How to Set the Timing on Wisconsin Engines

by Warren Davies
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Wisconsin Motors manufacturers engines for industrial and construction uses. The company builds a wide range of motors, mostly gasoline-powered, air-cooled models but also some more powerful liquid-cooled engines. For any engine to run smoothly and efficiently, it must be properly timed. Wisconsin engines should be re-timed at least twice per season or whenever the ignition spark appears weak. The instructions in this article are for TRA-10D and TR-10D models; the procedure may vary slightly for other motors.

Step 1

Open the breaker box, which is usually located on the left side of the engine.

Step 2

Inspect the point gap. Fairly accurate timing can be achieved by simply setting the breaker point gap to its specified distance. Consult the engine's documentation for the exact measurement to use. The Wisconsin TRA-10D and TR-10D, for example, require a breaker point gap of 0.02 inches. Setting the gap accurately requires a feeler gauge of the appropriate size, which is placed between the two points while a screwdriver is used to move the plates via the adjusting slot. Although this will provide reasonably accurate timing, a timing light will be more accurate.

Step 3

Disconnect the coil primary wire, located at the bottom of the breaker box.

Step 4

Inspect the flywheel shroud. The opening on the right side reveals the timing mark on the flywheel.

Step 5

Turn the starter sheave clockwise and watch the breaker arm movement. Stop when the engine is on the compression stroke. It is now OK to line up the flywheel timing mark with the pointer.

Step 6

Connect the timing light to the terminal stud, in the lower part of the breaker box. Connect the other wire to ground.

Step 7

Loosen the lock screw on the contact support plate. Only loosen it enough to allow the plate to move -- no further.

Step 8

Close the points in the adjusting slot using a screwdriver. This will turn the timing light on. When it switches on, turn the screw the opposite way slowly. As soon as the light goes out, stop and keep the points in this state.

Step 9

Tighten the lock screw.

Step 10

Test the timing. Turn the flywheel counterclockwise, which will switch on the timing light. Then slowly turn the flywheel clockwise. The light should switch off at the same time as the flywheel timing mark lines up with the pointer. If this is the case, the engine is timed correctly.

Step 11

Disconnect the timing light from the terminal stud.

Step 12

Reconnect the coil primary wire to its connection in the lower part of the breaker box.

Step 13

Remount the cover on the breaker box.

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