Kohler spark plug wire connector, how afixed?

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by Roger, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,923

    I have a kohler 15hp ProCommand, single cylinder engine on my Exmark w/b mower. The engine has many hours (at least 2,000, maybe 2,500), but still runs fine. I had a problem today, and am asking for a clarification on the spark plug wire.

    Today, I fired it up and loaded to the trailer. On the first job, it didn't start right away. This was unlike the usual routine; usually it starts well at full choke when cold. I checked the safety devices (blade engagement, hydro control), and all was in order. After extensive cranking, it finally started. It ran well for that job.

    On the next job, it started well and I mowed one of two adjacent properties. I shut it down to do some other tasks and then went to restart. It did not start again. After much cranking, I am perplexed because this behavior is unusual.

    I thought perhaps the spark plug was dirty. I pulled off the wire and was surprised when the wire came out, WITHOUT the plug connector. The barrel connector is still attached to the plug.

    I used narrow nosed pliers to get it out. I did take out the plug, and it looked pretty good. I wire brushed it down and reinstalled.

    Now, I have the connector and the wire as two separate pieces. I scooted to boot down the wire. After some examination, I finally concluded the connector is merely clamped onto the wire cover, not directly attached to a center wire. I opened the clamps a bit, inserted the covered wire, and clamped tight with a pair of ViseGrips. And, I reattached to plug, then scooted the boot back down over the barrel connector.

    On the second pull, the engine fired up, and it started well several other times following that brief diversion.

    My question: Is my assessment right about the barrel connector being clamped over the cover part of the wire, without any direct contact with a center hard wire?

    I will keep it the way it is for another day or two. If I have repeated problems, then my next step is a new ignition coil. Since the engine started and ran fine afterwards, I can attribute the change to one of two possiblities: (1) The spark plug needed cleaning, or (2) The connector had worked itself loose and the contact was not good enough for the spark current to flow through to the plug; reattaching and a new clamping procedure fixed this matter.

    Anybody have any observations or comments?
  2. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,023

    There is supposed to be a small punch out area that puts a barb pointing inside the connector to Pearce the outer cable housing and contact the inner wire.
    No need to replace the whole coil, Just hit your local repair shop and buy a new connector and boot kit. I like to strip the cable housing back and bend the inner wire back over the housing before installing a connector to assure a good contact.
  3. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,923

    Restrorob ... I have seen other connectors with a barb to pentrate the outer covering, but there was none on this one. That is what was confusing,... understanding to learn how the connector picked up the current from the internal wire.

    I misstated my point about the coil. My only concern about the coil is a possible failing electrical component, not just for a new wire coming from the coil. I didn't take off the housing cover, so I don't know how the wire is connected to the coil, but I presume the wire can be disconnected and a new one put in its place (as you were suggesting with new connection and boot kit). If it runs well in the next couple of days, I know the coil is not failing as an electrical component. But, it does sound like a new wire and boot are in order for the long term, even if it runs OK for now.

  4. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,023

    Sorry for the confusion, The wire can not be replaced. You must replace the whole coil to replace the wire. What I meant is we have in stock a plug wire connector and boot as a kit for replacement of old broken or rusted spark plug connectors.
  5. tomo

    tomo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 660

    Hello, coil lead not replaceable, the boot on the otherhand is ,you can use the crimp type[folding back conductor under crimp] or the screw in type made out of phenolic resin . Be care full with the resin type as they are available in different resistence values.Pick "o" resistance type."NGK" i have used b4. The soft silicon rubber type i have also used ,just make sure u crimp the lug pointing in the right direction. Silicon spray to slide boot on.[inspect 4 spark tracking at night under load if u can]tomo
  6. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,923

    Thanks for the info. These inights are helpful.

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