aboard

Author Topic: AVL won't start, no spark  (Read 1122 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

REVirginia

  • 2009 AVL Deluxe
  • Neophyte
  • *
  • Posts: 33
  • Karma: 0
Reply #15 on: September 11, 2018, 09:44:41 pm
Well I don't know how or why, but I was able to get spark!  Maybe I just reseated something in all this monkeying around. I put in the plug and was able to start it with the estart, but it wants to turn off after a minute or two. Giving it a little gas helps at times, but it just keeps keeps skipping a thump like a bad heart, worse and worse until it kills.  Is this the timing and misfiring?  There was during one of the "kills" a puff of smoke that did not have an electrical smell. I think it was an expulsion through the air filter, which is an exposed S&B air filter.  It would restart again, but wouldn't hang on for long between the skipping. So I'm left thinking maybe I reset something to get spark and there's a failing TCI too? It's new gas, I haven't touched the jets.  After going through this cycle multiple times until it won't start any longer with just the starter cranking, I'm back to no spark with a depleted battery.  This bike has always been quick to drain a battery if I crank even for a short time, so I've almost exclusively kick started it. 

Oh and by the way, Chuck if you're checking in, my tail light is out.  I can't say I remember if it was on the last couple of days, but I noticed it tonight.  I didn't check to see if it was blown.  The hand lever/foot brake light works fine.  I think we might be able to merge our threads regarding electrical woes soon, sheesh. ::)

I've seen a couple threads between this forum and the Hitchcocks about people ordering the suzuki model TCI but little about how it performed in comparison to the other.  I've emailed hitchcocks to ask if it was basically the suzuki resold.  I'm leaning toward just getting the green unit back on, which I must have gotten rid of after a cross country move.  If I remember, there is a little rewiring involved I believe because the pulsar coil wire contacts have a different shaped connector. 
« Last Edit: September 11, 2018, 10:14:51 pm by REVirginia »


Mick Bailey

  • Bulleteer
  • ***
  • Posts: 117
  • Karma: 0
Reply #16 on: September 12, 2018, 02:17:23 am
You mentioned that with the ignition off you were showing 13v and with the ignition on you were getting 11.2v, yet the battery was still reading 13v (as measured at the starter relay fuse). The ammeter connects to the battery so should always read battery voltage irrespective of load. With voltage measurement it's handy to have in mind that in a parallel circuit all voltages should all read the same when measured from + to - across the feed.

The voltage drop suggests to me that you have a connection issue. Vibration with the bike running can cause intermittent problems and misfiring. TCI units are low down on my list of things to fail. A high resistance will drop voltage according to load. More load, more voltage drop. Under no-load conditions you won't see a voltage drop as per Ohm's law V=IR. If I (load current) = 0, then V (voltage drop) is 0v.



tooseevee

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,626
  • Karma: 0
  • There Are No Truths Outside The Gates Of Eden
Reply #17 on: September 12, 2018, 07:05:04 am
Well I don't know how or why, but I was able to get spark! 
I've seen a couple threads between this forum and the Hitchcocks about people ordering the suzuki model TCI but little about how it performed in comparison to the other.  I've emailed hitchcocks to ask if it was basically the suzuki resold.  I'm leaning toward just getting the green unit back on, which I must have gotten rid of after a cross country move.  If I remember, there is a little rewiring involved I believe because the pulsar coil wire contacts have a different shaped connector.

           Good for you !! You have a pulse !

           The connectors on the OEM Black TCI and the connectors on the Green TCI are the same. Instantly interchangeable in a couple of minutes.

              Many years ago I tried the so-called Suzuki 125 TCI just as an experiment. Those connectors ARE different. I had to find the correct ones online, order them and splice them in.

               The Suzuki TCI that I ordered per advice from guys on the forum (with a new coil included which I did not use) did not work for shit on my engine. It started instantly and ran OK sitting still, but it would not take a load at all. Just bogged down very early in the RPM curve in every gear.  I pulled it off, stuck it on the shelf as a learning experience, put the Green one back on and rode off down the road as before. It was no simple thing getting that Suzuki thing wired up.

         I think you should get a new Green one and be done with it. Or is it the Green one you have  ??? ???

           I'm losing track of the details here  :) :) Sorry. Maybe it's the stress  ;D ;D ;D
« Last Edit: September 12, 2018, 09:45:17 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.


Michael Marsceill

  • Scooter
  • **
  • Posts: 64
  • Karma: 0
  • 2009 AVL Deluxe
Reply #18 on: September 12, 2018, 09:04:05 am
I possible but unlikely that a tci would fail intermittantly. If you have spark, the tci is probably good. I recently had a similar issue. Replaced the tci, did not resolve it. Tested the coil, which was recently replaced and it checked good. Spent the next month troubleshooting without success. Out of frustration, replaced the coil, the 6 month old one that tested good. Bike started and ran like new. I can't explain it, but I wouldn't trust a resistance check on these newer designed coils. Also, don't overlook the pulsar coil that is part of the stator. That sends the trigger signal that tells the tci/coil when to fire. Thats all I've got. Good luck.



Mick Bailey

  • Bulleteer
  • ***
  • Posts: 117
  • Karma: 0
Reply #19 on: September 12, 2018, 11:06:22 am
A resistance check will tell you if a coil is bad, but it won't tell you if its good.

A coil can have a shorted turn - either permanent or intermittent. The shorted turn is just one turn out of hundreds (or thousands if its the secondary) and the resistance difference this makes is not detectable. In practical terms the coil will read 100% good when measuring resistance. I do have a tester that will check for a shorted turn (called a flyback, or 'ring' tester). A shorted turn absorbs the energy of the coil, so little or no spark. Commonly a shorted turn will occur where the coil has arced internally - usually when the plug is disconnected - but the insulation can break down anyhow and at least cause a very weak or intermittent spark. Also, a coil can intermittently go open-circuit under operation and still check out OK on the bike under static conditions.

I still think that there may be a connection issue due to the voltage drop in part of the circuit where you would't expect this.


Superchuck

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 687
  • Karma: 0
Reply #20 on: September 12, 2018, 01:48:23 pm
Doesn't it seem likely that there's some sort of intermittent wiring short for the bike to go from no spark, to running, but poorly? 

Could be a wire where the copper part is broken within its rubberized housing.  It makes contact, but as the bike warms up and shakes around (as they're known to do) that wire is essentially disconnecting then connecting over and over again, sending mixed signals to the TCI, etc., thus the rocky idle and inevitable stall.

Just a hypothesis.  Definitely need to figure out what is sapping the voltage too.  My bet is on the ignition switch (key barrel). 

With the key on, remove the headlight and stick your multimeter into the back of the plastic connector at the bottom of the ignition switch.  Test voltage at each of the 2 wires here versus ground (bike frame).  If one is 14v and the other is 10v, your ignition switch is what's sapping your voltage.

There are also a few solder joints on the bottom of that ignition switch key barrel which I've heard can lead to an engine intermittently dying.  Remove the switch from the headlight casque and pry down the rubber boot. 

I watched a YouTube video of an Indian gentleman doing this to  resolder his contacts.  Not sure which one of these videos I watched, but apparently it's sometimes the culpret:

https://www.google.com/search?q=youtube+royal+enfield+ignition+switch&oq=YouTube&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j35i39j0l2.1423j0j7&client=ms-android-motorola-rev2&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8


DanB

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 748
  • Karma: 0
Reply #21 on: September 12, 2018, 04:38:21 pm
Happy to hear you got spark!

One other point to watch, there's a safety switch in thr clutch lever perch; if that connector is loose... no spark. I have mine zip tied as the connector housing fell apart.

Poor firing: try emptyimg the carb bowl. Water due to the humidity in fuel.
Suppose I were an idiot, and suppose I were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself. ... Mark Twain
2006 AVL Electra


REVirginia

  • 2009 AVL Deluxe
  • Neophyte
  • *
  • Posts: 33
  • Karma: 0
Reply #22 on: September 12, 2018, 05:54:06 pm
To all, thanks for all the recs. 

Dan, I was just fussing over that coupler a few weeks ago, how shoddy it looked. I'll look at it more closely.  That would be interesting.  The fuel is brand new from an empty tank/carb since last year when I moved cross country.  But if I eliminate the others, I'll give it a flush as well.

Superchuck, I have the same hypothesis about the TCI. I was giving it another shot, and either by coincidence or not, when I would pick up the TCI and move it around, the bike seemed to skip firings or die, and sometimes not, so it's an observational detail, no proof.  I'll pull out the ignition switch as you suggest. Though it's never given me a problem I'm aware, at this point I need to fine-tooth-comb it. 

As for the TCI, I'm just going to bite the bullet, pun intended, and order a new green one from our host.  I saw the ebay suzuki and the coil, but for $26, I just don't trust I'm getting parts that arrived off the boat vs off a used bike or back of a truck.  Hitchcocks Adrian sent a reply that they don't have an opinion technically on it, other than people have tried it. 
Tooseevee, I have the aftermarket "performance' TCI Hitchcocks was selling. The contacts for pulsar coil are one horizontal and one vertical as opposed to, I think, the green being both vertical, so would have to rewire at least that connector.  Can anyone tell me for pulsar coil is it GW on top and W on bottom or vice-versa for the green OEM TCI?

As Mick/mgm are saying, I guess it's worth the $40 to get a coil and replace it or keep it on hand if the wiring sleuthing (remember my tail light is out and unless it's simply burned out, the grey wire for it's operation goes where? The ammeter.), and the ignition check and the TCI and clutch housing...and whatever else I uncover.  Anyone have an opinion on coils? I saw Tooseevee you've got a pertronix on your 2008 per details on your bike and superchuck mentioned it.  Is that an endorsement by the forum? ha. Part number 45011?  Best way to mount that since it won't have native bike mounts?

I really hope it's not the pulsar coil doing anything. I'd rather not take off the chain case cover right now. No way to test that other than diagnosis by exclusion?

I have some work to do and parts to order. The ongoing wiring saga will be good fun if the high winds/rain keep me shut in the garage all weekend.

Again, thanks for all this advice. You all are A+.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2018, 06:07:27 pm by REVirginia »


Arizoni

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,003
  • Karma: 2
  • "But it's a dry heat here in Arizona
Reply #23 on: September 12, 2018, 06:46:52 pm
I think the reason the voltage between the spark plug boot connection and ground is only 10.8 volts is because the electricity has to pass thru the thousands of feet of fine "secondary" windings in the coil plus the spark plug boot might have a resister built into it.
(Most modern ones do).
All of that secondary winding wire will reduce the amount of electricity that gets thru it.

The fact that you have power at the spark plug boot does say power is getting to the coil which is good.

I have no idea about how your TCI works but some of them are set up to provide a path between the coil and the ground.
The controller should keep on providing this ground path for most of the crankshafts rotation.  This allows the primary windings to "power up", creating a strong magnetic field.
Then, when the piston is approaching TDC, the controller momentarily stops the connection to ground.
This causes the magnetic field to collapse which generates the 15,000 + volts in the coil secondary winding and fires the spark plug.

You might try checking the coil wire that goes to the TCI to see if there is any resistance.  I would expect to see very little.  Maybe 1ohms.  Then, check the resistance from that same coil to TCI wire to ground.  It should not have much if any resistance at all.

If there is a lot of resistance or there is no connection at all to ground I think the TCI, or its grounding might be the problem.

Before trashing the TCI, make sure its ground wire is really connected to ground.  If there is any corrosion between the TCI ground and the frame (or ground wire), it won't work correctly.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2018, 06:52:52 pm by Arizoni »
Jim
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary


tooseevee

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,626
  • Karma: 0
  • There Are No Truths Outside The Gates Of Eden
Reply #24 on: September 12, 2018, 08:50:01 pm

Tooseevee, I have the aftermarket "performance' TCI Hitchcocks was selling. The contacts for pulsar coil are one horizontal and one vertical as opposed to, I think, the green being both vertical, so would have to rewire at least that connector.  Can anyone tell me for pulsar coil is it GW on top and W on bottom or vice-versa for the green OEM TCI?


           As far as I know, the Hitchcocks Performance TCI is the Suzuki TCI.

            I've never changed anything Pulsar Coilwise when I switched from Black OEM TCI to the Green or when I switched from Green TCI to the experimental Suzuki TCI I ordered on Ebay. It Did Not Work (as I've said before) and I hooked the Green one back up. It has been perfect from the first day I put it in back in the early life of this bike.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2018, 08:52:59 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.


tooseevee

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,626
  • Karma: 0
  • There Are No Truths Outside The Gates Of Eden
Reply #25 on: September 12, 2018, 09:11:13 pm
Anyone have an opinion on coils? I saw Tooseevee you've got a pertronix on your 2008 per details on your bike and superchuck mentioned it.  Is that an endorsement by the forum? ha. Part number 45011?  Best way to mount that since it won't have native bike mounts?


         All I know is that it's just a damn good coil and Pertronix makes a whole line of damn good stuff. I've put them on bikes and cars since the '70s.

           Mine is mounted on the left side on the frame member where that 15 pounds of battery and battery holder used to be.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2018, 09:20:17 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.


Mick Bailey

  • Bulleteer
  • ***
  • Posts: 117
  • Karma: 0
Reply #26 on: September 13, 2018, 02:25:44 am
I think the reason the voltage between the spark plug boot connection and ground is only 10.8 volts is because the electricity has to pass thru the thousands of feet of fine "secondary" windings in the coil plus the spark plug boot might have a resister built into it.
(Most modern ones do).
All of that secondary winding wire will reduce the amount of electricity that gets thru it.

The secondary is isolated from the primary and there should not be DC present on the secondary. One end of the secondary winding is connected to ground, the other to the ignition lead. If there was any conection to the battery side this would mean that ignition voltage (30kv or more) would appear across the battery terminals.


Arizoni

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,003
  • Karma: 2
  • "But it's a dry heat here in Arizona
Reply #27 on: September 13, 2018, 04:47:01 pm
Right you are.  My mistake.

That being the case, if there is DC voltage showing on the spark plug wire it indicates an internal connection between the primary and the secondary coil.  Not good.
The coil should be replaced.
Jim
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary


REVirginia

  • 2009 AVL Deluxe
  • Neophyte
  • *
  • Posts: 33
  • Karma: 0
Reply #28 on: September 13, 2018, 06:51:47 pm
That seems like a good place to start. How do you all pick out a coil? Is the one I referenced adequate or does it matter much?


Mick Bailey

  • Bulleteer
  • ***
  • Posts: 117
  • Karma: 0
Reply #29 on: September 14, 2018, 03:05:23 am
The coil should be one intended for application with your specific TCI. The reason is that the dwell time is set by the TCI manufacturer for a particular coil type and resistance. Dwell is the period in milliseconds that the coil needs to establish its magnetic field (the older way of measurement is degrees). Too much dwell and the coil can overheat, too little and the coil will not operate effectively and produce a weakened spark. Oil-filled 'can' type coils are more forgiving than encapsulated types and have a wider range of dwell operation. However, an encapsulated coil can be made with a very short dwell time and this becomes important at higher RPM where the TCI has a very short time to get the timing pulse, calculate the spark position and charge the coil before firing it.

A primary-to-secondary short is unusual, as it's a particular failure mode that has to be eliminated from a coil design due to the possibility of completely destroying a vehicles electronics. The two sections are isolated with an insulating layer that's capable of withstanding the full energy of a spark without puncturing. I would double-check the reading that shows a DC voltage on your plug connection as this is such an unlikely failure. Not impossible, given how some manufacturers continually cheapen construction. I recently tested a whole box of Chinese-made Lucas copy relays that were causing a vehicle's wiring to burn out. The switching contacts were connected to the relay coil in every single one.