Author Topic: How I solved my starting woes  (Read 998 times)

Offline maxwelton

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How I solved my starting woes
« on: 10.08. 2009 06:29 »
I have not put all that many miles on my A10 since restoration because it was a bear, I mean an absolute bear, to start except when stone cold, and even then it took a bit of exercise. I had the mag professionally rebuilt, including a new armature, and it was a bit better, but not enough to make the bike rideable. I mean, once started it was fine to ride, but you had better get all your riding done without letting it die. I even resorted to filling it from a jerry can at home as there was almost no way it would restart at a filling station.

Recently I was talking to an old British bike mechanic about my woes and he asked me how my bike was set up.

"Well, K2F, rebuilt by Doug Wood..." says I.

"Doug builds a good mag."

"OK, then I've got standard plugs, and the engine is timed to the book. Maybe its my carb."

"What carb do you have?"

"One of the repro 276 Amals. I have a hard time getting it to idle right."

"Does it run OK on the road?"

"Yeah, bike runs fine on the road, just need to fettle the idling."

"It's probably not the carb. Tell me about your plug wires, are they resistor?"

"Nope, copper."


"I have Champion bow-tie caps."

"That's your problem."


"Those caps are junk for use with a mag. They have too much resistance...for a mag, you can't have any resistance in the circuit. Throw them out. Go down to the local car parts place and buy the cheap caps for 50 cents--the kind that are a simple metal clip which is crimped onto the wire. Put them on, and let me know."

I was incredibly resistant to this, for reasons unknown. Maybe aesthetics, or some other stupid reason. In any case, I did, with reluctance, pull the Champion caps off and replaced them with the cheapies from the parts store.

The difference is unbelievable. The bike is now a first kick starter at any temperature. I used to literally have to kick ten or twenty times and sometimes simply not succeed unless the bike was stone cold. Worst was lukewarm...if I let it die while it was warming up, I might as well have put my helmet away and do some yard work. Now it will fire right back up.

I cannot tell you how much I love this bike now, both as an object to be admired AND as a bike to ride. I've ridden more in the past two weeks than I have in the past three years.

I just thought I'd pass this along in case you can learn from my mistake!
1954 Golden Flash, Plunger
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Offline LJ.

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Re: How I solved my starting woes
« Reply #1 on: 10.08. 2009 08:54 »
Fantastic story thanks for taking your time to write this out... It just goes to show that the simplest stupid little thing can make such great bikes pigs to start and run! Brilliant.
Ride Safely Lads! LJ.
1940 BSA M20 500cc Girder/Rigid- (SOLD)
1947 BSA M21 600cc Girder/Rigid-Green
1949 BSA A7   500cc Girder/Plunger Star Twin-(SOLD)
1953 BSA B33  500cc Teles/Plunger-Maroon
1961 BSA A10  650cc Golden Flash-Blue
1961 BSA A10  650cc Golden Flash-Red

Offline a10gf

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Re: How I solved my starting woes
« Reply #2 on: 10.08. 2009 22:57 »
Good story!

Very relevant: a Haynes statement (Ignition system, p86): "The caps contain the supressors...", could lead to some buying or continue using some caps their magneto does not like.

A10 GF '53 My A10 website
"Success only gets you a ticket to a much more difficult task"

Online Triton Thrasher

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Re: How I solved my starting woes
« Reply #3 on: 10.08. 2009 23:57 »
My mag works the same, supressor caps or not.