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Anyone seen that F*&%ing Gremlin? POOF! No spark! - PAMCO, E-Advance, PMA

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Tyler Jay, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. Tyler Jay

    Tyler Jay XS650 Enthusiast

    My-bike-1200px.jpg BIKE CYCLE
    79 XS - PMA, PAMCO, E-Advance, Capacitor/kick-only. All tuned for over a month. TDC, Cam-tension, Valves, Carbs. Ran perfect, smooth in all ranges, 100mph+ capable.

    BACKSTORY
    I havent been this stuck for years...
    Went for a 1hr highway cruise and POP! No spark.

    WHATS BEEN DONE
    Replaced all wiring and reconfigured about 3 times.Tested continuity/ohm readings on all wires. Swapped all parts out with new and/or working parts. Ignition coils, Ignition wires, Caps, Spark Plugs, Capacitor, Swapped in 13.4V lithium battery to Capacitor wires at one point, brand new Regulator with PMA kit, Pamco, Disengaged all lighting systems and kill switch, running only one 25amp fuse from reg to Capacitor. What is left? I havent swapped for a different e-advance. Try mechanical advance?
    At a point in time I got a spark almost randomly, then started connecting everything and again no spark. Undid what I previously did and no spark.

    QUESTION
    How do I test E-advancer? What are the acceptable Ohm readings? All capacitors within look intact.
    Can I test without any Advance installed? Will the bike spark without an advance?
    How do I wire battery directly to PAMCO to test for spark? (Last time I did, I blew the PAMCO, but maybe I accidentally touched pos/neg leads?
    What AC volt readings should I be getting straight from a PMA lead and ground while kicking? Im getting 1.2ish?
    What is left to check/test? I did recently feed a mogwai after midnight though...
     
  2. jussumguy

    jussumguy XS650 Addict

    I know you changed your coil but do you know if the coil you put on is any good? And the right ohms?
     
  3. gggGary

    gggGary Cara Mia!!

    Pamcos are pretty good (reliable) but running them on capacitor PMA systems has been an issue, often laid at the feet of poorly controlled system voltage. This is just hearsay on my part but it's been brought up a bunch of times. I think the e-advance with poorly controlled voltage is especially suspect.
     
  4. pamcopete

    pamcopete Ride.Enjoy.Life is Simple

    Although you do list what parts you have "swapped out" after you lost spark, I would be interested in what your setup was at the time of the failure. As gggGary mentions, PMA setups are a major cause of ignition failures due to their propensity to produce high and or irregular voltages unexpectedly. Using a capacitor instead of a battery makes it worse. The fact that a PAMCO is the victim is due to the very large number of PAMCO's in service after 10 years.
    The sensor plate in the E-Advancer model is not capable of driving the coil. It will self destruct. It can only be used with the E-Advancer. If you added the E-Advancer to the standard PAMCO, then you can eliminate the E-Advancer and revert back to the mechanical advancer.
    As I have suggested numerous times when trouble shooting a PMA setup with a PAMCO, you should try disconnecting the PMA and the regulator and run the ignition from a fully charged battery to see if the problem is the PMA setup. Use of a capacitor in place of a battery can result in a very high voltage due to a bad regulator or one that was not installed properly. There are many PMA's and regulators out there so it is not really practical to provide any suggestions on how to install each of the combinations. You must rely on the instructions from the source of the PMA.
     
    gggGary likes this.
  5. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon.

    Hi Tyler Jay,
    the Zen masters say:- "the answer is contained in the question"
    And your question mentions a PMA & capacitor. And like pamcopete sez, his kit don't like PMAs & capacitors.
    Dump those retrograde gadgets, go back to the stock charging system & battery and see your spark return so long as you didn't fry your pamco
     
  6. Tyler Jay

    Tyler Jay XS650 Enthusiast

    Thank you all for the input.
    Coil tested 2.5ohm between terminals, open circuit to core and plug wire terminal. 18k ohm from cap to cap. Im curious though on how certain ohm-rated coils effect the electrical system? For example running 1ohm or 5ohm coils.


    XSCHARGE brand PMA Kit

    PMA, PAMCO, E-Advance, Capacitor. The E-advance I bought 3 months ago and ran flawlessly everyday around-town riding.
    PMA, PAMCO, Capacitor are 3 to 4 years old. No other changes to electrical/electrical components for that amount of time up to the failure.

    Do you mean the PMA is the victim?

    I added the E-Advancer to standard PAMCO. I will try and locate/install the mechanical advance for testing. But is there no multimeter-bench-test I can use for the E-Advancer and also the PAMCO? Out of curiosity, will the standard PAMCO self-destruct without an advance installed? Im not informed on how the advancer truely functions. I apologize.

    As in wiring my two hot-leads coming into the capacitor to a battery? Directly to the coil? I recall doing that test, but I will try again on your confirmation.

    Would that high-voltage visibly fry a PAMCO/E-Advance? Both components are visibly intact, no blown capacitors/resistors or overheating.

    For real, Im considering points as well. No offense to any manufacturer like Pete or otherwise. Only for the hard-truth-on-the-side-of-the-road-testing. It seems gathering electrical component specifications for these modern systems for on a non-running bike is difficult. But damn I really love the E-Advancer.

    After another direct-battery-to-coil test, I suppose i'll gather up my old alternator, find somewhere to tuck a lithium battery and go from there.
     
  7. pamcopete

    pamcopete Ride.Enjoy.Life is Simple

    Tyler Jay said:

    "I added the E-Advancer to standard PAMCO. I will try and locate/install the mechanical advance for testing. But is there no multimeter-bench-test I can use for the E-Advancer and also the PAMCO? Out of curiosity, will the standard PAMCO self-destruct without an advance installed? Im not informed on how the advancer truely functions."

    Reply:
    The E-Advancer is actually a retarder. The timing is set to maximum by the mechanical advancer substitute cap, so running without the E-Advancer and the standard PAMCO will result in the timing being at full advance all the time, so you have to install the mechanical stock advancer with the standard PAMCO without the E-Advancer.
     

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