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Allan G, Hillbilly bike, Lorenzo, NickL, splash
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Original Post (Thread Starter)
#874075 03/10/2022 9:03 AM
by splash
I'll be a SOB. I just read this thread...
Maybe a couple weeks too late? I wasn't sure if I should bring that thread back from the dead or not so I just ended up doing this here for the present time being.

Easy off topic chat first. As a commercial pilot I have been around the blue color coded low lead (LL) 100 octane fuel for the last 25 years. Well, I even have the normal lead grade (green tint color coded) of it in the shop which I use only to clean my greasy hands with. I always question society when an unjustified law is made and we (society) simply bends over and say "OK boss" or if we are little children to the EPA. Who's wallets are/were they padding?

So I imagine most of you may know from previous thread here I just bought a Trispark. I hooked it up and couldn't get any spark or the red light to come on. I recheck the wires thinking I may have mistaken the white stripe wire for the diminished yellow striped wire and fried the plate. Double/triple checked that and still couldn't figure it out. I can't recall what the instructions say exactly about the rectifier being on the lines of removing or not working with it, I packed it up and sent it back to the supplier for testing. Test info, two days ago, just got back to me. The unit is still good. I thought I fried it somehow because at one point in between steps (reading and doing) my eyes jogged over to the negative earth institutions which were on the exact same open page. I got disoriented and thought for sure I crashed it. It is on it's way back to me now and I have gone to the website in hopes to possibly find a video for installation as disorientation is pilot error. Wow, I there it is I found it! Wait, only 3 minutes? WTF? OK, I'll just have to be much more careful and scratch out the wrong available things my eyes can see to keep things flying.

I do plan on running a positive ground straight to the battery rather than to the pedestal I believe. Other than this I don't know where to find information about what to do with the rectifier. I would hate to disconnect it then find out another part is needed and if that part is used this other part is needed and so on...

I hope I don't have a bad experience with this. The thread link above installed some fear to be honest. MF IDK about EI but I guess I'm gonna find out.

Well I was able to get the gear box sprocket changed while I waited. +1
Liked Replies
#875456 Mar 23rd a 11:26 PM
by koan58
Is this the one you've been working on Nick?

The ability to change the max advance rpm is certainly a useful facility.

My own small experience is that cheapo Boyer works just fine for road use, as long as the charging system is up to crack.
2 members like this
#876040 Mar 29th a 05:11 AM
by DavidP
Originally Posted by TR7RVMan
The down side is bike won’t start with dead or very low battery. That is why I don’t use EI.
Everybody wants to get the battery out of the equation. Put a big blue cap in the circuit or stick with points and keep adjusting after every ride, and keep rebuilding your AAU every few years with aftermarket springs of questionable quality.
Charge your damn battery!
2 members like this
#874161 Mar 11th a 05:56 AM
by TR7RVMan
Hi Splash, Start by removing you coils. You must use 6v coils. Before installing the new 6v coils, mark the +&- on coils very plainly so you don't mess up.

Mark coils #1 & #2, doesn't matter which side is #1. flip a coin.

Just follow the positive ground instructions exactly. Put the ground wire under pillar bolt like it says. Make sure motor has good ground. If motor has poor ground you'll get poor spark anyway. Spark plugs must be grounded.

Hook the wire that USED TO POWER coils to the black/yellow to the points case. This goes to black/yellow on Trispark.

Hook the black/white wire to points case to black/white on Trispark.

Red on Trispark goes under pillar bolt. Keep the flat washer against the slot.

The old black/white wire from points case will now go to coil #1 - (minus) . On this same coil hook a short jumper wire to + (plus) terminal.

This jumper wire will not be hooked to coil #2 - (minus) side. I like to use green wire for the jumper.

Now take a long red wire & hook it to coil #2 +(plus) side.

Run this long red wire & hook it to battery + positive.

That's the entire wiring for Trispark.

Do nothing with the rectifier or charging system. You should have already verified charging system is working perfectly. I thought we discussed that before?


If you are bound & determined to extend red wire to battery positive, that's fine. But if your frame & motor don't have good ground you'll have problems.

Setting the rotor... I would most strongly recommend using TDC tool in flywheel to verify the rotor line is actually at the pointer when tdc tool is in notch. Look down spark plug hole & make sure piston is not up at TDC. If piston is up you're in TDC notch not 38b notch. After you get 38b. Be sure to back motor 1/8 turn or so, then come forward very slowly until tool just drops into the notch in flywheel. This eliminates back lash in timing gears.

Our cam rotates clockwise so use instructions in red.

Hold the Trispark into points case & center the TOP SLOT over the REAR TOP SCREW HOLE.

With a fine point Sharpie mark the edge of points case very accurately. Get down & look exactly straight on. Then mark the case. Look close at instructions. after lifting unit out, they extended the Sharpie mark down into points case. Sight that extended mark in too! This marking is the first place where things go wrong. They don't actually get down & sight it in. Then they run out of slot during strobe timing.

Now insert rotor into cam. Feel it, make sure it doesn't bottom on the dowel in cam. It should fit taper smoothly with no wobble when you hold it to taper.

Here's another place where many mess up.... Lining up the rotor to the Sharpie mark. This is really critical. Really get down & look straight on. The paint dot must align exactly to the Sharpie mark. Not getting down & really looking straight again, will result in running out of slot. I get the call. I ran out of slot & I have to file the slot. Some how when the actually get down & look, hmmm it's like 3/16"+ off. Just saying...

Final tighten the allen bolt. Measure the depth of the rotor like in instructions. Mine was good. Feeling end play of cam is a bit tricky as you must rotate motor to the sweet spot where there is no pressure on tappets. I did that. Still was good.

Now I back up motor 1/8 turn, go forward unti TDC tool just drops in again. Look again & verify the rotor is still lined up. Sometimes the rotor moves in taper slightly as you tighten allen bolt. Mine did that. I had to go back for 2nd attempt. You can pop rotor with 5/16 fine thread bolt. Factory tool is way too long for Trispark.

Now final install the Trispark, Again lining the A mark with the Sharpie mark. Hook up all your wires, & put the red ground under top pillar bolt.

If you verified 38B line on rotor was good before, if not to pointer. Scratch new 38b line. I like to fill line with red paint as it makes it easier to see.

Start motor. With a good free tickle (never short cut tickle). It should start with first kick. I like to warm the motor for a minute or two. Put box fan in front of motor, remove the inspection cover on primary. I put it back on loosely for warming motor. Hook up timing light. Remember never use bike's battery to power timing light. I like the self contained lights with an internal battery.

Start motor & shine light on pointer. Slowly rev motor until the line on rotor stops advancing. Go a little higher on rpm to be sure.... Full advance is 3500. So I take motor to 4000 ish just to be sure. You'll very plainly see the line on rotor stop moving at full advance though. Back off pillar bolts & move Trispark in its slots. Don't move it running. Not really one to one, but move Trispark about as much as you want to move line to pointer. Start & recheck. Try to get it right on the 38 line on rotor.

Timing at idle is digitally controlled. It changes due to engine idle rpm. It advances or retards idle timing. So basically ignore it at idle. What we're interested in is full advance setting.

Go for good long road test. About 15-20 miles out pull over. Raise idle rpm until it's a little too fast, unless it's already too fast. The idle rpm screw until idle rpm sounds right. 950-1000 is reasonable.

Now it gets a little tricky. Remember Trispark is adjusting timing to maintain idle rpm all the while as you adjust carb....

So go out with mixture screw until you hear a decided change. Memorize screw position. I use witness mark put on with Sharpie. Now go in until it falters. Back out half between. Re adjust rpm screw as needed, but always, always go from too fast to slower. Again adjust mixture screw. You really must listen close to changes with mixture screw. Leave mixture screw where motor runs best at idle.

The goal is the have the idle speed control to default to "base setting" so to speak so it's not trying to make hot motor idle faster by advancing timing.

You will find this gives you crisper performance just off idle. Makes motor idle better during warm up. Basically eliminates motor stalling at stop lights on smoking hot days like 110f.

With just a little practice, you'll get the feel for the way carb adjustments respond now.

Use 5k (5000) ohm resistor caps or Champion #880 (old # RN3C) resistor spark plugs. But not both.

Again any charging faults, Poor grounds, Electrical faults in ignition switch etc. Trispark cannot work properly.

Trispark cannot overcome carb problems. Carb must be good, not worn out, jetted & adjusted properly. Valves must be adjusted.

When all is right Trispark works so good. The starting is simply amazingly easy. Cold running is greatly improved. In 20s & mid 30s choke can be useful. You won't see that often in the islands.
1 member likes this
#874076 Mar 10th a 09:55 AM
by L.A.B.
Originally Posted by splash
I can't recall what the instructions say exactly about the rectifier being on the lines of removing or not working with it,

Other than this I don't know where to find information about what to do with the rectifier. I would hate to disconnect it then find out another part is needed and if that part is used this other part is needed and so on...

If the rectifier is disconnected then there will be no output from the alternator.

Edit: Are you perhaps thinking of the Podtronics Regulator (Regulator/Rectifier)? Even if so then it shouldn't prevent the Tri-Spark from working.
1 member likes this
#874948 Mar 19th a 06:39 AM
by DavidP
BTW: As with all electronic ignitions, be certain that you have a good 'ground' connection to the engine. Not a frame connection, a wire directly to the head.
1 member likes this
#875197 Mar 21st a 08:06 AM
by TinkererToo
It is for a 12 volt system, two 6V coils in series equals 12V. The vendor is an elecrtical engineer, they kind of assume some electrical knowledge in their customer. Obviously wrongly.
1 member likes this
#875203 Mar 21st a 09:48 AM
by gavin eisler
gavin eisler
From trisparks web page.
Buying guide.

"Triumph T140 Bonneville

Tri-Spark Classic Twin, (TRI-0006)
Lucas style 6-volt coils x 2, (IGC-1006)
Spark Plug Leads, Right Angle x 2, (SPL-0020)
Spark Plug Caps x 2, (SPL-0030 or SPL-0040)
MOSFET 20 Amp Voltage Rectifier Regulator, (VR-0030"

From trisparks, technical info PDF for t twins. "For Twins use two of our IGC-1006 six volt coils, 1.8 Ohm primary resistance."

From trisparks troubleshooting guide.
"Step 2 Check Coil Compatibility
Ensure that you have the correct coils for your installation. Wrong
coils can damage the electronics!
Twin Cylinder engines:
Installing the TRI-0005 generally requires two 6 volt Lucas style
ignition coils (aluminium canisters). Tri-Spark p/n IGC-1006.
These coils should measure 1.8 to 2.0 Ohm primary resistance
across the two metal tab terminals on the top of the coil. The
secondary resistance is not critical but it will often measure between
5 to 10k ohms from the high voltage terminal to either of the primary
Alternatively a dual lead ignition coil may be used for twin cylinder
installations. In this case the primary resistance should measure
between 3.0 to 5.0 Ohms. Tri-Spark p/n IGC-2012.
Many of the British twins were originally fitted with 12 volt Lucas
coils. These must NOT be used with the TRI-0005 as poor
performance and misfiring will result."

its not as if trispark are keeping this a secret.
1 member likes this
#875497 Mar 24th a 04:53 AM
by TR7RVMan
Hi Splash, End of day, just put the Trispark on the shelf for now & reinstall the points. Proper set up & rubbing blocks lubed properly they will reliably go 3000 miles between services. I & John do it all the time. It will take some time to cover that distance on the big Island.

You have bigger fish to fry. You need to fully sort the wiring. Get all the electrical problems corrected. Only then go back & look at fitting EI.

If you learn how to volt drop test circuits under load it will go a long way towards accurately diagnosing faults. For instance if you head light is dim, you verify battery has good voltage with key & headlight on. Then you move to volt drop test. By placing volt meter probes on various connectoins in a prescribed order it shows exactly the points of fault(s).
If you have a bad ground it will show where the loss is occurring.

It could be you could then just splice in a new section of wire. This is especially valuable in finding invisible faults such as partially broken conductors inside the insulation. Will take a bit of study & some practice. Once you wrap your head around it you’ll find this test easy & fast. It’s very, very accurate removes speculation & guess work. We did thousands of volt drops at work. A very normal part of diagnosis. At $193.00 per hour shop time there is no room for guess work.
1 member likes this
#875464 Mar 24th a 12:02 AM
by koan58
Oh dear, you'll be fine with points as long as you keep on top of them. They are simpler to understand, but can be fussy in their own way. Just ensure the timing is close to true.

EI has been used by many over 40+ years, provably reliable. Just because you couldn't get your head around it matters not.

Points are fine, if you attend to the fine points.
1 member likes this
#875506 Mar 24th a 08:44 AM
by Stein Roger
Stein Roger
Originally Posted by koan58
Oh dear, you'll be fine with points as long as you keep on top of them. They are simpler to understand, but can be fussy in their own way. Just ensure the timing is close to true.

EI has been used by many over 40+ years, provably reliable. Just because you couldn't get your head around it matters not.

Points are fine, if you attend to the fine points.
Nice! :-D
Pun aside, when I used points I found the AAUs were often a big source of trouble. A worn unit gives sparks all over the place. Replacement units are impossible to find these days, and refurbishing really impractical. I suppose it can be done though.
The nylon heels of the moving points are prone to wear unless you give them a drop of oil quite regularly. The slightest leak through the camshaft oil seal will lead to burnt deposits on the points themselves. They don't like moisture very much either.
The upside is that they're very tolerant of poor batteries and they're less likely to leave you stranded with ignition failure.
If you can get NOS components and a decent AAU, and keep a proper maintenace scheme, they can stay in tune for a fair distance. Personally I like points ignition on bikes that sees infrequent use.

1 member likes this
#875606 Mar 25th a 03:01 AM
by NickL
Splash. In a nutshell this is what you need to know.
A coil has two halves a primary and a secondary winding. (LT and HT)
What the ignition unit is controlling is the primary winding. LT
These windings have specifications which determine how
they can be controlled and the maximum current required.

A standard single ended 12v coil will have a primary resistance of around 4 Ohms.
A standard double ended 12v coil (2 plug type) will also have a primary of around 4 Ohms.
A standard 6v single ended 6v coil will have a primary resistance of around 2 Ohms.
A standard double ended 6v coil (2 plug type) will also have a primary of around 2 Ohms.

If you connect two 12v coils in parallel the combined resistance will now be 2 ohms.
if you connect two 12v coils in series the combined resistance will now be 8 ohms.
If you connect two 6v coils in parallel the combined resistance will now be 1 ohm.
if you connect two 6v coils in series the combined resistance will now be 4 ohms.

With a 12 volt supply 4 Ohms will present a 3 amp load to the supply and it's switch.
With a 12 volt supply a 2 Ohms will present a 6 amp load to the supply and it's switch.
(Your bike has a supply which is normally at about 14.4v so the figures are 3.6a and 7.2a)

This is one factor that determines coil type used and is far from being the only factor.
More modern ignition types control the dwell to run coils cooler and optimise energy use etc.
This means that coil specification becomes more critical as far as control is concerned.
When a manufacturer designs a unit, it will be done to suit a designated specification, in
your instance the unit is tailored to using a 4 ohm primary so two 6v coils in series or one
double ended 12v coil.

This is all based on traditional high impedance coil types NOT HEI style.

Hope this helps
1 member likes this
#875715 Mar 26th a 09:52 AM
by triton thrasher
triton thrasher
Originally Posted by dave j
I wouldn't have thought it possible to get it to make some kind of smooth advance curve as Don says.

Easily checked with a strobe. Then we we don’t have to think about it being possible or not.
It requires an auto advance in good condition and lubricated.
1 member likes this
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