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I have a very old (date unknown but pre 1980 I think) Motowatt 1500s generator driven by a two stroke MAG motor. When I bought it it had no spark. After cleaning the points there was spark but only at very high speed with the drill. I was assuming something wrong with the condenser or the coil, so I put it away for a while. Today I was trying it again and it had really great spark even at low speeds. Amazed I put everything together and again besides a stutter or two I could not get anything out of it.

After disassembling and trying again with the drill and getting amazing spark I realized I had the drill set to the wrong direction. It was driving clockwise instead of counter clock wise. Changing the drill to the "right" direction as indicated on the flywheel and pull starter means spark is gone again.

At the moment I am somewhat confused how to proceed here. I am obviously turning it into the wrong direction since there are arrows on multiple parts. But spark is very weak and only at very high RPM in the "right" direction. Since spark otherwise is very strong I am inclined to believe there must still be something left in the condenser and the coil and that they are not dead.

What could cause such a behavior? Any tips and ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Below are a couple of images from the ignition module and the flywheel with the magnets and the indent that trips the points.

Ignition module with the points closed:

Ignition Module with points closed

Points openend

Ignition module with points open

Flywheel with indentation

Flywheel

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  • Can you add a photo of the location of the points?
    – HandyHowie
    Jun 20, 2023 at 8:52
  • I have added some photos Jun 21, 2023 at 19:16

1 Answer 1

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This sounds like an issue with the magneto and points timing.

It may be possible that the magneto is not aligned properly. If the magneto and points timing are not aligned, then it could result in a weak spark.

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  • Yea, I have a bit of an adjustment space where I can turn the whole coil/points assembly, I put it to both extremes to see what changes (ti was in the middle before) and one direction I would say is slightly better. Still the "wrong" direction produces almost blindingly bright spark whereas the right direction only creates a very faint spark at medium RPM. Jun 21, 2023 at 19:17

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