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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,
I have a Promark Brush chipper, model #:941003, SN: 000659 with a Kohler twin engine. Tag on the engine is not readable. Engine has points and condenser ignition. I am not a points savvy wrench, curious where to look first for my no spark condition. turns over great. there don't ppear to be any safeties on this that could ground out the ignition. Anyone know where I could get a manual online? Plant Tire Wheel Tree Grass
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Think that may be a KT series.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys. Looks very much like a K582, and based on search of the machine, it appears to be a 310 model, which most appeared to have a 23HP Kohler twin. K582 is a 23HP Kohler Twin, so we are onto something here. I can't determine age, but not sure I really need to. Time to get to testing to find out why I have no spark.
Check list I'll go through:
1. Spark plugs for continuity tip to electrode, and spark tester to ground to isolate from plug.
2. Check condenser for ability to store and discharge (Ohms resistance test)
3. Check ignition switch. Not sure how this engine kills, but since it is electric start and dies on key, I'm assuming the switch grounds the coil in "off", so need to find that terminal and wire and make sure they work as intended, continuity, no shorts, etc.
4. Points appeared good, but will put a 0.020 gap feeler in to see where they are and re-set if needed.
5. Check coil. Anyone have a procedure for testing these coils? Manual refers to a coil tester...I don't have one. Also, assuming it is a bad coil, the price range is huge. $30 on Amazon to almost $400 on Jack's Small Engines. Any thoughts on the cheap Chinese coils? This is not my machine and I am just fixing it to be able to use it, then return it in running condition if possible. I deal mostly with golf carts, and the Amazon ignition parts for them are often bad out of the box. Anyone have any experience with the coils for the K series twins?

Anything I missed? Thoughts?
 

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2. Check condenser for ability to store and discharge (Ohms resistance test)
3. Check ignition switch. Not sure how this engine kills, but since it is electric start and dies on key, I'm assuming the switch grounds the coil in "off", so need to find that terminal and wire and make sure they work as intended, continuity, no shorts, etc.
4. Points appeared good, but will put a 0.020 gap feeler in to see where they are and re-set if needed.
5. Check coil. Anyone have a procedure for testing these coils? Manual refers to a coil tester...I don't have one. Also, assuming it is a bad coil, the price range is huge. $30 on Amazon to almost $400 on Jack's Small Engines. Any thoughts on the cheap Chinese coils? This is not my machine and I am just fixing it to be able to use it, then return it in running condition if possible. I deal mostly with golf carts, and the Amazon ignition parts for them are often bad out of the box. Anyone have any experience with the coils for the K series twins?

Anything I missed? Thoughts?
I believe most Kohler K582 models were battery ignition so I will offer a few suggestions / observations.
2 - while testing a condenser with an ohmmeter may offer an indication of the ability to store a charge it will not indicate whether the condenser is storing the correct charge or whether the condenser is intermittent. Have seen them test ok using the ohmmeter test and still be bad when measured with a capacitance meter or observed in operation using and oscilloscope.
3 - the ignition switch probably provides power (12 volts) to the positive primary terminal of the coil when the switch is in the start or run position and the negative terminal of the coil is connected to ground when the points are closed. A relatively easy way to determine if the primary circuit is working properly is by connecting a 12 volt test light wire to a good ground and then touch the test light probe to the positive primary terminal of the coil with the key on - should have a nice bright light indicating that power is available at the coil. If the test light does not light there may not be power in the wire going to the positive primary coil terminal or the coil primary circuit may be shorted to ground internally which will usually blow a fuse if left connected for very long. If you have a nice bright light then move the test light probe to the negative primary terminal of the coil and crank the engine. If the primary side circuit is working properly the test light should flash as the engine cranks if the coil has continuity and the points are opening and closing. The test light will be on continuously if the points are not closing (bad points or no plunger movement) providing a path to ground for the primary coil circuit and the light will be off continuously if the points (or condenser) are shorted to ground or if there is no current flowing through the coil primary windings as a result of an open primary coil circuit. Hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for the Reply 29 Chev. With the help, I am definitely heading in the right direction. While I was waiting on the reply, I did a bit of testing. I found that there was a blown fuse between the hot solenoid terminal and the key switch. The key switch was wired wrong, so it was turning over the engine, but not sending power to the coil. The start wire from the ignition switch to the solenoid had much of the insulation missing. It wasn't burned, but I suspect it was creating an intermittent short, or possibly a continuous short. The insulation was missing on a length of wire that wrapped up along the engine case. It was pretty brittle, so maybe it was there and came off as I moved the wire around. Not sure how it was turning over before unless that was the case. The damage to the wire was old. There was a mouse nest in the housing, so likely culprit for the wire insulation damage. I fixed the wires and switch wiring. I set the gap on the points to .020. The gap was definitely less when I started. Plunger works, points open and close as they should. Engine turns over good, but no spark. Using your test method above, I have good 12v and a bright light to the test light at the positive terminal of the coil with the key on. When moved to the negative terminal of the coil, and turning the engine over, I get some power, and the light slowly gains in glow...but not flashing. There is continuity with zero resistance through the primary winding of the coil.
For a test light, I am using an old lawn tractor headlight socket with bulb, and probe wires plugged into the spades...alligator clips on the probe ends. I'm not sure if the light would react quick enough to flash. My real test light came apart internally...need to fix it. I put the volt meter on it in place of the test light on the negative terminal on the coil and I get 12v with the key on, mid 8v when turning over with some variability, and with the key back off, the voltage drops quickly at first, then slowly, down to zero. I did notice a crack in the side of the plastic case of the coil. I am going to go fix the test light so I have a quicker reacting light and try again. Any way to test the secondary side of the coil?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quick update...I can make that test light flash pretty easily connected to the battery. If it was getting bursts of voltage, it would flash like a car flasher. Just not getting an intermittent voltage through the coil. I am going to clean up the points with some paper...see if maybe they just aren't connecting. Any good way to clean points? I know you aren't supposed to emery cloth or sand them.
 

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Any way to test the secondary side of the coil?
The Kohler engines were used by Bolens in a lot of the larger Large Frame Series Tractors such as a model HT23 so they were a popular engine back then.
You could try testing the for spark with a timing light connected to the plug wiring but the coil may be damaged if power was applied to the coil continuously - they tend to burn out. One suggestion would be that you could try wiring up a regular 12 volt ignition coil designed for points off a car and see if it fires a plug ok - if it does then odds are the original coil is bad.

This video may help you as it shows the coil on an HT20 and what can happen when the key is left on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Another quick update...We have spark. Cleaned up the contacts on the points, and I am now getting spark. Didn't fire, but reportedly, it has been sitting for several years, so I am guessing there carb is a mess. Time to get into the fuel delivery end and get this thing to run. I am getting compression and air pushing through the two exhaust stacks, so internals seem to be intact and working. Carb clean, new gas, and give it another go. Thanks for the help guys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Last update of the day...It ran. A little bit anyway. Replaced all the fuel lines, disassembled, cleaned, inspected, and reassembled the fuel pump, and partially cleaned the carb. Still wasn't getting draw from the fuel pump on its own, had to push fuel up by pressurizing the tank for a bit. I could get it to run by covering the carb with my hand. Choke was fully closed and could see the butterfly as closed. Then the battery died, so had to wait a bit. Charged it. Closed up all the shrouds and put the filter and cover on as it was getting dark, then figured I would give it one last shot...choked it, and fired up on it's own, ran up a bit, not to full RPM, but running, and it quit. Wouldn't start again. Seems like it is starving for fuel. Haven't checked to see if I lost spark, but I doubt it. I set the carb back where it was on the two needle valves after cleaning, but not sure if they were right then or not. Small one was about 3/4 turn out and the long main needle valve was 3.5 turns out. Throttle seems janky on it...so next time I open it up to work on it, that will be the next item to correct. Not even sure how the thing works. Learning process, but hopefully this thing will be eating wood next time I work on it. Thanks for looking and answering the questions on the spark issue. Manual will be a big help moving forward on the fuel issue.

Hopefully the hydraulic pump works, and the clutch. Hate to get it running nice just to find out it needs to come apart for more parts. At least I know it will run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Bruce, I saw that on the wiring diagram for some units, just no wires on this engine for it that I can find. There is an oil pressure gauge. No warning lights and no safeties to kill ground. I thought that might have been the source of the no spark, but there isn't a safety to be found on the machine, so no extra wiring for them. There are very few wires. True Darwinian machine here.
It didn't run long enough for me to think to look at the oil pressure gauge. I did find that the needle valve original setting on the carb were off from recommended starting positions. I am going to re-adjust to manual recommendations, fix the throttle and governor arms to be a little less "janky", and give it another shot. I'll see if the oil pressure comes up. Likely be a few days before I get back to it. Stupid work thing gets in the way of projects.
 

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Hey Charlotte,

Rock Farmer beat me to it but I'll add extra ones I took. Maybe you can use them. That spring that you see on Rock Farmers last picture should be hooked up to the dash tab that bolts to the front shroud.
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From there, it should hook up to what looks like a distributor to me with a washer and a cotter pin. This is how that blue one is set up.
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This would be the view from under the throttle body outward. Didn't realize I had the block on the yellow cable on the wrong side, sorry. Both on the blue engine and the spare part have the spring in the same location.
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From there, the other end hook up to the carb.
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Perfect...and thank you for all the pictures. The pic with the spring between the notched throttle arm and the actual throttle arm on the governor is exactly what I needed. I'll get mine set up Saturday that way, and see if I can get it running. Mine had that spring that comes up from the bottom and clips over that notched arm as well, but I figured that was something they rigged up...seems to limit the amount of adjustment of that arm. Either way, I think that is all I need for now on it...Appreciate you finding my thread and dropping the pics in. Awesome!
 

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And that thing that looks like a distributor is the governor...just an FYI. The spring location sets the max RPM of the engine. Been doing a bit of reading in the manual, but didn't have any clear pics of how it all hooked up. This was perfect.
Good to know. Wish the single sluggers had the governor outside. Taking a K321 apart just to install a new governor. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, I had it running...enough to run a stick through it. I was able to move the throttle adjuster to get it up to speed to engage the clutch, which it did. I do have a small hydraulic leak. Whoever installed the hoses allowed one flange to rub against the adjacent hose and it rubbed through. Doesn't look like an old leak, but more likely a weak spot that popped open when I put pressure on it for the first time in several years. Unfortunately, it quit on me. Seems like I lost one side of the coil, or maybe loose it once it warms up. Is that possible? Good spark on the other side. Tried swapping plugs and wires, no change. Has to be the coil. I can get it to fire periodically, but spark tester shows no or little spare on one side. I hate getting out the parts cannon. Any way to test if one side of the coil is bad?
 
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