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Berling Magnetos

Back in the dim distant past Ericsson Manufacturing Co. of Buffalo, N.Y. made magnetos with the Berling moniker probably in the early teens to late 1920's-1927 for the burgeoning gas engine market. When in repair they were hot. They were used as OEM on some early Gravely Model L tractors, Standard Cream Separator engines, and some Smith/Johnson Motor wheel engines and fortunately not many others. They used an odd and annoying breaker assembly that when worn can cause a lot of grief trying to set the points to the proper clearance and result in an acceptable edge gap to get a big bang. They suffered from the usual woes of wound armatures and sticky goo and leaky condensers. Probably the most remarkable issue with the diecast models like the S series is the potmetal.   Depending on what was thrown into the melting pot that fatefull day, many housings and endcaps swell up, distort, and literally crumble away. Once in a very great while on a good day at the casting plant a good housing will be found.


 Some early models had a brass housing and a riveted wound armature. The armature was wound, then the ends riveted on, with no indexing shoulders or locator pins, then machined concentric to the armature shaft making rewinding and reassembling nearly impossible. later the armatures were assembled with screws and locator shoulders for easy replacement but the earlier armatures used a smaller thrust ball bearing and cannot easily be retrofitted with the later armatures. Here is some factory information to hopefully ease your pain should you find a Berling magneto with a decent housing and endcap. The condensers fit in a tight spot in the base of the armature. 



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