12V Reproduction coil experience?

All ignition related articles
Post Reply
Posts: 347
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 5:41 pm
Location: Maryland
Has thanked: 8 times
Been thanked: 5 times

12V Reproduction coil experience?


Post by Kuda » Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:42 pm

I'm in the process of going back to the stock timer and was considering using the reproduction 12 V coil that's out there (probably V-twin). I'm considering it mainly for looks but I'm very worried about reliability as I take a lot of long road trips on this bike and really don't want to get stranded somewhere. That said, a coil's a coil, if they're built right it should last. So I'm looking for anyone that's actually used one: how long (miles/years) and what your experience has been. Thanks!

'49 panchop

Posts: 6912
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 9:09 am
Location: Central Illinois
Has thanked: 100 times
Been thanked: 269 times

Re: 12V Reproduction coil experience?


Post by Cotten » Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:54 pm


They are "decent".

The only bad one that I remember was dead right out of the box.


Posts: 362
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 3:04 pm
Location: North-East Ohio
Been thanked: 3 times

Re: 12V Reproduction coil experience?


Post by Ohio-Rider » Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:42 pm

I've been using one of V-Twins for four years and about 15k miles. It's still working just fine for me. I have heard about them going bad on a few people though. Put your money down and take your chances.

Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 5:48 pm
Bikes: 1950 FL
Location: Seattle

Re: 12V Reproduction coil experience?


Post by pan50head » Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:57 am

I hate to sound negative, but after converting to 12 volts on my 50 FL, I burned through at least 3 V-Twin 12 volt coils in no time. I ride long distances and I had to carry a spare to use when the one on the bike crapped out. If the coil gets wet by washing or rain, chances are it won't work for several days. A cure is to silicone the joints.

The other problem is that it has the wrong ohmage. I can't remember all of the specs, but an electronic ignition is supposed to have a 3 ohm coil and a points ignition is supposed to have a 4.5 or 5 ohm coil. The 12 volt coils from V-Twin have about 3.5 ohms. We talked to V-Twin about this and they claim that the coils are made to specs. Not so.

I want my bike to look stock, even though it has upgrades. I started using a points coil from a shovelhead and have never had a glint of a problem since. I covered the coil with a wing-looking cover that was an aftermarket deal a number of years ago. It looks sort of original and now the coil is one less thing I need to worry about.

I don't mean to dish V-Twin because a lot of us would not be on the road unless V-Twin supplied the parts. However, the 12 volt stock-looking coils are a problem if you want a reliable ride, in my opinion.

Posts: 170
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2007 3:49 am
Bikes: 1961 FL
2007 Kaw. Vulcan 2000
Location: Western Mass
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: 12V Reproduction coil experience?


Post by RussW » Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:39 am

My experience has been with the 6 volt V-Twin repos. Switched from a round "can" style to something that looked original. First one lasted about 1/2 hour before I noticed that the coil was vibrating badly because of the ill-fitting mount bracket . Looking closely, you could see that the mount bracket that the coil body is riveted into was wider than the portion of the coil that fits into it. Since the cheap rivets were not designed to remedy this mis-fit, I chose to drill them out, pinch the bracket in a vice to close the gap when the coil was repositioned, then run some bolts thru to replace the rivets. No more shake-rattle-roll with the coil remounted, but I guess the damage had already been done. All the vibrating must have stressed a wire internally, for one post quit firing about twenty minutes later.
My dealer went to bat for me, and got it replaced by V-Twin in spite of attempt to make it usable. I'm pleased, until Coil #2 arrives. Mount bracket looks just as mis-matched as #1. Put the coil in a vice, with a towel around the bracket to keep the jaws from scratching it. Couple of quick raps with the palm of my hand to the coil body, and you could now hold the bracket with one hand and jiggle the coil with the other. How long would this have lasted on the old vibrating pan? No longer than the first one, I imagine.
Dealer to the rescue again, never underestimate your local Independent! I took a credit slip for this one instead of a replacement; two was enough.
This was one of the final factors in my decision to give up my long-held conviction to stay 6 volt (as well as lousy 6 volt batteries) and make the switch to 12 volt. Now with a 12V CE gen/reg came the Mallory/ 3 OHM Dyna coil combo for easier starting and much better milage, and a brighter headlight to boot! Maybe those lousy coils were a blessing in disguise...

Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 9:39 pm

Re: 12V Reproduction coil experience?


Post by 62pan » Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:17 pm

I have used them off and on for several years. The only problem was the coil came loose in the bracket like RussW's. I tightened the rivets and haven't had any problems since.

Never had one that quit on the road or failed to start my bike.

Posts: 1240
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2004 8:57 pm
Bikes: 50 EL custom
58 FL
76 FLH All Original
Location: Maryland
Has thanked: 59 times
Been thanked: 25 times

Re: 12V Reproduction coil experience?


Post by PanPal » Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:39 pm

My V twin 6 volt chrome reproduction lasted 2 years. Washing the bike killed it. The second one is black and has the loose bracket explained above. I also had to resolder the wire connections because they were loose also. I have another coil coming, black 6 volt from V-twin because I don't trust the one that is on the bike. This is on my 59. I carry the cylinder shaped coil in a saddle bag.

My buddy has a case of coils sold years ago that are very light. He claims they do not last a week. I'm not sure where they are from.

Now, what about that G5 Kuda? Did you have more problems with it after the coil in the original went bad. I don't even have the break in miles on my 50, But so far the G5 seems to be working well. I'm not too concerned with original on this bike.

Posts: 261
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2003 2:21 am
Bikes: 1942 U
1942 WLA
1995 Ultra
2008 Ultra
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: 12V Reproduction coil experience?


Post by Kurt » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:16 pm

Stay away from the Dixie version of the 6-volt coils. I bought 12 and sold 6......every single one was returned because of failure.

Posts: 347
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 5:41 pm
Location: Maryland
Has thanked: 8 times
Been thanked: 5 times

Thanks for all the replies...


Post by Kuda » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:31 pm

I guess the current thinking is pretty mixed, but there might be a few things to do proactively to make one work. And maybe carry a spare... :roll:

Oh, and Panpal: The coil in the G-5 didn't go bad, it seemed to be the inductive coupling. Never could figure out exactly what goes wrong, but after each factory service it would only last maybe 5-10K miles before the hard starting would occur again. Completely hit or miss, hot or cold, just sometimes wouldn't start after 50-150 kicks and sometimes first kick. Sent it back twice, both times it would work great for a while and then act up again. And I know it was the G-5 'cause I borrowed a friend's G-5 and it fired up first kick every time. Only put about 2K on that one tho', so it was still working fine when I gave it back. I can't help but conclude that it's only good for a bar hopper, or anyone doing less than 10K a year and can afford a rebuild every year...which ain't me. I figure since some of my 8-9 day trips can rack up 5K or more miles, I'd better stick with the stock timer...

'49 panchop

Posts: 1006
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2004 5:52 am
Location: Sultan, WASH
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: 12V Reproduction coil experience?


Post by mbskeam » Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:36 am

I have had 3 go bad,
12v square repop coil

1st one lasted 10+ years till it died...my fualt, I left the ign off when I hooked a batt charger up to the coil+ side. easy way to charge batt..... NOT

2nd was about 1 year, got a trailer ride on this one , coil just failed, I think do to a bad wire from the windings to the plug wire connection.
getting of a ferry boat , hit the ramp and lost 1 cyl....

3rd less than 500 miles.... on the way to a bike show, I made it there as it was closer than going back home on 1 cyl.....
scrounged up a spare coil from a friend that came over after hearing me pull in, and runnin on 1 cyl, called his son and had him bring one from home, hooked it up with a few cable ties and alligator clips, and of I went home at the end of the day....

so now I don't run those repop stock lookin piles of crap, 2 times is 2 to many

I now use a Dyna coil.

as a side note, the stock lookin coil mount braket will fit the Dyna's mount holes
drill out the rivets and bolt in the Dyna, mounting done...


Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:56 am
Bikes: 1943 WLC
1958 FL
Location: Gooi, The Netherlands
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: 12V Reproduction coil experience?


Post by es225 » Wed Dec 03, 2008 5:19 pm

No experience with chrome 12 v repops, no good experience with 6 V repops, bad experience with chrome 6 V repops twice. One lost its bottom immediately. After gluing it into place it gave gradually up during a hot summer. Bike stopped and started only after coil had cooled down. It took some time to make the correct diagnosis. This was on my 45. The 6 V repop on my pan gave up without warning, again on a hot summers day, and left me standing for hours on a French motorway. A second-hand 6 V Citroen 2CV coil put me back on the road again....
The lessons: 1) never those repops again, 2) always carry a spare coil.

Posts: 521
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:05 pm
Bikes: 1938U,1949FL,1961FL,1968XL,1979FL ,1958 FL, 1965 BMW,1975 Honda CB750
Been thanked: 9 times

Re: 12V Reproduction coil experience?


Post by steinauge » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:15 pm

Have had 2-first one went bad in about a week,second has run 2 years and counting.

Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:22 am
Location: phoenix

Re: 12V Reproduction coil experience?


Post by panhead55 » Sat Feb 07, 2009 11:57 pm

the coil i used was from v-twin. to be honest mechanically the replica 12 volt coil works fine. structurally it's a poor job. the rivets were loose right out or the box. i was disappointed but returning anything to v-twin is an out right nightmare.... dont even waste your time.... then again, my pals had bought the same coil and there was no flaws. same with the oil pressure switches for stock panhead applications. some work and some are garbage. i dont mind paying the price, just wish v-twin would look over the items they send out to people.


Posts: 3340
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 1:54 pm
Bikes: 1958flh 1969sporty,had a knuckle but sold back to original owner
Location: NEW JERSEY
Has thanked: 195 times
Been thanked: 259 times

Re: 12V Reproduction coil experience?


Post by 58flh » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:48 pm

V-TWIN COILS?/-You never know!., Sometimes they last,& others they die in 500 miles or less!-The mounting is always LOOSE!-& needs tending to!. Someone mentioned a DYNA COIL!--NOW this is a great coil ,boly-up & can take heat & vibration /with ease!--the problem is $$$ not cheap!,But when you consider it will be the last coil you will buy!--Its worth it. Also MSD has great products coil wise! &$$$to!--Im on 26-7yrs.on a stock HD-12V,4.7ohm coil!--Also have about 7 more stock 12V laying around!-(all for points).-I pick-em up when I go to the Bike-Boneyard by me!--they are off ironhead sportsters!, so they bolt right-up in stock location on my pan!---Guys when you go to your favorite honyholes grab what ever will fit in saddlebags or truck!--OEM is like GOLD!!!--I have calipers ,hell horns,etc. to much to even wrap my skull around it!--MY dad always said----never throw nothing away not even bolts!,wrap them & label! (HE was RIGHT AGAIN).---Rich :lol:

George Greer
Site sponsor
Site sponsor
Posts: 1345
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:48 am
Bikes: 1942 WLA Type III
Hybrid WL/KH bobber project.
58 FL
Location: Markt Einersheim, Bavaria. and soon to be back in the US, Portland Oregon
Has thanked: 236 times
Been thanked: 37 times

Re: 12V Reproduction coil experience?


Post by George Greer » Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:53 am

58flh wrote:Im on 26-7yrs.on a stock HD-12V,4.7ohm coil!--Also have about 7 more stock 12V laying around!-(all for points).,,,,I have calipers ,hell horns,etc.....-Rich :lol:

Hey Richie, ya got one of them coils, and a horn ya want to part ways with??

I am planning on running my engine with points ignition and a 12 Volt battery, I want to keep it simple and reliable.


Post Reply

Return to “Ignition”