ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Bikes > Old's Cool > Airheads
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-16-2012, 07:19 PM   #16
disston
ShadeTreeExpert
 
disston's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: Silver Spring, Md
Oddometer: 8,793
It looks like the condenser was compromised for what ever reason. No condenser, no spark. And changing the points was probably a good idea. It is really hard to gap a used set of points, sometimes impossible.

It is also considered an improvement of the system to add a Booster because the points will last for a long long time with a Booster and the condenser is not used with a Booster. If there should be a problem the Booster can be by passed and the ignition returned to OEM in a few minutes (unless like me you have bar backs which adds a bunch of time to the procedure, I know, recently had to do this in a shopping mall parking lot)

There are other electronic ignition systems that can be used on Airheads. Some have other added advantages but the Booster is the one I prefer (I have had a Dyna III). But I will be running the OEM system for awhile, till I get a new job.
__________________
.
Never memorize something you can look up.
---Albert Einstein

Pay your debt, piratejohn.http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=949341
disston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 06:33 AM   #17
woodly1069 OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
woodly1069's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY...really too far from the hills!
Oddometer: 1,764
yeah, I too prefer the points even though I have had this issue, and I prefer to keep things stock. I just chalk it up to the bike having sat for say 20 plus years and I think I should be good to go now. The idea that I could do this on the road side in thirty minutes is a big plus for me and now I know the symptoms. By the way, the condenser tab was in place and still touching the contact inside because of the metal bracket that supports the rubber boot that the points wire rides in. I was still getting spark but not nearly fat enough. I thought when I was checking things over and messing with the carbs so much that the spark from the plug looked a little anemic but I thought it was just me. Because I am the one that got the old girl running in the first place, one of the first things I did when I got her home was to get a new battery and turn her over a few times with the plugs laying on the jugs so I could check for spark and look into the plug hole for any movement and do my Kentucky compression test! I really think that the time I spend in the garage "looking" at my equipment helps to troubleshoot and repair down the road because I kinda know what to look for...even though I had to ask you guys this time.

The bike seems to run better than it ever did and I may think about adding the booster in the future. As for the parts, they were ordered from BMW in August of this year and I did get the crappy points set from China, at least that's what it said on the box, the points, who knows, no markings. I will reorder some of the good ones next week! This place is an invaluable tool for old wrenches and quite the community that I refuse to live without! Good day gentlemen, I am going to ride my airhead!
__________________
If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem!
woodly1069 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 11:26 AM   #18
Bill Harris
Confirmed Curmudgeon
 
Bill Harris's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: backwoods Alabama
Oddometer: 7,100
Quote:
Originally Posted by disston
add a Booster because the points will last for a long long time with a Booster and the condenser is not used with a Booster.
Per Dyna's instructions, the stock condenser is still to be used with their Booster. It serves as a connection poibt between the engine wiring harness and the points wire. Used with a Booster, the condenser leads an easier life since it doesn't have to absorb the voltage spikes from the coil primaries. Good idea to replace it when the Booster is installed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodly
yeah, I too prefer the points even though I have had this issue, and I prefer to keep things stock
It does make the points last indefinitely, though the rubbing block wears with use and you have to periodically adjust the point gap and refresh the point lubricant. As the rubbling block wears the ignition timing drifts "retarded" and this can be seen with a timing light. And if you do have to revert back to points-only all that needs to be done is to switch two wires under the tank. The BIG advantage of the Booster besides point life is that the "dwell" (which determines the magnetic saturation of the coils before they fire) is determined electronically by the Booster instead of mechanically by the points and point cam, so that variable is eliminated.

--Bill
__________________
'73 R60/5 Toaster
Luddite. Not just a philosophy, a way of life...
Bill Harris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 12:30 PM   #19
disston
ShadeTreeExpert
 
disston's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: Silver Spring, Md
Oddometer: 8,793
I think I had my booster hooked up wrong then. I'm pretty sure I didn't have the condenser in the circuit. I'm really good at following instructions tho and this is not a kind of mistake I'm likely to make. Not likely doesn't mean I think I never make a mistake. Could be the reason the Booster quit? It was probably 20 years old and could of died of natural causes.

I'll double check the directions later and the next time I get one of those. Since I'm so poor lately maybe I'll do one of the homemade types.

EDIT; I just did that. I checked the directions from Dyna Tek. They are ambiguous. They say leave the condenser in place but they say to hook white wire to points. I'll try to remember what you said Bill. I had mine hooked up with the white wire to the points but neither wire to the condeser.
__________________
.
Never memorize something you can look up.
---Albert Einstein

Pay your debt, piratejohn.http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=949341

disston screwed with this post 11-17-2012 at 12:40 PM
disston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 06:12 PM   #20
Bill Harris
Confirmed Curmudgeon
 
Bill Harris's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: backwoods Alabama
Oddometer: 7,100
Hmmm. I was wrong-- the Dyna instructions are pretty ambiguous and my "online" copy doesn't say anything about the condenser. I *don't think* that leaving the condenser in the points circuit would make any difference one way or the other. Let me check with mu Local Expert on that next week.

Didn't mean to stir things up...

--Bill
__________________
'73 R60/5 Toaster
Luddite. Not just a philosophy, a way of life...
Bill Harris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 06:49 PM   #21
disston
ShadeTreeExpert
 
disston's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: Silver Spring, Md
Oddometer: 8,793
Well I'd really like to know. When I read the instructions earlier this year, Spring time, I was reinstalling the Dyna Booster that came with my bike many years ago. I had used a Dyna III for a little while, blew it up, and then ran the OEM points for many years. I read the line that said "connect the white wire to the points" and this eliminated the condenser on an Airhead. Also the points have a female connection and the white wire has a male connection so this seemed to fit.

Then when I read the directions that say "leave the condenser hooked up" and I realize that most vehicles are not wired the same way our bikes are. The condenser is connected to the points or the coil but the two don't meet at the condenser. So now I'm really confused.

So please ask your Engineer friend. I wonder? Both will work?

I did learn something from my mishap a couple weeks ago. The Booster died as I was pulling into the Mall for my breakfast. I knew exactly what I had to do to get home that day and so went inside to eat and have two cups of coffee. An hour later I was out side pulling the handlebars and bar backs off so I could get under the tank and move the wires. Next time I wire up a booster I will make it possible to rewire back to OEM with out removing the tank.
__________________
.
Never memorize something you can look up.
---Albert Einstein

Pay your debt, piratejohn.http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=949341
disston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2012, 05:55 AM   #22
woodly1069 OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
woodly1069's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY...really too far from the hills!
Oddometer: 1,764
Does this booster live under the front cover or do you put it under the tank? Or does it matter?
__________________
If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem!
woodly1069 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2012, 06:15 AM   #23
Bill Harris
Confirmed Curmudgeon
 
Bill Harris's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: backwoods Alabama
Oddometer: 7,100
Not under the front cover-- that is a bad place for electronics to live because of the heat. The Booster typically goes under the frame backbone between the coils and the tool tray.

--Bill
__________________
'73 R60/5 Toaster
Luddite. Not just a philosophy, a way of life...
Bill Harris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2012, 06:30 AM   #24
woodly1069 OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
woodly1069's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY...really too far from the hills!
Oddometer: 1,764
cool, just wondering, as a few of the inmates have suggested that using one may be helpful if I plan on riding the old girl any distance! Where would one find a good deal on one? Is there multiple brands available or just one "Go to" brand?
__________________
If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem!
woodly1069 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2012, 06:33 AM   #25
disston
ShadeTreeExpert
 
disston's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: Silver Spring, Md
Oddometer: 8,793
Hi Woodster,

The Booster is an after market item made by several companies. It can be mounted in several places. Directions say to put it somewhere that will get cooling air. I have mine on the fairing frame. Some riders put it under the tank. It's really too big to fit under the front cover.



This seems to be the most popular. There are others, some cheaper maybe. Or you can also build your own. Since they can be attached to the bike in almost any spot a lot of times new riders actually have a booster and don't know it (happened here a week ago, or so). The easy way to tell if you have one is look at your wiring. The points wire goes to the condenser and the right coil wire goes to the condenser. If this is how the bike is wired it does not have a booster. If there is a booster a wire from it will go to the coil.

There are other systems also that replace more of the OEM system. They may even have an internal electronic advance, eliminating the mechanical advance of the bike. The advantage of the booster is that it keeps all of the OEM system and uses the ignition points as a simple switch that only has to carry normal battery voltage. In the OEM set up the points carry 20,000 Volts and this is what usually wears them out. By eliminating this high Voltage at the points they can last a long time. With a Booster the mechanical advance is kept and the purest amongst us appreciate that.

Since it is a man made item the Booster can break like anything else. But to revert to the OEM ignition from a Booster involves only moving a couple of wires. Biggest advantage of all. All the original parts are still attached to the bike. We've had long discussions about some more complicated electronic ignition systems and the riders who buy them swear they will pack the points and points plate till that eventful day when it is needed. I did this when I had a Dyna III system. After less than two years of packing these pieces in a plastic bag (this insures the parts will be constantly wet and never dry out) the parts were not usable.

The usual reason for getting a Dyna III is because there is a ghost timing image and the firing of the two cylinders can be controlled in the Dyna III by two separate magnetic pick ups. This is hard to set up but it can work. After I blew the Dyna III by trying to balance carbs with out using shorting rods but just lifting the plug wires I had to replace all the stock parts that were rusted up in my plastic bag.

There is a way to fix a Ghost Timing Image with out having to eliminate the stock ignition system. It's a little more complicated but doable by the Home Mechanic. I got rid of the Ghost, Double Timing Image this way.

I'm a fan of keeping the stock ignition system with it's mechanical advance and adding a Booster.
__________________
.
Never memorize something you can look up.
---Albert Einstein

Pay your debt, piratejohn.http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=949341
disston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2012, 06:53 AM   #26
woodly1069 OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
woodly1069's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY...really too far from the hills!
Oddometer: 1,764
Thanks diston, as always, very informative and helpful! Now I need to find one! By the way, I rode the old bike yesterday and she didn't miss a beat!
__________________
If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem!
woodly1069 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2012, 07:51 AM   #27
bpeckm
Grin!
 
bpeckm's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2008
Location: Road Island
Oddometer: 5,731
Just found this and was going to say "points"... ("I checked them 100 miles ago....").

...then I finished the thread. Yep.


__________________
XS650 becomes a VT BackRoadRunner
Loving the 80ST
I love projects that take twice as much effort as should be needed. Should be an Airhead motto. (disston)
__________________
bpeckm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2012, 08:54 AM   #28
Horsehockey
A GPS? Huh?
 
Joined: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont
Oddometer: 328
My bike came with a Dyna III ignition seven years ago. I've put 65K miles on it since and don't know when a PO first mounted it. My guess is my Dyna III has around 80K on it and at least 10 years. No troubles. When I bought the bike, the black box module was mounted on the front frame down tube, right side. I got tired of looking at it about 30K miles ago and relocated it to the top of my newer nicely flat-topped voltage regulator under the tank. It fits nicely and with some velcro and zip ties, is pretty secure. I did notice just a bit of chafing under the tank so I relocated it a quarter inch and, to be sure, glued on a little inner tube patch to the underside of the tank. There's lots of speculation about how much "cooling" the Dyna boxes need. In my case, the under-tank location of the Dyna box has been trouble-free. Don't know if the boosters generate more or less heat than the ignition boxes, and would find it to be pretty entertaining if some airhead out there with severe OCD would conduct a thorough scientific analysis under all conditions. Thank you in advance.
Horsehockey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2012, 09:25 AM   #29
disston
ShadeTreeExpert
 
disston's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: Silver Spring, Md
Oddometer: 8,793
I have blown up two modules. Both Dyna, one, a Dyna III and two, a Booster. I think they actually may be the same unit. They look the same but I don't have them side by side to compare.

The Dyna III was blown up by my stupidity, I was balancing the carbs by lifting the plug wires. This unit did not stop working all at once but seemed to get weaker and weaker over a period of almost a week and finally the bike wouldn't start.

The Booster gave out with no warning. It was exposed to cooling air flow. I had not been balancing the carbs by lifting the plug wires. It just went.

These units can be bought over the counter in many places or ordered on line from many sources. You can even buy them from the manufacturer. The one that works on our Airheads is the DBR-1. It is hard to find this thing on the DynaTek site because they want us to buy more expensive products. But the Booster is on this page;

http://www.dynaonline.com/skins/prod...Dyna_Boosters/

I have no connection with Dyna. I would almost prefer to find something else but then I also have nothing against Dyna.

You don't have to run out and get one of these right away. It is a nice modification to do when you have the time. You may find other units attractive. There are many long threads on AdvRider about these, I'm in a few of them, you may want to build your own. I think the Dyna unit recently went up again, it's now $87. You can build something that is almost the same thing for less than $25. Sorry I don't have the directions. I'm all for that approach but I've never done it.
__________________
.
Never memorize something you can look up.
---Albert Einstein

Pay your debt, piratejohn.http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=949341
disston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2012, 05:24 PM   #30
bmwhacker
Still on 3 wheels
 
bmwhacker's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: MONTANA NATIVE from NATIVE MONTANA
Oddometer: 4,252
Faulty condensors can cause some wierd symptoms. My BMW had some odd habits. Watching the points operate with the front cover off I saw sparks jumping sideways from the points....changed the condensor and things looked normal.
__________________
http://555navigator.blogspot.com

Living proof you shouldn't play with matches
ABC# 1992
bmwhacker is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 02:40 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014