Boyer Bransden Ignition installation on my XS2

Mailman

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I just wanted to post some of the highlights of my Boyer installation on my XS2. This is the Boyer Micro Power kit for the XS650 that includes a micro coil , spark plug leads, and caps.
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I purchased this to replace my Pamco ignition with built in advance, that was failing. I did a lot of chasing my tail before finally diagnosing the Pamco as faulty. That’s all contained in my other thread,

http://www.xs650.com/threads/mailmans-xs2-the-rebuild-again.59075/page-28#post-711220

So after stripping the Pamco system out of my bike I began the Boyer installation.
Assemble and install the magnetic rotor,
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On the other end of the all thread that holds the magnetic rotor, goes a bushing that fits in the end of the cam and a couple of washers and a nut.
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Then install the stator plate……..and we hit the first snag. There are metal straps securing two pick up coils to the stator board, they are soldered in place on the back side of the board. Except three of the four solder spots were missing,
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I contacted Boyer ( and this is what I love about them ) , they immediately apologized for the inconvenience and dropped a new one in the mail for me. They did not want the old one back, so I felt free at that point to attempt a repair. I ran to the hardware store and picked up some electronic solder,
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And soldered the remaining three spots. ( Still waiting for the other board to arrive from the U.K.)
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Next it’s time to mount the board, which brings me to my next modification, credit for this idea goes to @Paul Sutton. The mounting posts for the stator board are unsupported under half of the post.
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What Paul did here was to machine some longer supports with a notch on one half. What I did was ,look around the shop for something I already had. I started going through my fender washers with a caliper until I found one that was exactly 2.5 mm thick, then I layed out a couple of supports. A little work with a hack saw and file and I had these.
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Which I then stuck on with some JB Weld and painted, and installed.
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Now the electrical, @grizld1 has installed a lot of Boyers, and I know he’s not the biggest fan. He has some valid criticisms of Boyer, mostly concerning not building a more robust unit. And honestly I kinda agree with that, it hasn’t changed or been redesigned since they started making them. Anyways, I went back through all the Boyer threads I could find where The Griz weighed in and one nugget I took and ran with was the Boyers need for a good clean supply of power. It is sensitive to low voltage. So I took his suggestion and brought power straight from the battery to the Boyer by way of a relay. I picked up power from the battery, to a relay, through a 10 amp inline fuse and straight to the Boyer. I used the red/white wire ( the key on hot wire) that comes out of the wiring harness ( from the kill switch ) up by the coil and used it only for a trigger wire for the relay. ( Note to protect the relay from vibration it is mounted on a thick rubber washer, bolted to the rear fender which is also rubber mounted. )
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The coil mounting and blue box placement. The coil placement idea I again poached from Paul Sutton, who by the way wrote an excellent Boyer thread right here on this very forum. And the blue box placement I borrowed from @GLJ , at first I placed it inside the little space behind the steering head and packed styrofoam around it, thinking I was insulating it from vibration. It was tucked in nice. Then I found out that it needs air circulation around it for heat dissipation, so I re did it.
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I took care to route the Boyer control wires away from the alternator wiring harness and spark plug leads , as per Boyer, because it is susceptible to electronic interference. Next up the spark plug wires. They had a copper clip / plug that goes into the coil, that I’ve never seen before. I soldered it on just for good measure.
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Boyer also included some very nice red NGK suppressed spark plug caps, which I chose not to use. I am buying suppressed spark plugs these days because they are easier to find. I contacted Boyer about this and they said it didn’t matter which was suppressed.
So everything together, and time to fire it up, I hooked up my timing light and started the bike, I quickly got it adjusted and it ran very well. Whew! :laugh2: I am running the timing at 5 degrees retarded, so that my full advance is now at 35 degrees. As per @TwoManyXS1Bs post about running his bike at a retarded setting,

http://www.xs650.com/threads/xs650-ignition-timing-revisited-are-we-too-advanced.45197/

this was also one of XSJohns mods. Makes the bike run a little cooler and easier on the starter.

Nothing left to do but go for a spin!
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:pimp: Baby I’m back! Thanks to Grizld1 for all he has written on the subject, Paul Sutton for his excellent Boyer article which I found very helpful, GLJ ( Greg) for his helpful input and suggestions, and Jim as always for being the patient teacher and putting up with my seemingly endless questions. ;)
Later, Bob
 
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Mailman

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Here is a very short video showing me starting the bike after it was good and hot. ( That was when the Pamco was failing. ) The new Boyer unit, fires right up. First time and every time, I took it on a 45 minute ride after this , and stopped several times just to restart it. And it never missed.

 
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Jim

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Excellent writeup Bob!!
Since I had a very small part in helping you figure out the Pamco was acting up, I'm relieved to know you don't hate me 'cause you spent the big bucks on the Boyer and it didn't fix your problem. Extremely happy it's fixed. :smoke:
Can you clarify this bit for us?
I used the red/white wire ( the key on hot wire) that comes out of the wiring harness up by the ignition and...
I'm guessin' you meant the wire from the kill switch and not the iggy?
 

650Skull

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Mailman

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Good Job!!!!! :thumbsup: :cheers:
Now go for some rides!

Thanks Greg, I intend to! :bike:

Can you clarify this bit for us?
I'm guessin' you meant the wire from the kill switch and not the iggy?

Yes, you’re quite right, it’s the wire that comes from the kill switch. I called it the ignition because it is hot when you turn the key on. My error, I will make a correction in the original post.

Good write up Bob, Linked it to the Boyer/Pamco thread.

To clarify, those stepped standoffs holding the plate was first done by Goran Pearson (https://app.photobucket.com/u/GoranXS650/a/7bf18cac-8d57-4e31-a5ed-732eaa6b4b9d) way back, before 650.com, in the 650Garage. His photo-bucket account pics used to be able to be accessed but that has changed now???

Thanks Doug, I recognize that name, I came across it when I was researching this.
 

Jan_P

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Short comments
The coil needs cooling as it sits there it has the box partly in front of it and wont get airflow that can already be hot in Arizona
The box has some clever electronics inside that may or may not be shielded and the coil may have an electromagnetic field around it.
rpm dependent pulsing ...Cant see it being a Boyer problem on line But it ( Electromagnetism ) can be a factor in the Gonzo
ignition.
The Pamco may have fried because of the heat so take this for what it is worth.
Some Boyer Coils remove heat through the bolt holes and special bolts with tight fitting one could consider adding heat sink there given the climate
 

grizld1

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Nice work, Bob! The 0.6 ohm Gill coil in the Micro Power kit has an iffy reputation, but 0.6 ohm 2-tower coils are pretty common these days; you'll have a lot of high quality choices if the Gill does you wrong. The coil position looks fine to me, should get plenty of air.
 

Mailman

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The box has some clever electronics inside that may or may not be shielded and the coil may have an electromagnetic field around it.

I actually emailed Boyer about that. They responded that the coil and blue box could be next to each other, just not touching. The other electronic interference possibilities come from the spark plugs / plug caps, one or the other need to be suppressed also keep spark plug wires and alternator wiring away from Boyer leads.

Nice work, Bob! The 0.6 ohm Gill coil in the Micro Power kit has an iffy reputation, but 0.6 ohm 2-tower coils are pretty common these days; you'll have a lot of high quality choices if the Gill does you wrong. The coil position looks fine to me, should get plenty of air.

Thanks Dick, I recall you mentioning the coils as a potential weak spot. Hopefully it’ll last for a while. :thumbsup:
 

Mailman

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Paul Sutton

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That Gill coil did gain a bad reputation in the Triumph market. However, the last time I searched this issue the problem was found to be due to the spark plug gap specification not the coil. This resulted in the gap setting being reduced and the problem went away. I did speak to Boyer Bransden about this issue a couple of years ago and they claimed they had not seen any issue with the Gill 0.6 Ohm coils. I never had any issues with the coil but perhaps I was just lucky?
 

Raymond

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Brilliant write up and as Jim says should go in Tech as a resource. The only bit I wasn't to clear about was the section about fitting a relay. You wrote:

Boyers need for a good clean supply of power. It is sensitive to low voltage. So I took his suggestion and brought power straight from the battery to the Boyer by way of a relay. I picked up power from the battery, to a relay, through a 10 amp inline fuse and straight to the Boyer. I used the red/white wire ( the key on hot wire) that comes out of the wiring harness ( from the kill switch ) up by the coil and used it only for a trigger wire for the relay.

I suppose the basic problem is I'm not too sure what a relay is. Is it like a starter relay where you use an electromagnetic coil to open the circuit from battery to motor? That is only very brief till the engine fires - does your relay have to work all the time to keep the Boyer fed? And how much current does it flow? Limited to 10A by the fuse, I suppose?

Sorry, bear of small brain.
 

Jan_P

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That Gill coil did gain a bad reputation in the Triumph market. However, the last time I searched this issue the problem was found to be due to the spark plug gap specification not the coil. This resulted in the gap setting being reduced and the problem went away. I did speak to Boyer Bransden about this issue a couple of years ago and they claimed they had not seen any issue with the Gill 0.6 Ohm coils. I never had any issues with the coil but perhaps I was just lucky?

Boyer is a good company ..but on the other hand No company admits a mistake or error if the mistake it is big enough
Sadly.
It comes down to the bottom line and company survival
Say for example that a second grade batch of Coils has been delivered say 5000 items
installed and 500 owners of vintage 10 % fully possible ... machines have gotten a hole in his vintage machine piston
Say a hit per owner of $ 2000.
500 over the world --- that could fly under the radar.
The Designers perhaps would take responsibility but the bean Counters and Lawyers starts pushing down socks in the mouth of anyone trying to
speak up
And again I have good experiences with Boyer ..But look at Volkswagen's Diesel fraud There are tricksters out there.
The markets invisible hand .have forces trying to keep it super invisible at times
So a healthy skepticism is good .. .But again Boyer can be the best and has the most experience.
 

Jim

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I suppose the basic problem is I'm not too sure what a relay is. Is it like a starter relay where you use an electromagnetic coil to open the circuit from battery to motor? That is only very brief till the engine fires - does your relay have to work all the time to keep the Boyer fed? And how much current does it flow? Limited to 10A by the fuse, I suppose?

This guy has camera focus issues. Other than that it's a pretty good explanation/demonstration.
EDIT: you have to click on the Youtube link in the player to watch it.


 

Mailman

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I suppose the basic problem is I'm not too sure what a relay is. Is it like a starter relay where you use an electromagnetic coil to open the circuit from battery to motor? That is only very brief till the engine fires - does your relay have to work all the time to keep the Boyer fed? And how much current does it flow? Limited to 10A by the fuse, I suppose?

I’m not the best instructor when it comes to electrical things, but I’ll give it a whack. A relay is basically just an on / off electrical connection that is controlled by a trigger wire. In the past I have installed them on motorcycles , usually to protect handlebar switchgear from being subjected to a heavy load. For example installing something like driving lights or a high powered horn, that draws more current than the switchgear was intended to carry. You could eventually burn up your contacts.
As for my using one with the Boyer, it is a known thing that Boyers don’t like low voltage, in my hot climate, batteries suffer and fail at a higher than normal rate. By using a relay I am bypassing much of my 50 year old wiring harness and directing power straight from the battery to the Boyer ( of course there is a relay and an inline fuse between the two also) this is a doctored photo I grabbed off the internet that shows a basic relay.
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When I first installed the relay I did a test. I grabbed my new battery off the bench and installed it. It tested at 12.69 volts. I already had all my wiring ran. So turn the key on and checked the wire that I had run from the relay up at the front of the bike to where I was going to install the blue box and it showed a .5 volt drop. Pretty good!

Now I wanted to check the voltage from that red/ white wire that drops out of the wiring harness right above the coil . Remember this is where you normally plug your Boyer in for key on power. Key on and a voltage of 10.95, a voltage drop of 1.74 volts!

I realize that the way I wired it, does not follow the manufacturers instructions, and I probably would’ve been fine doing it that way. But knowing that here, I sometimes struggle with less than optimum battery power, I thought that this might give me an advantage. You guys that live in colder climates have much better luck with battery life.

I hope this all made some kind of sense. :laugh2:
 
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Raymond

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Jim, Bob, thank you both. I now have a much better understanding of what a relay is and what it does. Guy took a while to get to the point but it was a very clear demonstration.

Also, how the Boyer has been wired on Bob's bike. I now understand how the relay and Boyer box are wired.

Part of my problem was wondering why Bob has done it this way and I see that he is concerned that voltage drop through the bike's harness might give the Boyer box a touch of the vapours. (Victorian term for ladies passing out/fainting at awkward moments, probably because their corsets were too tight.)

It's always a good day if you learn something new!
 
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