R100 Ignition Question

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by 00_Green, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. 00_Green

    00_Green Adventurer

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    My son has been fixing up an 81 R100T. Using a timing light at idle the timing mark lines up per the chiltons book.
    Being an old school seat of the pants guy, the bike cranks over like the ignition is too advanced and at highway speed it doesnt pull like I would expect.
    Could an 81 have mechanical advance with electronic ignition? Or is it a full electronic ignition system? Compression is good, we did a total rebuild on the carbs and the sinc is as close as i can get it.
    To me it acts like theres a timing issue. My only idea is to very the TDC mark is accurate with the piston at TDC.
    Any suggestions?
    #1
  2. Wirespokes

    Wirespokes Beemerholics Anonymous

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    That bike is the first year of electronic ignition, but all airheads have mechanical advance. Go figure.

    What gives you the idea there's a timing issue? What are the symptoms? Does it ping?
    #2
  3. DaveBall

    DaveBall Long timer

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    Sounds to me that your mechanical advance may be stuck. Had a similar issue on an 81 R100 and everything else was set up as close to perfect as I can get. I had to take apart the mechanical advance and clean some crap out of there and replaced the springs for the weights. Ran perfect after that. It is a little bit fiddly getting to the springs and cleaning, unless you have small fingers.
    #3
  4. R100RT Mark

    R100RT Mark Been here awhile

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    Make sure that you are lining up the correct marks. Dynamic timing is normally done fully advanced, i.e at 3,000 rpm or so, NOT at idle.

    You will be able to see if the mechanical advance is working, albeit it may not be working properly, as you will see the timing marks "progress" as you rev the bike up and down.

    Mark
    #4
  5. supershaft

    supershaft because I can

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    Check your timing at idle AND full advance. Watch the timing curve with your own eyes. They won't be fooled.

    Nothing wrong with that mechanical advance. They normally work LONG time. But still they are rarely set up to time both idle and full advance at the same time. At least half of the time you have to manipulate the weight stops via the inspection window in order to adjust the timing curve to time both ends of the spectrum at the same time. The weight stops are very malleable. Try to bend both about the same is as good as they ever came from the factory. It does make a difference! Usually in my experience you have to bend the weight stops out. That would explain your issues if you timed it on the S mark at idle since typically that would leave you retarded at full advance. On the flip side, if you time the typically maladjusted advance to the F mark at full advance, it will leave your idle timing too advanced and cause low rpm pinging. You very often can't win with what they give you!
    #5
  6. 00_Green

    00_Green Adventurer

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    The bike doesn't crank over, start, and idle like I believe it should unless it's completely warmed up. Also at highway speed it seems to be lacking when you roll the throttle. To me, it acts just like a timing issue.

    The Chilton book says "Dynamic timing: center line S aligned with fixed pointer between 800 - 1100 rpm." This is how we checked it, is the book wrong? We did increase rpm and the S marks disapear indicating some advance.

    I don't remember if we brought the engine to 3500 and looked for the F. If I have the center line S at 800 - 1100 and an F at 3500, would it be safe to say my advance is correct? or should we take it apart, clean, inspect, and lube it?
    #6
  7. ignatz72

    ignatz72 call me iggy

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    If you don't want to fiddle with the auto-advance stops, you could possibly advance the dynamic timing at full advance, ignoring the static...

    Worked fine for my '93 GS that wouldn't keep an idle. I think I ended up w/ 3-4 degrees total advance at full advance.

    As others have mentioned, it can be near impossible to get BOTH static and FA dynamic perfect without modifying the beancan. Static (and dynamic at idle) is less important anyway... Whatever your bike needs to idle and run!

    Just be on the lookout for pinging at the higher advance.
    #7
  8. 00_Green

    00_Green Adventurer

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    Mu son said we did look for the F but only to be sure we had some advance. We did not verify it fell in the middle of the window.

    This is from snowbum's site and is what Mark suggested ..............

    "PROPER METHOD is to set at maximum advance point (F or Z) and let the S mark fall wherever it does."

    We'll try it when he gets home from school.
    #8
  9. DaveBall

    DaveBall Long timer

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    Check those Advance weights. Make sure they have full movement and that the springs are not shot. A simple fix that a lot of people over look. You can fudge around with your timing til the cows come home, but if the weights are not working correctly or the springs have lost their tension, you will never get it right.

    The mechanical advance will work fine for a very long time, but you still have to do minimal maintenance on it.
    #9
  10. supershaft

    supershaft because I can

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    I agree with the bum that full advance timing is the more important of two check points but doing it half ass is not the PROPER METHOD. Why time half of it when it is easy to time all of it. Why rattle like a diesel leaving stop signs or have way less off idle pick up than the bike should have. Why sacrifice one end for the other when you don't have to? Because the other end is more important? Off idle performance is very important on race bikes let alone street bikes. I am just trying to help get your bike running better. Sometimes they time both ends right out of the box! If they don't, it's an easy one time fix!

    Springs? I know springs can go bad. I have seen a couple of fork springs do it over the decades. I friend over in Oakland sells advance springs. He gave me three sets of them about twelve years ago. I work on a lot of bikes and I have yet found the need to use them except for one can that had been underwater and then corroded but that whole can was junk. I have seen a couple of points advances just wear out into unfixable junk before but the springs where fine.
    #10
  11. 00_Green

    00_Green Adventurer

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    We checked the timing again, center line S at idle 950 +/- RPM, and the Z line centers up right at 3k. Looking through the window the advance apears to be smooth advancing and retarding the throttle.
    We're a little short on time tonight so I didn't physically check the fly weights. I have looked in the can before and like everything under the front cover it's clean.
    The bike just doestn't crank, start, and warm up like my 100s. I'd swear it's not timed right but can't seem to find anything wrong.
    The bike has low milage and decent compression. I may have to hope for a local tech day and get another opinion.
    Any ATL area riders interested in a tech day, or meeting and taking a look?
    #11
  12. R100LT

    R100LT Chasing 11

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    Its sounds like you have done everything right with the timing .

    Maybe ( just maybe ) It could be a problem elsewhere.

    I am just throwing this out there, but what are the condition of the carbs ( could be something as simple as a "sticky" choke )

    Or even the air filter/intake . We seem to over look this .. especially on a bike thats been sitting for awhile.

    ( I am assuming that you have new & correct spark plugs in it )

    Again .. I am just trying to think outside the box.
    #12
  13. cycleman2

    cycleman2 Been here awhile

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    If you switch to an Iridium plug you'll notice a difference in performance. On these older igintion systems they do make a difference.

    But you might still have a carb issue as others have pointed out.
    #13
  14. supershaft

    supershaft because I can

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    How it cranks is an electrical issue alone so we can pretty much subdivide that issue. Battery? Cables? Starter? And the like.

    Start? That probably has to do with the chokes. Plugs? Plug caps? Coils? Float level and idle adjustment screw settings matter a lot for starting too.

    Warm up? It could be a mofo warming up because it is jetted spot on for when it is fully warmed up. My R100 is souped up a bit for a lot more than stock power and it is one cold natured mofo. I could jet it to warm up better but then it wouldn't make as much power when it is hot. Or your setup could be a bit lean. If they are at all it is almost always right off idle. Many a beemer could stand to be richened up a bit off idle and leaned out on top end. Just the opposite of what many do. Two numbers up in the idle jet is usually the thing to try. 266's? Try 268's and so on.

    Good luck!
    #14
  15. 00_Green

    00_Green Adventurer

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    We just did the carbs. Bodies were ultrasonicly cleaned, new diaphrams,new floats, no expense spared. The floats were set and double checked. We made sure they were level and parellel to the bodies. The intake boot/tube/coupling things were replaced with new. The air filter looks new but not replaced by us. We did talk about removing it and seeing how the bike starts next time.
    #15
  16. 00_Green

    00_Green Adventurer

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    I never paid attention to the jet sizes. Wires and boots look new, the plugs are new, W5D. The spark is a bright blue. The battery is a new GelMat. It isnt the speed it cranks over, it's more how it hits and runs before you can finallly take the choke off.

    Maybe it is jetted lean for cold starting. Jetting isn't something I remember reading about on any of the forums but there's plenty of complaints about the cold starting.

    I just finished up an older Buell M2 that had some issues and it was incorrectly jetted, probably from 10+ years ago when the exhaust and intake/carb were changed.
    #16
  17. supershaft

    supershaft because I can

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    Like I said, hopefully if is jetted too lean for cold starting. That's what chokes are for! Jetting for a cold engine will leave you power robbing rich when it gets hot and hot is the temp you want to tune for, not cold. You need to remember that a lot of people complain about having to use the choke much at all. There not happy unless it runs choke free right away. If it does that it is too rich when it gets hot and hot is where your engine is 99.9% of the time. That's what chokes are for! I am proud of getting my setup jetted down to where it is damn cold natured. It runs all the better for it when it is hot. It reminds me of working with some damn cold natured race bikes. They would run like crap until fully warmed up. Why? Best power!
    #17
  18. Wirespokes

    Wirespokes Beemerholics Anonymous

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    Comparing it to your 100S may be unfair - there were a lot of changes made over the years, lower compression and advanced cam timing being a couple.

    So what is the complaint about the choke? That it won't run without it soon enough? Will it idle and run ok when warmed up?
    #18
  19. R100RT Mark

    R100RT Mark Been here awhile

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QFormat="true" Name="Intense Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="31" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="32" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="33" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" Name="Bibliography"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading"/> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif][if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} </style> <![endif]--> I am ready to be corrected on this big time, but from memory of timing my ‘93 and ‘94 R100s there is a “Z” mark and then there is a line underneath the “Z”. I think correct advance timing is where the line underneath the “Z” lines up with the crankcase marker, taking care to get down and look at the line/mark at an angle that has you just peeking over the top of the left carb'. If I am correct, your timing may still be off by a few degrees. Folks, please weigh in with confirmation/correction.

    Mark
    #19
  20. 00_Green

    00_Green Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Oddometer:
    99
    Location:
    Atlanta
    When you first start the bike you have to play with the throttle to keep the bike running for the first minute or so. After it warms up you can begin to back the choke off and it idles fine. Overall perfomance is good and the bike is smooth riding around town. At highway speeds the bike doesn't pull like I would expect, likes it's under powered. The carbs are freshly rebuilt. I've done a number of them over the years and am confident I have them right.
    I know there are differences in the models but my 77 starts right up and has a smoother stronger cold idle. I dont have to play with the throttle and you can start backing the choke off right away. At highway speeds a bump of the throttle results in an instant increase in speed.

    At full advance the line under the z is in the center of the window.

    I've found conflicting info on spark plug part numbers. One source says W5D, another says W6D. Anyone have a recommendation for a good plug? The spark is bright blue. All I have is the Chiltons book and several of the popular web sites to refer to.

    Again, my experience lead me to suspect timing but hey, I've been wrong before and as of yet I have found nothing to support my suspicions. This bike sat for years so we know nothing about it's history.
    #20