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Old 02-18-2014, 08:11 AM   #1
MotorcycleWriter OP
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Ignition Leads: OEM or Aftermarket

I'm doing the make-it-run-smoother game on my newly acquired '89 R100GS. What's the best bet on ignition leads? OEM or Aftermarket? And which aftermarket? Since these aren't cheap, and I may wind up upgrading to an Enduralast or similar system since my OEM coil is already cracked, would it be better to wait and buy them then or will they crossover to the new system? The current leads are original and I plan on keeping the bike and prefer to do the job once rather than twice like my dad always did.
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:40 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotorcycleWriter View Post
I'm doing the make-it-run-smoother game on my newly acquired '89 R100GS. What's the best bet on ignition leads? OEM or Aftermarket? And which aftermarket? Since these aren't cheap, and I may wind up upgrading to an Enduralast or similar system since my OEM coil is already cracked, would it be better to wait and buy them then or will they crossover to the new system? The current leads are original and I plan on keeping the bike and prefer to do the job once rather than twice like my dad always did.
Compared to the graphite aftermarket crap most people put on their bikes, OEM is WAY better. Unless the wire's insulation wears through, OEM wires last a LONG time. Most all such trouble is in the caps and good aftermarket caps go right on the OEM wires! Just the wire? BMW /2 wire is a good deal!
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:18 AM   #3
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Ignore all the advertising hype about fancy after market leads. Good old fashion solid copper cored HT lead and NGK resistor caps is as good as anything and cheaper than OEM. Should be no problem with connecting copper leads to a new coil. Keep any terminations on the old leads for re-use if needed.
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:40 AM   #4
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I've had good luck with the Euromoto Electrics airhead 2V NGK capped spark plug wires: http://www.euromotoelectrics.com/Ign.../bmw-wsr18.htm

These are copper core wires with 5k resistor caps. I did not keep them on the bike that long before converting to a Boyer Brandson micro power ignition, which uses different coils and wires. But, the wire construction was the same in both cases (copper core wire w/ resistor plug caps). Good luck!
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Stan_R80/7 View Post
These are copper core wires with 5k resistor caps. I did not keep them on the bike that long before converting to a Boyer Brandson micro power ignition, which uses different coils and wires. But, the wire construction was the same in both cases (copper core wire w/ resistor plug caps). Good luck!
I already know that I need a coil. Coil plus wires isn't that much less than a complete new system. Fortunately for me, like most of the other inmates, the research is half the fun.

MotorcycleWriter screwed with this post 02-18-2014 at 01:23 PM
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:10 AM   #6
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And be sure to (re) use the stock BMW solder-on coil connectors. Much better than the crimp-on type. Be careful with the old ones-- sticker shock is that t new ones run about $5 a pop.

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Old 02-19-2014, 04:46 AM   #7
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The OEM wires are very good. I had a burned out resistor on the plug head and carefully cut thru it and then removed them both and replace with the NGK (LB05F) caps. That has been years ago and its still ticking! Most dirt bike shops have the NGK's in stock which are 5K ohms. For BMW electronic ignition!
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Old 02-19-2014, 05:45 AM   #8
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Anyone care to clarify some of this? What are the specs for a late 80's BMW ignition wire and which caps are you talking about removing and resoldering? The OEM wires are copper with a resistor? At which end is the resistor? Sounds like you're talking about putting one or both OEM BMW ends on the new wires. But if the NGK wires are 5k Ohms why do I need the resistor cap?
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:43 AM   #9
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The molded rubber spark plug end caps have a built in resistor. I removed these and replace them with NGK LBO5F spark plug caps. The NGK's have a small screw inside that threades onto the OEM wire. I believe the soldered ends are the coil ends of the wires. My OEM wires looked like stainless steel but I dont know for sure. The wires dont have 5K resistance it was inside the caps.
http://https://www.denniskirk.com/lb...1.prd/2051.sku
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:48 AM   #10
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Didn't say caps, said coil-connectors. Other end. The wires are solid copper, the plug caps are 5K ohm resistor. NGK is a good substitute, the old-style (/5, /6) are removable and have a metal shell. Plenty funky. The later style ignition wires have a molded-on rubber plug cap, replaceable but not repairable. :(

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Old 02-19-2014, 04:42 PM   #11
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The wire leads are copper - coated with something silverish (nickle?). The main failure is due to UV exposure - causing the insulation to crack and then fail - particularity when it gets wet. You can put heat shrink tubing over the outside of the HT wires - thus removing the UV exposure. This will extend the life of your HT leads for a long time .. particularly if you recover it from time to time with new heat shrink tubing..

The electronic ignition system REQUIRES the 5k ohm spark plug caps .. the NGK ones work well and last long.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:38 PM   #12
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Okay, clearly my current sparkplug wires are not stock.



I do not believe that these ends are removable. The only marks I can find are "KMN" and 5K Ohm. That little mark before the 5 isn't a 7 or a 1. Some kind of manufacturing mark.



The coating on the wires is pretty cracked. Might be time for a new OEM set.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:49 PM   #13
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So, does any body know what happens if you run the Boyer electronic ignition conversion using aftermarket copper leads without the 5k ohm resistor?
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:09 PM   #14
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Depends on the coil and the ICU... it is advisable to match the capacitance of the ICU and the coil, and those will determine the resistance of the caps. Most caps, afaik, are 5kohm, pretty standard. BUT, some of the newer Heavy Duty ICU's require a different resistance in the coil. Wrong coil resistance will burn out the ICU. Points have their own resistance spec.


Quoted from Motorrad Elektrik, for the (aftermarket, but highly thought-of) Dyna dual-coil units:

Quote:
  • GREEN coils have 3 ohms primary resistance, Single coil for 1970 - 1980 models with points.
  • BROWN coils have 1.5 ohms primary resistance,for 1981 through 1995 Airheads with EARLY, SMALLER ignition module and single plugs. Dual coils (pair) for all 1981 - 1995 with DUAL-PLUG IGNITION
  • BLUE coils have 0.7 ohms primary resistance, for 1981 through 1995 Airheads with HEAVY-DUTY ignition module and single plugs.Dual coils (pair) for all 1981 - 1995 with DUAL-PLUG IGNITION
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:08 AM   #15
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Is this the symbol on the plug cap? Bosch Electrics since 1918.
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