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View Results: Which is more reliable for Airheads ... electronic ignition or points?
BMW Airhead electronic ignitions are super reliable. Leave it alone 19 32.76%
BMW Airhead electronic ignitions are junk, replace with aftermarket electronic ignition 3 5.17%
BMW Airhead electronic ignitions are junk, replace with beancan w/points 5 8.62%
BMW points & Condensers are reliable. leave it alone 27 46.55%
BMW points & Condensers are junk. replace with aftermarket electronic ignition 4 6.90%
Voters: 58. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-21-2014, 01:06 PM   #136
190e
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The argument about lying on your side to service points doesn't hold for the points in a can versions.

You take the can off. Service the can on the bench where you can see what you are doing and then put it back again. Sure the timing is disturbed but changing points or adjusting the gap always changes timing so you are no worse off.
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Old 06-21-2014, 01:19 PM   #137
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Lurkers beware: It seems that some good points and questions are going unanswered. If you can't figure out why, there's no hope anyway so . . . . If you can figure out why, chuckle along with me!
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Old 06-21-2014, 01:24 PM   #138
_cy_ OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 190e View Post
The argument about lying on your side to service points doesn't hold for the points in a can versions.

You take the can off. Service the can on the bench where you can see what you are doing and then put it back again. Sure the timing is disturbed but changing points or adjusting the gap always changes timing so you are no worse off.
thanks for mentioning this .. what I do is make two marks before removing beancan. so you can put beancan back in exact same location.
putting gap back to exact thousands setting when bike was timed will put you back approximately the same timing. until you can get back to facilities with a timing light and dwell meter.

no it's never pleasant working on your downed bike in the middle of no-where. but much rather have the serviceable option. no matter how much a pita vs having bike towed to nearest shop to wait for parts.

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Old 06-21-2014, 03:45 PM   #139
disston
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Harris View Post
Peeking in here I am reminded that the points Beancan does not use the point cam wiper felt like the /5/6 points plates did. That might suggest that the decided the wiper felt was superfluous and that the wiper felt was actually a /2 holdover on the /5.

What do we think? I need to replace my wiper felt, but if I don;t need to...

--Bill
I think they left it out because of space constraints not because it's not needed. But it will work without the felt OK.

Great, now I have a reason to not like bean cans.
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Old 06-21-2014, 04:28 PM   #140
Bill Harris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disston View Post
I think they left it out because of space constraints not because it's not needed. But it will work without the felt OK.

Great, now I have a reason to not like bean cans.
Quite likely. I have removed, flipped over, and fastened the felt wiper plate (a thin piece of spring steel) when one side got worn and now that second side is worn. I'll replace that worn felt wiper.

My "other" felt wiper thread:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=987740

--Bill
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:01 PM   #141
supershaft
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Quote:
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Great contribution to the thread from Mr Nattering Nabob of Negativity hisself...
Funny. I was largely warning about some of your nonsense. You post nonsensical info and then ignore questions about it.
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Old 06-23-2014, 01:35 AM   #142
Voltaire
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Is there a hydraulic lifter conversion as I'm so over having to check valves, and those Bings...scheesh can you not fit injection instead....

I'd never have a Boyer again, found out the don't like sub zero temps once in Germany at the Elefant Rally.

Points for me
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Old 06-23-2014, 02:37 AM   #143
Bill Harris
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For sure. We have just gotten used to "more maintenance-free engines" with extended oil change intervals and the way sparkplugs last much longer on lead-free gas.

Me, I grumble because over the last 40 years I've turned into an old guy and it's harder to get up and get down to do the work. I mostly grumble when I've getting ready to set the timing; other times, I don't care.

And I've got a 3000 mile major service closing in, so you'll likely hear me grouse more often... :(

...Til the major service is done :)



--Bill
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Old 06-23-2014, 03:54 AM   #144
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Quote:
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For sure. We have just gotten used to "more maintenance-free engines" with extended oil change intervals and the way sparkplugs last much longer on lead-free gas.

Me, I grumble because over the last 40 years I've turned into an old guy and it's harder to get up and get down to do the work. I mostly grumble when I've getting ready to set the timing; other times, I don't care.

And I've got a 3000 mile major service closing in, so you'll likely hear me grouse more often... :(

...Til the major service is done :)




--Bill
My " more maintenance free engine" takes about an hour just to take the fairing off, you need to take the lower off to get to the oil filler and battery.
Machining up a tool to reach the plugs.....
That's progress....Grouse away
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Old 06-23-2014, 04:17 AM   #145
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funny, not wanting to wrench is one reason I got tired of points. 2 cars, 3 bikes, an ATV snowmobile and jeep.....not to mention the house stuff the idea of wrenching for fun has disappeared. Now I only do what I have to
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:01 AM   #146
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Points serviceable at the side of the road!

Well yess I suppose so if the contacts have become dirty, or if the timing has slipped out of adjustment......trouble is these issues just don't happen to electronic systems. If your points suffered a catastrophic failure eg the sprung arm broke, I doubt if many could fix that by the side of the road and sourcing BMW points is going to be as much of a hassle as getting a new black box sent to you.

A proper electronic ignition also replaces the AtU, which removes another mechanical device from the system and makes timing a dual plug bike a breeze!.

Points if set up perfectly can only deteriorate from that point onwards.......


R90/6. Sachse ignition, camping in Verdun, 6000 miles in 6 weeks on some of the roughest roads in Europe, back home tomorrow
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:19 AM   #147
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Originally Posted by chasbmw View Post
Points serviceable at the side of the road!

Well yess I suppose so if the contacts have become dirty, or if the timing has slipped out of adjustment......trouble is these issues just don't happen to electronic systems. If your points suffered a catastrophic failure eg the sprung arm broke, I doubt if many could fix that by the side of the road and sourcing BMW points is going to be as much of a hassle as getting a new black box sent to you.

A proper electronic ignition also replaces the AtU, which removes another mechanical device from the system and makes timing a dual plug bike a breeze!.

Points if set up perfectly can only deteriorate from that point onwards.......


R90/6. Sachse ignition, camping in Verdun, 6000 miles in 6 weeks on some of the roughest roads in Europe, back home tomorrow
hmm .. have never heard of a set of points arm breaking so unlikely that's ever going to happen to me.

what does happen is cam block wears slowly closing gap. if condenser not a good match causing points to burn.

for above usually you've get lots of warning to service points. like any electrical it's possible to get rare phantom connections. carrying a spare set of point/condenser with a dab of grease and alcohol pack to degrease will usually take care of it.

so yes it's quite possible to service points/condenser on side of the road. yes it will be a pita and fiddly to boot. but it can be done.

timing can screw up on either electronic or points. beancan uses std VW points or for high performance use points from common 009 distributor. once condenser is tested as good match for points they rarely ever fail. it's better to order the actual condenser to fit beancan. but most any VW condenser can be made to work.

early airheads has the low quality new points. some are saying cam block is too thick. but that can be filed down. on R90S my spare set from Max BMW has correct height, but just looks low quality. have not installed it but odds are new points will work just fine.

that said .. there's absolutely nothing wrong with electronic ignitions ..

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Old 06-23-2014, 11:05 AM   #148
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I carry an extra old set of points for emergency. If going very far away I will pack the new points for emergency.

I think each rider can choose what system has the benefits that pleases them the most. I like the ignition points set up on my 1975 R90/6 because when I was learning to do this stuff everything had ignition points. It took many years for me to learn this stuff because there was no internet.

I do recommend for newer, younger, riders to keep the ignition points in place and learn to deal with it. You will then know how it's done and the theory will make sense. Later with another vehicle or an electronic conversion there will be a different way of looking at things.

My favorite option for ignition was left off the survey by mistake. Points with a booster is high tech in my World.
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:17 AM   #149
Bill Harris
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When points fail they can be, in a pinch, fixed on the roadside or, more reasonably, replaced with new. Condenser, replace (if it fails suddenly). You don't need a $100 (and proprietary) ICM, you don't need to remove the dead and resolder the new Hall sensor in.

The motion of "advance curve" being a plus on electronic Ignition is an odd one. On the Airheads, the timing runs from 3-9 degrees (whatever your "S" is) to 32 to 34 degrees or so at 3000 rpm+ (your "F" of "Z"). All you need is a smooth linear transition from idle to 3000. The engine spends very little time running below 3000. For dual plugs, limit the full "F" advance to 27-28 degrees, keep the "S" at 5-ish.

--Bill
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:43 AM   #150
_cy_ OP
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added to OP ..

Edit: an important option was left off the survey by mistake. Points with a booster .. which quite possibly is the best of both electronic/points.

points last much longer only limited by cam block wear .. if booster should fail, simply switch back to points/cond.
you get maintenance intervals similar to electronic ignition without losing ability to service in the field at modest costs $$.

only reason I've not installed one yet is my points have been working fine and has needed nothing

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