Author Topic: Help ignition points issue  (Read 622 times)

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Karl Fenn

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Reply #15 on: March 26, 2021, 12:04:14 am
It was a C15 with the mushroom comming out of right crank case, late 50s bike, there was a clamp that holds it but over time the thread had vibrated out, it just keep moving causing starting issues, l set the timing made some punch marks then transfered these to the outside case, cleaned all the oil off then set the timing by the dots, after loctiting the inner sleave, l had to be at work the next day to unload tons and tons of cans so l had to think on my feet, but in saying that it lasted two years until l decommissioned the bike.


Willbrunei

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Reply #16 on: March 26, 2021, 01:29:15 am
Thanks all
I used a little blob of high temp epoxy - it has done the trick

Now

Timing was hard to set as I had no spare adjustment On the plate.

Stupidly, I took the cam plate off without marking it!

Now I need a method for putting the can plate on in the right place.

Question: do I need the start or end of the flat cam section
Under the points heel at the 0.8mm firing point?
Can I set the piston to 0.8mm btdc with the points gapped properly and then rotate the cam to the right place and lock it it?


Question 2

The cam plate is worn as down in the pic. Before I order a new one and a new points plate,
 what are the views here on the Boyer bransden electronic ignition from Hitchcocks?
« Last Edit: March 26, 2021, 02:22:47 am by Willbrunei »
So far I have: removed electric start, removed panniers and crash bars, fitted Lycette seat and short silencer, rejetted carb, fitted pancake filter, rebuilt kickstart mechanism, replaced snapped clutch cable, fitted Lucas stop light, fixed headlight short ....


AzCal Retred

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Reply #17 on: March 26, 2021, 05:39:12 am
Spark happens when the points crack open. The point gap determines the coil saturation time available at higher RPM.

Compromising the gap a bit from the recommended 0.014" - 0.016" won't break anything and provides additional timing adjustment.

The cam plate indexing involves a bit of guesswork. Try your idea, sounds good to me, that's what I'd probably do. Close is good. Rotate the engine a few times & recheck timing. Ideally you'd want to end up with the gap within spec and the points plate centered within the adjustment ovals.

My take is to keep this machine as points/coil. Adding electronic ignition creates a tech-dependent black box. The Boyer is a great piece, but one of the attractions of the Bullet is the "side of the road" repairability. Points don't give much trouble, normally a bit of cleaning & adjustment every few months. A 5,000 uF cap will get you going if your battery dies and you still have points. Most electronics like steady voltage to work their magic, I don't know if the Boyer runs cap-only, maybe Adrian does. The Boyer doesn't add performance unless you add some pricey engine speed bits also. Being distributor mounted & driven, it'll still have the same gear backlash slop as your points. Crank-triggered is the only way past that.
I'd leave the old girl stock - very little happens on the Bullet that you can't physically see the problem. Finding no or bad spark on the Boyer means you'd better have a second Boyer in a box somewhere. You saw the problem with your points...which is the very reason we like these old dinosaurs.

A brace of 1999 Bullets: 1 Red Deluxe, 1 Green Standard. Also, 1 wee orphan 1956 Fire Arrow project.


Paul W

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Reply #18 on: March 26, 2021, 10:45:22 am
As an alternative view, over a period of many years I eventually lost confidence in points ignition. Not because the points themselves are unreliable, but I found that condensers were and one doesn’t work for long without the other.

I’ve had Japanese ones fail as well as European, certainly not just one manufacturer (although tbh, Joe Lucas’ products were involved in quite a few breakdowns I’ve suffered).

I got into modifying mechanical advance mechanisms in distributors to suit other engine mods I did and was eventually buying three condensers at once in the hope of buying one that actually worked out of the box. Some were so bad that the points lasted only one journey.

I replaced the points with an Aldon Ignitor (sold as Pertronix in USA) which did away with points and distributor and never had a single problem after that.

I also tried an Aldon “Amethyst” electronic advance which does away with mechanical advance altogether. The distributor is locked and the advance is programmed electronically via a laptop. It also allows vacuum advance. It would probably work on a Bullet.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2021, 10:51:26 am by Paul W »
Paul W.


Adrian II

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Reply #19 on: March 26, 2021, 12:42:22 pm
Quote
Question 2

The cam plate is worn as down in the pic. Before I order a new one and a new points plate,
 what are the views here on the Boyer bransden electronic ignition from Hitchcocks?

As you will have read from Bullet Whisperer's and AzCal's comments there are some advantages for sticking with points, while a good electronic system has other advantages.

If you do want to go down the Electronic ignition route, I have had both Boyer AND Pazon systems and I would stick with Pazon now. As for using a Boyer in a battery-less system, the old Mk3 Boyer and battery-less wasn't always a happy mix, their Mk4 might be more tolerant of lower starting voltages as it claims to be.

Here's the crank-mounted alternative from Electrex World, as I mentioned the output for lights etc isn't that great (LED bulb replacements would help), I don't think there would be enough output to keep the battery charged for the electric start (can't remember if yours still has one or not).

https://www.electrexworld.co.uk/cgi-bin/sh000001.pl?WD=enfield%20royal&PN=STK%2d100D%2ehtml#SID=826

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


Karl Fenn

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Reply #20 on: March 26, 2021, 12:49:53 pm
Well epoxy or loctite worked l was surprised it lasted 2 years, my only option would have been to strip it, l did not fancy working all night and then having an early start so l put is on the back burner until l had free time, but the loctite held it so l did not bother, it was only my everyday work bike but needed it all the same, had quite away to travel at very unusual hours and was also on notice to due any extra hours if there was any staff shortages, that's one of the bad points about being a driver when you are shifting high value goods you can't take any time out, have to be there every day 360 a year, of course that epoxy will hold it they do not need be very tight as long as you cleaned the oil off and gave metal a clean, if you want to use an incorrect back plate and want to drill new ones or holes line up or you can use a small round file to extend the slots this gives you more range to set timing.


Karl Fenn

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Reply #21 on: March 26, 2021, 01:11:11 pm
Well electronic ignition might be more reliable fit and forget, the thing about the timing you got your figures right TDC 0.8 BTDC you can use a fag paper slide it in between points it will be tight, move plate until it just moves firmly lock back plate, just like a feeler gauge, the bike will run even with the timing out, if it kicks back to far advanced, it's not that difficult or you may wish to use light l never have. A TDC gauge is very handy l in fact recently bought a new one because when l looked at my old one it had its chips, mind you about 45 years old. Some electronic ignition units have an LED signal that tells you when it fires.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2021, 01:17:53 pm by Karl Fenn »


AzCal Retred

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Reply #22 on: March 26, 2021, 04:00:15 pm
Search "ignition condenser", $3 tp $12 depending on the glitz factor. Cap failures haven't been my experience. It also makes things a lot easier if you put the cap near the coil. It's easier to access, de-clutters the points area, it doesn't get baked or vibrated as much, and absolutely doesn't care electrically. Keep things simple on your dinosaur. It's pretty fool-proof to carry points & condenser on a trip; basically the entire ignition system in the palm of your hand for $30, IF you even should ever need them.

I had to detail out the points maybe once each on my machines, made sure the wiper felt touched the point cam and had a bit of oil on it, verify the advance unit worked smoothly, then moved the condenser up by the coil away from engine heat. On one the factory felt had dissolved, so a scrap of wool sock and a bit of needle-nose pliers work and she was better than new with a custom merino wool wiper. After that, other that peeking in periodically to see that all looked clean, no humidity, boogers, oil or grease on the points it's been smooth sailing.

There are an unlimited number of machines out there that have been designed & built long after these dinosaurs were thought into existence in the 1940's. They presently sport appliance like reliability, svelte handling, real brakes, more than adequate  power, tubeless tyres, real electrics, EFI, ad nauseum. They are unquestionably better at reliably carrying you about, as well they should be, having the benefit of an additional 60 years of engineering behind them. The average modern 250 has more zip than these old girls, and they are mostly just gas 'n go for at least 60,000, maybe even 100,000 miles with regular oil & filter changes.

The Bullet gives you an affordable opportunity to really see for yourself what it was actually like to be a rider in the '40's & '50's. These guys rode everywhere, in practically all weather & terrain, and did it with the tech of their time. We've all read about the globe spanning trips that have been made in years past on essentially the exact same machine found in your garage. It works well enough, but does demand more of the pilot. Unless you are building a high performance race engine, points are good enough and maintain the '40's motorcycle experience.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2021, 04:03:14 pm by AzCal Retred »
A brace of 1999 Bullets: 1 Red Deluxe, 1 Green Standard. Also, 1 wee orphan 1956 Fire Arrow project.


Karl Fenn

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Reply #23 on: March 26, 2021, 05:17:36 pm
But l liked my C15 not fast l admitt but would cruise at 60, you could rebuild the whole ignition system for about 25 at the time including the coil and Plug, some of those are still around today on the original engines, a great second bike for work, you could buy one at that time for just over a week and a halves wages. A fun little bike good on fuel and handled well, but mind you l was looking at electronic ignition today and they start up on full advance no bob weights or springs so you might get the odd kick back, l think it to better to keep the bike as it was intended l never twigged that.


Paul W

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Reply #24 on: March 26, 2021, 05:53:15 pm
The TCI on my iron Bullet Electra seems to work as advertised so the days of worry about points on this particular bike are non existent. I have taken the precaution of buying a spare stator and sensor assembly and a TCI module. Apart from those, there is only a magneto/genny flywheel and a standard coil to replace.

I’m still ok to deal with points ignition if I really had to...subject to ongoing proven reliability, of course.  ;)
Paul W.


Karl Fenn

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Reply #25 on: March 26, 2021, 07:11:46 pm
Well it's really simple to rebuild it from tip to toe, the condenser can be an issue causing premature arcs and pitting but l have had them last over 20000 before l changed points, fitting a new condenser is not that common and they are dirt cheap, as l remember back in the day you could buy new back plate and points for about £8.


Paul W

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Reply #26 on: March 26, 2021, 08:05:42 pm
Karl, who was your reply intended for?
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Karl Fenn

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Reply #27 on: March 27, 2021, 01:44:09 pm
Anyone interested in points and ignition.


Bullet Whisperer

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Reply #28 on: March 27, 2021, 01:49:29 pm
Anyone interested in points and ignition.
Yes, swear by them myself. Even my Trident still has three sets of points in it.
 B.W.

 https://youtu.be/HD5YSOnFc7M


Willbrunei

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Reply #29 on: April 09, 2021, 04:51:41 am
Quick update on this from me.

The epoxy has held for a couple of longish rides so that seems fine.

I was able to successfully set the timing by the method I suggested by setting the points gap, mounting the plate over the auto advance, manually setting the position of the cam and then tightening everything up.

I initially was using a 45 quid dial guage and adapter but it was such a PITA that I reverted to the indian made timing tool with the big splodgy markings on it. I was able to set TDC and approximate 0.8mm TDC so much quicker with this than the flailing needle of the dial guage. I guess trying to be too accurate on these od dinos is a waste of time (and money).

Anyway, it started and as I said, ran well and doesnt pink. (untill the clang from the gearbox - but that is a different thread)

I have also decidd to stick with points as they are the right thing for this bike and the reason I have it is for the "analog" experience - the less electrickery the better.
So far I have: removed electric start, removed panniers and crash bars, fitted Lycette seat and short silencer, rejetted carb, fitted pancake filter, rebuilt kickstart mechanism, replaced snapped clutch cable, fitted Lucas stop light, fixed headlight short ....