sparking at the points

Jon Dalton /

this is bad isn't it?? that's what a condenser is for, to stop it from sparking at the points and ruining them. well i got a brand new condenser all wired up fine and it still does it. The points eventually get bad and the engine loses idle, i have to pedal start it at every stop sign, and it eventually quits altogether. then i file and sand the points real good, engine works fine, for a while, then same thing all over again. I jsut got my new points from the dealer, put them in and it's the same. only a matter of time before they're garbage too. how do you stop this, can you put a bunch of condensers wired parallel until theere's enough capacitance it doesn't spark anymore? how many farads on average is a condenser? if i knew, i could get a bunch of capacitors from radio shack instead of shelling out for what a condenser costs.

Re: sparking at the points

Chris Robertson /

Hi:

First, you must have an OEM condenser. I'll assume this is the case.

A little (tiny) bit of arcing across the points is normal, but if it's as bad as you say (where you're points are getting trashed), you're condenser is not hooked up properly OR the wires that it is connected to are faulty.

You can't mix and match condensers because if the value is too small, they won't prevent arcing, and if the value is too large, you won't get a spark at the plug.

Consult <a href="http://www.avweb.com/articles/magcheck/">this document</a> under the section titled "The Capacitor" for information about condensers.

Hopefully somebody knows the capacitance of the PC50's condenser.

I guess if you're desperate, you can start with a very high capacitance condenser (too large to let your engine run), and slowly substitute lower and lower capacitance values until your engine will run properly. NOTE: I have never tried this, and I can only hypothesize that this scheme might work. Use this idea only as a last resort.

Chris.

Re: sparking at the points

i have a tiny bit of sparking at my points is this normal?

Re: sparking at the points

Chris Robertson /

Don't worry about a bit of sparking at your points unless its killing them abnormally fast. A set of points should last for thousands of miles --they might need to be adjusted from time to time though. If your points need cleaning/adjusting in intervals of less than a few hundred miles, you might need a new condenser.

BUT

If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Chris.

Re: sparking at the points

Jon Dalton /

that's what i was thinking. i know the condenser is the real honda part and i've checked the wiring a million times. I read the thing on capacitors and i should know this already, and a lot of other stuff to do with my moped igintion system, from the electrical physics class i took.

Re: sparking at the points

Hi, you have probably allready checked, but if you may have too much voltage, I would ck this again and make sure your grounds are good. Happened to me on a car. Turning points blue, Voltage regulator was bad. I would go back and recheck charging system and battery if so equipted. Doug D.

Re: sparking at the points

Ron Brown /

Jon,

After you have verified all of your power and ground connections and battery voltage, if you have coil ignition, see if you can get a different coil to test with.

The capacitor value is determined by the inductance of the coil, either one being off will upset things.

If ignition coil power is provided directly from a coil under the flywheel, with no battery involved, this could also be a problem but I have no idea how you would test this other than substitution.

For what it is worth, I have a vague recollection from the days when everything used points. Add metal, add capacitance, loose metal, loose capacitance. Unfortunately, I can't remember if this refered to the fixed or moving points contact. Oh, I also don't know if it worked, maybe someone else heard of this?

That said, if all of your originat equipment is good, you should not have the problem. When you check conections, use a VOM and verify that each connection is really 0 ohms and that nothing is grounded.

Don't take offence, but I have seen capacitor lugs installed on the wrong side of the nylon washers once or twice. I'm sure no one on this forum has ever done this, me too.

You should also check the cap with the meter. Usually, if you can charge and discharge it with the meter it is ok.

Ron

Ron

pointing at the sparks

I am trying to remember Jon... are you the guy who substituted a different coil from something else that you cut the end off from and lengthened the wire to the plug?

As long as it came from a similar point ignition system it should be alright.

But do you know what it came from?

Re: pointing at the sparks

Jon Dalton /

no. brand new honda points and condenser, original coil.

Re: sparking at the points

Jon Dalton /

Just added one more condenser in parallel, sparking reduced quite noticeably. Now all i need is a few more of those and i'm in business

Re: sparking at the points

Rob Hoehn /

I am new to the electrical scene, so this may seem to be a stupid question, but how do you check the voltage of the coil? Do I use a voltage meter and ground it and then connect the positive side to the spark plug wire?

rob

Re: sparking at the points

Ron Brown /

Rob,

Just hold the wire, you will recover, your meter may not. :-)

Ron

Re: sparking at the points

jimmiegimme /

Ron,

That's how I check the spark on all my small engines, hold the plug wire, it hasn't affected me at all,... at all,... at all,... at all,... smack!

Re: sparking at the points

Ron Brown /

Awww,

go talk to your proffessor :-)

Ron

Re: sparking at the points

jimmiegimme /

Ron,

I'll talk to the prof. tomorrow, I'm in a pool tournament tonight, gotta go, catch you later,

Have fun with these guys tonight, it's a great forum, isn't it. I'm glad I found it.

gimmejimmie

Re: sparking at the points

Ron Brown /

Jimmie,

I'd like to but I'm off to the local microbrewery!

Shoot straight,

Ron

Re: sparking at the points

Did you ever find a solution, I have the same problem on a CB350 twin. The right cylinder sparks like crazy and destroys the points after a while. I've swapped the coil, condesor and wiring from the left cylinder, but the problem always stays on the right. I need help!

Thanks.

Re: sparking at the points

Ron Brown /

Henry,

Use a VOM and check ALL of the connections in the circuit, 12v and ground, even if they are "obviously" OK. Somewhere, you must have a bad connection or you would have moved the problem by now. Especially check the sequence of insulating and conducting washers on the points and all of the grounded components.

Ron

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