Timing Won't Advance

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by SPCROOKS, Sep 18, 2020.

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  1. SPCROOKS

    SPCROOKS Adventurer

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    Hi all,

    The ignition trigger on my dual plugged 86' R80 died a little while back. I had initially wanted to move to the Alpha Ignition, but conveniently it was being re-designed and out of stock everywhere (I haven't checked in a little while, but it may still be the case). I currently have the Enduralast 450W alternator with the heavy duty ignition module.

    Anyway, in the meantime I bought a used ignition trigger (I know...) to get by until I could upgrade. I was checking the timing with a timing light after installing the new/old can, and found that increasing the engine speed didn't change the position of the flywheel timing mark. No matter how much throttle I gave, it just sat at "S".

    I have read about a sticking advance mechanism, but it seemed to me that the problem often was that it was stuck in advance.

    Does this sound like a matter of taking the ignition trigger apart to lube, or could something else be afoul?

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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  2. Motopsychoman

    Motopsychoman Not a total poseur Supporter

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    The mechanical advance is just a couple of weights and springs. It is quite possible that the weights are stuck either at no advance or at full advance and when you installed it and set the static timing it just stays where you set it.

    If you are up for the exploratory surgery, as my dad used to say "If it's already broke, you have nothing to lose."
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  3. SPCROOKS

    SPCROOKS Adventurer

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    Thanks for the reply. I had a hunch that might be the problem...but all the posts I have read regarding advance units seem to involve the "stuck in advance" scenario.

    I once took one apart once and made a mess of it. Second times a charm, right? I'll open it up and give it a look.
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  4. SPCROOKS

    SPCROOKS Adventurer

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    ccmickelson, I must have missed your reply while I was writing my response. I will definitely give that a go first. Thanks.
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  5. ccmickelson

    ccmickelson MonoMania Supporter

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    Before you pull it apart, pop out the little inspection plug and spray the shit out of it with WD40 then give it another try. That's worked for me several times.
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  6. ccmickelson

    ccmickelson MonoMania Supporter

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    I'd also make sure the drive dogs are properly engaged with the cam.
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  7. SPCROOKS

    SPCROOKS Adventurer

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    Forgive my ignorance regarding the matter, but how would I go about checking that?
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  8. Beemerguru

    Beemerguru Beemerguru...G/S guy

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    You can tell if the can is not fully seated in the hole and the bolts that hold it on do NOT EASILY pull it up to the timing cover. Crank on the bolts and things start to break. The fact that it runs means that the problem is internal.

    Or you can call EME and get their digital setup, install in about an hour, flip one dip switch for dual plugged engine, set timing and go ride.
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  9. SPCROOKS

    SPCROOKS Adventurer

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    Ok. I haven't heard any horrible noises from that region while it is running, so I will safely assume that all is seated correctly. Beemerguru, do you have experience with EME's digital ignition? As I mentioned before, I had been in the market for digital ignition. While I would have to change out my coils, that certainly isn't a deal breaker.
    And I assume from your response that it is dual plug ready. I had noted that there were two versions of the Alpha.
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  10. Beemerguru

    Beemerguru Beemerguru...G/S guy

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    I install 1-2 a month so yes. Unless you're really working the engine with upgrades like cam and racing pistons/rods, the EDL-IGNS that works with the 450 watt charging system works fine. Read the instructions...especially the part about not running with the front cover off in the daylight. Like a customer did last month and called to tell me the system blew up. Told him to put the front cover back on and I'd send him a bill.

    Take your time while installing, don't shorten the factory wiring - coil it up with a tie wrap out of the way. Pretty bullet proof system. To change for a dual plug setup, you flip one dip switch. EME will tell you which coil is recommended. You can leave the bean can installed as a backup just in case something does happen out on the road or remove it and install their can replacement plug..your choice.

    Call me if you have any questions.
    #10
  11. Disston

    Disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    The drive dogs are the off set keys on the bottom of the can that engage the end of the cam shaft when bolted in place.

    BTW, I think the saying is third time the charm.
    #11
  12. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

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    The chances that the can is bad are about zero. If you are getting output to the timing light then the hall is fine as is the ignition. Pull the can, remove the inspection plug and throw it away (the plug). The hole lines up with the advance weighs and their pivots. Turn the drive dog and watch things go by in the window. The weights should be in the 'in' position because the can isn't spinning fast enough to throw them outward. The springs should be intact. It is ok to poke with a piece of heavy wire. Clean pivots with contact cleaner or carb cleaner if it is all you got. WD40 is neither a cleaner nor lubricant for long. Then lube the pivots and weight rubbibg surfaces with Zoom-Spout oil.

    Or just throw your checkbook at a whole new system that you will not understand (the important part)
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  13. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

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    so if the non-working beancan is needed as a backup will it work with the coils EME wants?
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  14. Beemerguru

    Beemerguru Beemerguru...G/S guy

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    As a backup to get you back to civilization, yes. But the can must at least sorta work. Dead can, you're walking. But that takes 2 failures. Install a good used can IF you do decide to keep a backup.
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  15. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

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    Yeah, I didn't think of that. I suppose you could run it without advance. Have to think on what would happen some more and how far one might get.
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  16. Beemerguru

    Beemerguru Beemerguru...G/S guy

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    Well, I know I can go about 400 miles on just the battery if the charging system takes a dump. Can't go 2' with no spark unless it's all downhill. Most bean can failures are intermediate...not a sudden ouch. Had one go over a year and about 15K miles..every once in a while it would hiccup and backfire but keep on going...until the last time when it didn't. Forunately it was a curiosity test..had a spare can and timing light in the bag ready to swap out when it did die.
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  17. Big Bamboo

    Big Bamboo Aircooled & Sunbaked Supporter

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    I met a guy with a bean can stuck on full advance. It ran well at anything above 3000rpm, but barely idled. He was too cheap to have it fixed...
    #17
  18. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Long timer Supporter

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    Must have been a bitch to start.
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