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No Cold Start-Magneto...Again

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OckMock
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No Cold Start-Magneto...Again

#1

Post by OckMock » Sat Dec 05, 2009 4:07 am

All:

I posted a ways back about a NO cold start condition on my 74" Pan with a Morris magneto. Here's what Ive done:

1)Replaced intake seals with viton o-rings and stock clamps...pressure tested...NO no bubbles, no leaks.

2) Field-stripped and cleaned my Super B carb...no passageways or jets blocked, throttle shaft is in good shape (70 main 295 intermed...as Ive always run)

3) Readjusted valves...solids...aluminum pushrods...no lash, slight drag. Compression is good as motor is fresh )~1500 miles or so)

4)Re-set points gap to .015 and Plugs to .020

5) Set mag timing so points open when advance mark is just leaving front of window/then when its in the middle/and then somewhere in between...got nothing...at least 25 kicks with timing set in those positions. Mag is set as Morris' spec on the narrow lobe of points cam and with front cylinder piston on compression stroke.

6) Running inline spark testers to look for spark (in a dark garage) when kicking...I have spark...weak orange on some strokes, strong orange on others, none on others

7) With enrichener all the way up and throttle shaft fully closed I give 3-4 good prime kicks, then close the enrichener a click (I have a ramped enrichener lever), crack the throttle slightly and kick....then a bit more...and get nothing...not even a cough...repeated the steps 200 times. I didnt so much as get a cough tonight. A few nights ago after about 250 kicks I got a few pops, played with the advance and retard of the mag a bit and eventually got it to fire...not tonight. No matter where I set the mag either fully advanced or fully retarded or increments in between, I didnt get a pop, a kickback or nuthin. Ambient temp is about 45 degrees and cool here.

My fuckin knee is hammered from this ordeal.

This bike was 2 kicks in the summer...without fail. Soon as the cooler weather hit...wont fuckin start when cold...however, its 1 kick when bike is hot or warm as I dont have any problems once its warm.

Anybody have any suggestions for me here???????? Im at wit's end.



john HD
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Re: No Cold Start-Magneto...Again

#2

Post by john HD » Sat Dec 05, 2009 4:22 am

chuck the mag and install a coil and timer.

i had a mag on my bike when i got it, your story sounds just like what i went through.

my bike starts on one or two kicks now. hot or cold.

john

FlatHeadSix
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Re: No Cold Start-Magneto...Again

#3

Post by FlatHeadSix » Sat Dec 05, 2009 4:23 am

Condenser. went thru the same drill years ago, my knee is still sore. replaced the condenser, no more problems. After I got it straightened out I sold the mag and went back to the battery/coil ignition, like I said, my knee is still sore after all these years.

if you've tried everything else it might be worth a shot.

mike

OckMock
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Re: No Cold Start-Magneto...Again

#4

Post by OckMock » Sat Dec 05, 2009 5:10 am

This would be my second condensor in 6 months...likely culprit?

FlatHeadSix
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Re: No Cold Start-Magneto...Again

#5

Post by FlatHeadSix » Sat Dec 05, 2009 6:23 am

Gabin
Condensors are good or bad, there is no "in between", they are also notorious for being bad right out of the box. You can't blame the mag for a bad capacitor, they behave the same in any type of ignition system.

I just had a belly full of bad magneto and decided to go back to OEM ignition, I don't regret it. It may have just been a bad condensor, and it may have been trouble free for the rest of the bike's life after I replaced it, but its gone and I can start the bike any time I want to now, I'm happy.

mike

Bosheff
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Re: No Cold Start-Magneto...Again

#6

Post by Bosheff » Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:24 pm

FlatHeadSix and john HD are tellin ya where it's at. Replace the mag with with a timer, be it points or electronic and a coil. You could spend the rest of yer strength and sanity tryin to get the mag to work with any kinda consistancy at all. Life is to short to waste every waking moment tryin to figger one of them things out. If ya still got a no start condition with a battery ignition system, ya can start lookin else where. Get rid of them sparkie plug wires. Those are for yuppies and wannabees....bosheff

tattoo mark
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Re: No Cold Start-Magneto...Again

#7

Post by tattoo mark » Sat Dec 05, 2009 3:11 pm

was wondering what model morris mag are you running? i used G5's and M5's auto advance with a SU carbs i never had any problems.the bikes all ran in any kind of weather.was wondering if you ever talked to dave at morris?i had a similiar problem with hunts auto advance mag for a shovelhead,i soon got rid of it. went to morris.

OckMock
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Re: No Cold Start-Magneto...Again

#8

Post by OckMock » Sat Dec 05, 2009 3:34 pm

Im running an MM74E Morris manual advance. This was rebuilt back in 2003...sat on the shelf for a few years until motor was rebuilt. When installed on the fresh motor...1 kick.

Ive seemed to always have problems starting this thing in colder weather. It did it to me last year as well. I swapped the points and condensor in March and she became a 1 kick machine...until October. Replaced the points and condensor again, along with plugs and still have been having a fuck of a time getting it started when cold.

I respectfully decline the "toss the mag" sentiment...as I believe that mags can be unltra-reliable....shit, they ran them on airplanes!!!! Everyone else I know runs one without fail. So, I must be missing something.

I dont think this could be a carb issue either, as my plugs are getting wet. My Super B has never failed me....and Im not partial to the accel pump of the Super E (yep...call me a throwback, but thats how I feel).

I believe that my timing procedure is spot-on.

The only thing this could be is the mag...again, unless Im missing something. The plug wires are Morris mag wires and Ive been using the inline spark testers just to check for spark to the plug. As I said above, in a dark garage I can see the spark testers light when I kick through...its dim on some strokes, bright on others, and doesnt light on others.

I guess I will throw on another set of points and swap the condensor. Ive always heard mixed things about the symptoms of bad condensor...either go/no go...or, intermittent sparking. So, the quickest and easiest thing is to swap the condensor again...this will be the 3rd condensor swap in under a year...I cant believe that I would have 3 faulty ones! All of them are from Morris, not Tedds.

oldbob
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Re: No Cold Start-Magneto...Again

#9

Post by oldbob » Sat Dec 05, 2009 5:55 pm

I have always been a fan of the magneto. In my experience I have found them to be more dependable then the standard battery energized system. With the mag the generator can fail and you will still make it home. The only time I have had any problems with my mag was last year. I gave it a new coil and condenser and still had no improvement. So I took the mag 100% apart. I found that the well used mag had collected very small pieces of metal particles over the years on the permanent magnet and was bridging to air gap between the magnet and the field coil. After a good cleaning it was throwing a very good spark again.

Bob

Bosheff
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Re: No Cold Start-Magneto...Again

#10

Post by Bosheff » Sat Dec 05, 2009 6:52 pm

Heat and cold make things expand and contract, right? Tolerances change when heated or cooled, right? Just a thought....bosheff

OckMock
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Re: No Cold Start-Magneto...Again

#11

Post by OckMock » Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:29 pm

Bob...

Great advice...your post motivated me to pull the thing off and then all apart....

Once the mag head was off the motor and on my bench vise, I gave it a twirl in the correct direction of rotation with the cap off....nary a spark...damn...again. Wtf, this is the third condensor and points set in under 8 months!

Took out the coil...took off the points plate to look at the magnet..as I spun the magnet I did see really small metallic pieces on the magnet...cleaned them off and wiped out the mag and thoroughly cleaned the points plate, points and breaker cam.

I noticed quite a bit of excess dilectric grease on the points plate. It is possible the points were fogging up from the grease. But, after cleaning and reinstalling of points and condensor, still a weak spark.

So I replaced the points and condensor with an OLD set I took out six months back. Cleaned them real good and buttoned back up. Gave it a twirl and took my finger off! Replaced the cap and put the plug wires back on with the inline testers. Gave it a whirl again on the bench vise and the testers were sparking bright with every rotation!!!

Damn, did I get it? Not sure why this thing is killing condensors...or maybe it isnt??? Maybe it is just simply getting dirty???

oldbob
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Re: No Cold Start-Magneto...Again

#12

Post by oldbob » Sat Dec 05, 2009 10:30 pm

OckMock

Glad to be able to offer some useful advice. I think any conductive material that bridges the air gap is shorting out the spark before it can get to the points. It may be possible that it also shorts out the condenser and shortens it useful life.

Bob

OckMock
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Re: No Cold Start-Magneto...Again

#13

Post by OckMock » Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:00 am

Bob:

There were really small pieces of metal on the magnet...I cleaned it as best as I could. Its possible that did the trick...but it appears that I had an excess of dielectric grease on the points cam as well. Im guessing the points were fogging as a result. (Kuda...if yer reading this...yer guess was correct).

Its cold as hell in my huvel of a garage tonight...so, Ill bolt it on tomorrow.

I gave it a several hundred spins on the vise with the plugs in the wires and resting up against the vise....got nice big, fat blue sparks with each spin...so that should do it! We'll see when I bolt it up, but Im betting it'll be one kick again. Thats about the nicest sparks Ive gotten from the mag in a while.

Thanks again!

indianut
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Re: No Cold Start-Magneto...Again

#14

Post by indianut » Sun Dec 06, 2009 1:39 pm

When I am riding an 80 year old Indian and have a drive-ability issue the LAST thing I think about is the Mag as it has been WORKING for 80 YEARS! Yea, you have to clean/maintain them on occasion, but they are in Many ways far superior to battery coil setup. And yes, I run then on HD also!
Last edited by indianut on Sun Dec 06, 2009 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tattoo mark
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Re: No Cold Start-Magneto...Again

#15

Post by tattoo mark » Sun Dec 06, 2009 3:17 pm

OckMock wrote:Bob:

There were really small pieces of metal on the magnet...I cleaned it as best as I could. Its possible that did the trick...but it appears that I had an excess of dielectric grease on the points cam as well. Im guessing the points were fogging as a result. (Kuda...if yer reading this...yer guess was correct).

Its cold as hell in my huvel of a garage tonight...so, Ill bolt it on tomorrow.

I gave it a several hundred spins on the vise with the plugs in the wires and resting up against the vise....got nice big, fat blue sparks with each spin...so that should do it! We'll see when I bolt it up, but Im betting it'll be one kick again. Thats about the nicest sparks Ive gotten from the mag in a while.

Thanks again!
just wondering how you are checking the timing?i have used a buzz box but i had more perfect timing using a volt meter.

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