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Electronic ignition

Technical help for Series one, two and three Lambrettas. Models include the Li, Li Special, TV, SX, GP, Serveta and API/SIL models

Electronic ignition

Postby Lambr62 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:42 pm

Hi,
I have not long got hold of a SX150 thats still running old 6V system and i am looking to convert it to 12v electronic. I wondered what would be a good kit to get as i have always previously inherited scooters already changed over. Dont want to spend a fortune just something reliable. Also do i need to change the existing loom also?
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Re: Electronic ignition

Postby CHRIS in MARGATE » Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:38 pm

Loom stays the same. New bulbs front and rear.
I have bought at least a dozen from eBay for £100 or less and fitted them. Never had one come back
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Re: Electronic ignition

Postby Lambr62 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:54 pm

Hi Chris ,
Thanks for the info.
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Re: Electronic ignition

Postby stephena » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:15 pm

Anthony Tamb scootronics on Facebook.
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Re: Electronic ignition

Postby Fast n Furious » Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:41 pm

TBH...... If the 6v points ignition is working like it should then why mess with it?
I and others see a lot more problems with 12v cdi than we ever did with the old points system.
Unless you plan to do serious mileage on it or tune the hell out of it I wouldn't bother.
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Re: Electronic ignition

Postby Warkton Tornado No.1 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:48 am

Fast n Furious wrote:TBH...... If the 6v points ignition is working like it should then why mess with it?
I and others see a lot more problems with 12v cdi than we ever did with the old points system.
Unless you plan to do serious mileage on it or tune the hell out of it I wouldn't bother.


I'm glad that somebody else said this!

The reason that most points ignitions get removed, is to increase 'reliability' yet I've only known one (Indian) condenser fail in 45 years. I've seen numerous electronic pick-ups or CDI's fail by comparison.

If brighter lights are required, there are well documented methods of how to go about the 12 volt conversions.
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Re: Electronic ignition

Postby Scooterslag » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:17 am

Fast n Furious wrote:TBH...... If the 6v points ignition is working like it should then why mess with it?
I and others see a lot more problems with 12v cdi than we ever did with the old points system.
Unless you plan to do serious mileage on it or tune the hell out of it I wouldn't bother.


yep, points can still win prizes :)
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Re: Electronic ignition

Postby Lambr62 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:35 pm

Thanks for the feed back gents. Some food for thought.
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Re: Electronic ignition

Postby CHRIS in MARGATE » Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:37 pm

It's hard not to agree with many of the replies with regard to points; they were fine for 60 + years. However sometimes it's "out with the old and in with new" and yes electronics can fail without warning but a spare stator plate wrapped up in your tool box will normally get you home.
Easy to time and adjust; easier starting; better lights.
It's newer technology and it's a standard amongst the greater percentage of scooterists now with spares in abundant supply.
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Re: Electronic ignition

Postby Warkton Tornado No.1 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:26 pm

CHRIS in MARGATE wrote:It's hard not to agree with many of the replies with regard to points; they were fine for 60 + years. However sometimes it's "out with the old and in with new" and yes electronics can fail without warning but a spare stator plate wrapped up in your tool box will normally get you home.
Easy to time and adjust; easier starting; better lights.
It's newer technology and it's a standard amongst the greater percentage of scooterists now with spares in abundant supply.


If a contact breaker ignition stator is modified to 12 volt & utilises a battery, that is a match for anything an electronic can do as far as "better lights"

The timing & adjusting follow exactly the same principles, other than there being a gap that needs setting in the contacts themselves. Oh, doesn't there need to be a 'gap' set on a lot of electronic ignitions by way of the pick-up?

Is starting easier simply because the trigger for the spark is solid state rather than a mechanical contact breaker? I thought they potentially(!) utilised the same stator coil for the creation of energy.

As for tool box spares, a condenser & a set of points take a lot less space than a complete stator.

In all seriousness, an electronic conversion ought to be a wise modification & should ensure reliability. The trouble is that, unfortunately, that is not the case because of the poor quality of the components used in the majority of the Lambretta specific set-ups that have been marketed in the UK for many years.
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Re: Electronic ignition

Postby EddieStone » Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:55 pm

My LI is electronic after a nightmare of getting it to run properly. My Indian chop is points. Both are pretty reliable and start 2nd kick. When the Li was on points it was a nightmare - I've since learned that it probably had the wrong contacts fitted. Sometimes vespa ones are supplied and they sort of run but you can never time them up properly. Anyway I got an electronic kit from AF and it transformed it. Thing to remember when fitting it is to make sure the sensor and the flywheel tangs line up exactly or it will cause problems. Apart from that it's been the single best upgrade I've done on it.

The chop runs Indian points and I probably will convert it if it ever starts being unreliable. It just keeps going and going. It has 12V bulbs - is that normal for an Indian GP?! Anyway, I think they both have weak points - the electronic system can certainly withstand more neglect and needs less maintenance. More expensive when it goes wrong, but to be honest, finding points and a condensor is not as easy as it used to be...
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Re: Electronic ignition

Postby CHRIS in MARGATE » Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:04 am

This is a good thread and throws up a number of issues that we.may have varying opinions on.
In my youth I don't ever recall having a problem with 6v points set ups other than my father telling me "dont make that gap too big- use a cigarette packet".
And until about 10 years ago, I had never considered changing.
Until ...... got so wound up with erratic starting and poor lighting that I converted to electronic. My old dad would have said " leave the bloody thing alone if it's working" but it wasn't and it was time for a change.
It now dawns on me that it was after all those years a flywheel losing its magnetism and that may be the problem with many points systems today. Those that I have changed for many many people have made such a dramatic improvement.
I haven't looked back but I do believe in presenting an honest and balanced view. Nobody has returned to me with a problem after converting to electronic (probably broken down and cant !! Lol).
Personally on my ride: 1 failed regulator; 2 failed stators ( 1 lasted 5 minutes - It strobed up perfectly and ran. Covers back on and it failed. LT coil); 1 flywheel boss parted company. I have stripped and rebuilt my failed stators and they are now fine and my good spare is an Anthony Tambs unit. I run an Agusto retard and the engine never misses a beat.
On balance I would go electronic.
Regards to all. If you are ever in need in my toolbox I have flywheel holder, extractor, stator, CDI, regulator and still room for my pasties!.
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Re: Electronic ignition

Postby coaster » Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:24 pm

CHRIS in MARGATE wrote:This is a good thread and throws up a number of issues that we.may have varying opinions on.
In my youth I don't ever recall having a problem with 6v points set ups other than my father telling me "dont make that gap too big- use a cigarette packet".
And until about 10 years ago, I had never considered changing.
Until ...... got so wound up with erratic starting and poor lighting that I converted to electronic. My old dad would have said " leave the bloody thing alone if it's working" but it wasn't and it was time for a change.
It now dawns on me that it was after all those years a flywheel losing its magnetism and that may be the problem with many points systems today. Those that I have changed for many many people have made such a dramatic improvement.
I haven't looked back but I do believe in presenting an honest and balanced view. Nobody has returned to me with a problem after converting to electronic (probably broken down and cant !! Lol).
Personally on my ride: 1 failed regulator; 2 failed stators ( 1 lasted 5 minutes - It strobed up perfectly and ran. Covers back on and it failed. LT coil); 1 flywheel boss parted company. I have stripped and rebuilt my failed stators and they are now fine and my good spare is an Anthony Tambs unit. I run an Agusto retard and the engine never misses a beat.
On balance I would go electronic.
Regards to all. If you are ever in need in my toolbox I have flywheel holder, extractor, stator, CDI, regulator and still room for my pasties!.


have to agree with Chris, points are fine when set up correctly but damp and dirt are the enemy. fitting and setting points on the bench is far removed from trying to do it lying in the gutter in the rain. I have never tried the 12v lightin up grade but seriously doubt it would equal what is possible using utilising a full 12 volt DC conversion.
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Re: Electronic ignition

Postby Warkton Tornado No.1 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:20 pm

The principle reason that I play 'Devil's Advocate' is because there seems to be flaws in so many people's arguments for doing something.

As we all know, the electronic ignitions that flooded the market, mainly produced in India, have proved to be questionable as to their quality & reliability.

However, what does tend to perplex me is those proponents of 'originality' that will insist on having certain items on their scooter that were of 'the time' (in which ever decade they aspire to be ascociated with) yet will compromise by ditching a very reliable ignition system (if set-up as intended!)

The huge advantage of going electronic is that the best results can be obtained from an engine with optimised advance/retard. Motoplat produced such a system for race karts many years ago, & I obtained one via Ray Kemp, via Terry Shepherd. I believe that Ray had tried it on his Group Six but could not get on with it, probably due to lack of flywheel inertia or simply the time to develop it.

I persevered & witnessed the advantages to the acceleration of race engines, particuarly, say, from a hairpin such as that on the Cadwell 'Club' circuit. All I was doing was putting into practice what the likes of Bell had been saying for some time about the tuning of two stroke engines.

Bell also goes into some detail as to why the slide design of a two stroke carburettor is so important, but we best not get any further distracted here by my questioning the seemingly automatic choice of the PH range of Dell'Orto carburettors or there will be a contract put on my head...... :?
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Re: Electronic ignition

Postby grandpa » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:34 pm

Hi Lambro62
If you do replace your stator it may pay you to do the small dc mod ( removing the ground from last lighting coil and adding a wire).This wire can be earthed outside of the stator if you keep to ac .If you later decide to go d.c with a wassell regulator it saves taking the flywheel off again. Nothing wrong with points and you could put 12 volt lighting coils onto your stator .there are 12volt stators on ebay for £30from which to source the coils.12volt coils used to be available on ebay but no longer showing.
A 12volt dc set up with battery will give you lights that wont dim and a horn you can hear and as, I have mentioned on here before, if it unfortunately breaks down you can push it home with the lights on :lol:
good luck
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Re: Electronic ignition

Postby Fast n Furious » Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:40 am

You dont need to change the coils on a 6v stator to make it 12v. The originals just need to be reworked so they have a a series/parallel connection arrangement.
I haven't reworked one of these in over 40 years and so cant remember how its done.
Maybe someone has a diagram for doing this?
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Re: Electronic ignition

Postby grandpa » Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:42 am

[quote="Fast n Furious"]You dont need to change the coils on a 6v stator to make it 12v. The originals just need to be reworked so they have a a series/parallel connection arrangement.
Hi fast and furious,
Having two pairs joined in series is mentioned here:
https://www.scooterotica.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2311.

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Re: Electronic ignition

Postby Scooterlam » Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:50 pm

Bit of a curve ball.
Do the 12v conversion it's adoddle and will cost you as rectifier and bulbs.
Got an external pickup and one of scootronics a.c. cdi.
Leave the existing points in place and you will effectively have 2 ignition systems in place.
Talk to and tambs first to make sure I've not got it wrong.
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Re: Electronic ignition

Postby dickie » Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:46 pm

Scooterlam wrote:Bit of a curve ball.
Do the 12v conversion it's adoddle and will cost you as rectifier and bulbs.
Got an external pickup and one of scootronics a.c. cdi.
Leave the existing points in place and you will effectively have 2 ignition systems in place.
Talk to and tambs first to make sure I've not got it wrong.


Or while you're at it, add a full 12v dc reg rec for 15 quid or so. You'll also need a battery or capacitor.
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Re: Electronic ignition

Postby coaster » Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:38 pm

Scooterlam wrote:Bit of a curve ball.
Do the 12v conversion it's adoddle and will cost you as rectifier and bulbs.
Got an external pickup and one of scootronics a.c. cdi.
Leave the existing points in place and you will effectively have 2 ignition systems in place.
Talk to and tambs first to make sure I've not got it wrong.


The only problem with that is that you would need to keep an eye on the cam heal wear or it won't be much use to you when you need it ;)
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