How to Set Points on a Tecumseh Small Engine

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Setting points properly keeps your mower starting smooth.
Setting points properly keeps your mower starting smooth. (Image: mower image by Henryk Olszewski from Fotolia.com)

Tecumseh manufactures a variety of small engines for use in lawn and garden implements such as lawn mowers, snow blowers and log splitters. While newer engines utilize solid-state ignition systems, older models use a more traditional ignition system that relies on points and a condenser to provide spark to the spark plug. Setting the points to the proper gap is necessary for the ignition to provide spark at the correct point in the cycle.

Things You'll Need

  • Feeler gauge
  • TDC dial indicator
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Flywheel puller
  • Flywheel holder
  • New flywheel key
  • Clutch tool
  • Socket set

Disconnect the spark plug wire from the spark plug by pulling on the black rubber boot that covers the tip of the spark plug. Remove the spark plug with a deep socket.

Loosen the bolts that hold the starter shroud onto the engine. Lift the starter shroud off of the engine, and set it aside.

Hold the flywheel in place with a flywheel holder, and place the clutch tool over the clutch on top of the flywheel. Turn the clutch counterclockwise to remove from the crankshaft.

Attach a Tecumseh flywheel puller over the tip of the crankshaft and attach the bolts of the puller to the flywheel. Tighten the nuts on the flywheel puller to pop the flywheel off the crankshaft.

Remove the ignition cover from the ignition housing with a screwdriver.

Insert the TDC dial indicator into the spark plug hole in the end of the cylinder. Rotate the crankshaft until the dial indicator shows zero-degrees. Then rotate the crankshaft counterclockwise until the dial reads 0.010 inches, or 0.254 mm, past the top-dead-center, zero-degree mark.

Check the gap between the points inside the ignition housing with a feeler gauge. The correct gap setting depends on which model Tecumseh engine you have. Consult your engine manual or references accompanying this article to find the appropriate gap spacing for your model. To adjust the gap, loosen the locking screw with a flathead screwdriver. Widen or narrow the gap to match the feeler gauge. Tighten the screw to lock the points in place.

Replace the ignition housing cover. Remove the TDC dial indicator from the spark plug hole above the cylinder.

Insert a new flywheel key into the channel in the crankshaft before replacing the flywheel onto the crankshaft. Place the clutch over the crankshaft, and rotate clockwise to hand tighten.

Secure the flywheel with a flywheel holder, and tighten the clutch with a clutch tool.

Replace the starter shroud onto the engine, and tighten the bolts to secure the shroud. Reinstall the spark plug, and re-attach the spark plug wire to the spark plug.

References

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