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#410453 - 12/27/11 8:25 am Recommendations for Lucas K2FC magneto rebuild?  
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 88
Lenos Offline
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Lenos  Offline
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San Pedro CA
I've got a '58 TR6 with a K2FC magneto. I'm just starting to dig into the engine and wondering what to do about the magneto.

I have always maintained that electrons are the work of the devil and best left in the hands of the high wizards of such sorcery. On the other hand it would be comforting to be able to assess the condition of this unit before sending it out with a blank check.

Are there simple checks I can make myself to get some idea of this thing's condition.

If it does need professional attention, can anyone provide a recommendation as to who (preferably in the USA) is qualified to perform such work?

Thanks,


'64 Atlas/'60 TR6 Triton
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#410454 - 12/27/11 8:51 am Re: Recommendations for Lucas K2FC magneto rebuild? [Re: Lenos]  
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 544
joe a. Offline
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joe a.  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 544
minnesota
hi,
more than likely the capacitor is faulty(leaking) due to the insulation degredation at minumum even if the magneto does spark presently. i can help out if you decide to overhaul,repair, etc. i test,evaluate/estimate and contact before starting work. give me a call if you like..
joe
www.joesvcycle.com
612-816-4961

#410460 - 12/27/11 11:16 am Re: Recommendations for Lucas K2FC magneto rebuild? [Re: Lenos]  
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Posts: 6,904
triton thrasher Online content
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triton thrasher  Online Content
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scotland
First test is to take the plug caps off the HT leads and position the ends of the HT leads 1/4" away from the casting. Twirl the armature
In the right direction (clockwise, looking at the points) and a fairly healthy looking spark should jump the gap from one ht at a time, lead to casing.

Obviously, points should be oil-free and gapped and the HT brushes free in their holders and their track on the slip ring clean. There will be an earth brush somewhere, that you can clean and free out in its holder.

Don't be surprised if it tests ok on your bench, then mysteriously lets you down on the road a few weeks later. That is how they roll! Then you send it off for a test and rewind, as the kind gent above is offering.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
#410481 - 12/27/11 4:07 pm Re: Recommendations for Lucas K2FC magneto rebuild? [Re: Lenos]  
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,073
gREgg-K Online content
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gREgg-K  Online Content

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Ottawa, Canada
Lenos,

You're right about mags being best left to a person equipped to do the work properly ... they are among the easiest part of a bike to rebuild badly, but can be a challenge to get right.

Even if you understand them, unless you have the correct tools to dismantle a mag, you can do more damage than good.

Aside from mechanical issues and wear such as those triton thrasher observed, a very common problem is the capacitor as Joe suggested. Don't even think about testing it, it will either be bad, or will fail soon.

Other problems appear as either an internal open, or as a short in the armature. Some rebuilders try to skirt this risk by having an armature re-wound no matter what. An open armature HT winding will often spark, but will deteriorate with time. A shorted armature will either not spark, or will spark poorly and fail soon after it is put into service, much like a bad capacitor ... but proper testing will usually identify these conditions so that proper choices can be made.

If you are fortunate, testing may show the armature to be fit for further service; but then again, you need the proper instrumentation and procedures. About 70% of the mags I receive for service prove to have serviceable armatures, those having come from mags that have been protected from the worst of the elements.

Finally, I have been observing a relatively new phenomenon: mags that have bee "rebuilt", and have soon failed. The most distressing of these have either been re-wound by someone who has not done it correctly, or have had an inappropriate capacitor installed. The devil is in the details.

As triton thrasher suggested, it would be wise to have your mag restored professionally, and I too would be pleased to be at your service through the process.

.. Gregg


Spyder Integrated Technologies
Lucas, BTH, & Miller Magneto & Dynamo Restoration
SMITHS Chronometric Restoration
magneto@spyder-it.com
#410489 - 12/27/11 5:23 pm Re: Recommendations for Lucas K2FC magneto rebuild? [Re: Lenos]  
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 88
Lenos Offline
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Lenos  Offline
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San Pedro CA
Thanks all for the advice.


'64 Atlas/'60 TR6 Triton
#410490 - 12/27/11 5:27 pm Re: Recommendations for Lucas K2FC magneto rebuild? [Re: Lenos]  
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Alex Offline
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Alex  Offline

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Seattle
If you don't wanna screw around and just get it right and get it right away

Ed Strain
6555 44th St. N. #2006
Pinellas Park, FL 33781
TEL: (800) 266-1623
TEL: (813) 521-1597
magneto repair, coil winding


A smattering:
'53 Gold Flash
'67 Royal Star
'71 Rickman Metisse
'40 Silver Star
'37 Rudge Special
sixtyseventy Lightboltrocket road racer...and many more.
#410498 - 12/27/11 6:40 pm Re: Recommendations for Lucas K2FC magneto rebuild? [Re: Lenos]  
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 568
Mattsta Offline
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Mattsta  Offline
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Posts: 568
Surrey UK
Originally Posted By: Lenos
I've got a '58 TR6 with a K2FC magneto. I'm just starting to dig into the engine and wondering what to do about the magneto.

I have always maintained that electrons are the work of the devil and best left in the hands of the high wizards of such sorcery. On the other hand it would be comforting to be able to assess the condition of this unit before sending it out with a blank check.

Are there simple checks I can make myself to get some idea of this thing's condition.

If it does need professional attention, can anyone provide a recommendation as to who (preferably in the USA) is qualified to perform such work?

Thanks,


If you can stand the postage to send to the UK, Tony Cooper is highly recommended.

Tony Cooper Motorcycles
110, Olive Lane,
Halesowen,
West Midlands,
B62 8LT

Tel 0121 5592405
Fax 0121 5612410


1952 Triumph T100 in a BSA A7 Frame
#410580 - 12/28/11 3:21 am Re: Recommendations for Lucas K2FC magneto rebuild? [Re: Mattsta]  
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Rickman Offline
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Ohio
I've had 3 K2F and 1 magdyno, 2 dyno's [ for A10's ] and 1 E3AR short dyno [ for my AJS ] done by Doug Wood.

VERY happy customer.

Doug posts on this website...

#410632 - 12/28/11 4:08 pm Re: Recommendations for Lucas K2FC magneto rebuild? [Re: Rickman]  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 6,672
Jon W. Whitley Online content
Jon W. Whitley  Online Content



Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 6,672
Vermont
I second that statement bigt



Originally Posted By: Rickman
I've had 3 K2F and 1 magdyno, 2 dyno's [ for A10's ] and 1 E3AR short dyno [ for my AJS ] done by Doug Wood.

VERY happy customer.

Doug posts on this website...


Jon W.


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

#410943 - 12/30/11 7:59 pm Re: Recommendations for Lucas K2FC magneto rebuild? [Re: Lenos]  
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Magnetoman Online content
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Originally Posted By: Lenos
I have always maintained that electrons are the work of the devil and best left in the hands of the high wizards of such sorcery. On the other hand it would be comforting to be able to assess the condition of this unit before sending it out with a blank check.

First, despite the web name 'Magnetoman', I only work on my own magnetos, and sometimes as favors for friends, not as a business. Second, I don't know any of the magneto repair people who posted responses, so what follows does not necessariy apply to any of them.

Earlier this year the quarterly magazine of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America carried a two-part article on magneto condensers written by a Ph.D. experimental physicist who is also a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical Engineers. Text copied below from that article mirrors my own experiences with nonfunctioning magnetos that had been "professionally repaired":

---- from Winter 2011 'The Antique Motorcycle' ----
Several years before I started this magneto investigation, I restored a BSA Gold Star that came with a nonfunctioning magneto. Rather than taking the time to figure out how to fix the magneto myself, I decided to send it to a highly recommended specialist. That turned out to be a bad decision. Although the specialist had a well-equipped shop, and seemed quite knowledgeable when I spoke with him, the magneto failed after 90 miles. I have subsequently taken apart a half-dozen "professionally restored" magnetos, all of which looked great on the outside. Unfortunately, in every case, the beauty was only skin deep. Problems included a broken slip ring held together with silicone bathtub sealant; two coils wound with insulator too thin to stop internal arcing; excess epoxy holding the condensor, resulting in the coil being epxied to the endcap making nondestructive disassembly nearly impossible; machining grooves on the ground ring that were so deep that the carbon brush would have been abraded away in 1000 miles had the magneto even lasted that long; and one ball missing from a bearing.
----- end quote ----

#411180 - 01/01/12 4:48 pm Re: Recommendations for Lucas K2FC magneto rebuild? [Re: Magnetoman]  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 60
39tiger100 Offline
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39tiger100  Offline
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Posts: 60
Gig Harbor, Washington
Anybody have contact info for Doug Wood?? I have a 38 Speed Twin Mag/Dino needing restoration.

Thanks


37 Tiger 90
38 Speed Twin
39 Tiger 100
46 Norton Model 18
48 Tiger 100
52 6T Thunderbird
55 Velocette MSS
56 TR6
66 Bonnie
70 Bonnie
82 T140ES
75 T160
#411191 - 01/01/12 5:56 pm Re: Recommendations for Lucas K2FC magneto rebuild? [Re: Lenos]  
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Magnetoman Online content
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Originally Posted By: Lenos
I have always maintained that electrons are the work of the devil and best left in the hands of the high wizards of such sorcery.

The latest issue of Motorcyclist magazine arrived yesterday, with a belated story of last year's cross-country Cannonball Run of pre-1916 motorcycles. The caption of one of the photos is "Erik Dunk inspects his magneto -- the part that failed most often on the Motorcycle Cannonball entrants." Many of those magnetos that failed were "professionally restored" by the same guy which, unfortunately, shows that just because someone claims to be a wizard doesn't necessarily make him one.

All rebuilt magnetos look great on the outside, and I'm afraid many recommendations of the kind "xxx does great work" are based on that alone. What would be useful for people looking to have this work done would be credible recommendations of the kind "Although xxx took nine months to restore my magneto, and charged $100 more than I thought reasonable, it still works great after x,xxx miles."

#411195 - 01/01/12 6:29 pm Re: Recommendations for Lucas K2FC magneto rebuild? [Re: 39tiger100]  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 6,672
Jon W. Whitley Online content
Jon W. Whitley  Online Content



Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 6,672
Vermont
Douglas A Wood
RR4,28 Hess Rd
Boyertown, PA
19512 USA

dougwood@netzero.net




Originally Posted By: 39tiger100
Anybody have contact info for Doug Wood?? I have a 38 Speed Twin Mag/Dino needing restoration.

Thanks


Jon W.


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

#411251 - 01/02/12 12:11 am Re: Recommendations for Lucas K2FC magneto rebuild? [Re: Jon W. Whitley]  
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Posts: 60
39tiger100 Offline
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39tiger100  Offline
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Gig Harbor, Washington
Thank you John

Cheers
Terry


37 Tiger 90
38 Speed Twin
39 Tiger 100
46 Norton Model 18
48 Tiger 100
52 6T Thunderbird
55 Velocette MSS
56 TR6
66 Bonnie
70 Bonnie
82 T140ES
75 T160
#411275 - 01/02/12 1:19 am Re: Recommendations for Lucas K2FC magneto rebuild? [Re: Magnetoman]  
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Posts: 1,073
gREgg-K Online content
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gREgg-K  Online Content

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Ottawa, Canada
Originally Posted By: Magnetoman
Originally Posted By: Lenos
I have always maintained that electrons are the work of the devil and best left in the hands of the high wizards of such sorcery. SNIP

<SNIP> I don't know any of the magneto repair people who posted responses, so what follows does not necessariy apply to any of them.
<SNIP details of Horror Show>
----- end quote ----


Magnetoman, The person who wrote the capacitor article you reference is Charlie Falco, a great physicist who also happens to be a vintage bike enthusiast.

I too have serviced mags like he describes: two this Fall which had so much epoxy glopped around the capacitor that the whole end of the armature was one big mass (mess?) fused together. Then there are the (many) mags where the rebuilder has ground away the insides of the armature casting to make room for a replacement capacitor ... of the wrong type ... which then fails.

The person who rebuilt the failed CannonBall mags is well known, and he is not Doug Wood nor myself. I have been told various versions of what went wrong, but apparently a supplier substituted some material or component he uses.

One of my customers will be doing this year's CannonBall on a Henderson 4 running a Bosch mag I rebuilt ... it will be interesting to see how it goes.

... Gregg


Spyder Integrated Technologies
Lucas, BTH, & Miller Magneto & Dynamo Restoration
SMITHS Chronometric Restoration
magneto@spyder-it.com
#411285 - 01/02/12 2:09 am Re: Recommendations for Lucas K2FC magneto rebuild? [Re: gREgg-K]  
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Rickman Offline
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Rickman  Offline
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Ohio
Originally Posted By: gREgg-K

One of my customers will be doing this year's CannonBall on a Henderson 4 running a Bosch mag I rebuilt ... it will be interesting to see how it goes.


Gregg,
That's one adventure I'd like to hear about, if we can get a daily update while it runs?
Brett

#411290 - 01/02/12 2:33 am Re: Recommendations for Lucas K2FC magneto rebuild? [Re: Rickman]  
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gREgg-K Online content
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gREgg-K  Online Content

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Ottawa, Canada
Originally Posted By: Rickman
Originally Posted By: gREgg-K

One of my customers will be doing this year's CannonBall on a Henderson 4 running a Bosch mag I rebuilt ... i will be interesting to see how it goes.


Gregg,
That's one adventure I'd like to hear about, if we can get a daily update while it runs?
Brett


Certainly! The run is a real endurance trial for man and machine ... something like 4,000 miles in 15 days. And, this on bikes built in 1929 or earlier !

We'll be following it with bated breath!
...Gregg


Spyder Integrated Technologies
Lucas, BTH, & Miller Magneto & Dynamo Restoration
SMITHS Chronometric Restoration
magneto@spyder-it.com
#411291 - 01/02/12 2:59 am Re: Recommendations for Lucas K2FC magneto rebuild? [Re: gREgg-K]  
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Magnetoman Online content
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Magnetoman  Online Content

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Originally Posted By: gREgg-K
Originally Posted By: Magnetoman
Originally Posted By: Lenos
I have always maintained that electrons are the work of the devil and best left in the hands of the high wizards of such sorcery. SNIP

<SNIP> I don't know any of the magneto repair people who posted responses, so what follows does not necessariy apply to any of them.
<SNIP details of Horror Show>
----- end quote ----

The person who rebuilt the failed CannonBall mags is well known, and he is not Doug Wood nor myself. I have been told various versions of what went wrong, but apparently a supplier substituted some material or component he uses.

One of my customers will be doing this year's CannonBall on a Henderson 4 running a Bosch mag I rebuilt ... it will be interesting to see how it goes.

Yes, neither you nor Doug Wood. I tried to be very clear in an earlier post that nothing I wrote was directed toward any restorer who posted on this forum, but it's well worth repeating again so there are no mistaken inferences.

Two Cannonball riders whose magnetos failed told me the same version of the story given to them by the restorer. Although that story doesn't make sense to someone who understands electricity, it was secondhand information, so there's no way for me to know if they repeated it accurately.

A friend also will be doing the Cannonball this year, on a bike whose Bosch ZEV he will be sending me in a few weeks to restore for him. If his bike fails on the trip, I definitely don't want it to be because of any problems with the magneto, so the pressure is on.

#411369 - 01/02/12 3:07 pm Re: Recommendations for Lucas K2FC magneto rebuild? [Re: Magnetoman]  
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,073
gREgg-K Online content
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gREgg-K  Online Content

BritBike Forum member

Joined: Sep 2007
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Ottawa, Canada
Originally Posted By: Magnetoman
... <SNIP> ... Two Cannonball riders whose magnetos failed told me the same version of the story given to them by the restorer. Although that story doesn't make sense to someone who understands electricity, it was secondhand information, so there's no way for me to know if they repeated it accurately

... <SNIP> ... don't want it to be because of any problems with the magneto, so the pressure is on.


Based on what I've heard also, I agree with you about the veracity of the explanations. The most distressing detail going around is that the restorer in question has now stopped buying the capacitor he sourced from a US manufacturer, and is now buying them for 46 cents, made in China.

For the sake of his reputation, I hope that someone can give us the straight goods on what really happened.

.. Gregg


Spyder Integrated Technologies
Lucas, BTH, & Miller Magneto & Dynamo Restoration
SMITHS Chronometric Restoration
magneto@spyder-it.com
#411380 - 01/02/12 3:59 pm Re: Recommendations for Lucas K2FC magneto rebuild? [Re: gREgg-K]  
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Magnetoman Online content
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Magnetoman  Online Content

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Originally Posted By: gREgg-K
For the sake of his reputation, I hope that someone can give us the straight goods on what really happened.

A magneto is not some new product that has a hidden fault because it was rushed to market without extensive testing. The technology has been with us for nearly 100 years and amply proven to be fundamentally sound. Properly restored magnetos simply should not fail after thousands, let alone hundreds (or tens) of miles of operation under perfectly normal conditions.

No matter what the story we might be told, it doesn't change the fact that the responsibility for proper functioning of any repair lies with the person who charged to provide the service.


Moderated by  Alan_nc 


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