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My 78 GL1000 had aftermarket electronic ignition. It wasn't generating any spark to the coils, hence the bike died over the weekend, wouldn't start. I replaced the faulty electronic ignition with a used Martek unit, with magnetic pickups. It has a power lead (red), a yellow, black and a green (ground). I attached the yellow lead to the yellow/green coil lead (right coil, 1-2) and the black to the other, blue/yellow coil lead (left coil, 2-4). I only get spark out of the 1-2 coil. However, if i switch the leads around (ie, swap coil signals) i can get 2-4 sparking. Is my left coil shot, or just the wiring leading to it? I tested primary resistance, and both coils show +/- ohms, while the ballast resistor shows 3 ohms. Power is going to both coils.
 

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mag, are you sure of the wires? It sounds to me like the coils are good. Are the connections for the black and green correct? Could the green go to the coil and black to ground?
 

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Sounds like both coils are good to me. I'd suspect one of the pickups, or the spark unit itself. Can you swap the pickups? If you can and the problem doesn't shift, it's pretty certain the used unit is kaput. I'm assuming you have the same color code as the one you're replacing?

I'm not familiar with the Martek unit, but I've worked on electronic ignitions similar by mocking them up on the bench. You can hook up the coils andthe sparkplugs (you will need ground leads on the plugs to thecoils,spark unit and battery since you won't have the bike frame,and power it up with a battery. If it uses Hall Effect transistors in the pickups you can get them to fire by passing a magnet close to them. However they trigger it's usually not to hard to simulate it on the bench so you can get a good look at what's going on.
 

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If the left coil was shot, it wouldn't pass a spark at all, right? Also, just tested for continuity again, and 3.5 even on both, plus secondary resistance around 25k on the plug caps.I used the green wire for ground because it had a ring terminal on it, assuming it was to go on a bolt on the frame. Should i try swapping the green and black as suggested, so black to ground and green to spark? I tried swapping the red and black, and i'm afraid i fried the unit by hooking the black up to power..../forums/images/emoticons/emoticonsxtra/stumped.gif
 

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Paul, the two ignition units are completely different..the dead one was an 'all in one unit', the guy at the bike yard thought maybe something modified from a GM car? The Martek has a plate with two horizontally opposed metal dots, and a pickup collar that slides onto the camshaft, with two magnetized, horizontally opposed pole pieces. It then runs to a 'black box.'
 

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I'm returning the bunky ignition unit to the bike shop in exchange for a brand new set of OEM Honda points. I would love to have a new Dyna unit for sure, but i think i can live with points, and i like things that work mechanically/electrically as opposed to circuitboards, especially after two failed units. I'll take a little bit of tuning time over being stranded again any day...Thanks for the help. I've got brand new timing belts on now, new plugs, rebuilt carbs, fully charged battery. Can't wait to fire it up! My coils/resistor, condensor all check great.
 

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Well, got my points today. Unfortunately, i have the wrong cam on my advance unit -- it's for an electronic ignition. Good thing they have a spare points cam back at the bike shop....almost there!!!
 

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mag wrote:
I'm returning the bunky ignition unit to the bike shop in exchange for a brand new set of OEM Honda points. I would love to have a new Dyna unit for sure, but i think i can live with points, and i like things that work mechanically/electrically as opposed to circuitboards, especially after two failed units. I'll take a little bit of tuning time over being stranded again any day...Thanks for the help. I've got brand new timing belts on now, new plugs, rebuilt carbs, fully charged battery. Can't wait to fire it up! My coils/resistor, condensor all check great.
Nothing wrong with point ignition, been running for a lot of years. I never had to tinker with them much in the past, just a minor tune up item.
 

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Thanks, Paul. I've had many bikes with points, and i like their adjustability. By the way, did you read my post about the cam belt tensioners? Turns out the previous person had put them on wrong -- the washer should be on the fastener on the adjustment groove/spring side of the tensioner. By it not being there, it caused too much play, added to fact they were overtensioned, and voila -- shot bearings. How do i know this? Because the other pulley wasn't nearly as shot and the washer was on correctly. It was great having your pulleys for comparison, and they went on great. Not to mention, your tip about rotating the engine by hand a few times to make sure it is all ok.
 

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Glad to help out, I wouldn't have replaced those tensioners on my bike but I ordered them before I took the bike apart to replace the belts. Once I got them out I couldn't seen any difference in the way the new ones felt compared with the old ones. You'd think a guy would notice the belt isn't riding right on the roller wouldn't you? Might be he did it without removing the radiator and couldn't quite see it.
 
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