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Oliver, Cletrac, Co-op & Cockshutt Tractors Discussion Forum
:

Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER

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Katep

02-18-2021 17:01:31




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Seriously, I'm going mad here. The ignition switch was going bad which ended up trashing the bendix mechanism in the starter. I replaced it and redid some wires while I was at it and now it won't start! Starter cranks just fine but I am getting NO spark at the plugs and no spark out of the coil. Can someone please walk me through how to find what is wrong? Part of the problem is this is a positive ground machine with a 12V battery and so the manual is not helping me much.
This is what I did so far:
Jumped the battery straight to the + side of the ignition coil (it is + to + right??)
Replaced the ignition coil
Nada
I've rebuilt the freaking transmission on this thing for crying out loud. Electrical stuff eludes me completely!!! For the love of God, someone please help me before I set a bomb and blow up this damn thing.

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J.Wondergem

02-21-2021 06:39:29




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-18-2021 17:01:31  
Glad to hear that. Thanks for letting us know.



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Katep

02-20-2021 18:59:38




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-18-2021 17:01:31  
I did it!!! After straightening the weight cover plate and getting the distributor weights to fit again, I put it all back together and the points worked great. Test light blinked just like it was supposed to... but still no spark. The previous incident had fried the secondary coil, and the new coil worked great! The only other problem we had was getting the coil wires back right. Turns out the flywheen was peened... for cylinder 4. After a few backfires, I got it all straightened out and now it's running like a champ! I never could have done it without the help and moral support you all gave me. Now I understand ignition coils and distributors in a way I would never have thought possible lol. Yippeee!!

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J.Wondergem

02-20-2021 14:33:48




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-18-2021 17:01:31  
On my Cockshutt I changed it from 6 volt positive ground to 12 volt negative ground and the only thing on the cluster dash I had to change was the wires on the Amp gauge. Just switch them around.



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Katep

02-20-2021 07:40:00




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-18-2021 17:01:31  
I'm pretty sure the generator was modified. The wiring doesn't match any wiring diagram in the manual. But it worked up until the ignition switch caused the starter to fail. This machine is such a hodgepodge of mods and disconnected wires. I think the spark plugs were on wrong as well.



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Katep

02-19-2021 19:03:03




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-18-2021 17:01:31  
The generator is next on my list. WHEN the tractor was running it was making a horrible high pitched scream i figure its on the way out.



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Katep

02-19-2021 19:00:48




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-18-2021 17:01:31  
Its a generator with an external regulator that is labeled "positive or negative ground".



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super99

02-19-2021 18:28:35




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-18-2021 17:01:31  
Do you have a generator or an alternator on it?? Generators are positive ground, alternators are negative ground.



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Katep

02-19-2021 18:15:57




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-18-2021 17:01:31  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

I already bought new points and condenser, and it bent the parts back to where they belong so I think I'm set. I might switch things back to positive ground if that's what it takes to hook the gages back up? Do you know if there's a way to tell if the existing gages are positive or negative ground?



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rrlund

02-20-2021 04:27:54




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-19-2021 18:15:57  
Like Chris said, Olivers with generators were positive ground, alternators were negative ground. If the gauges are original on yours with a gen, they're made for positive ground. There are some after markets made now for negative.



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SW3

02-19-2021 18:09:58




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-18-2021 17:01:31  
Not necessary, but they make electronic ignition kit now (Pertronix - Ignitor) to get rid of the points and condenser. Fits under the distributor cap. I opted to install one and kept the positive ground too since I had recently bought new gauges and didn't want to replace them again.



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Katep

02-19-2021 17:35:03




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-18-2021 17:01:31  
Picture of bent plate and post.




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Katep

02-19-2021 17:33:00




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-18-2021 17:01:31  
Well that was certainly interesting. I took out the distributor and found a loose nut and a bent plate over the advance mechanism below the points/condenser level. Turns out the extra long screw that was holding in the old condenser is NOT THE RIGHT LENGTH and so screwing it all the ay down made it interfere with the mechanism below JUST ENOUGH that it literally unscrewed the bolt holding the plate down over the advance mechanism, which when released twisted and jammed the distributor. I think I can straighten the plate and hopefully straighten the post that got bent and put it all back together. At least I'm into mechanical now, not electrons!

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Katep

02-19-2021 16:23:49




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-18-2021 17:01:31  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

None of the gages are hooked up. That's probably why?



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Katep

02-19-2021 16:19:21




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-18-2021 17:01:31  
Luckily, that was with the old coil. So if I fried it, I still have a new coil to try. After I figure out why the distributor suddenly had a mind of its own!



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Katep

02-19-2021 16:16:36




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-18-2021 17:01:31  
uh.... HELP!! My tractor is possessed!!!
But seriously... I put in the new points, condensor and rotor after figuring out how to get to TDC and which cylinder was #1. 1243. All good. Hooked up my test light, got about 3 or 4 happy blinky blinkies and then KABLOOM!!! My distributor SPUN IN PLACE, planting the - distributor wire against the engine block which shorted the coil which promptly began smoking while I ran around to the other side of the tractor to disconnect ground (remember I jumped the switch)! If I didn't hate electronics before, I sure as *#$%&% do now!
What the holy blazes happened and how do I fix it??? I loosened the distributor bolts more and tried to rotate it back but couldn't budge it. I figured I would come here and worship and ask for help before I bust something else important!!

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rrlund

02-19-2021 14:01:18




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-18-2021 17:01:31  
I think you found the problem. Now the next question. Does it have cluster gauges? I don't know that they'll work with negative ground will they?



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Katep

02-19-2021 13:10:35




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-18-2021 17:01:31  
I'm thinking the new points coming today might help?? :) :)



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Katep

02-19-2021 13:09:20




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-18-2021 17:01:31  
I used the test light and it confirmed the points were never closing. After gritting my teeth abd prying off the rotor (which looked like it had been GLUED in place) I found this:



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Katep

02-19-2021 08:56:44




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-18-2021 17:01:31  
Thank you so much for your help! I wish I could go back and edit my original post I left off "converted" from positive ground. This is the coil I got which I think is correct? I also tried the old coil. I got a test light but haven't had a chance to go out again yet today because I'm sitting here waiting for PS5 to go in stock at Best Buy for my 17 year old's birthday present lol. But when I checked the distributor yesterday with the multimeter this is what I got:
14 volts on + terminal of coil to ground

14 volts on - terminal of coil to ground
infinite resistance between - terminal of coil to distributor with machine off
NO needle movement on resistance between - terminal to distributor with starter cranking.
I would think that the needle would at least jump a little when the points closed? As soon as I can check with the light, I will, but I assume this means points are not ever closing? I ordered new points/rotor/condensor they will be here today in case that is correct. In any case I'm sure it will need new ones eventually.

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rvirgil_KS

02-19-2021 09:18:30




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-19-2021 08:56:44  
"14 volts on + terminal of coil to ground" This indicates wiring and switch working up to this point

"14 volts on - terminal of coil to ground" This indicates there is continuity through the primary of the coil, but that the points are not making contact to ground. If points are open this is correct, if points are closed there is a problem between wire connection at coil - through distributor and points to ground.

"infinite resistance between - terminal of coil to distributor with machine off" Should be very low resistance from - post of coil to side post of distributor. If not check for bad wire connection.

"NO needle movement on resistance between - terminal to distributor with starter cranking." Indicates points are not closing or making contact. Be sure they are properly adjusted, then take a dollar bill, fold it up and drag it through closed points to clear any tarnish that may be on the points. They must be clean to make contact.

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rvirgil_KS

02-19-2021 07:39:22




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-18-2021 17:01:31  
"Part of the problem is this is a positive ground machine." Positive ground is really just a mental block, not an electrical problem. Like right hand and left hand threads on a bolt. Positive and negative ground, current flows in opposite directions. Just have to configure battery, charging system, ammeter (if used), and coil for that particular ground. Starter and lights don't care.

"Jumped the battery straight to the + side of the ignition coil (it is + to + right??)" In this case, probably not. Properly configured with positive ground, + post of coil goes to the side of the distributor and is grounded through the points. With negative ground the - post on coil goes to side of distributor. So with positive ground, your + post should go to side of distributor.

If you connected + battery to + on the coil you just grounded the output of the coil so points had no effect. Try hot - battery post to - input post to the coil.

+ to + and - to - is correct for battery charger and jumper cables. To test coil you want hot battery post (regardless of system polarity) to input side of coil. Output side of coil does not connect direct to battery.

Get the test light, connect clip to ground (frame or positive battery post). With switch on the light should glow when probe is touched to - (input) coil post. If not you have a problem in your switch / wiring between - battery post and the coil. If light glows at - post of coil, move probe to + post of coil. When you crank the engine the light should flash. If light is on solid points are probably not making contact, if no light check for short in points or distributor feed through.

Did you get the correct new ignition coil? According to diagram I have it should be a "12 volt no external resistor required" coil. It should have approximately 3 ohms resistance across + and - posts of the coil.

If you have a "12 volt external resistor required" coil (1 1/2 ohms from + to -), you can either exchange it or add a 1 1/2 ohm resistor in series between switch and coil input.

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Katep

02-19-2021 07:37:26




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-18-2021 17:01:31  
I jumpered across the clutch safety switch with all this. Could that be a problem? Is there some necessary component (like a resistor) in the switch in addition to just being a cut-off when the clutch isn't depressed? Maybe I should hook it back up and tape it up like you did?



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rvirgil_KS

02-19-2021 08:15:40




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-19-2021 07:37:26  
My previous post and your update were posted about same time. If your tractor is correctly configured for negative ground, then + to + would be correct to test the ignition.
The rest of the theory in my previous post would still be applicable.

"I jumpered across the clutch safety switch with all this. Could that be a problem?" Safety switch is in circuit to engage the starter. It is to prevent the engine from cranking with tractor in gear. It has nothing to do with ignition circuit.

"Is there some necessary component (like a resistor) in the switch in addition to just being a cut-off when the clutch isn't depressed?" Some tractors use a 6 volt or 12 volt "external resistor required" coil with a resistor and some means to bypass the resistor when cranking to give a hotter spark for starting. Your diagram does not show that circuit.

Don't get discouraged and don't give up. You can conquer this problem, and then have a knowledge base and experience for next time.

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Katep

02-19-2021 07:34:45




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-18-2021 17:01:31  
I'm sorry, I meant it is a converted + ground machine (now has the normal negative ground).



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Katep

02-19-2021 07:34:07




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-18-2021 17:01:31  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

I thought that might be it, so I've bypassed the key completely. I jumpered it straight to the hot side of the coil (which is + because this is a +-ground which was converted to negative ground) and I use a jumper wire to the solenoid to try to start. Still nothing. I do get voltage to the ignition coil but no spark.



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SW3

02-19-2021 06:53:12




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-18-2021 17:01:31  
I had a similar problem once. 1974 Oliver 550 + ground. When I rewired mine I followed the wiring diagram for the ignition switch . Previously the ACC terminal was not used and the wires were hooked to the IGN terminal. So I wired it correctly and it had NO SPARK while cranking, however as soon as I let off the key it would fire. So I removed the wires from the ACC terminal and put them back to the way they were before and no problems since. My notes state "Slow to start - Ignition switch ACC terminal bad - Moved ACC to IGN like before." I have included the correct wiring diagram for you and the trouble shooting page. Don't let the electrical stuff or the + ground scare you (and YES, always + to + and - to -) Remember your + cable can get clamped to a good ground on the tractor and the - cable is feeding the power directly to the starter and goes to the IGN for there) Do you have a clutch safety switch? That could be it, mine it missing the actuator rod from the clutch, but the switch it taped up under the dash and actually still works, that would prevent spark. If you can rebuild the transmission this is no problem. Good Luck. SW3

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rrlund

02-19-2021 06:40:05




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-18-2021 17:01:31  
I'm no better at this electrical stuff than you are, but if you have a positive ground, you wouldn't hook + to + would you? The + on the battery is ground. Hook a jumper wire to the post on the solenoid where the battery cable hooks to it and hook the other end to the post on the coil where the wire from the switch hooks on, not on the side that goes from the coil to the distributor.

We had a plow day this spring and the Super 55 died like I turned the key off. We towed it home. I didn't have power coming out of the coil to the distributor. I unhooked the wire from the coil to the distributor and had power out of the coil then. I went and got a new set of points and condenser, put them in and it started. It's been on four tractor drives, another plow day and did a fair whack of brush hogging and it's still going strong.

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jhwis

02-19-2021 06:14:17




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-18-2021 17:01:31  
Is it possible the ignition key isn't working as is juice isn't getting across. I had that happen once....all of a sudden no spark and that was it. Got to be something with your new wiring.



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Katep

02-18-2021 17:42:53




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-18-2021 17:01:31  
If I had any electrical inclination I probably would have done that already and solved my problem and not had to grovel here. Thanks.



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Gambles

02-18-2021 17:33:30




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 Re: Oliver 550 no spark after replacing STARTER in reply to Katep, 02-18-2021 17:01:31  
Get a $5 test light and do some troubleshooting.



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