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B44E project #731390
04/08/18 9:59 pm
04/08/18 9:59 pm
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 6
Springfield, OR
F
flyin' blonde Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
flyin' blonde  Offline OP
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Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 6
Springfield, OR
Hi y'all and pardon me if I'm posting this in the wrong spot, I just joined this morning.
I recently picked up a project bike from an acquaintance, who's an ace with British cars, but finally relinquished his m.c. project after 20 years if it sitting and collecting dust in the back of his shop. I'm by no means a great bike mechanic (most of previous projects have been Japanese bikes), but I thought I would have a go at it. He claimed to have ridden this at one time, but I'm a bit dubious as its missing all of the critical wiring. It also came with a parts book and a repair manual, which I've spent some time leafing through. It was converted to off-road, headlight and horn have been removed, there is no battery nor battery box, no key switch. There is a coil located under the seat (doesn't look original), but no high tension lead of other wiring to it. Strangely, the tail light and brake switch are there, but no other wiring. There are a few wires coming from the left side of the case that have been cut off. I suspect someone has robbed some of the electrical parts off of the bike somewhere in it past.
My goal is to get it back to a running and legal bike. I'm not looking to do a factory-correct restoration, just a dependable bike, that is reasonably close to a factory appearance. On the plus side, it does have a decent petrol tank, and a factory (but long) seat. Wheels have a little surface rust but are usable. There is no front fender, but there is a large fork brace. Back fender is black plastic so I know that's not original.
So the first thing to sort is the ignition system, and the first dumb question I have is; is this a 6v or 12v system? Positive or negative ground?
There is no ignition keyswitch currently, and I don't see anywhere for it to go, where was it originally?
Did it have a battery, and if so, where was the box? If it had a battery, shouldn't it have a regulator or rectifier?
I found a wiring diagram in the repair manual, but it does not show a battery, rectifier, or key switch.
I like the idea of electronic ignition eventually, but I'm hoping to get it to run with the system that is there and verify the basic engine is sound before I fork over the $ for the electronics. I don't mind making my own wiring loom, done that before too. I can make a battery box and mount a rectifier, etc.
If anyone has any advice, I would appreciate it.

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Re: B44E project [Re: flyin' blonde] #731409
04/09/18 12:18 am
04/09/18 12:18 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 5,099
Stone Creek OH USA
R
Rich B Offline

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Rich B  Offline

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R
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 5,099
Stone Creek OH USA
B44E was a 66 Victor Special. No rectifier, diode or battery. It used an ET (energy transfer) ignition. The ignition was AC, lights were 6V AC.

The advance unit was a 5 degree advance, coil was for AC power. Those can be had for early Japanese bikes as an universal coil. Alternator stator was a special stator for the ET ignition.

Pretty basic motorcycle, but fun to ride. I enjoy mine.


Life is too short to drink cheap, bad beer.
Re: B44E project [Re: flyin' blonde] #731411
04/09/18 12:24 am
04/09/18 12:24 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,141
Vermont
Jon W. Whitley Offline

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Jon W. Whitley  Offline

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Posts: 7,141
Vermont
Welcome to BritBike beerchug




Jon W.


1957 6T Thunderbird 650
1968 T100R Daytona 500
1971 TR6R Tiger 650
1970 BSA A65F 650
1955 Tiger 100 - Project

Re: B44E project [Re: flyin' blonde] #731437
04/09/18 1:11 pm
04/09/18 1:11 pm
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 6
Springfield, OR
F
flyin' blonde Offline OP
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flyin' blonde  Offline OP
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Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 6
Springfield, OR
Thanks, its actually remarkably simple. I'll start the diagnostic process by wiring in what I have with a temporary harness and see if I can get a spark. Are the rotor, stator, and points available should I need them?
The wiring diagram in my manual does not show any kind of ignition or kill switch. Did it have one from the factory?

My only experience on a BSA was working on the M20 that my brother had, long ago. That was a totally different animal, with a separate magneto and 6V generator, and strange set of rotating points. I don't recall a key switch on that either, I think we used the compression release to kill the engine.

Re: B44E project [Re: flyin' blonde] #731440
04/09/18 1:43 pm
04/09/18 1:43 pm
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 12,934
Central Virginia
Lannis Offline

Life member
Lannis  Offline

Life member
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 12,934
Central Virginia
Originally Posted by flyin' blonde
Thanks, its actually remarkably simple. I'll start the diagnostic process by wiring in what I have with a temporary harness and see if I can get a spark. Are the rotor, stator, and points available should I need them?
The wiring diagram in my manual does not show any kind of ignition or kill switch. Did it have one from the factory?

My only experience on a BSA was working on the M20 that my brother had, long ago. That was a totally different animal, with a separate magneto and 6V generator, and strange set of rotating points. I don't recall a key switch on that either, I think we used the compression release to kill the engine.


The M20 sounds stock. No kill button, Lucas K2F magneto with rotating points (all anyone had for the first 50 years of motorcycling), shut it off with the compression release, very simple 60 watt DC 6V generator.

The B44E isn't much more complicated. AC alternator, so you need a rectifier and not just a regulator. All the electrical bits are available from dealers advertising on this site. The B44E probably was shut off with the compression release too, although I can't swear to it ....

Lannis


I stopped believing for a little while this morning. Journey is really going to be upset.
Re: B44E project [Re: flyin' blonde] #731445
04/09/18 2:44 pm
04/09/18 2:44 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,892
The Northwoods... Michigan
Steve Erickson Offline
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Steve Erickson  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,892
The Northwoods... Michigan
Already you're receiving contradictory information.

The ET system is simple, but unforgiving. I suggest, in order to deal with it's quirks, you need to understand a bit about how it actually operates. There has been quite a bit written on this site about that subject, including a swell treatise a while back from one of the more savvy members.

So, rather than trying to answer you on the ET, I'll give you the key to even more obscure black arts here... how to properly do a search for a subject. Go to Google, put in your subject (in this case "ET ignition"... be aware there may be variants, like E.T., Energy Transfer, etc) followed by "britbike.com". This is the best way to come up with a lot of what has been written and discussed here... the BBC Search function does not work as well.

This way, you can research much more thoroughly than awaiting responses to your basic questions. This site has been here for some time, so there is a lot of archived knowledge about your ignition and your bike that is here waiting for you to find it.

Welcome, and good hunting.

Re: B44E project [Re: flyin' blonde] #731447
04/09/18 3:06 pm
04/09/18 3:06 pm
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 6
Springfield, OR
F
flyin' blonde Offline OP
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flyin' blonde  Offline OP
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F
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 6
Springfield, OR
That old M20 was quite a bike, heavy and slow, but fun to ride (what bike isn't!). I was in my early teens, I think I weighed about 80 lbs at the time, my brother said if I could get it started could ride it. It took me a while to figure out the sequence and took every bit of umf to kick it over, but eventually I got it. Sure beat the heck out of the Honda 90 I was used to. But I digress...

I read back through the manual, it actually does a pretty good job of explaining how the ET system works and how to diagnose it. I'll do a little more research online before I get out and tinker on it. All of the critical parts are present, with a little wiring I should be able to hook everything up and see if I get a spark.

Thanks for the advice!

Re: B44E project [Re: flyin' blonde] #731454
04/09/18 4:54 pm
04/09/18 4:54 pm
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 637
Ewing. NJ
E
edunham Offline
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edunham  Offline
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E
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 637
Ewing. NJ
Just so the contradictory info doesn't continue, An M20 would not have had a Lucas k2f mag. K2F's are for twins. K1F's are for singles, but I don't think that would be stock on an M20. I am reasonably sure they had a magdyno.

Ed from NJ

Re: B44E project [Re: flyin' blonde] #731459
04/09/18 5:41 pm
04/09/18 5:41 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,884
Cape Carteret, NC
M
Mr Mike Offline
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Mr Mike  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,884
Cape Carteret, NC
You have the right idea. Do the minimum to get it running and then do a complete assessment. If you are gonna make a road bike out of it there are lots of basket cases around to get you there. Your bike is far less common that the other B44's (VS and SS) and you might want to keep it like it is. In my mind the B44 was a great example of those bygone motorcycling days. Even today you can run on all but interstates, parts are readily available and they are easy to work on and maintain........ and the B44 doesn't have some of the problems inherent on the B25 or the twins.

Good Luck,
Mr Mike

Re: B44E project [Re: Lannis] #731492
04/09/18 10:18 pm
04/09/18 10:18 pm
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 278
UK
V
VicCyclone Offline
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VicCyclone  Offline
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V
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 278
UK
If you're going to run it as it was intended then by the sound of it you already have what you need, a 5 wire ET alternator and an ET coil under the seat both of these can be replaced with new versions of these parts if they no longer function. You don't need anything else other than the 5 degree auto advance and 2 capacitors, one (small) on the points plate and the other (large) next to the coil. You do NOT need a rectifier or a regulator. If no lights are fitted then you only need to worry about 3 of the wires; re-solder the bullet connectors,connect the red and the yellow/black together and then to earth. Connect the white/black to the ignition circuit.


VicCyclone

1965 A50 Cyclone Clubman
1966 Victor GP
1967 Victor Special
1968 Victor Special
1968 A65L

2009 HD FXDC
Re: B44E project [Re: flyin' blonde] #731496
04/09/18 10:58 pm
04/09/18 10:58 pm
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 254
NYC & Upstate NY
A
AML Offline
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AML  Offline
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A
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 254
NYC & Upstate NY
Vic,
I'm running a '67 with ET and I "upgraded" to a 6ca points plate and moved the condenser from the points plate to near my coil under the seat.
Why are you using, what is the advantage of, using two condensers?
Adam

Re: B44E project [Re: flyin' blonde] #731521
04/10/18 4:53 am
04/10/18 4:53 am
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 6
Springfield, OR
F
flyin' blonde Offline OP
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flyin' blonde  Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
F
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 6
Springfield, OR
I read through the post by Magnetoman as Steve Erickson suggested, so I feel I have a pretty good understanding of the system now. I looked over the bike with a little more thorough eye and located the 5 wires coming from the left side of the case, all color coded as they should be. The connectors have been cut off but I think I have enough to connect to them for testing. First thing to check is the resistance of the stator windings. There is a coil under the seat, but it appears to be from something else that someone in the past has fitted. I think I'll get a '60's Honda coil as was suggested in the post, if I can't get this coil to work with the ET system. I still need check the condition of the points and condenser too. And the poor bike really needs a good bath! Because of my work schedule this week I won't get to tinker much until the weekend, I'll keep you guys posted. And I'll try to get some picts.

Re: B44E project [Re: flyin' blonde] #731538
04/10/18 12:46 pm
04/10/18 12:46 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,892
The Northwoods... Michigan
Steve Erickson Offline
BritBike Forum member
Steve Erickson  Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,892
The Northwoods... Michigan
Good start!

Though we have quite a few great vendor/sponsors here, I would suggest for your particular project that you look first for parts at BSAunitsingles.com , an online emporium run by Peter Quick (member and sponsor here). His webstore deals with unit singles exclusively, and Peter supplies quality parts based on and tested through his own building experiences. He can probably provide everything you'll end up needing, along with good advice about what you actually require and how to use what you have.

Re: B44E project [Re: AML] #731553
04/10/18 5:03 pm
04/10/18 5:03 pm
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 278
UK
V
VicCyclone Offline
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VicCyclone  Offline
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V
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 278
UK
Just doing what BSA did. Originally equipped with the 4CA contact breaker there was a small capacitor (425377) on the points plate and the larger (54441582) under the seat next to the 3ET coil both my GP and the 67 Special were fitted with 2 capacitors when I got them. You will often see Hornets with the large capacitor mounted to each coil. Two capacitors reduces resistance and reduces points arcing which I presume is why BSA fitted them.


VicCyclone

1965 A50 Cyclone Clubman
1966 Victor GP
1967 Victor Special
1968 Victor Special
1968 A65L

2009 HD FXDC
Re: B44E project [Re: flyin' blonde] #731555
04/10/18 5:04 pm
04/10/18 5:04 pm
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 278
UK
V
VicCyclone Offline
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V
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 278
UK
Got any pictures of the coil? ET coils are quite distinctive


VicCyclone

1965 A50 Cyclone Clubman
1966 Victor GP
1967 Victor Special
1968 Victor Special
1968 A65L

2009 HD FXDC
Re: B44E project [Re: VicCyclone] #731582
04/11/18 12:57 am
04/11/18 12:57 am
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 6
Springfield, OR
F
flyin' blonde Offline OP
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flyin' blonde  Offline OP
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Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 6
Springfield, OR
Originally Posted by VicCyclone
Got any pictures of the coil? ET coils are quite distinctive

I don't have any picts yet, but the coil fitted is looks like a typical automotive-type/cylindrical. The original coil (according to the manual) looks more like something from a lawnmover. I looked up BSAsingles site that Steve suggested, he has an original type coil, along with some other bits I need.
As far as the condenser location, it appears from the manual that originally there was only one at the points, but some have located them at the coil instead. According to Magnetoman's post, he explains the advantages/disadvantages of each location, it should work at either. The important thing is to have a functioning one.
The B44 project is going to be set aside for a few days, I've located a forgotten Bugeye Sprite that needs to be rescued out of a muddy field!


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