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Hi! I've been trying to find my issue for 3 days now and I'm so frustrated! I am absolutely a novice when it comes to British bikes and electrical stuff, so I am hoping you guys can help me figure out this problem.

Back story
Everything was running great except for that I was not getting oil to the top end. I rebuilt the oil pump, put it all back together, started it up and it ran great and was getting oil to the rockers again. I shut it off. I put the outer timing cover back on and tightened everything up and rode it around the block a couple times. Ran great. After it cooled down, I started it up two more times just to make sure I was getting oil. Started perfectly both times. Shut it off, key out, and I went to bed.

The Problem
The next morning I went in the garage to go for a ride, I go to start it up, and Its as if I have absolutely no spark when I kick it.

The Components
  • 1967 BSA - A65 Lightning
  • Negative Ground
  • 12v battery
  • New wiring (wired myself)
  • Boyer Micro-MKIV Ignition box, stator, and rotor
  • Sparx 3 phase alternator and regulator/rectifier
  • 2 6-volt coils wired inline
  • 3 Position ignition switch (Off, Ignition, Accessory)
  • Headlight, no switch (besides the accessory part of the ignition switch), no high beam switch.
  • 2 taillights, 1 brake light switch
  • No turn signals, no other accessories
  • 1 20amp fuse between battery and ignition switch


What I Have Tried
  • Checked every wire and every connection (except for the alternator wires inside the primary)
  • Battery is fully charged
  • Tried a spare rotor. Both magnets on both rotors are good.
  • Tried a spare stator. Both stators have no visible damage.
  • Tried a spare ignition box. Both boxes have no visible damage.
  • *Side note on the spare Boyer stuff. I thought my ignition box failed a while back so I bought a new set up and installed it. Turns out I am a dummy and that "electrical issue" was fixed by adjusting my carbs. Embarrassing, I know, but that means that my old (spare) Boyer stuff is most likely still good.
  • Check my ground. Cleaned the frame tab where my grounds are.
  • Plugs are good.
  • Plug wires and connectors look good.
  • Tried a single 12v, dual lead, coil that I believe to be good.
  • Head light, taillights, and brake lights work.
  • The 20amp fuse is good.
  • I recall doing one test where I touched a wire to either of the wires on the stator (sorry I cant remember where I had the other side of the alligator clip connected. I know thats important so I'll try to remember.) Whenever I would touch the clip to the stator wire, I could hear a "tink" from the exhaust, so I think that was the plug sparking. Did it on the left side with one wire touch. Did it on the right side with the other wire touch.


Some questions and thoughts
  • Is there another way I can test the ignition box? If so, can you please explain?
  • Could my regulator/rectifier be bad? If so, how do I test it?
  • Could this problem have something to do with my Sparx alternator?
  • Could it be as simple as a bad ignition switch? If so, how can I test that without buying a new one?
  • Is there anything else that I am missing and/or should check?
  • I really thought that I just had a bad wire or connection, since the bike ran perfect. Then the very next day, I had no spark while kicking it over. Now I'm thinking it must be one of the components listed above?



Thank you all so much for your help. I really want to get this figured out! I'm determined, but I definitely need some assistance.

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Test 1:

Pull the plugs, stick them in the boots, and be sure the plug threads are grounded to engine metal.

Turn key on/off.

It should spark at the plugs.

If no spark, go to Test 2-


Test 2:

Pull plugs as before, and ground them.

Hot wire from battery to ignition box, bypassing fuse, keyswitch and kill switch if present

Touch wire momentarily to battery, should spark at plugs.

If no spark, try new plugs. Sometimes it is JUST THAT EASY to foul them!


GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, a BSA, & some Japanese
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
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Thank you! I'll try this stuff asap! I'll let you know what I find.

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Okay I did both tests.
Test 1:
No spark when I turn the key ON. Spark about every 8 of 10 times when I turn the key OFF.

Test 2:
Same exact results.

Put in new plugs. Still same results.

I hot wired right to the battery with the new plugs and kicked it. Seemingly no spark in the chamber.

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I doubt it's the ignition.
Are you getting fuel into the cylinders?
If you flood the carbs does it 'wet' the plugs up after kicking a few times?

Fundamentals, Fuel+compression+spark = should run. (if nothing has moved)

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I thought Boyer's definitive test was spark when it's turned off.

EVERY time.

Sounds dodgy...


GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, a BSA, & some Japanese
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
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Well guys, thank you for trying to help. I feel like a complete bozo right now. I just went out to the garage to fool with it some more. Figured out the problem 10 seconds after I went out there..... I had my clutch cable too tight. DOH! I swear, the only way I learn is by doing the dopiest things.

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We all have those days. Glad you found the problem.

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It happens. When I bought my 38 Red Hunter the seller, an old family friend, was keen to show us the compression. He put his weight on the kick start lever and as it slowly went down he beamed with pride at the "compression" demo. This machine had been given to him by the original owner and the seller had not ridden it.

Of course when I got it home I discovered that after sitting in a damp shed for more than 30 years the poor engine was frozen solid and the seller had really just been showing me a slipping clutch. However that was what I expected to be the case so no real surprise.

The real treat was to discover that the top of the piston had been repaired with weld and the slot for the top ring hand filed sometime in the past by the original owner.

Gordo


The roadside repairs make for the best post ride stories.

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