English Newbie with sparks problem

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by Zenataomm, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. Zenataomm

    Zenataomm Member

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    Hi Guys, initially apologies for my first post being a "HELP" blasted bad manners and all that I know.:(

    My Bobbed Harley Evo 1340 Kick Start has run out of sparks at the plug end, and as my understanding of electrickery is basic I thought I'd take a couple of days off work and chase all the wiring through.
    Talk about one step forward twelve steps back!

    I've checked ..........
    The ignition switch ...OK
    Battery .... OK
    Thermal overload switches ..OK
    Wiring continuity ..OK
    Alternator ..OK
    Spare Sock Drawer .... No Luck

    What puzzles me is when I removed the Nose Cone (the points are fine) I noticed the springy side of the points which the wire is attached to is Positive yet the fixed side of the points which the top band closes onto are going to Earth.
    The actual frame of the points are bolted onto the back plate which forms part of the casing so it's got to go to Earth, but how can that possibly work?

    Is that the problem? Any other ideas? Can anyone suggest where else to look? Hope you can help please. :worthy
     
  2. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

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    First welcome to the forum. I've never seen a '99 harley with points, so I'll assume that you or someone changed the electronic ignition out to the points setup. Is your bike also equipped with a magneto? Is it a kicker only or do you still have a starter?
     
  3. Zenataomm

    Zenataomm Member

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    Ah questions, last time I confirmed anything in public I ended up married.


    The bike was originally registered 30years ago as a Wideglide. It was Bobbed at some time unknown, then the original engine was swopped for a 1990 Evo which was strapped onto the original gearbox which has the kick start. No electric starter. I imagine that at that time the ignition was changed. Once I get past my probationary 5 posts I'll shove on a photo.
     
  4. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

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    Does the bike have a 12 volt system? Magneto? When you have the ignition on and the start/run switch on do you get spark at the points when you open them?
     
  5. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    first you need to know what the points are doing to be able to work out if there is a problem with them
    power flows through the coil where it creates a magnetic field to get to earth the power then flows through wires to the points and to earth through the points (points closed)
    When the the points cam turns far enough round to start the points opening this action stops the flow of power through the points and the coil and the magnetic field collapses this collapse of magnetic field is captured as a surge by the coil core and secondary windings and transmitted to earth through the plug leads and the plugs as the surge has to jump a gap at the end of the plug this is the spark
    to prevent the power arcing across the gap at the points a condenser is fitted between the coil and the points usually connected to the feed to the points
    if the condenser fails one of 2 things can happen arcing at the points which will burn out the contacts fairly quickly or no power to the points so no feed and no magnetic field = no spark

    so new condenser may be required

    Brian
     
  6. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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    May also check the polarity @ the coils, if it is reversed it will burn the opposite side of the points:s
     
  7. Zenataomm

    Zenataomm Member

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    All good stuff ... thanks guys I shall go investigate, in the meantime I am posting you all a choc ice.
     
  8. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    Brian is now in trouble with the grumpy because he has choc ice dripping down the front of his shirt :s

    Brian
     
  9. Zenataomm

    Zenataomm Member

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    OK Geezers it was a fantastic sunrise at 5.30 am so I threw open my bedroom windows, climbed in ..... and with your sound advice ringing in my ears I threw back the duvet and dragged the Bobber out and onto the floor.
    Inside the nose cone there is no sign of a condenser , nor is it under the tank along with the Accel supercoil 140406.
    There is a spark at the points if I manually lift them open from the closed position.
    If you were me would you .....
    *Keep searching for a condenser?
    *Spend a hundred of my English Pounds on a new Accel supercoil 140406?
    *Retro fit a Rolls Royce Trent jet (I understand they're quite cheap at the moment what with all the grounded Airbus A380 lying around)?

    One other favour please, I'm currently congratulating myself on managing to have broken one of the pillar studs (my terminolgy) that the points cover screws onto in the nose cone. What are these little blighters really called?.. or am I the first to have succeeded in this challenge?

    Until we meet again Hi Ho Saliva Awaaaaaay!!!!!
     
  10. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    If there is a spark at the points it would tend to indicate that power is getting all the way through the coil and on to earth provided that your bike is wired up that way
    i have never had to work on an aftermarket points system that has been fitted in place of electronic ignition so im digging into knowledge that i havent used for a few years
    have you checked the points gap as a rough rule of thumb about 15 thou when fully open thats with the cam follower on the highest point of the cam
    then remove the timing plug between the cylinders and turn the engine over slowly till the static timing mark is visible and aligned
    connect a test lamp across the the 2 sides of the points loosen off the the backplate studs and rotate the backplate till the light just comes on you should be turning the backplate anti clockwise to get the correct place so you may have to go fully clockwise before starting the rotation to get the timing correct
    every time you need to adjust the points gap the static timing needs to be adjusted to compensate for the wear on the cam follower
    i hope that a wee bit of help either that or fling it in the back of a van and bring it up here

    Brian