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Classic, Vintage & Veteran For Coventry and Meriden Models. Anything pre-Hinckley goes.

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Old 11-12-2012, 06:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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1969 TR6C ignition timing questions

New to motorcycles, and bought a '69 Triumph Trophy 650 TR6C about a year ago and it had a lot of missing parts. Restored a few English cars in my past, and wanted to try a bike to get my hands dirty again.
Compression is good on this engine, but carb was missing enough pieces (like the float needle for starters) and was worn out until I just bought a new Amal from Baxter. Before I found Baxter, I had bought a Sparx electronic ignition kit from a company that is now closed.
I think it will not start due to ignition timing now. It does fire spark plugs and lights my test plug brightly. Followed the Sparx instructions, but think I do not have the spark hitting at the right time or something else is grossly amiss, based on where the timing mark on the alternator is aligning with the pointer on the case. I had aligned the Sparx stator plate based on TDC statically, but when I read some more now, it should be 14 degrees BTDC. When the alternator timing mark is aligned with the pin on the case, the right piston is way low and I can see the intake valve open looking through the spark plug hole. Engine specs show the intake valve closes at 55 degrees ABDC. The alternator looks pretty shiny, so I wonder if the prior owner assembled it with no key, like the carb with no float needle.
The circuit diagram on the Sparx shows the coils wired in series, which is different from the Triumph diagram, so it appears both coils fire with each engine revolution. Is that how the Sparx unit works?

I found mention of this plugged hole aft of the cylinders to locate TDC via a notch or hole in the crankshaft, so will try to set up the stator plate on TDC for that and check this alternator position and woodruff key situation out next. Randy at Baxter said there are two notches, one at TDC and the other at 30 something degrees, which sounds like fully advanced.

With a battery, coils, and points or a stator plate, does the alternator position matter, other than providing a location for a timing mark, maybe left over from the old magneto days?

thanks for any knowledge and suggestions in advance,
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You'll get more answers by posting that in the Meriden Classics section:

http://www.triumphrat.net/classic-vintage-and-veteran/

With a bit of luck a Moderator will do it for you.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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thank you.
for an update, I checked the wiring again, and confirmed the coil resistance in series is 3.9 - 4 ohms, which agrees with 3 - 7.5 ohm limit I found. Removed the Right cylinder intake valve adjustment port to verify that I was on #1 cylinder compression stroke. Also determined my case pointer aligns with the 38 degree BTDC point on flywheel from the slot in the flywheel. Some posts I see say it can be either way depending on the model and style of left side engine case I have.
the Sparx directions say to align their rotor with the holes in the stator plate after you have, and I quote: "SET THE CRANK SHAFT IN THE STATIC B.T.D.C
POSITION. THIS WILL VARY WITH DIFFERENT MODELS OF MOTORCYCLE SEE YOUR MANUAL FOR SPEC.
One video I see on the net here says to set this at the 38 degree notch. A manual I have says the static setting should be 14 degrees, which is between the two notches on the flywheel, so have set it at 14 degrees for now. I have a bad kick start lever pin now, from all this kicking with no firing to date. I have ordered one, so I will not be able to try and start it until I get that part.
If anyone has some advice as to whether it should be 14 or 38 degrees, that would be appreciated.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Further update - was firing 50 degrees late. Other post here warned of crossed wires, but followed instructions wind had triple checked wires and not using any of the BW or BY wires in my new loom. Reversing wires has it firing on time.
Bought new Amal carb and it was way too rich. Found in Baxter catalogs, whom I bought carb from that float height had to be checked even on new units. Found it about 1/8 inch above, versus 0.060 - 0.080 inch ubelow, so adjusted that, ready to try again.


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Old 12-04-2012, 11:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Some little joy. Motor started once for me when I gave it a shot of starting fluid, and ran on he carb and spark. Further tests of the spark before this happened showed it firing twice on each rotation, once where it should, and the 50 or so degree late spark happens intermittently also. Ready to trash can the Sparx unit and quit wasting my time on it. Did not work when installed per their instructions, and still will not fire reliably. 2 pages of Boyer related problems in the Baxter cycle catalog does not lend confidence in that route either.

Have found a local Triumph expert through some friends, and am taking the whole bloody thing to him and let him sort it out. I believe it will turn out to be the sparking system, but he says I should not have had to do anything to the new carburetor float level. I used a spare bowl drain fitting tapped with an old main jet and verified the fuel level in the full bowl was set at just less than 1/4 inch as Baxter's manual calls form.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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1969 TR6C ignition timing questions

End of the Sparx saga will be in the scrap bucket. Comparing the taper on the magnetic rotor assembly to stock Triumph and a Boyer parts show the last two looking the same, and the Sparx one looking and fitting poorly.


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Old 08-27-2013, 08:59 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The Sparx saga is about to truly end around here. Started this 1970 TR6C last week for a friend to take for a spin and it was not running right. Plugs wet and getting black quickly. Timing check turning motor with kick start and plugs out gives >40 degrees AFTER TDC. Drained primary case did a low running RPM timing check, and spark was ~10 degrees after TDC at idle to 10 degrees before TDC at the max RPM I would run it to, probably <2500 RPM. Bad valve timing I paid someone else to fix burned a hole through a piston.
Cannot get consistent spark out of Sparx unit so I am junking it and buying a Boyer. The original rotor was replaced I believe after it caused earlier problems and had a poorly fitting taper onto my bike's camshaft.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Sounds like you have more than one problem. You need to make sure the rotor is installed correctly first. I'm totally confused on your timing issue, hopefully someone more knowledgable with the conversion to EI will help. Follow your instructions from the Boyer.
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My Boyer has been trouble free for around 14 years so far.Easy to fit and easy to set up
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bardtrailrider View Post
Drained primary case did a low running RPM timing check, and spark was ~10 degrees after TDC at idle to 10 degrees before TDC at the max RPM I would run it to, probably <2500 RPM. Bad valve timing I paid someone else to fix burned a hole through a piston.
I can't imagine a valve timing error causing a piston to melt.Is the valve timing right now?At TDC,you should have about 0.140" lift on the intake and exhaust valve.Obviously,the other cylinder will be on compression with both valves closed.
If either valve is open 0.055" less than that,the timing is out by one tooth on a camwheel.It would still run,but be down a little on power.If there's more valve lift at TDC,there's a risk of crashing a valve into a piston and bending the valve.

It probably ran alright when it had points,and most of this trouble has come from trying to time the electronic ignition.If the locating pin is still fitted in the exhaust camshaft,it can sometimes foul on the taper of the ignition rotor.Remove the pin or grind the rotor to get clearance for the pin.

The timing mark on the alternator rotor should be 38 degrees BTDC.The pistons will be 0.415" below TDC.You can check this at the timing plug,behind the barrel.The 38 degree flywheel notch lines up with the timing plug hole.You just want to know where 38 degrees is on the rotor.Rotor pole position and phasing is not an issue.

Static time it in this position (38 degrees),according to the EI instuctions.The timing will then be close enough for the engine to start.The timing will still need to be set with a timing light.At 5000 rpm,the timing should be 38 degrees BTDC.
35 would still be safe,but 39 may not be.One degree is approx 0.025" at the timing mark.

You float level is on the low side of tolerance,but still OK and within 0.17"-0.24" of the top of the bowl.The 0.080" setting does not apply to new "stay up" floats.
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