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Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 637
Likes: 3
Senior Contributor
Got my old Mayfair put back together and thought it should run. No such luck! Suddenly there is no spark. Before I pulled it down it was kicking like a mule, now nothing. Pulled it down again and tested the condenser. It is dead and I do mean completely dead. No reading at all from the multimeter. But the coil is reading 7.20 from both terminals with the multimeter set to 20K. That seems low compared to today's coils, but I wonder if these old coils only ever put out about 7-8?

Would 7.20 be enough to make it run if I get a new condensor? I might try one of those electronic ignition if the coil is okay.

Last edited by vint_mow; 15/04/22 07:33 PM. Reason: mistake
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Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,675
Likes: 164
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
NormK recommends fitting EI to old points ignition mowers. This sounds like an opportunity to.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Jan 2017
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Senior Contributor
Thanks for the advice. But wouldn't the EI still require a healthy coil as well? I am just wondering what the optimum Ohms would be and what would be the least required to run the Victa? I'm guessing around 8-10 K on testing, but that would be on a brand new coil. EI are expensive so I would like to know for sure if my present coil is up to the task.

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,675
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SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Yes coil needed, rest of the gear not. Apparently the EI module is easy to wire in, bypassing the points and condenser. You can scavenge an IM off a wrecked powertorque or other engine that uses them.
They're not that expensive brand new.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Jan 2017
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Senior Contributor
As luck would have it, I found an old EI module in the dark recesses of the shed. Not sure when or where I picked it up, but I tested it and it is still good. One thing they never tell us in the instructions STEN provide is what to do with the earth wire on the existing coil. Do you just leave it in place, i.e. earthed? That is what I would presume, but just thought I should ask first.

Also, what is a suitable modern replacement coil for Victa 5-183? I assume this translates as MA05183A. Told this is discontinued, but am betting there will be an aftermarket replacement that will fit?

Joined: Jan 2016
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Hi vint_mow,
kill switch wire just remains that, you just cut into that wire and connect ti to the module and you have to earth the module as well. I have never tried it but I did look at it once and I think the coil off a PT would work if you remove it from the legs/frame. Was something I thought about doing but as I still have I think a couple of new early coils I didn't bother checking

Joined: Jan 2017
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Well I installed the module today and after just three winds on the starter it sprang to life. Problem now is it is running too well. It is over-revving on Fast, but as you drop the lever it refuses to idle and cuts out. if I squeeze the rubber intake hose it then runs normally. I did notice the plastic governor vane is sitting up high and is is so loose that it will fall off with a slight bump. I am sure this is not right. It looks like it has to be pushed tightly to fit over the top of the metal, but it doesn't seem to want to push down and I don't want to risk breaking it or damaging the pinion gears. Is there a correct way to install the vane?

I reset the gears on the governor to factory settings, as there are two lines that you can match up for this purpose. I will try turning back the gearing counterclockwise to see if that lowers the revs.

The G3 carby is very "fiddly" but I am sure works very well once it is set up correctly.

Joined: Jan 2017
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Senior Contributor
All good Norm! Got the multigrips to the vane and gently pressed it down the way it should be, then turned the dial a few spaces counterclockwise. Put the top back on and started it. Running better but still a bit fast for my liking. So took cover off again and turned back the dial a few more spaces, put it all back together again and wound the starter. This time success! It ticks over very nicely on idle and throttles up to full speed just the way it should. Mowed the lawn with it and it never missed a beat. Slight fuel drip on the bottom of the carby suggests my homemade gasket might not be the best. Maybe the screws just need a slight tighten.

I guess this proves that the coil doesn't have to be all that brilliant to run the motor. The coil tested only 7.10 on multimeter prior to re-installing, a drop from 7.20 when I first removed it, so I wonder if the drop over a few days suggests the coil might be failing? Or maybe a few spins from the starter is all that is needed to charge the coil enough to make it run?

Last edited by vint_mow; 17/04/22 01:16 PM.
Joined: Feb 2006
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I saw an old sales advertisement for the Victa range in the early 80s when their SuperStart electronic ignition models had been recently introduced and they were also selling points ignition versions of their side pull full crank (which surprised me). They charged a premium for models with the EI, so this means you have effectively upgraded your mower.
No more cleaning points and a more consistent spark.
The spark out of the Chinese block Powertorque with their integrated module delivers a very powerful spark.
Unfortunately there's no retrofitting those.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!

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