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#876365 04/01/22 12:45 pm
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After following the long and very informative Trispark EI thread, I thought it better to start a new thread for this discussion. Hopefully, it is not the same as a dreaded "oil thread".

If one were considering converting to EI, is there a general consensus on what would be the best unit? Forget cost, since it is a one-time switch over. What unit would be the most reliable and work under the broadest conditions of voltage and immunity from interference from an electronic regulator/rectifier, etc? It seems like Pazon always gets high marks, while the original Boyer has worked for many.

Is there a single manufacturer that would stand out as having evolved as the "best" overall for reliability, longevity, robustness, etc., assuming a good working charging system?

Triumphs on eBay
rickT120 #876371 04/01/22 1:41 pm
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There’s something to be said for buying the commonest type. That’s probably the Boyer MkIV.


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rickT120 #876379 04/01/22 2:13 pm
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I have Pazons on a 1965 TR6SR and 1967 T120R. No issues whatsoever. Easier to install. Certainly much easier than fooling around with points.

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rickT120 #876380 04/01/22 2:14 pm
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I've had my Boyer on the 72 for about 35 years now.
The Pazon has been on the 68 for almost 18 years.
No problems. No complaints. The 72 has been in 5 western states and 2 states in Mexico. It's been in some remote places where I did not see another vehicle for hours. The 68 not so much.
If I still had to use points I would have quit riding years ago.

Last edited by desco; 04/01/22 2:22 pm.

1968 T120R
1972 T120RV
Any advice given is without a warranty expressed or implied.
rickT120 #876385 04/01/22 2:55 pm
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Based on my experiences over the years my preferences are:
Singles: Points
Twins; Pazon Surefire
Triples: Trispark with separate black box.
HTH

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rickT120 #876413 04/01/22 7:43 pm
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Hi, I've wondered same thing. But reliability of unit is my #1 concern. This is always assuming perfect installation.

Old units have a reputation, but many have had changes to them in current production. Makers seem to be making changes in last few years.

The sick feeling when motor dies on the road. That's what I want to avoid.
Don


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rickT120 #876416 04/01/22 7:59 pm
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John Healy is the distributor of Pazon in the US.
I have Pazon on my t140 in the uk

rickT120 #876430 04/01/22 10:11 pm
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...I think all the EI for Triumph are good; included couple of obscure ones but most follow the rap of the majority so you will see that Pazon and Boyer is what most use; however, almost all have the analog EI; may be because is cheap.
I have new magnetos in two engines and a digital (smartfire) in other engine. The digital is more "precise" but 3 times more money. The new magnetos have points but never let you down but are 7 times more expensive that the cheap EI.
If you put low km on your bike you can go with whatever you think is good.
I put around 10000km on each bike (except the dismantled one) per year

rickT120 #876476 04/02/22 8:44 am
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I’ve had 3 Pazon units for the twins

Bought a surefire unit, worked ok but wanted something with a more aggressive spark advance so bought the Altair unit. The stator plate fell apart on the way back from an international rally, I cobbled it to get it home but even though less than 6 months old it turns out their stator plates aren’t covered by the 7.5 year warranty. I was told to solder the wires to the tracks (I’m quite proficient at soldering and do a reasonable amount of replacing board components) the tracks on the board peeled straight off as soon as it was touched with a low power soldering iron. I guess I could still potentially use it if I wire directly to the stator coil.

I refitted the surefire and off the back of it bought another unit as a backup which travelled around as my spare for a few years.
Noticed with the original box that top speed was getting less and less, tried a few other changes to the bike thinking it was that and no improvement. Changed the black box and boom! Speed was back - and some. Now starting to see the same issue with the second box.

Running a 3 ohm dyna coil dual output which is well within the specs of the unit. But maybe the box is getting too hot? I do have a ballast resistors 1.2Ω which I never got round to fitting.

Both boxes still work fine otherwise if your not wanting to break the sound barrier.

Don’t fancy giving Andy any more of my money so I bought the Trispark for my 823cc Thunderbolt. Still need to put it to the test. So not qualified to comment.

Had a Boyer at one time and had some issues, the bike vibrated badly whilst it was fitted. Removed it and refitted the points and the bike ran fine after. Gave the unit to a friend as a backup and he fitted it to his A65, it runs sweet. On hind sight I think the issue was relative to a crap battery which wasn’t so much a problem with the points. So I’m not ready to knock Boyer just yet.

Points are great but require time and attention. I like everything about how they work, apart from the lack of time to perform the servicing. For a single cylinder 4 stroke, I would and have stuck with the points. No worries with synchronisation. My 400/4 requires much less maintenance on points and that runs at engine speed. My old bantam was a complete chore as it needed frequent adjustment to keep it running at its optimum. You soon notice on a little engine.


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)

rickT120 #876478 04/02/22 9:40 am
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The best EI will be the one that's of an unknown identity. There is an EI on my Japanese bike, I've no idea where it is or what it is.
This year, the most reliable first-time starter (from cold) in my lock-up has been my Matchless, with a magneto.
I'll be starting my modern Triumph (2002) from hibernation using a car battery, just in case.

Tridentman #876548 04/03/22 3:08 am
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Originally Posted by Tridentman
Based on my experiences over the years my preferences are:
Singles: Points
Twins; Pazon Surefire
Triples: Trispark with separate black box.
HTH


This is a sound recipe

For the 20 years I've been doing this professionally I've only removed Lucas and Boyer systems for side of the road failure.
Boyer systems are the only ones I know to take the engine with it.
Trispark is my go to..Pazon is also very nice
My Rider...Points. all of em...but I'm a mechanic and I give them a look every service. Easy for me only because I've done it a zillion times.
For customers who want EI... Tridentman's recos are A+


Full time classic motorcycle mechanic and enthusiast to a fault
rickT120 #876558 04/03/22 8:53 am
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This black box thing, ha! Mind out the gutter here (not really though). 😎 Where do you mount it? AND how big is it? This could get entertaining.

This is what really sold me on the Trispark. It’s tucked away and doesn’t look like an add on. What would also be a good selling point is an easy swap to points if and when an EI could be the cause of problem (low battery, related) when troubleshooting OR actually taking a crap. I don’t believe anyone here likes the idea of carrying around an extra EI just for insurance. 🤷🏻‍♂️ One first thought… Could be a carburetor issue and I would instant blame the new EI, right? Are they (EI) easy to troubleshoot?

Last edited by splash; 04/03/22 8:58 am.
rickT120 #876570 04/03/22 11:53 am
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I have 2 Triumphs with EI. One Pazon, one Boyer. Never had a problem with either. If you read of more problems with Boyer, it's probably because there are many more of them because they have been around longest. And I would put money on the fact that 99% of EI problems are not the EI at all, but battery/charging/wiring faults.

Last edited by tbird649; 04/03/22 11:55 am.
rickT120 #876571 04/03/22 12:16 pm
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The cheapest kit I can see is the Wassell. It looks stronger in construction than most others and it works well in my 650 twin.

None of those facts mean it’s the “best.” Who knows!


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
rickT120 #876603 04/03/22 7:01 pm
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Splash;
The black box is about the size of a 12V. car battery. I strap mine to the seat behind me and put some Triumph decals on it. People think it's a backrest.
Boyer size, 2 3/4" X 2 1/4" X 3/4 ". You can hide it anywhere with double stick tape and some ingenuity. My original Boyer on the 72 is 35 years old and now resides in the tool tray between the coils. The Pazon is on a home made bracket behind the left side side cover which is also the tool box and comes off with one bolt.
I feel sorry for people who ride around on these old turds worrying about what is going to break or fail. The worst that happens is you have to hitch hike home to get the truck. You meet a lot of nice people that way. Had a Harley guy take me over 60 miles and dropped me off at my garage door,(broken chain).
Met a nice couple who drove me over 120 miles, the last 30 totally out of their way, back to my truck, crashed, broken ribs. I've had rides in forest service trucks and CHP police cars. The CHP cop radioed to his buddies to keep an eye on the Triumph beside the road. And many more. NONE EI related.

Last edited by desco; 04/03/22 7:02 pm.

1968 T120R
1972 T120RV
Any advice given is without a warranty expressed or implied.
rickT120 #876610 04/03/22 8:06 pm
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Based on personal experiences I would not fit an EI with the electronics in the points cavity.
That is why the EI for twins IMHO should be Pazon (or Boyer) with a separate black box with the electronics away from the heat and vibration of the engine.
So no Trispark for twins for me!
Similarly Trispark do two variants for the triples---one for the points cavity and the other with a separate black box. I always use the one with the separate black box and think highly of it.
Why not the electronics in the points cavity?
Some years ago in UK I ran a company making Environmental Stress Screening equipment.
The test kit subjected (mainly) electronics to rapid changes of temperature along with simulated vibration levels.
One of our best customers was a big UK company making guided missiles (no prizes for guessing who!).
We simulated a guided missile on the ground in a high ambient temperature in the Middle East and then being fired where it quickly experienced very low sub zero temperatures along with high vibration levels.
Sometimes the missile development guys would take a year to perfect the design of a pcb to survive these conditions.
With all respect due to Trispark there is no way in which they could afford the time or money to test their in points cavity EIs to account for variations in temperature and vibration (particularly changes in the latter as the engine wears/carbs go out of sync etc etc).
So--no electronics in points cavities for me!
Just my two cents worth of course.

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rickT120 #876612 04/03/22 8:10 pm
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Tri-Spark is not a bother on pre-units with a mag replacement unit, not exactly cold, but cooler than in the timing chest!

rickT120 #876626 04/03/22 11:25 pm
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I"ve been running the Pazon on my 68 Bonneville for a few years now and have been very happy with it.
Easy to install, nice advance curve, and 100% reliable. (There's even a 'Lowbrow' installation video on You Tube)

rickT120 #876627 04/03/22 11:33 pm
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I"ve been running the Pazon on my 68 Bonneville for a few years now and have been very happy with it.
Easy to install, nice advance curve, and 100% reliable. (There's even a 'Lowbrow' installation video on You Tube)

rickT120 #876631 04/03/22 11:48 pm
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The best EI is the one that's on your bike and working as you feel it should.
The classic bike scene is quite small so good and bad reviews get about
quite quickly. The big names Boyer, Pazon, Trispark, Wassell/Vape, Sparx all produce
good units, there is little excuse for bad electronics these days.
For 99% of blokes the simplest one to fit and wire is the most suitable.
Few of the more technical aspects really make much difference on these
old crates, if the timing gives an idle stabilisation feature it's handy, if the
unit uses stock wiring and coils it's handy, etc etc.
Availability and cost is important, there are lots of practical reasons why one
may be more suitable than another.
If you are raising compression and tuning using various fuels etc then the
adjust-ability and available power of more sophisticated units starts to come into play.

TinkererToo #876650 04/04/22 7:57 am
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Originally Posted by TinkererToo
Tri-Spark is not a bother on pre-units with a mag replacement unit, not exactly cold, but cooler than in the timing chest!

I wonder if that theory is well tested.


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Nope, and I've got a feeling it won't be as the owner is unlikely to take his Triton out of the front room!

TinkererToo #876656 04/04/22 10:58 am
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Originally Posted by TinkererToo
Tri-Spark is not a bother on pre-units with a mag replacement unit, not exactly cold, but cooler than in the timing chest!
P/U ignition in the timing chest? Someone made it happen, and put the oil filter in the magneto position to boot. Neat installation too, I must say, though I don't really see the benefit? Points igntion, so off topic, sorry.

A couple of decades ago, Boyer ignitions seemed to fail more often than the RITA, but then more people used the Boyer system. These days most perceived EI problems seem to actually be poor battery issues, as people buy "maintenance free" batteries, and neglect to recharge them over the winter.
I do know a few people in the Brit Bike or old bike community, and I can't remember the last time someone had an EI that really failed.
Except for me! My RITA gave up, I believe due to a failing (non-Lucas) coil. I won't name names, as I could be wrong.
My Daytona 900 ignition ECU failed some 15 years ago, and a friend's Trident 900 ignition pick up failed a few years later. As I understand it, this isn't unheard of. My point is that any EI can fail given some time and milage, but it's an extremely rare occurrence.

SR

veivhus.jpeg Triton points.jpeg
rickT120 #876657 04/04/22 11:05 am
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I was messing around with different advance curves on my T140D. Removed the original Lucas Rita and used a points set up modified to give 20 degrees initial advance and less overall advance..This made the engine more responsive at low speeds but I noticed something interesting. Using a timing light the timing mark on one cylinder was scattering between about 5 degrees between advance and retard…The advance unit was in good shape, both points adjusted properly, maybe a weak spring….so..I just set the timing in the middle of the “scatter” On the road the engine ran smoothly with no noticeable problems..
But hey, if it wasn’t for ignition and charging issues, clutch problems and crappy AMAL carbs, there wouldn’t be much to talk about..


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...clutch and carburetor problems are easy to fix; kind of mechanical; however, there is a huge void regarding tuning different kind of engines (or set ups)
I still think that many have the lobe center and similar methods not so accurate, hence the odd numbers. So the time should be spent in many of these things (where the information is confuse or lack off) and not on the simple mechanical problems that all seems to fall in the non service, worn out; bad use or bad techniques.

---I have the analog and digital Pazon and the smartfire 3 times more expensive (for the dual plug heads) delivers better high speeds. If you have a normal bike and only to Sunday ride around the block or few km you do not need more than the analog one.
The "black box" in the smartfire is actually silver and is bigger. Not so many places to fit it in an stock later model. The German coils is difficult to find a place if the bike is not modified. Do not fit in the original tray.

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