Author Topic: . Points or electronic ignition??  (Read 4980 times)

Offline The_Beast

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. Points or electronic ignition??
« on: 19.08. 2008 19:15 »
Hi Everyone. This is my first post so please be a little forgiving. i have a 1958 650cc gold flash.  I am thinking of changing to electronic ignition for reliability. Any ideas on which is the best way to do the conversion. It has already been converted to 12v so will i need 2 x 12v ignition coils or 2 x 6v wired series or parallel. And do i need one of these (picture) as well as a kit like the Boyer Bransden Triumph/BSA Electronic Ignition. Thanks.

Offline LJ.

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Re: . Points or electronic ignition??
« Reply #1 on: 20.08. 2008 11:25 »
Hi Beast! Welcome along to the forum... Now all this Electronicky stuff I really have to ask... Why ???? A well set up magneto is just as good if not more reliable than all the electronic gadgets. Even my 6 volt halogen lighting system is... Good *ex* What we are looking at in the photo you hosted is something that is not cheap and my personal feeling is that we are slowly getting away from the classicness of our motorcycles. Anyway if you do go ahead with it.... I'd be interested in your maggie.  *smile*
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 tombeau

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Re: . Points or electronic ignition??
« Reply #2 on: 20.08. 2008 12:04 »
Hello Beast,
Good to have you here.
I have to agree with LJ, magnetos are a good thing. You say that you now have a 12 volt system. Is it an Alton alternator? or is it a 6 volt dynamo converted to 12 volts?

 I've had quite bad luck with dynamos in the past myself, and have always been a bit wary of an ignition system that expects a dynamo designed only to power lighting and charge a battery, to also provide a spark for the engine.

It was a fair number of years ago that I had a 12 volt conversion dynamo, but the thing really needed to be revved hard to charge the battery, and that was just using it to power lights! I regretted getting it converted to 12 volts, but not as much as I regretted not buying an Alton at the time,

Cheers,
Tombeau

Offline fido

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Re: . Points or electronic ignition??
« Reply #3 on: 20.08. 2008 12:49 »
I would agree that you are best to stick with the magneto unless the electronic setup can generate it's own power or your bike has an alternator.

Online groily

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Re: . Points or electronic ignition??
« Reply #4 on: 20.08. 2008 13:21 »
Hi Beast and welcome,
Agree with LJ and Tombeau (and fido who was typing at same time) on this. Nothing intrinsically wrong with magnetos, lots wrong with dependence on dynamo for getting home! However, I think the new 'BTH'  independent spark generator might be a sensible route if you haven't got a good mag, although pricier than most options (were when I last looked at them, anyway). If you went that route I'd be interested to hear what you find. Personally, I'm staying with mags on those of my bikes that have 'em, and I wish the ones that hadn't, had!
Bill

Online Brian

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Re: . Points or electronic ignition??
« Reply #5 on: 21.08. 2008 05:54 »
As above. Stick with the maggy. Also I have to agree with LJ on this, while I am not against sensible improvements if you want electronic ignition buy a modern bike. Provided the maggy is good it will be totally reliable so all you would be doing is spending money on something that will not make any real difference.

Offline The_Beast

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Points or electronic ignition??
« Reply #6 on: 21.08. 2008 15:46 »
Thanks for all your input. I think the general consensus is to keep the maggi and to reject any form of new electronic gadgetry. The main reason i asked was it has been an era since i had a vehicle with points and condenser and remembering the hours sat at the side of the road, usually in the rain adjusting or changing points or condenser. I do have a 12v system and it is a 6v dynamo or so it says on the side. and as tombeau says my bike also needs a little thrash to get the thing to charge. So i will be staying for the foreseeable future with the original setup thanks all *smiley4*

Online groily

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Re: . Points or electronic ignition??
« Reply #7 on: 21.08. 2008 17:27 »
Well, keep the mag anyway Beast! Great decision! Some electronickery is darn useful and I suspect you have some already . . .
 
Re the dynamo saying '6volt' - it will say that because they all were, originally. Thing is, they can be converted to operate at 12volt by changing the regulator, and in some cases making some simple changes to the internal wiring of the dynamo's field coil and brushes to suit the way the regulator works. An E3L dynamo is quite capable of producing enough to keep a 12v system charged up. What comes out of the D terminal depends on what is fed into it at the F(ield coil) terminal. The regulator sees to it that what goes into F is what's required to deliver enough output from D to support the immediate load on the battery. The associated 'cut-out' makes sure nothing goes into F when the engine's stopped or the revs are so low that the dynamo is producing less voltage than the battery already has. If that wasn't there, the battery would try to drive the dynamo like a little electric motor. Which it could on the bench, but not when connected to all 650cc's of BSA's finest. So the dynamo would get hot, maybe fry, and the bike too maybe. Gulp.
 
Some solid state regulators/cut-outs seem to require a handful of throttle to get them to start up, others are better. I've had both. But no matter - you've got a system, and it works . . . . if it ain't broke, etc.

Re changing points and condensers at the side of the road . . . Have No Fear. Seriously. The points gap will need a minor adjustment/clean now and again, and very occasionally the HT pick-ups at the bottom of the plug leads need a bit of tlc. But they really are extremely reliable and require little more than that, absent some other problem. If you're in doubt as the state of your mag, see other threads here on getting them fixed - there are several good people out there who can sort you out at reasonable prices - less, certainly, than any of the electronic options. A good one will last for years and years with just routine care. Tired ones often work even when they're in extremis. They're amazing things.

Having said that, I would say that if you have the standard Gold Flash set-up with the Automatic Timing Device, so-called, to control the advance and retard of the spark, it is worth closely inspecting the fibre pinion that turns the magneto and carries this device. Every time you have the outer timing cover off. The pinions do wear, and eventually the teeth can wear down to nothing, like the incisors on an old dog. . . .  Roadside tinkering won't help then, and there's no way home apart from buying a bus ticket. Except it's the middle of the night, raining of course as you say, and bus services were probably abolished when Noah was an apprentice boat-builder.
Bill

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Re: . Points or electronic ignition??
« Reply #8 on: 21.08. 2008 21:20 »
The mag pinion needs to be re-positioned every now & again as it wears in the same spot due to the magneto flux, which causeS wear to the teeth resulting in failure. Best bet is to fit alloy type but it will still wear in the same spot if not rotated. As for electric ign, I would stick to magneto. G/F DAVE

Online groily

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Re: . Points or electronic ignition??
« Reply #9 on: 21.08. 2008 23:15 »
that's a v good point g/f dave . . . s'pose I'll have to shift the darn ali pinion I've got in there now from time to time. But it must be tougher than the original thing made out of dried banana skin and copydex . . .
Bill

Offline A10Boy

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Re: . Points or electronic ignition??
« Reply #10 on: 22.08. 2008 11:32 »
Magnetos dont pack up when the battery goes flat - and it will..

Stick with the mag.
Regards

Andy

1960 A10 - Black Golden Flash
Plus
1974 Kawasaki Z1a
Yam XJR 1300

Offline LJ.

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Re: . Points or electronic ignition??
« Reply #11 on: 22.08. 2008 11:58 »
A darn good post back there Groily! Nice reading...

So... Why fibre pinions and not alloys in the first place? Can't remember if this was discussed before although I remember you went into depth about making one and fitting one.
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

Online groily

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Re: . Points or electronic ignition??
« Reply #12 on: 22.08. 2008 18:24 »
It was just that I was peed off to lose the teeth on my fibre pinion in the snow earlier this year LJ. My boots were full of melt, I was freezing cold and lunch was well down the dog. And it took the memsahib an hour to find me, plus it was darn hard getting a whole A10 into a Renault Scenic with a wife and 2 dogs in it.
So in a fit of pique, and having lost the teeth on another one years and years ago in similar circs, I got 2 ali pinions from SRM. One of which I fitted straight away along with a different, manual, mag end cover, cable and cam ring. Not before machining out the cycle thread self-extract thread on the pinion first, mind you, and cutting a WW one and making an extractor to match -  more appropriate for alloy. The other pinion I re-machined to make an Ali-ATD unit which is still sitting around. Despite having got a bit hung up on the old tekkie-stuff about max flux etc and the virtues of the ATD vs the manual A/R - in theory the atd is better as the mag always delivers at correct armature position etc etc ad nauseam - I'm really VERY happy with it as a manual and think I'll leave it this way.
I made the ATD-on-ali-thingy just to see whether it was reasonably do-able - which it is. It also incorporates a far tougher self-extraction device using internal metal-to-metal shoulders rather than the silly lh thread, which on my original one was nearly dead and imho not surprising. There's a pic of it somewhere hereabouts.
As to 'why fibre?' - I just have no idea beyond the thought that the teeth would break before anything else in the event of a seizure. But other manufacturers are with me, and preferrred metal.
Bill

Offline octane

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Re: Points or electronic ignition??
« Reply #13 on: 24.08. 2008 13:19 »
Thanks for all your input. I think the general consensus is to keep the maggi

Hi Beast, don't know if you're in the process of rebuildingy our bike
so you may have removed the mag, but IF you want to check if it's OK
here's a link to a little HowToCheckYourMag I did in another forum:

CLICK

Good luck with your bike ...and mag!