pa50 timing/contacts

rendo /
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I seem to be getting a very intermittent spark. it is a new plug. when i remove it and clean it i get a spark. but i got it started at the weekend, ran for a few minutes before dying. when i tried restarting it, i was not getting a spark. took the plug out. which was dry this time, but was a bit darker. still no spark after cleaning it

Any other reason why i wouldn't get a spark?

How robust is the coil/condenser generally. it has been unused in 15 years.

Contacts:

i've set the gap and checked they open at 'fire', question is should they snap open, on my bike the open gradually, (still to check the position of the crank when spark happens). I may need to adjust when the contacts open if my spark is not happening (basically advance or retard the timing) how is this done, i assume the contacts are opened by a cam on the crankshaft, does the contact assembly move on the stator plate?

can the HT lead (cable from coil to plug) be replaced, or is it fixed to the coil

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