1955 5.5 Johnson Ignition

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    I’m stumped getting the ignition working on my 5.5 Johnson restoration project. Coils, plug wires, plugs, points and condenser are new. I get some voltage indication on my Fluke meter, reading between the spark plug boot and ground, when I spin the flywheel. But no spark on either plug, when I replace the Fluke with a grounded plug. I believe I’ve got everything connected properly. I’ve attached a photo of the set-up. I have a couple of questions:

    1. With the twist grip in the “stop” position, is there an electrical shutoff, grounding out the coil secondary. This might be the issue if I could check it.

    2. I measured the resistance from the spark plug connection back through the secondary coil to ground. 6.82 kohms and 6.83 kohms for each circuit. Does this seem normal?

    Any trouble-shooting tips would be appreciated.


    Matthew Pieklik

    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 26
    Topics: 20

    Just for the heck of it, make sure your points are clean. You might also want to take the wires off your points and hook up a meter and see them open and close on the meter. No kill switch on the throttle grip.


    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 5497
    Topics: 48

    I agree, check the points. They often have a non-conductive film on the contacts that needs to be cleaned off. Use your fluke to measure the resistance across them. Should be zero Ohms when closed. Not an Ohm or so, but zero. When open, you will see around an Ohm, the resistance of the coil primary winding. Secondary windings at around 6-7 Ohms is fine.


    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 3598
    Topics: 35

    There is not stop circuit on this engine, you should see spark at any throttle setting also… It looks like you need to tuck those condenser wires downward though, they might rub on the flywheel…


    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 1279
    Topics: 17

    Is the cam on upside down ???

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