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Author Topic: How permanent is an electronic ignition conversion?  (Read 1983 times)

jedaks

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How permanent is an electronic ignition conversion?
« on: June 29, 2012, 12:57:44 PM »
I'm still using points. I like them. They are simple and cheap and have an inherent get-you-home fiddle factor.

But I am paranoid about engine damage due to timing problems. I understand that with electronic ignition, once the timing is set then it is set and you can quit worrying about it.

If a bike is converted to use electronic ignition, can it be de-converted back to points if so desired? Is it major surgery?

Thumper

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Re: How permanent is an electronic ignition conversion?
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2012, 01:33:11 PM »
Going by what I have read - not by experience of my own -
If one converts to an ECI (from mechanical points) - the reverse process should be very do-able.
   
However, I'm like you.
I even considered converting my Electra-X AVL from ECI back to points.
I knew I could put my hands on the points - if ever needed.
Can't do that with ECI.
   
And even the ECI has its share of issues.
The AVLs have been replaced by an improved version - free of cost by our host - to all who were interested.
   
Don't know what your maintenance interval is, but it's so frequent on the Electra X that one more check (of the points gap) wouldn't have been a show-shopper for me.
 
Points/timing rarely needed changing/adjusting in my experience.
It was usually just a routine check.
There were those times though....
 

barenekd

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Re: How permanent is an electronic ignition conversion?
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2012, 07:34:37 PM »
I replaced the points in a G80 Matchless with a Boyer over 15 years ago. It's still running with no maintenance. It turned the bike from a PITA to start into a one or two kicker every time. But, to be fair, the points system did not include a battery, which was necessary for the Boyer.
It was a simple conversion that probably took a half hour, maybe. It would be quite easy to convert back, but I sure wouldn't do it.
Bare
« Last Edit: July 01, 2012, 07:38:20 PM by barenekd »
2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer
2011 Black Classic G5 (RIP)
I refuse to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death
http://www.controllineplans.com

OleO

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Re: How permanent is an electronic ignition conversion?
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2012, 06:40:47 PM »
I was thinking about getting the electronic ignition for my '06, iron
barrel Military, but would sure like to see the installation instructions
before I order the kit. I'd like to assure myself that installation doesn't
involve major surgery and is reversible. I like the idea of keeping good
ol' points and condenser in the tool kit to switch back to old technology
should the modern stuff fail. I see they offer 2 flavors. With and without
the Bosch blue coil. I wonder if the blue coil is worth the extra money?
I wonder if just switching to the blue coil will make a difference I can
see. I'm thinking about disabling the "always on to satisfy the US DOT"
headlight circuit to give a bit more juice to the ignition when trying to
start the motor.
'06, Iron Barrel Military...ridin' 'er like
she's meant to be rid.

baird4444

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Re: How permanent is an electronic ignition conversion?
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2012, 04:09:19 PM »
YES- go for the Bosch blue coil. Very worth it in my opinion...  as far as disabling the always on headlight; 2 minute job. And to switch to the EI...  know that you must keep your battery in tip top health and charge or they may fail to advance timing causing kickback...
  keep the old ignition; to change is pointless.
     - Mike
"You can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning!! "
        -Cody Baird
'My dear you are ugly,
 but tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be ugly'
 - Winston Churchill

Chasfield

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Re: How permanent is an electronic ignition conversion?
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2012, 05:22:20 PM »
I am running a Pazon Energy booster electronic ignition system, which is a kind of a halfway house. It retains the points to time the ignition but they now switch a minimal trigger current, so all the spark goes to the plug and the points don't burn away.

I could put the system back to standard  points in half an hour by replacing the condenser and reconnecting a single wire.
2001 500 Bullet Deluxe

OleO

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Re: How permanent is an electronic ignition conversion?
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2012, 07:02:08 PM »
 I'm guessing the conversion is just a removal of the condenser, points
and cam, and the installation of the sensor/pickup in place of the points and
an optical chopper or magnet wheel in place of the cam. (Only a guess on my
part.) I'm wondering how complicated the removal of the distributor cam is?
Setting the timing with points is a simple detection of their opening, w/ a
meter, at x.x mm BTDC after the gap has been set. How does one set the
timing on the electronic ignition?
'06, Iron Barrel Military...ridin' 'er like
she's meant to be rid.

barenekd

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Re: How permanent is an electronic ignition conversion?
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2012, 08:11:39 PM »
Aft the bolt, just a light tap on the cam will knock it loose. It's a taper fit and comes loose easily.
Honestly can't recall the setup on the electronic ignition, but it was pretty easy. The whole Matchless (points ignition, basically identical to the Bullet) job took me less than a half hour.
Bare
2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer
2011 Black Classic G5 (RIP)
I refuse to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death
http://www.controllineplans.com

OleO

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Re: How permanent is an electronic ignition conversion?
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2012, 10:01:23 PM »
A taper fit? Is there anything to index it to
the rest of the engine to keep it in time? A
keyway or something?
'06, Iron Barrel Military...ridin' 'er like
she's meant to be rid.

Chasfield

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Re: How permanent is an electronic ignition conversion?
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2012, 10:12:25 AM »
No, ignition timing for the points system can be set to anything you like, which is why a few pistons end up with holes in them.

The points cam is positioned approximately on the taper such that the correct ignition point falls comfortably within the adjustment range allowed by the slots of the points back plate. Then, the ignition is timed precisely by positioning the  points back plate to achieve correct static timing.

Not sure what you do to position the new electronic ignition back plate when you install - never seen one of those.
2001 500 Bullet Deluxe

OleO

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Re: How permanent is an electronic ignition conversion?
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2012, 04:49:16 PM »
Darn! I wish it was keyed or indexed in some
manner. Would make the conversion back to points,
in the field, much easier.
'06, Iron Barrel Military...ridin' 'er like
she's meant to be rid.

Chasfield

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Re: How permanent is an electronic ignition conversion?
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2012, 06:30:31 PM »
What about this system from our hosts?

http://nfieldgear.com/enfield-store/simple-electronic-ignition.html

It looks like it would install without disturbing the fit of the cam/advance unit on its taper.
2001 500 Bullet Deluxe

OleO

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Re: How permanent is an electronic ignition conversion?
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2012, 11:11:11 PM »
The very one I'm considering. It's the little circular piece in
the middle of the picture that I'm unsure of. Does it replace
the cam or does it slip on?
'06, Iron Barrel Military...ridin' 'er like
she's meant to be rid.

Chasfield

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Re: How permanent is an electronic ignition conversion?
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2012, 06:49:10 AM »
This British Bulleteers forum thread might help with that question:

http://tinytim.forumcircle.com/viewtopic.php?t=1974&

It looks like the circular piece pushes on - and can fall off. A spot of epoxy would surely fix that.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 06:52:47 AM by Chasfield »
2001 500 Bullet Deluxe

OleO

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Re: How permanent is an electronic ignition conversion?
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2012, 02:18:16 PM »
From the types of EI I've seen over ther years, it's probably an optical
chopper that interrupts an IR emitter/detector or a magnet that pulses
a magnetic field across a Hall effect sensor mounted on the backing plate.
I'm leaning toward a magnet due to the size and appearance. If it has
an eliptical ID, perhaps it's a slip-fit right on the cam and does away with
my concern with getting the rough timing in the ball park. Now, if I can
only discover how the timing is set dead on.
'06, Iron Barrel Military...ridin' 'er like
she's meant to be rid.