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Old 09-22-2014, 04:19 AM   #1
victorlaszlo OP
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What happened now? My R80 died... :(

I have an old R80/7, 1978, dual discs.

I got it after it had been off the road for 7 years but a major service, some repairing and minor fine tuning got it back on the road.

It wasn't perfect but ran quite well.

Then a couple of weeks ago it started acting up weird on my way through London, coughing, spluttering, backfiring.

It was near impossible to keep alive, and would only do so between somewhere along the lines of 2000-2500 rpm. Anything above, or below that, would cause backfiring and kill the engine.

It was also ridiculously hard getting to start.

I parked it at home and used my R100 for the following week before having an opportunity to address the issue with the R80.

Checked for water in the carbs but all fine, and had a look at the spark plugs which seemed to have a very weak, if any, spark.

I swapped them for a new pair and hesitantly she started up again. Took her for a short ride and she seemed quite ok, but was still a little hesitant starting.

Parked her up again and used the R100 for commuting the following week.

So, Saturday, I thought I should take her out for a spin but as it turns out she was completely dead. Checked the spark plugs again and no spark what so ever, with the left hand side wet, right hand side dry. Should be mentioned that it rained and stormed HEAVILY the night before, ground was still wet.

So, from my point of view this is most likely ignition related, possibly carb related. But what? Where to start looking? I'm not afraid of getting my hands dirty and have quite good mechanical knowledge but am still new to airheads.

Based on your experience, what could cause this? HT coils? Diode board? Carb issue?

Thankful for any thoughts - cheers Victor
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Old 09-22-2014, 04:58 AM   #2
hardwaregrrl
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Sounds a bit like water in the coil. Check it thoroughly for cracks. If you can, and the r100 isn't dual plugged, swap them and see if the problem travels.
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Old 09-22-2014, 05:22 AM   #3
victorlaszlo OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hardwaregrrl View Post
Sounds a bit like water in the coil. Check it thoroughly for cracks. If you can, and the r100 isn't dual plugged, swap them and see if the problem travels.
When it happened the first time, the weather was sunny and dry and it came with no warning as from a "clear sky".

Even if there was water in a coil, how likely is it that it happens to both coils at once (considering there's no spark on either side)?

Thanks Victor

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Old 09-22-2014, 05:36 AM   #4
patrkbukly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by victorlaszlo View Post
When it happened the first time, the weather was sunny and dry and it came with no warning as from a "clear sky".

Even if there was water in a coil, how likely is it that it happens to both coils at once (considering there's no spark on either side)?

Thanks Victor
Maybe not so likely but it begins the process of elimination and defining "the should be and the is".
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Old 09-22-2014, 05:52 AM   #5
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And the coils on the electronic 1983 R100Rs and the points 1978 R80 (both /7) are the same and interchangeable?

Cheers Victor
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Old 09-22-2014, 01:59 PM   #6
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Apart from the spark issue, the dry plug is a clear sign something is clogged in the carb. I'd take them off and thouroughly clean them. And since it has been standing for 7 years it might be worth changing all the o-rings around the jets. They are probably dry and leaking. You'll notice when you try to pry them off and they just break like hard plastic.
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Old 09-22-2014, 04:12 PM   #7
Jim K in PA
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Sounds like the points closed up. Check valve clearance, then ignition, then carbs. One wet/dry plug sounds like float level(s) may be out as well, but that would not account for all the symptoms.
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Old 09-22-2014, 04:18 PM   #8
victorlaszlo OP
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Originally Posted by Jim K in PA View Post
Sounds like the points closed up. Check valve clearance, then ignition, then carbs. One wet/dry plug sounds like float level(s) may be out as well, but that would not account for all the symptoms.
What would cause the points to close up? I changed them 2 months ago... Or actually, had them changed at the service I did when getting it back on the road...
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Old 09-22-2014, 04:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by victorlaszlo View Post
What would cause the points to close up? I changed them 2 months ago... Or actually, had them changed at the service I did when getting it back on the road...
Poor quality points. Lack of lube on the cam.

---------------
The R100 electronic ignition coil will not swap to the R80 points coilS. Different resistances to start with.

----------------------

I'd also look at the spark plug leads (any cracks?) and spark plug caps (resistance check).
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Old 09-22-2014, 05:05 PM   #10
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Ignition points. They sometimes move because the mechanic didn't tighten the screw enough. Surprisingly this is a common problem with points.

The wear block that rubs on the points cam of the advance unit can wear rapidly from a lack of lubrication or a manufacturing glitch. Some points have been made incorrectly or with the wrong materials. We have had problems with OEM BMW points and some from China. Currently the best points to use still seem to be Norris Brand. Many dealers do sell these if they are Airhead friendly.

It is not unusual for the ignition points to need at least one and sometimes more subsequent adjustments during their lifetime. A new set of ignition points will wear itself in and then wear much slower. It is this wear in period that is rapid, usually. After the first resetting they may not need another adjustment for several thousand miles. First adjustment may be at several hundred miles after installation. Sounds like you are at that point now no matter what the mileage is.

The contact tips of the ignition points can close up due to a faulty or badly matched condenser. If rapid contact tips are the problem you should try another condenser.

If you are going to be carrying your Airead to the dealer for this type of service you would probably do better with an electronic ignition conversion. Ignition points need attention and adjustment. (same thing with the Airhead valves, they need adjustment)
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Old 09-23-2014, 03:58 AM   #11
victorlaszlo OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disston View Post
Ignition points. They sometimes move because the mechanic didn't tighten the screw enough. Surprisingly this is a common problem with points.

The wear block that rubs on the points cam of the advance unit can wear rapidly from a lack of lubrication or a manufacturing glitch. Some points have been made incorrectly or with the wrong materials. We have had problems with OEM BMW points and some from China. Currently the best points to use still seem to be Norris Brand. Many dealers do sell these if they are Airhead friendly.

It is not unusual for the ignition points to need at least one and sometimes more subsequent adjustments during their lifetime. A new set of ignition points will wear itself in and then wear much slower. It is this wear in period that is rapid, usually. After the first resetting they may not need another adjustment for several thousand miles. First adjustment may be at several hundred miles after installation. Sounds like you are at that point now no matter what the mileage is.

The contact tips of the ignition points can close up due to a faulty or badly matched condenser. If rapid contact tips are the problem you should try another condenser.

If you are going to be carrying your Airead to the dealer for this type of service you would probably do better with an electronic ignition conversion. Ignition points need attention and adjustment. (same thing with the Airhead valves, they need adjustment)
Considering there is no spark on either side I find it unlikely to be the coils and/or the leads. Sparks less than a week old.

I'll start with checking the points, and might consider an electronic ignition upgrade should it turn out to be any problem in that area.

I saw that motorworks are selling a Siemens upgrade kit for about £150 which didn't seem bad....

Would hover the points issue described above give the symptom i'm experiencing:

1. Poor running occurring from a second to the other, with willingness to run only in a certain very narrow rpm range?
2. Starting to work almost perfect again after being parked up for a week but with poor starting?
3. To go to not start at all after a week, with no sparks?

I appreciate that there might be more than 1 issue playing in but am nevertheless keen to isolate it as much as possible before starting to tear the bike down :)

Many thanks, Victor
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Old 09-23-2014, 06:11 AM   #12
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Bummer Victor.....shit points have bitten a bunch of people round these parts. Hope it's a simple cheap fix.
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Old 09-23-2014, 07:46 AM   #13
Jim K in PA
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Victor - yes, points can cause quite strange behavior when out of spec. Not always, but often. Check out Swanker's ordeal with his points setup. http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1005754

Start with the basics, then move on to the more complex components. Lack of spark is highly likely due to poor trigger (points). It is a waste spark system, so both sides should fire at the same time, but a loss of one side would indicate a single component failure, like HT lead, coil, etc. As you say, since both sides are cold, it is not likely to be those parts, assuming all connections are switches are good.

Put a timing light on it, if you can get it started. Post up what you find.
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Old 09-23-2014, 09:30 AM   #14
patrkbukly
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Yes but…..

With the points setup its either here or there…you can see and follow the current all the way through the process.

Also expense….slap a $9 points in there and retry.

Top connection that can be making contact with the beancan or pulling out and not cipped in firmly;
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Old 09-23-2014, 09:52 AM   #15
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Bottom clip

That can be loose making an intermittent contact.


And or, if that black wire is stretched super tight you have the funky points which lose connection easier. There should be slack in the wire so there is a nice easy bend. I have seen some aftermarkets that that wire is stretched fully to complete the 2 connections and that causes trouble.
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