Featured Potential New Triumph Owner

Discussion in 'Vintage Classics' started by HMC_MT, Nov 30, 2020.

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  1. speedrattle

    speedrattle Senior Member

    Feb 19, 2021
    618
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    appalachia usa
    #81 speedrattle, Mar 17, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2021
    positive ground just means the battery is used in reverse to most stuff now. modern auto electrics always use a ground connection attached to the negative battery terminal. old british stuff and old fords connected the ground wire to the pozitive terminal. the electrons dont care. what you must do though is always connect the ground wire to the positive side of the battery and remember that anything hooked to the negative side is hot and will light up a test lamp. this is important for the components in your charging and ignition system and for anything that uses th eframe or exposed metals as a ground return to the positive side of the battery.

    what does your test lamp look like? is it one of those ice pick things? theyre the easyist to use.

    pictures are your friend. put up pictures of

    -your battery
    -your ignition switch-- especially the wires on the back.
    -any other switches on the headlamp shell or bars
    --th ewiring under the seat

    pictures are important. your PO may have been an expert in british stuff, but that also means that he was willing to take shortcuts that only he would understand.. one we have already found is that he bought a new ammeter just to plug the hole in the headlamp shell, without caring whether it worked. absolutely not a problem, but the pictures explain what he did.
     
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  2. HMC_MT

    HMC_MT Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2020
    173
    93
    Billings MT
    IMG_20210317_100158520.jpg

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  3. HMC_MT

    HMC_MT Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2020
    173
    93
    Billings MT
    We have lights. I suspected the fuse holder coming negative side, pulled the fuse and alligator clipped, key on, lights but no spark. Going to start by swapping that inline fuse.

    IMG_20210317_103847101.jpg
     
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  4. speedrattle

    speedrattle Senior Member

    Feb 19, 2021
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    #84 speedrattle, Mar 17, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2021
    perfect.

    th eway you use that test light is to hook the alligator clip to a ground, either the battery positive terminal or any clean exposed metal part of th emotor or frame. then you touch the point to a wire or a connector. if it lights, its hot. if it doesn't, its either a ground itself or its switched off or its the bad end of a broken connection.

    your wiring is a mixture of stock wires and stuff he's added, so th ecolors may or may not match the wiring diagram. so test the battery, fuse holder, and ignition switch by doing this:

    1) test the battery connections by clipping the alligator to the negative wire on the battery and touching the tip to the positive wire. if it lights, your battery and those connections are good.

    2) deleted wrong info re fuse

    3) go to the ignition switch and test the wire that connects the battery to the switch. on the wiring diagram it's rown and white. the terminal on the back of the switch it hooks to should be hot, else there is a broken circuit between the fuse holder and the switch.

    4) if it's good, switch the key on and test the output wires on the switch. on the diagram they are white (going to all the ignition stuff) or brown/white (going to your lights and so forth). if the output wires from the key switch turn on and off when you turn th ekey, the switch is good..

    if everything is good so far, the problem is something else. but the ignition switch is the las place one problem will make everything else go bad, so get that far, first
     
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  5. speedrattle

    speedrattle Senior Member

    Feb 19, 2021
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    #85 speedrattle, Mar 17, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2021
    turn the key off and on with the lights switched on to make sure he hooked the lights up through the key switch. he may have bypassed the switch.

    you need to know if there is electricity getting to the key switch.

    reember too that fuses can look good but be bad.
     
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  6. HMC_MT

    HMC_MT Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2020
    173
    93
    Billings MT
    Swapped the inline fuse holder and fuse (15 amp). Have power up to keyswitch. All 3 posts on keyswitch light test light when key on. Lights come on/off with keyswitch. Only have power
    Swapped inline fuse holder and fuse (15 amp) have power from battery up harness. All 3 posts on keyswitch light test probe with key on but only have power out of red wire. All lights, no spark. ??

    IMG_20210317_115224318.jpg
     
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  7. speedrattle

    speedrattle Senior Member

    Feb 19, 2021
    618
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    #87 speedrattle, Mar 17, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2021
    okay, it sounds like you're good up to the switch.

    the wire colors are not original and so won't match the wiring diagram.

    you have three wires on the ignition switch. one of them will be the feed from the negative pole of th ebattery and will be hot all the time.

    if he wired it the way it originally was, the two other wires will be hot only when the key is on. one of them will go to the ignition, and was originally white. the other will go to your headlamp switch-- your picture shows that wire to be brown/green, at the end inside inside the shell.

    turn on the key and go to your ignition coils. see whether you have electricity at the negative terminal on both coils.if you do, then the problem with your machine is past them, at the contact breakers, probably.

    if you don't have electricity at the coils, then there's a disconnected wire someplace between the coils and the key switch.

    he may have wired the key switch differently, but whatever he did, the coils should have electricity when the key is on.
     
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  8. HMC_MT

    HMC_MT Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2020
    173
    93
    Billings MT
    What the hell?! I have power at coils and at points, and at condensers??
     
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  9. HMC_MT

    HMC_MT Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2020
    173
    93
    Billings MT
    When I'm doing my tests, can my test clip just be on an engine fin? Key on? I'm beyond confused now and want to roll this thing off a cliff.
     
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  10. speedrattle

    speedrattle Senior Member

    Feb 19, 2021
    618
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    appalachia usa
    #90 speedrattle, Mar 17, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2021
    lol

    any exposed metal should give you a ground connection back to the positive side of the battery.

    however:

    anything on the front forks has to ground through the steering head bearings, unless there is a separate ground wire connecting things back to the return harness. those stock ground wires are generally red. unless everything was powder coated your engine should be electrically connected to the frame, and then to the ground terminal on your battery.

    if you have power at the coils, points, and condensors, but no spark, then it sounds like its just ignition after all. maybe your points are just grotty. first thing, rotate the motor and watch the points. are they opening and closing? they should open to 0.015 inches, then close. if they don't open and close, then the backing plate got loose and slipped around or the points themselves did.

    put up a picture of what you have inside the points cavity. there are multiple possibilities.

    if they do open and close, try this:

    1) figure out which points are connected to the right side coil. maybe the wire colors will tell you, maybe not.

    2) rotate the motor until the points for the right side are closed.

    3) ground the plug on the right and turn on the key.

    4) reach into the points cavity with a piece of wood or something non-conductive and open the right side points. the plug should spark.

    5) do the same with the left side points

    if the plugs don't spark. then you have one or more of these: bad plugs, bad plug wires, bad points, bad condensers, or a flat battery.

    what did you do in terms of tuning this before it started up?
     
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  11. HMC_MT

    HMC_MT Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2020
    173
    93
    Billings MT
    Apologize for my frustration but I've been at this all day with 0 results except lights. Let's go back to being good at the keyswitch. With my tester clipped to engine fin, key on I get no light at either coil terminal. The bike has a single dual output coil. Ohm meter on positive and negative post if coil gives .3 ohm with key on. Did my coil maybe go bad once it got hot during the ride?
     
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  12. darkman

    darkman Crème de la Crème

    Oct 26, 2015
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    You should have a live from the ignition to the negative on coil as said above.
     
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  13. speedrattle

    speedrattle Senior Member

    Feb 19, 2021
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    #93 speedrattle, Mar 17, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2021
    what's in that points cavity?

    if you are running a dual tower coil with two sets of points then your system is not at all original and is very unusual. i have heard that it can be done with the points wired in parallel but i have never done it.

    check the connections in there, and make sure that nothing is grounding that looks like it shouldn't be.
     
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  14. HMC_MT

    HMC_MT Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2020
    173
    93
    Billings MT
    Apologize for my frustration but I've been at this all day with 0 results except lights. Let's go back to being good at the keyswitch. With my tester clipped to engine fin, key on I get no light at either coil terminal. The bike has a single dual output coil. Ohm meter on positive and negative post if coil gives .3 ohm with key on. Did my coil maybe go bad once it got hot during the ride?
    I had to step away for a bit, was losing my temper. Off grabbing new plugs but it's pristine in there, points opening and closing properly. Tried what you said, no spark. I don't have power to coil. Every time I think I'm on to something it's a dead end. One or 2 more spots to check now that the whole damn "harness" is torn apart. Don't worry, still intact and I've been meticulous. Just had to unwind electrical tape to see colors etc.
     
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  15. speedrattle

    speedrattle Senior Member

    Feb 19, 2021
    618
    143
    appalachia usa
     
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  16. speedrattle

    speedrattle Senior Member

    Feb 19, 2021
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    the dual tower coils i am familiar with don't have positive or negative markings on the connectors and will work either way.

    your bike ran for a while, so im going to assume that it can run again.

    skip the key switch, the harness and everything else. run a single jumper wire from the battery negative terminal to the coil. if the coil is marked, put the jumper on the negative terminal. this will hot wire your ignition.

    if the plug sparks, the problem is the wiring somewhere.

    if not, it's something between the coil negative terminal and the plug.

    unless you can show a picture of how the points are wired, i don't know what to suggest.

    this is what a lucas 6CA contact breaker assembly and points cam looks like stock:

    [​IMG]

    each set of points is wired separately to it's own coil and condenser. i'm guessing that you have two sets of points wired to the same terminal on your coil, which is parallel. like i said, i've heard of it but never seen it.
     
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  17. Iron

    Iron Guest

    It's rough but you can see how the points are wired onto the dual coil on a positive earth system. Work through it slowly until you find the part that's letting you down, don't lose heart. A stiff lip is all that's required. Test each component by asking Mr Google how to do it. It ran, so it will again with a bit of patience. Make sure you are putting hammers in a safe place out of reach.

    diag2.jpg
     
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  18. HMC_MT

    HMC_MT Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2020
    173
    93
    Billings MT
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  19. HMC_MT

    HMC_MT Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2020
    173
    93
    Billings MT
    I hooked a jumper from neg on battery straight to - lead on coil, no spark, heard sizzle, it melted my jumper wire and coil was warm to the touch.
     
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  20. speedrattle

    speedrattle Senior Member

    Feb 19, 2021
    618
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    appalachia usa
    #100 speedrattle, Mar 18, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2021
    your second picture appears to show the wires from the points joined togther at a single crimp-on terminal. that is a parallel connection, like in iron's wiring diagram.

    i think the problem is the coil. if the wire to the coil negative terminal got hot, there is a short to ground somewhere, maybe right there at the coil. if the coil is bad it can cause a sudden death, like you experienced. if it is just going bad, it will work for a while, overheat, fail, and then come back when it cools off.

    you say thrre is no voltage to the coil. unplug the hot wire from the coil and just test that wire with the key on. its still not clear to me which side of that connection the problem is on.

    are there any coils in the stuff that came with the bike? id be inclined to go back to theoriginal two-coil system if there were.
     
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