Smart-Fire Technical Help
Sunday, September 11, 2011 | Printer Friendly
Check battery has power.
Switch on headlamp, this should stay bright for at least one minute.
BATTERY IS OK, BUT STILL NO SPARK - CHECK FOR POWER TO THE IGNITION MODULE
Using a test bulb or voltmeter/multimeter, check for a good power feed into the ignition module.
The power feed is the wire coming from the ignition or kill switch.
Measure between this ignition feed wire and ground, with the ignition switched on.
If using a multimeter/voltmeter set the meter selector switch to "DC Volts" on the 0-15 Volts or 0-20 Volts range. Some digital multimeters are auto-ranging, so need only to be set to "DC Volts".
For positive ground electrics, connect the meter's positive (red) test probe to frame ground and the negative (black) test probe to the ignition feed wire, where it connects to the ignition module.
For negative ground electrics, connect the meter's negative (black) test probe to frame ground and the positive (red) test probe to the ignition feed wire, where it connects to the ignition module.
The voltage reading here should be compared with the voltage across the battery terminals.
A fully charged battery will typically read around 12.7 Volts, but there will inevitably be some voltage drops across wiring, ignition/kill switch, connections (including grounding).
Therefore the voltage reading at the ignition module will be a little lower than that across the battery.
A significantly lower read than the battery voltage indicates a fault in the ignition/kill switch or a bad electrical connection in the ignition circuit.† A simple way to verify this is to connect the ignition module feed wire directly to the battery, bypassing the normal feed from the ignition/kill switch or wiring harness.
If the ignition now produces good sparks, there is a fault in the ignition/kill switch or ignition circuit.
A better way to test for a good power feed to the ignition module is to use a stop lamp or indicator bulb, in addition to the test meter.† This draws a similar current to the ignition system and gives a visual indication of available power.
Connect the test bulb between the frame (ground) and the ignition feed wire.† Switch the ignition on, the bulb should glow brightly. If the bulb is dim or varies in brightness, try moving the wiring, fuseholder, handlebars, etc., to locate the area of the faulty connection. The bulb will change in brightness (or even go out) when the problem area is found.
IGNITION MODULE HAS POWER - MANUAL TRIGGER TEST
Most Smart-Fire ignition modules can be triggered manually, to produce sparks at the plug(s) without turning the engine.
Disconnect the Violet-Red and White-Black wires from the ignition trigger connector terminal block.
Switch the ignition on.
Take these trigger wires, touch together and open, approximately 1-2 times per second.
The minimum trigger rate can vary depending on the module type.
Each time you make and break these two wires there should be a spark at the plug(s), but note that there may not be a spark the first 1-2 times you do this, when the ignition module is energising the coil(s).
For twins/triples: all plugs should spark at the same time.
If only one plug produces sparks, check the ignition coil, lead, cap and plug.
On most triple or twinplug models, the ignition coils are connected in series, i.e. in a chain, linked from plus to minus. If one coil fails it can stop the other coil(s) after it in the chain from working.
If there are no sparks, check battery, switch, grounding, wiring, connections & ignition module.
Continuous sparks without turning the engine indicates a poor supply to the ignition, often producing a buzzing sound. Check battery (bad cell), switch, grounding, & connections.
The ignition module advance/retard can only be properly
tested either on the bike or on a suitable test rig. If you cannot get
the bike to run well enough to check the advance with a strobe light and
don't have another method of testing, the ignition module and other
parts can be returned to your dealer (if they have testing facilities)
or direct to Pazon Ignitions in New Zealand.
MANUAL TRIGGER TEST OK - NO SPARKS ON CRANKING
CHECKING THE TRIGGER
Visually check the condition of the trigger assembly, including the printed circuit board, sensor, components and connector terminal block.† Look for loose or damaged parts.
Check that power is reaching the trigger, using a voltmeter connected across the White-Red and White-Black connections at the trigger connector terminal block.
CHECKING THE ROTOR
There is little to go wrong with this part, provided it is fitted correctly.
Excessive wobble of the rotor can give symptoms that include not running on all cylinders (on multi cylinder engines), mistiming and/or misfiring.
Tighten the rotor bolt and re-check engine position and rotor alignment.
Itís important that the rotor bolt is correctly tightened, otherwise the engine may run poorly, or even refuse to start.
Smart Fire rotors are made from mild (low carbon) steel and zinc/colour passivated for anti-corrosion protection.
If making your own rotor (e.g. for a crank triggered system), it should be made from this material for correct operation of the sensor. Non-magnetic material will not work with our sensors.
For British bike ignition systems, the rotor centre thread (metric M8) is provided for attaching a puller, if the rotor should need to be removed for engine servicing, etc.
The working range for the hall-effect sensors used is 0.5-2.5mm, although they will normally work over larger gaps, often up to 5mm. However, use of gaps over 2.5mm may result in non-functioning of the static timing led.
With later systems that use radial triggering (rotor runs through the centre of the trigger), the air-gap is effectively fixed by design. This applies to the later type PD1, PD2, PD3, PDMS1, PDMT1, PDVC1, PDMSV1 and their twin-plug head versions. With the design of the radial triggering systems, variations in the rotor driving shaft (e.g. camshaft) and/or variations in the contact-breaker housing do not affect the air-gap.
Crankshaft triggered systems (PDCTS1, PDCTT1 etc.) also use radial triggering. These systems are normally supplied without a rotor or trigger mounting. The air-gap must be set by the installer within the limits described for reliable operation.
Some systems use axial triggering, where the rotor runs behind (or above) the trigger assembly. This applies to early British single and twin systems (PD1, PD2T, PD2B etc.), Vincent v-twin, Ducati twin, Honda twin, British 90į and 180į crank unit twin and their twin-plug head versions.
With axial triggering it is possible for the air-gap to be outside recommended limits, due to variations in the camshaft or points housing. Often a special/modified camshaft can lead to an excessive air-gap. If this happens the system may still run normally. However, the air-gap should be measured if problems occur with setting the static timing (red led not switching off/on correctly) and/or misfiring or cutting out of the ignition.
To calculate the air-gap, first remove the trigger assembly and measure the height of the hall-effect sensor (small black device on the bottom side of the trigger). Then measure the depth of the steel timing disc (rotor), from the top of the disc to the rim of the points housing (where the trigger sits). Then subtract the first measurement from the second to get the air-gap.
To close up an excessive air-gap will require either a thin metal shim placed around the rotor taper (to move it out), or you could machine a new rotor to suit. If you choose to make a new rotor, it should be machined from mild (low carbon) steel. Depending on the system, the rotor requires one, two or three 8mm holes, radius 17mm. If you donít have the capability to make the full rotor with taper, you could machine just the top section, i.e. add steel disc to the existing rotor. You would need to ensure there are no screw heads etc. passing under the face of the hall-effect sensor. So it would need to be carefully welded around the outer circumference, or fixed with screws from behind going into blind threads (stopping say 1mm short of the top surface).
SPARKS ON CRANKING BUT ENGINE WILL NOT RUN
Check the polarity of the wires from the ignition module to the trigger.
CONTINUOUS SPARKING, WITHOUT CRANKING THE ENGINE
This indicates a poor supply to the ignition. Check the battery for one or more bad cells.
Also, a bad battery with a battery charger connected can cause this problem.
A high resistance in the wiring or ground, due to a bad electrical connection, poor ground or bad ignition switch contacts.
Check for a good ground from the engine case to the frame and battery.
Plastic coated frames must have a good ground connection to the engine case.
A short circuit in the wiring can draw a large current, which can lead to a large voltage drop across the ignition circuit.
This can cause the ignition unit to turn off and on, producing a series of sparks.
Sometimes this can occur very rapidly, so that a buzzing is heard.
Check for cut or pinched wires, especially around the seat or tank areas.