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Old 05-03-2009, 11:48 AM   #1
BasqueTreader OP
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Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Boise, Id
Oddometer: 72
How do I test my CDI Box???

If anybody knows a trick to testing a CDI it would be greatly appreciated. I have come to the conclusion, after testing everything else that this may be the cause of my surging ploblems.
"I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then is a good thing..."
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Old 05-03-2009, 11:55 AM   #2
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Joined: Oct 2005
Location: Austria
Oddometer: 10,161
Find another bike of the same type that runs and plug it in; you don't say what bike it is for, but generally, this is the only option.
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Old 05-03-2009, 12:39 PM   #3
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Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Directly above the center of the Earth
Oddometer: 3,461
You don't mention the type of bike or type of cdi, but some of them can be tested with computers and/or breakout boxes.

Is the problem intermittent, or does it happen all the time?

IME, the cdi boxes generally either work or they don't. In rare cases, you may get some intermittent problems, but they're almost always on/off kinds of things.

Good luck, this kind of thing can take some time to correctly diagnose.

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Old 05-03-2009, 04:21 PM   #4
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Joined: Aug 2004
Location: Idiotville, OR
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Test all the inputs to the CDI, then test the output. Good inputs + no output = bad CDI. The details on testing the different parts are, of course, model specific.

Both my KTM and Honda have a test procedure in the shop manual.
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:47 AM   #5
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Joined: Dec 2008
Location: SF East Bay, CA
Oddometer: 151
The best way, is to take all ignition related parts off, substitute engine by low RPM electric motor and test COMPLETE ignition system. So, you make your own test fixture.

You can use square wave or pulse generator with output signal < 12v. The waveform might be bike's model specific.

You may consider high voltage wire and spark plug's caps replacement. I spent about 3 week trying to adjust carburetors, testing pick-up coils, ignition coils, CDI. It turned out, the high voltage wires were the problem. After replacing it - no more problems.

Test procedure in manual for testing CDI boxes does not work well. I called manufacturer of CDI boxes and they told me it is very hard to test it, if you do not have proper test equipment.

You can make CDI tester by yourself if you good in electronic. Relatively easy.
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