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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a 72 bonneville, went to start one day and it fired but was idling real low as soon as i gave it throttle it would die. Carbs clean, battery was low and not holding charge so I replaced it, ran about 4 miles and bike stalled and wouldn't start again and no headlight. Second battery cooked. Bought another battery and put it in this time checking with voltmeter, was all over the place, 14v to 16v + at idle. replaced sparx regulator this did nothing. Realized I had not used resisted plug caps when changed recently, put some on, now reading what it should high 13 to low 14v and not jumping all over. Thought it was fixed, rode about 5 miles bike stalled and will not restart. Noticed a crack in my coil? could this be a cause for batteries crapping out?
 

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Using Sparx without resisted plugs / plug caps WILL cause overloading. This from the Tricor website.

So most probably all the batteries you used without resisted plug caps could / should be considered fried & done with :(

Take this with a pinch of salt, but I read somewhere that using unresisted plugs / caps with electronics involved may do nasty things to the electronics (boyer etc. electronic ignition) because of some electronic interference thingy. (Those with better details might want to correct me if needed.)

Edit:
From NGK website:
Q: When should I use a resistor spark plug?
A: NGK "R" or resistor spark plugs use a 5k ohm ceramic resistor in the spark plug to suppress ignition noise generated during sparking.
NGK strongly recommends using resistor spark plugs in any vehicle that uses on-board computer systems to monitor or control engine performance. This is because resistor spark plugs reduce electromagnetic interference with on-board electronics.
They are also recommended on any vehicle that has other on-board electronic systems such as engine-management computers, two-way radios, GPS systems, depth finders or whenever recommended by the manufacturer.
In fact, using a non-resistor plug in certain applications can actually cause the engine to suffer undesirable side effects such as an erratic idle, high-rpm misfire, engine run-on, power drop off at certain rpm levels and abnormal combustion.


So if you have electronic ignition, this could be it.


Hope you only lost the batteries!

-Ville
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
frying batteries

realized this afterwards, got resisted caps. Voltmeter was no longer bouncing all over (from14 up to 16+) was sitting low 14's high 13's at idle, barely above 12.7 with headlight on. Really thought it was fixed. Rode 5 miles, backfired, sputtered, stalled and won't start again, haven't checked battery yet but probably same thing. had replaced the regulator before getting the resisted caps wondering if i've fried it somehow?
 

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I hope you got the message reply. Mine is fixed with the new NGK caps and regulator but I had to replace the battery, 2 nd time. It seems if you ran the bike without the caps or resisted plugs as suggested then the battery is damaged right away. Mine would charge to about 13.5 volts with a charger but within 1/2 hour the battery (sitting) would drop to about 10.5 indicating the battery was bad and I had to replace it.
 

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"Noticed a crack in my coil?"
Years ago I had the same thing, one of the the coils was rubbing against the frame, and had worn little hole in the case.
This caused engine failure, and difficult restarting, anywhere, anytime. (Usually in the rain, miles away from any services, with the girlfriend on pillion.)
These were filled with oil then, which had partially leaked out...must have got really hot.
A new coil cured everything.
Just a thought.

Also, batteries dont like over-charging.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
frying batteries

can get a coil fairly inexpensive may replace anyway, am thinking maybe i wrecked my regulator also but i'm being told they are fairly resilient. but i seriously replaced the battery got a mile down the street and was backfiring then sputtered and quit not even a faint glow from the headlight, fried it that quick. so i then did the plug caps and new battery, was not getting the high reading anymore but rode about 5 miles and poof! same thing. read also boyer ignition supposed to be used with resisted plugs or wires but not sure why ignition or coils would cause overcharge.
 

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Can you go back a bit more in the sequence of things? I.e what was your set-up before the frying batteries (boyer, charging system?), and did you change something that caused the problems (Sparx, plugs?)

To my mind it could be one or all of these three:

-crack in the coil causes running problems like Caulky suggested

-all the batteries that were used without resisted plugs are done with because of overcharging. But you changed to resisted caps and a new battery at the same time, so this shouldn't apply.

Note: did you trickle charge the new battery before use? Boyer is really picky about the amount of voltage, and non-charged new batteries may give a good initial reading, but don't really have enough charge in them.

and the worst scenario

-the regulator and / or Boyer box have fried because of overcharging / electromagnetic interference (remember Boyer is essentially a computer). But I'm no expert, and don't know how easily that would happen.

And since you got a "normal" reading with the new battery, that would suggest that the regulator works. And if the Boyer was fried I don't think the bike would run at all.

But the original set-up and possible change before the frying began should give a clue to what could be wrong.

Hope these help, and hope you get the bike back to health!

-Ville
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
frying batteries

i had changed plugs/wires over winter without knowing about them needing to be resisted. It had been running really poorly but found a ground from the boyer ignition loose, tightened and was running great for about 3 weeks.Whats really strange is i drove it around all over when weather got nice maybe 200 miles in a couple weeks. went to ride one morning and it started but was running like#[email protected]%, checked a bunch of stuff then threw it on the charger for about an hour and it started fine ran fine, next day wouldn't start. got new battery, fried it within 5 miles. then got reg and batt, fried battery again within 1 mile. Then finally read the fine print, got new resited caps, voltmeter seemed to be reading much better as i said high 12-low 14 at idle. so i dared take it out, seemed much better but got about 5 miles and stalled out again. Had a bad coil before and sucker wouldn't start at all. initially thought bad stator? reg? but seeing an overcharge on my voltmeter figured reg since if stator was issue it seems it would undercharge? And my guess is the same, seems if ignition control was bad it wouldn't start and not sure why it would effect charging? Runs great with fresh battery just doesn't run very long. Am making sure they are trickle charged before installing. Think i wrecked my new regulator not being resisted but man im into this stupid electrical problem like $200 dollars now. all the electrics on this bike only cost about 500. just scared to buy another reg and have it not work, blow another battery. may try that may just take it in, but shop is booked out a month and i wanna ride! Appreciate all the input by the way.
 

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I'd pretty much agree with your line of thinking.

I read from somewhere, could've been here, that using unresisted plugs can lead to a total failure in minutes, or can take even months to pose any problems.

Before you put out another pile of cash for a new regulator, try the trickle charge for at least an overnight, then check the idling voltage like you did. If it's still in the 12 to 14 V range with full lights (depending on rpm, mine gave approx. 13.5-14 V at about 3000+) with a logical characteristic then... maybe the regulator isn't faulty after all.

Then, if you're up for it take the bike for a spin. If it works, it's great! If not, then at least we can be pretty sure somethings wrong in the charging side of things. And then I'd suspect the regulator.

Hang in there! Things can look bad, but they can fix up as well!

-Ville

P.s. If you'd like to read some of my adventures to electric bonnieland, search the forum with posts by ViLe. There could be something useful in there!
 
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