Author Topic: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!  (Read 979 times)

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Offline JW113

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OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« on: November 21, 2017, 05:32:16 PM »
Yet again, I had another electronic ignition module take a dump and this time strand me. Of all places, at the Harley machine shop dude's place, so could not have asked for a better spot. But damn, what is going on here? This was the third (3rd!!!) module that has failed.

1st: Crane Hi-4n
2nd: S&S Hi-4n
3rd: Ultima (i.e. repackaged Dynateck 2000i)

The first Hi-4n ran fine for a while, then would intermittently "cut out" then come back on, with nice loud backfire out the exhaust. Sent that back, the second one ran fine for a while, then would completely die, leaving me to coast to the side of the road. After a minute or so, would fire back up and run for a while, the die again.

This Ultima was running fine, I rode to the machine shop to check on my Evo parts. When I went to leave, it would fire up, run for 3-4 seconds, then die. Over, and over, and over again. I let it cool down for about 20 minutes, gave it shot, same thing. I call the Mrs, she came got me and brought me home. I grabbed some tools and THE POINTS PLATE and advance, went back to the shop and had the old module out and points and coil back in, in about 20 minutes. Just a tap of the starter, and it roared to life. Road back home without incident.

So I guess I'm kind of slow, but certainly have learned my lesson here. This bike wants points ignition, end of story.

-JW
2004 FLHRS   1977 FLH Shovelhead  1992 FLSTC
1945 Indian Chief   1978 XL Bobber

Offline Ohio HD

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2017, 05:38:47 PM »
Had two issues similar, Crane HI-4 and then a Daytona Twin Tec went in my Evo. One of the guys at Twin Tec helped me diagnose an over charging regulator as the issue. 
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Offline 76shuvlinoff

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2017, 06:22:55 PM »
I dunno JW, the only electronic sparker I ever installed in a bike was the Dynatek 2000i I put in my 76 in 2003. Still rockin dual plugs single fire with big ugly green coils to this day.   In reference to Ohio's response I did install a 32 amp Cycle Electric reg and stator at the same time.  ( edit to add) : plus a complete wiring harness.

Knockin wood.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2017, 06:37:47 PM by 76shuvlinoff »
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Offline Julio

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2017, 06:27:21 PM »
My shovel went through two Dyna Ss in 15k miles. The last time, it was nice enough to warn me of it's impending doom ~5 miles away from home. After four forced stops to let it cool off, it finally died completely ~500 feet from my house. Quite a push for an old fart. She now sports points.
My evo's Dyna S failed  and left me stranded last year. She now sports points.
In my cross country travels in the early nineties, ignition problems were the biggest talking points when I ran into other LDRs on HDs. Most of them replaced their ignition with new OEM units. I ran points on my '87 FXST from the time the stock ignition failed at 12k miles, till I sold it with over 100k miles on it.
Never had a problem.
I don't care if you call me a luddite, simple points and condenser get me where I'm going.

Offline JW113

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2017, 07:48:33 PM »
I don't care if you call me a luddite, simple points and condenser get me where I'm going.

That, and any auto parts store or truck stop has a set of points and a condenser that will fit.

I can't explain it. But I do know "three strikes and you're OUT".

-JW
2004 FLHRS   1977 FLH Shovelhead  1992 FLSTC
1945 Indian Chief   1978 XL Bobber

Offline gryphon

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2017, 09:40:10 AM »
I had a couple of HD "pointless ignitions" go belly up on me back in the late 70's or early 80's (I don't remember when they first came out). If you ever want to do something exciting just get towed down the hiway behind a car at 60mph. Anyway, the points went back in for several years. About 10 years ago (maybe a little longer) I decided to go back to an electronic when I started doing larger motors. I set it up so that I can change out my ignition in about 5 minutes on the side of the road. The first thing I did was install weatherpak connectors so that my ignition (Ultima) just plugs in to a harness. I can't run the wires through the little hole in the bottom of the cam cover because of the weatherpak so I run the S&S cover which routes the wires differently and allows me to use the weatherpak's. I marked the rotor and the advance plate and now I can be back on the road in under 5 minutes even on the side of the hiway. I bolted on a bracket below the front motor mount and bolted a spare coil on there. You can't really see it because of the regulator. I keep a spare ignition in my tool bag. I ride in a lot of places that are really out in the boonies and I'd hate to get stuck out there. My thinking is that an ignition or a coil can be replaced in mere minutes if you have 'em but can't be "fixed" no matter what. Neither the coil or the ignition are ever in the way and they just sit there waiting for the day. If you don't have or want the S&S cover you can always run the wires out the bottom of the cover and then attach your weatherpak. If the ignition ever takes a crap on you just leave the points cover off and you can run your wires to plug into the harness just to get you home.

Offline guppymech

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2017, 10:02:59 AM »
I replaced the stock electronic ign on my '84 Shovel with points.  I bought one of the complete points conversion kits and used it with some Blue Streak points and cond.  Right away the bike had trouble idling down because the springs didn't return the flyweights.  I swapped in a NOS Harley advance unit I was saving and the problem went away.  What I'm trying to say is the kits are good because you get everything you need for the conversion but the advance units can be hit or miss.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2017, 10:07:04 AM by guppymech »
'84 FXE, '02 883R

Offline gryphon

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2017, 10:54:35 AM »
One more thing I'd like to add. One of the biggest killers of electronic ignitions is heat. I bought some temp sensor labels from omega https://www.omega.com/subsection/non-reversible-temperature-label.html and stick them to mu ignition. Allows you to keep an eye on things and will tell you if your ignition is getting too hot.

Offline JW113

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2017, 11:10:31 AM »
Advance unit: I like the one by Rivera.

Temp: I use one of those LED temperature guns all the time on the motor. Didn't notice that the nosecone was getting excessively hot, maybe 180-ish?

One common thread in all three of these ignition modules, the coil. Same coil used each time. It measured 3 ohms late I checked, but will measure it again. Weird.

-JW
2004 FLHRS   1977 FLH Shovelhead  1992 FLSTC
1945 Indian Chief   1978 XL Bobber

Offline gryphon

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2017, 11:21:03 AM »
The thing I like about the temp labels is that it will let you know if the ignition "ever" got that hot. Checking engine temp with a temp gun will only show you what the temp is now. As nice as they are it won't let you know that yesterday in traffic your ignition hit 200 degrees (just an example). Mine never seemed to blacken out the dots any higher than 170 to 180 degrees. Now that I've changed my exhaust I'm paying attention to the label again just in case the new pipes are heating up the nose cone.

Online Hossamania

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2017, 11:57:59 AM »
Advance unit: I like the one by Rivera.

Temp: I use one of those LED temperature guns all the time on the motor. Didn't notice that the nosecone was getting excessively hot, maybe 180-ish?

One common thread in all three of these ignition modules, the coil. Same coil used each time. It measured 3 ohms late I checked, but will measure it again. Weird.

-JW

Gryphon mentioned overcharging. Is it a possibility? Any way to put a volt guage or meter on and monitor while going down the road? It might not be a lot of extra volts, but maybe long term it fries the modules?
Happiness does not buy money.

Online Hossamania

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2017, 12:00:30 PM »
I had a couple of HD "pointless ignitions" go belly up on me back in the late 70's or early 80's (I don't remember when they first came out). If you ever want to do something exciting just get towed down the hiway behind a car at 60mph. Anyway, the points went back in for several years. About 10 years ago (maybe a little longer) I decided to go back to an electronic when I started doing larger motors. I set it up so that I can change out my ignition in about 5 minutes on the side of the road. The first thing I did was install weatherpak connectors so that my ignition (Ultima) just plugs in to a harness. I can't run the wires through the little hole in the bottom of the cam cover because of the weatherpak so I run the S&S cover which routes the wires differently and allows me to use the weatherpak's. I marked the rotor and the advance plate and now I can be back on the road in under 5 minutes even on the side of the hiway. I bolted on a bracket below the front motor mount and bolted a spare coil on there. You can't really see it because of the regulator. I keep a spare ignition in my tool bag. I ride in a lot of places that are really out in the boonies and I'd hate to get stuck out there. My thinking is that an ignition or a coil can be replaced in mere minutes if you have 'em but can't be "fixed" no matter what. Neither the coil or the ignition are ever in the way and they just sit there waiting for the day. If you don't have or want the S&S cover you can always run the wires out the bottom of the cover and then attach your weatherpak. If the ignition ever takes a crap on you just leave the points cover off and you can run your wires to plug into the harness just to get you home.

So now that you did all this prep work, has it ever failed on you?
 My guess is probably not, because you're ready for it, which is usually the way!
Happiness does not buy money.

Offline packrat56

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2017, 12:06:36 PM »
Advance unit: I like the one by Rivera.

Temp: I use one of those LED temperature guns all the time on the motor. Didn't notice that the nosecone was getting excessively hot, maybe 180-ish?

One common thread in all three of these ignition modules, the coil. Same coil used each time. It measured 3 ohms late I checked, but will measure it again. Weird.

-JW

Gryphon mentioned overcharging. Is it a possibility? Any way to put a volt guage or meter on and monitor while going down the road? It might not be a lot of extra volts, but maybe long term it fries the modules?

    That had me thinking ,,,,ya I know,,, But I was looking at some little 8v-40v/12v transformers for just the ign.  :nix:
Now I know, why some animals eat their young.

Offline gryphon

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2017, 12:14:30 PM »
Yep, now that everything is setup for the quick roadside repair I haven't needed to do it. Both the spare coil I carry and the ignition do come in handy when I'm trying to run down a gremlin though. If I install the spare part and the bikes still doing that weird thing (whatever it is at the time) then at least I've narrowed it down.

Offline david lee

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2017, 12:32:24 PM »
i must be lucky my 81 lowrider still runs the stock elec ign.but then again its only done 16,000 ks

Offline Snowyone

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2017, 03:20:12 PM »
The first time mine crapped out on my 80 FXWG, I was in the middle of Montana.  Did the roadside tear down and it fired right back up.  I'm thinking must have been a wiring gremlin.  Made it about another 10 miles and it died right at an off ramp to Reed Point.  Sitting in the bar moaning about my lot in life when an old cowboy said it sounds like his Ford pickup.  He said when its ign. got hot and quit he would just unload his cooler into a plastic bag and sit it on his ign. module.  Well, duh, sounds good to me.  Got a bag of ice and hung it from a cross member of the frame and would swing back against the ign. module when I was going down the road.  The ice soon went away but the bag of water worked all the way to Sturgis.  I've used the Dyna S sense then with no failures in 20 years of riding.  Mine is a twin plug with two coils and if I do a little of maintense to the advance weights and springs it works like a charm.  I've had a points conversion kit riding in the saddle bags for all these years and it's about worn out.

Offline dirtymike

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2017, 04:34:38 PM »
I thought electronic ignition did not use advance weights.

Offline Ohio HD

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2017, 04:51:50 PM »
The Dyna S does. They work well, but are a little outdated.
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Offline JW113

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2017, 07:37:40 PM »
Gryphon mentioned overcharging. Is it a possibility? Any way to put a volt guage or meter on and monitor while going down the road? It might not be a lot of extra volts, but maybe long term it fries the modules?


Well now Hossifariain, now that you mention it...

http://www.harleytechtalk.com/index.php?topic=99749.0

I put one of these very cool "gauges" on the old Shovel a few months ago. I still have the stock 17amp alternator, which seems to work just fine. And does not seem to overcharge. How could it? It's totally limp dick!

I am going to throw this coil I have in the oven or BBQ, heat it up, THEN measure it. A funny little gremlin in my gut is telling me that this coil is taking out these ignition modules...

-JW
2004 FLHRS   1977 FLH Shovelhead  1992 FLSTC
1945 Indian Chief   1978 XL Bobber

Offline dirtymike

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2017, 05:04:02 AM »
Are you using the DS6-2. Change to a 5 ohm coil and see what happens. Every one I installed on a shovel got hot and  went out. They would slowly heat up and act like i was out of fuel. Stop and let it cool down and off i go again. I thought it was the coil and changed it out with one i knew was good with no luck. I went back to points and still using the same set. That was a few years ago.

Offline hotrodshovel

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2017, 07:51:05 AM »
I know the Dyna S is old technology but I have been abusing one for 15-16 years now. Not really sure, maybe more.  I even picked up another some years ago on a good deal and carry it in my tool kit anticipating my original to croak.   Not yet!!!  The thing is bullet proof.  I often think of 'upgrading" to a fully electronic ignition but you now, if it aint broke, break it then fix it......I'm trying very hard not to mess with success.
John

Offline 76shuvlinoff

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #21 on: November 23, 2017, 07:56:53 AM »
Just want to mention that the older Dyna 2000i (like mine) is not kicker friendly. I don't know about the newer units.

 Mark
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Offline Ohio HD

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2017, 07:58:22 AM »
I know the Dyna S is old technology but I have been abusing one for 15-16 years now. Not really sure, maybe more.  I even picked up another some years ago on a good deal and carry it in my tool kit anticipating my original to croak.   Not yet!!!  The thing is bullet proof.  I often think of 'upgrading" to a fully electronic ignition but you now, if it aint broke, break it then fix it......I'm trying very hard not to mess with success.

Nothing wrong with the Dyna S, I used quite a few of them. They work well. They were just before we had the ability to adjust a curve, set a kick start mode, etc. I honestly never had a Dyna S fail.
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Offline hotrodshovel

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2017, 09:48:20 AM »
I have found as long as I have my timing and carb properly adjusted kicking this beast is not really a problem. Thats another reason Im kind of hand shy about replacing the Dyna S.  I like to kick the bastard, even more so now that I have compression releases, thank you Kirby, (96" and only God knows what kind of compression I'm making) and I only push the button when I'm in full blown gimp mode.

Maybe I'll just leave well enough alone..for now or at least until I have it running perfectly then I'll be justified to crack it open and do something to it.
John

Offline 76shuvlinoff

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2017, 02:24:01 PM »
 John, I think if and when my 2000i craps out I will consider going back to single plugs with comp releases in the other holes, at least I think there are off the shelf releases to fit the plug threads, maybe not.  I dunno, the way it is holding up by then I may be too damn old for kicking, even with releases.
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Offline hotrodshovel

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2017, 08:17:06 PM »
Mark, you can also pop the heads off and ship them to Kirby, if he's not completely booked up after his record breaking 6.85 pass, and have CR's installed.  That way you get to keep your dual plugs, Easy peasy.

However, if its in a 'good place' don't tempt fate. Leave the old girl alone and just give her a ride every now and then.
John

Offline 76shuvlinoff

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2017, 04:16:24 AM »
Quote
Leave the old girl alone

 LOL! Is there a support group or 12 step program for that?  :teeth:
Being defenseless does not make you more safe.

Offline hotrodshovel

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2017, 09:19:01 AM »
 :hyst:   Did I say that?
John

Offline Reddog74usa

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2017, 12:49:32 PM »
Hi, My name is Reddog and I'm a SHOVELHOLIC  :bike:
RIDE IT LIKE YA STOLE IT

Offline dirtymike

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #29 on: November 25, 2017, 05:12:32 PM »
Thanks for sharing.

Online Hossamania

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #30 on: November 25, 2017, 06:38:12 PM »
Hi Reddog.
Happiness does not buy money.

Offline bagga

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #31 on: November 25, 2017, 08:31:50 PM »
it sounds like a bad main circuit breaker to me.
1985 flhtc
1976 fxe

Offline JW113

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #32 on: November 27, 2017, 08:07:23 AM »
Indeed, it did seem like somebody shut the power off after it ran OK for a few seconds. But I don't think replacing electronic ignition module with a set of points fixes a bad circuit breaker, does it? Now if the ignition module was doing something weird and pulling a ton of amps, that could open the circuit breaker. But all of the lights were still on, so I don't think that's it.

At any rate, it's been running great since going back to points.

-JW
2004 FLHRS   1977 FLH Shovelhead  1992 FLSTC
1945 Indian Chief   1978 XL Bobber

Offline Burnout

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #33 on: November 27, 2017, 08:40:23 AM »
Or a bad handle bar switch or a dirty/abused Molex connector.
They don't call me Ironhead Rick just because I'm "hard headed"

Offline gryphon

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #34 on: November 27, 2017, 11:07:14 AM »
JW, there is obviously something wrong. Electronic ignitions can indeed go belly up (at the worst possible moment) but they don't usually do it over and over unless something is causing it. Nothing at all against points. They worked fine for a hundred or more years and they still do. I would almost have to call it either excessive heat or bad coil. Those are the two things I'm aware of that will mysteriously kill those ignitions. Since you're not eating condensers it doesn't sound like heat (unless your condenser is remotely mounted). I absolutely understand the aggravation they can cause and it's hard to enjoy the ride when you're just waiting for it to die on you. Unfortunately unlike points you can't just look at your electronic ignition and see what's wrong. Still, if they keep going belly up on you then I would have to suspect that something about your bike is killing them. Luckily, Shovels run just fine with points as long as you're using quality components. 

Offline Burnout

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #35 on: November 27, 2017, 12:55:05 PM »
Bad plug or plug wires can cause an EI to fail.

Also making sparks without a grounded plug connected can burn a EI.

When you make 40,000 volts you have to give it a place to go or it will go anywhere.

You can also ruin a coil by having an open circuit on the secondary. (no grounded plugs connected)
They don't call me Ironhead Rick just because I'm "hard headed"

Offline JW113

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #36 on: November 27, 2017, 09:55:59 PM »
There is no doubt that something is wrong. Three bad ignition modules in a row?? The one common element is the coil, and that is what I suspect is probably the root cause. However, it measures out at 3.1 ohms per side (it's a single fire coil). I'm thinking that after it gets warm, it's possibly shorting inside, thus overheating the module or something. But given the choices:

Curtain number 1: Buy a new coil and ignition module (what, $250 at least?) and hope that's the problem and hope I don't get stuck again

Curtain number 2: Leave the points in it, don't spend a red cent, and fahgetaboutit (and frankly it ran no different at all between points and electronic single fire)

Um, oh Monty oh Monty, what do I do??? I'll take..... Curtain number 2!

-JW
2004 FLHRS   1977 FLH Shovelhead  1992 FLSTC
1945 Indian Chief   1978 XL Bobber

Online Hossamania

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #37 on: November 28, 2017, 05:18:28 AM »
At this point, I would stick with points also.
Happiness does not buy money.

Offline gryphon

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #38 on: November 28, 2017, 08:44:03 AM »
It's okay to stick with points. Just don't let your points stick. I'm sure Hoss didn't mean that as a pun.

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #39 on: November 28, 2017, 09:35:11 AM »
Nope, but I get it!
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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #40 on: November 28, 2017, 09:43:06 AM »
A quick story:
I was at the Hundredth in Milwaukee, in the lot at the dealer. A guy has a nice old Shovel, he says it's not running right. I have him start it, it's misfiring all over the place. I tell him he needs a condensor.
He asks, "What's that?"
I was just a little mystified how he could not know, and realized he had probably just started riding in his forties, and this was his first bike so he could go to the anniversary. I also thought he should not have a bike with points. Or, a bike.
But I told him to go into the dealer, get a condensor for $6, and I would put it in. I showed him how to do it, put it in, and the bike fired right off. The points had a little build up on them, and I thought about showing him how he could knock it down with his wife's Emory board, then thought better of it. He was happy, and I was leaving.
I wonder if he made it through the weekend.
Happiness does not buy money.

Offline hotrodshovel

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #41 on: November 28, 2017, 12:16:15 PM »
Good man, Hoss :up:
John

Offline david lee

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #42 on: November 28, 2017, 12:43:30 PM »
A quick story:
I was at the Hundredth in Milwaukee, in the lot at the dealer. A guy has a nice old Shovel, he says it's not running right. I have him start it, it's misfiring all over the place. I tell him he needs a condensor.
He asks, "What's that?"
I was just a little mystified how he could not know, and realized he had probably just started riding in his forties, and this was his first bike so he could go to the anniversary. I also thought he should not have a bike with points. Or, a bike.
But I told him to go into the dealer, get a condensor for $6, and I would put it in. I showed him how to do it, put it in, and the bike fired right off. The points had a little build up on them, and I thought about showing him how he could knock it down with his wife's Emory board, then thought better of it. He was happy, and I was leaving.
I wonder if he made it through the weekend.
right place right time.how did you know the solution and that it had points.could that have been the only cause of the symptom.that guy was lucky you were there.was it a general conversation about his bike that the problem was bought up

Online Hossamania

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #43 on: November 28, 2017, 02:14:01 PM »
A quick story:
I was at the Hundredth in Milwaukee, in the lot at the dealer. A guy has a nice old Shovel, he says it's not running right. I have him start it, it's misfiring all over the place. I tell him he needs a condensor.
He asks, "What's that?"
I was just a little mystified how he could not know, and realized he had probably just started riding in his forties, and this was his first bike so he could go to the anniversary. I also thought he should not have a bike with points. Or, a bike.
But I told him to go into the dealer, get a condensor for $6, and I would put it in. I showed him how to do it, put it in, and the bike fired right off. The points had a little build up on them, and I thought about showing him how he could knock it down with his wife's Emory board, then thought better of it. He was happy, and I was leaving.
I wonder if he made it through the weekend.
right place right time.how did you know the solution and that it had points.could that have been the only cause of the symptom.that guy was lucky you were there.was it a general conversation about his bike that the problem was bought up

I grew up working on cars with points, and had heard a few failed condensers over the years. As soon as he started it, I knew what the problem was, it's just such a random firing of the plugs out of time, that it makes an impression on you the first time you hear it. I hadn't heard it in 20 or more years, but it came right back when I did.
Happiness does not buy money.

Offline gryphon

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #44 on: November 28, 2017, 02:20:09 PM »
Every time I've had one fail the motor would backfire like a cherry bomb going off. Let it set for a bit and it'll fire back up and run until it heats up and craps out again. It's pretty noticeable.

Offline david lee

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #45 on: November 28, 2017, 03:40:01 PM »
A quick story:
I was at the Hundredth in Milwaukee, in the lot at the dealer. A guy has a nice old Shovel, he says it's not running right. I have him start it, it's misfiring all over the place. I tell him he needs a condensor.
He asks, "What's that?"
I was just a little mystified how he could not know, and realized he had probably just started riding in his forties, and this was his first bike so he could go to the anniversary. I also thought he should not have a bike with points. Or, a bike.
But I told him to go into the dealer, get a condensor for $6, and I would put it in. I showed him how to do it, put it in, and the bike fired right off. The points had a little build up on them, and I thought about showing him how he could knock it down with his wife's Emory board, then thought better of it. He was happy, and I was leaving.
I wonder if he made it through the weekend.
right place right time.how did you know the solution and that it had points.could that have been the only cause of the symptom.that guy was lucky you were there.was it a general conversation about his bike that the problem was bought up

I grew up working on cars with points, and had heard a few failed condensers over the years. As soon as he started it, I knew what the problem was, it's just such a random firing of the plugs out of time, that it makes an impression on you the first time you hear it. I hadn't heard it in 20 or more years, but it came right back when I did.
pays to carry spares.maybe youve educated him in case of failure again.i would have wanted to know what ign system that bike had if it was mine

Online Hossamania

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #46 on: November 28, 2017, 05:13:21 PM »
A quick story:
I was at the Hundredth in Milwaukee, in the lot at the dealer. A guy has a nice old Shovel, he says it's not running right. I have him start it, it's misfiring all over the place. I tell him he needs a condensor.
He asks, "What's that?"
I was just a little mystified how he could not know, and realized he had probably just started riding in his forties, and this was his first bike so he could go to the anniversary. I also thought he should not have a bike with points. Or, a bike.
But I told him to go into the dealer, get a condensor for $6, and I would put it in. I showed him how to do it, put it in, and the bike fired right off. The points had a little build up on them, and I thought about showing him how he could knock it down with his wife's Emory board, then thought better of it. He was happy, and I was leaving.
I wonder if he made it through the weekend.
right place right time.how did you know the solution and that it had points.could that have been the only cause of the symptom.that guy was lucky you were there.was it a general conversation about his bike that the problem was bought up

I grew up working on cars with points, and had heard a few failed condensers over the years. As soon as he started it, I knew what the problem was, it's just such a random firing of the plugs out of time, that it makes an impression on you the first time you hear it. I hadn't heard it in 20 or more years, but it came right back when I did.
pays to carry spares.maybe youve educated him in case of failure again.i would have wanted to know what ign system that bike had if it was mine

This was over fourteen years ago. Maybe he really learned about his bike and is still riding that or a new bike. But my feeling is that that bike is long gone, and he stopped riding shortly after we met.
I have a friend that bought his first Shovel in '82. He has owned that or another bike ever since. He has less miles total than I ride in a year, he hadn't checked his tires in almost a year, but only rode twice in that year. He can barely check his own oil, but he still rides, we go on a trip every year (he now checks his tires) and I'm proud of him for keeping a nice bike.
So, who knows.
Happiness does not buy money.

Offline rageglide

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #47 on: November 28, 2017, 07:37:51 PM »
JW and I were on a trip with a guy running an airhead BMW R75/5.  "Airhead, simple by design" guy.  We were out of state and his bud started having issues with the bike, stalling and running like crap at idle.  He was saying "screw it, leave me here guys and i'll get myself home"...  Maybe John remembers, but I seem to recall suggesting we check the points.  15 mins later points reset with a match cover.   

Simple by design mostly, maybe moreseo if you're a credit card cowboy.


PS - note-to-self do not loan John any of my electronic ignitions.

Offline JW113

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #48 on: November 29, 2017, 07:57:38 AM »
No worries there Bob. I done learnt my lesson with that damn new fangled electronic crap. It's mechanical all the way from here on!

But thanks for loaning me that mechanical advance unit.
 :wink:

And yes, I surely do remember the Airhead incident. Ol' Ricky kept complaining that "he just had it tuned up at the shop" before that trip.

Lesson number two: don't trust anyone but YOURSELF to work on your bike. And even then, trust but verify!

-JW
2004 FLHRS   1977 FLH Shovelhead  1992 FLSTC
1945 Indian Chief   1978 XL Bobber

Offline rageglide

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #49 on: November 29, 2017, 09:28:15 AM »
 :up:

Offline gryphon

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #50 on: November 29, 2017, 09:55:19 AM »
Typically you are far more likely to encounter minor issues on the road rather than catastrophic failures. I know that most guys have cell phones these days but even if you can get service and call a truck your day is now crap. And so are your buddies days who are stuck there with you. So many minor things can ruin your day that might easily have been repaired in short order with only basic tools and a few odds and ends (and some "very basic" knowledge). Case in point is dealing with your points out on the road. A couple of minutes of messing around and you're back on the road. Or you can be on the phone to your dealer explaining that it "just died" while he asks around if anyone there has ever heard of a "Shovelhead"!

Offline hotrodshovel

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #51 on: November 29, 2017, 03:43:23 PM »
 while he asks around if anyone there has ever heard of a "Shovelhead"!

ain't that the truth.
John

Offline 76shuvlinoff

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #52 on: November 29, 2017, 04:25:09 PM »
Geeze Louise, you guys are making me think I need to find my points assembly and old coil just to throw in a saddlebag. After I went electronic I toted that stuff for years. Now I probably couldn't find any of it if I had to.

Mark


Being defenseless does not make you more safe.

Offline Scott P

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #53 on: November 30, 2017, 05:37:29 AM »
Yet again, I had another electronic ignition module take a dump and this time strand me. Of all places, at the Harley machine shop dude's place, so could not have asked for a better spot. But damn, what is going on here? This was the third (3rd!!!) module that has failed.

1st: Crane Hi-4n
2nd: S&S Hi-4n
3rd: Ultima (i.e. repackaged Dynateck 2000i)

The first Hi-4n ran fine for a while, then would intermittently "cut out" then come back on, with nice loud backfire out the exhaust. Sent that back, the second one ran fine for a while, then would completely die, leaving me to coast to the side of the road. After a minute or so, would fire back up and run for a while, the die again.

This Ultima was running fine, I rode to the machine shop to check on my Evo parts. When I went to leave, it would fire up, run for 3-4 seconds, then die. Over, and over, and over again. I let it cool down for about 20 minutes, gave it shot, same thing. I call the Mrs, she came got me and brought me home. I grabbed some tools and THE POINTS PLATE and advance, went back to the shop and had the old module out and points and coil back in, in about 20 minutes. Just a tap of the starter, and it roared to life. Road back home without incident.

So I guess I'm kind of slow, but certainly have learned my lesson here. This bike wants points ignition, end of story.

-JW

Crane HI-4's had issues.
Must've sent 8-10 back for warranty in 1 year, at one time.
Dyna 2000i's are the stocking ignition of choice here.
Otto Knowbetter sez, "steer clear of chameleons."

Offline JW113

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #54 on: November 30, 2017, 07:32:05 PM »
Typically you are far more likely to encounter minor issues on the road rather than catastrophic failures. I know that most guys have cell phones these days but even if you can get service and call a truck your day is now crap. And so are your buddies days who are stuck there with you.

Well Gryff, there is probably a lot of wisdom in that. However, having been in too many situations involving problems out on the road, esp in the middle of no where, there are two ways to look at it. One, as you as, crap.

The other, adventure!

I have been on too many road trips across the greater western USA to count. At one point, long ago, before kids and job responsibility, it's all I did. I was also lucky enough to have a very good friend, no screw that, BROTHER, that was in the same boat and the both of us went everywhere, anywhere, just say the word and we're gone. Long story short, the trips that went flawlessly, I can't even remember a thing about. The ones that were filled with, uh, "challenge", well those will stay with me forever. Yes, at certain points during the course of it things would seem awful bleak, but after we put our heads together, worked our way through it, maybe drank a little too much in the process  :SM:, we ALWAYS managed to get back on the road and live to tell the tale.

(Ask Roadrage about a flat tire between Delta UT and Ely NV sometime...)

There is no adventure without adversity!

That's why we ride these goddam Harley-Davidsons, it'n it??

-JW
2004 FLHRS   1977 FLH Shovelhead  1992 FLSTC
1945 Indian Chief   1978 XL Bobber

Offline rageglide

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #55 on: November 30, 2017, 07:48:14 PM »
 :chop:  So many cool trips, always something to make them memorable.  But, those interesting moments definitely become the signature of the trip...    Flat tires, speed wobbles, ignition f ups, broken bolts, exhausts, wrecks, broke chains, side of the road oil changes, dry countys, overly wet countys, lol hic!   

May as well drive a car if we don't want adventure. 

And like JW said, ALWAYS got home on two wheels.   (My flat did put that bike on a trailer for a 100 miles ($100) but that was just to a motel where adventure continued.  :smilep:...).
« Last Edit: November 30, 2017, 08:06:26 PM by rageglide »

Offline gryphon

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #56 on: December 01, 2017, 09:03:37 AM »
JW, Trust me I love adventure and I certainly don't need a lecture on it. I always told my kids that the difference between an adventure and an ordeal is all in your head. In the 47 years I've been riding HD's I've spent most of my miles on back roads and covered 11 states multiple times. There's a big difference though between adventure and saying "crap, I should have brought a phillips with me". I'd much rather fix it myself then rely on the kindness of strangers. Although relying on stranges seems to be more common today then it used to be. Trust me, as your friends are sitting with you on the side of the road they are not having as much fun as they let on. Especially if your stuck there because none of you even has basic tools.

Offline JW113

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #57 on: December 01, 2017, 10:10:33 AM »
I agree with ya, in that there is a difference in being prepared for trouble, and not. I guess the reason we always manged to make a party of it rather than a nightmare was that we came prepared to deal with problems.

-JW
2004 FLHRS   1977 FLH Shovelhead  1992 FLSTC
1945 Indian Chief   1978 XL Bobber

Offline gryphon

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #58 on: December 01, 2017, 10:35:10 AM »
Exactly. A little common sense, some experience, and knowledge can usually win the day. I ride the huge majority of my miles by myself. I like it that way. For me there's no one to rely on but myself. A little luck never hurts though. Last year I broke a shock in a remote area with very few people and about 40 miles to a town called Drain. A guy drove his little garden tractor up to the road to check his mail and saw me on the side of the road. I showed him the broken shock and he says that he is a retired machinist with a full shop setup in his barn. I rode down to his shop and he got it all welded up and I was back on the road. Is that luck or what. What were the odds of that guy having an entire machine shop set up in his barn.

Offline bump

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #59 on: December 03, 2017, 05:09:18 AM »
I don't have much trouble with points or condenser, they need adjusted or replaced now and then. What I have had happen several times in 40 years is the bolt that holds the advance unit to end of cam snaps off. Not sure if advance weights get worn and hit inside of cone or points backing plate. When tis happens it usually shears off the roll pin that locates advance unit to cam. Now I carry a roll pin and new bolt for advance unit. When I have trouble I can usually get it back home then replace advance unit. I put in maybe 4 units in 40 years.

Offline Scott P

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #60 on: December 08, 2017, 03:55:37 AM »
Points/flyweights actually work pretty darn good.........if serviced on a regular basis.
Most young(and not so young...lol) motorcycle "mechanics" these days have no clue about a points-triggered ignition.
Otto Knowbetter sez, "steer clear of chameleons."

Offline hotrodshovel

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #61 on: December 08, 2017, 05:13:09 AM »
I remember using a match book to set the point gap.  Someone always had a book of matches back then (70's) because everyone smoked..various things.  Why didn't I cary gauges?  No answer for that, I guess I had no need because the match book worked so well.  :nix:
John

Offline dirtymike

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #62 on: December 08, 2017, 06:12:16 AM »
 One of the main keys to setting points correctly is to make sure the points cam opens to the same gap for both cylinders.  A light tap in the correct direction usually does the trick. One of the things electronic ignition eliminates. 

Online Hossamania

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Re: OK I GET THE POINT(s)!!!
« Reply #63 on: December 08, 2017, 06:18:30 AM »
It has been a long time since I've messed with points, (30 years or more?) but I bet it would all come back to me once I started in again.
Just like riding a bicycle, which I also have not done in years...
Happiness does not buy money.