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Maytag Magneto Parts



Maytag got into the clothes washer buisiness in 1907. Early models were operated either by hand or by an electric motor. In 1915, Maytag recognized that a good percentage of US and foreign households had no electricity and needed a better way to run their washers. To fulfill this need, they developed the "Multi-Motor", a long lived line of engines that would run more than just washers, and were later fitted to lawn mowers, battery chargers, generators, and the like. Their 40 year run produced a variety of models, some good and some not so good. A brief timeline of Maytag history can be found here. A more in depth history of Maytag can be found on the Maytag collector's page www.maytagclub.com This page is well worth the visit!

In 1923, Maytag introduced its first engine with a mag. There were several different versions of the single cylinder mag. Leter Maytag upright engines used a mag made by Quick Action Ignition Company (later Johnson Engine Co.) These mags actually have "QUICK ACTION IGNITION" cast on the flywheel. Bitterness ensued in the agreement and Quick Action sued. As part of the settlement Maytag was forced to grind the "QUICK ACTION IGNITION" logo off the flywheels. Later mags, in fact most single cylinder mags, were made by Bosch. They were model FY ed (edition) 4. They used this mag a long time with great success. It was their most reliable mag, and Bosch sold it to many other customers as well. In fact, it is quite rare to have a coil failure in one of these to this day. Parts for the single cylinder mag are a little difficult to come across. I can get coils rewound, but I must have your core. I use the same generic condenser for the singles as the Eisemann twin. You may have to get a little creative with the mounting hardware, but its not too difficult and I generally don't have any problems. Points are not available, try and save the ones you have. If they are beyond repair, I may be able to resurface them. I hope to make some leadout towers this winter.

When Maytag designed the twin, they went for a whole new design. They used nothing from previous engines. They chose a new lightweight mag from Eisemann. It can be identified by the Eisemann logo right on the face of the flywheel. This mag worked fairly well. The coils were not quite as reliable, but good replacements are now finally available (see the story below). When Eisemann went out of buisiness sometime in the late 40's, Maytag went to Wico to supply them with a flywheel mag. They used this mag for the rest of the engines production run. Since it was towards the end of the life of the engine (the late 40's and early 50's), they made very few of these engines. In fact, probably less than 1% of the twins had Wico mags. They Wico mags have a small center and don't have the Eisemann logo on them.

Order number Description Picture Price each
MAY10 Coil, Eisemann twin cylinder mag, TOP quality   85.00
MAY20 Condenser, Eisemann twin cylinder mag or single cylinder   8.00
MAY11 Coil, Wico twin cylinder mag, TOP quality   90.00
MAY21 Condenser, Wico twin cylinder mag   12.00
MAY31 Points, Wico twin cylinder mag, new design that replaces the original   18.00

The Maytag Twin Coil Saga

You may have noticed a steep price increase on Maytag coils, or you may have seen them elsewhere for much less. Here is the story:

Some number of years ago, the same outfit that makes all the repro parts for Wico mags (they bought out the rights) got convinced to make these Maytag coils repro. With all the technical info and tooling long since lost or destroyed, they had to re-engineer the coil. Since they owned the rights to Wico and the Wico and Eisemann coils appeared interchangeable, they decided to duplicate the Wico version of the coil. They entered this endeaver under the impression that they would sell "tons" of these coils. That part never happened.

The coil looked quite reasonable, nice black casing, fairly water tight. And it fit quite nicely into the Wico mag. As for the Eisemann (much more popular), it all depended upon which version of the mag you tried it in. Some fit okay, others hit the flywheel. They never uncovered this in their initial tests. So they went ahead and made a BIG batch.

It was then they (and many of the people who bought their coils) discovered just how hard it is to make a 2-spark coil (2 cylinders, both firing at the same time, and not connected to ground). They coils would work for a few minutes, or weeks, and then fail. Some ran just fine. I have actually repaired only a few of these mags over the years and always had mixed results until I and many of the other mag shops took a closer look. It turns out that the coil arcs over to the flywheel on the Eisemann mag. The fit is just too close.

The biggest problem with them appeared to be the insulation inside the coils themselves. It was breaking down quite rapidly. One I put on my coil tester ran for about 30 seconds and then was dead. Phone calls to the maker only showed that they were aware of the problem and were so disgusted with the situation that they weren't going to make any more. Just as well, since I was getting just about every coil back.

Then my coil winder decided to make a version of the coil. Being very experienced and extremely meticulous, he generated an outstanding coil. It has no shorting problem, has excellent internal insulation, and works well in all versions of the mag. Because these are hand made with the best materials (the others were made mostly in Mexico and assembled here), they cost more. But they are worth it! They produce a very hot spark at low RPM making the engine much easier to start. As for the other coils, I have dropped them from my offering. I just don't feel that I can stand behind them any more.