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B175 lack of spark
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cpimm
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December 23, 2018 - 11:28 pm
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Can anyone help me with this one please? I've bought a 1970 B175 in very poor state. There was no paperwork with it but I know it was last taxed in 1980. The last owner told me that it was then put in a (damp!) lockup where, apart from the odd pootle around a village, it languished for the next 30 plus years. Speedo shows 2000 miles but I have no idea whether this is correct.

Ideally I would like to carry out a rolling restoration as just about everything needs doing, so, first things first, see if the engine runs. Obviously I've read sinister stories about seals hardening and needing replacing in such circumstances and long term storage being the kiss of death for Bantams. (However, I've also read plenty of accounts of start ups after twenty years or so of storage with no problems at all.)

So, drained the petrol, flushed out the tank, cleaned the carb, changed gearbox oil and charged battery which incredibly holds enough charge to at least sound the horn! New plug, cleaned / checked points. Wouldn't start so removed plug to check spark. No spark regardless of whether the ignition switch was in the Ignition or Emergency position. Printed off a wiring diagram from the Workshop Manuals section and checked through wiring with multimeter. Everything seems to go where it should. Coil and rectifier look incredibly 'old' and crusty but connections to them appear to check out okay. Still no spark.

Checked wiring to generator (though not easy as wire colours seem to be slightly different within stator.) Removed cover then stator. Rotor magnets looked crusty and had a layer of rust on top. (See pictures) Stator pick ups looked similar so I lightly sanded both back to bright, shiny metal and reassembled. Still no spark so starting to lose the will to live. One final kick before giving up and hooray, a spark. Plug back in but still wouldn't start. Plug looked dry so injected a small amount of fuel through plug hole. Plug in again. Several more kicks and it started. Thought I'd cracked it as engine ran sweetly for several minutes, even ticking over. Just about to push the bike out onto drive to try a ride when the engine stopped. Wouldn't restart. Plug out, no spark!!

Any advice on where to go from here / how to check out where the problem might lie would be gratefully received!

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stubaker58
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December 24, 2018 - 9:24 am
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Hi,

Congratulations on the purchase, looks ok and if it’s all there your thinking about a rolling restoration is spot on.

The switch is the usual first suspect when there is no spark, they can corrode and give intermittent connections, either bypass it and ‘hot wire’ the ignition or you can swap over the ignition and lighting switch as they are the same.  (There is a very good post on here somewhere about the switches and their internal connections).

My other favourite is the low tension wire underneath the engine on the later Bantams, because of its position this wire is vulnerable to breaks and is best replaced.

Hope you get it sorted soon.

Happy Christmas!

D7/14 hybrid (4 speed with D7 crank etc.) on the road, D10 Bushman awaiting rebuilding.

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Mannanan
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December 24, 2018 - 9:31 am
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I agree with checking the contacts on those pesky switches, can be very hit and miss. However, before proceeding further, give yourself a decent chance and treat yourself to a quality new battery. ( Yuasa B49-6. £30.00) Good luck and have fun.

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cocorico
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December 24, 2018 - 10:13 am
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I agree, a new battery makes sense (a new silicon bridge too bearing in mind the age of the old one). Easiest way to check the engine runs though (IMO) would be to attach the battery directly to the coil (through a fuse and switch), then coil to points. That way you lose any possible problems with bad connections / switches. If it runs OK, you can then try with the 'original' set up.

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nickjaxe
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December 24, 2018 - 11:18 am
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I was also going to suggest as cocorico does to hot wire it to the coil and earth...bypassing all the other stuff.

Batt doe not need to be on the bike.

This is just as a test of course.

What part of the country are you.

 

Nick.

My Bantam video              https://www.you.....jpOFmzRZRI

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cpimm
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December 24, 2018 - 11:36 pm
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Hi

Thanks for the advice. I'll try the lighting switch first then 'hot wiring' if that doesn't work. In the interest of good domestic harmony though, as it's Christmas Day tomorrow, I think further diagnostic investigations may have to wait for a day or two!

Sorry to be thick but what's a bridge, is it the rectifier? Is that straight forward to replace? The only reason I'm reluctant to buy a new battery at the moment is that I wondered if, as part of the restoration, I should convert the bike to 12 volts though I think I remember seeing something in a forum about trying to retain originality and that 12 volts didn't necessarily mean better starting though as I'm a novice at this I don't really know. If the battery holds enough juice will it be good enough to hot wire from?

Nick, I'm in East Yorkshire, between York and Hull. 'Bantamites' are a bit thin on the ground around here!

Happy Christmas to all,

Colin

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nickjaxe
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December 24, 2018 - 11:45 pm
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You can fit a modern rectifier if yours is faulty...but hang fire.

A new 6v batt cost my £14 recently...not as easy to buy now the gov wont allow acid in the post.

So you have to go to a dealer and collect.

When you charge the batt...it may only have a tiny amount of power to give before running it depletes it...if its 30 years old it will be kaput.

Personal choice but I prefer staying std re 6v...but you call.

Your on the other side of the country from me unfortunately.

My Bantam video              https://www.you.....jpOFmzRZRI

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johnsullivan
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December 25, 2018 - 7:50 am
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Where did you get your battery Nick?

67 D10. and a D7    2007 Honda Hornet FA. Suzuki 89  DR 250S, Sinnis SC 125. 78 Honda 90  75 Montesa Cota 247

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December 25, 2018 - 11:26 am
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Hi Colin,

When you`re next on the case,I`d suggest placing a bowl under the engine and removing the crankcase drain plug and kicking engine over a few times then replace but don`t overtighten.First D14 I owned had a lot of mix sat in the crankcases,but the seals were well shot,it would not have started in a month of Sundays. When in the trade,I refurbed several 2-strokes,including Bantams, that had loads of fuel sat in the exhaust system ...following much unfruitful kicking over by the owners.

Also consider decoking the silencer.Fit an external inline fuel filter.Handlebar mounted choke works the opposite way to how most would think. Clean plug(I know it`s new but they can and do oil up during initial fettling),with thinners,pop under the grille to get nice and hot,handle using thick glove/pliers,replace and kick over.

You`ve had her running for several mins which is a positive sign,suggesting not much amiss,including the crank seals,but you`ll know better after that first run,whether a strip-down is required.

Your Bantam may be a bit corroded,but it looks nice and original!

I see you`re using one of those dull economy bulbs,I`d recommend 12w or higher plastic globe LED bulbs,they are shaped like original glass ones but stand up well in those old workshop inspection lamp holders,mine dates from the 1970s and I used to have to buy heavy-duty 100w bulbs,but 12W LEDs work well and take knocks.

Christmas cheer

Blue

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nickjaxe
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December 25, 2018 - 12:44 pm
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JohnSullivan...got it from   [Permission to view this media is denied]
  they have an outlet not far from me.

They have several depots around the UK.

In a Lucas box...not that that means a think these days.

Merry Christmas.

Nick.

My Bantam video              https://www.you.....jpOFmzRZRI

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nickjaxe
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December 25, 2018 - 12:50 pm
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Blue Heeler where do you get those 12w or higher plastic globe LED bulbs...sounds a good idea...is that in 6v.

Re the inline filters....that one inside the tank is a pain...no way of seeing if its blocked likewise with the one in the base of the carb...and each filter slows the flow down to the carb.

These ones look in keeping I think.

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johnsullivan
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December 25, 2018 - 2:27 pm
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Thanks ,now about basting chicken.....

67 D10. and a D7    2007 Honda Hornet FA. Suzuki 89  DR 250S, Sinnis SC 125. 78 Honda 90  75 Montesa Cota 247

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Blue Heeler
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December 25, 2018 - 5:57 pm
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nickjaxe said
Blue Heeler where do you get those 12w or higher plastic globe LED bulbs...sounds a good idea...is that in 6v.

Nick

After spotting his inspection lamp,I was suggesting how Colin could get more illumination on the job by fitting one of these... [Permission to view this media is denied]
var=532331984780&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649....to replace the one he had fitted.I  look forward to trying the bigger wattage ones,I`m sure someone on here uses them already.The typical economy bulbs did not do my eyesight any good.

NB:I don`t use these daylight bulbs too late in the evening or else they affect my sleep pattern! 

Blue

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not henpecked
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December 25, 2018 - 8:07 pm
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Hi

Besides all of the suggestions above, and before going into in depth investigations, I would remove the plug cap and put the HT wire against the cylinder head and then check for the spark. I mention this since I once had a duff plug cap.

B175, being updated & now much closer to completion. Honda XBR 500, and ....... Suzuki Burgman 200 scoot! Nicknamed "The hair dryer" - by me I hasted to add; & great storage under the seat when you get to your destination.

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cpimm
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December 25, 2018 - 8:13 pm
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Thanks everyone. No 'fettling' allowed today but I might get out tomorrow. Too much sitting around and eating and drinking! Think I'm getting Bantam Withdrawl Syndrome; I think I've just discovered a new medical condition, BWS!
Anyway in the absence of any garage antics I've attached a photo of my new acquisition. Only cost me a few hundred quid but it's very rusty! Photo taken after I'd been at the chrome with a wire brush on the end of a drill! Obviously looks much worse close up. Was beginning to think I'd made a mistake particularly as the engine won't start - no spark........!
Anyway thanks for all your advice, kind words and support - I rarely meet any in the flesh in the wilds of East Yorkshire but from my experience on this site, 'Bantamites' are nice people!

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cocorico
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December 26, 2018 - 9:25 am
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Some fine wire wool and paraffin / light oil are good on rusty chrome, as long as it's not flaking too much. You can then seal the surface with Waxoyl or similar.

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johnsullivan
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December 26, 2018 - 11:09 am
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Another shameless plug for ACF 50 coming.Usual disclaimers ,but it works better than anything else I have ever tried.Good buy Colin ,will be a nice survivor.To whizz up the barrel I use some rope  soaked in cream cleaner to get the filth out  then emery boards which are easy to manipulate and cheap.

67 D10. and a D7    2007 Honda Hornet FA. Suzuki 89  DR 250S, Sinnis SC 125. 78 Honda 90  75 Montesa Cota 247

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Blue Heeler
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December 26, 2018 - 11:51 am
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Good buy! 

Nylon pan scourers are gentler for the chrome that`s only a little spotty.I buy a big pack for a quid.

I use Plusgas for freeing stuff off,but some use mix of petrol&diesel.Thinking of trying the 5litre cans of another brand,£14 on ebay,for a cheap general penetrating oil,but Plusgas or the "hot spanner" for badly seized nuts/bolts.

Before I got my compressor and on some call-out jobs way-back-when,I used an inflated tyre as an airline.....if you`re short of the proper kit to blow away the rust dust&crud.

If you don`t want to drop your forks to see to your gaiters(oo-er missus),new ones can be cut and glued on,or there was a brand called Easy-on that may still be about.Same principle as CV boots on cars.Sounds like a cheapo bodge,but never had either types of jobs come back to me.Saves a lot of time/money.

If forks are pitted,but will go again,there are special seals that can deal with that.I fitted them to many owner`s bikes with pitted stanchions in the `70s-`00s.American made,think they`re still available.Let me know if you choose to go down that route and I`ll look them out for you if google`s not your friend.I`ve run bikes for years,no fork oil loss, with a pair of those seals and gaiters fitted.Just rub pitting down with wet&dry.

Blue

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cpimm
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December 26, 2018 - 5:57 pm
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Thanks all. (Hopefully) going in the right direction! Managed to sneak out for an hour today to do a bit more. Tried some of the suggestions from above. Removed crankcase drain plug. Less than teaspoon of mix came out. Tried kicking it over again with a squirt of Easy Start with switch in both positions, I and E but nothing. Took plug out and looked for spark but none. Again, following the above advice, swapped the ignition and lighting switches over. Tried in both positions but no spark.

About to give up again and go for my left over turkey but turned engine over a few times on kick start by hand when..... Suddenly there WAS a spark! Put plug in, squirt of Easy Start, depress kickstart and it kicked back....... After a few more kicks it started and ran for literally a few seconds.

Now I can occasionally get it to start up but it dies straight away and won't pick up and run. Strange when it ran so cleanly for a couple of minutes the first time I did manage to get it started. Also was spitting back, which it wasn't doing before, but whether this was to do with the Easy Start, I don't know. Didn't put much fuel in the tank I must admit, about half a litre I think, but there seems to be plenty coming through when the carb is 'tickled'! Also, I'm not sure about how much choke to give, whether to tickle the carb until it overflows etc.

Boxing Day evening so I've had to stop!

Thanks for the advice regarding how to deal with the rusty areas. It really was bad and the only thing that would touch the silencer and one side of the tank was a wire brush on a drill! Wheels are really bad also. My long term aim is to restore the bike but I'm not really in the position to pull the whole thing apart and do a nut and bolt restoration. I think both wheel rims, spokes and tyres need replacing which is not cheap, so I think to begin with it's going to be silver spray!

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nickjaxe
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December 27, 2018 - 12:22 am
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Have you got a volt meter to see how many volts your batt is giving out.

A condenser can give odd results like that.

Nick.

My Bantam video              https://www.you.....jpOFmzRZRI

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