Igniter, pickup coil or spark plug coil? - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-12-2012, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Igniter, pickup coil or spark plug coil?

My 08 Bonneville is starting to develop an occasional miss. It manifests itself usually while cruising along at highway speed. It misfires (I don't know if on just one or both cylinders . . . I suppose if it was both it'd be technically two misses, but I digress) for just that moment and then keeps on as if nothing is wrong. One time it missed about 3 times in a row - maybe a second apart each time.

Knowing that there is an issue with the seat pressing on the igniter I took the seat off and checked the connections, they seem tight - when it did the multiple misses I stood on the pegs and it still did it, so I don't think it's actually the seat pressure. Anyway, the problem persisted.

Next, I again removed the seat and tried what one of my mechanic friends called a wiggle test. I wiggled the wires and the igniter while it was running, trying to see if it would induce the problem, but it didn't. I put the seat back on and the problem persisted.

Finally, tonight, I removed the seat, unhooked the igniter harness, smeared lithium grease onto the connections and replaced it all. I also put lithium grease on all four connections of the spark plug coil, and in the spark plug boots, ensuring that all of these connections were properly seated.

I took the bike for a test ride and sure enough, the intermittent miss at around 70 - 80 mph.

I'm now convinced that it's either a bad igniter, a bad coil, or a bad pickup coil. Does anyone out there have an educated guess which it most likely is?

The mechanic at the local shop said that he thought it was the igniter - he described my symptoms and asked if that was what was happening and I told him yes, and he said it was most likely that. I hate hearing that as it's so expensive for the OEM part.

If it is the igniter I know everyone is full of opinions about which one is the best, but I would be interested to know the prevailing wisdom.

Thanks,
Steve

"The possession of power inevitably spoils the free use of reason." Immanuel Kant
That explains why the sportbikers are driving like lunatics . . .
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-12-2012, 09:07 PM
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Does it happen at idle or low RPM speed when cruising at slower speed? Is it at or near a specific RPM range?

Have you taken a multimeter and tested the ignition coil and pickup coil? There is no test for the igniter other than swapping it. Which brings me to my next suggestion. Do you have a friend with a similar bike that you could swap parts around with and see if the problem goes away? Better still is to put your part in his bike and you both go for a ride and see if his bike starts having the problem.

Electrical issues suck.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-12-2012, 10:15 PM
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I'd start with the plugs. How old are they?. A new set, correctly gapped is a lot cheaper than replacing any of those parts the mechanic mentions.

Also check plug cap to HT cable joint, HT cable to ignition coil connection and LT wires to coil.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-12-2012, 10:39 PM
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cant help with diagnosing your problem, but you state that you applied lithium grease to various connections after inspecting etc. my understanding is that dieletric grease should be used

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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 06:40 AM
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That sounds like lean mixture to me, at lower throttle openings. You haven't put down your bike specs so it's hard to know. Have you changed anything lately?

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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 07:34 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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cant help with diagnosing your problem, but you state that you applied lithium grease to various connections after inspecting etc. my understanding is that dieletric grease should be used
That's my fault for typing the wrong word...it was dielectric grease

"The possession of power inevitably spoils the free use of reason." Immanuel Kant
That explains why the sportbikers are driving like lunatics . . .
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 07:37 AM Thread Starter
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That sounds like lean mixture to me, at lower throttle openings. You haven't put down your bike specs so it's hard to know. Have you changed anything lately?
It's not a fueling issue. I did the ARK a year and a half ago and have sussed out the jetting. It has 10-15K miles on it with the current jetting and this just started. It has happened at various throttle opening positions.

"The possession of power inevitably spoils the free use of reason." Immanuel Kant
That explains why the sportbikers are driving like lunatics . . .
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 07:41 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Forchetto View Post
I'd start with the plugs. How old are they?. A new set, correctly gapped is a lot cheaper than replacing any of those parts the mechanic mentions.

Also check plug cap to HT cable joint, HT cable to ignition coil connection and LT wires to coil.
I can replace the plugs. I did replace them last year but I ride it a lot. It probably has 10K+ miles on those plugs.

What are HT and LT? If it's the spark plug wires I checked both ends as well as the wires on the other side of the coil.

"The possession of power inevitably spoils the free use of reason." Immanuel Kant
That explains why the sportbikers are driving like lunatics . . .
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oddsteven View Post
I can replace the plugs. I did replace them last year but I ride it a lot. It probably has 10K+ miles on those plugs.

What are HT and LT? If it's the spark plug wires I checked both ends as well as the wires on the other side of the coil.
HT= High tension, the cables that dish out the high voltage to the plugs.

LT= Low tension, the normal thin cables that connect to the coil primary side.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forchetto View Post
HT= High tension, the cables that dish out the high voltage to the plugs.

LT= Low tension, the normal thin cables that connect to the coil primary side.
Yep, used the dielectric grease on both and ensured they were seated.

"The possession of power inevitably spoils the free use of reason." Immanuel Kant
That explains why the sportbikers are driving like lunatics . . .
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