ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Bikes > Old's Cool > Airheads
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-23-2014, 06:52 PM   #166
_cy_ OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Oddometer: 5,008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyshadow View Post
damn you make it sound so dang easy to have points.....the truth is
I can change my oil and adjust my valves in the amount of time it takes what you are suggesting to get back on the road with points......and this is on a naked r80g/s. If I add the lower PD fairing....add another 10 minutes.

I don't know...I am just not seeing the benefit yet when a person can simply carry a spare bean can.
LOTS of folks have trouble chasing down issues related to dead and/or intermittent electronic ignitions.

you are one of the few that has problems getting a points ignition to work properly.
when that happens a phantom ground needs to be checked with a meg ohm meter like Fluke 1520.
find a mechanic that has one .. they are not that uncommon.

this is assuming you've already done the easy replacement parts route. especially using known to be good parts.
the usual complaint for points ignition is not getting it running properly ... it's the upkeep points require vs electronic no maintence at all

Fluke 1520


old Biddle Meggers comes up all the time for cheap. old timers prefer the crank versions when megging larger armatures.
paid all of $25 for mine at a flea market .. works just as good if not better than the Fluke 1520.


_cy_ screwed with this post 06-23-2014 at 07:18 PM
_cy_ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2014, 08:59 AM   #167
bgoodsoil
Dare to be Stupid
 
bgoodsoil's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Washington, DC, USA
Oddometer: 4,194
The stock electronic ignition failed on me during a road trip and left me stranded. The ICU failed--likely because I forgot to replace the heat sink paste during my rebuild. Several days of 100+ degree traffic in Mexico was as hard on the bike as it was on me I guess.

It was easy to troubleshoot, you undo the 3-pin connector and ground out certain pins to determine which component failed, and I found a spare ICU from a Volkswagen Jetta for $25 at a local parts shop. Fired right up and I was off and running.

When I got back from the road trip I picked up a rebuilt points-can from Datchew for cheap. I didn't mistrust the electronics but I liked the idea of an old-school, mechanical system. If you don't like old-school mechanics you probably shouldn't be riding an airhead anyways. I've lived with the points for 40 or 50k miles and I've been pretty happy with them.

I didn't switch the 5k electronic plug out for the 1k points caps but the bike ran fine on them for tens of thousands of miles. The greater resistance caused some juice to leach through the insulator where the wire from the condenser goes through the can to the points though. It melted the resistor once and a blob of molten plastic fell down on the points killing the bike. I scraped the plastic off, wrapped the wire in electrical tape where it passed through the can, and I was off again.

I'm on my 3rd set of points--once I replaced them when they didn't need it and once they were burned up. I probably could've sanded the points and they'd have worked but I had a spare so swapped it. Still on the original condenser.

I had a new set of Bosch points fail on me the day after I installed them when one of the contacts fell off. The stories of the newer parts being poorly made might be true. I'm running a set of off-brand points made for some car now and they've held up fine for 10k or so.

I can't complain about either set-up. It was never cold-natured or finicky about idling/accelerating with either one.

I've got an Enduralast alternator and I'll likely get their crank-mounted electronic ignition once they get the bugs worked out. I'll keep my points can installed though.

Anyways, there's my two cents after having put a lotta miles on both.
__________________
'85 BMW r80G/S--Another G/S on the road--Central America on a Shoestring--Nova Scotia on a Shoestring--Never Leave a Man's Behind

Proud SmugMug User Support ADV: Don't give those cheap bums your discount code
bgoodsoil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2014, 09:59 AM   #168
supershaft
because I can
 
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: San Francisco Bay area
Oddometer: 7,997
I have always cleaned and re-applied heat sink paste to ICU's when I have them off for whatever reason. (Almost always for something other than replacing the ICU.) Regularly re-applying heat sink paste as scheduled maintenance? I have been around SO many ICU's that never had that done including my own that I find it hard to believe it would make any difference. Fixing a bad ICU with heat paste? I haven't seen that many ICU's go bad but heat sink paste wasn't the issue with bad ICU's I have found.
supershaft is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2014, 10:58 AM   #169
bgoodsoil
Dare to be Stupid
 
bgoodsoil's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Washington, DC, USA
Oddometer: 4,194
Well for whatever reason it definitely died at about 40k miles\25 years. I remember there being a discussion about the paste and I know I didn't get to it before the trip.
__________________
'85 BMW r80G/S--Another G/S on the road--Central America on a Shoestring--Nova Scotia on a Shoestring--Never Leave a Man's Behind

Proud SmugMug User Support ADV: Don't give those cheap bums your discount code
bgoodsoil is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 02:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014