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Hey Everyone-

Couldn't get the Ol' Wing started, so I checked for spark and there is nothing from the rear two cylinders.
Haven't had a chance to check the connections, but it looks to me like it is an ignition coil?
Any thoughts? What do I need to check with this? Could it be anything else?

Thanks
Jeff
 

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My first thought was ignition coil also. One coil fires the front two cylinders while the other coil fires the back two. There could be a couple of other causes. A bad pulse generator might cause it.

Checking all the connections would be my first approach. Do the easy, inexpensive things first. Don't fix it if it ain't broke.
 

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Unfortunately it could also be the Ignition Control Unit. Do you have access to a Service manual for the 1200? Both the Honda and Clymer manuals have the trouble shooting procedure outlined very well.



The list below is in order of most common to least common.

1. Pulse Generators. Depending on the year of your bike it's checked with an ohmeter. 84 had one set of readings and 85+ had another.
2. Coils same thing you can test with an ohmeter.
3. If both coil and Pulse gens test good then it's the Ignition control unit. No longer available new from Honda but there are usually plenty for sale on eBay.
 

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you could switch the wires on the coils to see if it changes what plugs fire then
 

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Sockeye our bikes are old enough to have dirty/loose 1/4" push-on connectors. On the coils themselves there should be a common black/white wire going to each. A yellow/blue on one coil coming from the ignition moduleand a blue/yellow from the module to the other coil. Pull each of these four wires and feel for a tight fit and look at the connectors for cleanliness. Spray everything with WD40 and wipe it off, tighten the female push-ons and try it. Not saying it's the problem but it is the first step. The next step is pretty much the same thing on the other end of the wires at the ignition module.
 

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TominDallas wrote:
Spray everything with WD40 and wipe it off, tighten the female push-ons and try it. Not saying it's the problem but it is the first step. The next step is pretty much the same thing on the other end of the wires at the ignition module.
I respectfully disagree with using WD-40 anywhere near electrical connections. Us ONLY an electrical contact cleaner like you would find at a place like Home Depot (CRC brand in the electrical dept) or Radio Shack. In a pinch I've used laquer thinner to clean electrical part but that only cleans surface grime and oil/grease. Electrical contact cleaner cleans and de-oxidizes the contact surface.



WD - 40 is a water dispersantformula and will gum and attract dirt in a few months.



I am at a loss as to how so many people think that WD-40 is good for cleaning anything. Especially since it consistantly ends up causing more damage in just a few months.
 

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jdvorchak wrote:
I respectfully disagree with using WD-40 anywhere near electrical connections. Us ONLY an electrical contact cleaner like you would find at a place like Home Depot (CRC brand in the electrical dept) or Radio Shack. In a pinch I've used laquer thinner to clean electrical part but that only cleans surface grime and oil/grease. Electrical contact cleaner cleans and de-oxidizes the contact surface.



WD - 40 is a water dispersantformula and will gum and attract dirt in a few months.



I am at a loss as to how so many people think that WD-40 is good for cleaning anything. Especially since it consistantly ends up causing more damage in just a few months.
+40 :ROFL:
 

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I agree with you in part. I've used several brands of contact/tuner cleaners and they are the perfect thing for rheostats and pots. For mechanical connectors however I've found that the solvent and water displacement properties of WD40 to be exactly what is needed to insure a sound connection. Excess can be blown away with compressed air along with the crud that the WD40 loostens. I've used WD40 since it first showed up on retail shelves and I've used it on machinery I've owned for years but have yet to see any evidence that it gums or that it's residue causes any problems providing excesses are cleaned up. Besides, I like the smell.
 

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jdvorchak wrote:
Unfortunately it could also be the Ignition Control Unit. Do you have access to a Service manual for the 1200? Both the Honda and Clymer manuals have the trouble shooting procedure outlined very well.



The list below is in order of most common to least common.

1. Pulse Generators. Depending on the year of your bike it's checked with an ohmeter. 84 had one set of readings and 85+ had another.
2. Coils same thing you can test with an ohmeter.
3. If both coil and Pulse gens test good then it's the Ignition control unit. No longer available new from Honda but there are usually plenty for sale on eBay.
I'm going to check the ignition coil and connections today...if that checks out then I will pull the radiator and check the pulse generator...I guess I forgot to mention earlier I have and '86 GL1200A

Thanks
Jeff
 

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So I checked the primary resistance on the ignition coils...left one 3.1 ohms and the right one 3.0 at 75 degrees

Secondary resistance on the front was 23980 and the rear 24080.

I forgot to mention the wire on the positive lead to the left coil was loose...tighten it up, put it back on and the 'ol Wing started right up :)

Gotta love it when the fix involves no $$$

One question I do have...I took the caps off to measure the resistance without them and the wires were in the 14K range...the book says they should be between 16.3K to 21.7K...should this be a concern?

Thanks
Jeff
 

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sockeye342 wrote:
So I checked the primary resistance on the ignition coils...left one 3.1 ohms and the right one 3.0 at 75 degrees

Secondary resistance on the front was 23980 and the rear 24080.

I forgot to mention the wire on the positive lead to the left coil was loose...tighten it up, put it back on and the 'ol Wing started right up :)

Gotta love it when the fix involves no $$$

One question I do have...I took the caps off to measure the resistance without them and the wires were in the 14K range...the book says they should be between 16.3K to 21.7K...should this be a concern?

Thanks
Jeff
As for the cap resistance I would not worry unless it was higher than 21.7k. A previous owner may have removed the internal resistor from the cap. It's a little metal tube that you can get to by using a straight blade screwdriver to unscrew the brass fitting. It's spring loaded in there so watch out. If those resistors are removed there is probably a small hunk of steel or copper rod in place of the resistor. Lots of folks did that and the only down side is it may cause ignition/spark noise while listening to AM radio. Some folks think that removing that resistor will increase spark. I have no opinion on it. It's like chicken soup..... it couldn't hurt...:)
 

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Good job sockeye, I love a happy ending. Sometimes these old wings just need a little TLC from us to keep on going.
 

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jdvorchak wrote:
sockeye342 wrote:
So I checked the primary resistance on the ignition coils...left one 3.1 ohms and the right one 3.0 at 75 degrees

Secondary resistance on the front was 23980 and the rear 24080.

I forgot to mention the wire on the positive lead to the left coil was loose...tighten it up, put it back on and the 'ol Wing started right up :)

Gotta love it when the fix involves no $$$

One question I do have...I took the caps off to measure the resistance without them and the wires were in the 14K range...the book says they should be between 16.3K to 21.7K...should this be a concern?

Thanks
Jeff
As for the cap resistance I would not worry unless it was higher than 21.7k. A previous owner may have removed the internal resistor from the cap. It's a little metal tube that you can get to by using a straight blade screwdriver to unscrew the brass fitting. It's spring loaded in there so watch out. If those resistors are removed there is probably a small hunk of steel or copper rod in place of the resistor. Lots of folks did that and the only down side is it may cause ignition/spark noise while listening to AM radio. Some folks think that removing that resistor will increase spark. I have no opinion on it. It's like chicken soup..... it couldn't hurt...:)
I agree with that statement almost entirely. Chicken soup if thrown on face or groin at or near boiling temperature will almost certainly hurt....



:ROFL:
 
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