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Anyone still running points igintion? #686634 03/03/17 3:26 am
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Bola Offline OP
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I'm putting a 69 TR6R back on the road this Spring. It came to me with stock ignition which is in good condition, so I'd like to utilize the points. However, I'll have to buy new ones as these have sat idle too long. I've heard that todays repop points are not as good as the points of yesteryear so I'm wondering what you guys are using with success. Your suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.

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Re: Anyone still running points igintion? [Re: Bola] #686635 03/03/17 3:43 am
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I run points. Use fine grit paper to dress the points. They'll come back. Unless real damage re the cam foot or totally misaligned points, I use 'em over and over.

No problem and bike starts on first kick (last attempt anyway.) I'd only install new ones if someone held a gun to my head. I have them sitting on the shelf and there they'll stay for some time (I hope.)

Only down side you'll hear from those on the other side is you'll never have to dress, gap and set timing again!

S



73 T140V;
02 Ducati ST4s
Re: Anyone still running points igintion? [Re: steve-d] #686638 03/03/17 4:14 am
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Yes, I still use distributor, points coil and condenser in my '57 TBird. Quality points are still available for these old guys, but only Daiichi points are available for the later bikes. There are mixed reports about them. I found the nylon rubbing blocks wear too fast. Someone here has grafted the older, red phenolic rubbing blocks from the Lucas points onto them. That's getting a bit extreme, but whatever works.

I've installed a number of Pazon units in bikes for folks around here. It's simple cheap, reliable and easy. People these days can't be bothered to learn how to stone contacts anymore. Nobody smokes so the "fag paper" thing is passe'.

But, points work well. The auto advance unit is likely to be the first area of problems, though. They get worn and timing gets a bit wonky.

Cheers,
Bill



Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Black Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
Re: Anyone still running points igintion? [Re: HawaiianTiger] #686639 03/03/17 4:29 am
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desco Online Happy
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Hard core, die hard tinkerers still like points and they do have their advantages. I prefer Pazon or Boyer. I check the timing every year or so. I used to spend many hours and shed many tears adjusting those damn points. Never again.


1968 T120R
1972 T120RV
Any advice given is without a warranty expressed or implied.
Re: Anyone still running points igintion? [Re: desco] #686641 03/03/17 4:36 am
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Originally Posted by desco
I used to spend many hours and shed many tears adjusting those damn points. Never again.

Yeah, that's exactly what I don't want. But I will try to salvage what I have and give it a go before I buy an E.I. unit.

Re: Anyone still running points igintion? [Re: Bola] #686654 03/03/17 7:33 am
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Wilfred Offline
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Yes, I still use points. The points that were in the bike when I bought it 35,000 miles ago are still in it and working fine. I recently bought a NOS set from a forum member named Alex in New York which will go into one of the T100 bikes when the old ones are done. Yes, I have to check the timing once in a while but I still remember getting home one very cold November night about 60 or 70 miles on a done battery with no trouble. Apart from tires, I pretty much run original. So far so good, as I almost understand the old way of doing things........with the move to electronic I've been able to find points with lots of life left in them for down the road. Haven't yet used the aftermarket ones I have which are still in the parts drawer.

Cheers, Wilf


"It's about the ride..."
Re: Anyone still running points igintion? [Re: Bola] #686657 03/03/17 8:24 am
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Peter R Offline
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I run my Trident on points, although I have a Boyer sytem lying in a drawer, I have not got around fitting it yet, Have to get 4v ignition coils somewhere.
All my other bikes do have electronic ignition.


Peter.
1974 Commando 850
1972 Trident T150T
1961 Goldie DBD34
1969 Benelli 250 sport special
Re: Anyone still running points igintion? [Re: Bola] #686671 03/03/17 11:49 am
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RF Whatley Offline
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Originally Posted by Bola
I'm putting a 69 TR6R back on the road this Spring. It came to me with stock ignition which is in good condition, so I'd like to utilize the points. However, I'll have to buy new ones as these have sat idle too long. I've heard that todays repop points are not as good as the points of yesteryear so I'm wondering what you guys are using with success. Your suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.


The problem isn't the points themselves.
It's that after 40 years of abuse and neglect the Auto Advance Unit (AAU) is usually knackered beyond repair. That usually shows itself as to much play between the ignition cam and the spindle it rides on. Maximum play should be on the order of .003 to .005 inches.

Then you got spring stretch to account for, but new springs can still be had. But even with new springs, a lot of fiddling is required to get it so that the AAU doesn't advance too fast. Realize that the old AAU was designed to advance for the older fuels, while the newer electronic units take the poorer grade of fuel into account.

The simple reason most people "upgrade" to an EI is that the cost of a new AAU is about the same as a new EI.

Not saying it can't be done. I tune bikes every week with points systems doing just fine, but you got to know what the heck you're doing. If you're not an expert Brit bike tuner, then here's the piece of information that is not glaringly apparent: Back in the 60's points were the "simple answer". These days things have reversed positions. EI is now the "simple answer".

Hope this helps.

Last edited by RF Whatley; 03/03/17 11:52 am.

Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!

RF Whatley
Cornelia, GA
Re: Anyone still running points igintion? [Re: kurt fischer] #686679 03/03/17 1:53 pm
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Compared to most guys here, despite my successful racing Triumph, I can be known for hillbilly repairs and or tuning that defies normal techniques.......Pazon electronic ignitions are fully advanced by 3000 rpm...If your points mechanical advance springs are sacked resulting in full advance by 2000 rpm, it's no big deal unless you are in the habit of using a lot of throttle below 3000 rpm in the higher gears..In fact, more advance at light load part throttle gives better fuel mileage and often a cooler running engine..Ride it like a sporting bike and you won't have problems.If you like to ride around at 2000 rpm, then Maybe you need a Harley, and yes, older Harleys can hole a piston from lugging the engine....... I had a modified 55 BSA A10 with a manual advance magneto . The engine also had 9.5 compression pistons so it was on the verge of detonation..I would retard the spark to kick it, then the hand lever moved to full advance and left that way ...Didn't seem to hurt it...
I don't mind checking points occasionally...I sit on milk crate and check the gap, then check the points just opening at 38 degrees..takes about an hour and your hand don't get dirty..
And I agree most auto advance units are worn or seized from lack of attention.. I have disassembled quite a few Triumph engines that were bought with no bike attached....In all cases, about 5 of them, The pistons showed signs of galling,and the auto advance unit was seized in the partially or fully retarded position...I have to assume from the evidence, that retarded spark can be damaging...


79 T140D, 96 900M Ducati ....On a bike you can out run the demons..
Re: Anyone still running points igintion? [Re: Bola] #686680 03/03/17 1:57 pm
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I'm still running points on my unrestored 70 TR6R. I have installed EI on my other bikes but the ole' Tiger just keeps on ticking with the points, no reason to change them out plus if the battery goes dead I'm still riding.


1955 BSA Bantam D1 Plunger
1956 BSA A10RR Street and LSR Bike
1961 BSA C15S
1966 BSA spitfire
1969 Triumph T100C
1970 Triumph TR6R
1970 Triumph TR6C
1972 BSA Lightning LSR Bike
1974 Triumph T150V
Re: Anyone still running points igintion? [Re: Bola] #686684 03/03/17 2:27 pm
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My 1968 Triumph TR6R is still running points. I have no plans to go to E.I. Here is the full story on my1968 Triumph TR6R for those who like to read: https://www.classicbritishspares.co...ginal-1968-triumph-tiger-tr6r-motorcycle



[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]
Re: Anyone still running points igintion? [Re: RF Whatley] #686692 03/03/17 3:43 pm
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Thanks RF for your modern eccessment. This is food for thought.

Re: Anyone still running points igintion? [Re: Bola] #686700 03/03/17 5:15 pm
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Hi Bola, I have experience with new points from Raber's San Jose, CA. '69 Bonnie all stock. After 4 years & 8k miles they have held up well. No undue wear at contact faces & rubbing block has held up well also. Use points grease on rubbing block. Rubbing block is plastic of some sort. I still put drop of oil on felt as well.

Regarding new old stock points rubbing block, some old plastics will deteriorate & crumble. I installed new points in 1976 on my '73 Tiger 750. Bike was in storage 34 years. Now back on road have covered 17k miles on the points, rubbing block still holding up well.

The main problem with points was rubbing block wear due to lack of lube. I've been working on points vehicles for over 45 years. I found Bosch points grease the very best. Hard to get now. Lately I've been using Mallory points grease. About 12k miles experience with that & good results so far. Even regular wheel bearing grease like Pennzoil will work ok.

I do many very long rides where there is often no cell phone service. Properly serviced points are very reliable & you can loose one side & still ride on 1 cyl. Plus a dead battery doesn't leave you walking.

With a good understanding of what you're doing, servicing points is very fast & easy, but I understand that many owners don't want to bother with them.

I have a friend with a '64 Bonnie, with EI with idle stabilization. That works really good. Amazing good! No matter how cold or hot, the motor just idles the same speed. Really good with California gas which can make bike die on very hot days at stop lights unless idle is set higher than I'd like.
Don



1973 Tiger 750
Re: Anyone still running points igintion? [Re: Bola] #686704 03/03/17 6:28 pm
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R Moulding Online Content
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I don't see much of an issue with points but to be honest it's much easier to maintain a battery.

Rod


New, Genuine Lucas Motorcycle parts!

Insist on something else.
Re: Anyone still running points igintion? [Re: TR7RVMan] #686705 03/03/17 6:40 pm
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Originally Posted by TR7RVMan


I have a friend with a '64 Bonnie, with EI with idle stabilization. That works really good. Amazing good! No matter how cold or hot, the motor just idles the same speed. Really good with California gas which can make bike die on very hot days at stop lights unless idle is set higher than I'd like.
Don



What is in or not in the Ca gasoline beside 10 percent ethanol?


79 T140D, 96 900M Ducati ....On a bike you can out run the demons..
Re: Anyone still running points igintion? [Re: TR7RVMan] #686709 03/03/17 7:39 pm
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Thanks Don... For that positive affirmation to support points.

Re: Anyone still running points igintion? [Re: R Moulding] #686710 03/03/17 8:01 pm
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Originally Posted by R Moulding

I don't see much of an issue with points but to be honest it's much easier to maintain a battery.

Rod


And batteries today are more reliable and easier to maintain than batteries used in 1970. The good old wet battery days: be sure to route the vent hose so it doesn't get pinched or corrode chrome and paint or wires. Remove the battery from the bike, pull out the six battery caps, test with hydrometer, add distilled water as required, trickle charge for a half day or more, test again, ... and so on. So I ride more and fix less with EI and a modern sealed AGM battery. .


Kurt

-- Don't believe everything you think.
Re: Anyone still running points igintion? [Re: Hillbilly bike] #686711 03/03/17 8:07 pm
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desco Online Happy
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HB
CALIFORNIA REFORMULATED GASOLINE
REGULATIONS
This document is 123 pages long with links to thousand and thousands of other pages.
Lets just say that California gas is probably unlike any other gas in the country.
And there is a winter and a summer formula. It is also, probably, the most expensive gas in the country.


1968 T120R
1972 T120RV
Any advice given is without a warranty expressed or implied.
Re: Anyone still running points igintion? [Re: Bola] #686755 03/04/17 6:22 am
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Hi Hillbilly, I don't know since I gave up on the document. I can say without question the bike runs different on summer or winter gas. Summer gas is better for me. But starts harder on cold days with summer gas.

I recently retired as a tech from Mercedes Benz Walnut Creek. The cars react differently on summer or winter gas also. Summer gas better for them too.

I don't know about your gas, but California gas evaporates almost instantly & leaves little or no residue behind. Makes finding small gas leaks hard since no telltale stain left at leak.

On a 100f+ day our gas will boil in carbs in moments at shut down. Makes hot starts hard. Will also boil in the city at stop lights causing dying at idle unless Idle is set very high. Even then you want to keep blipping throttle. Of course hard to restart. This is where the idle stabilization ignition starts paying off. Still a little blipping of throttle is good. No amount of carb insulator blocks etc. can cure this. We just live with it.

I tend to agree, most expensive in nation. In the San Francisco region where I live seems to be most expensive in California.
Don


1973 Tiger 750
Re: Anyone still running points igintion? [Re: TR7RVMan] #686760 03/04/17 11:50 am
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Here in western NY state we have winter and summer fuel blends but it's not a high pollution area so no "formulated" fuel....91 octane non ethanol is pretty easy to find along with 93 E10... I can't say seeing the fuel evaporate instantly but then again it's not 100F and sunny around here..But I do have 110 octane VP leaded fuel for my Triumph race bikes and that seems to evaporate more quickly than pump gas....
Currently I don't own a vintage Triumph street bike....My daily rider is 90's naked frame sporty Italian V twin thing...It has the magic start button...


79 T140D, 96 900M Ducati ....On a bike you can out run the demons..
Re: Anyone still running points igintion? [Re: Hillbilly bike] #686761 03/04/17 12:30 pm
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Originally Posted by Hillbilly bike
...My daily rider is 90's naked frame sporty Italian V twin thing...It has the magic start button...


(My designated winter bike is the '05 Ducati, the on-board computer figures everything out, and the bike starts magically regardless of weather or pump fuel formulation.)

But back to vintage Triumphs ... regardless of which ignition you run, it's a good idea to remove the points cover now and then and check for moisture. I seal up the cover and gasket with a thin coat of silicone sealant, and I replace the toothed washers with fiber washers and seal them up, too.


Kurt

-- Don't believe everything you think.
Re: Anyone still running points igintion? [Re: Bola] #686762 03/04/17 1:04 pm
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We built a 1970 TR6 for a female customer that needed to be lower and very easy to start. I chose points over electronic ignition. On a points ignition the plug fires every time the points open regardless if the motor is turning 1000 rpm or 100 rpm. On a Boyer the box will not fire unless the motor is turning 700 rpm. It takes a good kick to get the motor to turn 700 rpm. Using a 080 thousands head gasket and points we were starting this bike with our hand.
I have a video of a 850 Norton with points we started with our hand. If I knew how to post it I would.
EI may be less maintenance but not always the best choice for all riders.

Re: Anyone still running points igintion? [Re: RPM] #686764 03/04/17 1:24 pm
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Originally Posted by RPM
We built a 1970 TR6 for a female customer that needed to be lower and very easy to start. I chose points over electronic ignition. On a points ignition the plug fires every time the points open regardless if the motor is turning 1000 rpm or 100 rpm. On a Boyer the box will not fire unless the motor is turning 700 rpm. It takes a good kick to get the motor to turn 700 rpm. Using a 080 thousands head gasket and points we were starting this bike with our hand.
I have a video of a 850 Norton with points we started with our hand. If I knew how to post it I would.
EI may be less maintenance but not always the best choice for all riders.

I have noticed the same thing with several Pazon conversions..., an electronic ignition conversion requires a stouter kick....But no one here believes that is true grin


79 T140D, 96 900M Ducati ....On a bike you can out run the demons..
Re: Anyone still running points igintion? [Re: Bola] #686773 03/04/17 3:09 pm
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45 years , a dozen Brit-bikes , thousands of miles , never had a single problem using points & condensers .

Re: Anyone still running points igintion? [Re: Bola] #686781 03/04/17 3:57 pm
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How many routinely replace condensers upon buying a 45 yo bike (circa 1973 or so?) Can't hurt as condensers can lose the ability to 'condese' :; )

Part of the decision process may be whether the condensers are in the points cavity and subject to routine heat or under seat and much cooler.

So I did so and carry one of the old ones as spare, right with the match book!


Last edited by steve-d; 03/04/17 3:59 pm.

73 T140V;
02 Ducati ST4s
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