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Discussion Starter #1
Hey All,

New to the forum and hoping for some help with a Tecumseh HS50 -67008B engine for a 1978 Ariens model 932006 Snowblower (My grandfathers). I’m sure I will discover other issues as I continue but at the moment I am stuck almost at the beginning … Lack of a spark. At best I can get a very occasional spark.

My original diagnosis was it had to be something to do with the coil/magneto. I was able to get a replacement Tecumseh coil/magneto assembly complete with a new coil, points and condenser but that hasn’t solved it. Despite setting the points (.020), checking every connection over and over and testing every possible thing I can think to test with a meter. I still can’t figure it out.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Happy to post picture and/or answer any questions to hopefully pinpoint and solve the problem.
 

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Welcome to the forum, I wonder when you close the throttle it shuts the engine? If so there is a small wire that would go to a ground and to the ignition coil and it may be pinched or simply bad, did you check the continuity of this wire? I could be way off base with these older models.
 

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The throttle wouldn't cause shut-off but this model does have a key - I would bypass that part of the ignition circuitry. You're replaced the plug and made sure you're making a good ground connection between the plug and engine while testing for spark?
 

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Hey All,

New to the forum and hoping for some help with a Tecumseh HS50 -67008B engine for a 1978 Ariens model 932006 Snowblower (My grandfathers). I’m sure I will discover other issues as I continue but at the moment I am stuck almost at the beginning … Lack of a spark. At best I can get a very occasional spark.

My original diagnosis was it had to be something to do with the coil/magneto. I was able to get a replacement Tecumseh coil/magneto assembly complete with a new coil, points and condenser but that hasn’t solved it. Despite setting the points (.020), checking every connection over and over and testing every possible thing I can think to test with a meter. I still can’t figure it out.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Happy to post picture and/or answer any questions to hopefully pinpoint and solve the problem.

most likely the points are not flat and making contact, or are internally shorted, I've seen this on old cars and on snowblowers, even if the parts are new. also you could have a new condenser that's bad.

the best thing to do there, is do away with the points, and install a Nova II electronic ignition- it only costs 12 bucks and connects with 2 wires. presto- solved.

I obtained a Yardman Snowbird 5HP machine that had the same problem yours has. The thread is on this forum somewhere. Previous owner installed new points, condenser, plug, coil and no spark.

http://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum/snowblower-repairs-maintenance-forum/22609-yard-man-snowbird-7040-0-challenge.html

I got it for 30 bucks, saved from the scrapper via a Craigslist ad, and put the Nova II on it, and it started right up. If you look at the thread you'll see the new ignition stuff he put on.

the new points are made low quality and don't work sometimes.

also I had an old car, I put new points/condenser on, and the car would not start for 2 days. put the old condenser back on, it started right up.

don't trust these new parts. I don't mess with points anymore, I buy those Nova II boxes 5 at a time on Ebay, and when I get a machine that doesn't run, put the Nova II on. It's cheaper than points and more reliable.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks for the quick replies all.

The throttle wouldn't cause shut-off but this model does have a key - I would bypass that part of the ignition circuitry. You're replaced the plug and made sure you're making a good ground connection between the plug and engine while testing for spark?
Correct this model has a key. As he suggested I have tried bypassing the ignition circuitry. I replaced the plug about 6 months ago when I was first working on this issue and the plug fires easily and another small engine I have.

most likely the points are not flat and making contact, or are internally shorted, I've seen this on old cars and on snowblowers, even if the parts are new. also you could have a new condenser that's bad.

the best thing to do there, is do away with the points, and install a Nova II electronic ignition- it only costs 12 bucks and connects with 2 wires. presto- solved.

I obtained a Yardman Snowbird 5HP machine that had the same problem yours has. The thread is on this forum somewhere. Previous owner installed new points, condenser, plug, coil and no spark.

http://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum/snowblower-repairs-maintenance-forum/22609-yard-man-snowbird-7040-0-challenge.html

I got it for 30 bucks, saved from the scrapper via a Craigslist ad, and put the Nova II on it, and it started right up. If you look at the thread you'll see the new ignition stuff he put on.

the new points are made low quality and don't work sometimes.

also I had an old car, I put new points/condenser on, and the car would not start for 2 days. put the old condenser back on, it started right up.

don't trust these new parts. I don't mess with points anymore, I buy those Nova II boxes 5 at a time on Ebay, and when I get a machine that doesn't run, put the Nova II on. It's cheaper than points and more reliable.

Thanks for that great suggestion. I will certainly pick up some Nova II to have around anyway even if I can solve the issue. In your best guess could I probably find a Nova II at a local small engine shop and or hardware store so I could continue to work on the blower today vs having to wait for one ordered? Also how exactly do you connect the Nova II? From the post you linked it looks like you remove both the condenser and points and only leave the coil ?

A few pictures...



 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks

Tried a couple local shops this morning looking for a Nova II with no luck so ended up ordering online certainly one benefit of the internet you can truly find just about anything!
 

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Since the ignition assembly is new, did you try putting a little alcohol on a clean business card and running it through the closed points to clean off any assembly lube? From the photos angle, it looks like the uninsulated coil wire is touching the case and possibly shorting out the spark? Have you confirmed the points are opening and closing completely?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have not cleaned the closed points with a little alcohol. I will try that. That is just the angle of the photos the uninsulated coil wire is not touching the case. Best I can tell points are opening and closing completely.
 

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points can be internally shorted to ground, or staying open if the points close and the 2 halves of the contacts are not perfectly parallel. that's the problem I saw with new points, they are made in China and are low quality, and won't spark.

also a new condenser can be a bad condenser, and made in China worse yet by a factor of 10x
 

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Same0701

The failure of points is generally from oxidation on their contact surfaces or from rubbing block wear which causes them to close and short out. The first problem is caused by an oily environment or from long periods of storage. The alcohol and clean paper scheme will work in correcting this problem. The second problem requires resetting the gap with a feeler gage. On rare occasions, the condenser will malfunction causing erratic spark or no spark. Breaker point ignitions are remarkably dependable with very little maintenance, particularly on low usage machinery like snow blowers. One thing to pay close attention to is your high voltage cable connector under the spark plug boot. I see a lot of green oxidation on them which will short them and also the spear type connectors that penetrate the copper core cables can fail to make good contact.
A lot of mechanics don't want to fuss with breaker points because time is money and it's cheaper to just change out to a Nova ignition. Old cheapskates like myself enjoy the tinkering. MH
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you all for your advise so far! I very much enjoy tinkering and the project of the whole thing just like many of you and it is extra special to me being my grandfathers machine. I will be traveling this week and then out of town for the Thanksgiving holiday but look forward to getting back to the project next week when time allows to try all your suggestions until I come to a resolution or not. Look forward to updating you all on the progress or lack there of.

SamE
 
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