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#853298 07/08/21 5:00 pm
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Some years ago when I first got interested in bikes again I struggled for a loooong time with a no start custom Triumph T120.
I was getting spark from the Boyer MKIII so I thought it was fine. I did suspect it though so I bought a new MKIV and still had trouble.
Eventually I sent them both to John Healy who confirmed the MKIII was not advancing correctly but the new MKIV was fine.
In the interim I had switched to points and stayed with them on the custom. The bike ran great.

Now I'm putting together another custom T120 and thought give the new MKIV a try.
I get sparks when I touch the leads together but not when I kick over the bike.
This would indicate a problem with the timing plate or magnetic rotor I would think. They have never been used and it doesn't look
like a problem with the leads to the little coils. Impedence there is 141 ohms, close enough to what should be 137 ohms I would think.
The rotor magnets can support their weight.
The battery is new and seems good. The 6 ohm Lucas coils are old but seem good also.

Any ideas before I shelf this again for points and start bad mouthing Boyer?


1966 BSA Lightning
(2) 1967 Triumph "Choppa"s
1974 Indian ME125
1960 Harley Servi-Car
1952 Harley 45" G motor in Paugho frame project
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Nick H #853302 07/08/21 5:34 pm
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Two 6 ohm coils in series?

That sounds bad.

Do you mean 6 volt coils?


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Nick H #853309 07/08/21 6:53 pm
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Nick: the offer to test the unit for free has not changed.

The ohm reading from your volt/ohmmeter will vary with the condition of its battery. 141 ohms would be within the range you would expect to see.

At which end of the two connections are you scratching. The ones at the box or the ones that attach the wire to the plate with the two small coils??????

While it's probably not the battery, you must remember that "New" does not mean good. You need a Good battery for any electronic ignition to work properly!!!!!!!

Nick H #853323 07/08/21 9:07 pm
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Sorry, 6 volt coils.

John, thanks again for the offer to test. It may come to that.
Actually, I scratched the wires together successfully at both ends.


1966 BSA Lightning
(2) 1967 Triumph "Choppa"s
1974 Indian ME125
1960 Harley Servi-Car
1952 Harley 45" G motor in Paugho frame project
Nick H #853343 07/09/21 4:34 am
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I forget whether it was Boyer or Pazon, or both, but some kits were supplied with a bolt which is a bit too long to properly fix the rotor into the taper on the cam shaft. You might try using a small lock washer under the head of this bolt.
You also need to be sure that the rotor magnets are not contacting the poles of the stator plate.


Knowledge speaks. Wisdom listens.

72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
72 T150V "Wotan"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
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Nick H #853389 07/09/21 6:05 pm
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Be a shame to go to points after my nifty toolbox installation.
That's the ignition switch on top.
but maybe not the best idea anyway for cooling.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com][Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
My points plate
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


1966 BSA Lightning
(2) 1967 Triumph "Choppa"s
1974 Indian ME125
1960 Harley Servi-Car
1952 Harley 45" G motor in Paugho frame project
Nick H #853395 07/09/21 8:04 pm
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It’s also not a good idea to run alternator and ignition wires close/alongside or across each other.


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

68’ A65 Lightning “clubman”
71’ A65 823 Thunderbolt (now rebuilt)
67’ D10 sportsman (undergoing restoration)
68’ D14 trials (undergoing transformation)

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Nick H #853397 07/09/21 8:34 pm
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"but maybe not the best idea anyway for cooling." Unfortunately Nick, it is not if, but when!

Diodes in both the Boyer box and the regulator/regulator ability to work is a function of temperature.

When they are working they generate heat. If the heat is not removed they can/will fail.

When they fail, voltage from the regulator can spike putting further stress on the diodes in the Boyer box. This leads to a total failure of the system.

Add to this the higher ambient air temperatures we have been experiencing makes this worse.

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Allan G #853416 07/10/21 4:03 am
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Originally Posted by Allan G
It’s also not a good idea to run alternator and ignition wires close/alongside or across each other.
Even more important on triples, which have the alternator on the same side of the engine as the points.

John, maybe Boyer, et al could learn from Lucas, who mounted the Rita on a bracket which could be located in good air flow? Tough to find a good mounting place when all they give you is industrial strength Velcro and the amplifier box is plastic.


Knowledge speaks. Wisdom listens.

72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
72 T150V "Wotan"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
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Nick H #853423 07/10/21 9:11 am
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Boyer outsold RITA because it was cheaper. Its being a little plastic box rather than a metal case was probably one reason it was cheaper.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Nick H #853703 07/14/21 5:28 pm
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Well, I don't get why I don't get spark when I kick over the bike but do get spark when I scratch the leads together.

I tried putting a meter on the timing plate while installed to see if the 141 ohms reading changes while kicking but did not see anything conclusive
and I suppose if this was a valid test we would have heard of it.

I'm just going to have to install points.


1966 BSA Lightning
(2) 1967 Triumph "Choppa"s
1974 Indian ME125
1960 Harley Servi-Car
1952 Harley 45" G motor in Paugho frame project
Nick H #853712 07/14/21 7:54 pm
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Sorry if you have mentioned this. Have you checked the magnetism of each of the magnets on the rotor? A weak magnet won’t work. It should be able to support its own weight or the weight of a small spanner.


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

68’ A65 Lightning “clubman”
71’ A65 823 Thunderbolt (now rebuilt)
67’ D10 sportsman (undergoing restoration)
68’ D14 trials (undergoing transformation)

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Nick H #853761 07/15/21 1:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Nick H
Well, I don't get why I don't get spark when I kick over the bike but do get spark when I scratch the leads together.
IME, the owner keeps testing the Boyer, but it's not the Boyer's fault at all.

The difference is this: A points system (from the age of electron tubes) will work fine with voltages as low as 9V. (That's voltage arriving at the coil, not at the battery). But when a EI (electronic ignition) is installed, the ignition system immediately takes the bike from the age of telegraph to the age of cell phone technology. However, the installers are sometimes not able to make that same mental leap. Therein lies the root problem.

When you install an EI, the quality of the connections, available voltage, wiring, "grounding", et al MUST also be upgraded to the level of what you find inside your COMPUTER. The transistorized electronics demand something more.

Think of it this way... If you took your cell phone through a "time portal" back to 1955, would you expect your cell phone to work ? Of course not !! But by installing the EI, you have instantly transported your bike from ~1970 to the age of micro-electronics. And transistorized ignitions require (i.e. must have, won't work without) slightly more than stuffing the black box into a safe corner.

To be fair, Boyer does a very BAD job of explaining this in their install sheet. The info is there, but they don't come right out and say "do this". To that end... this article may help.... http://gabma.us/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/boyer_install.pdf

Your photos SEEM to display a conversion to Negative electrical "ground". This can be done, but my article is written from the point of view of Positive ground, and so not all suggestions can be followed verbatim.

All the best.


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

RF Whatley
NE Georgia, USA
Nick H #853783 07/15/21 5:30 pm
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This reminds me of a post on Farcebook recently. The owner with a triumph had wired his Boyer mk3? Into the existing system but after several miles the box died and that was all.

The same poster didn’t get the answer he wanted and on each occasion I had screen shot his wiring images and circled the problem or questionable wires.

There was a red going back to the battery between the two linked coils. The red from the box was connecting to a brown? Wire going to the coil, the previous end of that brown wire was going to another red wire which I could only Assume went to the frame. Again I repeatedly asked what these wires were and where they went to and that was ignored.

The poster then bought a mk4 and wired it in the same way. Despite me advising that he needs to follow the wiring diagram to the letter and any wires not showing on that diagram but on his system should be removed. Ie if it wasn’t on the diagram, it shouldn’t be on there.

3-4 posts about this and I eventually gave up. The problem most of the time is not the box, but the person trying to install it. It’s ok not to be an electrical genius, but when people are investing their time into trying to help, have the good grace to answer the questions they are asking you. It doesn’t help when you get dumb answers like “yeah it looks fine mate”. When it obviously isn’t and the owners got a serious issue.


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

68’ A65 Lightning “clubman”
71’ A65 823 Thunderbolt (now rebuilt)
67’ D10 sportsman (undergoing restoration)
68’ D14 trials (undergoing transformation)

Nick H #853808 07/15/21 11:59 pm
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Well Allen, I haven't ignored any of the helpful posters here. (Yes, as stated earlier the rotor magnets support their weight)

The battery measures 12.3 volts at the coil which I would hope would be enough for a MKIV.

It will actually go higher after a charge with the same no spark result. I suppose I could try "jumping" it with my car.

I'm rather fastidious with my wiring connections and use both solder and crimp.

Thanks

Last edited by Nick H; 07/15/21 11:59 pm.

1966 BSA Lightning
(2) 1967 Triumph "Choppa"s
1974 Indian ME125
1960 Harley Servi-Car
1952 Harley 45" G motor in Paugho frame project
Nick H #853818 07/16/21 2:06 am
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Quote
The battery measures 12.3 volts at the coil which I would hope would be enough for a MKIV.

voltage does not indicate voltage under load .
the box needs to see a minimum voltage under load
to latch the Boyer boxes circuitry .

how are you measuring voltage at the coils ?
if the Boyer is wired correctly you can not read voltage at the coils .
( coils are normally off and only flashed for a few milliseconds at a time , which initiates each firing sequence )

you need to bypass the transistor box and jump power to the first coil , is the series string , to
read voltage at the coils . ... is this what you are doing ?

If you are reading voltage at the coils with the ignition on with the transistor box wired .
... the wiring is incorrect .

the transistor Box acts as a switch ... and it is wired upstream of the coils .

Points act like switches too ... but they are wired Downstream of the coils .

Nick H #853829 07/16/21 4:28 am
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Originally Posted by Nick H
Well, I don't get why I don't get spark when I kick over the bike but do get spark when I scratch the leads together.

I tried putting a meter on the timing plate while installed to see if the 141 ohms reading changes while kicking but did not see anything conclusive
and I suppose if this was a valid test we would have heard of it.
I don't see why the impedance of the coils would change. But, if you use an analog voltmeter on it's lowest setting you should see a small needle deflection when cranking. Then you will understand how small the trigger signal is, and the need for perfect connections.
One of my main concerns with the Boyer is those stupid bullet connectors right at the pickup, in a connection which must be perfect to work. You can get spark by striking the two wires on one side together, but still not have a good enough circuit with the bullets plugged in. Unless they're gold, those female bullets will oxidize just sitting on the shelf. Deoxit is your friend!


Knowledge speaks. Wisdom listens.

72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
72 T150V "Wotan"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
Nick H #853838 07/16/21 8:38 am
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Originally Posted by Nick H
Well Allen, I haven't ignored any of the helpful posters here. (Yes, as stated earlier the rotor magnets support their weight)

I didn’t mean to say you had, but a lot of installers are their own worst enemy, whether they intend to be or not.


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

68’ A65 Lightning “clubman”
71’ A65 823 Thunderbolt (now rebuilt)
67’ D10 sportsman (undergoing restoration)
68’ D14 trials (undergoing transformation)

Nick H #853839 07/16/21 8:46 am
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Hi Nick,
Originally Posted by Nick H
just going to have to install points.
Hmmm ... if the headlamp didn't work, you'd replace it with acetylene lighting?

Originally Posted by Nick H
don't get why I don't get spark when I kick over the bike but do get spark when I scratch the leads together.
Assuming "scratch the leads together" means you are touching together the terminal ends of the Black/White and Black/White wires out the B-B Transistor Box, the Box is powered from the battery, charges the coil(s) and cuts the LT supply to the coil(s) which generates HT sparks.

Touching those terminal ends together roughly mimics what the B-B Stator and Rotor do with more sophistication. So, if you "do get spark when I scratch the leads together" but "don't get spark when I kick over the bike":-

. the Rotor isn't;

. the Stator isn't generating any signals to the Box;

. the wires between Stator and Box aren't conducting the Stator signals to the Box.

Mk.1 eyeball will tell you whether the Rotor is, Ohm-meter or Ohms function of a multi-meter will tell you whether the wires are conducting. Stator usually has to be substituted to tell if it's faulty.

Electrical fault-finding simply requires logical step-by-step testing. E.g. when a headlamp bulb doesn't work, one of the first tests I try is another headlamp bulb ...

Hth.

Regards,

Nick H #853848 07/16/21 1:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Nick H
Well Allen, I haven't ignored any of the helpful posters here. (Yes, as stated earlier the rotor magnets support their weight)

The battery measures 12.3 volts at the coil which I would hope would be enough for a MKIV.

1. Good. And while you're not ignoring input, tell us did you measure the battery voltage with a Load Tester or a personal VOM ??

2. My experience is that chopper builders like to use an ultra-small battery, something around 6AH. Since the charging system has no way to reduce the charge when the battery reaches full-charge, the battery continues to the point of severe over-charge. This is due to the low mass of the physical battery. A small battery can't physically absorb the heat of a continued charge, like the mass of a larger (say) 8 or 9AH battery which has twice the mass. Can you fully describe your battery for us ?

So chopper batteries are always suspect, and as previously stated... having a known good battery is Necessary Item #1.


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

RF Whatley
NE Georgia, USA
Nick H #853886 07/16/21 8:47 pm
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Remember, my wiring is negative ground so I believe I can measure volts at the coil.
In any event it can be done the way shown in a Vintage Bike article.

(interesting to compare the negative/positive wiring diagrams. I can't say I fully understand it
but one can't just flip the battery around to go from one to the other)

My battery is a 4 AH. Not great but i wouldn't think my single phase charging system would damage it.

I don't own an actual battery load tester so the best I can do is put a load on it such as a headlight and note the effect on the battery..
The volts drop a bit and stay there.

I would think the new battery is "good enough". Some other reason I'm getting no spark.


1966 BSA Lightning
(2) 1967 Triumph "Choppa"s
1974 Indian ME125
1960 Harley Servi-Car
1952 Harley 45" G motor in Paugho frame project
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Ok, now it's sparking.
I was resting the plugs on the finned exhaust clamps because they seemed to hold them snugly
but now I'm resting on the head and I guess getting a better connection.

Thanks.


1966 BSA Lightning
(2) 1967 Triumph "Choppa"s
1974 Indian ME125
1960 Harley Servi-Car
1952 Harley 45" G motor in Paugho frame project
Nick H #853893 07/16/21 10:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Nick H
Ok, now it's sparking.
I was resting the plugs on the finned exhaust clamps because they seemed to hold them snugly
but now I'm resting on the head and I guess getting a better connection.

Thanks.


I can’t see that making a difference.


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interesting to compare the negative/positive wiring diagrams. I can't say I fully understand it
but one can't just flip the battery around to go from one to the other)

no you cant flip the battery because the Boyer box contains polartized components .

and because of these polarize components ,
the Boyer wiring is the same for neg and pos ....
the only difference is the location of the on/off switch

ignition switch on negitive side ... is positive ground
ignition switch on positive.side ... is negitive ground

(the fuse may move too , but may not )

Nick H #853920 07/17/21 6:56 am
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Remember, my wiring is negative ground so I believe I can measure volts at the coil.
In any event it can be done the way shown in a Vintage Bike article.

you shouldn't be able to read voltage at the coils
wirh negitive ground ( if the Boyer is correctly wired and ready to fire )
the test requires a simple wiring change .

you can voltage-drop load-test using coils as the load
if black wire between B-box and coil is pulled from box and grounded
the coils are the load ... and this will also test the conductivity of the ignition wiring .
... all its various crimps and connections

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