Author Topic: Ignition Problems  (Read 17833 times)

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Offline Retro Rocket

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Re: Ignition Problems
« Reply #50 on: March 01, 2011, 07:49:46 pm »
There is only a facility to make one selection which is why i couldn't put in your poll that i have had failures with points, therefore the poll is misleading.....

Mick
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Offline Skunk Stripe

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Re: Ignition Problems
« Reply #51 on: March 01, 2011, 09:41:31 pm »
Quote
Points generally work even if they are bad.  Sure, smash them with a hammer and they don't.  But, neither will a Dyna.  If points look anything like points, they can still give basic function during the lead time of ordering replacements.  If the Dyna packs up... "it's dead Jim" until the new one arrives.
So what happens if the rubbing block comes off? Oh yeah, point no longer works and will do nothing. I would even go as far to say that trying to run the point that way would damage the point cam. Or what if the spring snapped?
Points are pretty reliable, but if they fail, they will most likely be just as dead and the dyna.
As for how well it works, apparently many think they work excellent. Do they have scientific proof? No but then saying points work better is no more scientific.
Hell if we use this personal experience poll, points have failed more than electronic ignitions have.
Obviously the dyna works as well as the hammer(points) or else, it most likely would no longer be around, marketing or no. If a unit is that bad, people will talk about it and word does travel, even more so in this last decade.
So we can gather that the dyna has worked well for some and not others. We can also gather that points have worked for some and not for others.
You use what works for you.

Offline ofreen

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Re: Ignition Problems
« Reply #52 on: March 02, 2011, 02:42:46 am »
The Dyna-s was just an early design step toward "modern" from the 70's.  (And, a poorly implemented one at that, despite their very good marketing savvy.)  Yes, it "works" in the same way a rock can be used as a planishing hammer, and almost as crudely.

The Dyna S is crude and points are not? 

You are criticizing the Dyna S by implication using a lot of supposition about how maybe they are made differently these days.  Yet there is no data showing Dynas are less reliable than those made 20 years ago.  And it seems to me you have said you've never tried one.
Greg
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Offline Terry in Australia

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Re: Ignition Problems
« Reply #53 on: March 02, 2011, 02:59:48 am »
I'm starting a totally neutral poll to balance any bias (real or imagined) in this poll, titled "What sort of a dikkhead would think points are superior to EI's when no one even makes them any more?" but I'm trying to shorten it somewhat, any (constructive) suggestions men?  ;D
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Re: Ignition Problems
« Reply #54 on: March 02, 2011, 03:27:17 am »
Terry:

I believe you are exposing your bias toward complicated, infantile failure prone, intermittent fault failing, and geek supported technology. 


The dickhead thing is spot on though.

Keep it up, we gained more data in the last then we have in the last month!


When I put Pamco on my worthless K6 I will let you all know how it works.

Offline z1100r

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Re: Ignition Problems
« Reply #55 on: March 02, 2011, 03:42:11 am »
 Hey, I was just relaying my experiences with aftermarket ignitions. They all failed in an unacceptably short time. Fact.

Not backing up anyones point or being on anyones side....just fact. Most were wired direct to a 12v battery in a total loss system on a race bike, there wasn't even a chance of surge from alternators etc. The last one - Pirhana - sat in the tool tray on my 500 until it died overnight one night whilst not even in use - it probably realistically died when the ignition was switched on in the morning. They all seemed to die like that.

 Looked a straight enough POLL to me.....not a crappy poll. Seems some are being over sensitive about their expensive aftermarket purchases.

 Nobody said points were superior, I personally bought 5 or 6 electronic ignitions over 10-15 years to get rid of my points. However, I found them to be unreliable and I'd consider myself more of a dickhead if I bought another one for an old bike thats not going to do very much.

 In the end I wasted my money on those 70's-80's ignitions...I chased the technology when the technology was only trying to emulate the mechanical - but with so called more accuracy.  It took me a while to figure that out, in fact it wasn't until i bolted the points back on my race engine that my heart sank at the thought of all that wasted cash.

 
« Last Edit: March 02, 2011, 04:46:39 am by z1100r »

Offline andy750

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Re: Ignition Problems
« Reply #56 on: March 02, 2011, 04:55:03 am »
Ill offer up my experiences with my Dyna S bought in 2000 and run for +40,000 miles in my CB750K4 and so far still going strong.

Did it work?:

1. +100c temps riding through Mojave dessert/Central Baja desert - yes
2. 500+ mile days, day after day for 2 months straight - yes
3. Riding in bike leaning over winds and lashing rain - yes
4. Riding at 100 mph on the German autobahn for a couple of hours - yes
5. Riding in sub-zero (20F) temps - yes
6. Slow commute to work for 7 years - yes
7. Riding in flood-inducing downpours - yes....but not when riding through the flood and the water covered my boots and the points cover got submerged. Bike died  :o I had to wait until the system dried out, get a hotel room with my female passenger (who had agreed to ride a motorcycle for the first time for that very trip ;)) and start the bike the next day to get home (and get to work!). Terrible, terrible experience having to shack up for the night with a buxom redhead and a "dead" bike. Oh the pain!  :D

Given these experiences (and listening to Ofreen the SOHC Mileage God) would I buy a Dyna again? - Yes.

Have I ever had the stock ignition fail? Yes. I was 500 miles from home and due to a faulty condenser had to return home on limited power at 50 mph on a 70-mph speed limit highway (Uk). Not fun but I got home.

Good luck Mark getting your ignition sorted out!

Andy
« Last Edit: March 02, 2011, 04:56:54 am by andy750 »
Current bikes
1. CB750K4: Long distance bike, 17 countries and counting...2001 - Trans-USA-Mexico (CB750K4), 2003 - European Tour (CB750K4), 2004 - SOHC Easy Rider Trip (CB750K4), 2008 - Adirondack Tour 2-up (CB750K4) , 2013 - Tail of the Dragon Tour , 2017: 836 kit install and bottom end rebuild.
2. CB750/810cc K2  - road racer with JMR worked head 71 hp
3. VStrom DL1000 2003
4. XLR650L 2006

Where did you go on your bike today? - http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=45183.2350

Markcb750

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Re: Ignition Problems
« Reply #57 on: March 02, 2011, 05:02:37 am »
Thanks people.

I'll refrain from quality of data comments as I hurt the feelings of some.


Offline Skunk Stripe

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Re: Ignition Problems
« Reply #58 on: March 02, 2011, 06:17:33 am »
z1000, as someone states earlier, that you had all those ignitions fail, some when possibly not even in use, that indicates some sort of error on installation. Sorry but the failure of so many ignitions for 1 person...

Mark, you are clinging to any failure of elec ignitions like drowning man on a life raft. Totally ignoring the reports of those who had nothing but good luck. Why do you think Terry and others are giving you their experiences? But you seem totally uninterested in the good experiences based solely on what you perceive as bad treatment from dyna while you admit to being sarcastic with them. I find companies are less than willing to deal with people like that.
Now I am not saying to hide all failures, just to accept the testimonies of those who have had successful experiences, as much as you want to cling to the failure stories.

Markcb750

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Re: Ignition Problems
« Reply #59 on: March 02, 2011, 06:22:49 am »
Dear Skunk:

I believe you are mistaken.

You all need to chill out, help with the poll and provide testimonials for your favorite system of controlling the ignition timing of Otto cycle based prime movers.

Offline z1100r

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Re: Ignition Problems
« Reply #60 on: March 02, 2011, 07:17:15 am »
Quote
indicates some sort of error on installation

 I'm not asking you to diagnose why I had problems, the ignitions would last 2 years or so before phutting out. I can even remember how they were installed - hardly complicated. red = +ve black = -ve blue/yellow pickups  other 2 to coils...blah blah. Oh yeah black/white kill switch/ign. Not exactly over complicated.
 
  I spoke to the manufacturers of these things and some suggested I was maybe turning them on an off too much, static must be frying them...!! To be fair, The second Pirhana was a FOC replacement. You can also kill most of them if you just leave your ignition on by mistake. They acknowledged this one - burns out something or other.

 Do you think I was spending hundreds of pounds in the eighties and just buying another one without a WTF to the manufacturer of the failed one.

 Its a Poll thread ...do your voting, no point in trying to persuade me I'm an idiot (I know that allready).  ;D
 



Offline Gordon

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Re: Ignition Problems
« Reply #61 on: March 02, 2011, 07:19:49 am »
One thing that isn't accounted for when considering the failure rate of stock vs. solid state ignitions is the time frame.  

By their very design, points type ignitions either wear out from use or need to be replaced due to age and lack of use (like on a bike that's been sitting for years or decades).  Every one of the old, neglected bikes I've brought back to life has needed new points and condensers to get running properly, and I'm sure everybody else here has had to do the same for their bikes.  While not an indication of poor design of the stock ignition, that's still a failure.  

Like brakes, control cables, chains, sprockets, etc, points/condensers are a maintenance item that are designed to be replaced on a regular basis as they get old and/or wear.  Saying the stock breaker points ignition on your bike has never failed is like saying your drive chain and sprockets have never failed.  But in reality, the reason they have never failed is because they are checked, adjusted and replaced before they get to the point where they will inevitably fail.  Is anybody here actually still running the original points and condensers that their bike left the factory with, or even still running the replacement points/condensers that were on their bike when they bought it from the previous owner, and if so, how many miles are on them?  

Solid state ignition systems are designed to be used long-term, and because of this any need for replacement, even after decades of use and 50K+ miles is considered a failure, even if that one part may have been used for the same amount of time that would have required multiple replacements of a stock-type ignition system.  

I know that a long-term failure of a solid state ignition is not what gave rise to this poll and discussion, but it's still something that should be considered when comparing two fundamentally different types of ignitions.    

  

Offline z1100r

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Re: Ignition Problems
« Reply #62 on: March 02, 2011, 08:03:55 am »
 The problem is as I said...my old Honda wont be doing thousands of miles now...it wont be needing another set of points ever...its only ever had one set anyway in god knows how many miles.

 The time electronic ignitions became essential and they totally took over was when they started monitoring other aspects of the engine and spawned into ECU's. They can swap and adjust ignition maps based on conditions such as Lambda, valve timing, air pressure or even just plain old temperature..now thats an electronic ignition.

 As far as I know all the ignitions available for SOHC 4's do is swap a mechanical trigger for an optical or magnetic one, (and include claims such as extra big spark if used with our coils).

Offline somesuch

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Re: Ignition Problems
« Reply #63 on: March 02, 2011, 08:09:38 am »
On one of my bikes a capacitor would fail when the bike got hot. It left me stranded once. That was with a stock setup. On another bike I have a Martek that the previous owner put on it. It is very old, but it is still working. This Martek does not have that many miles on it though, as in the 6 years that I have the bike I only put about 1kmi. The guy before me did not ride the bike much either. Some miles on the bike that came from me were during very hot 100 degree days....so I am sure the thing did get hot.

Reading in the past about all the (early) electronic ignition failures, I never took my bike with aftermarket ignition too far from home.

It seems  that aftermarket is not unique in having ignition system issues. Ford TFI comes to mind, as well as Honda accord ignitor failures in the early 90's Accords...I am sure there were many more, it's just those two I have personal experience with. All of those problems seemed to have disappeared in the OEM ignitions. I am sure that the aftermarket has benefited from the experience as well.

--Nick
« Last Edit: March 02, 2011, 08:12:23 am by somesuch »

Offline Skunk Stripe

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Re: Ignition Problems
« Reply #64 on: March 02, 2011, 08:24:39 am »
Quote
The time electronic ignitions became essential and they totally took over was when they started monitoring other aspects of the engine and spawned into ECU's. They can swap and adjust ignition maps based on conditions such as Lambda, valve timing, air pressure or even just plain old temperature..now thats an electronic ignition.
Are you forgetting the 1979 cb750? It was electronic and had no computer equipment.

Funny, mark, how you say I should chill. Maybe a bit of your own advice is in order?
As for the poll, I did do it, and I have stated my experience with the dyna a number of times.

Markcb750

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Re: Ignition Problems
« Reply #65 on: March 02, 2011, 08:30:05 am »
Quote
The time electronic ignitions became essential and they totally took over was when they started monitoring other aspects of the engine and spawned into ECU's. They can swap and adjust ignition maps based on conditions such as Lambda, valve timing, air pressure or even just plain old temperature..now thats an electronic ignition.
Are you forgetting the 1979 cb750? It was electronic and had no computer equipment.

Funny, mark, how you say I should chill. Maybe a bit of your own advice is in order?
As for the poll, I did do it, and I have stated my experience with the dyna a number of times.

Thanks for the input!

Offline Terry in Australia

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Re: Ignition Problems
« Reply #66 on: March 02, 2011, 05:19:39 pm »
One thing that isn't accounted for when considering the failure rate of stock vs. solid state ignitions is the time frame.  

By their very design, points type ignitions either wear out from use or need to be replaced due to age and lack of use (like on a bike that's been sitting for years or decades).  Every one of the old, neglected bikes I've brought back to life has needed new points and condensers to get running properly, and I'm sure everybody else here has had to do the same for their bikes.  While not an indication of poor design of the stock ignition, that's still a failure.  

Like brakes, control cables, chains, sprockets, etc, points/condensers are a maintenance item that are designed to be replaced on a regular basis as they get old and/or wear.  Saying the stock breaker points ignition on your bike has never failed is like saying your drive chain and sprockets have never failed.  But in reality, the reason they have never failed is because they are checked, adjusted and replaced before they get to the point where they will inevitably fail.  Is anybody here actually still running the original points and condensers that their bike left the factory with, or even still running the replacement points/condensers that were on their bike when they bought it from the previous owner, and if so, how many miles are on them?  

Solid state ignition systems are designed to be used long-term, and because of this any need for replacement, even after decades of use and 50K+ miles is considered a failure, even if that one part may have been used for the same amount of time that would have required multiple replacements of a stock-type ignition system.  

I know that a long-term failure of a solid state ignition is not what gave rise to this poll and discussion, but it's still something that should be considered when comparing two fundamentally different types of ignitions.    

  

Yep, I gotta agree with Gordy, OEM ignitions always were a throwaway item, when I ran them before I bought my first Martek (which is still working perfectly after 32 years and 5 CB750's) I would throw away the entire points plate assembly every couple of years, not because it'd "failed", but because it was worn out, the points would be badly pitted and the spark would be a pale yellowish blue, indicating that the condensors were on the way out. It is kind of a pointless exercise (pun intended) to compare one to the other in terms of longevity, as the OEM items, by their nature, are designed to (eventually) wear out.

The big selling point for electronic ignitions back in the 1970's was that you could "set and forget" them, and that they required no maintenance, not that they would last for the life of the bike, although as has been mentioned in previous posts, this is quite common. As far as "wasting money" on EI's goes, a Dyna S retails for around 130 bucks now, and my Honda dealer wants that much for a (sub standard Daichi) points plate assembly, so if I was to replace my points plate assembly every other year since 1979 when the Martek was first purchased, in todays dollars, just normal maintenance would have required me to spend around 2000 bucks on replacements. While the Martek was never purchased with the intention to save money, I'm pretty sure that  I'm ahead. Cheers, Terry. ;D   
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Markcb750

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Re: Ignition Problems
« Reply #67 on: March 02, 2011, 07:09:50 pm »
All good stories guys, thanks.


The reasons stated above are why I purchased a SS ignition. I have set, filed and reset a lot of points and did not want to make this a regular part of the ownership of this bike.

I talked to Hondaman about his system, read what I could about some of the others and decided the simplicity of the Dyna coupled with it's reputation and moderate cost made it a good choice for a recreational rider.


Trouble shooting an intermittent power loss problem is a challenge, is it plugs, coils, plug wires, floats, a short? Lots of things to check, I never suspected the Dyna, such was my "faith" in their product.


The purpose of this thread was to gain information about the device from other riders, I have received plenty, and despite the polls imperfections I can, and anyone who desires can, draw usable conclusions.



I will be putting another SS ignition in my K6, it will be a Pamco. I will report here my perceptions of how the two differ, and the results I experience.

In the mean time, any input as to your experience with what ever ignition system you have installed will be appreciated.


Offline somesuch

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Re: Ignition Problems
« Reply #68 on: March 02, 2011, 09:48:59 pm »
...
I will be putting another SS ignition in my K6, it will be a Pamco. I will report here my perceptions of how the two differ, and the results I experience.
...

I email Pamco, and got a good feeling about the product and the guy selling it. Can't wait to hear the feedback.

--Nick

Offline Spanner 1

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Re: Ignition Problems
« Reply #69 on: March 04, 2011, 06:25:06 am »
I think stock ignition would always win-out in a Poll simply as much more owners have stock ignitions on their bikes. The accurate way would be a sample of say 100 SS ignitions vs 100 point ignitions over time and then compare......... being used to a point ignition without a failure ever, it's very hard to convince me to even try an SS ign. I have no problem servicing/ changing my points @ 3,000 miles, the set and forget argument for SS ign. would be great if the points were the only thing needing occasional attention on our bikes !! :o
For me the idea of electronics ( pick-ups ) mounted on the points plate and the severe environment they are subjected to is enough to turn me off Dyna etc. I looked at Pamco's pics. and see the electronics exposed on a little circuit board !, can't get past that idea......
It's all about reducing failure risk on the road IMO, the heating and cooling cycles of the motor does not hurt the points in any way. A much better option would be HM's ign. where the electronics are remote from the points area and the unit can be bypassed on the side of the road in minutes.... what do you do with SS ?, carry a complete spare set-up and will it work after months/ years of sitting under the seat unused and untried ?
« Last Edit: March 04, 2011, 06:30:12 am by Spanner 1 »
If your sure it's a carb problem; it's ignition,
If your sure it's an ignition problem; it's carbs....

Offline andy750

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Re: Ignition Problems
« Reply #70 on: March 04, 2011, 07:15:09 am »
For me the idea of electronics ( pick-ups ) mounted on the points plate and the severe environment they are subjected to is enough to turn me off Dyna etc.

Not trying to convince you Spanner (well maybe a little ;)) but rather present you with some real world on-the-road testing (not done on a bench in some garage) - go back 13 posts on this page and read my real world testing post. Plenty of severe environmental testing there. Also go back and read Gregs (Ofreens) post.

Perhaps Greg and I just got lucky and with a combined mileage of over 100,000 miles on two Dyna S systems...

You cant ignore real life data!

cheers
Andy
Current bikes
1. CB750K4: Long distance bike, 17 countries and counting...2001 - Trans-USA-Mexico (CB750K4), 2003 - European Tour (CB750K4), 2004 - SOHC Easy Rider Trip (CB750K4), 2008 - Adirondack Tour 2-up (CB750K4) , 2013 - Tail of the Dragon Tour , 2017: 836 kit install and bottom end rebuild.
2. CB750/810cc K2  - road racer with JMR worked head 71 hp
3. VStrom DL1000 2003
4. XLR650L 2006

Where did you go on your bike today? - http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=45183.2350

Markcb750

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Re: Ignition Problems
« Reply #71 on: March 04, 2011, 07:39:32 am »
I think stock ignition would always win-out in a Poll simply as much more owners have stock ignitions on their bikes. The accurate way would be a sample of say 100 SS ignitions vs 100 point ignitions over time and then compare......... being used to a point ignition without a failure ever, it's very hard to convince me to even try an SS ign. I have no problem servicing/ changing my points @ 3,000 miles, the set and forget argument for SS ign. would be great if the points were the only thing needing occasional attention on our bikes !! :o
For me the idea of electronics ( pick-ups ) mounted on the points plate and the severe environment they are subjected to is enough to turn me off Dyna etc. I looked at Pamco's pics. and see the electronics exposed on a little circuit board !, can't get past that idea......
It's all about reducing failure risk on the road IMO, the heating and cooling cycles of the motor does not hurt the points in any way. A much better option would be HM's ign. where the electronics are remote from the points area and the unit can be bypassed on the side of the road in minutes.... what do you do with SS ?, carry a complete spare set-up and will it work after months/ years of sitting under the seat unused and untried ?

The poll was set up to allow a choice in each class no failure or failure. I thought this would isolate the quantity of bikes issue, Butt WHO nose?

The request to allow more then one vote(by someone who hammered me because I complied!!!) I feel as long as each person voted for one bike per vote the data allows for a trend to be interpreted, if some nefarious person sets out to sabotage the data, the conclusion would be incorrect.

Barring y'all are a big old bunch of ignition system Taliban, I think the data represents something useful.  It certainly matches my experience with all sorts of low lot size electronics. From aircraft to high end stereos to machine tool axis drives. 

My experience tells me even a great design will have infantile failures but most SS devices will have a very long life once the initial faults are exposed.

As I proved, even a partially failed SS system can be limped home on, in my case by removing the points cover, the system ran perfectly. The fact that Dyna uses two discrete devices means both switches would have to fail simultaneously, unlikely.


Both systems work, I think the data shows it is a matter of personal choice which one you want to use. 

Offline Skunk Stripe

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Re: Ignition Problems
« Reply #72 on: March 04, 2011, 07:58:41 am »
Spanner, the heat cycle have not had any affect on my dyna, which btw, comes on its own plate. The S makes use of the stock advance and thats about it. I have ridden in rain and gravel roads.
I also would not worry too much about components as the heat in the points compartment is not enough to melt solder and will not affect the components themselves. (pamco ign)

Offline Terry in Australia

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Re: Ignition Problems
« Reply #73 on: March 04, 2011, 01:59:05 pm »
A much better option would be HM's ign. where the electronics are remote from the points area and the unit can be bypassed on the side of the road in minutes.... what do you do with SS ?, carry a complete spare set-up and will it work after months/ years of sitting under the seat unused and untried ?

Unless Mark (Hondaman) has changed the design of his ignition amplifier, you have to disconnect the condensors when the igntion amplifier is installed, so it's not just a case of disconnecting the amplifier (or if you have one with the switch that I asked Mark to build into his amplifier a few years ago) flipping a switch, you've still got to do some pretty fiddly work with some spanners (NPI) that you won't have in your toolkit, possibly in the dark, or the rain, on the side of the road, to return your igntion to stock. Of course you could try riding home with no condensors, but I don't think you'd get very far...............  ;D
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So I said, "Hey mate, you haven't got any bike boots you don't need, do you?"

Offline Spanner 1

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Re: Ignition Problems
« Reply #74 on: March 04, 2011, 06:18:19 pm »
Come off it Terry !...... would take me ( you ) about 2 mins. to loosen the little point wire bolt and slide the cond. forked terminal under the point wires to reconnect them  :D I could do that by feel in complete darkness  ;D.... and if I had a HM ign. mod I would be sure to wire it with bypass option...... but thats just me  :)
If your sure it's a carb problem; it's ignition,
If your sure it's an ignition problem; it's carbs....

 

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