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Slick electro mdl 56 magneto on Continental FS162. Spark then no spark


Confused about this and not terribly well versed in magnetos...

I recently purchased an old, but low hour (36 original hours!) Ingersol-Rand 125 CFM air compressor. Continental FS162 flathead, 24 volt electric system. Put some new batteries in it and it kicks over, and occasionally coughs like it wants to start but then quits right away.

I put a test light on a spark plug wire and discovered that it has spark for the first 2-3 rotations. I can hear a slapping coming from the magneto which I'm told is the impulse coupling working, but after cranking more than the first 2-3 rotations the slapping stops and no more spark happens.

I pulled the cover off the end of the magneto and discovered that the points were a little cruddy, so I polished them up with some emery cloth and reinstalled, also wiped some carbon off the rotor and carbon brushes. Same issue. I also tried disconnecting the kill wire and that didn't seem to make any difference.

Any ideas what I can do before I pull the magneto and take to a specialist? Also if thats what I need to do, any recommendations for people who know their stuff with magnetos in central Iowa?


my suspicion is that the mag impulse coupling located behind the gear on the front of the mag is gummed up and sticking but from what you said it might be something you might want an expert to go thru if you plan on really running that compressor hard or a lot. Marks magneto in rice mn which is straight up 94 from the twin cites would be a great place to start. I have had a few rebuilt and they always top conditon when they come back


Update: IT RUNS!!!!

Today was a lesson in not taking anything for granted.

I took the magneto off and verified that #1 TDC is where the impulse coupling trips over and that the impulse coupling was functioning.

I also called Standard Magneto out of Chicago www.standardmagneto.com and they sent me a set of points for my magneto for $28 + SH. It was overpackaged and shipping was more than I'd have liked but it did arrive with no damage...I just think a padded envelope within a padded envelope would've been more economical than an 8" cube box.

I set point gap to .015", made sure that the rotor was oriented correctly via the timing marks, verified that I was getting good spark, batteries new and charged, still kept having backfires and coughing.

Realized two things, firstly that what is labeled #1 on the magneto (bottom right as you look from outside towards wire holes) is not #1 on the motor, and #2, that whoever touched this thing before I bought it put the wrong length wires in the wrong holes and put them in the wrong firing order. So piston #4, the furthest from the magneto, had the shortest wire that wouldn't even reach the plug.

But it runs great now! Just gotta find someone to steam clean my gas tank out and see if I can find the correct plug to hook up the 24V generator to the amp gauge & batteries. Also need to mount the correct air fittings to the air output side so I can use it for my sandblaster and air tools.

---------- Post added at 05:23 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:21 PM ----------

Also for anyone interested, Standard has a bunch of NOS Slick 56 magnetos for sale on their ebay store for pretty cheap ($100 as of writing). Must've bought a pallet of them from some sort of government surplus auction.