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Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)
The Gen 1 and Gen 2 coils are different, that we know.

The Gen 2 coil has no marking as to '+' or '-'. The Gen 2 does.

Both coils have a wide tab and a skinny tab. On the Gen 2 the skinny tab is connected to the black wire that goes to the igniter.

Now, it seems obvious and a dumb question, but I have to check.

In the Gen 1 harness is the skinny connector connected to the black wire that goes to the CDI? In other words, is the '-' side of the coil connected to the CDI?

I should think they would be wired the same buuut....
Tom, Which has What?

On a Gen 1 ignition coil the inward skinny tab is the Black/Yellow Ground terminal. Primary contact tabs face towards the rear of the bike.

I do believe polarity does make some difference on both systems. Not sure how much difference.
The Gen 2 coil has no marking as to '+' or '-'. The Gen 1 does.

It would seem, then, that on the Gen 2 the fat tab is B+ and the skinny tab is connected to the black wire from the igniter.

On the Gen 1 the fat tab is connected to the black wire from the CDI box while the skinny tab is connected to chassis ground.

Whether important or not I'm going to try very hard to install the coils with the 'polarity' as originally designed. After all, if i get it wrong I may offset the gains that I achieve by indexing the spark plug (VBG).
 
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Tom, please check to see if the "-" terminal of the Generation 1 ignition coil is electrically common with the coil's case.

If so, some rationale for the polarity may surface.
 

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Tom, please check to see if the "-" terminal of the Generation 1 ignition coil is electrically common with the coil's case.

If so, some rationale for the polarity may surface.
Damocles,
You forgot the Gen 1 coil mounting tab is 'plastic', therefore the only ground is the ground terminal.

JJ,
Not to confuse the 'best polarity discussion' for our single cylinder engine, but dual lead coils used on say almost all 4 cylinder motorcycles that I've ever been around, fire one lead positively and the other lead negatively, at the same time.
The twin plug per cylinder Kawasaki Vulcan V-twins 750's / 1500 / 1600, do the same.
So we will see the center electrode erode more on say the Left spark plug and the side ground electrode erode more on the Right spark plug. If we were to re-gap the spark plugs and reverse the primary polarity, we could even-out the erosion. :)

But that does sound like a cool trick with the pencil. One can use said pencil to draw a line or 2, to ground inside an old fashioned distributor cap and Create a mis-fire on a Fresh Tune-up job.
 
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Discussion Starter #24
Tom, please check to see if the "-" terminal of the Generation 1 ignition coil is electrically common with the coil's case.

If so, some rationale for the polarity may surface.
At the attach point for the coil there is a brass clip that looks like it could be a part of the coil case, electrically. However, it is nothing more than a brass clip that goes over the plastic mounting point.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Updated.
 

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Damocles,
One can use said pencil to draw a line or 2, to ground inside an old fashioned distributor cap and Create a mis-fire on a Fresh Tune-up job.
:surprise: Oh. Ohh! I know what my next practical joke is gonna be now! My neighbor is gonna hate you, but don't take it personal.
 

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Tom,
Did you get the coil polarity sorted yet? I will be near my gen 1 and could have a look at the coil if you want.
JJ
 

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Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
Jeff,

Paul says that the skinny tab on the coil is connected to chassis ground with a BK/Y wire and the fat tab is connected to the CDI box. That is backwards from how the Gen 2 is, where the skinny tab goes to the igniter.

Thus, I have to change the terminals around on my harness. In electronics/electrical work the most common (and standard) connectors are .250" and .187", followed by .110". Can you guess what the skinny tab one the coil is? It's .205". Ya know what the onliest thing in the world (besides some stupid git's idea of an ignition coil) that uses .205" connectors?

Audio speakers and video game crap.

A smart person would file the .205" down to .187" and POR.

So I ordered .205" FASTON connectors from Mouser...
 
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Discussion Starter #30
The rotor and stator have been installed. CDI fits in the Gen 2 bracket if the tabs are spread just a bit.

A simple adapter plate to mount the Gen 1 coil in the Gen 2 bracket.



The simplified and adapted harness is ready for trial fitting and testing for function, then final wrapping.
 
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Is it critical to change out the coil Tom? Would the Gen2 coil not work properly assuming the polarity was corrected?
JJ
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Jeff,

When it comes to ignition stuff, Damocles explains it best.

For optimum operation, you must have a GENERATION 1 ignition coil to function with a respective ignition system consonant with that generation.

Why? Generation 1 ignition coils function more as TRANSFORMERS, while Generation 2 ignition coils are more like INDUCTORS. If you check the resistance specifications of the two components, you will see a considerable variation between them.

The Generation 1 ignition coil transforms a high-voltage DC pulse from the CDI module's capacitor to an even higher voltage, firing the spark plug. No current flows in the primary windings until the capacitor is discharged by the pickup coil output triggering the thyristor discharging the capacitor. Current flows in the Generation 1 ignition coil for only an instant, when the spark plug fires.

By contrast, the Generation 2 ignition coil primary windings receive power immediately when the ignition switch is turned on. The primary ignition coil windings around an iron core are saturated by this battery current 'til the pickup coil abruptly terminates this power; the consequent rapid decay of the electromagnetic field created by the battery current induces a voltage into the secondary windings; the resulting high voltage fires the spark plug....
 
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Ok that makes sense and it was a very good description by Damoclese. Thanks to both of you!
jj
 

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Discussion Starter #34
It all works just fine. It's pretty straightforward. The only thing that could trip one up is that there is a 100Ω resistor in the ignition switch between the B/W and the B/Y wire that the manual doesn't mention. I was perplexed at seeing a 100Ω path to ground when I was doing a double check of all the wiring just after installing the new harness. Had me going for an hour or so, as I my first thought was that I had a ground pin in the wrong spot on some on one of the running light connectors or one of the connectors to the relays crossed up.

The B/W needs to be disconnected from ground (open, infinite resistance) when the ignition switch is in the "On" position in order for the CDI to operate. Grounding the B/W is what kills the ignition when the switch is turned to "Off".

It would have seen 100Ω path to ground as a ground, so the resistor had to come out.

I added a switch to connect the Y/R wire to B+ when kicking. I don't know if it is strictly required on the Gen 1, but it can't hurt.


A genuine Shindengen MOSFET FH020AA was added in at the last minute. The LiFePo batteries are supposed to be happier being charged by the MOSFET regulator/rectifiers.


All that's left is to do the final wrap in the new harness, reinstall it, and button everything back up.
 

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Good on ya Tom! It must be nice to be at the end of this loooooong project successfully!
JJ
 

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Discussion Starter #37 (Edited)
It was a good project (HID headlights, Vapor dash, minimalist harness, kick start, and Gen 1 to Gen 2 ignition) to have while the remodeling was going on and I was pretty much stuck here.

The last item on the remodel, the stucco repair, starts tomorrow. That's a few days work and I may just finish the bike and the house on the same day.

After that, I'm outta here.
 

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I like the electronic dashes. I have the Voyager on my Gen1. Lots of useful features.
My garage remodel is nearly done as well. Drywall, paint, wiring, shelving are done. A little more sorting and onto bike projects, the first of which is my Brother's mysterious suddenly badly smoking Honda 450 ATV. That has me sorely puzzled....
jj
 

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Discussion Starter #39
We have to qualify my statement with "That's the way I'm reading it", which could be wrong.

In the "Off" position the Gen 2 ignition switch connects the B/W from the igniter to chassis ground, the B/Y ground bus wire. Of course, we don't know the functions of the various igniter pins because Denso and KHI hold these close to the vest, but I take that as "grounding the igniter".

I cannot find the right side switch block anywhere in the Shed of Horrors, which is why it is called the Shed of Horrors. I am leaning towards not having a kill switch.

Obviously, I must study this much more...
After spending many hours hatching several cunning plans to concoct a functioning kill switch, all of which crashed and burned, I threw in the towel and did it the easy way.


 

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It all works just fine. It's pretty straightforward. The only thing that could trip one up is that there is a 100Ω resistor in the ignition switch between the B/W and the B/Y wire that the manual doesn't mention. I was perplexed at seeing a 100Ω path to ground when I was doing a double check of all the wiring just after installing the new harness. Had me going for an hour or so, as I my first thought was that I had a ground pin in the wrong spot on some on one of the running light connectors or one of the connectors to the relays crossed up.

The B/W needs to be disconnected from ground (open, infinite resistance) when the ignition switch is in the "On" position in order for the CDI to operate. Grounding the B/W is what kills the ignition when the switch is turned to "Off".

It would have seen 100Ω path to ground as a ground, so the resistor had to come out.

I added a switch to connect the Y/R wire to B+ when kicking. I don't know if it is strictly required on the Gen 1, but it can't hurt.


A genuine Shindengen MOSFET FH020AA was added in at the last minute. The LiFePo batteries are supposed to be happier being charged by the MOSFET regulator/rectifiers.


All that's left is to do the final wrap in the new harness, reinstall it, and button everything back up.
Tom, how did you remove the resistor from the ignition switch? Was it easily accessed when you opened up the plastic sheath around it's wires? I received all of the parts for the gen 1 ignition conversion and this is my first task to make sure these parts work before the kickstart addition and then wire harness minimizing/starter delete.
 
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