Breaker Points on old Briggs Engines



An introduction to the old style of ignition system that came before the new electronic ignitions. Sorry it is a bit out of focus. Breaker points type ignition is pretty simple, and reliable, the main thing is to keep the points clean, and have their gap set correctly. The points are the switch that cuts the flow of electricity created by the moving magnets of the flywheel. The sudden cutting of the current causes the magnetic field to collapse in the coil, which induces a current into the high voltage side of the coil, leading to the spark plug. The condensor helps this to take place, so there won’t be any spark if the condensor isn’t storing a charge correctly. 2 advantages of using a points type ignition: it will fire the spark plug at a fairly low speed, and sometimes it can put out very high voltage, I have see a Briggs coil make a spark jump 3/4″ or more!!!! when spinning the flywheel by hand. Ouch!

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26 thoughts on “Breaker Points on old Briggs Engines

  1. You are welcome!
    Did the vid help you solve the problem with the points arm?
    Sorry the vis is a bit blurry, I even added a second light to brighten things up.

    Oh, I see your 2nd comment above, so the plunger is seized, just like on my SubTerrainean 67!!! 🙂
    That can be a pain, I couldn't pull this one out with pliers.
    I think the safe way is to pull out the crankshaft, then use penetrating oil, and push it out, or lightly pound it down in. The plunger can be delicate! New vid time! 🙂

  2. Yes, I plan to do a vid series on the "Subterrainean 67 Briggs", I call it that, since it is so corroded that it must have been half buried, or something. Even "Mr Grungy" the one I got running a little while ago wasn't in nearly as bad of condition as this one, and it had the cylinder right full of water and rust!

  3. That my plan!
    It will be a JB Weld special, since it is corroded so badly around the valve seats. I have to get it apart first, like every second bolt I touch snaps off! >:(( Even after a long time soaking in penetrating oil. The oil leaks down in the cylinder, so thats a good sign, but the crankshaft it seriously seized, I tried cranking on it a few times.

  4. HaHaHa 🙂
    Lets just say I am in my Late 40s 🙂
    (I don't want to reveal exactly how old I am because of all the little Turds out there trying to steal peoples identities.
    If anyone ever steals and takes over this YT channel, they are in for a fight!!!!

    Just remember guys, I HAVE all the engines I show, and I will fire them all up on a new vid on a new channel, just to prove it!!! 🙂 That would wake the neighborhood up for sure!!!! 🙂
    Yes, I grew up with points type engines, and like em

  5. Try this, get 5 gallons of diesel (expensive I know) in a 5 gallon bucket and submerge the engine in the diesel for a couple weeks or so. Actually by the time you put the engine in the 5 gallon bucket with diesel it will overflow so 3 gallons should do lol.

  6. Thats a good idea!
    Actually, I have a steel bucket already, and I have about 1 gallon of diesel in it with a chain fall soaking in it. I had been putting a bit of the diesel into the cylinder of this engine over the last year, and it keep soaking down past the rings. Perhaps I should just soak the whole thing, since I seem to be good at breaking the bolts off otherwise!
    Guess its time to spend some more on diesel 🙂

  7. Totally!!!!
    Remember though, I AM in Canada!!!
    You have to remember the huge Canadian markup factor, I can generally get Briggs parts for about 1/2 prive in the USA!!!!! 🙂

  8. I took your advice, I removed as much as I could, and tried to remove the crankcase cover. The bolts came out OK, and I was evan able to punch out the locating dowels, but that cover is there to stay!!! >:((
    So the whole engine is sitting in diesel fuel soaking.
    This engine is the worst I have seen, a bunch of corrosion almost like grey sand has come out thru the oil fill hole!
    I think this one is gonna be a Muther to fix!!!

  9. Yes, it was weird stuff, almost fluffy, I kept it, and will show it on a vid, when I make one of the engine taken apart. Unfortuantely that won't be for a month or so 🙁
    The valves are totally seized, I tried to pry them, pound on them etc, no luck. The intake valve is toast, rusted very badly. The ex. looks better, but I think they are made of stainless steel.

  10. If they used the engine for drug use, I would hate to be the dude taking those substances!!! The inside of this engine is NASTY!!!! 🙂

  11. I don't know if i'm the only person who noticed that, but it kind of seems like B&S points work the opposite way. These are the only engines i know where the points are closed for just a short time, on every other engine i worked on they are closed most of the time and then open for a short time when it needs to fire. This can also be seen by the "flat" part of the crankshaft, while on other engines there is like a lobe on it that opens the circuit. Do you know anything about that?

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