Help Needed with Economy Engine Igniter

I recently purchased a 1 1/2 HP Economy hit-and-miss engine that has an igniter. I have read some as to how it works, but I can't seem to find any information as to how to hook up the battery and coil to it. I see the point to which the high voltage lead of the coil is attached as well as that where the negative side of the coil is attached. I can find no point, however, where the negative battery lead is indicated to be connected. Is it simply connected to any point on the block or am I missing something?There is no wiring diagram in the original manual and I can't find anything specific online.

I would appreciate feedback from someone who is familiar with these devices. Thanks.


Reply to
Steve Mulhollan
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Ignitors don't use a high voltage coil in the normal sense of the word. They use a simple coil with an iron core in series with a battery, an on/off switch, and the ignitor points.

When the ignitor points are closed, the battery current flows throught the coil, building a magnetic field in the iron. When the points open, the field collapses (visualize a spring slowly pulled back then suddenly released) generating an arc across the ignitor points and lighting the fire.

Some ignitors had places for 2 connections but most used the engine frame as ground.

I don't know if polarity was important. I doubt it.

Pictures please.

Reply to
Jim Stewart

An ignitor is a low voltage coil. Some people use a floresent light ballast for a coil. I think they use one for a small light not one of the big 40 watters. I bought an ignitor coil from Debolt for 15 or 18 dollars at Names. My friend chuck kuhn is very knowledgable about these. He is the one that told me about using the floresent light ballast. Drop me a line with your email address in it and I will forward it to him. I will not post his email address here.

Bob shores wrote a very nice book on model engine ignition systems. Bob has passed on but his book is still available and reasonabled priced. I think his web site is still up.


Reply to
Chuck Sherwood

the other posts say it well. I hae used the primary of a car or snowmobile ignition coil to run "ignitor" engines. Just the primary in series with the battery and the ignitor. I suppose that if you get technical about it, you might want to consider some sort of resistor in series with it all to keep the ignitor terminals from arcing more than needed.

Pete Stanaitis


Steve Mulhollan wrote:

Reply to

The resistor will do is protect the coil and wiring from excessive current when the contacts are closed. Also a resistor will allow the use of a higher voltage which can build up the magnetic field quicker and allow the engine to run at a higher RPM

Bill K7NOM

Reply to
Bill Janssen


I know I sound dense, but where do I hook up what when using an automotive coil? If I run the high voltage lead to the insulated terminal on the igniter and the nega tive leaad to the uninsulated terminal on the igniter, how will it discharge without connecting to the negative battery terminal?


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The igniter setup is illustrated here:

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