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Re: Repairing an ET Ignition System [Re: quinten] #699453
06/24/17 12:14 am
06/24/17 12:14 am
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Magnetoman Online content OP

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Originally Posted by quinten
its AC . the polarity of the spinning magnet does not matter .
You misunderstand the fundamentals. It does matter.

With the rotor in three of the six positions the current will be flowing in one direction in the stator coils when the points open, and in the other three positions it will be flowing in the opposite direction. As a direct consequence, when the points open and the current (magnetic field) collapses to zero the induced voltage of the center electrode of the plug will have one polarity for one set of rotor positions and the opposite polarity for the other set.

If the 9:00 position given in the manual were the only one that worked you would have a 1 in 6 chance of getting it right if you randomly reattached the rotor. However, since three of the positions are equivalent your chances would be 50/50. If you set it at 9:00 your chances rise to 100%.

Still, even if you get it wrong the result will be that the center electrode will end up positive rather than negative so the plug still will spark. It just will require the rotor to be spinning somewhat faster to generate the somewhat higher voltage required to generate a spark by attracting electrons to it rather then by expelling them.

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Re: Repairing an ET Ignition System [Re: Magnetoman] #699546
06/25/17 6:15 am
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Well, here is something odd, I have the correct rotor for the Hornet ET, part no 54214272 and the correct stator, 47197 and have set the "timing disc" to approx 9 o'clock on the crank at TDC, with the rotor in the 'S' position hole on the button. When I rotate the crank/pistons to before TDC fully advanced ignition position, the magnets and stator poles line up precisely as per the diagram (post #634372) as shown for the retarded position. That is, fully advanced, the rotor magnets and stator poles appear to be precisely in line. Then when rotating the engine to approx TDC piston position for retarded (start/idle) firing, the magnets/poles match the the fully advanced position diagram! In other words, the rotor magnet/ stator pole alignment appears to be the precise reverse of the diagrams in this post, Weird huh? Even though these positions are apparently the precise reverse of the diagrams, I assume this will work since the plugs must fire within that range of magnet/stator pole in either position anyway?* regards


*Just for grins I stripped down and set the "timing disc" back to the 2 o'clock position as originally found on disassembly, but got the very same result wrt magnet v stator pole position (ie reverse of diagram)

Re: Repairing an ET Ignition System [Re: Dana_twin] #699561
06/25/17 1:50 pm
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Magnetoman Online content OP

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Originally Posted by Dana_twin
Even though these positions are apparently the precise reverse of the diagrams,
Good catch. No one had noticed this in the many years I've circulated that diagram to others. I'll fix it later to day and upload revised text.

Update: I wrote this post first thing in the morning before I'd had enough coffee to think straight, and I agreed the figure is reversed. It's now at the end of a long day working on my Ariel so I'm writing this Update when I'm again too tired to think straight, and now it seems to me the figure is correct. I'll look into this again when I'm appropriately caffeinated as well as underworked.


Originally Posted by Dana_twin
*Just for grins I stripped down and set the "timing disc" back to the 2 o'clock position as originally found on disassembly, but got the very same result wrt magnet v stator pole position (ie reverse of diagram)
There are 6 splines and 6 rotor segments so this will be the case for all 6 orientations of the timing disc. However, the N and S poles alternate on the rotor so although the timing remains the same the polarity reverses when the rotor is placed on alternate splines.

Last edited by Magnetoman; 06/26/17 12:20 am. Reason: Update
Re: Repairing an ET Ignition System [Re: Magnetoman] #699563
06/25/17 3:08 pm
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Thanks again for the gen MM... this is a most informative thread on the ET and good thing it is "pinned".
Yes understood on the orientation of the timing disc, I of course returned it to the approx 9 o'clock position with pistons at TDC.
Can you imagine how confusing this must have been for the punters back in the day? especially when even the factory apparently had problems with the ET, supplying some bikes with the rotor keyway incorrectly broached. No wonder BSA went down!

Re: Repairing an ET Ignition System [Re: Magnetoman] #699564
06/25/17 3:17 pm
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One other thing I wanted to make sure of - and I know this has been covered multiple times - is that the rotor / stator "gap" be nominally Concentric all around, using a feeler gauge in the magnet/pole positions. Having a relatively uniform gap all around is of course essential on all these alternators, but wonder if that could be even more critical with the ET? regards

Re: Repairing an ET Ignition System [Re: Dana_twin] #699571
06/25/17 4:01 pm
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Originally Posted by Dana_twin
Having a relatively uniform gap all around is of course essential on all these alternators, but wonder if that could be even more critical with the ET? regards
The answer is yes, no, maybe, and it depends...

The strength of a magnetic field falls off rapidly with distance (as a rough rule think of it as falling off as the cube of distance, e.g. if the distance is doubled it doesn't fall by a factor of 2 it falls by a factor of ~8). As an example of this, you can hold a note to the refrigerator with a magnet, but once you try to hold two or three pieces of paper with that magnet they all slide down the door even though the distance has only increased by a few thou. of an inch.

What this means is if the rotor isn't Concentric with the stator it will be closer to some coils of the stator and farther from the ones on the opposite side, and thus generate a significantly larger current in the close coils and a significantly smaller current in the farther ones. If the coils close to the rotor happen to be the ones for the ignition you would get higher voltage to the spark plug at a lower rpm. That would be good. But, of course, it could be just the opposite and you'd have to spin the engine really fast before it would spark.

Since distance matters a lot for magnetic fields, and since an E.T. system doesn't have a reserve to draw on (i.e. a battery), and since you can't count on the rotor being offset in the "right" direction, it's fair to say that having a uniform gap is more critical than with a conventional system.

Re: Repairing an ET Ignition System [Re: SBell] #701036
07/07/17 2:48 pm
07/07/17 2:48 pm
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I am having the same problem, I am running windows 7. Did you find a resolution to be able to see the diagrams?
Also to MM I have gone thru it all and am using the later points plate but can not get spark on both cylinders. I have interchanged coils condensers and plugs and proven that they all are fine when on the right cylinder but not on the left. Is there a specific method for setting the point on the new points plate?

Last edited by silver fox; 07/07/17 2:59 pm. Reason: missed the second section before hitting post, my apologies
Re: Repairing an ET Ignition System [Re: silver fox] #701050
07/07/17 6:23 pm
07/07/17 6:23 pm
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Originally Posted by silver fox
Is there a specific method for setting the point on the new points plate?
Unfortunately, thanks to Photobucket, all the images are gone. No promises, but I might do something about this in the months to come, but right now I'm more than a little overcommitted.

Adjusting the points plate for an ET is done the same as on other Lucas systems, so searching around this site should find various descriptions. However, as described in this thread, it is important that both sets of points have to be working correctly in order for the ET system to function on a twin. This may be your problem.

Re: Repairing an ET Ignition System [Re: Magnetoman] #704287
08/08/17 5:39 am
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I saw magnetoman's update post about believing his original rotor orientation for advanced v retarded rotor positions to be correct... But on my bike the rotor orientation is precisely the opposite of what is (or was) shown. And I'm getting a good spark and good running results. Perhaps BSA varied the orientation of the 'S' dimple over the years or between models, for reasons known only to BSA - perhaps unlikely but certainly not a surprise if so. Anyway the point is moot as the graphics are gone, which sort of invalidates the original post overall in my opinion, since the graphics are essential to understanding the content. Perhaps the admin/moderator may consider "unpinning" the post or perhaps some game volunteer will step forward to get the jpegs by email and repost them in the thread?

Re: Repairing an ET Ignition System [Re: Magnetoman] #704292
08/08/17 7:14 am
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Originally Posted by Dana_twin
the graphics are essential to understanding the content. Perhaps the admin/moderator may consider "unpinning" the post...
All of my threads in the 'projects' forum are/were graphics-heavy so all seriously suffered from Photobucket's change. I'd like to fix this but my "motorcycle time" has been pretty full with rebuilding an Ariel.

This rebuild isn't going to be finished anytime soon. Meanwhile, if people think my projects threads are now incomprehensible, delete them. That will save me a lot of time later since I won't have to worry about repopulating them with the images I have on my computer.

On a related note, a week ago the New York Times had a story about SoundCloud, a music streaming service relied on by emerging musicians that is in danger of going out of business like several other services also named in the story. The last sentence could just as well apply to the situation with Photobucket: "But the moral of its struggle is clear: As digital culture becomes more tied to the success of the platforms where it flourishes, there is always a risk of it disappearing forever."

Re: Repairing an ET Ignition System [Re: Magnetoman] #707078
09/02/17 10:27 pm
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Actually I used this google extension in chrome to view the blocked graphics, this extension should work for everyone with Chrome even on an older windows O/s

chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/photobucket-embed-fix/naolkcpnnlofnnghnmfegnfnflicjjgj?hl=en

Again I would submit the graphic showing the stator/rotor relative positions for advanced v. retarded to be precisely reversed. However no intention to make waves.. just pointing out same, me being a basic pedant. (nothing to do with kids)

Finally, I also wish to thank magnetoman profusely for inspiring me with his great topic here to revert back to ET ignition -- from battery/coil -- and I am most satisfied with the results.

I do need to get the kill switch hooked up, as an oversight I forgot to fit it, and had to stop the bike by pulling the plug caps when running -- never a good idea! (I even turned down the carb throttle stop screws and shut the fuel taps and it still continued to run as if forever) duh

tah mate

Re: Repairing an ET Ignition System [Re: Magnetoman] #710897
10/08/17 7:17 pm
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I’m getting my 67 tr6c running I have condensers mount on the Honda coils with condensers plus the condensers on the 4ca points plate.
I would like to switch to the 6ca plate. Will I still need four condensers ? Or just the ones by the coils.
Also my sparkplug spark is bright yellow , nice big spark. Is this normal ?
Thank you.

Re: Repairing an ET Ignition System [Re: Mori55] #711994
10/19/17 3:18 pm
10/19/17 3:18 pm
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Originally Posted by Mori55
I would like to switch to the 6ca plate. Will I still need four condensers ? Or just the ones by the coils.
Also my sparkplug spark is bright yellow , nice big spark. Is this normal ?
Sorry for the delay in responding but I was away for a while and didn't notice you had posted this question.

Not expecting the Honda condensers to last forever, on my Triumph 500 I physically cut them from the surrounding bracket and substituted in the hollow space the capacitors I use in magnetos. The brackets for the condensers are still riveted to the main bodies but I cut a slice in the round part of the brackets that allow the Honda condensers to be removed. I don't have capacitors on the points plate, i.e. only a single capacitor at each coil on this bike.

On my BSA C15S I've cut the wire on the Honda coil and reattached it with spade electrical connectors so I can easily isolate it from the circuit for testing or when it goes bad. I also have a magneto capacitor in the distributor, i.e. there are two capacitors in the circuit on this bike.

I don't pay attention to the color of a spark because it is strongly affected by ionized chemicals. If you have a nice big spark you should be fine.

Re: Repairing an ET Ignition System [Re: Magnetoman] #712013
10/19/17 7:13 pm
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I think you will need the same condenser setup as the 4CA or four. One each for the coils and one each remotely mounted for the 6CA. Caveat: This is what I use with the Lucas ET Coils or the aftermarket Orange coils
on my 67 Hornet
I mount my points condenser inside the timing cover mounted to the 68' and later condenser bracket to the center phillips screw. You may have to fold the spade over so the wiring fits without touching the cover.

Good luck

Re: Repairing an ET Ignition System [Re: Richard Phillips] #712020
10/19/17 9:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Richard Phillips
I think you will need the same condenser setup as the 4CA or four. One each for the coils and one each remotely mounted for the 6CA.
Electrically, the condenser at the coil is in parallel with the points just as a condenser located adjacent to the points is. The only difference is the condenser at the coil also "sees" the inductance of the wire between it and the points whereas one adjacent to the points has no such additional inductance between it and the points. At high frequency this additional stray inductance would be a problem if there were only a single condenser in the circuit that was located at the coil, but the oscillations are only at a kiloHz so that extra inductance of the wire has a negligible effect on the circuit. This means that a single condenser per coil, located either at the coil, or at the points (or anywhere else) works equally well for suppressing arcing across the points.

Re: Repairing an ET Ignition System [Re: Magnetoman] #713901
11/05/17 5:19 am
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I don't like the advance curve on the 650 twin with the ET ignition and while okay for a dirt bike or Tiger Cub, on a 650 twin - to prevent misfiring - timing has to be set retarded such that performance is dogged wrt the puny seven degree advance. As MM points out, if that measly advance is exceeded by the rotor position even slightly, then the plugs quit firing full stop. Bummer. Subsequent to considerable experience with the Hornet ET, I can see why folks /dealers replaced ET with DC coils - at least wrt to 650 twins for street riding. Sure for a little dirt bike or 441 no prob. Did I already write that? Whatever, I do have the rotor in "S"position and wonder if changing it to "R" would improve street performance.

Re: Repairing an ET Ignition System [Re: Dana_twin] #713905
11/05/17 9:43 am
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Originally Posted by Dana_twin
I don't like the advance curve on the 650 twin with the ET ignition and while okay for a dirt bike or Tiger Cub, on a 650 twin - to prevent misfiring - timing has to be set retarded such that performance is dogged wrt the puny seven degree advance.


What sort of misfiring, under what circumstances, is prevented by retarding the timing?


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Re: Repairing an ET Ignition System [Re: Magnetoman] #713928
11/05/17 3:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Dana_twin
I don't like the advance curve on the 650 twin with the ET ignition and while okay for a dirt bike or Tiger Cub, on a 650 twin - to prevent misfiring - timing has to be set retarded ... seven degree advance. ..

I'm not sure what aspect you're taking issue with: the engine size, advance range, or advance curve.

Size. Other than sharing a path to ground, the ET system for a 650 twin consists of two independent systems, i.e. one for each 325 cylinder. It was dropped for the street in 1967 because of legislation requiring the headlight stay on when the engine wasn't running, but the fact BSA returned to it six years later for their off-road-only 500 cc B50MX shows that cylinder size doesn't matter.

Range. The range is only 7-deg. (14-deg. engine) so if it is set for, say, 38-deg at full advance it only will be 24-deg. for starting. Personally, though, I have not found starting to be an issue on either my Triumph 500 or BSA C15S. Moving the rotor from the 'S' to the 'R' position will move the point where maximum output is obtained, but this should be matched to the timing values you use. Several rotor positions were made so that a tuner who decided for their racing engine that it produced more h.p. with the timing advanced from the stock value could then move the rotor to match that new value. Whatever value you have the timing set on your engine, pick the rotor position that best matches that.

Curve. The advance curve can be adjusted by changing the springs in the advance mechanism. If over the past 50 years your springs have become weak it will move from the retarded to the full advance position at a lower rpm than it did when new. If you are having problems at low/moderate rpm that you think are due to having too much advance there, try new springs (although, unless you measure the spring constants of your current and replacement springs you won't know whether or not the replacements are actually stronger). Also, if your advance mechanism is worn it's possible it is "hanging up" at low-ish rpm and doesn't start moving until a higher rpm than it should, in which case the ignition would be too retarded for proper performance at low/moderate rpm. Again, the fact BSA used the ET on their B50MX, which needed to perform well over the full rpm range, indicates there isn't a fundamental problem with this ignition system.

Re: Repairing an ET Ignition System [Re: Magnetoman] #713991
11/06/17 12:31 am
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Quote
Size. Other than sharing a path to ground, the ET system for a 650 twin consists of two independent systems

well not exactly,
the ground path for the operating set of points is through the closed set of points
... so on a twin.. they are conjoined ... and this makes its more of a three legged race .
.

Re: Repairing an ET Ignition System [Re: quinten] #714088
11/06/17 8:52 pm
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Originally Posted by quinten
this makes its more of a three legged race.
Although evocative, it's not a good analogy. Only if the points are worn, out of adjustment, or dirty will there be a problem with the path to ground. The same is the case for the points in a conventional ignition system. If the points are in reasonable condition this isn't an issue for either type of ignition system.

Re: Repairing an ET Ignition System [Re: Magnetoman] #714133
11/07/17 1:34 am
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So assuming the owner of an ET bike wants to look for more HP at a certain RPM the owner (mechanic) can;

a) drain the primary oil
b) remove umpteen jillion impact-driven primary case screws
c) remove the primary cover (and pray the gasket comes away clean)
d) sprag the drive sprocket chain wheel then with a breaker bar remove the rotor nut
e) remove the stator
f) pull the rotor and rotate to the "r" or middle dimple from the "s" dimple (depending the two or three dimple rotor)
g) repeat a-d above in reverse order of dismantling then replace primary cover
h) add oil and hope for no leaks
i) run & pray for the best, and if the result is worse repeat all above to set rotor back to "s"

Now if misfiring / strange acceleration occurs

a) remove gear shift lever and kick lever
b) remove timing cover
c) remove contact breaker assy
d) remove auto advance or somehow cram in different spring rate springs on AA unit
e) a-c in reverse order
f) reset timing and gap, hopefully timing within a couple of degrees max of spec
g) run & pray for the best

..and I used to wonder why the Small Heath plant is just a parking lot now. lol.

just saying.

Re: Repairing an ET Ignition System [Re: Dana_twin] #714143
11/07/17 2:15 am
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Originally Posted by Dana_twin
So assuming the owner of an ET bike wants to look for more HP at a certain RPM the owner (mechanic) can; ...
If you write out all the steps to tie your shoelaces it too will sound like an excessively complicated task. Changing the rotor position is something you might do once or twice in the lifetime of a motorcycle, and then only if you are an accomplished mechanic experimenting with the tuning. For comparison, write all the steps for doing the same on a modern, fuel-injected motorcycle with electronic ignition and see how that list looks.

Re: Repairing an ET Ignition System [Re: Magnetoman] #714145
11/07/17 2:19 am
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Two wrongs make a right? Okay. sure. Agreed. Might makes right, too.

But I don't know what the steps are for a modern bike since they are computer controlled for the most part anyway.... changing a chip in the ECU I believe is the usual procedure..

Re: Repairing an ET Ignition System [Re: Dana_twin] #714150
11/07/17 2:37 am
11/07/17 2:37 am
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Originally Posted by Dana_twin
.. changing a chip in the ECU I believe is the usual procedure..
Unless you are going to copy exactly what someone else has done, with the same intake and exhaust systems they used, you'll have to program the ECU.

Seriously, within the context of everything else we do with these old bikes, timing an ET system to better than a degree while also changing the position of rotor is no big deal. Timing a Gold Star is more difficult and time consuming. The timing cover has to be removed (which definitely is more difficult to do than removing a unit primary case), the engine and magneto have to be individually located in the correct positions, backlash removed, the gear attached to the magneto shaft without moving it, the results checked and then the gear removed and replaced because the shaft did move),...

Last edited by Magnetoman; 11/07/17 5:24 am. Reason: changed 'sprocket' to 'gear'
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