The BSA A7-A10 Forum

Technical => Lucas, Electrical, Ignition => Topic started by: GoldenFailure on 14.01. 2012 20:20

Title: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: GoldenFailure on 14.01. 2012 20:20
Hello. I'm sure this will be met with much booing and derision, but I cant/dont want to deal with magnetos, and am planning on swapping it out for the k2f magneto body replacement with a pazon ignition from Paul Goffs site.

My question is, what do I do with the auto advance mechanism (plunger golden flash) can I take it off and leave the fibre(?) gear in place, can it be locked in a certain place or is there a fixed replacement gear available?

I fitted a pazon to my bullet, but has anyone fitted one to their a10 who can offer any words of wisdom? I have searched older posts, plenty of mention of electronic ignition, but cant find anything specific about the auto advance gizmo, or details on the changeover.

Also, is the general consensus that an e3l dynamo can keep a 12v battery charged (obviously without halogens being on all the time) and what size (amp hour) battery would be a good idea?

Any input appreciated.
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: muskrat on 14.01. 2012 21:37
 G'day GF,
              A solid pinion is needed. I think Burton's have alloy ones for about 35pound. I haven't tried a Pazon but haven't heard any bad reports.
I run DVR2 to convert the 6 volt of the E3L to 12 volt. 4amp battery works for me.
Cheers
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: bsa-bill on 14.01. 2012 21:54
Hi GF
I fitted the same set up yours to my A10 project, so far I think it's great.

I bought a replacement manual pinion for min, an alloy one, IIRC it was from Lyfords but I'm sure other dealers also have them.

Fitting was fairly straight forward, only thing I can think of that might trip anyone up is the rotation of the magneto, the K2F is anticlockwise rotation, however the instructions for the Pazon refers to the rotation viewed from the other end of the magneto so you need to follow the timing instruction as for a clockwise rotation.
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: kiwipom on 14.01. 2012 22:45
hi guys, why do we need to replace the auto advance? as far as i was aware if engine is timed at fully advanced then when stopped ignition is retarded so making easied starting after which is thrown into the fully advanced position so where is the problem? please correct me if i have this wrong,cheers,Bob
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: trevinoz on 14.01. 2012 23:03
Bob,
              The theory is that the spark is gradually advanced according to the engine revs, being controlled by spring tension and bob weights, until full advance is reached at a pre determined range.
However, old age and wear will probably cause the unit to act as you surmised.
Electronic units control the advance by witch doctory.
If you leave an auto advance unit on an electronic system, the timing will be too retarded at start.
An easy fix is to tack weld the advance unit in a fixed position.

  Trev.
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: kiwipom on 15.01. 2012 04:00
hi guys/Trev, thanks for the explanation,so how much of a problem is starting with too much retarded ignition,cheers, Bob
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: terryk on 15.01. 2012 06:46
Hmmm look at all those wires. I am a fan of magnetos as long as they have been reconditioned. Magnetos have been very reliable to me over the years but can cause dramas if they haven't been overhauled.

Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: beezermacc on 15.01. 2012 08:48
I'm with terryk on this one, but I would be wouldn't I!? Maybe the debate magneto v electronic is a discussion for another thread.
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: Brian on 15.01. 2012 09:54
Right then, someone has to stick their neck out and get it chopped off so it may as well be me.

I'll take a maggy over any sort of electronic ignition any day. A full electronic set up may have a slight advantage with the advance curve but other than that a maggy is far superior.

Much more reliable. If your maggy is rebuilt properly it will work for years and is totally independant of any batteries, CVC units etc etc.

So there  *eek* *eek* *eek*
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: bsa-bill on 15.01. 2012 10:19
Quote
If your maggy is rebuilt properly

Ah well now there the rub ( as some bloke once said)
Yes I was reluctant to go off magneto, but I have had two refurbished ( at he same place) both of them work adequately on my Flash but both are equally unreliable at starting the higher compression Rocket.
There must be thousands of Rockets out there that start just fine on Magneto, but mine wont (my mates won't either) and I blame the magneto rebuild, somehow it is good enough for a Flash but not anything higher compression, there is a good article in last months Real Classic by PUB re- magnetos which might have a bearing on this, to do with a/r units where by retarding the spark you actualy weaken it somewhat ( past max flux) you guys that are experts can explain this better than I can. She found an old American Magneto where to retard it you turned the whole thing thereby preserving best spark.
 Faced with getting a refurbed Magneto refurbed again I plumped for electronic as the bike is for riding not showing, Electronic has to be switched on and off and needs a battery - agreed, I was concerned at the prospect of leaving it on and coming back to a flat battery, two things first you have to switch it off to stop the engine so no problem there unless you stall it, secong I did manage to switch it on and got distracted to other things, went back next day to find it still switched on but battery was fine over 12 volt.

I will at some point in the future have the magneto checked out at another place (tests that I have done would seem to point to use of condenser not fully up to spec), but to be honest starting has been transformed from cardiac testing black art to first or second kick.
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: beezermacc on 15.01. 2012 11:17
I suppose, as with any trade or profession, some people do a better job than others. Nearly all the magneto restorers use the same capacitor which seems to be utterly reliable in all K2F applications. You may not be able to see what capacitor you have if it has been potted into the armature. I have a RGS lookalike and my mate has a Super Rocket and they start fine. The manual adv/ret is an issue though. If you fully retard it you will weaken your spark. The trick is to fit both! (manual cam ring housing and auto ATD). This means you don't have to manually retard the ignition when starting as the ATD takes care of that, preserving the position of maximum flux in the magneto. Then with the manual adv/ret you can retard it slightly on the lever if you encounter pinking under load.
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: GoldenFailure on 15.01. 2012 20:29
Hi all.

Many thanks to Muskrat and BSA Bill for the advice, thats just what I needed to know, cheers!

Shame about the inevitable descent into arguing the case for magnetos, I love electronic ignition, 36,000 miles of perfect starting and running on the bullet, to me they make old bikes into practical forms of everyday transport, but I would never consider dropping into a thread started by someone wanting help to fix their magneto and proudly declare that electronic ignition is far superior.

I know I'm new on here, and I think this forum is brilliant, people seem smarter and friendlier than on the couple of other forums I've used, but why this constant railing against positive technology? Ive read posts on this forum where people have said "If you want electronic ignition, buy a modern bike" presumably because of maintaining originality and the experiance of riding an old bike, but when these bikes were new, the owners probably read books, talked to people wiser than themselves, and cogitated over problems to keep their bikes running, all healthy pastimes, but longwinded. Surely spannering with the help of multiple sources of experiance at the other end of a forum is a good use of non original technology meaning we can spend more time riding, just like electronic ignition.

Just my opinion, mind.
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: bsa-bill on 15.01. 2012 21:22
 Hi Golden Failure

Quote
Shame about the inevitable descent into arguing the case for magnetos,

yep but all are entitled to their opinion, we do manage to debate stuff without arguing most of the time, I can see both sides and would not fit electronic to my Flash which is pretty stock and entered into shows, but my Rocket Gold Flash is for riding in today's traffic often to work so has indicators , modern sticky tyres and 12 volt electrics, if others think this is something to argue about well - life's to short
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: Brian on 15.01. 2012 22:06
I think discussion about the various things that we can or choose to fit to our bikes is a good thing, it would be very boring if we all did exactly the same with our bikes.

This is why this forum is so good, it gives us all the chance to read about what others have done with their bikes and what works and what doesnt.

"If you want electronic ignition, buy a modern bike" I have to say to a certain degree I agree with this comment. I'm not against modifications that improve the running or reliablity of our bikes but I cant see the reason to replace something with an object that may (or may not) be inferior. The large majority of A10's still being ridden today and that do the most mileage are still running magneto's. Now by all means fit electronic ignition to your bike if that is what you choose and I hope it works well for you  as I like to see the bikes being ridden but be aware that your bikes electrics, ignition and all lighting is now 100% dependant on the generater and charging system, remember modern bikes have high output alternaters, not a 60 year old 60w generater. If you have a crook battery, forget to turn the lights off or even have something as simple as a blown fuse, you will walk home.

I've been riding bikes with magneto's for 40 years now and have only ever had one failure and that was my fault. I restored a Tr***ph and didnt get the armature rewound, it melted and "glued" itself firmly in the body, took some getting out. Ever since then whenever I buy a bike or restore one I always get the maggy rewound, even if the bike is freshly restored and comes with receipts for a maggy overhaul I pull the maggy off and get the armature done.

If there is anything that can be considerd a"trick" with magneto's its finding someone who can rebuild them properly. There are a lot of magneto specialist's out there that are no good so to anyone considering getting theit magneto overhauled do some homework, find someone who has a sound reputation and offers warranty on their work.

GoldernFailure if you choose to fit electronic ignition I hope it works well for you, I certainly want you to have a bike that runs well but it is not a "magic bullet", it will not transform your bike and cure all problems. If you have problems with carburettion or any mechanical issues they will still be there.
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: muskrat on 16.01. 2012 08:42
 Yep Brian has full merit in what he says. *yeah*
But I'm on the other side of the fence. i have elect ign on all 3 BSA's and luv it. One day I'll put the '51 back to std with a magie. I prefer go to show so will do almost anything *work* to keep'em going.
Cheers
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: groily on 16.01. 2012 14:39
I guess I'm on both sides of this fence too, having bikes with mags (which I wouldn't ever change) and bikes which could have mags, but don't, as they have Boyer Bransden systems. But they also have upgraded alternators and modern regulator/rectifiers, which is to me a rather important consideration, and the largest possible 12v batteries just in case!
I've had limited trouble with mags generally over the years, barring one which failed in short order after a rebuild on my A which I mentuioned here a good while back. Like Brian, I have a boring tendency to re-do all new-to-me mags on site before they go outside this parish as my memsahib doesn't like hitching up a trailer. But even then there can be issues.
Without wishing to push anything improperly, for a bit of a discussion on capacitors and options, some folk might find a look at some of the analysis on a website I and a mate have been (still are) working on for a few months, at www.brightsparkmagnetos.com
What we've been trying to do, apart from invent a way of putting capacitors in a sensible place, is to get a good handle on what actually happens in a magneto. Because it's a heck of a lot more complicated than it sometimes appears!
I would slightly disagree about most restorers using the same capacitors, though, as I've got a dozen different ones on the bench from recently sorted mags from all over the place, as well as Lucas ones! The most commonly-used are probably Evox Rifa PME271 (or 261) series, rated 250Vac (they are mains suppressors really) but there are lots of others out there, often usd doubled-up in parallel. The all-important voltage ratings vary enormously, and resistance to fusing, capacitance and dielectric materials used vary considerably too. Capacitance varies routinely from 100nF to over 300nF, on the samples we have looked at. It's a bit anoraky, but some here may find it of interest!
Ah well, sun's out, time for a blast.
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: bsa-bill on 16.01. 2012 17:25
had a quick deek at your site groily, look forward to reading more when time allows.
as my spare maggie is apart would be a good chance to try your thing out.
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: groily on 16.01. 2012 18:08
I've sent you a PM Bill as don't want to sully the purity of the forum with 'trade' and get my much-rapped knuckles broken. But thought the link might be interesting in the context of this discussion. Cheers!
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: chaterlea25 on 16.01. 2012 22:46
Hi Groily,
On the subject of capacitors, have you come across the studies and testing done by Prof Charles Falco in the USA?
Charles is the head of the Physics department in University of Arizona and a BSA fan to boot
Quite often he comes to Ireland to ride in the Irish National Vintage Assembly
To cut a long story short !!
He recommends  fitting a pair of Panasonic 0.082 micro farad polypropylene film capacitors
pt number , ECQ-P4823JU
wired in parallel these will give 0.16 micro farad

Cheers
John O R
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: groily on 17.01. 2012 10:51
Thanks John. I have heard of him but not had any contact so far. One to make a note of certainly.
Nor have we yet come aross a pair of those caps (or not marked as such). I do have a paired set of red polyprop caps I took out of a failed K2F on a Speed Twin for a mate here in France, they could have been similar but there were no markings. It is surprising how many caps have their markings rubbed off, possibly as folk try to protect their know-how! Some restorers just won't reveal what they use or sell caps to third parties, and it's a bore having to strip an armature to find out and measure the darn things!
We'll have a look at the panasonics on the www, thanks for the part number.
One thing I would say is that there is a lot of ime spent on discussions about nFs, but perhaps not enough on voltage ratings. LT voltage spikes can be surprisingly high. A lot of caps in use are primarily designed as mains suppressors so are rated '250Vac' or 275. Cheap as chips, and they serve well for what they are (mostly). While all nF ranges from 100 up to way over 300 work on a mag, as I now know having chopped and changed and modified one or other of my mule bikes umpteen times, inadequate voltage rating is a guaranteed failure over time, and often not very much time. As is inability to handle current, the old dv/dt thing.

Our primary object, however, has been to get the capacitor somewhere where we can get at it so we can treat it as a routine service item, just like with a rotating magnet instrument - or a Kettering ignition system for that matter. Because the simple fact is that no cap will last for ever on magneto duty, and it's a PITA to have to have a degree in archaeology to swap the things out!
Cheers and thanks again John.

PS just had a look on Digi-Key's site. None available, but rated 400Vdc and similar to look at to the things Independent Ignition Supplies sell in the UK, which I've used in the past. They're about 500vdc I think from memory. I dug similar to the panasonics out of a duff French magdyno in fact while trying to help a mate, as one of the French restorers uses something like. They do require careful potting though, as the wired ends are fragile in the environment we're discussing.
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: chaterlea25 on 17.01. 2012 13:44
Hi Groily,
I had a quick peep at your website, neat idea!!
If you send me a PM I can forward Prof Falco's article to you

Cheers
John O R
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: Triton Thrasher on 17.01. 2012 17:58

Yes I was reluctant to go off magneto, but I have had two refurbished ( at he same place) both of them work adequately on my Flash but both are equally unreliable at starting the higher compression Rocket.
There must be thousands of Rockets out there that start just fine on Magneto, but mine wont (my mates won't either) and I blame the magneto rebuild, somehow it is good enough for a Flash but not anything higher compression, there is a good article in last months Real Classic by PUB re- magnetos which might have a bearing on this, to do with a/r units where by retarding the spark you actualy weaken it somewhat ( past max flux) you guys that are experts can explain this better than I can.


How did the Rocket start with a magneto, if you didn't retard the spark, or only retarded it a very little?
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: bsa-bill on 17.01. 2012 20:15
It is a flash brought up to Rocket spec, retard was via a/r unit.
it now starts every time first /second kick, the only difference is the Pazon ignition.
Contrary to the impression given by other forum members I am not anti magneto, far from it, I intend to get the magneto tested to find out what is up with it, I would love to have the bike refitted with the magneto provided it would be as reliable as it should be.
I know it is difficult at times to get the intended meaning in a mail, but it would help if some members were a little less apt to jump to unfounded conclusions
(yeh ok I do it myself at times)
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: GoldenFailure on 19.01. 2012 12:35
Hello all. Yesterday I fitted my magneto body replacement for electronic ignition, and the aluminium solid timing pinion from Lyfords as suggested by BSA Bill, but the gear stands proud of the next pinion when fitted, so only half the depth of the teeth are engaging. Initially I thought it was the gear, but now I'm wondering if it might be the Mag body replacement tapered shaft protruding further into the timing side case than the mag shaft did. Has anyone had similar problems who could make a suggestion? My only ideas so far are make a triangular spacer to move the whole body backwards, but then the locating flange will be lost making for imprecise gear meshing or to just ignore it, as its only spinning a metal wheel for the electronic ignition, not a heavier mag armature, and therefore needs less tooth contact?

All thoughts appreciated.
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: bsa-bill on 19.01. 2012 18:13
Should look like this Goldenfailure, ends up about flush with the outside of the cam pinion.
Take no notice of the two holes in the pinion as these I added to make removal easier, although as you will have noticed there is an internal thread in the pinion to take a stud for removal. (it's metric)
 Do you have the pinion on the right way around I wonder ?
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: muskrat on 19.01. 2012 19:13
 G'day GF,
              both of mine sit proud, both been on for quite a few years with no probs.
Cheers
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: alanp on 19.01. 2012 19:47
Leave it. I've done over 1000 miles of mixed (!) riding with mine like yours and I checked it a week or so back and there wasn't any discernable wear to be seen. I recall it's on a taper and whenever tapers are involved things will be a bit variable in location since small'ish dimensional errors make large differences axially. It's kinda what you expect these days.
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: GoldenFailure on 19.01. 2012 23:15
Hi

BSA Bill, yep, on the right way round (should I be insulted?! :D ) Interesting that yours fit correctly and Muskrats and alanps dont. Yes, I guessed the two extra holes were your idea for easier extraction, I was tempted to do that myself after seeing your picture, but laziness got the better of me!

Thanks Muskrat and alanp for putting my mind at ease, I wasn't relishing yet another technical problem!

Cheers
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: muskrat on 20.01. 2012 09:15
 Got home from work early so thought I'd start up a few bikes. 4 out of 4 started first kick. 3 BSA's with Boyer and the XT with points. Life's good.
Cheers
Title: Re: Electronic Ignition, Auto advance, and pinions.
Post by: bsa-bill on 20.01. 2012 09:36
Quote
(should I be insulted?! Cheesy )

Yes I did think it was a bit silly when I mailed it, just I had to have a couple of looks at mine when it arrived *doh*.
Mine was quite a tight mesh with the cam pinion. also found the long magneto fixing nut was too thick to work so fiddled with an ordinary nut to get it on, slimming down the long nut definitely a job for another day.
added a couple of photos that might help