Auto timer for wl 45

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slimlavud
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Auto timer for wl 45

#1

Post by slimlavud » Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:06 pm

Hi all, Slim from London England here. I have a 1945 WL-engined chop with manual advance/retard. While I don't mind advancing and retarding the ignition by reaching down and moving the timer and I don't want another lever on the handlebars or a left side twistgrip really so I want to fit an auto advance timer, I have a very good manual one to swop if anyone is interested?
Which timers can I use, I believe any later G servicar etc timer will do the job, also some early Sportster timers - is that correct, please? I understand that I need the short shaft timer but some seem to have a step with an 'o' ring - are these the same as mine, please?
Thanks a lot.
Slim
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kitabel
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Re: Auto timer for wl 45

#2

Post by kitabel » Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:01 am

Yes, any G model auto advance is a drop in, the 1970-73 uses the later alternator points. It has about 15° of internal advance, and initial should be set to 10-15° BTDC.
The Sportster will also fit, but has 30° of advance and must either:
1. be set to TDC initial advance, or
2. limit the internal advance travel to about 15° to give about 30° total
If it pings, you can slow up the advance by either drilling a small hole in both weights, or use a stiffer spring, etc.

ixtee
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Re: Auto timer for wl 45

#3

Post by ixtee » Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:15 pm

https://www.45parts.eu/45parts/index.ph ... 73&lang=EN

Nowadays there's auto- advance ignitions for these bikes...got no experience with m though....anyone?

Frankenstein
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Re: Auto timer for wl 45

#4

Post by Frankenstein » Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:37 am

You can use the sporty version by removing the 2 roll pins that limit the amount of movement of the fixed vs movable plate with the next size larger roll pin. It works beautifully and gives the required 15 deg of distributor advance.
The system from Power Arc that I recently updated to will can also fit your base with minor modifications. I have about 600 miles on my unit and it is working well.
http://www.powerarc.com/index.html
Nice 45 by the way, is that the slickshift Triumph box? I've played with Harley/BSA hybrids myself.
DD

slimlavud
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Re: Auto timer for wl 45

#5

Post by slimlavud » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:53 am

Thanks all for your advice, I found a Servicar timer which I shall put new bushes in, I will check the total advance etc.
As to electronic ignitions etc, I keep my bikes simple so if a battery, condenser, coil or points go bad on the road, I can fix it with common parts. If an electronic module goes wrong in rural and remote Europe, I might be off the road for a day or more... Likewise I don't use magnetos - they are good in some ways (not dependent on a good battery) and look good but when they go wrong you can't fix them with roadside tools and parts.
A tip for those using the old WL timer with the points with the separate spring: when fixing one by the side of a very dusty and busy road and thwe springs does a 'ping fuck it' (it goes ping and you go 'fuck it, where's it gone'), two springs out of good ballpoint pens will just about do but limits you to about 30 mph before the points start bouncing madly...
Yes, it is a Triumph Slickshift box. Triumph boxes shift slightly easier and smoother than BSA boxes but the BSA box is stronger and lasts longer PLUS one can fit a sprocket nut with an oil seal (available from SRM in the UK) to a BSA box to stop oil dribbling between the mainshaft and the sleeve gear output for the final drive sprocket when parked with a 'high lean' sidestand - the Triumph box design means no-one makes a nut with a seal. You can change gear without the clutch more easily with a slickshift Triumph box but I am not really looking for ultra-fast gearchanges on a 45-engined bike!

Frankenstein
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Re: Auto timer for wl 45

#6

Post by Frankenstein » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:16 pm

I have been a staunch advocate for points/condenser for years, but have come over the dark side reluctantly of late. Yes, you can make repairs to points/condenser along the side of the road, but increasingly, you WILL have to. Reliable condensers have become a thing of the past. In the past two weeks, some friends and I went for rides and both times we had to make stops to replace the condenser in a friend's Harley. Same bike! Installed new condenser the first ride, then replaced the replacement condenser the next week when IT died. So, where's the fun in that?
Now, full disclosure here, before retirement, I made my living in electronics, so have no particular phobia to that "black art". :D So, I reluctantly cast my lot to the "dark side" in the interests in reliability ironically enough. Yeah, if it breaks along side of the road you're screwed, but if the likelihood is it Won't break, what's the harm?
Since retirement, I've worked part time in an independent bike shop, and the experience there has just reinforced what I learned when I chased electrons for a real living. Mainly, some poor electronic box is vainly trying to do it's job with bad info supplied from a defective, usually mechanical sensor. The engineering available construct an electronic box that's virtually immune to external abuse means "black boxes" can be built that are extremely rugged.
Detroit and the space program has helped in that respect in the demands they make for equipment they use.
W.R.T. Detroit, back when they were using Kettering ignition, you could buy a condenser that Would last an extremely long time. Once they withdrew from the condenser marketplace the race was on to see who could build the cheapest "look alike" replacement, with no regard to reliability.
As an aside, W.R.T. magnetos, Condensers are the main bugaboo to reliability there as well. There was a well researched series of articles in the Antique Motorcycle Club of America's magazine a few years ago that went into great detail on the trials and tribulations of the lowly condenser in that application. Mostly in respect to Lucas mags. The author detailed the unique demands ignition systems place on condensers in these systems. This vs more normal uses for condensers, or capacitors, if you like, in typical electronic applications.
Enough rambling, Stick to your 'guns, 'er points, but know there might be a more reliable solution.
DD

kitabel
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Re: Auto timer for wl 45

#7

Post by kitabel » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:22 pm

The best "universal" (apparently works with battery or mag) used to be the Mallory big brass external mount #25010, but $$$.

slimlavud
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Re: Auto timer for wl 45

#8

Post by slimlavud » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:19 pm

Thanks for the reply. Yes, Frank, I agree with you on condensers/capacitors, new ones do seem to be very poor quality, we used six between eight Fiat 500s on a trip from London to Italy. The breakdowns were actually a welcome relief - if you have ever been more than 50 miles in a Fiat 500 you'll know what I mean...
Condensers in Lucas magnetos are a pain the butt as they slowly give up when the bike is hot which makes starting a many-kick affair. This is mainly because they are buried in the armature and get cooked over time.
I generally use a separate condenser such as a Sorensen or a Bosch one, clipped to the coil. An experienced mechanic friend could not understand how it could work to have the condenser anywhere but inside the distributor but of course it does not make any difference!
I remember those big Mallory ones Kitabel, they used to come strapped to the side of those Mallory 'Double Life' distributors as I recall from my American V8 racing days. We all went to pointless MSD ignitions and they were very reliable but again, when they broke, we used to have to borrow a complete distributor with points and a coil from a spectator to get back on the track...
I will look out for one of those Mallory ones but the 1955 Corvette originality freaks seem to have put the prices up... seems crazy to pay $20-50 for a condenser, easier to carry a spare Bosch one...

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