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How to: Convert ONAN CCK & MCCK 6.5KW to OEM Electronic Ignition


I want to officially post a HOW TO for this. This can be followed for the CCK and the MCCK, only difference is the CCK already has the shorter plunger and base plate that you need to buy for the MCCK conversion so the CCK is about $50 cheaper than the MCCK. Either conversion is very simple and could potentially only take about 30 minutes to perform.

I know when I went looking for any sort of reference for this Conversion there were only two references and they were for GMC MotorHome Onan's and not Marine type Onans.

This conversion is done with OEM Onan parts and works PERFECTLY.

Parts Needed:
Onan Electronic Ignition Kit (EIK) P/N 160-1376 Approx. $193
Onan Breaker Base Plate P/N 160-1219 Approx. $44
Onan Breaker Plunger P/N 160-1151
Onan Base Plate Gasket P/N 160-1368 (Plunger and Gasket together $11.95)

Total Cost to me $249 + $7 shipping

Tools needed:
Allen Wrench (5/16 i beleive, but don't quote me on it)
Hax Saw
Flat Head Screw Driver
A little mechanical Skill won't hurt either

So when I started I removed the old Breaker/Points Tower from my Onan. It was a simple two Allen screws at it's base, disconnect the negative lead from the left side of the tower and it comes right off. The hardest part was getting your hands in there to get to the screws. You have to be pretty limber to get yourself around the Generator.

Tower with Points removed

Here is a pic of the Electronic Ignition Kit or EIK as it comes out of the box from Onan

after removing the tower you take your EIK Module and cut off the adjustment screw and the excess metal on the right side of the module just past the side of the adjustment nut.
Seen in the pic



Re: How to:Convert ONAN CCK & MCCK 6.5KW to OEM Electronic Ignition

Now you take the new baseplate and cut off the excess metal tube on the bottom of the plate. You do this to make it possible to flush mount the baseplate to the engine housing of the Onan MCCK GenSet, CCK housing might be able to fit this metal tube down in it, mine was the MCCK.
See pic

After you have remove excess metal from both the baseplate and the module itself, you can combine them to look like this


Re: How to:Convert ONAN CCK & MCCK 6.5KW to OEM Electronic Ignition

Now you want to take the Allen screws you removed from the bottom of the Points Tower and use them to mount your new base plate and EIK module together placing the new gasket you have under the base plate, remember to put the new plunger into the sleeve in the baseplate and hold it so that it doesn't fall out as you are manuvering it into position to mount the new EIK into place. This is a challenge to hold the plunger, gasket and the screws into place while you are trying to get your hands into tight places not ment for your hands to go. LOL!

Now that you have the EIK mounted and ready for operation mechanically, you need to connect the wires. Now this is where I got confused when I did it, but that is why I am detailing this procedure for you guys here.

Wiring goes as follows: RED Wire from the EIK module connects to the Positive 12+ input shown here on the bottom of the Coil. The Screw on the tube that extends from the bottom of the coil can be removed and the loop connector on the red wire can be slipped onto the screw and it re-attached back to the coil.

The BLACK wire should connect to the Negative 12v coming from the connector that used to connect the points shown here

I connected to this^ connector using the original stud and nut from the points tower that I removed. My way is a crude way of connecting the negative side but I will re-visit this later and figure out a way to make a solid connection.

The unit itself is naturally grounded via the baseplate and the allen screws so that is the third connection needed for this module to work.
Now you should center the module on the bracket to start the genset.
You can loosen the nut on the right side, seen in the pic, to adjust the timing as needed with a timing light or by ear.

After starting the Onan back up, after install, you want to set the timing at 21 degrees. This seems to be the best overall setting for easy start and fuel economy. You can advance the timing more for optimun performance but I found on mine that it does make it slightly harder to start, meaning that it will take a few more revolutions to get running instead of starting immediately.

From what I have read on the VERY few other reference threads or pages I have found, the cylinders are BOTH supposed to fire at 21 degrees. With the original points breaker system, the one cylinder would spark on 21 degrees and the other would spark at 23 degrees. The Electronic ignition trues this up and makes them BOTH spark at 21 degrees again. So no more variations in timing from cylinder to cylinder, this alone would make it run more efficent and then never having to mess with points again is a HUGE bonus and $$ savings.

Well after taking these steps you are ready for happy generating.


Re: How to:Convert ONAN CCK & MCCK 6.5KW to OEM Electronic Ignition

Here is a video of starting mine for the first time and it sounding smooth as silk.

My GenSet had Never ran this smooth.

I have to give recognition to the folks at SmokStak.com that gave me assistance with figuring this out and collecting the part numbers I needed. :D Cummins/Onan WILL NOT HELP YOU figure out the part numbers you need for this conversion. You MUST go to them with all the part numbers you need, otherwise they will turn you away. :mad:

Good Luck with your conversion.


Billy Shafer Comment:
JW you forgot to tell them the best part. You get to work inside a boat with all kinds of room.
Yep! Your right, but I did alude to space confinement in my comments.

YES, Bill is totally correct, there is no room around your GenSet on a Marine Application. If you are doing this in a boat Belge then you know how much bending and stretching and cramping is involved in working on your GenSET:D:eek: Good Luck maybe an understatement.
The cool thing is, on the MCCK, removing the Breaker Tower give you a little better access to that area on the Generator.;)
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I did this conversion to my Model Number 6.5MCCK 3CR/2268H about three years ago. My neighbor also did his at the same time. Actually he did his first and gave me the part numbers needed. On these models you don’t have to do any cutting or modifications to the Electronic Ignition Kit (EIK) P/N 160-1376. I think the base plate came with the kit with the cover and wire spring that holds the cover in place. I did have to use a longer plunger than the stock 160-0265 which may be the 160-1151. You use the allen screw to adjust the timing. It has been working great for over three years.
If any one else has done this and knows the part number for the plunger please let me know so I can put it my files.
It is the 160-1151
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I have a ccka 1977 onan on my welder is it possible to do this to my moter it looks like the same type of points tower magneto is shot no spark was running great when it warmed up it would cut out now thers no spark at all

Should be the same setup. Yes I would assume it would work.

That sounds like the other problem I had with a bad resistor
Read the last post here


I did this conversion this weekend to my 6.5MCCK 3CR/1H and it cured all my hardstarts, hunting, and backfiring out the carb issues. The genset has never ran this good! All the part #s listed worked great.

Even with the end of the elec ignition cut off it still would not fit inside the points box, so I just mounted it to the genset. The elec ign came with a small cover that I popped over the assembly. I did have to grind the little nub off the bottom off the base though as shown in the pictures.

Thanks for the write up!


Ben Cowan

Last Subscription Date
thanks for your details about converting to elect. ign. I was wondering about your comments on timing. What was the original timing 21 degrees?

I have converted a 4.0 cck using petronics unit. Seems to work very well.

I couldn't tell from your write up if you were recommending a change in the specified timing of your machine.

Thanks for your article and sharing it with others.



for what its worth I took the EIK out of the box and installed it and the genset fired right up and sounded great. Checked timing and it was at 20degrees and I left it at that. I figured with as much trouble as Ive had Im not going to disturb it any :)


Mine is running smoother than ever with the new wires my Dad built for it.

Super smooth at 122v about 60hz...

With both A/C compressors on it sits right at 120v and 60hz..... Love it.
The only time it waivers is when the Fridge kicks on and it lowers the RPMs very breifly.


I need to add to this DIY
NOTE: If your spark plug wires are slightly older, you want to replace them while doing this conversion because the new electronic ignition will greatly improve your spark and in my case it burnt up my old chaulky wires.
Now that I have new wires, it runs like a champ and has a riduculously strong spark.


I have an Onan 15 JC-3RV/8012S Ser. # 0369085888 4 cylinder air cooled. It has a Prestolite distributor, # 1GW-4409A 4 A. Is there an electronic ignition system for this unit? I e-mailed Pertronics in California and asked them. They said they had nothing to fit that distributor. What next?


I'm not sure but I am sure there is some universal EIK that you could modify to work.:shrug:

I would assume in that case it would be much like converting a V8 or another engine with a distributor.
Maybe someone else can chime in on that


I was all ready to do the electronic ignition conversion but can't fing the parts especially#160-1376 any help out there?


I was all ready to do the electronic ignition conversion but can't fing the parts especially#160-1376 any help out there?
I bought mine from the Cummins/onan dealership. They carry ONAN parts as well. The main thing is you have to tell them it's for a Motorhome or they won't sell it to you.
They are kinda strange about it. They don't want a non-marine part put on a marine application although the electronic ignition is FAR safer than the points because there is no open spark. :shrug:


my Commins onan dealer says the part is no longer available. Found the same story at several web sites mentioned here for parts. I think I found one at www.m-and-d.com but it was $344.25 The pertonics unit looks way more complicated to install so Ihave not looked into it. This weekend I put in new point, plugs and spark plug wires in my onan bga genset -1984. The unit is running much better but I have to adjust the carb to start and then adjust back to where it was after it warms up.

The 344.25 item is actually an electronic ignition from Magna arc. I'm note sure if it would have the same instalation as the onan?

I have been on line looking for 160-1376 and hsve found the magna arc model does fit my bga genset 5.0 and comes with the base and gasket so the price is getting closer to what I was expecting. I saw a photo of it. It looks like it fits exactly where the old point were and has one wire coming out that I assume goes to the coil and is grounded when instaled. I saw the photo @ onanparts.com and they confirm the part is no longer made but may still be out there. Anybody have any experiance with the magna arc?

Correction on the magna arc it does have a red and black wire just like the described here.