Generators and Motors
[Home] - [HELP] - [Forums] - [Library] - [Photo Gallery] - [Groups] - [Classified Ads] - [Subscribe] - [Links] - [Books] - [Sponsors] -

Go Back   SmokStak > SmokStak® Vintage Electrical Equipment > Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion > Onan Generators
Forgot Password? Join Us!


Onan Generators Restoring, operating and maintaining vintage Onan generators.

Onan Generators

Onan Ignition Coils - Substitue with something cheaper?

this thread has 24 replies and has been viewed 38327 times

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-10-2014, 11:13:05 PM
scoops scoops is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: pittsburgh
Posts: 1,111
Thanks: 365
Thanked 474 Times in 346 Posts
Default Re: Onan Ignition Coils - Substitue with something cheaper?

I think yours are close enough to spec.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 01-11-2014, 12:38:44 AM
Jim McIntyre's Avatar
Jim McIntyre Jim McIntyre is online now
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Mooresville, Indiana, USA
Posts: 4,259
Thanks: 754
Thanked 2,400 Times in 1,392 Posts
Default Re: Onan Ignition Coils - Substitue with something cheaper?

Probably not bad, based on those readings...
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2014, 07:23:17 AM
Elden DuRand's Avatar
Elden DuRand Elden DuRand is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Port St. Joe, Florida, USA
Posts: 7,819
Thanks: 13,028
Thanked 7,806 Times in 2,956 Posts
Images: 11
Default Re: Onan Ignition Coils - Substitue with something cheaper?

Originally Posted by tdarden3k View Post
Is a ballast basically a large resister ? How would you configure it ? Why would you use it ?
You're right, a ballast is just a high Wattage resistor. It is connected in series with the battery lead of the coil to lower the current drawn by the coil.

In theory, the resistor lowers the primary current even more when the engine is running and the 'on' periods of the coil are shorter, taking advantage of the inductance of the coil and getting just as hot a spark.

When cranking and at very low speeds, the resistance in the coil circuit can be a disadvantage. That's why some cars and trucks using a ballast-type coil have an extra set of contacts in the starter solenoid that bypass the ballast when cranking.

If the ballast goes bad, you can temporarily jumper across it but the coil will run hot and the points will quickly burn.

More than you wanted to know about Alaska??

Take care - Elden
Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2014, 07:26:41 PM
dacflyer dacflyer is offline
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Fayetteville, North Carolina
Posts: 188
Thanks: 36
Thanked 10 Times in 7 Posts
Default Re: Onan Ignition Coils - Substitue with something cheaper?

i had a ordeal with my Emerald 1.
no spark..on 1 spark at all on the other. i assumed the coil was bad.
it was getting power, points were good. indicator bulb on coil showed good breaking points. i replaced the coil with a harley coil i borrowed from a friend..
same thing no spark...i knew it could not be a bad coil so i did further test,
used some scrap NEON HV cable i had laying around.. substituted for spark plug wires and retested.. i got vicious fire now.. come to find out the long spark plug wire was open..Original wires.
so i went to NAPA. i got a universal spark plug cable set ( for 4 cyl engine )
NAPA said they sold a lot of them for fork lifts. i could not find anything less.
so i got spare cables now..
anyway. the GEN. fired up..( now to deal with carb issues ) i reatached the original coil. and it works fine also.
the original spark plug wires are carbon impregnated cables, the NAPA cables are Wire.. better and should last for ever.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to dacflyer For This Post:
Old 05-12-2014, 12:01:08 PM
len k len k is offline
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Manchester, New Hampshire
Posts: 17,041
Thanks: 491
Thanked 6,231 Times in 4,527 Posts
Default Re: Onan Ignition Coils - Substitue with something cheaper?

Remove all jets and clean them, main adjustable one on bottom, 2 in carb bowel dip tube (one hides behind screw cap), & clean 2 on top by M+S if they are not sealed by press fit ball bearings. I also blow out the passageways with 150 psi air from a big tank. I didn't bother with my idle adjustable jet.

Last edited by len k; 05-12-2014 at 12:16:05 PM.
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

F o r u m Jump

Similar Threads Chosen at Random
Thread Thread Starter F o r u m Replies Last Post
Ford Ignition Coils Tom Wahl Antique Autos and Trucks 1 12-04-2010 11:45:57 AM
Small ignition coils chrsbrbnk Scale Model Engineering 2 03-01-2010 11:04:45 AM
Auto coils for low tension ignition? Loren E Magnetos, Ignition Coils and Spark Plugs 21 02-10-2010 03:37:41 PM
Ignition coils Christian Berlin Magnetos, Ignition Coils and Spark Plugs 8 12-08-2008 09:45:47 PM
Can type oil/tar filled ignition coils Gene O. Carpenter Onan Generators 9 09-22-2007 02:03:02 AM

Use "Ctrl" mouse wheel to change screen size.
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:06:04 PM.

Smokstak and Enginads site search!

All use is subject to our TERMS OF SERVICE
SMOKSTAK® is a Registered Trade Mark - A Community of Antique Engine Enthusiasts
Copyright © 2000 - 2016 by Harry Matthews P.O. Box 5612 - Sarasota, FL 34277