Model M Spark Issues
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Thread: Model M Spark Issues

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    Model M Spark Issues

    After years of reliable service the M is giving me the dickens with inconsistent sparking problems. i can pull cap and rotor and see some sparking then nothing. meter showing power to coil, distributor, points.
    points have been cleaned and gapped, coil new. i have also bypassed switch with jumper direct to coil. still several weak sparks then 0.
    could it be the grounding of distributor itself? plate to casing?
    looking for advise to where to look next.
    thanks to all members in advance

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    Modle M spark issue

    Hello, I had the same issue with My 40S and about drove me crazy!
    I thought I did everything " Except change the Condenser" It would
    get weak spark, I even tried it in the Dark. Put New condenser in and
    tried and "BOOM" fired off!! Just a thought!! condensers that sit around
    for long time get weak, like a capacitor in a Radio.

    mayhaw25
    BigJim55 likes this.

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    BigJim55's Avatar
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    bad spark

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim D View Post
    After years of reliable service the M is giving me the dickens with inconsistent sparking problems. i can pull cap and rotor and see some sparking then nothing. meter showing power to coil, distributor, points.
    points have been cleaned and gapped, coil new. i have also bypassed switch with jumper direct to coil. still several weak sparks then 0.
    could it be the grounding of distributor itself? plate to casing?
    looking for advise to where to look next.
    thanks to all members in advance
    Jim D; I was trying to remember the name of item, read next thread and bang their was word (condenser) my uncles m had same problem just this last summer I just replaced mine in my jd 50 this last summer too, if you don't want to pay mother deere's prices go to your auto- parts store and ask for a condenser out of delco-remy 1950-s point systm, a lot cheaper and that's what my family been running for years. hope this helps, big jim

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    As the others have said replace the condenser. It is a relatively cheap part to start with and they do fail, not only after long use but sometimes when new. I had a new one die on my old Honda 750 about 20 miles into a ride. There are multiple ways for them to fail, like yours where you don't get any spark and like on the Honda where it was not soaking up the excess juice and the points will quickly burn out. Looked like an electrical storm when I pulled the cover off of the distributer on the bike.

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    Model M Spark Issues

    The condenser is an often overlooked part of the ignition system that is a relatively cheap part, Take a multimeter and check for voltage at the battery side of the coil while cranking and with the ignition switch in the run position. If you have constant battery voltage and no spark then check for a loose distributor shaft which may cause the distributor points to remain closed. The opening of the points causes the primary magnetic field to collapse which induces a high voltage discharge from the coil secondary windings, through the distributor cap and rotor and to the respective spark plug / cylinder. While the cap and rotor are off have someone crank the engine and observe the points to make sure they're opening and closing. In the absence of specs set the points to .016" - .018" on the cam lobe and that should get you running.
    Last edited by Superglidesport; 12-25-2014 at 09:13 AM.
    BigJim55 likes this.
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