Board index Flathead Power-Technical Questions, Answers, and Suggestions Big Twin Flatties Testing a new ign sys (spoiler alert, Electronics involved)

Testing a new ign sys (spoiler alert, Electronics involved)


Posts: 1731
Location: Interlaken, NY USA

Just installed a new ignition system from these folks,
http://www.powerarc.com/index.html. They offer a kit for HD's as well as others, the electronics fit inside the timer, just. Also needed are new hi perf coils to run with it.
Gives good spark, Advance is programmable with several default advance curves preloaded, AND, will accept input from a VOES switch to retard timing under load.
Had several conversations with the folks who answer the phone out there, enthusiastic and knowedgable about their product and very helpful.
I was having problems with pinging with my 88" BTSV when cranking it on at say 45-50 uphill in 4th. Running a 7.9:1 compression ratio. New system solves the Problem.
System features a series of 3 sparks in close succession, 2 after the primary one. Supposedly gives more complete combustion. It certainly gives more power.
Anyway, I'm impressed with the increased performance. Seat 'O pants dynometer feels a difference.
Only been running it a couple of hundred miles so far, time will tell.
I went for it 'cause the price is reasonable, it will work on generator Harley's (i.e, not cone motor timer types)
and I'm just tired of screwing around with lousy condensers!
Yeah, you can fix a points system at the side of the road, but it's getting so you NEED to, and frequently. You can't consider the current crop of condensers reliable.
I tried to attach a couple of pics of the install on my timer we'll see if they post.
DD
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Posts: 3472
Location: Central Illinois, USA
All I want to know Doctor...

Is will it start in less than one kick?

....Cotten


Posts: 1731
Location: Interlaken, NY USA

Cotten,
No, but I appreciate your broad mindedness in at least reading the post! Have a nice day,
DD


Posts: 23
Ive been seriously considering this upgrade eventually. What coil are you running with the setup? Thanks for sharing the info.


Posts: 121
had seriously considered this unit a while back, i was told by their tech that it would not work on a flathead in dual fire mode...i asked about indians with a distributor and the late panheads with dual point timers, he did not know what i was talking about. i think it is a good unit and like the electronic curves and multi spark features. i was told that it would start easily.....please explain starting procedure for your unit.


Posts: 1731
Location: Interlaken, NY USA

I'm currently using the coils that they sell, which differ from traditional HD type coils in that basically, there is a high current transistor built into the coil to fire it. The small electronic unit in the timer can't fire a regular coil. At least, not the version currently marketed.
There's no reason it can't do dual fire if you wish, again you'd need their recommended version for that application. However, there's no reason not to go single fire, both coils fit neatly under the rectangular coil cover and are easily bolted to the stock coil mount made for that cover.
On my flatty, the starting procedure is the same as before, keep in mind I'm running a 38mm VM Mikuni.
Warm, key on, kick. Starts first or second kick, as before.
Cold, same as before, enrichener on, key on, first or second kick, sometimes 3.
One fact I have learned is that when kick starting, only the front cylinder gets spark until it fires, then both cylinders get spark at the appropriate time. It's a quirk of the electronics that only occurs when kicking. Most all electronic units function in the same way. Electric starting spins the motor fast enough that both cyls get spark in a normal manner.
After talking to Gary, the guy at the other end of the phone at Power Arc, at some length, this is a shortcoming of any electronic system when kicking. Because one kick doesn't typically carry through the front and rear compression strokes, the electronics loses count and doesn't know when to fire the rear cylinder for sure, so it just mutes the rear cylinder output until it cranks fast enough to get an accurate timing, which of course, happens as soon as the front cyl fires.
It's not causing a problem for me on my flatty, but then Flatties just want to start anyway! I"m going to order another unit and install on the 62 Pan and see how that goes.
I like the ability to accept the VOES trigger when under load, I no longer have a pinging problem. Also, I don't know if it's the multiple spark or the curves or single fire, but power is definitely better.
One last quirk, you must not let the coils fire if there's no place for spark to go, ie, plug wires hanging the air with no chance to go to ground. Simple fix, put the plug in the plug wire when not in the motor and leave the plug grounded on the head.
I was looking for TDC or something, and didn't do that and the kick back voltage through the coils ended up scrambling the programming in the electronics unit. I had to reprogram the unit, then it was ok again. No smoke, didn't burn anything up, I just wasn't used to working with modern electronics equipment.
DD

Pa Site Admin

Posts: 6217
Location: Ohio USA

I read your post my Friend. I like the idea but would still carry all the old components with me, if just to get it home.


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