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I was looking at the bike and started it with the points cover off. The garage door was closed so the light was kind of low but man did I get fire from the points. They are not pitted but have alot of light carbon soot on them. I was reading the book and it says the condensor is to keep the arcing to a minimum. My question is in a dim garage shoudld you see a fair amount of arc or not? I have a capacitance meter and will check it tonight but I think the condensor or the wire to it may have failed.



Sound right?
 

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You shouldn't have much in the way of fireworks. Like you said, check the condenser and the wires.
 

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how long ago was the condensor changed? A lot of us put electronic ignitions on the early wings years ago, and I never have regretted that the decision which I made in '79. bike has always run great
 

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The bike is new to me. I have no idea what has been done. I don't want to get into ignition mods right now but that is definately someting to think about in the future.
 

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I just changed over to electronic ignition and it solved a lot of problems. Dyna still makes them for the GL1000 and you can find them for about $150.

http://z1.4wdns.com/detail.aspx?ID=438
 

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b.pete wrote:
I was looking at the bike and started it with the points cover off. The garage door was closed so the light was kind of low but man did I get fire from the points. They are not pitted but have alot of light carbon soot on them. I was reading the book and it says the condensor is to keep the arcing to a minimum. My question is in a dim garage shoudld you see a fair amount of arc or not? I have a capacitance meter and will check it tonight but I think the condensor or the wire to it may have failed.



Sound right?
B.Pete, condensers (capacitors) very seldom fail, there are no moving parts & they are pretty hardy. The almost never changetheirmicrofarad rating so either fail open or shorted. In both of those cases it won't run, (well shorted it won't run at all & open only run a very short time if at all)..

Now on your question?.. You will get some spark from the points especially when starting or at very low RPM's.. Ifthere is any dirt or oxidation on the points they can spark pretty good until they electrically clean themselves.. In your case, if the points wear is looking good that condenser is fine.. In my personal ignitions I NEVER replace a condenser that shows good point wear & is in good looking condition. There is a better chance of installing a worse condenser than your original failing..

Twisty
 

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twisty: you certainly have more mechanical experience than I, but I do remember once with my cb360t. It was very difficult to start, but would run after starting. I tried everything, but it was only after I replaced the condensors that it ran okay. Having said that, I put an electronic ignition on my '78 back in '79, and haven't messed with points and condensors since then.
 

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Ok well that's good to know. I've never seen points in a running engine as they have always been covered by a distributor cap.:D



I need to work out some wiring isssues I have in that area so I'll take a look at the condensor but if it looks ok I'll leave it be.If I see issues with points burning up I'll take a closer look. Of course you have to look for a shorted ballast resistor as well. Those have burned many a set of points in the old chryslers.
 

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rcmatt007 wrote:
twisty: you certainly have more mechanical experience than I, but I do remember once with my cb360t. It was very difficult to start, but would run after starting. I tried everything, but it was only after I replaced the condensors that it ran okay. Having said that, I put an electronic ignition on my '78 back in '79, and haven't messed with points and condensors since then.
rcmatt007 , that happens often.. I'll bet you a dozen donuts & a warm beer that there was nothing wrong with that condenser. Usually what happens is; when a new condenser is installed you either disturb the points so they make contact in another (non oxidised) area or move the point stud wire connections so an oxidised connection becomes more conductive. I have been involved with engine repair & trouble shooting for close to 50 years & probably could count the actual bad condensers I have encountered on 10 fingers or less. Now shorted condensers at the points stud due to improper installation of the isolator washers would by many as well as oxidised points or blue burnt points.

Twisty
 

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b.pete wrote:
Of course you have to look for a shorted ballast resistor as well. Those have burned many a set of points in the old chryslers.
b.pete , 99% of those ballast resistors fail open not shorted.. It's pretty darn hard for a ceramic (bathtub) resistor to fail & lose resistance as the coils would have to short together or get shorter (not likely).. In my experience what usually happens is the ballast resistor fails so to get going again quickly someone bypasses the resistor with a jumper.. OR, the ign switch is left on by mistake & the points burn blue & the resistor also burns out from continuous heat & low voltage.. When the mechanic works on the problem he sees the burnt resistor & burned points (& possibly a failed coil) so assumes the resistor failed & caused it)- Not so..

Twisty
 

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Well I checked it at the condenser and as expected it is good. It's also new. I found overheated wiring from the alternator and several wires melted together but the condeser wiring was fine.
 

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I am glad to know that the condesors stay good.... still have the orignals (unhooked when I added the prestolite electronic ignition 26 years ago, and the points plate is still in the glove box. the elctronic ever fails, I will just plug in the points
 

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twisty wrote:
I have been involved with engine repair & trouble shooting for close to 50 years & probably could count the actual bad condensers I have encountered on 10 fingers or less. Now shorted condensers at the points stud due to improper installation of the isolator washers would by many as well as oxidised points or blue burnt points.
Twisty(or any one else)
Can you tell me(or suggest a source) how to properly install the isolator washers. I am having some serious sparking at the points (discused in a different forum thread) which I believe is causing the inconsistency of spark from coils/plugs. I replaced the points and may have not reconnected properly. The other forum thread is "my new GL with ignition problems"
 

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Just to clarify something...the purpose of the condensor (capacitor) is not to eliminate the arcing in the points. That is a side benefit but it's not the reason that the condensor is there. The condensor works as a team with the ignition coil to create the high voltage spark. No condensor-no spark!
 

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I am almost certain Iv'e eliminated the condenser as a problem. I tried 2 seperate units with an independent gound.
 
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