Installed new points- Now no spark

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by dm635, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. dm635

    dm635 I Roll

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    I'm not new to points, but this is my first set on an air head. As far as I can tell these are the originals I removed. Screw heads pristine, untouched. Did replace with allen heads for ease of install.

    Replacement went fine until I went to fire it up. Yep, you guessed it, no sparkage, so no test ride. Got 12v to the points just minus the fat blue spark, any spark for that matter. Reinstalled the old points and still nothing. Still dead in the water. Also using original condenser since they apparently last. Tested with meter and it shows pretty much they same reading you'd get testing a capacitor.

    Points came from Capital Cycle and appear good quality. Came with no packing so don't know the brand. About to pull out the Clymer and get to troubleshooting.

    Any tips?? Thanks Dave
    #1
  2. chollo9

    chollo9 Screwed the Pooch

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    Did you clean them? Is the wire in the right position (i.e., insulated, not grounded)?

    Basic stuff, but easy to miss.
    #2
  3. Stan_R80/7

    Stan_R80/7 Beastly Gnarly

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    Look up static timing in your Clymer manual. That will get the bike started. You will need to make or find a test light that will go out when the points open. Good luck!

    Edit: upon rereading the original post, it sounds like the points may not be opening and closing. Double check the gap and visually check that the points close. Any opening and closing of the points will cause a spark but larger openings will make the points last longer.
    #3
  4. DoktorT

    DoktorT BigBrowedNeandereer

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    Just a very sleight oil film transfered from feeler guage to points will prevent contact. Clean the points and always clean your feeler blade before use. Use your ohm meter to verify 0.1 or less ohms with points closed. Then hook up the wire and go to the coils and pull that end of the point circuit and verify you get tiny resistance then infinate resistance while turning the motor as the points open and close. At the same time you can check base timing to within a few degrees at least. The moment the points open you should see TDC mark near/in the window.

    Unhook the condenser or you will get variable readings when checking points contacts.
    #4
  5. oldroadie

    oldroadie Two wheel addict

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    Sounds like you're not making a good ground at the points. If you disconnect the wire to the points and hold it against the engine casing do you get a blue spark when you lift the lead and interrupt the ground? If so that isolates the problem to the new points and maybe it's an easy solution. One side of the points is grounded, the other is insulated from the case...this is how it breaks contact when the points open. Maybe the insulating washer (s) got missed or put on the wrong side during the replacement.
    #5
  6. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

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    You should see the 'S' mark, not 'OT'
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  7. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

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    Yeah...
    Pull oout the Clymer and get to troubleshooting.

    The airhead points are standard stuff like any other. need some lube on the felt, a tiny bit on the advance weight pivots, don't overtorque the nut (BIG problems), utterly clean and properly gapped points faces, correct wiring, etc.
    #7
  8. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    A couple of years ago the ignition points from BMW had a problem. May have been a couple of problems but I only remember one. The rubbing block, a fiber block that runs on the advance cam and is what the cam acts on to open the points, was too big or more specifically too long. These points either never closed up or had too short a dwell because of this problem. It's possible the points from Capitol Cycle were part of this old stock and should not have been shipped.

    Some riders were able to make the problem points work by filing down the rubbing block. I think if you look at this operation carefully enough you should be able to see they are not closing or closing for too short a time. I would call Capitol Cycle and ask Tom if he would ship you the right thing.

    Apparently some dealers are still selling these points. I think they have been told about the problem. I bought a new set of points a week ago at Bob's but I was given the Norris brand. They do not have this problem and many of us have been using them for a couple of years. I thought the OEM problem had maybe been fixed but It seems some of this old stock is still around.

    CC gets some of it's parts from the same channels that the dealer parts come trough.

    Just another possibility.
    #8
  9. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

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    Capitol Cycle IS a dealer.
    #9
  10. dm635

    dm635 I Roll

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    Thanks for all the tips on this problem. And any one of them could have easily caused the no spark condition.

    I found the problem and it was due to the allen head bolts I bought to make it easier to install. Instead it created hours of troubleshooting. The allen head itself was taller than the stock bolt causing the lower center bolt to ground out the points assy. it was partially hidden due to its location. I ended up filing it down so it did not make contact with points tension spring causing a direct path to ground.


    Had to finish this up since often times there's a resolution to a problem, but the real issue never addessd
    #10
  11. 00_Green

    00_Green Adventurer

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    Thanks for posting the fix. My screws will need replacement soon. If I go with an alternate I'll be sure to pay close attention to head clearance!.
    #11
  12. *Gmoney*

    *Gmoney* Long timer

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    Goes out looks in his tool box at special point screw holder screwdriver he bought 40 years ago, and says ok.
    Then he remembers, how for every problem, I try to fix, I create a new one.
    I think if the replacement screws would have been mention in first post, many would of had a different diagnoses.
    #12
  13. gertiektn

    gertiektn KetchikanBeemer

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    I have found that when you modify the stock stuff.. use care.

    I recently finished a r75/7 refurb, and I could not get the dyna lll system to fire. I had changed some many electrical connections and replaced relays and Voltage regulators and thunderchild boards. So I decided to go back and put in a stock set of points.. they were tired looking and the wire had at some point overheated and was stiff and ugly.. but it was all I had.
    It worked and the spark was there. When the bike got hot it would miss and it ran uneven.. I was suspicious.. and ordered the Norris set..
    Still waiting.. for arrival..anyway I had other issues like over fueling on the mikunis..
    I think I have it close to sorted out and took it for a test ride. Over all it ran just ok... and on the way back it would sputter and cought.. then just quite.. the dash lites dimmed and I hit the kill switch.. So 4 miles from home on a deserted road.. I disconnected the battery and pulled the plugs to inspect the color.. brown.. and better fueling.. off came the front cover and the points wire fried.. the spring got so hot it lost its tension.
    the crappy wiring failed and melted and looks like it direct shorted to the block on the lower holder clip. The bike was intermittent.. and I could not tell if it was fueling or electrical.. but have been suspicious of the points.

    The destruction was not a big surprise.

    So a new set is coming.. the QUESTION IS??

    I did install a new condenser.. Did I ruin it with the direct short on the points wire?

    All the other wires look undamaged.

    The motto is: Don't use old sh*t.

    I have a spare condenser..

    Thank for any informative comments.

    Jim
    #13
  14. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

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    That should not have been a problem.

    [​IMG]

    This is a /5 points plate, the /6/7 ones are very similar.

    --Bill
    #14
  15. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    I don't think you don't know this is not right. (a triple negative?)

    It was mentioned in the first post.
    #15
  16. gertiektn

    gertiektn KetchikanBeemer

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    Can it be destroyed if there is a dead short?

    My wire did not have the sheath at the clip.

    The new set will have the protective cover. It was an old crappy left over set just to get it going.

    Am reading up on Condensers.. and testing them.:clap
    #16
  17. *Gmoney*

    *Gmoney* Long timer

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    You are right sorry
    #17
  18. gertiektn

    gertiektn KetchikanBeemer

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    Testing is not easy. You need and expensive specialized tester.
    From my research...
    Carry a spare as they can fail anytime..
    If you are burning points.. replace it.
    If question the integrity.. replace it.. they are cheap.

    There is a test where you charge and discharge it on a analog ohm meter.
    The test is not entirely complete to show if the capacitor is up to snuff.

    Jim, Ketchikan:clap
    #18
  19. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    Discharging a condenser through an Ohm meter would blow the Ohm meter I believe. Never heard of such a test.

    If there is a short to ground on the points wire then the points will not fire. It will not destroy the condenser, I think.

    I also don't see how the lower center bolt grounds out anything. It is grounded, it doesn't touch the points.
    #19
  20. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

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    I don't either-- the allen-head screws that were substituted for the (stock) cheese-head screws are in the same size range, so I don't see how they shorted anything. I use them because they are easier to get to with a ball-tip allen screwdriver.

    I dunno-- there has to be a story behind the story here...

    --Bill
    #20