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1941 Chief Ignition System Woes

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cljensen

Posts: 5

Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 1:01 am

Location: Wesley Chapel, Florida

Post Mon Jan 20, 2003 2:35 pm

1941 Chief Ignition System Woes

Greetings,
I have a 1941 Chief. A few months ago, I rode the bike in the rain and the thing died just as soon as I got it home on one cylinder. I let it cool off and dried everything up, but I had no spark in either cylinder. So, it was about time for a tune up, so I ordered a new cap, rotor, plugs, condensor and points from Kiwi and finally got around to installing it this past weekend.

When I firt put the parts in, I had an OK, but not great spark in both plugs. But, it wouldn't start, in fact it didn't even pop when I tried, which is unusual, because I can normally start it in 1 or 2 kicks.

So, I took the plugs back out and I have no spark again. The battery is fine as the lights and horn work, but I think I might have a short someplace, or maybe Kiwi sold me some bad stuff, which I doubt.

I suppose it could be the coil or the condensor, but I don't know how to test those components.

Any tips or technical article referalls would be most appreciated. I am trying to get the bike in decent enough shape for bike week this year.

ON a related note, I was thinking about maybe converting to a magneto ignition system, or at least a system that is more waterproof and has less components. Does anybody know where I can get a magneto for this thing, or should I just put it back to a point ignition system.

Thanks,

Clint
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Cotten

User avatar

Posts: 2671

Joined: Thu Sep 30, 1999 12:01 am

Location: Central Illinois, USA

Post Mon Jan 20, 2003 4:11 pm

Clint!
Although moisture can play hell with the coil as well, the first thing I would check is the fishpaper insulator inside the distributor. It is the "L"-shaped gasket along the wall of it that surrounds the screw to the external terminal.

And the new hardware is certainly suspect. I found that the rotors from the supplier you mentioned often had to be altered to properly fit the shaft. (I used a soldering iron.) If they sent you a light brown cap, they are prone to cracking from a poor fit upon the body.

Good luck!

[This message has been edited by Cotten (edited 20 January 2003).]
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flattyflyer

Posts: 252

Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2002 1:01 am

Post Tue Jan 21, 2003 8:28 am

IL believe the brown dist cap is the heavy duty one but I forget. Your NAPA dealer can get all the parts you mention. Tell them its for a 6 volt 2 cylinder Schramm indistrial motor. Same as the Indian stuff except the rotor does not have the long pick up shoe like the original Indian. Just got to tune it closer!!!
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Cotten

User avatar

Posts: 2671

Joined: Thu Sep 30, 1999 12:01 am

Location: Central Illinois, USA

Post Tue Jan 21, 2003 2:09 pm

Here's the NAPA numbers:
Distributor Cap------AL-143.
ROTOR--------------AL-32.
Point Set--------------CS-709.
Condensor------------RR-174.
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cljensen

Posts: 5

Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 1:01 am

Location: Wesley Chapel, Florida

Post Tue Jan 21, 2003 5:06 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions.!!!

Turns out, I had an intermittent short in one of the wires. I traced it down, replaced the wire and now she fires right up on the first or second kick just like she used too.

Thanks again,

Clint

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