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Testing the ignition coil

There are people who trust their Ohm-meter. They consider it practical to measure cables and coils, which are actually, no more than twisted, insulated wires. This is exactly where the problem lies. In this case, even Ohm-meters and continuity testers are pushed to their limits.

There are also those, who simply want to know, whether a certain fairly limited system is functioning perfectly or not, even though the testing device may cost more than the system itself, for workshops, of course, this is not a problem. These people don't simply replace things blindly, or wait until something finally breaks down.

The fact is, that the ingition and injection are so closely inter-connected with each other, that knowing something about the overall workings of the system, does give a certain amount of security if an error in one component of a sub-system can be clearly identified. One never really knows, if the part is simply replaced.

Now, why am I telling you this? Because I would like to draw your attention to a new ignition coil testing device. To do the testing, the ignition coil does not have to be removed, indeed, testing it with an additional sparking path is perhaps advisable. After all, checking the sparking of a spark plug which is not under compression, cannot really be taken seriously.

This is why, in a twin-spark coil, this is also known as a 'side-spark'. Thus, the typical, only occasionally occurring misfiring, is difficult to pin down. A sparking-path can be lengthened, thus, be more realistically adapted to the conditions in the combustion chamber. For this reason also, the coil-tester, ZST-1, is equipped with a particularly effecient 8-Ampere output.

Forget about your additional spark plug to get to the bottom of a somewhat more difficult fault. Using three times the spark-gap at 0 bar, generate an ignition-peak of around 25 kilo-volts to load the coil so heavily, that insulation faults or short circuits in the windings become visible.

The coil is loaded not only by an aggravated sparking, but also through a series of rapid sparkings, something that happens when high revs take place. The KST-1 can also handle this, whereby in this case, an oscilloscope which shows the secondary voltage, should be connected at the same time. One can even distinguish between insulation errors and short circuits in the windings. 10/11

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