Tech Tip #198: Wisconsin and Continental Solid State Distributor Installation Made Easy

Dr. Diesel
Written by Dr. Diesel


This Dr. Diesel™ Tech Tip is designed to help you correctly install one of our Foley Hytork™ solid state distributors in your Wisconsin engine model VH4D, W41770, V465D, TJD, THD or VG4D engine. The installation instructions are largely the same for Continental engine models F227, F245, F244, F226, F163 and F162 as well as the Perkins G4.236 gas engine.

Let’s get started with some step by step instructions:

  1. First, make sure you’ve purchased one our matching solid state coils.  Our coils feature internal resistors and have nearly twice the voltage output of your old style coil as used with a points-style distributor. In other words, don’t use a coil from a points-style system on a solid state system.
  2. The Foley Hytork™ distributor is designed for use with 12-volt negative ground applications.
  3. The electronic ignition distributor is installed into the engine block in the same manner as the conventional point distributor.
  4. Once installed in the engine it’s time to connect the two wires. The red wire from the distributor must be connected to the positive (+) side of the coil. The black wire must be connected to the negative (-) side of the coil.
  5. Timing is performed in the standard manner.  A conventional timing light is connected the #1 spark plug wire, and the distributor body is rotated to achieve the proper timing.
  6. This solid state ignition system now will fire down to zero RPM.  Because of this, the engine can also be statically timed to a high degree of accuracy.
    1. Set a volt meter to 12V DC scale.
    2. Connect the volt meter from the negative coil terminal to ground.
    3. With the key in the on position, as you turn the crankshaft the voltmeter will fluctuate between 1.2 volts and battery voltage.
    4. Firing occurs just as the voltmeter switches from 1.2 to battery voltage.
  7. Voilá!  Just tighten down the clamp and you’re back to work.

For more information on Wisconsin engines check out Tech Tip #21: Identifying Wisconsin EnginesTech Tip #46: Starting Wisconsin Engines With High Loads, and Tech Tip #72: Saving Worn Deutz, Continental and Wisconsin Blocks.

We also stock workshop manuals for your Continental or Wisconsin engine. Call us today or visit our online store to order!


Dr. Diesel
Written by Dr. Diesel
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