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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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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.


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


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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