Vanguard 18 cant find a good coil


Old 05-08-09, 04:27 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2009
Location: PA.
Posts: 3
Vanguard 18 cant find a good coil

Hi to all This looks like a very nice place Been here once or twice to read some post

I picked up an 18 vanguard engine for my zero turn.I wanted to check it out before I installed it. First thing I checked was spark only to find none. Then I cleaned the flywheel and coils also regapped at .010. Once again no spark. So a friend had a spare parts engine ( 16HP Vanguard) so I borrowed his coils. once again no spark. Then I said forget the cheap way. I ordered new after market ones on the internet. (being cheap is a habit with me) I installed the new coils only to find no spark. I went back and double check for correct part number, which it was. The one thing I did notice the second time is the note saying that this is a replacement for part number 492341You would think I would give up by now, but no I found another parts engine that I checked for spark before I removed the coils. Now I figure if I take both coils and the flywheel, which to me I believe is the whole ignition system it has to work. Guess what it doesnt> I just dont believe I could have 8 bad coils and 2 bad flywheels. Can someone help ????? Mod 350442 Spec 0043-01
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Old 05-08-09, 04:44 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Iowa!!!!!
Posts: 3,728
You might check your grounding of the coil (ignition module) to the engine. With the correct ignition module and flywheel, without the kill wire connected (small wire going to the module), you have the complete ignition system in your hand. The only variable would be the coil gap (not perfect, but about .010) and the grounding of the coil to the engine.

With those two components in serviceable condition you would be able to get a spark to jump to a ground on the engine. Sometimes that spark is difficult to see in daylight and often the spark plug used isn't a good one or isn't well grounded.

Seldom do you have a bad flywheel and if one of the components is bad it's the module.
Old 05-08-09, 06:50 AM
30yearTech's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 1,176
Another thing to watch out for is the installation of the modules.

They can be installed upside down, and if they are they will not work. The modules are usually marked "cyl. side" or "This side up", you also need to crank the engine a minimum of 600 rpm to generate a spark.

Best of Luck...
Old 05-08-09, 06:39 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2009
Location: PA.
Posts: 3
Thats why Im so confused I installed them with the correct side out. I cleaned the engine for good gounding and gap them at .006,.010 and .012. I talk to the people who sold me the new coils and they are willing to send out new ones to try. I should get them monday or tuesday Iwill keep you informed.
Old 05-08-09, 09:50 PM
cheese's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 16,819
I doubt all those coils are bad, and I'm sure the flywheel is fine. Two things....disconnect any wiring connected to the coils while checking for spark. If there is voltage going to the coils, then every one you tried is bad now, even the new ones. There should be no voltage going to them through the kill wire...ever.

The other thing is aftermarket coils are generally junk in my experience. If one works, it's only a temporary condition.

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