Small Engine Ignition Problem

Category: Small Engine Repair

briggs and stratton

  After this engine sat for awhile it wouldn’t restart. This is a 2 horsepower briggs and stratton engine. This engine is on a rototiller, but the problem would be the same with any other engine. The first thing to do is to decide if the problem is fuel or spark related. These are the first problems to check for. First check the obvious thing like adding fresh gas to the tank. Generally if the problem is fuel related the engine will at least sputter. Another way to test this is to remove the spark plug and squirt a small amount of gas in the cylinder, replace plug. If the engine starts but doesn’t stay running you have a carb or fuel issue. If it still does nothing you should remove the spark plug and lay it on the cylinder head. Then you probably have no spark and have an ignition problem.


check spark

 Make sure you plug the spark plug into the plug wire and lay the spark plug on the metal of the cylinder head. Then spin the engine over while watching if there is any spark jumping at the bottom of the spark plug. If there is none the ignition coil may be bad. Start by removing the recoil assembly, shown in the top picture. Then there are usually 3 or 4 bolts holding it on.

small engine coil 2

 After the cover is removed you will see this which is the ignition coil, and the flywheel below it. There are two small bolts on the bottom of each side of the coil that will need to be removed. The bracket above the left bolt will also need to be removed after the bolt is out.

flywheel magnet

 Next you will need to locate the magnets as in the flywheel in the picture above. Rotate the flywheel so that they are in line with the ignition coil location. The magnets will be easily visible and are strong.

small engine coil 

This is the faulty ignition coil after it was removed.

ignition coil gap

 Take the ignition coil and push as far from the flywheel as possible then tighten it down there. Here is what you will need to do after the new coil is installed. Take a feeler gauge and place it beneath both ends of the ignition coil. First find out what the ignition coil gap should be. After the feeler gauges are in place loosen the ignition bolt coils. The magnets will pull the coil down tight on the feeler gauges. Then tighten the coil bolts down again remove the feeler gauges. Then hook up any wires on it to the appropriate places, and reinstall the recoil assembly. The engine should now be ready to run.