I've got the same model, but mine is a 1972
It is a simple battery point ignition and should only take a few minutes to diagnose. You will need a multimeter.
I wondered if anyone would remember this old tractor!
Have a multi meter.
I will be blowing snow with mine in the morning.
Check for voltage at the coil. You should have 12 volts on the power side.
I'm in Georgia BUT we have had SNOW. A record 6 inches. The High tension lead goes behind the flywheel. I do not see an ignition coil.
Hang on. There were two ignition systems used.
That is why I questioned that some of these early tractors and a magneto.
That's Had a magneto.
The magneto version of that engine doesn't have points or a condenser.
The online John Deere parts catalog appears to be wrong on your model. Give me a few more minutes. I have the factory Kohler manuals and I have the original JD books around here somewhere.
Wow! I am a manual; and book fanatic but I don't have anything on this tractor. Just started working on it so I WILL get proper manuals and books soon!
OK, the online JD parts site is wrong. There was one version of the K161 engine that had a point magneto with an external point. Your tests are simple but you will need to pull the magneto cover. (You may need to remove the engine mount bolts to raise the engine so it clears the frame.) Unplug the wire to the harness. This removes all switches from the system. Crank the motor. If you have spark, the problem is in a switch or the wiring.
If no spark, remove the point wire. Attach an ohm meter, buzz box, test light, etc., to verify the point makes full contact when closed and shows fully open on the meter when open.
If the point checks out, replace the condenser. If still no spark, replace the magneto coil. One note here. I did have a few where the triggering magnet on the flywheel fell off. If so, just epoxy it back on and you are in business.
A magneto works with the turning of the engine! To pull the magneto cover it looks like I need to pull the flywheel and the magneto is behind it.
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Thanks for the accept. You can still get the engine manual from the Kohler website. Download the K series manual. You will have to watch ebay for the tractor manual.