Author Topic: Is electronic ignition the way to go?  (Read 11199 times)

Offline metalflake11

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Re: Is electronic ignition the way to go?
« Reply #15 on: 10.12. 2012 18:58 »
Personally, I think it's luck of the draw. I have worked out, (roughly) that I have had one problem every five years with the same two magnetos over a period of 35 years. This includes the points plate coming off its taper and the earth kill brush breaking and causing a permanent earth, so no spark. The first took half an hour to fix, and the other about two minutes. The only other problem has been difficulty starting when the mag got warm, which is almost always the condensor failing. Not once have I had to recover the bike due to it's failure! On the other hand, I put a brand new Boyer on my 750 Bonnie and had a nightmare, the bike started easily, ran perfectly for about five miles and then complete ignition failure. After about twenty minutes it would start and run for another five miles and conk out again. Working on my long held belief that electronic ignition either works or doesn't, I went on to spent lots of time and money trying to get to the bottom of it. Eventually the unit went back to Boyer and they sent me another saying the first one was faulty. (The service incidentally was fantastic, I posted the old unit on Tuesday and had the new one back by Friday. No charge either). The other half had a new VW Golf which would cut out completely, and then start after anything from a few moments, to a few hours.
I look at a mag as a single item, one which is full of sparks and will usually give you plenty of warning of a developing problem. Changing it is an easy and relatively quick thing to do. As such, if a problem develops that I cannot rectify by changing pick ups and brushes, leads, caps and plugs, I put my other mag on and send the origional to a reputable restorer. Being a single  and compact ignition unit, it is not hard to find space for your spare if a long journey is ahead of you, which is another plus point. I think this is the principal with light aircraft which have two complete systems that you can switch from one to another. No doubt an electronic jobbie will have your engine running better with its progressive mapping, rather than the advanced or retarded and nothing inbetween with the auto advance.
My advise would be fit what you want and then rub a rabbits foot!
.......Good Luck!
England N.W
1960 A10
England

Online morris

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Re: Is electronic ignition the way to go?
« Reply #16 on: 10.12. 2012 20:15 »

Thanks lads, I was thinking about going for electronic ignition, but now you only got me more confused

Or not?

When I come to think about it, my A10 starts and runs very well on it's magneto and 6 volts electrics.
To convert it, it would need upgrading to 12V + ignition conversion kit.
The price of the package could get you a lot of other goodies, not to forget the Christmas gift for the one you love.....
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Online Triton Thrasher

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Re: Is electronic ignition the way to go?
« Reply #17 on: 10.12. 2012 21:20 »
I'm not partisan about silly old bike parts. There's no doubt that Lucas could have made a much better magneto than the K2F, had they put their mind to it, but the way things are, I think many A10 owners will have a better riding experience with a magneto, than with a proprietary electronic conversion.

Online chaterlea25

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Re: Is electronic ignition the way to go?
« Reply #18 on: 10.12. 2012 22:26 »
HI All,
I must admit to being a magneto fan *smile*
As said in a post above most problems come from neglect or wet
Another issue is so called "expert refurb", I recently posted a link to an article on magnet0 refurb and testing
One of the main things I learned from the article is that probably 30% of the magnetism is lost once the armature is removed

Another misnomer is that modern cars have trouble free electronic ignition *sad2*
A lot of them give trouble !! particularly those coil/plugcap thingys,

Cheers
John
1961 Super Rocket
1963 RGS (ongoing)

Offline Housewiz

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Re: Is electronic ignition the way to go?
« Reply #19 on: 10.12. 2012 22:42 »
Hey John,

Think I missed that mag referb article.  Mind posting the link?

Thanks,

Steve


Online orabanda

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Re: Is electronic ignition the way to go?
« Reply #20 on: 11.12. 2012 02:37 »
So, therein lies the case for a diesel A10; it will never stop (if you manage to get it started!).

Offline metalflake11

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Re: Is electronic ignition the way to go?
« Reply #21 on: 11.12. 2012 03:37 »
Something not mentioned so far, is where do you live?........... I live in a big city in England and it is winter and dark most of the time. To give an example, a trip to work and back includes 68 sets of traffic lights and heavy stop/start traffic over a distance of about twenty miles.  In contrast, a mate of mine lives on Anglesey Island and travels a thirty mile round trip to work and has two sets of lights, and no traffic jams.
Given that you need a decent amount of juice in your battery to run electronic ignition, what might be a good idea for him would not be a good one for me. Indeed, mine has gone flat before now, but the mag has got me home.
Just a thought! Rob.
England N.W
1960 A10
England

Offline Housewiz

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Re: Is electronic ignition the way to go?
« Reply #22 on: 11.12. 2012 04:28 »
No diesel for me - I just want to find a set of 750cc barrels under my x-mas tree - some year I hope.  *smile*

Thanks,

Steve

Online RichardL

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Re: Is electronic ignition the way to go?
« Reply #23 on: 11.12. 2012 05:54 »
Well, I like the magneto for the sheer oldness of it. I don't ride as many miles as some of you, so it might not be the same issue. Not old is the Bright Spark capacitor I added, only to find that my bike was suddenly easy to start. First kick when cold, a few when warm, but I think that's fuel not mag. Now, as for mags in airplanes, one thing I'm sure Brian knows, but didn't mention, is that there are two of them and two plugs in each cylinder.   

Richard L.   
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Online Brian

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Re: Is electronic ignition the way to go?
« Reply #24 on: 11.12. 2012 06:52 »
So there you go Steve, lots of different thoughts and ways of looking at it all.

Ultimately its up to you to decide which way to go, electronic or magneto.

I dont doubt for a moment that electronic systems provide a good spark and the bike will run well with one fitted. You still have to consider that the electronic systems, with the exception of the BTH system, all require a external power source. Its reliability will dictate how reliable the ignition system will be.

A magneto is a totally independant unit, however as has been pointed out it must be in good condition and rebuilt by someone who knows what they are doing.

Magneto's do not rely on 60 year old bearings etc, if the unit is rebuilt by a competent person it will be virtually "as new".

If you decide to stay with the magneto get it rebuilt by someone with a good reputation and who is prepared to give at least a years warranty on workmanship and parts.

Offline stu.andrews

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Re: Is electronic ignition the way to go?
« Reply #25 on: 11.12. 2012 09:29 »
If you need to have a magneto refurbished go to Paul Lydford of APL Magnetos in Hampshire, tel 01747-852136. You will not be disappointed. (I have no business connection.)
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Offline iansoady

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Re: Is electronic ignition the way to go?
« Reply #26 on: 11.12. 2012 11:45 »

One of the main things I learned from the article is that probably 30% of the magnetism is lost once the armature is removed

Cheers
John


I think that's true of early mags but understand that later ones like our K2Fs with alnico magnets are OK. It's true that Lucas (like Amal) did build down to a price but they could make good magnetos like the competition and wader models.
Ian.
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Online RichardL

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Re: Is electronic ignition the way to go?
« Reply #27 on: 11.12. 2012 12:39 »
Just so I don't overstate the situation, I should have mentioned that when I installed the Bright Spark cap I also remagnetized the magneto. So, maybe the succes was a combination of both.

Richard L.
Plan on signing up for the world-wide 2020 DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN'S RIDEon September 27, 2020 (if it's not cancelled and we are free to move about by then). Watch website at https://www.gentlemansride.com for details.

Online chaterlea25

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Re: Is electronic ignition the way to go?
« Reply #28 on: 11.12. 2012 13:12 »
Hi Steve,
Mag repair article link
http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=446733#Post446733

Brian,
I had to strip a B-T-H mag which had been on a bike which got flooded, (in water)
 I only removed the end cap which had let water in  *ex* (it shouldnt)
I agree the way the electrics are assembled is poor, I had great difficulty getting the wires to the gubbins in the end cap attached so as they would not foul the rotor  *angry*
Another (maybe) disadvantage of the B-T-H is that they need a minimum rotational speed to spark, A problem for older or lightweight riders!!

Ian,
Yes and no!!!! K2F's and similar have better magnets than the old horseshoe magnet types, so maybe keep a bit better
There is no such thing as "an internal keeper" this would in effect "short out" the magnetic field

Regards
John

1961 Super Rocket
1963 RGS (ongoing)

Online Brian

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Re: Is electronic ignition the way to go?
« Reply #29 on: 11.12. 2012 21:25 »
Funny you should mention the wires John, after I had repaired the unit I was working on I e-mailed the manufacturer with what I thought were a couple of sensible improvements. I suggested the centre shaft should be shrouded as after I fitted the CDI unit it took a lot of fiddling to get the wires to sit clear of the shaft.

Another area I thought needed attention was the arm on the end that swings past the trigger coils. The position of that arm on the shaft is critical, fortunately for me I marked it before I removed it. I said to him if the position is so important then the arm should fix on a square or keyway or something so it can only go on in the right place.

Cranking speed is always a issue on self generating electronic ignition systems like this one. Systems like the Boyer that are powered by a battery are fine but it can be a issue on self generating ones. I used to work in the lawnmower/chainsaw industry and came across this as a problem quite often. If something is not set quite right then the cranking speed required to produce a spark can raise considerably to the point that you simply cant start the engine.