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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
Recently noticed my Thunderbird running rough, had a major service and carb clean. The mechanic reported that it was running well then all of a sudden dropped cylinder 2. He did some tests, noticed a lot of grit and muck on the CDI connection. Gave it a good clean and started it up- all good, "try it out and if it persists we need to try a new/ used CDI". I rode it home all sweet. Ran it yesterday all sweet. Started today on 2 cyl for a bit then the third kicked in. I went to get fuel, all good. Filled up started on two cyl again.... then I took off thinking I better go home, then I'm sure another cylinder dropped and on only 1, I blasted it out of a round about then three cyl kicked in for a while then 2 cyl. So it is an intermittent problem.
As I see it I need a CDI or is it coils or the whole lot? Anyone else experience this? Any suggestions for places I can purchase a CDI from.
Thanks,
 

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CDIs from Triumph or Inigtech. There are horror stories about trying to get others to work.

There's not much in the CDI that can cause intermittent failures of one or two cylinders; it's either one or all most of the time. Gill coils (check the name on yours), on the other hand, are notorious for going intermittent, but it's a little suspicious that you'd have two go bad in a short time frame. You might want to consider doing the stick coil conversion first. It's a cost effective way to eliminate the coils as the cause (permanently).
 

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You may also want to check resistance in your spark plug wires. when old plug wires get hot resistance builds up and cuts out the spark and when they cool off they work again.
 

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Oh so familiar story. The first time I had this was on my 900 Sprint. I fought it for a long time, thinking it.was a carburetor issue. Replaced all the coils. Problem gone. The second time I faced this problem I bought a used 900 Legend. I knew what it was when #3 cylinder would come and go. Just threw out all three old coils. Problem gone. ...J.D.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks very much for your replies. I started the bike today, idled it for a while. It ran fine. Turned it off. Came back an hour later, started it, running fine so I went for a ride in the hills. Ran wonderfully all afternoon. About 60km of twisties, steep hills and some city riding stop and go traffic.
I'm steering toward the coils. As WSC said, not much a CDI will do- either it will work or it wont. I probably should have spent the arvo pulling the seat and tank off and checking name etc on coils, but I'll do it soon. As I'll just change those coils and see what happens. With 70,000km on the clock could be time?
Ventura
 

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What yer is your Thunderbird? I have a 96 with the supposedly much more reliable PVL coils but did have one fail but at much lower kilometers than yours and when it did it went completely dead.

However a few years earlier a coil wasn’t working quite right with a miss at low rpm’s and was corrected by unplugging the oil wires and plugging them back in. You might want to check those connections in the time being.
 

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I went the way of stick coils which worked well for a while.
Like you, I started losing a cylinder (#3). It would drop out then a mile or ten later it would kick back in and usually stay running.
I ordered an Ignitech ignitor and that issue went away.
However a new issue took it's place. This new ignitor will shut the entire ignition off, requiring you to shut off the key then turn it back on and either let out the clutch (backfire) or hit the starter.
At any point all I had to do was pull the connector and plug the old ignitor back in and keep going on at least 2 out of 3 cylinders if I wanted to.
Have been working with Ignitech for a couple of months on this. Those guys are very diligent. They were thinking it was an overcharging issue, secondary RF issue, or non resistor plugs and gave me several new programs to load into the ignitor. I also shielded the ignitor with foil and grounded the foil for the secondary RF test. Nothing really worked so a new replacement is on the way. They have very good customer service, that is for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi all,
My bike is a 2003 Thunderbird. Yes I had the correct resistor plugs fitted last week. I'm interested in the stick coil conversion.
Is there a good source for purchasing coils. Do I only go for triumph branded coils or are aftermarket up to the task? I must say in Australia these bikes are rare. Plenty of Boni and Thruxton stuff around but even when I google the coils little comes up.
 

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There is a ton of good reading on the stick coil conversion in here. Very simple to do.
Here is a link to the long thread on the subject.
 

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Certainly nothing wrong with the stick coil solution, but I just bought some new "no name" coils when my Legend did this. It has been running OK every since. The main point is to replace them [the original Gil coils are not very good]. My approach is to replace all three. These old 900s generate a lot of heat up under the tank, and I think it eventually cooks them, especially in hot climates. If one is dying, the other two are probably just as old. As I remember I paid something like $36usd apiece for them on Ebay. ...J.D.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Certainly nothing wrong with the stick coil solution, but I just bought some new "no name" coils when my Legend did this. It has been running OK every since. The main point is to replace them [the original Gil coils are not very good]. My approach is to replace all three. These old 900s generate a lot of heat up under the tank, and I think it eventually cooks them, especially in hot climates. If one is dying, the other two are probably just as old. As I remember I paid something like $36usd apiece for them on Ebay. ...J.D.
Yea I'm going to do that, these look like a good option as in Australia WHITES ELECTRICAL COIL-12V this way I can eliminate coils without spending heaps. The Nology look good but are 130 Bux each. I can get three of these for that....
 
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