Navigation

You are here: Home / Messages / Commando / Ignition timing worries

Ignition timing worries

Up to Commando

Ignition timing worries

Posted by mike_chizlett at April 14. 2017

Advanced apologies for perhaps going over old ground but I have just fitted a Boyer micro digital ignition system that I've had for ages to my 1969 750 Commando.

Having set it up as per the instructions (31 degrees BTDC) the bike eventually started but ran rough as if the choke was on.

The engine running improved as the stator was rotated clockwise to a point where I couldn’t turn it any more.

I haven’t altered the position of the rotor to see if any further adjustment of the stator would continue to improve things but estimate that at present the timing is set at about 45 degrees BTDC.

I have yet to hook up a strobe

I was expecting to make a minor adjustment but not this much.

This doesn’t seem right hence my request for any comments or advice as to how best to proceed.

Thanks

Re: Ignition timing worries

Posted by richard_payne at April 14. 2017

I would run 12v direct from the battery to the 'black' box and replace the wiring to the pickup as well, making sure that they are connected the correct way round.

Is the ignition advancing with revs ?

Was it all running OK before ? How long ago ?

Re: Ignition timing worries

Posted by terence_rafter at April 14. 2017

I had the same problem with my 650SS. The first time I rebuilt the engine a few years after I purchased the bike, I set it up meticulously  as per Mick Hemming's video.  It was massively retarded! After a lot of experimenting I settled on an advance of 53 degrees, it has ran happily on that setting for the last 10 years. At the time I contacted Boyer and their response was basically " If it's running well, don't worry!" I'm no electronics expert so I can only assume  that the "brain" is somehow slow, (we're talking milli-seconds) and the "trigger" has to be advanced to compensate.

Re: Ignition timing worries

Posted by mike_chizlett at April 14. 2017

Thanks Richard

I already have a direct feed to the black box and the rest of the wiring is new and correct.

With the present setting the engine runs quite smooth and will rev freely.

I finished a complete rebuild last year and have covered less than 500 miles since.

During that time the bike performed well albeit in running in mode but it became difficult to start and gave the odd kick back hence my attempt to recheck the timing.

Re: Ignition timing worries

Posted by mike_chizlett at April 14. 2017

Thanks Terrance

I sort of thought that might be the case but was concerned about possible damage like a holed piston!

Although it seems to run well it doesn't start as it should and I'm not sure if this a timing issue.

Re: Ignition timing worries

Posted by richard_payne at April 14. 2017

If everything else is in order then I think that I would try an alternative ignition. Can you borrow someone's old spec spare Boyer or something ?

I've got a couple but I'm in Belgium...

Re: Ignition timing worries

Posted by mike_chizlett at April 14. 2017

Thanks again Richard.

I'll have a chat with Boyer. They have a testing facility so might return items for checking if only for peace of mind.

Re: Ignition timing worries

Posted by richard_payne at April 14. 2017

It's a long time since I've had contact with Boyer but when I once sent them an old Mk3 they said that they couldn't find a fault under test but sent me a new one back anyway. It was well out of guarantee.

Re: Ignition timing worries

Posted by richard_chan at April 15. 2017

I just had a similar problem, check my thread if you want.

But basically i had to turn the magnets to around somewhere between 10/4 o'clock and make sure the anticlockwise timing holes on the plate lined up to the white dot on the magnet before it ran a little smoother, then it was lots of fiddling and small adjustments until i can hear the bike sounded ok.

The strobe was used throughout the process as much as i can while working alone, But finally got it to time at 5k 31 degrees when i had someone help rev and hold the bike.

I contacted Boyer as well, super helpful, but they insisted i check my wires, which was all fine. The other thing they said was to make sure battery and fuses are not bouncing or loose due to bike vibration. This can also cause kick back misfire etc.

I'm a complete newbie to Norton, so my info might not be as useful as others.

Hope it helps.

Re: Ignition timing worries

Posted by ady_strowger at April 15. 2017

Previously mike_chizlett wrote:

Advanced apologies for perhaps going over old ground but I have just fitted a Boyer micro digital ignition system that I've had for ages to my 1969 750 Commando.

Having set it up as per the instructions (31 degrees BTDC) the bike eventually started but ran rough as if the choke was on.

The engine running improved as the stator was rotated clockwise to a point where I couldn’t turn it any more.

I haven’t altered the position of the rotor to see if any further adjustment of the stator would continue to improve things but estimate that at present the timing is set at about 45 degrees BTDC.

I have yet to hook up a strobe

I was expecting to make a minor adjustment but not this much.

This doesn’t seem right hence my request for any comments or advice as to how best to proceed.

Thanks

Check everything with a degree disc and get Boyer to check the ignition including the strength of the magnets as you have had the unit some time before using it

Re: Ignition timing worries

Posted by john_holmes at April 15. 2017

The problem with the analog boyer is variances with in the tolerances of the components, I just swapped the box only once and turned a pipe blue in 30 secs the timing was so different from the installed box. Thats why you must always strobe, but surprised the digital one is also affected, maybe its the distance between the magnets and the pickup, if so it means the timing will slowly change as the magnets lose their magnetism.

Re: Ignition timing worries

Posted by ady_strowger at April 15. 2017

Previously ady_strowger wrote:

Previously mike_chizlett wrote:

Advanced apologies for perhaps going over old ground but I have just fitted a Boyer micro digital ignition system that I've had for ages to my 1969 750 Commando.

Having set it up as per the instructions (31 degrees BTDC) the bike eventually started but ran rough as if the choke was on.

The engine running improved as the stator was rotated clockwise to a point where I couldn’t turn it any more.

I haven’t altered the position of the rotor to see if any further adjustment of the stator would continue to improve things but estimate that at present the timing is set at about 45 degrees BTDC.

I have yet to hook up a strobe

I was expecting to make a minor adjustment but not this much.

This doesn’t seem right hence my request for any comments or advice as to how best to proceed.

Thanks

Check everything with a degree disc and get Boyer to check the ignition including the strength of the magnets as you have had the unit some time before using it

One other thing check the capacity of your battery I know these updated boyer ignition are not affected in the same way as the mk 3 I use but they still all rely on a heathy battery unless your using a power box

Re: Ignition timing worries

Posted by mark_lepkowski at April 15. 2017

I had my Commando for years before I eventually checked the accuracy of the timing marks in the primary chain case - they were miles out! So yes, as already suggested, might be worth getting a proper timing disc to see if the bike's timing marks you are using are actually what they're supposed to be.

Re: Ignition timing worries

Posted by anna jeannette Dixon at April 15. 2017

Hello  I hope you do not mind me saying  something is all wrong  here, for a start off  you should  have the all the rocker covers off and start with drive side timing  so the rockers have both valves in closed position on the left-hand side or drive side  and piston at top dead centre,  before any timing is carried out  and the commandos are usually  timed at 29 degrees before top dead center  and has the timing runs off the end of the camshaft it's then runs anti-clockwise  So the timing for the left hand side has to be set up on the right hand side timing device and taking in the fact of the timing then turns anti -clockwise  and there for should timed anti-clockwise for the drive side cylinder first the rotate 360 degrees for the right-hand cylinder  has a single cylinder  four stroke engine fires  once every 720 degrees   and a twin ever 360 degrees left hand first then the right      OK  yours  Anna J 

Re: Ignition timing worries

Posted by john_holmes at April 15. 2017

Anna, boyers and most of the other EI  are wasted spark, both plugs fire together so no need to worry which side will fire when.

Re: Ignition timing worries

Posted by richard_evans at April 15. 2017

I can confirm it is a wasted spark.

Also no need to take the rocker covers off:

To determine the compression stroke simply take out the nearside spark plug, block the hole with your finger, turn the engine clockwise and you will feel the compression easily as the piston rises on the compression stroke.  (both valves will be closed)

 

After the basic setting you must set the timing accurately with a strobe.

Re: Ignition timing worries

Posted by richard_chan at April 15. 2017

This is one of the tricks i learnt from my recent experience with the Boyer. Works a treat.

 

Previously richard_evans wrote:

I can confirm it is a wasted spark.

Also no need to take the rocker covers off:

To determine the compression stroke simply take out the nearside spark plug, block the hole with your finger, turn the engine clockwise and you will feel the compression easily as the piston rises on the compression stroke.  (both valves will be closed)

 

After the basic setting you must set the timing accurately with a strobe.

Re: Ignition timing worries

Posted by david_evans at April 15. 2017

I'm not sure where you guys are measuring the advance but figures of 45 and 53 degrees before TDC would be almost impossible to start without lots of kickbacks. If it started at all, running would be rough, the engine would be struggling to compress an expanding charge to get it past TDC

Re: Ignition timing worries

Posted by mike_chizlett at April 15. 2017

Thanks everybody for your input it’s much appreciated.

The timing has been checked against a degree disc and the degree quadrant in the primary case is spot on. Also the battery is healthy.

I will contact Boyer with a view to having my components checed by them for performance.

I’m hoping it’ll be something like the magnet strength that maybe causing the situation I have.

In the meantime I’ll get hold of a strobe to check the settings.

Re: Ignition timing worries

Posted by anna jeannette Dixon at April 16. 2017
Previously john_holmes wrote:

Anna, boyers and most of the other EI  are wasted spark, both plugs fire together so no need to worry which side will fire when.

 

Well I do know this but if you do a thing in the right way and check everything like the valve timing is in the right place first then you get your ignition timing right to!    yours    yours  anna j  

Re: Ignition timing worries

Posted by david_evans at April 16. 2017

I had a strange situation when I replaced the two wires on the Boyer stator with a couple of single strand copper wires to a chocolate block type connector to try and reduce the tendency to break the original wires. With this setup the timing was impossible to set reliably with or without a strobe. Changing back to conventional wires from the stator eliminated the problem.

Re: Ignition timing worries

Posted by richard_evans at April 17. 2017

I recently had problems setting up the ignition timing with Boyer electronic ignition for first time. Checked and rechecked it but no start. Eventually discovered that a number of the Boyer units had been found to have a manufacturing fault and the magnets were 180 degrees out.  Corrected this and it started immediately.  Absolutely true.

Powered by Ploneboard
Upcoming Events
Norfolk branch camping weekend May 12, 2017 - May 14, 2017 — Whitwell and Reepham railway station, Reepham, Norwich NR10 4GA 01603 871694
CRMC Track Parade - Mallory Park May 20, 2017 - May 21, 2017 — Mallory Park,Church Rd, Kirkby Mallory LE9 7QE
Surrey Branch at the Kempton Park Classic Motorcycle Show & Auto-jumble May 20, 2017 09:30 AM - 04:00 PM — Kempton Park, Staines Road East, Sunbury on Thames, Middlesex TW16 5AQ
Tay Valley Branch - lunch meeting May 21, 2017 11:00 AM - 04:00 PM — Ben Lawers Hotel,Loch Tay, Aberfeldy, Perthshire, PH15 2PA
Yorkshire Branch at the Sowerby Bridge Classic Bike & Scooter Show May 28, 2017 10:30 AM - 04:30 PM — The Wharf, Sowerby Bridge HX6 2AG
Upcoming events…
This is Brio Diazo Plone Theme