Cheap Fix: Briggs and Stratton Coil Conversion

Briggs and Stratton ignition coil conversion saves money and headaches.


| November 2005



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Briggs and Stratton Model 14 with the OEM ignition coil, part no. 290880.

This submission is not so much about a successful engine repair as it is about a clever and ingenious idea, which also saves a substantial sum of money in the event you're a working stiff. I'm writing this for Kent David Redd, the creator of the idea, as he has an interest in passing it along. I've been told on a number of occasions through the years, "necessity is the mother of invention" and "work with what you have." That's how this all came about. I'll start from the beginning, but I promise not to bore you to tears with details.

I have a Briggs and Stratton Model 14 engine that acted as if it had a partially plugged carburetor, since it would start and idle just fine. However, when attempting to throttle it up, the engine would die. After repeatedly pulling the carburetor apart and checking every conceivable possibility I could come up with, I gave in. Listing the engine for sale, cheap I might add, a couple fellas contacted me with an interest in the engine and asked me to describe the engine's behavior, which I did.

I was consistently told the coil was shorting out at higher RPMs, but not at idle speed. So of course when I was turning the engine over, checking for spark, I assumed the coil was all right. I then decided if it was just a bad coil, I'd just keep the engine and replace it.

Six Months Later

After the engine sat in its dark corner for another six months, I decided I wanted to hear the baby beastie run once again. I knew I couldn't afford a new replacement coil and the engine wasn't worth the cost, so I posted an ad on the Internet looking for a functioning used coil but got no bites. The offers I did receive were for new "Made in China" or NOS coils, some at ridiculously high prices, while others were reasonably fair.

While considering the purchase of an NOS coil, Kent David Redd made me an offer for instructions … yes, illustrated instructions on how to convert a later model Briggs and Stratton coil to fit my Model 14. Person-ally, I thought it sounded a bit goofy, but it did spark my curiosity. After sending a reply to his offer and asking about the price tag, he forwarded said instructions via e-mail at no cost.

After reading through them several times and looking over the illustrations, the conversion began making sense. The end result was that I didn't have to ask questions, the conversion only required approximately four hours of easy labor, not a dime from my pocket, and the Model 14 engine runs sweet as a dream. This is such an ingenious idea and I was so impressed with it, I talked to Kent about doing this story and he had no problem with it and liked the idea of getting this out for others to use. I'm very impressed with this, especially since at the time he came up with it, he, too, was between the proverbial "rock and a hard place," so just maybe necessity is the mother of invention.

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2/13/2011 10:43:57 AM

looking to see if there is any info out there on briggs model 23afb schematics etc. or just advice. im new at this hobby and enjoying it so far. thanks