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Ok everybody, I got the problem fixed!

As it turns out, one of my coils had failed, and opened.

Additionally, the outer case cracked open.

What can cause that? Is this indicitive of a greater problem? I do have the "Dave Campbell wiring harness" on my bike...

 

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Heat! A lot of internal heat is the only thing I can think of that would cause the casing to split. Hopefully it has nothing to do with the Dave Campbell harness, since I have it also!

Glad you got it figured out though. Sometimes the only way to tell if an electronic component is going out........is when it fries! In the interim you can get all kinds of weird, conflicting symptoms.

Bob :11grey:
 

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Well, the thing that has me worried is that the Dave Campbell harness supplies direct, and continuous power to the coil, whether the bike is on or not... I'm going to keep an eye on this, and if the other coil starts to fail, I'm going to mod the harness to include a relay.
 

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age, plus heat,pure and simple. See it quite a bit. Really see it on old Cat pony engines, etc.
 

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While the coil can be supplied power constantly, it should only produce heat when it has flow...."Points Closed" position or the discharge cycle. Now you used to be able to boil a coil in no time by leaving the ignition on??? Hmmmm??
 

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so since the 1200 has no points, the coil should be safe to be powered all the time?
 

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That is why I asked the question.......???

That coil really could just be a time issue.
 

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From my understanding of the Campbell harness and another experts (see article below) the Campbell harness powers the coils continuously and could cause the indicated overheating.

Also, if you are in the habit of leaving your ignition switch in the run position for extended periods of time and the crank has stopped at the fire position the coil will be fed current and can overheat in this circumstance.

Vic
 

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Hmmm, might want to put an disconnect switch in just to make sure. I haven't had any problems but then again, I don't want to! Whats one more switch to remember before you hit the starter? AAHHHHGGGG!!!! :gunhead:

Bob
 

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Hi Philcsand,

see what I mean about getting too deep into the problem!

Glad you've sorted it.

Looks like your coil either shorted internally or overheated

this can be caused by just leaving the ignition switched on without the engine running or over-use of the kill switch, I know a lot of people use the kill switch to stop the engine, I was told years ago that the kill switch should only be used in emergencies as it can cause damage to the ignition system.

I presume this means the sudden collapse in the electrical power causes any coils to spike to high voltages with nowhere to discharge so they blow out (like yours)

well done for getting it sorted:clapper::clapper::clapper::clapper:
 

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philcsand wrote:
As it turns out, one of my coils had failed, and opened.

Additionally, the outer case cracked open.

What can cause that? Is this indicitive of a greater problem? I do have the "Dave Campbell wiring harness" on my bike...
philcsand, that crack doesn't look heat induced, it looks more like a shrinking plastic problem. I have seen similar failures (cracks) on older Honda coils due to old age. Usually a heat induced failure bubbles the coil's exterior or melts the area. Your problem looks more like a shrinkage crack. I'm not really sure what causes the failures but would tend to believe the petroleum wicks out of the plastic then the plastic shrinks & a crack opens up. On coilfailures I have seen like yours (never on Wing though), once the crack opens up it allows moisture to enter the coil's interior then the secondary shorts out internally.

Twisty
 

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When I mentioned heat, I was referring to steady onslaught of engine heat, probably in the neighborhood of 150 or more degrees, hour after hour, plus it's own self generated heat. So, conceivably the coils could run over 200 degrees. Time plays into the equation, then like Twisty said, moisture drawn in, when it cools. Electronic ignitions wont allow current to flow, with key left on. Has to receive the pulse drop, to trigger coil, even point setups won't allow much current to flow, if the points are closed, because of the ballast resistor. The longer the ballast carries current, the hotter it gets, the less current it flows. Kind of like a regulator. So at idle, it heats up, less current, because of longer dwell. Rev it up, now shorter dwell, ballast cools down, more current. So, probably just age, and possible a thinner skin in that area. One of those things.
 

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Since Phil has a defunct coil in hand he could cut the thing open and see what went wrong.
 

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exavid wrote:
Since Phil has a defunct coil in hand he could cut the thing open and see what went wrong.
exavid, carefully I hope.. A lot of those older ign coils were filled with PCB. Can't say on the Honda's but older automotive coils are full of PCB's.

Twisty
 

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PCB's sound yummy!
 

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philcsand, I had a cracked coil on my Wing that very much resembled the same crack depicted in your post. It gave me fits when the weather was damp because the spark would short out and cause the engine to run on two cylinders. I did not have access to a replacement coil so I covered the crack with epoxy adhesive, reinstalled itand it has been running flawlessly for almost two years now. I did not notice any signs of oil leakage before the repair and none since the repair so possibly the Wing coils are not oil filled. Currently I have two spare coils, but, see no need to replace them so far.

To make a long story short, maybe you could epoxy your old coil and keep it as a spare as long as it is not shorted internally.

Vic
 
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