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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently my '78 GL1000 won't start after running for awhile. This is an intermittent problem as when I try to start the old girl, the starter and engine crank, but there appears to no ignition. I think it may be a bad recitifer, though I'm no expert on ignition systems. I don't think it is one of the coils because if it were one of four bad coils the only cylinder that wouldn't fire would be the bad one and the bike would still start.

Any ideas on how to hunt down the problem. My first step is to check the recitifier.
 

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First the rectifier has nothing to do with starting other than charging the battery. Also there are only 2 coils so if 1 fails 2 cyls. fail. Have you done the basics i.e. setting the points and timing, plug gap and test the resistance of the coils and plug wire ends??
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Intermittent starting proglem

So now you know how much I know about ignitions systems. Not much. I can tell you that it has a Dyna electronic ignition, so it could be I've got a bad connection somewhere, or the Dyna ignition is crapping out when warm. So much for the rectifier.
 

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OK, someone who knows about the dyna ignitions will have to help you.
 

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Which Dyna system do you have; the "S" or the "III"?
Check and service the Dyna's wires; the red power wire and the black and white trigger wires. Make sure the backing plate is grounding well.
Unplug that condenser if it is still plugged in. Not needed.

Dyna "III" models rarely crap-out. The "S" model isn't so fortunate. The "S" will go intermittent due to heat. Usually the left, or #3/4 module (white wire).

When it happens... (I know, not so easy to predict) ...have the point cover off and gently tap the left module and see if it "pops" back to life. Use the handle of a screwdriver (or similar) to gently tap it. Those "S" model modules can desolder themselves within the module casing, but not fully, and tapping on it reconnects the weak connection that is developing between the potted components and the circuit board within the module.

Usually, after sitting and the bike cools down, this module problem disappears, so this entire post of mine may be nothing.
Dave suggested going through the basics so as to rule out all the non-intermittent stuff.
Seems heat related and could be ignition. Need to check-off what you can them simulate the condition to the point of failure, otherwise you'll be doing it on the road somewhere (which, sometimes, you have to do).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Which Dyna system do you have; the "S" or the "III"?
Check and service the Dyna's wires; the red power wire and the black and white trigger wires. Make sure the backing plate is grounding well.
Unplug that condenser if it is still plugged in. Not needed.

Dyna "III" models rarely crap-out. The "S" model isn't so fortunate. The "S" will go intermittent due to heat. Usually the left, or #3/4 module (white wire).

When it happens... (I know, not so easy to predict) ...have the point cover off and gently tap the left module and see if it "pops" back to life. Use the handle of a screwdriver (or similar) to gently tap it. Those "S" model modules can desolder themselves within the module casing, but not fully, and tapping on it reconnects the weak connection that is developing between the potted components and the circuit board within the module.

Usually, after sitting and the bike cools down, this module problem disappears, so this entire post of mine may be nothing.
Dave suggested going through the basics so as to rule out all the non-intermittent stuff.
Seems heat related and could be ignition. Need to check-off what you can them simulate the condition to the point of failure, otherwise you'll be doing it on the road somewhere (which, sometimes, you have to do).
This sounds EXACTLY like the problem, and I expect it is a Dyna S system. This only occurs when the engine is warm. Let her sit for a few hours or overnight, and she springs to life in less than half a turn of the starter. Time to get familiar with the electronic ignition. I greatly appreciate your advice and will post again (going on Vacation next week) probably in a couple of weeks when I get to poke around. Thank you.
 
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