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Author Topic: Ongoing Electrical Issues  (Read 2011 times)

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Superchuck

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on: July 23, 2018, 12:49:11 pm
Howdy folks,
 
Been a long time.  I’ve been having electrical issues on my AVL for even longer.

You may remember this old (lengthy) thread where I mentioned blown lights and a breakdown, which culminated in me replacing my battery, and at the time that truly was the root of the issue:   https://forum.classicmotorworks.com/index.php/topic,24570.msg283466.html#msg283466

I rode it a good amount during 2017 after the fix, but was always plagued by inconsistent wiring gremlins, namely a loose ignition wire near or in the ignition switch, and general shenanigans with the turn signal and brake lights which were due to both a worn/shoddy OEM wiring harness and the fact that I did a chop-job mounting up some aftermarket lights.  Nothing that left me stranded though.

 All was pretty much ok last fall… until this spring when I finally decided to dust of the old thumper and see if it’d run.

When logging on to the forum this morning I noticed this other thread….

https://forum.classicmotorworks.com/index.php/topic,26203.msg301517.html#msg301517

Seems like a similar issue to what I’ve been experiencing, but figured I’d write this separate post in order to elaborate a bit on my bike’s particular quirks.  Also, maybe if we try and keep this thread alive with some additional troubleshooting, perhaps it can help that other person, and others in the future.

So here's the story... I fired up the Enfield a few weeks ago.  It rode great for about 4 miles, then while accellerating from a stop I miss-shifted, which revved the engine up really high.  My headlight got really bright, then all my lights went out.  The bike kept running though, so I putted to the top of my hill, and shut it off to see if it would turn back on again.  Nope.  Dead as a doornail.  Rolled/pushed her home.

From what I've read here and elsewhere I expect the issue to be a failing or inconsistent Rectifier/Regulator unit.  I have the green TCI box, which came stock on my AVL.  Is there anything else I should be doublechecking / troubleshooting / testing to confirm?  Also, does anyone replace wiring / electrical components with specific known high-quality components from other manufacturers?  (I have heard japanese bikes don't have the wiring woes we have, but I'm sure all countries produce their own share of reliable and/or buggy products)

 In addition to replacing my – what I assume to be the R/R unit, I am interested in swapping out the main wiring harness for a well-constructed replacement, with the hopes of chasing away my intermittent but never-ending electrical gremlins.  I see there area a number of wiring harnesses available on Ebay (specifically for the AVL Electra) but I don’t want to buy a garbage component and run into the same issues I’ve been having with the OEM rat’s nest.

Thanks very much in advance.  I can't wait to get this thing on the road again.

Chuck


Mick Bailey

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Reply #1 on: July 24, 2018, 03:16:17 am
So far I've had excellent results with the regulator mentioned in post #7, fitted on two bikes;
https://forum.classicmotorworks.com/index.php/topic,26045.0.html

Assuming you have a multimeter, I would start by checking the battery voltage. A damaged RR can drain the battery fairly quickly, depending on how it has failed. The bike will start and run without the RR so I would unplug it anyhow for the time being.

If the battery is flat, charge it and reinstall it in the bike and check that the fuses are OK and the lights are working. Also check the chassis ground connection is good - this is failure-prone. Then check if there's a spark. Rather than using the starter, I would remove the plug, hold it against the head and turn the engine over off the kickstart to see if there's a spark. Here's where an assistant is handy.

If there's no spark remove the three-pin connector from the TCI unit and ensure that there's battery voltage present on the connector pins. The connector has a battery +/- and coil connection - I forget the colour coding without checking but it's posted on the forum somewhere. If you have power to the TCI but no spark then its likely that either the TCI or the coil is damaged (or both). I have an elaborate test rig to check the TCI, but it's not something many people would want to construct. You would need to eliminate the possibility of coil failure before replacing the TCI. If there's no power to the TCI then the ignition switch may be playing up.

Don't reinstall the original RR - I would now always replace the original unit with something better.



 



Superchuck

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Reply #2 on: July 24, 2018, 03:18:59 pm
Mick,

This is excellent.  Thank you very much for the detailed synopsis on troubleshooting.  It's been raining off and on all day, but if it lets up this evening I'll get out and start poking around.

Will report back once I have some additional information (or more questions most likely).

Cheers!
Chuck


Superchuck

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Reply #3 on: July 24, 2018, 08:08:44 pm
Ok, so the rain let up and I got a few minutes of troubleshooting done this evening.

Battery had a charge.  Main ground was secure.  Fuse was intact. 

Turned the key.  No lights.  Played with the control clusters just in case.  No lights.  Removed the headlamp.  It was getting power (+/- 10v), but not lighting up.  I am assuming it and all my lights have blown. 

My lights blew a year or two ago but that happened during a slew of other problems, and the blown lights remained an undiagnosed mystery.  I replaced the bulbs then went on my merry way.  However, with this recurrence I am assuming the RR unit (or something else??) is at fault.  Does this make sense?

So after testing the lights, I removed the spark plug and reattached it to the coil lead thingie.  Turned the ignition on, held the plug against the engine head while hand-cranking the kickstart lever (not nearly as vigorous as a standing full body leg kick).  It sparked. 

Since there is a spark, am I correct in assuming that whatever broke me down is an intermittently failing part?  Since the bike will run without an RR, does that mean it's also the TCI? 

Since it's dark out and my bike has no lights, and it was parked-in by my car I did not dig the Enfield out to fire it up for real. 

It should also go on the record that my ignition switch has been funny for a couple years.  At the beginning of my test ride this year (where this breakdown happened) I was not able to get my ignition switch to connect until I dripped water down inside the keyhole.  However, when my bike broke down during this test ride, I carried a bottle of water for just that, and the dribble-fix didn't work, so I am assuming it was a different issue, not the ignition switch.  My bike's been sitting in the rain for the past day, so the ignition switch worked like a charm every time today.

I am fine with starting to throw a few parts at the bike if anything seems like it is 'probably' at fault.  It sounds to me like replacing/upgrading the RR unit would be good practice even if it's not at fault.  I don't want to muddy the waters though, and I am glad to do some additional preliminary troubleshooting if you or others have some additional suggestions. 

Thanks very much, and thanks in advance for any continued advice!
Chuck


Mick Bailey

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Reply #4 on: July 25, 2018, 02:56:29 am
Having a spark is a good result so far. Your ignition switch is likely to be corroded and needs replacing. Corrosion at best causes a higher than normal resistance which will drop the battery voltage, or worst-case cause complete loss of supply to one or more circuits. Dripping water in the barrel temporarily improves things but ultimately worsens the problem and should certainly be resolved. The TCI will operate down to about 7v but this isn't a good situation.
 
I've now found in two cases that the original RR is not effective at regulation. It's perhaps ill-advised to extrapolate such a small sample size to represent all bikes, but reading other posts about blowing lights does not instill confidence and I would obtain a replacement unit. You can check your existing unit on the bike but this is risky and could cause further damage. A working RR should maintain the charge voltage between about 13.4v and 14.4v (or thereabouts, but no higher) at all revs and with the lights on or off. This is measured across the battery terminals with the bike running. A faulty RR can fail intermittently under load even if it seems OK at idle/low revs and give several tens of volts, which if you're lucky will just blow bulbs.


Adrian II

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Reply #5 on: July 25, 2018, 07:12:13 am
My own Electra-X's ignition switch got very tempramental with an intermittent contact. They're cheap enough to replace individually, though it's a bit of a pain if you still want to use the one key for the ignition, steering lock and side covers/tool boxes, as you'd have to replace the entire lock/ignition switch set.

Check the wiring around the headstock in case ageing and repeated flexing has led to brittle fracture and failing wires.

Also the reg-rectifier Mick identified is pretty cheap, almost to the point where it's a consumable, can't be any worse than what's already on there.

A.
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Mick Bailey

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Reply #6 on: July 25, 2018, 08:55:54 am
So far both bikes have been running fine with the Chinese replacement RR and the charge voltage is still well-controlled and no more drastic electrolyte loss due to overcharging.

Occassionally I've dismantled ignition switches and cleaned them up with a glass-fibre pencil. Then use 'contact grease' which is designed to be applied to low-voltage contacts to prevent corrosion. It can be a fiddle (especially if the body is crimped up) and sometimes doesn't work out if the contacts are severely corroded. 


Superchuck

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Reply #7 on: July 25, 2018, 09:15:05 am
Cool, I'll order the replacement RR today.

If I have a chance this evening I'll pull the ignition switch out and check out the solder joints, re-solder if necessary, and check impedance.

We've got rain all week in Baltimore, but hopefully I can fire it up in a couple days once it's all buttoned up again.

Will report back.

Many thanks!
Chuck


tooseevee

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Reply #8 on: July 25, 2018, 09:58:18 am
    This is just a side comment on SuperChuck's continuing electrical problems all of which I went through when I bought my brand new, zero mileage 2008 AVL Classic in 2010 from the lawyers for an out-of-business dealer in Missouri.

      I was far from an idiot about cars and motorcycles, but some of you remember that I knew NOthing about these particular bikes except from what I read online, in Pete's miraculous manual and from the guys on this forum who knew them inside and out. I was even afraid to start the damn thing until I did a complete dealer service on it from stem to stern.

     Anyway...months passed, I did all I could to learn as much as possible, wrote and received thousands of words back and forth on these forums, on and on and on.... New battery, new fluids, took the carb (BS 29) apart just to do it, new gas.

      Then I found I had NO lights at all. NONE. I started tr-shooting wires and connections until I finally discovered (by chance) that Every Single Bulb on The Bike Was BLOWN OUT including the directional flasher. It blew my mind! Was THIS why the bike sat in a back room for two years unsold? How do you blow BOTH directionals? Both Hi and Lo beams? Do you put the right on, watch the bulb blow and then put the left on? Put he Hi beam on, watch it blow, then switch to the Lo?

         Anyway...long story long, it totally blew my trust of ANYTHING electrical on the bike and I spent the next two years totally bullet-proofing it all (AND getting all the bulbs needed AND spares) and upgrading everything to the best of my ability including unwrapping the whole main harness (what a clusterfuck THAT was! Unbelieveable!) and rewrapping the whole thing with black cloth vintage NON-sticky harness tape. It was originally wrapped with about a thousand feet of sticky black vinyl electrical tape. UnGODly mess! Some of the splices were just totally exposed twisted copper. Inside the headlight took days of fiddling to make sense of.

          The strange thing is that after I replaced all the bulbs and had not done anything else yet (rectifier, alternator, fuses, nothing) it never blew a bulb again. No one on the forums at that time could ever come up with a scenario to explain how that might happen. 

         Sorry I can't help you more, Chuck, but I'm not really good at electrical crap (I use the water pipe method), I'm just stubborn and persistent and like a dog with a bone. I'm not happy unless it's right and won't fuck up on the road. 

     Anyway, by last year or the year before, I finally trust the damn thing to not leave me dead in a ditch somewhere sending up smoke signals, but I had to change, fix, upgrade, replace, touch, feel, kiss, hug and pet everything before that happened. Nothing on the bike is the way it was when it left the capable hands of Mr. Black Vinyl Sticky Tape in Chennai except for the tires and it's a waste of $$$ for me to replace them because I can hardly even ride the damn thing any more or get the damn thing on the center stand now, in fact last time I rode it I couldn't and it still sits on the side stand (whose switch was disconnected 9 years ago to get THAT out of the equations).
« Last Edit: July 25, 2018, 10:13:11 am by tooseevee »
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Superchuck

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Reply #9 on: July 25, 2018, 10:59:22 am
Tooseevee,

Thanks for the input.  I, too am very interested in replacing the entire wiring harness.  I have had many loose or intermittent electrical connections over the years I've owned the bike, and it's left me stranded a number of times.  I have had very little mechanical issues with my AVL, but I have had a lifetime's worth of electrical issues.

Alas, I am realizing I do not have the time to rebuild the electrical harness from scratch, although that's what I'd really like to do.  Does anyone know of a quality replacement main wiring harness that is a direct swap?  Or is anything purchased just garbage, making DIY the only real solution?

Cheers!
Chuck


Superchuck

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Reply #10 on: July 31, 2018, 06:56:33 am
I ordered the replacement RR unit... It's on the slow boat from China but should be here in a week or two.

Mick, you had said that the one connecter doesn't marry-up to the Enfield wiring harness.  Did you end up splicing the wires and reusing the existing connector?

I replaced my headlight bulb, and it works fine now. Turn signals were luckily all ok, but I still need to pick up a tail light bulb.

I removed the ignition switch and noticed that 2 if the wires on the bottom were pretty corroded at the soldered terminals.  I resoldered them, and also used a bit of mineral oil on my key to work the lock core barrels back and forth.  I put it all back together and it seems fine now.  It's still a small sample set, so only time will tell if the entire thing needs to be replaced, but at least this is promising.

We've had crazy weather swings as of late, and I noticed a lack of engine compression when trying to kick it over.  While I await the RR unit I'll dig in and retorque the header and adjust tappets.

I am hopeful that this will be the last of my electrical woes for a while, but who's to say.  Knock on wood!

Chuck


Superchuck

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Reply #11 on: August 01, 2018, 10:16:33 pm
Tonight I bought a replacement tail light bulb, and figured I would plug it in and go. 

The brake light worked, but the running light was still off.  I got the bike running to make sure I was giving it full power and still no light. 

Spent the next 3 hours troubleshooting wiring.  I had the bike off at the time to not wake my neighbors. 

I found out that the gray wire which exits the ammeter and powers the tail running light does not seem to be getting any power. 

I need to try this with the engine on, but is there a chance my ammeter got fried during my power surge breakdown?  Thing is, the ammeter seemed to be working properly when the headlight was hooked up... It dipped a little when the headlight was lit, and ticked just above halfway at a standing idle (like normal). 

It's just not outputting any power to the gray wire.    (Again I did not get a chance to test the gray wire at the ammeter with the bike running).

Ideas are very welcome.  Now i need to find a parking lot where I can tinker at idle without disturbing the peace.

Cheers,
Chuck


Adrian II

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Reply #12 on: August 02, 2018, 09:10:16 am
Quote
I found out that the gray wire which exits the ammeter and powers the tail running light does not seem to be getting any power.


Ammeter direct to tail light??? Something wrong there, surely the lights (apart from the stop light) are all fed via the light-switch cluster, unless this is a requirement for the USA market? Do you have access to the wiring diagram for your model?

A.
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heloego

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Reply #13 on: August 02, 2018, 10:19:44 am
   The grey wire does tie in to the ammeter, however if I read my wiring diagram that circuit is ancillary only, and does not supply power directly to the tail lamp. It is simply a means for the ammeter to sense power draw in the lighting electrical circuit. Since it is in parallel to the lighting circuit it would have no effect on the operation of the tail lamp.
   The grey wire at the tail lamp running light is the power wire and runs forward into the pilot lights and then to ground, with the ammeter grey wire merely an offshoot for sensing purposes.
   If your pilot lights are working, and you see a slight dip in the ammeter reading when you turn on the lights, the ammeter circuit and the forward lighting circuit (head lamp, speedo lights, pilot lights, ammeter lamp) are most likely working just fine.
   
   Find the tail lighting connector and check the grey wire at that 8-pin connector under the seat and forward and above the rear mudguard. Check for power between the grey wire there and ground.
   If there is power (12v) at the control side of the connector the problem is in the harness to the tail light. First, check the connector(s) for pin corrosion or possibly a broken wire at the grey wire terminal.
   Have you checked contacts on the lamp itself and the socket contacts for corrosion or wear? Those positive (power) contacts are nothing more than lead solder and do wear down resulting in intermittent or no proper contact.   Several owners have found the harness routed inside the mudguard chafed from the tire. Give it a good visual inspection and repair if necessary.   If there is not power at that connector you'll need to check the grey wire from that connector forward to the 9-pin connector in the headlamp housing. Check continuity between the two connectors, and check for power to the grey wire there. With the multitester attached between power and ground perform a "wiggle check" of the connectors to see if if the resistance reading is affected. This will indicate whether a connector or wire has an intermittent open short.
   If you don't get power there but all the forward lights are working fine, now you get to pull the tank and check the harness that runs between there and the rear connector.
   Most likely it's the commonest of problems, like a chafed wire in the mudguard harness.   Good luck and let us know what you find.

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Mick Bailey

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Reply #14 on: August 02, 2018, 01:15:13 pm
I extended the yellow leads on my wife's bike and used the supplied connector as this plugs directly in. (my RR is located differently due to a different carb arrangement). The smaller connector could be chopped off your old RR and swapped - the one on the new unit is a different type. I has a new connector to hand so crimped on a replacement;

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2-WAY-PIN-CONNECTOR-6-3MM-PLUG-SOCKET-COMPLETE-BIKE-BOAT-QUAD-ATV/281811653924?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649


Arizoni

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Reply #15 on: August 02, 2018, 05:47:02 pm
I realize it's dangerous to trust it but the electrical diagram I downloaded from somewhere for the Electra models shows a gray wire serving as the power supply for the rear tail light, the parking lights and the lights in the ammeter and speedometer.

The rear brake light wire is green.
It shows the ground for the tail light as going directly to the frame but there might be a dedicated ground wire.  If it has a ground wire, it should be black.
Jim
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Superchuck

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Reply #16 on: August 03, 2018, 09:37:01 am
Arizoni, I think this is the wiring diagram you're referring to (attached).  It's not 100% correct, but it's proven to be fairly accurate for my machine.  Think I got this from Snidal's manual, or perhaps elsewhere online.

Thanks very much to everyone for the input.  It's been monsoon season in Baltimore, but I hope for some sunshine this weekend so I can take another look at it (no garage city living).

On a side note, I came across this old post by Rosetap regarding simplifying the wiring harness:  https://forum.classicmotorworks.com/index.php/topic,10656.msg123773.html#msg123773
 I don't know if Rosetap still active on the forum, and what his final result came to.  Sounds like he was almost there.  Also, does anyone else have a working simplified schematic they would be ok with sharing?  (I'm KS only... unplugged the ES, etc).  First step is getting this thing running with the stock harness, but I would love to simplify the rats nest.


Adrian II

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Reply #17 on: August 03, 2018, 11:57:31 am
As a longer-term objective you could start assembling the parts/materials for your own custom wiring loom. Think about what components you will need to keep and what to replace. Will you keep the electric start or not? OEM switch gear or something different? Then just think logically about what juice flows where...

Scattered around my garage are the parts for my Please-No-Not-Another-Project, an Electra-X engine in a 1994 Bullet frame. As it will be kick start only I shall be building my own loom from scratch (as I did with ASBO12, which has an Electra-X alternator), probably using 50's-style switch gear where possible.

A.
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Superchuck

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Reply #18 on: August 08, 2018, 07:50:43 pm
Ok, so I still haven't had a chance during daylight hours to troubleshoot the wiring with the engine on, but I did get a break between rains tonight to check for continuity.

Tested positive for continuity between the tail light 'running' bulb contact (in the bulb socket) and the 5-pin connector under the seat.  (it's a 6-pin connector with 5 spots used by wires).

Tested positive for continuity between the 5-pin connector under the seat and the 9-pin connector in the headlight casque.

I turned the ignition on but with the engine off in order to check for voltage at those wires, but I got next to nothing.  Keep in mind my bike has a tiny dirtbike battery in it now, but for years it has been sufficient to kick-start the bike, and kick-starting is not an issue here.  My bike relies heavily on its own power generation to power the lights, so I'll just have to hope I get a chance this weekend to do it with the engine on.

I'm still waiting for the RR unit to get here from China.  Amazon gave me a 3-week window in which to expect it, and that window just started Monday (8/6/18).

So this isn't really new news, but figured I should at least touch base to let you all know I'm still working on it.  In the meantime I will tinker elsewhere, and fingers crossed I can get out and solve the electrical issue this weekend.

Cheers!
Chuck


Superchuck

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Reply #19 on: August 11, 2018, 11:03:35 am
Ok so I just got at it with the multimeter and the engine running...

The gray wire that feeds the tail running light was getting about 3.5 volts between the gray wire and an engine fin / frame.

I have two wires that attach to my ignition switch... One red, and one red/white.

The red wire was also at about 3.5 volts.
The red/white was at a whopping 26 volts!

My headlamp was not plugged in.  I am still awaiting the replacement RR until... Any day now.  Any day now.

My battery (12v, 2.5ah AGM battery) read about 10.8 volts across it's poles with the bike off, and once warmed up it was also reading a whopping 26v across the poles.

I don't think I'm going to try and start it again until the new RR gets here.

..... Ten minutes passes.

Ok I lied.  I plugged in the headlamp and fired it up again.  Once warmed up the battery read about 15.2 volts across the poles. 

However, when testing the positive pole versus the bike frame, I got next to no voltage...?  Does this mean I should freshen up my ground wire from the battery?

The two wires going into/coming out of my ignition switch also read about 15.X volts when tested against the chrome headlamp mounting rim.

The red wire and the red/yellow wire attached to the ammeter also read 15.X volts when tested against the headlamp rim.  The gray wire which (powers the ammeter bulb?) Tested as almost no volts.

The gray wire coming out of the right hand control cluster also had next to no voltage.

After all my tests, and with the bike off, my battery now tests about 11.8 volts across it's poles.

So the bike is starting up fine, and is running fine.  Hopefully the new RR unit (once it gets here) will prevent me from constantly blowing all my lights. 

I think my next step is to look into the right control cluster and make sure I have no broken solder joints etc.  I'm pretty sure that's where the 'gray wire for auxiliary and always on lights' gets it's power.

I'm still very wary of the electricals on this bike, and I feel like I may have other loose connections elsewhere, but one thing at a time. 

Any thoughts?
« Last Edit: August 11, 2018, 11:06:01 am by Superchuck »


Superchuck

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Reply #20 on: August 19, 2018, 01:30:05 pm
Howfy folks,

The new RR unit came on Thursday and I spent the whole weekend tinkering on the bike. 

At the moment I'm not getting a spark, but the brown wire at pigtail to the coil is reading about 9 or 10v with the bike off.

Same at the brown lead at the TCI.

New plug, switched out for another new plug.

Methinks it's a good idea to replace the coil.

I really really want this bike to run. 

If I were to replace the coil and the cable which powers the spark plug, what exactly do I need to order?  Again I apologize for my naivete.

Damn I really want a working motorcycle.

Thanks in advance!


tooseevee

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Reply #21 on: August 19, 2018, 03:29:57 pm
Howfy folks,

At the moment I'm not getting a spark,

New plug, switched out for another new plug.

Methinks it's a good idea to replace the coil.

I really really want this bike to run. 

If I were to replace the coil and the cable which powers the spark plug, what exactly do I need to order?  Again I apologize for my naivete.

Thanks in advance!

         Do you want the stock coil? If so, it's Part# 502027/a. Call Tim in Ft. Worth.

          I put a Pertronix on mine, but you also need a mount for it. I think maybe it comes with it.

http://www.pertronix.com/prod/ig/flame/coils/40000_volt.aspx
« Last Edit: August 19, 2018, 03:33:49 pm by tooseevee »
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


Superchuck

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Reply #22 on: August 19, 2018, 03:45:52 pm
Thanks for the reply, Tooseevee.

I remember you being immensely pleased with the petronix.

Which resistance did you go with?

These are what Amazon has at the moment: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=petronix+flamethrower

Also, do I remember correctly that you are also using a small AGM battery? 

In addition to the coil, is there a particular cable which I need to attach to the spark plug?

Thanks in advance!


tooseevee

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Reply #23 on: August 19, 2018, 04:49:09 pm
Thanks for the reply, Tooseevee.

I remember you being immensely pleased with the petronix.

Which resistance did you go with?

Also, do I remember correctly that you are also using a small AGM battery? 

In addition to the coil, is there a particular cable which I need to attach to the spark plug?

Thanks in advance!
https:

   Here's the coil, 3.0 ohms:

//www.ebay.com/itm/PerTronix-Performance-Pro-40511-Flamethrower-Ignition-Coil-3-0-OHM-Black/332451892132?epid=220441318&hash=item4d67ad4ba4:g:kqwAAOSwYWdaDZbS

     Can't find the wire. Gimmee some time. It looks like '30s or '40s cloth harley wire, but it's modern.

      The battery is a Motobatt MB5.5U. It fits right in the right side case with some foam and leather padding, new and rerun neated up wiring.   

      Here's the plug wire. You get two so you have a spare wire forever:

   http://www.bisonmotorsports.com/7mm-Braided-Spark-Plug-Wire-Kit-Orange-and-Black-p/01-0312.htm

       I don't remember paying that much, but wadderyagunna do??  ??? ???


« Last Edit: August 19, 2018, 05:07:48 pm by tooseevee »
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


Superchuck

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Reply #24 on: August 19, 2018, 06:55:50 pm
Ok, great- thanks very much! 

I currently have a 12v 2.5ah AGM battery... i think it's also a Motobatt.  I am kick start only, and it's always been plenty of power for that... However, do you think that with the new high powered coil that the 2.5ah won't quite cut it?  I honestly know nothing about electricity.

I do fear that I have additional wiring issues, but I want to replace these big important components to eliminate them as variables.  Honestly I'm on the fence about possibly springing for a modern Japanese bike if I can't get my Enfield to be reliable.  I love the tinkering, but I've been battling electrical issues for the past 3 or 4 years, and it would be nice to be able to use it as transportation, not just hobby wrenching.

But that said, throwing some parts at the Enfield is much cheaper than a new bike, and I want very much for this to work for me.  I've put a lot of elbow grease into this thing, and it's really great when it works.  Love this damn thing. So fingers crossed.

Also, is there anywhere that sells a reliable main wiring harness for these bikes?  I'd rather throw a couple hundred bucks if need be at replacement electricals for the Enfield if that will solve my reliability issues.

Cheers!
Chuck


tooseevee

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Reply #25 on: August 20, 2018, 06:56:08 am
Tooseevee,

Thanks for the input.  I, too am very interested in replacing the entire wiring harness.  I have had many loose or intermittent electrical connections over the years I've owned the bike, and it's left me stranded a number of times.  I have had very little mechanical issues with my AVL, but I have had a lifetime's worth of electrical issues.

Alas, I am realizing I do not have the time to rebuild the electrical harness from scratch, although that's what I'd really like to do.  Does anyone know of a quality replacement main wiring harness that is a direct swap?  Or is anything purchased just garbage, making DIY the only real solution?

Cheers!
Chuck

        I can't help you on a new wiring harness, I'm afraid. I just don't know what's out there. What I did essentially is just take apart the whole existing mess from head light to tail light and did my best to make it all right and bullet proof. There was a lot of really bad work in there. I also got rid of a lot of components just not needed and replaced the glass fuses with their hair-thin wires with blade fuses, etc.. Also new HD starter relay and a Bosch relay for the starter switch to keep the contacts from arcing. After the first cold start of the day I never use it.

      I think your battery will easily power the Pertronix coil. Just keep it 100% all the time. Whether you have the 2.5 or the 5.5 you're going to get a good strong spark from the Pertronix. Maybe when your 2.5 goes, if it ever does, you could go to the 5.5ah.   
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


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Reply #26 on: August 20, 2018, 07:25:13 am
Thanks again for the info!

I was penning this message as you responded.  Sorry for the rapid fire but I am emotionally distressed by my motorcycle at the moment.

In retrospect I think my tiny battery has to go.  I think I'm going to replace everything that can easily be replaced, and hope that fixes it...  The plan is to eliminate all possible variables, and so far that includes battery, ignition switch, coil, plug cable, and TCI box. 

I'm considering the MB7BB 12v 9ah battery since it's only a half-inch wider than the 7ah.  The 2.4ah has been fine for my kickstart, but I do complain about electrical issues a lot, so I want to eliminate this as a variable.  I have my battery sitting up under a custom seat, and I think fitment will not be an issue.  However, maybe I try out the new coil first and see if that does it.

My ignition switch has been on the fritz for years.  It is better than before with the resolder I recently did, but in the off condition it is still letting 1.5v through.  And in the on position, I am losing about 1.x volts at the switch itself, which is 10% of my battery power.

There is a dealer who carries Enfields not too far from where I work so I'll give them a call and see if they have the green TCI and Ignition switch in stock.  I already have the green TCI, but it's cheap enough to replace, and worth it to me for piece of mind. 

There are replacement wiring harnesses available on ebay and amazon, but the sellers look suspect, and I don't want to get something that's worse than the OEM harness (!).  I don't have the time or knowledge to rewire one by hand though, so maybe if the component replacements don't do it, that might have to be my next plan of attack.  I do have some friends with some electrical know-how, so perhaps they would be up for digging into the harness on a weekend with me.

Honestly I have spent next to no money on maintaining this bike besides oil and a few replacement parts along the way.  Sinking a couple hundred into it right now is a drop in the bucket compared to buying a new modern motorcycle.  Plus I love this Enfield and I have poured my heart into it for the past 8 or 9 years, even if it hasn't always returned the favor.  I'll do everything in my power to get it running reliably (to use as a daily commuter).  If by January I haven't reached that point, maybe then I'll have to take it off of registration and insurance, buy a new japanese bike, and keep the enfield as a fixer-upper.

Tooseevee, I will look back on your build/troubleshooting threads to read up on all the information that led you to your current equipment selection.

Wish me luck, Gurus.  Advice is always welcome.  Thanks and cheers.

Chuck


tooseevee

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Reply #27 on: August 20, 2018, 07:47:57 am
Thanks again for the info!

I was penning this message as you responded.  Sorry for the rapid fire but I am emotionally distressed by my motorcycle at the moment.

In retrospect I think my tiny battery has to go.  I think I'm going to replace everything that can easily be replaced, and hope that fixes it...  The plan is to eliminate all possible variables, and so far that includes battery, ignition switch, coil, plug cable, and TCI box. 

I'm considering the MB7BB 12v 9ah battery since it's only a half-inch wider than the 7ah.  The 2.4ah has been fine for my kickstart, but I do complain about electrical issues a lot, so I want to eliminate this as a variable.  I have my battery sitting up under a custom seat, and I think fitment will not be an issue.  However, maybe I try out the new coil first and see if that does it.

My ignition switch has been on the fritz for years.  It is better than before with the resolder I recently did, but in the off condition it is still letting 1.5v through.  And in the on position, I am losing about 1.x volts at the switch itself, which is 10% of my battery power.

There is a dealer who carries Enfields not too far from where I work so I'll give them a call and see if they have the green TCI and Ignition switch in stock.  I already have the green TCI, but it's cheap enough to replace, and worth it to me for piece of mind. 

There are replacement wiring harnesses available on ebay and amazon, but the sellers look suspect, and I don't want to get something that's worse than the OEM harness (!).  I don't have the time or knowledge to rewire one by hand though, so maybe if the component replacements don't do it, that might have to be my next plan of attack.  I do have some friends with some electrical know-how, so perhaps they would be up for digging into the harness on a weekend with me.

Honestly I have spent next to no money on maintaining this bike besides oil and a few replacement parts along the way.  Sinking a couple hundred into it right now is a drop in the bucket compared to buying a new modern motorcycle.  Plus I love this Enfield and I have poured my heart into it for the past 8 or 9 years, even if it hasn't always returned the favor.  I'll do everything in my power to get it running reliably (to use as a daily commuter).  If by January I haven't reached that point, maybe then I'll have to take it off of registration and insurance, buy a new japanese bike, and keep the enfield as a fixer-upper.

Tooseevee, I will look back on your build/troubleshooting threads to read up on all the information that led you to your current equipment selection.

Wish me luck, Gurus.  Advice is always welcome.  Thanks and cheers.

Chuck

          My only suggestion might be to hold off on the new green TCI until the last. They are so horribly expensive and everything I've read here (and other places) say that these things are pretty bullet-proof and virtually last forever. Everything is embedded in a solid block of epoxy.
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


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Reply #28 on: August 20, 2018, 08:34:04 am
Ok, thank you... I will happily do as you suggest.

Fingers crossed I'm rolling in no time!
Chuck


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Reply #29 on: August 20, 2018, 11:04:17 am
Ok, thank you... I will happily do as you suggest.

Fingers crossed I'm rolling in no time!
Chuck

       OK - here's what we can do:

       You do what you have to to get it running good with your existing green TCI. If you think it's not running right (or won't start) beCAUSE of the TCI, I still have my black TCI (which works fine, I put it on last season just to see how it ran) which I will send you on loan. You can then see if it runs better (or starts) with the black one.

      That will help you decide if you should pay for a brand new green one. I think Hitchcocks has them at $100. 

        The only difference between the green and the black is that the green one deletes the 1st spark in the rotation sequence to prevent that first early spark from blowing the piston back down before the engine is rotating good enough either by foot or electric.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2018, 11:10:30 am by tooseevee »
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


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Reply #30 on: August 20, 2018, 11:49:50 am
Hey Tooseevee,

I really appreciate the offer, but I think I'm backing down from wanting to replace the TCI.  I'm on vacation next week, so I won't be able to get to work on the bike for a couple weekends anyway.  I'll do my homework and read-up on ignition system stuff in the meantime, then order the other parts.

If after that's all together I'm still having issues then we can see if your black TCI does the trick, but I don't want to go through the trouble of mailing it back-and-forth, etc.  That said, I'm wondering if the local dealer has any old ones laying around that they'll give me for some pocket change...

Who knows.

Many thanks, and I will be in touch!
Chuck


Arizoni

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Reply #31 on: August 20, 2018, 01:23:05 pm
That "keeping the piston from causing the crankshaft to reverse directions" that the green TCI does is there to keep the engine from breaking the sprag clutch.
If the engine fires backwards the clutch will lock up and try to accelerate the electric starter motor and the gear train that connects it and overload the clutch.

If it were mine, I wouldn't be to anxious to change it back to the original black TCI that caused all of the problems.
Jim
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tooseevee

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Reply #32 on: August 20, 2018, 02:45:52 pm
That "keeping the piston from causing the crankshaft to reverse directions" that the green TCI does is there to keep the engine from breaking the sprag clutch.
If the engine fires backwards the clutch will lock up and try to accelerate the electric starter motor and the gear train that connects it and overload the clutch.

If it were mine, I wouldn't be to anxious to change it back to the original black TCI that caused all of the problems.

      As I said, it was only a loan to see if it would run better than with the green (or if it wouldn't start at all to see if it would start with the black one). The intent was never to replace the green with the black. You'd never wanta go back to the black.

   (Sounds like AC/DC lyrics) :) :o

        I'm predicting, when he gets everything else right, that the Green TCI he has is fine.
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


Superchuck

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Reply #33 on: August 20, 2018, 04:35:43 pm
Yep, fingers crossed! 

It'll be a few weeks until I can troubleshoot some more, but I'll probably check in with some additional questions in the meantime.

Thanks all again,
Chuck


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Reply #34 on: August 21, 2018, 03:30:27 am
The only difference between the green and the black is that the green one deletes the 1st spark in the rotation sequence to prevent that first early spark from blowing the piston back down before the engine is rotating good enough either by foot or electric.

To further expand on how the green TCI works differently to the black; the green unit gets the first timing pulse as a reference and then times how long the next pulse takes to arrive. The unit then calculates the interval between the two to establish the rotational speed and therefore the advance. Because the ignition pickup is so far physically advanced (about 45 degrees) the TCI has ample time to calculate and generate the spark and factor in the dwell. So it always has to receive two timing pulses (one crank rotation) before being able to calculate the spark. There's also a timer function that resets the procedure to ensure that if there's an excessive delay between two pulses this isn't used to generate a spurious spark. You need this (say) between efforts to start the bike - kicking it over for example and taking a breath.

The black unit gets a timing pulse and then (at cranking speeds) assumes a preset rotational speed and generates a spark a certain time after receiving the first pulse. This is fine if the bike always cranks at the same speed but if it's slow for any reason (e.g. low battery, lazy kick-over) the spark is generated too early and can cause the engine to backfire.

In some ways the black TCI could be an advantage when kicking the bike over, so long as the bike is kicked enthusiastically (like I could have done 30 years ago). In effect, the faster you kick the more retarded the first spark.

Once running the black TCI calculates rotational speed just like the green unit and both revert to an inbuilt advance curve which I cant tell apart. Neither gives a very good curve and is insufficiently advanced at full  advance, which reduces power. I wonder if this is to ensure that the exhaust temperature is maintained to keep the hot-tube 'catalyst' working?


Superchuck

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Reply #35 on: August 21, 2018, 07:12:45 am
Very interesting!  Does that also mean that a slow deliberate kick-over might be better for the green TCI, as opposed to a fast one?


Superchuck

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Reply #36 on: August 21, 2018, 09:41:34 am
Tooseevee,

I just re-read the old thread where you decided to get the petronix: https://forum.classicmotorworks.com/index.php/topic,24417.0/all.html

Were you correct that the brown wire got attached to the positive pole in the petronix coil, and the red/white got attached to the neg?

Also, am I correct that the HT lead you are using has a resistorless cap and a copper core, and you're using the BR9ES resistor spark plug?  I think I will search for a high quality black HT cable instead of the yellow, although that is pretty sharp.

I have an email request in to Baker for the ignition switch.

Question:. Is there any risk of me getting a stronger battery (12v, 9ah) that possibly the bike wouldn't be able to properly keep it charged?  Or is that a non issue?

Thanks again and apologies for my naivete.

Chuck


tooseevee

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Reply #37 on: August 21, 2018, 12:27:59 pm
Tooseevee,

I just re-read the old thread where you decided to get the petronix: https://forum.classicmotorworks.com/index.php/topic,24417.0/all.html

Were you correct that the brown wire got attached to the positive pole in the petronix coil, and the red/white got attached to the neg?

Also, am I correct that the HT lead you are using has a resistorless cap and a copper core, and you're using the BR9ES resistor spark plug?  I think I will search for a high quality black HT cable instead of the yellow, although that is pretty sharp.

I have an email request in to Baker for the ignition switch.

Question:. Is there any risk of me getting a stronger battery (12v, 9ah) that possibly the bike wouldn't be able to properly keep it charged?  Or is that a non issue?

Thanks again and apologies for my naivete.

Chuck

       Boy, you went back in cobwebs, huh? Remember not to take any one thing at face value in those old threads. My story goes back to 2010 and a lot of things happened and things changed, etc., etc..

     Yes, Brown to Positive. It has a fuse. I believe it gets its 12VPos from the Kill Switch. Unlike my harley whose Kill Switch ran the points to Ground, the RE KS just shuts the juice off to the whole shootin' match. Whatever works :) :)

      Yes, Resistorless cap.

      No use NGK no mo'. I changed to a Champion plug (RN2C). You can go back and read THAT story if you want.

       Your alternator will charge the bigger battery just fine. But always use the tender also.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2018, 12:43:08 pm by tooseevee »
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


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Reply #38 on: August 21, 2018, 12:37:15 pm
Thank you,

And did you mean to say brown to positive?


tooseevee

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Reply #39 on: August 21, 2018, 01:38:18 pm
Thank you,

And did you mean to say brown to positive?

     You must have read it about three seconds before I hit Modify to correct it. Just a brain fart.
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


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Reply #40 on: August 21, 2018, 03:40:16 pm
Very interesting!  Does that also mean that a slow deliberate kick-over might be better for the green TCI, as opposed to a fast one?

The green TCI will always calculate the timing from the rotational speed. So long as the interval between two pulses in not so long that the unit times out, then it will always spark at the same point BTDC whether kicking slow or fast.  If the kick is insufficiently energetic then a number of things happen to inhibit effective starting;

1. There can be insufficient velocity through the carb to atomize the fuel, resulting in a lean mixture and incomplete filling of the combustion chamber.
2. Gas leakage past rings and valves can reduce the effective compression.
3. There can be insufficient inertia to overcome the static advance, causing backfiring. This is worsened with some engines because they can have far too much advance. My own engine has 8 degrees from the TCI , plus two degrees of error off the pickup location. For a 500 single 10 degrees is quite a bit of advance. 


Superchuck

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Reply #41 on: August 22, 2018, 12:29:28 pm
Cool, thanks!  I love this forum.  I am continually becoming more learned.

I called my local RE dealer, and they don't have any AVL parts what-so-ever at their location.  I'm still waiting for Baker in Ft Worth to email me back, but I was wondering if anyone else has had experience fitting a 3rd party ignition switch in an AVL?

The local RE guy said they've been routinely discontinuing AVL parts since it was kinda the redheaded stepchild of the RE lineup.  He also said they'll probably sell it as an entire 'lock kit' containing all side boxes, steering lock, ignition lock.

You see, I really only want the ignition switch.  Wondering if it is somewhat universal?

Thanks in advance... can't wait to get this thing running again.

Chuck


Mick Bailey

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Reply #42 on: August 22, 2018, 05:14:11 pm
Did you take a look at ordering from India?

Aside from that you may find a generic switch that could fit, given the simple switching arrangement. I don't know of anything offhand but would start by measuring up the switch and checking if there were any 'universal' ignition switches that match.

Don't kow if this is anywhere near, but it turned up straight away;

https://www.ebay.co.uk/p/12v-Volt-Universal-Ignition-Switch-With-2-Keys-Lucas-Style-Spb501-Equivalent/15017009018?iid=130873090170&chn=ps


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Reply #43 on: August 23, 2018, 06:36:50 am
Do an e-bay search for "Royal Enfield Ignition Switch" and you'll get the following:
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=ROyal+Enfield+Ignition+Switch&_sacat=0
It's up to you if you want to go with a matched set for the ignition/tool boxes/steering lock, or only the ignition switch.
Keep in mind that parts ordered from India can take as much as a month to get to you. Ones from Brit vendors are much faster, but usually a bit more expensive (and usually worth the speedier delivery).
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Superchuck

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Reply #44 on: August 23, 2018, 09:48:41 am
Great, thanks guys!  I'm still hoping Baker in Fort Worth will get back to me...

If I'm waiting for a lengthy international delivery I can always bypass the ignition switch and wire in a hidden cutoff along the positive lead near the battery.  That's if I'm getting desperate...


tooseevee

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Reply #45 on: August 23, 2018, 10:27:25 am
Great, thanks guys!  I'm still hoping Baker in Fort Worth will get back to me...

If I'm waiting for a lengthy international delivery I can always bypass the ignition switch and wire in a hidden cutoff along the positive lead near the battery.  That's if I'm getting desperate...

     Here's another eBay reference:

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=royal+enfield+ignition+switch+597130+&_sacat=0

    Hitchcocks also has them. Part #597130 - 24.50 pounds
It's probably the same as the ones on Ebay -Minda.

      Ft. Worth has them (if they ever answer you back) for $50.00. They still have a glitch in the online store: the picture of the product covers half the description page and you can't get rid of it.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2018, 10:39:51 am by tooseevee »
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


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Reply #46 on: August 24, 2018, 05:32:50 am
Excellent, thanks again for all the sources.

I will be calling Fort Worth today as the email requests seem to have gone missing.

Will also be ordering the new battery, coil, ht lead, and plugs next week while I'm away.  I feel good about changing/upgrading these even if they're not the exact root of my problem.  Can't hurt, and will probably just make things better. 

Will keep you updated.

Cheers,
Chuck


tooseevee

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Reply #47 on: August 24, 2018, 06:54:40 am
Excellent, thanks again for all the sources.

Will also be ordering the new battery, coil, ht lead, and plugs next week while I'm away.  I feel good about changing/upgrading these even if they're not the exact root of my problem.  Can't hurt, and will probably just make things better. 

Will keep you updated.

Cheers,
Chuck

      When you wire up that new coil you'll want to go to a heavier wire. The Red/White and Brown wires you need to tap into are as thin as spider web and you can't solder the connections. Here is what I used with excellent results:

https://www.google.com/search?q=Positaps&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1

      I'll gladly send you some if you want; I'll probably never use up the ones I still have. You may find you want to buy more when you see how good they work. If you want to try a Champion plug I'll send you one of those also. PM me.

      PS: I tapped into those coil wires right at the TCI under the seat. I did away with the factory wires that run forward to the under-the-tank coil.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2018, 07:07:05 am by tooseevee »
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


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Reply #48 on: August 24, 2018, 09:23:16 am
Thank you... I will send a PM.

So if I am reading that correctly, you positapped into the brown and the red/white wire just outside the TCI box plug connector.  That way there is very little length of the web-thin wire which if left as OEM it may be insufficient for the current we're working with in the ignition circuit?

From reading your other thread I believe you also located the pertronix coil somewhere near the carb / seat in order to reduce the length of wire run.

Enfield Fort Worth opened twenty minutes ago.  I'll call them in a little bit before they get busy for the day.


tooseevee

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Reply #49 on: August 24, 2018, 09:38:46 am
Thank you... I will send a PM.

So if I am reading that correctly, you positapped into the brown and the red/white wire just outside the TCI box plug connector.  That way there is very little length of the web-thin wire which if left as OEM it may be insufficient for the current we're working with in the ignition circuit?

From reading your other thread I believe you also located the pertronix coil somewhere near the carb / seat in order to reduce the length of wire run.

Enfield Fort Worth opened twenty minutes ago.  I'll call them in a little bit before they get busy for the day.

    As to your first question, I don't know the math of the electricity of the ohmage of the length of the wire times the diameter...... All I know is that I can kickstart it cold and it runs like a raped ape  :o :o

            The length of the wire had nothing to do with mounting the coil on the downtube. It was one of the only places it would go and also look good (to me) and not look dorky (to me). It (anything) should look like it goes there and isn't screaming for attention among all the other parts for me to like it.

       
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


Superchuck

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Reply #50 on: August 24, 2018, 03:31:02 pm
Just got off the phone with Enfield of Fort Worth.  Turns out they don't have any of my Electra parts in stock.  They'd have to order them from out of the country, so I'm probably best off picking and choosing from those ebay sellers since it might be quicker.  (he said 14-30 business days depending on where the parts had to come from). 

I've got momentum now for this project so I'm just going to keep stabbing forward and see what I can make work. 

In a week I should be receiving a new stronger battery, the coil, and HT lead.  I will bypass my ignition switch if it keeps giving me issues, and in the meantime I will try and see which of the ebay options would be best.  I also suspect that my right-hand switch assembly might be the root of my lighting issues.  I still have that little jumper they put in the US bikes for the 'always on' headlight.  I'll throw that back in which bypasses the lighting switch to see if that fixes it.  If that fixes it and I get the bike running well, a future project may be to swap out the OEM handlebar switch assemblies for sleeker aftermarket parts.

Fingers crossed i get this rolling in the next few weeks.

Tooseevee, can you tell me which exact Champion plug you are using?  EDIT:  Is it the Champion RN2C ?

Also, one more question about the coil:  Pertronix's website is confusing, but it looks like the 40511 is the Oil-Filled coil, and the 40611 is the epoxy filled one.  They recommend the epoxy for off-road vehicles, which a shaky 500 single might qualify as.  Should I be ok ordering the 40611?  it's still a 3 ohm Pertronix coil.  Again, apologies for my cluelessness!

Thanks for everyone's help.  Can't wait to get rolling again.

Cheers,
Chuck
« Last Edit: August 24, 2018, 03:52:54 pm by Superchuck »


tooseevee

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Reply #51 on: August 24, 2018, 04:09:28 pm

Tooseevee, can you tell me which exact Champion plug you are using?  EDIT:  Is it the Champion RN2C ?

Cheers,
Chuck

      Yes. That plug (& heat range) has seemed fine for this engine and when and how I ride; late Spring through September maybe October. And it has Never fouled nor failed to fire unlike the many NGKs I went through dialing this bitch in.
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


tooseevee

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Reply #52 on: August 24, 2018, 08:21:27 pm
Also, one more question about the coil:  Pertronix's website is confusing, but it looks like the 40511 is the Oil-Filled coil, and the 40611 is the epoxy filled one.  They recommend the epoxy for off-road vehicles, which a shaky 500 single might qualify as.  Should I be ok ordering the 40611?  it's still a 3 ohm Pertronix coil.  Again, apologies for my cluelessness!

Cheers,
Chuck
    I have the 40511 oil-filled black only because it's just what I've mostly used on quite a few bikes and cars since the '50s. Heat is no problem for this coil on the Enfield and I don't offroad.
       Either one is fine; your choice.
        Here's the chrome one on the last little shovelhead I built. My last.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2018, 08:25:30 pm by tooseevee »
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


Adrian II

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Reply #53 on: August 25, 2018, 04:54:38 am
Quote
Tooseevee, can you tell me which exact Champion plug you are using?  EDIT:  Is it the Champion RN2C ?

Don't forget tooseevee's motor has had the Ace Cafe cylinder head rework and probably needs that grade of plug. With a stock head a cold plug like that might carbon up, mine is fine with the hotter-running N3C, you might even get away with the N4C. I'm assuming RN2C is a resistor plug, are they specified by Petronix?

Quote
a future project may be to swap out the OEM handlebar switch assemblies for sleeker aftermarket parts.

Or you could fit something more 50's style...

A.
Grumpy Brit still seeking 500 AVL Bullet perfection! Will let you know if I get anywhere near...


Mick Bailey

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Reply #54 on: August 25, 2018, 07:06:37 am
I switched to a Champion N2C a while back and for a time starting was much easier but I came to the bike one day and it wouldn't start. I took the plug out and it was quite sooty - enough to cover the electrode with conductive carbon and not spark. I went a grade hotter and it's been fine since.


tooseevee

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Reply #55 on: August 25, 2018, 07:15:38 am
Don't forget tooseevee's motor has had the Ace Cafe cylinder head rework and probably needs that grade of plug. With a stock head a cold plug like that might carbon up, mine is fine with the hotter-running N3C, you might even get away with the N4C. I'm assuming RN2C is a resistor plug, are they specified by Petronix?
A.

      Yes, Adrian, I do believe you are correct.

        I have to admit I've been unclear from the beginning on whether to use an R plug or a non-R plug with this Pertronix.

         In the beginning I bought the RN2C because I reasoned that I have no more stock resistor cap and no resistor in the HT cable therefore get an R plug.

         I now find what I missed (after actually reading the Pertronix site) and that is that the Pertronix coil is "internally resisted" whatever that means.

         So what does that mean in the real world? Yes, I'm asking you. Because you're so wicked smart  :) :) Should the next plug I install be an N2C (not an RN2C) and what real world difference does it make to an engine like the Enfield even conSIDering the mods that have been made to mine the main thing being the higher compression and increased flow?

      I remember years ago ('10, '11, '12) the BR9ES being recommended on this forum when the engine already had that shitty tin resistor cap. I think it was you and me then who brought up that that might be wrong.

           
« Last Edit: August 25, 2018, 07:40:26 am by tooseevee »
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


Superchuck

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Reply #56 on: August 25, 2018, 07:19:25 am
Ha, I continue to become more learned!

I run pretty rich.  Because of that should I maybe shoot for the N4C?  Or is N3C probably ok?

The coil, HT lead, and plug cap setup that Tooseevee is running is not resistor-ed (technical term) because of that I believe the resistor plug was an intentional choice.  I'm basically duplicating his setup in the ignition circuit as a way to eliminate potential faulty equipment and it can't hurt to upgrade on the off chance everything is fine.

EDIT: disregard my post.  I eagerly await a reply to Tooseevee's questions.


tooseevee

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Reply #57 on: August 25, 2018, 07:24:40 am
I switched to a Champion N2C a while back and for a time starting was much easier but I came to the bike one day and it wouldn't start. I took the plug out and it was quite sooty - enough to cover the electrode with conductive carbon and not spark. I went a grade hotter and it's been fine since.

         Yes, I've thought of trying a 3 also just to see, but the 2 is showing itself to be gorgeous coloringwise with this engine and the way I ride contrasted with the NGK plug of the past never looking good no matter how tweaked the carb was to the point of totally fouling many times to the point of total no-startism, kick OR electric, until a new one was put in. And I still have the feeling that the NGK spark (when the engine and fuel were cold) was just not strong enough to start it.   

      When I switched to the Champion plug, that was the ONLY thing changed (the carb stayed the same and the Pertronix had already been installed while still on the NGK plugs) and the Champion totally cured the cold start problem, kick or electric, immediately. Now I just whisper "Start" near the starter switch and it starts instantly. 2 or 3 kicks cold (sometimes 1) and it's running whereas with the NGK plugs I NEVER was able to kickstart it cold. And I spent YEARS trying to tweak my way to a solution for that and a simple plug switch did it.

       (This is all back in the dusty archives of this forum).

« Last Edit: August 25, 2018, 07:44:04 am by tooseevee »
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


Adrian II

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Reply #58 on: August 25, 2018, 05:02:11 pm
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Yes, I'm asking you. Because you're so wicked smart

What EXACTLY have you been smoking, tooseevee? I have tried my whole life to avoid being smart or doing anything smart, and I don't intend to start now!  I have three and four quarter RE Bullets in the garage to prove it... ;D

OK, the "received wisdom" (which as we know isn't always correct) is that if you have a resistor (supressor) plug cap you don't need a resistor plug, or if you have a resistor plug you don't need a supressor plug cap, just so long as you have one or the other. HOWEVER, some modern ignition systems produce such a nice fat spark that you can have more than one resistor quite happily. For most of us we also need an old school HT lead with a good copper core eather than a more modern item. Resistor coils are well outside my flower pot of expertise, but if the set-up you have now just fires up your AVL when you want and lets it run nicely, that rather suggests that everything is just as it should be, relax (especially after your NGK fiasco). The real world appears to be saying "you got it right".

As a side note two of my REs have BT-H electronic (CDI-based) magnetos, and the instructions warn AGAINST using supressor plug caps, yet my Not A Fury's regulator/rectifier instructions warn that a supressor plug cap MUST be used or the interfrerence will overload and cook the reg/rectifier. I am running a resistor plug with the unsupressed plug cap, hoping that will be enough to avoid frying the reg/rectifier. Solve one problem, cause another, but it seems OK **so** far.

A.

Grumpy Brit still seeking 500 AVL Bullet perfection! Will let you know if I get anywhere near...


Superchuck

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Reply #59 on: August 26, 2018, 09:09:00 am
So I haven't ordered the pertronix coil yet until I have a better understanding or specific advice:

The coil Tooseevee is using is a 40k watt 3ohm coil.  There is also a 40k watt 1.5ohm coil, everything else seems identical. 

What is the impedance rating on the coil itself for?  Is one better than the others considering the rest of my setup?   Stock engine, thinking I'll go with the champion N3C plug, solid copper HT lead with unsuppressed plug cap.

Thoughts/opinions/conjecture?

Thanks!
Chuck


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Reply #60 on: August 28, 2018, 10:52:06 am
Parts are now ordered.

Got the PerTronix 3ohm epoxy filled coil, bison 7mm copper HT lead with unsuppressed cap, Motobatt 7ah AGM battery, Champion RN3C plugs, 2 blade type fuse holders with 15A fuses, wiring stuff to bypass ignition switch and in place use a discreet on/off toggle.

I'm throwing the baby out with the bathwater with the hope that this cleans it all up.  I'm prepared to add jumpers past any intermittent wiring in order to diagnose and get this running reliably. 

Once that is achieved, I'll order the actual replacement ignition switch, and rewire any portions of the wiring harness that may need attention.

Fingers crossed, and thanks for everyone's input so far,

Chuck


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Reply #61 on: September 04, 2018, 08:56:09 pm
Parts arrived and today I dug into it in the humid 95 degree heat.  Goal was to try and fit everything, and see what needed custom bracket finagling, etc. 

That's when I noticed a broken wire at the TDI fuse box. 

That definitely explains my no-spark at the last go-round.  No love lost though...

I'm still very happy I got all these upgraded replacement parts.  All it'll do is increase reliability, which is the end goal.

Started making a bracket to mount my newer and slightly larger battery.  It goes up under my custom diy seat.  I'll tuck the pertronix coil up in front of the engine near the old one.  I don't run the stock side panels on my bike or that would be the no-brainer mounting spot for both of these bad boys.

I think the plug/coil cable should be here tomorrow, and I still need to splice in the beefier leads from TCI to coil, as well as the new fuse holders and on/off toggle switch which will bypass my ignition switch.  If everything runs well I'll be ordering a replacement key barrel from across the pond.

My current hypothesis is that my lack of running lights are due to a short in the RH control cluster.  I'll pop in the light switch bypass wire (Uncle Sam is always trying to protect us) and if that fixes it, a new control cluster will also be on order.

Hoping I can dig back into this tomorrow or the next day.

Guess I don't really have much to say, just recording my progress for the history books.

Chuck


tooseevee

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Reply #62 on: September 05, 2018, 06:57:30 am

That's when I noticed a broken wire at the TDI fuse box. 

That definitely explains my no-spark at the last go-round. 
Chuck

          Do you have that little glass fuse holder with the spider web wires?

           You might think about a new blade fuse holder. Those microscopic wires are a bitch to work with, but it's worth it.

          Good luck.
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


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Reply #63 on: September 05, 2018, 07:21:37 am
Yep, blade fuse holders were one of the items I picked up.  I'm surprised those needle thin brittle wires survived this long honestly.

Tonight will probably be indoor wiring work and battery bracket construction.

Can't wait to get this thing running!


Superchuck

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Reply #64 on: September 11, 2018, 09:16:34 am
Working on wiring up my new parts, but I'm still waiting on the spark plug lead.

Tooseevee, when you ordered from Bison Motorsports did you have any issues receiving your package?  They marked it 'shipped' on Sept 1, but it's Sept 11, and the USPS tracking info still says 'pre-shipment, waiting for package from seller'.  I am reading some Yelp reviews of their business and there are a lot of testimonials like this, with many people never getting the items they ordered and paid for.

I emailed them, but I'm thinking I'll contact my credit card and have them cancel payment, will need to find a similar product elsewhere.

Before I do anything drastic, has anyone else experienced this if ordering through Bison Motorsports?

Chuck


tooseevee

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Reply #65 on: September 11, 2018, 09:27:12 am
Working on wiring up my new parts, but I'm still waiting on the spark plug lead.

Tooseevee, when you ordered from Bison Motorsports did you have any issues receiving your package?  They marked it 'shipped' on Sept 1, but it's Sept 11, and the USPS tracking info still says 'pre-shipment, waiting for package from seller'.  I am reading some Yelp reviews of their business and there are a lot of testimonials like this, with many people never getting the items they ordered and paid for.

I emailed them, but I'm thinking I'll contact my credit card and have them cancel payment, will need to find a similar product elsewhere.

Before I do anything drastic, has anyone else experienced this if ordering through Bison Motorsports?

Chuck

           I don't know  ??? ???  What did I order from Bison Motorsports  ??? ???

            But no, I've never had Any problem with ordering and/or receiving Anything from Anywhere including England China India and the Good Ol' Yoo Ess ;D ;D
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


Superchuck

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Reply #66 on: September 12, 2018, 03:03:43 pm
So the MIA package from Bison was the copper HT lead I needed to connect my new coil to the plug.  Reached out to them numerous times to no avail, so I had no have my CC stop payment. 

Everything else is pretty much put together.  New battery is mounted, on/off toggle is wired and hidden up above the fender, both fuses replaced with blade style fuses, new ground wire, the works.

I feel like I'm less than an hour of work away from riding again.  Just have to install the light switch bypass, ignition switch bypass, plug in a new tail light bulb, and mount up my seat overtop that rats nest of a wiring harness.

I'll be keeping with the stock coil, plug, and lead until I can procure a quality HT lead elsewhere.  I have much confusion on the topic because I don't want to order something that won't fit my coil, etc.  I'll be doing some more research tonight on it. 

Can't wait to get riding again!  Google is calling for a sunny weekend despite the hurricane down there in the Carolinas.  May have to fire her up Saturday.


tooseevee

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Reply #67 on: September 12, 2018, 03:33:09 pm

I'll be keeping with the stock coil, plug, and lead until I can procure a quality HT lead elsewhere.  I have much confusion on the topic because I don't want to order something that won't fit my coil, etc.  I'll be doing some more research tonight on it. 


          There's nothing special required for that Pertronix coil. It's just a coil. Any spark plug wire you like will fit.
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


Superchuck

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Reply #68 on: September 12, 2018, 09:21:23 pm
Awesome, i just ordered a plug wire from lowbrow customs... Saw their YouTube video on how to crimp the wire ends and looked like exactly what I need.  7mm, it's black cloth with orange tracers (slick looking) and has a copper core.

Should get delivered early next week.

So it looks like we have success in the motorcycle!

Everything is all plugged in, mounted up, and screwed down tight.  I put back in the headlight switch jumper which bypasses the RH light control switch and now my running lights work!  So the culpret is definitely the RH control cluster as far as lights go, and that has honestly been wonky for years.  Probably a bad solder joint etc.

I'm positive my rectifier/regulator had been failing and frying my electrics though, and that new Chinese one gives me confidence for the new setup.

I didn't try to kick it over yet since it was late and I have neighbors, but I am confident it will run.

The ignition switch is now bypassed and I am relying on an on/off toggle hidden below the seat to cut power from the battery.  The Killswitch still works the same as it always did for engine shutoff.  To bypass the ignition switch I went inside the headlight casque, unplugged the plastic connector at the ignition switch, cut a small 1 inch piece of 14 gauge wire with both ends stripped, jammed one end in each side of the now disconnected plug, and taped it in place.  Elegant.  The connector from the ignition switch itself is now just dangling and not connected to anything.  The other end of the plastic connector contains the sending and receiving leads, and those are what I jumped together.

Once I get a new OEM ignition switch I'll probably keep the battery toggle installed just as a safeguard against leeching power when the bike is off.

Can't wait to get this thing on the road, and weather willing this weekend I will.

Next week will be coil installation, and lots of riding to see if I am in fact breakdown free.  (Probably just jinxed it)

That's all for now.
Chuck


tooseevee

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Reply #69 on: September 13, 2018, 06:43:38 am
Awesome, i just ordered a plug wire from lowbrow customs... Saw their YouTube video on how to crimp the wire ends and looked like exactly what I need.  7mm, it's black cloth with orange tracers (slick looking) and has a copper core.

Should get delivered early next week.

So it looks like we have success in the motorcycle!

Everything is all plugged in, mounted up, and screwed down tight.  I put back in the headlight switch jumper which bypasses the RH light control switch and now my running lights work!  So the culpret is definitely the RH control cluster as far as lights go, and that has honestly been wonky for years.  Probably a bad solder joint etc.

I'm positive my rectifier/regulator had been failing and frying my electrics though, and that new Chinese one gives me confidence for the new setup.

I didn't try to kick it over yet since it was late and I have neighbors, but I am confident it will run.

The ignition switch is now bypassed and I am relying on an on/off toggle hidden below the seat to cut power from the battery.  The Killswitch still works the same as it always did for engine shutoff.  To bypass the ignition switch I went inside the headlight casque, unplugged the plastic connector at the ignition switch, cut a small 1 inch piece of 14 gauge wire with both ends stripped, jammed one end in each side of the now disconnected plug, and taped it in place.  Elegant.  The connector from the ignition switch itself is now just dangling and not connected to anything.  The other end of the plastic connector contains the sending and receiving leads, and those are what I jumped together.

Once I get a new OEM ignition switch I'll probably keep the battery toggle installed just as a safeguard against leeching power when the bike is off.

Can't wait to get this thing on the road, and weather willing this weekend I will.

Next week will be coil installation, and lots of riding to see if I am in fact breakdown free.  (Probably just jinxed it)

That's all for now.
Chuck

         Good for you! Your progress and confidence made my morning  :) :)

         I can't wait to hear how you make out with the new Pertronix coil.

          I hope you can some day do away with that headlight jumper so you don't have to have it On every time you start the engine.

          Having a hidden toggle switch on the ignition is never a bad idea although if they want your bike, they''ll just throw it in a pickup truck; gone in 30 seconds.
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


Superchuck

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Reply #70 on: September 14, 2018, 07:42:34 am
She purrs like a lion.

Spark plug wire gets here Monday.

Planning on a long day ride this weekend, and will mount up the Pertronix and Champion plug next week.

I actually like having the lights always-on since it's a reminder that I still need to switch the power off after killing the engine.  Definitely would have forgot it last night, which probably would have killed my brand new battery.  Although, on the other hand it's good to be able to go stealth mode with no lights.  Such as for robbing a bank.  Or for tooling around in the dirt under power line easements.  Not that I've done that sort of thing of course.

Can't wait to ride.

Many thanks to all of you great people for your help along the way.  Fingers crossed this is the end of my electrical worries for a while.

Cheers,
Chuck


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Reply #71 on: September 16, 2018, 08:33:05 pm
Did about 150 miles today with a friend- he on his Harley and me on the Enfield.  no issues, and it ran like a dream!  Twisties, highway, and some in-town riding.

At one point my front right blinker wasn't working, but then later in the day it fixed itself.  Also on rare occasion the ammetter would pin hard left but in a few seconds it would fix itself also.  When running it would normally be just right of center, and that's where it was 99.9% of the day.  So yes, still some loose wires in there.  But the essentials are working, and that's my priority.

Wednesday I may be able to install the new coil, weather permitting.

Feels great to ride again!
Chuck


tooseevee

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Reply #72 on: September 17, 2018, 07:40:38 am
Did about 150 miles today with a friend- he on his Harley and me on the Enfield.  no issues, and it ran like a dream!  Twisties, highway, and some in-town riding.

Chuck

        :) ;D :) ;D :) ;D
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


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Reply #73 on: September 26, 2018, 03:38:40 pm
As an update, the Enfield is still going strong.  I've logged about 200 miles or so on it - mostly highway commuting miles.

I received my spark plug wire, but have yet to install the new coil.  It's been a monsoon for weeks and the few dry evening we do have get dedicated to other projects.

I was gearing up for a solo ride from the DC area to Ocean City, MD this weekend (+/- 150 miles each way), but it looks like friday we may see some thunderstorms, so that trip is off. 

For the moment I'm happy running with my ignition switch bypass and light-switch jumper.  I want to stop messing with things and log some miles.  Those sound like good winter projects though, and shipping time won't matter since the bike is currently functional.

I still plan on installing the PerTronix coil, new plug and HT lead, but I've been so damn busy.  I'm happy to be able to ride again though, and I finally have some proper rain gear arriving shortly to make the commutes a little bit less wet. 

Autumn riding is my favorite riding, and I'm psyched to get out for some long brisk afternoons in the saddle.

Chuck