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Old 06-12-2012, 08:03 PM   #1
dduelin OP
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Squeaky ignition canister noises - 1981 R100

On Sunday I did a major service on my R100. Fluids, lubrication, filters, plugs, compression check and a carb synch. There were no surprises and when I took it around the block to cool off the cylinders following the carb work I heard a squeaking or scraping type of noise from the front of the engine. I could hear it at idle and some at low rpms. I read some that night about timing chain replacement as I thought it might be the chain rubbing on a worn chain guide or the bearing on the nose of the crankshaft. I did a timing chain replacement about 40,000 miles ago and the bike now has 118,000 miles on it. (or 218,000 - I have a 5 digit odometer and do not know the history of the bike before 75,000 miles.)

Last night after work I took off the front cover and turned it over by hand. Sure enough there was the squeaking, scraping. I took off the stator to rule out the rotor or something in the alternator rubbing and that was not it. I left it at that.

Tonight I removed the Hall unit, the ignition canister, and that is the source of the noise. I can spin the coupling end and the unit squeaks. That can't bode well for much longer life. It does work now though and holds a steady S mark and good advance.

I read the unit is termed by BMW unrepairable and I read a couple of websites and a thread here about taking one apart for repair but these resources did not mention a bearing or bushing replacement to silence a noisy one.

They are expensive. Motorrad Electrik wants $325 for his improved one and I could not find another source other than BMW less than $500+. I thought I had read awhile back about someone that repairs them or sends you a refurbished one when you send in your old one but I need some help finding a good used part or other resource.

Oh, one other thing. When I did the timing chain replacement I broke the plastic connector that plugs the canister into the wiring harness inside the timing chest. As I thought then I would never be in there again I glued the connecter together and I am pretty sure I cannot get the connecter apart to plug in the new one. Can the three wires in the cable to the connector be cut and spliced back together if necessary? I can't see why not but thought I would ask.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:44 PM   #2
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:19 AM   #3
StephenB
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Search this forum for the "bean can repair" or something along those lines. There is a very detailed thread on how to do maintenance (or repairs for that matter) on those canisters, with lots of high res imagines. I don't have the link handy, use the search function. You don't need to splash out $350-$500 for a new ignition module.

Yes, you can cut the wires and splice or use different connector, e.g. a AMP SuperSeal type, way better and waterprooof.
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:26 PM   #4
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It probably just needs to be cleaned and lubed. If the timing is steady and even, it's probably good. If you're not into working on it, send me a PM and I might be able to help.
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:17 AM   #5
dduelin OP
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Thanks. I am going to at least look inside and see if anything is clearly amiss. I talked to Nathan at Boxerworks and he gave me the confidence to take it apart - perhaps a spring came loose and a weight is scraping the inside of the can. I just did not have the time last night to work on it.
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:35 PM   #6
dduelin OP
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OK. The "swoop swoop" noise is the "brush" of the Hall Effect sensor scraping the inside surface of the sheet metal timing shield. Not knowing what a healthy sensor looks like, mine appears to have a burnt appearance. There is a scrape mark where it rubs the inside of the shield. The sensor rocks back and forth a little on the timing plate but does not appear to have cracks or is coming loose from the rivets.

I bought a used unit on eBay but will try and fix this one and keep one for a spare.
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:49 PM   #7
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The sensor should not move at all. It's loose and that's your problem.
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