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3 lead spark testers ?

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3v0

Coop Build Coordinator
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The tester below has 3 connection points. The clip goes to the block/gnd, the spark plug wire connects to the to bare stud. I curious what the insulated stud is for. This tester is based on an old Briggs and Stratton design.


 

rjenkinsgb

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I'd guess it is a point you can optionally touch to ground.

That would allow the cylinder to be cut off for testing the power change, or to see if there were any output if there was not enough to cause spark across the main gap.

It still looks to have a gap, just a very small one which would spark before the main gap or plug.
 

JimB

Super Moderator
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Best guess...

The large gap is for testing the spark in a car engine, where the voltage can be around 25kV and will jump the big gap quite easily.

The small gap is for simple two stroke engines as used in motor cycles, where the voltage during cranking is only 1 or 2 kV.

JimB
 

3v0

Coop Build Coordinator
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Thanks guys.

Given how little of the 3rd stud extends outside the insulation I don't see it being a place to put a plug wire.

These are sold by Briggs & Stratton for small engines. The original Briggs design used screws which made all gaps adjustable. You can easily ground out the engine by touching gnd to the lead the spark attaches too.

Generally this sort of thing is made as inexpensively as possible and still function. There has to be a better reason for the 3rd stud.
 

JimB

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Given how little of the 3rd stud extends outside the insulation I don't see it being a place to put a plug wire.
I was just thinking that the idea was:
Connect the plug lead to the long bare electrode.
Connect the croc clip to the engine block.
If the spark jumps, all ok.
To test for a low spark voltage, touch the third electrode to the engine block, and check for a small spark.

JimB
 
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