No spark on a 1979 Columbia

Bruce Linafelter /

Newby here. My 84 year young neighbor was given a rusty Columbia. He likes to refinish things so he took it all apart and is cleaning and painting. He gave me the motor and coil to see if I could get it running. I like to tinker with motors but this is all new to me. With the multimeter set at 20k, the coil has continuity between the two spades, and there is continuity between either spade and the plug wire - around 16.03. . I bought a new plug. I lightly sanded the points. Everything is very clean inside the flywheel from what I can see but I have not taken it off. The motor turns freely. I squirted some oil into the cylinder to keep is lubed while testing. I have been spinning the motor with a drill. My easy question: is it possible to get a spark from the plug with the motor out of the frame? I set the plug against the cylinder fins for ground and have tried every combination of running wires from the stator, but no spark in the plug. There are two sets of wires coming from the stator. One has a blue wire and a yellow wire, and the other has a green, green/black, and a gray wire. From all I have read, the blue wire should be the wire to excite the coil. In my thinking, the blue wire should go to one of the spades on the coil and then ground the coil with the motor with a second wire, since it is off the frame, but no spark with this arrangement. Thanks in advance for educating me!

Re: No spark on a 1979 Columbia

♣Slew Foot♣ /

Okay. Firstly ditch all pre conceived mechanical notions. This is mopeds.

No it won't start without it being in the frame. You could but it would involve creating circuits to bypass the ht resistance ground.

The easy way to check a coil is isolate it and put a AA battery on it. Magnet good hot spot bad.

The it can be tested with a 9v battery - to ground the + to the signal in. It should fire the plug. An audio signal on a resistance meter will tell you tdc & the firing Mark. o and m on the flywheel.

The wiki in the Pull down would help.

Re: No spark on a 1979 Columbia

You have a sachs 505 engine. Tons of info in the wiki. Yes, you can get spark out of the frame, but I haven't had a sachs in years so I'm not sure about how

Re: No spark on a 1979 Columbia

Just like any motor, you can run the motor outta the frame. To get wiring to just work use the motor as ground. Take a look in the wiki for the wiring diagram, normally blue is external ignition ground, also coil has to be grounded thru the bolt holes, the first post gives a good intro to spark production.

Re: No spark on a 1979 Columbia

Bruce Linafelter /

Thanks for your quick response. You are right about relearning. I have kept a 1949 CJ2A running for 32 years and this motor is nothing like that.

I apologize for my slow learning curve but I need a little clarification. With the AA battery test, where do you place the battery? On the windings of the coil? Lay it flat across or positive or negative end on the coil? What gets hot? With the 9 volt battery test, there are two spade connections on the coil plus the plug wire. Does it matter which spade the positive wire coming off the 9 volt goes to? Or am I confused and the positive wire goes to the blue wire out of the stator? If that is the case, which wire goes to which spade on the coil? I read through the Wiki sections on electrical (which is very well done) but could not find any specific info on the two leads coming out of the coil. I am sure I am missing it somewhere so a page or section reference would be much appreciated.

Thanks again for your assistance!

Re: No spark on a 1979 Columbia

Skip the battery stuff, one spade is ground the other from ignition coil. Check wiki for color. Spin with drill on flywheel nut. Spark?

Re: No spark on a 1979 Columbia

♣Slew Foot♣ /

Just the wires . if there is a short in the coil it will heat up. Otherwise it creates an electromagnet.

Re: No spark on a 1979 Columbia

Bruce Linafelter /

Thanks! Ran the test with the AA battery and it stayed cool.

Re: No spark on a 1979 Columbia

Bruce Linafelter /

Thanks! Wired it up like you suggested and had spark! Put a little mixed gas in the carb hole and it fired right up!

Re: No spark on a 1979 Columbia

Arite here's whatcha need to know:

1st, check that the points are closing, and opening.

next check that they're not grounded when open, and check contuinuity across em when closed. that'll check off some common issues

if grounded, open and closed, youve got a short to ground somewhere

if no continuity across em, or high resistance, clean em better and make sure they sit flush

if theyre not opening and closing, your follwer's probably bad and you might need to readjust em, might need new ones.

All that checked, with the engine on bench, ground the green and green/black wire to the engine somewhere, and spin the flywheel with the drill, and holding the blue wire against the spinning magneto, see if it's sparking a little bit. I like holding it on the moving wheel cuz it just makes it easier to see the sparkles

if that's good, (and it should be zapping 1x per rev too) then hook it up to the ignition HT coil. ground the coil's frame and the coil's ground wire to the engine, and check again for spark. if nothing try unscrewing the plug boot and checking straight from the plug's lead wire. if still nothing, but it's got good zaps on the blue wire - get a new HT coil. if there's little zaps from the lead wire but not gapping the plug, thats almost always dirty points, but could be bad condeser or somethin else, but that'd bring my focus back to points.

Re: No spark on a 1979 Columbia

Bruce Linafelter /

Thanks for your reply. I got it working. The points were very dirty and needed a good cleaning.

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