Ignition Circuit Components

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IGNITION  CIRCUIT  COMPONENTS Various  ignition  circuit  components  are  designed to  achieve  the  functions  of  the  ignition  circuit.  Basic ignition circuit components are as follows: BATTERY—provides   power   for   the   circuit. (This was discussed earlier in this chapter.) IGNITION  SWITCH—allows  the  operator  to turn the circuit and engine ON and OFF. IGNITION  COIL—changes  battery  voltage  to high ignition voltage (30,000 volts and greater). IGNITION    DISTRIBUTOR—distributes ignition  voltage  to  the  spark  plug.  Contains either  mechanical  contact  points  or  an  electronic switching circuit. SPARK PLUG—device that provides an air gap in the combustion chamber for an electric arc. Ignition Switch The ignition switch (fig. 2-43) enables the operator to  turn  the  ignition  on  for  starting  and  running  the engine  and  to  turn  it  off  to  stop  the  engine.  Most automotive   ignition   switches   incorporate   four positions, which are as follows: OFF.—The  OFF  position  shuts  off  the  electrical system.  Systems,  such  as  the  headlights,  are  usually not wired through the ignition switch and will continue to operate. ACCESSORY. —The ACCESSORY position turns  on  power  to  the  entire  vehicle  electrical  system with the exception of the ignition circuit. IGNITION   ON.—The    IGNITION-ON    position turns   on   the   entire   electrical   system   including   the ignition circuit. START.—The  START  position  will  energize  the starter   solenoid   circuit   to-crank  the   engine.   The START   position   is   spring-loaded   to  return  to  the IGNITION-ON  position  when  the  key  is  released automatically. Ignition Coil The  ignition  coil  (fig.  2-44)  produces  the  high voltage  required  to  make  current  jump  the  gap  at  the spark  plugs.  It  is  a  pulse  type  transformer  capable  of producing  a  short  burst  of  high  voltage  for  starting combustion. The ignition coil is made of two sets of windings (primary  and  secondary),  two  primary  terminals  (low voltage connections), an iron core (long piece of iron inside the windings), and a high voltage terminal (coil wire  connection). The  primary  winding  is  the  outer  winding  and  is made   up   of   several   hundred   turns   of   heavy   wire, wrapped  around  or  near  the  secondary  winding.  The secondary winding is the inner winding and is made up of several thousand turns of heavy wire located inside or near the primary winding. The secondary windings are wound in the opposite direction of the primary, and the  ends  are  attached  internally  to  the  primary windings and the high voltage terminal. Both windings are wrapped around an iron core and are housed inside the coil case. To  obtain  the  high  current  required  for  ignition, battery current flows through the ignition coil primary windings  producing  a  strong  magnetic  field.  The action of the iron core strengthens the magnetic field. Figure 2-43.—Ignition switch and positions. Figure 2-44.—Sectional view of an ignition coil. 2-32

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