Amazon Gonzo GN250 ignition box success August 2023

Mike G

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I know there have been issues with the Gonzo boxes not working correctly so I thought I would post my recent experience. I bought one of Jim's Gonzo pigtails (thanks again Jim) about a year ago but never bought a box to try as there seemed to be lots of problems with bad boxes coming out of China. My TCI is still working fine and I wanted the Gonzo only as a backup to have on the road in case of a TCI failure so I figured I would wait and see if the bad boxes would sort themselves out.

I recently bought a Gonzo on Amazon for just under $10 and upon arrival last week it was DOA.:mad: I debated returning that one and trying another vendor vs getting a replacement from the same vendor. I opted for a replacement which showed up today. This one fired up on the first kick and the advance seems to be working as it should although I didn't verify I'm getting the full 20 degrees advance as it will do what I want and I wouldn't adjust the timing anyway as it's set where I want it (a couple degrees retarded) for the TCI.

This is the Gonzo I bought...



It was $9.94 when I bought it but has gone up since. I expect if you wait it will go back down again.

I'm tempted to check/set the full advance and run it for a while to see if I get an "infant mortality" failure or if it might actually last. IIRC Jim has been running his for a while without issues so hopefully they are reliable once you pass the obligatory QC field inspection for the Chinese manufacturer.
 
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Mike G

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A quick follow up on the Gonzo box. I checked full advance and it's just past the right-hand side of the notch under under the timing cover which should be a tad more than 35 BTDC, a little surprising since I retarded my timing a little from the static advance mark to reduce kickback when kick starting.(which it did nicely) I also took it out for a quick spin to see how it feels and as Jim and others have found it feels the same as the TCI box.

One other tidbit. I looked up the full advance timing of a Triumph Bonneville T120 and an A65 BSA, which should be similar in advance requirements to the XS. The Bonnie was 37 degrees and the A65 was 34 degrees so seems to me the 35-ish degrees of the Gonzo is in good company with the old Brit bikes. (If this was already discussed in the Gonzo thread then my apologies for repeating it)

Once again, many thanks to Team Junk, Jim and all those who contributed to making the Gonzo box an affordable, and hopefully long lasting, alternative to the aging TCI boxes.
 

Jim

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IIRC Jim has been running his for a while without issues so hopefully they are reliable once you pass the obligatory QC field inspection for the Chinese manufacturer.
I've switched mine back to the TCI box. As a guess, I'd say I put about 3-400 miles on the gonzo before I switched back. Just to check, I did one ride where the bike wasn't shut off for about 2hrs. The GN250 box never skipped a beat. Satisfied I have a good one, it and the jumper now sit in the tool pouch for emergencies.
Fwiw... with the exception of the "lean burn" engines, just about all modern engines are within' spittin' distance of 35° at max advance.

Glad this has helped the community. I made up 20 of the pigtail jumpers to run the GN box... and those all sold. If there's enough interest, I can make another batch.
 
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