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Electronic Ignition
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CharlieCeng
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May 7, 2012 - 6:04 pm
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I'd like to canvass opinion from you guys that have the Rex Caunt ignition/alternator conversion.

Easy to fit & set up? Worthwhile starting/performance improvement?

cheers for now,

Simon.

 

'42 Ariel W/NG, '58 Ariel Huntmaster, Masquerading D3, '51 Ariel Square Four Mk1 http://ariel-sq.....ogspot.com

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CharlieCeng
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May 8, 2012 - 6:30 pm
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I've just been totting up the cost of this kit plus my mainshaft, potential big end, labour, gaskets etc...

 

Scary numbers! does the ignition kit make a huge difference to performance & reliability? i can fix the standard ignition by the road side - not that it has ever gone wrong...

cheers for now,

Simon.

 

'42 Ariel W/NG, '58 Ariel Huntmaster, Masquerading D3, '51 Ariel Square Four Mk1 http://ariel-sq.....ogspot.com

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HowD1
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May 9, 2012 - 11:29 am
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Simes

I'm also looking at the ** Please log in to view ** systems at the moment for my D1, even though it goes fine with an Atom unit and no points. The areas where these systems really score is providing decent power for lights, RC unit states 60W and PD state 100W, as well as a consistent spark.

Cost? well RC is quoting £242 - but there is 10% discount if you are a Bantam club member - so £218, plus VAT = £262  + p+p

PD are quoting 290 euros but are offering 5% 15% discount for CLUB MEMBERS for the D1-D7 kit so about £220 plus p+p £210 inc p&p from Germany at current prices (Apr 2015).

RC offers 3 year warranty and we know all about him - a jolly good chap, PD i think offer 1 2 year warranty. Technically I don't think there's much between them; RC's original unit required machining of the crankcase (?) so single fitment to a specific bike, whereas PD's stator is visible between old stator carrier and crankcase so there may be a crank end bush issue but doesn't require machining and therefore could be retrofitted to any bike D1 to D7 that you might happen to have. I'm sure someone will put me right on that if I'm wrong.

But both are pretty expensive and I always look at resale...dunno

The thing is: do I want lights beyond what I already have? Is the Atom unit (which has been in use for 4 years) much poorer than the electronics available from these other systems? Is it worth £250 to have a good spark? The atom unit/new coil gives me that now (but they do have reliability issues, and the rooster booster types need points in circuit to act as a switch or they go pop) and, as you said, I know how to fix it if it goes wrong.

Tricky isn't it? I must admit I'm keen on the Powerdynamo unit, personally, as I can swap from engine to engine as I wish.

And Phil (Cornish Rooster) swears by his RC unit.....

so back to square one! I think it's a case of yer pays yer money, etc

Ricktip-my-hat

ADMIN EDITED

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Cornish Rooster
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May 9, 2012 - 12:08 pm
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This is a write up a did for the Rex Caunt system that I keep meaning to send for the Banter Magazine.

Phil

When I first bought my D1 over two years ago I quickly discovered what a great little fun motorcycle this was, admittedly not exactly quick but amazingly simple and basic with just enough there to do the job and no more, not even an ignition key !

Unfortunately I soon discovered going any distance might be a challenge as the nasty looking gubbins under the ignition/ points cover was far from in the best of health. Couple of choices then, either renew the original coils, points etc or replace the whole caboodle with a full electronic ignition system. The fact that these D1’s are such a pleasure to ride swung it for me, I wanted this bike to be able to cover longer distances reliably, oh and also double up as a everyday use machine if required. The pitiful 6 volt lighting was another factor as I found I could cycle quicker down some of the unlit country lanes I use regularly as my LED cycle lights were actually more powerful then the D1’s six volt jobs.

 

A quick phone call to Rex Caunt and the deal was done, first thing to do was to remove the  original stator which needed to be sent to Rex for modification, this arrived back within about a week as I remember together with the rest of the kit. So made myself a cup of coffee and had a study of the parts, instructions and get an idea of how to fit this, thankfully it seemed reasonably straightforward although the penny dropped quite quickly that I would obviously also need a 12 volt battery. The parts included were modified stator with ignition and lighting coils, replacement flywheel, rectifier/ regulator, ignition coil together with HT lead and spark plug cap.

 

So the original flywheel was removed, I mounted the regulator/ rectifier behind the toolbox then connected up the leads from the generator side to the regulator/ rectifier as per the instructions,a reasonably straightforward job. Next thing was to reverse the earth as this system uses  negative earth, a few notes were made to compare  the original wiring diagram, and what was actually there, plus of course the new set up. At this stage the new 12 volt battery fitted, two 6 volt gel types in series inside a dummy case. One bonus of this task is that it replaced a fair part of the original wiring which was not in the best of condition plus it gave me the opportunity to fit an inline main fuse and re-make the main earth point bracket.

 

Next task was to set the timing, I removed the head and set the piston at the position as per the instructions, bit of a problem here as there was not enough movement on the stator to align the marks. Looking back on it now I think I have one of these Bantams where you can’t get the timing set correctly even with the original system, but never the less, I replaced the fuel tank, secured and tidied up the wiring and though well I will give it a try for a start.   And lo and behold off it went second kick, a quick run around the block and all seemed fine, and the timing has been in the same place ever since ! To be honest as there is quite a sophisticated timing curve with this system I don’t think its too critical if the setting is a bit out. The final task was to replace the bulbs for 12 volt items which was included with the parts supplied.

 

So that was over two years ago and around three thousand miles and I can say that it has been an excellent system, I did have some misfiring for the first mile or two six months or so after I fitted the system which after continually blaming my rusty fuel tank and  not in the best of condition carb I tracked down to the ignition coil. I got in touch with Rex and he sent me a replacement coil free of charge which solved the problem, even with this dodgy coil the bike was in regular use and covered a 200 mile day ok !

 

I realize this is quite an investment around £300 with the lighting option but in my opinion is well worth it, one way of looking at is when you know the bike is trusty and reliable it can be used as everyday transport if needed and look how cheap a Bantam is to keep on the road ? Free road tax, tyres, chains, brake shoes etc almost last forever, petrol consumption miserly, think of the cost saving over running say a modern bike for everyday duties !

  

BSA Bantam D1 "150" in use regularly often as general purpose transport, quite a few other bikes as well. Cornwall Area Rep. 

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jags_london
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May 9, 2012 - 12:49 pm
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Don't forget Electrexworld do an electronic ignition for the Bantams, probably around the same price - just a tad under £300.  I've two so far and am completely happy.  I was having so many problems with some of the modern replacement parts like points and condensers either not fitting properly or rapidly wearing out and I was afraid to stop the engine as my D1 would refuse to start hot.  I'm sure someone with plenty of time could get the ignition on a Bantam spot on and get it to start hot or cold and many do.  But for me I only have limited time and want to be able to spend that time riding rather than fiddling so electronic was the way I went and the 12V option means I have no worry about the brake light not being seen through the smoke trail I leave in my wake!

I have posted before on my experience of the Electrex kit and posted a few videos on Youtube but if you need any more info let me know. I don't work for Electrex by the way - I chose them since the stator plate didn't need modifying like the RC system - it was a case of ordering from them and fitting the parts the next day.

 

Jags 

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clodhopper
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May 9, 2012 - 3:58 pm
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Is it necessary to change the nearside main shaft to allow one of these systems to be used. Also is the timing from the existing cam used?

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Anderzander
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May 9, 2012 - 4:32 pm
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The shaft remains the same. The rotor is timed from the woodruff key - though in some instances it won't work due to the stator plate position, in which case its simply removed and the position set without it. The position being retained by the taper anyhow.

 

I went for the Rex Caunt - though my D1 is still in build up stage. I'm looking forward to putting thousands of miles on it as Phil has done with his.

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May 9, 2012 - 4:35 pm
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HowD1 said
Simes

I'm also looking at the Rex Caunt and Powerdynamo systems at the moment for my D1, even though it goes fine with an Atom unit and no points. The areas where these systems really score is providing decent power for lights, RC unit states 60W and PD state 100W, as well as a consistent spark.

Cost? well RC is quoting £242 - but there is 10% discount if you are a Bantam club member - so £218, plus VAT = £262  + p+p

PD are quoting 290 euros but are offering 5% discount so about £220 plus p+p from Germany.

RC offers 3 year warranty and we know all about him - a jolly good chap, PD i think offer 1 year warranty. Technically I don't think there's much between them; RC's original unit required machining of the crankcase (?) so single fitment to a specific bike, whereas PD's stator is visible between old stator carrier and crankcase so there may be a crank end bush issue but doesn't require machining and therefore could be retrofitted to any bike D1 to D7 that you might happen to have. I'm sure someone will put me right on that if I'm wrong.

But both are pretty expensive and I always look at resale...dunno

The thing is: do I want lights beyond what I already have? Is the Atom unit (which has been in use for 4 years) much poorer than the electronics available from these other systems? Is it worth £250 to have a good spark? The atom unit/new coil gives me that now (but they do have reliability issues, and the rooster booster types need points in circuit to act as a switch or they go pop) and, as you said, I know how to fix it if it goes wrong.

Tricky isn't it? I must admit I'm keen on the Powerdynamo unit, personally, as I can swap from engine to engine as I wish.

And Phil (Cornish Rooster) swears by his RC unit.....

so back to square one! I think it's a case of yer pays yer money, etc

Ricktip-my-hat

Rick can I ask you where you purchased the Atom Ignition from? And which colour system you have? Thanks

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Anderzander
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May 9, 2012 - 4:38 pm
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Simes,

As these ignitions can be retro-fitted to the standard set up - why not postpone making a decision on the ignition ?

You could then think it through wether the investment is right for you and spread the cost if you do decide it is.

For me I wan't to keep the bike - and I want to use it as much as possible with as little attention as possible. I also fancy covering some decent mileage (I have family in Ireland I'd like to visit on it) so those together made it the right choice for me.

Stephen

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May 9, 2012 - 5:35 pm
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Stephen,

In a nutshell the reasons you mentioned are the same reasons why I fitted this set-up on mine and so far it has done what it say's on the tin. If these bikes had a conventional coil ignition I may have thought differently but in my opinion the original genny/ ignition was never that good even when new and is probably the "weak link" on these machines. As it is now I have no concerns about going anywhere on my D1 as long as I don't mind the modest speed and power !

Phil

BSA Bantam D1 "150" in use regularly often as general purpose transport, quite a few other bikes as well. Cornwall Area Rep. 

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HowD1
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May 9, 2012 - 8:10 pm
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Hi Kirc

the Atom units used to be available from T and G and others but they seem to have dried up completely (i understand that the Australian originators only had patent protection for 10 years and that ran out some years ago). I have tried all sorts of avenues to get some more but drawn a complete blank, even emailed the Oz factory but got no reply. 

The unit I use is the BROWN version. I'd love to get another one or two as standbys.

Rick

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David Dale
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May 9, 2012 - 8:20 pm
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Rick, I've bought the green and blue ones I think to replace the points and capacitor on strimmers etc, I remember trying one on a Bantam-nearly broke my ankle! BSA Al posted back saying it was probably for a side valve Briggs, which it was, you've got to get the right one, my brother tells me that they're not much more than a simple power transistor used as a switch, thought that someone else would have decided to start making them again now that the copyright has run out? David.

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HowD1
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May 9, 2012 - 8:58 pm
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I think that's right David but the rooster booster version is similar but has to have the points in place to act as a switch. On strimmers and so forth I think there is only one magnet in the rotor whereas there is a whole load in the Wipac rotor - certainly everyone one of the suppliers I tried said the Atom wouldn't work in a D7 for instance.

I tried a green one (still have it as a standby) which will only work if you bump the bike, and then goes fine, but otherwise kicks back for a pastime and won't start on the kickstart.

The brown one worked spot on from day 1 and has been in there for 4 years as far as I can remember. It's taken me miles without a hiccup - so they can't be that bad. If they are as simple as you say - and I can believe it - then it simply points to their efficacy. Just a shame I can't find any more.....or maybe you know different?

[Permission to view this image is denied]

Ricktip-my-hat

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HowD1
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May 9, 2012 - 9:08 pm
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sorry chaps but this image just won't turn round the right way up - I have it inphotobucket both ways but I just can't do it...sorry

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Anderzander
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May 9, 2012 - 9:16 pm
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Looks fine to me Rick ?

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May 9, 2012 - 9:22 pm
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Thanks for the info rick

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May 9, 2012 - 10:27 pm
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Are these Rooster Booster Junior things (£25) any good on a machine that's running well?  Or are they a waste of money?

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Anderzander
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May 9, 2012 - 10:32 pm
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popcorn

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CharlieCeng
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May 9, 2012 - 11:03 pm
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Erm, popcorn?

cheers for now,

Simon.

 

'42 Ariel W/NG, '58 Ariel Huntmaster, Masquerading D3, '51 Ariel Square Four Mk1 http://ariel-sq.....ogspot.com

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May 9, 2012 - 11:10 pm
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Anderzander said
popcorn

Have I asked a bad questiondunno

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