I took a look behind the points cover on my Starfire and found that the cam for the spark advance turns freely back and forth it allotted travel, but there doesn't seem to be any spring tension to return it to its pre-advanced position. I have a feeling this a bad sign, like the spring is shot or missing. I've had this bike running but I haven't ridden it yet. It idles and revs fine. Any advice?
There should be a couple of springs attached to the counterweights. Under loads and acceleration it is likely to advance rapidly and likely produce knocking (pinking). I think you can buy the springs. A lot of folks have perfectly good advance mechanisms that they'll give you since they converted to electronic ignition.
I understand that electronic ignition is the way to go, but I was hoping to avoid the cost and effort. As far as effort, how difficult/time consuming was the Wassell installation? This is my first rodeo with a Brit bike.
And how does the Wassell stack up against the other EI's?
The simple path is to replace the springs, if there's something wrong with them.
If you convert to electronic, you may end up buying expensive electrical improvements, to keep the ignition satisfied. That's maybe something to consider at your leisure, after you have a few rides on the bike.
OK, I've removed the points plate and the auto advance springs are in place, they just don't have enough tension to return the cam to the retarded position. I've removed the cam and springs, but the AAU plate is stuck solid. Will I need a puller to remove it? At this point, do you think new springs will help?
The cam was not stiff on the shaft but the springs are too weak to provide any tension. I found some new auto advance springs on Eurotrash for $11 and will try those. if that doesn't do the trick it's time for an electronic ignition, probably Tri-Spark because of its ease of installation.
I would think installation of all the EIs is more or less the same. Most of the time is required to mount the black box some where (tool box in my case on my B44) and wire it up to the battery and run the trigger wires through the side case. You'll wire crimpers or a solder gun for this.
My advice would be to stop messing with points and mechanical advance and retard. I ran my B25 for a couple of years with points and auto advance unit.It was ok but the bike was at times difficult to start,often kicked back.Deciding I had to get it right I strobed the timing and found it to be all over the place.Messing with the points and auto unit brought little improvement. On advice from others I fitted a Pazon unit. The improvement is immense 1:- Guaranteed first kick starting (hot or cold engine) 2:-Better and reliable tickover. 3:-Better driving not always changing gear to keep the bike on the boil. 4:-Much improved fuel consumption. 5:-No longer eats plugs.6:-The bike is a lot more fun to ride Best £97 I have ever spent on a bike
I had the same experience with my 441 BitSA with the early, replacable pilot jet carb. After carefully adjusting the points & timing I could get the bike to start well--For awhile, then it would regress to the multi-kick mode. After installing a Pazon unit & adjustable throttle stop it consistantly starts 2 or three kicks cold & 1 when warm. The Pazon is better than some of the older electronic ignitions as it has the same advance curve as original. The old 2 step is OK for high revving twins that spend most of the time in the upper rev range but big singles spend much of their time at the low end, just chugging along. Cheers, Don.