wire terminals? If so, you must have the teeth aligned properly inside, or the spark is not delivered to the terminals by the rotor. What shape is the rotor in?

You had an issue with the grounding terminal. These will sometimes ground to the case of the mag, and you will never generate a spark. You can check this out by measuring the resistance between the end of this ground screw and the mag case. It should be infinite until the grounding strap is pressed down. If you still have a kill wire running to the switch box, is it grounded somewhere?

You can get to the mount for the grounding screw by removing the coil of the mag if you need to renew the internal insulation of the grounding screw (kill switch).

If all else has failed you might have a dead coil. It is easily replaced once you get the two mounting screws on the mag backed out (they can be really tough sometimes).

Did you follow the troubleshooting guide in the manual in the link? If the mag is off the tractor, mount it in a vice and remove the upper cap and rotor. Rotate the impulse couple with pliers and check the copper rod for spark to ground.

Tell us more about what you have checked out. You won't do any damage by removing anything that comes off easily. You probably don't want to remove the impulse coupling & rotor unless you are equipped & knowledgeable.

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El Toro

09-11-2007 17:36:18




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 Re: WD Magneto Question in reply to AGR538, 09-11-2007 17:12:29  
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Take a cotton swab dipped in alcohol and clean those new points several times, then see if you have fire. The coil may be weak from age or the magnets may have lost their magnetism. You can touch them with a flatblade screwdriver and see if they attract that screwdriver with some effort.
Here's an old mag off a twin cylinder garden tractor with weak magnets. Hal

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stu (ON)

09-11-2007 16:39:00




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 Re: WD Magneto Question in reply to AGR 538, 09-11-2007 14:22:27  
Some info on your mag.



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Jerry Coulter

09-11-2007 15:45:55




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 Re: WD Magneto Question in reply to AGR 538, 09-11-2007 14:22:27  
Cleaning the points will usually bring a magneto back to life. Assuming your tractor has the O.E.M. Fairbanks Morse FMJ magneto - before you replace the magneto cap, be careful to turn the beveled tooth of the little gear straight up and the C mark of the fiber gear straight down to mesh correctly. Point gap is .020".

A magneto generates its own current for the high tension coil and is shut off by grounding the little terminal on the side. There should be a curly flat springy thingy which can be pressed to kill the engine. The WD left the factory with a push-pull switch next to the ammeter. It has one terminal for a wire which runs to the mag terminal, grounds out the mag to stop it.

Often, when a mag failed and needed expensive repair, we sold a Delco-Remy 6 volt replacement distributor which required a 2 terminal switch to supply battery voltage to the distributor.

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El Toro

09-11-2007 14:32:18




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 Re: WD Magneto Question in reply to AGR 538, 09-11-2007 14:22:27  
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You need a wire from a switch to the grounding post on the mag so it will ground out the mag so you can stop the engine. Should be one similar to the grounding post that's on this old mag. Hal



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AGR 538

09-11-2007 14:47:24




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 Re: WD Magneto Question in reply to El Toro, 09-11-2007 14:32:18  
The switch on it is a off market version from a parts store. Do I run the wire from the hot point on the switch and when I turn the key off does that ground it out?



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El Toro

09-11-2007 15:54:02




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 Re: WD Magneto Question in reply to AGR 538, 09-11-2007 14:47:24  
You don't run battery voltage to a mag. They can create their own voltage when the magnets pass by the coil. Distributors require battery voltage since an auto type coil is used similar to what's used on your car. For a mag you would need a toggle switch that will ground the the mag during engine shutdown and when the switch is in the run position it's isolated from ground. Don't run any battery voltage to your mag since you can ruin the coil on the mag. Hal

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