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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

Wisconsin VE4 Ignition Questions


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  #1  
Old 10-24-2017, 08:54:32 PM
WisconsinWilly WisconsinWilly is offline
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Default Wisconsin VE4 Ignition Questions

Good evening gentlemen.

Today I purchased a VE4

I am trying to get it to spark.

Does this type of ignition system make a loud clicking like a standard magneto does? I am more familiar with magnetos.

To get it to fire I am assuming I hook the wire from the coil to a battery. Then i simply turn the engine over. This is assuming the points are opening correctly.

Am I missing anything? Thank you in advance.
Also a bonus pic of the cherry VP4 that does indeed have spark.
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  #2  
Old 10-24-2017, 09:04:03 PM
DCamp DCamp is offline
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Ignition Questions

No you will not hear a mag snap as there is no mag on this engine. Check your points and be sure the rotor is turning. I have seen these timers cut the pin off that holds the gear on the shaft.
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Old 10-24-2017, 09:06:29 PM
WisconsinWilly WisconsinWilly is offline
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Ignition Questions

Okay thank you for the quick reply! I will make sure the rotor is turning.

The wire from the coil goes to 12v power correct?

And the wire from the distributor is a kill switch that kills the engine when grounded right?

The mags will spark while turning very slowly. Does this one work the same way? The starter is not connected so I am turning it by hand.
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Old 10-24-2017, 10:50:49 PM
Heins Heins is offline
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Ignition Questions

You should have a wire coming from your switch (hot when on and not when off) going to the coil and the wire from the coil to the distributor to the points. Take the distributor cap off, turn the engine until the points are closed, turn the switch on, take the coil wire out of the distributor cap and hold it about 1/8" away from the metal on the engine, and take a straight screwdriver and open and close the points and see if you have any spark.

Last edited by Heins; 10-25-2017 at 09:07:15 AM. Reason: sp
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Old 10-25-2017, 11:12:10 AM
WisconsinWilly WisconsinWilly is offline
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Ignition Questions

Excellent description sir. My mistake was not realizing the wire on the side of the distributor hooks to the coil. I had to clean the points as well and used a volt meter until both sides of the closed point circuit read 12v.

I have a picture of it sparking that I will post once my house power comes back on- ironic I know.
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Old 10-25-2017, 03:10:17 PM
WisconsinWilly WisconsinWilly is offline
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Ignition Questions

Thanks again guys!!
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Old 10-26-2017, 05:45:58 AM
Phil P Phil P is offline
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Ignition Questions

Hi

That most probably is a 6V system.

Phil P
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Old 10-26-2017, 07:24:08 AM
edward moller edward moller is offline
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Ignition Questions

6volt positive ground
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Old 10-26-2017, 08:30:10 PM
WisconsinWilly WisconsinWilly is offline
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Ignition Questions

Okay I appreciate you guys catching that. I hope I didn't damage the ignition system by having it hooked up to 12v for about 5 minutes.
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Old 10-27-2017, 06:40:10 AM
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Elden DuRand Elden DuRand is offline
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Ignition Questions

If you use an ignition ballast resistor in series with the terminal of the coil that goes to the ignition switch, you should be fine with 12 volts.

The starter will spin the engine really fast and will get hot quicker from long cranking but shouldn't be harmed by short cranking cycles.

You will, though, have to change-out the generator or alternator to 12 volts which may negate being able to get a readily available 12 volt battery as opposed to a rarer 6 volt battery.
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Old 10-27-2017, 07:47:55 AM
WisconsinWilly WisconsinWilly is offline
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Ignition Questions

Ah i had never heard of a ballast resistor. I have learned quite a lot from this VE4 endeavor.

The starter appeared to be adapted to the engine cover with a mounting bracket and was not operating properly because the fit was too tight. (bought this engine from a machine shop)

I have decided to recoup my costs from this VE4 and continue with other projects such as the VP4.

I do have a 12v alternator from a Wisconsin TJD engine that was on a Kalamazoo Speed truck.

I'm not sure if it works as it was disconnected when I bought the unit but in an effort to give back to the community considering the timely help I received here I would send it out to anyone that needs it for the cost of shipping.
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Old 10-27-2017, 05:21:40 PM
s100 s100 is offline
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Ignition Questions

A few quick comments raised by this series of posts:

As previously stated battery ignition systems do not have an impulse coupling.

Why?

Battery ignition systems and magneto systems are the direct opposite in some ways.

How?

Magnetos generate their own electricity. The faster they turn the higher the voltage. This could be problematic at low cranking speeds, so some engines use impulse couplings to speed up the magneto. The impulse coupling is basically a spring that winds up, as the engine turns. against the magneto rotor, which is held stationary. At some point just before the spark plug needs to fire, a latch holding the magneto rotor in place releases, and the force of the spring releasing spins the rotor at a higher speed to create a higher voltage. The snappy sound you hear is the latch releasing. The impulse coupling has a centrifugal defeat mechanism that disables its function once the engine starts.

Okay, that's the magneto.

The battery system gets its power from (surprise) the battery. So it always has full power and an impulse coupling would do no good. But as the magneto creates a stronger spark as speed increases, the opposite is true with the battery system at high speeds. Without getting too specific about the why's, as speed goes up there's less time each cycle for things to happen, and in the case of the ignition system this results in a weaker spark at high speeds. Given the engines we are discussing on this site, they don' turn fast enough that this becomes an issue with a properly functioning and tuned ignition system.But if some part of the ignition system is compromised, the lesser spark generated can cause problems.

Six volt systems and twelve volt batteries

As stated, the six volt system will run properly with the addition of a resistor. As to the other stuff, I have had good luck for years using the six volt starter and generator. on a twelve volt system. You will need to replace the voltage regulator though, with a twelve volt one. Positive or negative ground is determined when you polarize the voltage regulator. Note this comment applies only to the starting and charging system. You will have to address any other electrical components individually. If you cange polarity, you will have to also swap the primary (low voltage) leads on the coil. The proper polarity for each terminal should be marked. I drove for years a '53 Ford pickup that I converted this way and all was well. Will the fact that this worked for me guarantee that it will work for you? Beats me, although I can think of no reason why it would not although if the six volt system contains any solid state devices ALL BETS ARE OFF. I don't know of any six volt systems that contain solid state devices, but that doesn't mean they aren't out there. Be advised and act accordingly with due caution.
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