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Thread: GL1000 Dynatech Ignition Clone On My 450

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    GL1000 Dynatech Ignition Clone On My 450

    Warning: the fruit of my febrile actions aren't necessarily for the unimaginative. One must start with a goal in mind, you see.

    The Problem
    I have a stable of 450's of various years and as the points wear out, my goal was to replace with an electronic type replacement. I started with the idea that points are only switches, and that the more crisp the electrical break, the better spark realized at the spark plug. As points spark, arc and generally break the connection gradually, that wonderful charge on the coil's primary side is eroded, and more with each arc or spark until an air gap insulates from further arcing, only then does the field collapse, flood the secondary side and cause a spark event where it's supposed to.

    Also, points are in the neighborhood of $40-60 and I'm being frugal in this area so I can be lavish in another.

    Surfing through the various forums, I ran across some threads where folks early on, adapted the Dynatek ignition from a GL1000 to the 450, out of production from Dyna and cloned for many years. They had their adapting problems but they were easily overcome, to my mind at least. Traveling over to eBay, I found clones from $40-$60 so I bought one.

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    The Installation
    The diameter of the plate and placement of the pickups are spot-on to work on the 450, that was the easy part. Reading other folks problems and seeing what for myself, the probs were twofold:
    1. The plate was too thin to anchor/clamp properly (my finding)
    2. The pickups at their closest adjustment only allowed for 100deg separation when 90deg was absolutely required.
    3. Spacer needed to adapt the rotor. it's the right inner diameter, but very long.

    The larger issue is timing and at 10deg difference, wouldn't work. Knowing a magnetic rule (following coulombs law) I measured the magnet to pickup clearance at a whopping .045" - way too much. A new plate is needed which would solve both 1 and 2 above. I have a lathe, but not a mill so decided to use thicker stock and machine a hollow plate, leaving a fence on the outer diameter and position the sensors against the fence. Some transfer punch work and the sensors are mounted with a consistent clearance of .028". I think .025" would have been better. I'll upload photos in another post.

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    Senior Member stl360+450's Avatar
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    Looking forward to seeing the pictures and hearing how it's working!
    1974 CB360G
    1974 CB450K7

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    Last edited by ancientdad; 07.06.22 at 8:23 PM.

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    The Timing
    With spark plugs out, but the leads grounded, I was able to turn the engine over via electric start and exactly align the timing marks in their proper place, very pleased. And, very positive spark.

    If you look at photo 5, you'll see kind of a special spacer with a side cut out, it nips on the ridge with a very wide lip so as to not crush but hold it nicely. Conversely on the other screw/washer, I had to be very careful as it bent the outer rib with little torque. while it doesn't matter in the long run, it irked that I crushed my painstakingly created rib so easily.

    The Ballast
    One of the practices in early ignitions was to put a ballast resistor to control coil inrush current in marginal charging systems equipped cars. Dyna did that too which helped their system be one of the early electronic gizmos' be reliable. Same here. Pic 6 shows I've simply zip tied the ballast where the condenser sets used to reside. Very convenient.

    More this weekend when I can carve out some quality time in the garage, it's not run as yet, only sparked for timing purposes.

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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    I like it. If only it also had electronic advance. But that's something else I think you're spending some time on...
    (move along, nothing to see here)

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    Some of you already know…

    Im working on a next gen ignition utilizing an e-advance, essentially a retard lookup table. We got together on the 4th and he is progressing, albeit slowly. We’ve gotten the basic form of the design, coils bracket is standardized. Finding the right components, I.e. Hall effect sensors that will give a clean signal at the voltage we want has been the current challenge (puns intended). Function of the breadboard keeps getting smaller. Will be software driven.

    Ive mapped the “hot day” heat characteristics of the engine, etc, the list is long.

    This GL adaptation was kind of a therapeutic interlude of quick returns for all the other work that isn’t so tangible.

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    There are other things needed to install, the wire length is 3x what is needed for this application.

    Specially made parts are the plate (.125” aluminum sheet) specially relieved locking sleeve (aluminum bar stock), rotor retainer/spacer (I had carbon PEEK but aluminum bar is also perfect), m6 flat head screws are needed to ensure a low profile for the points cover to seat without interference.

    I used the technology I have to achieve the desired result but if you had a .093 sheet would be fine and careful layout would give the same result. I recommend a rotor to sensor clearance of .025” would result in a better adjustment range.

    I don’t plan to do anything more with this so if anyone wants the dimensions used, just PM me. I need to print up some “mad scientist” stickies…..

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    Very interesting read, I didn't know about the Ebay clones of the Dynatech ignition.

    The Ballast
    One of the practices in early ignitions was to put a ballast resistor to control coil inrush current in marginal charging systems equipped cars. Dyna did that too which helped their system be one of the early electronic gizmos' be reliable. Same here. Pic 6 shows I've simply zip tied the ballast where the condenser sets used to reside. Very convenient.
    I have a Dynatech GL1000 ignition, with the rotor modified so that it fits a CB/CL/SL 175 engine, and I have had it running with this. I didn't really know what to do with the supplied ballast resistor, same as the one in your photo. Is there any advantage ( or point ) in using this with the stock ignition coil, and if so, how is it wired in ? In series with the positive feed to the coil ?

    My ignition, with one of the pickups removed, only one required on the 175 wasted spark.

    1972 CL175K7
    1970 CB174K4, 'upgraded' to a K6 alike
    1971 SL175, with a few non standard parts !
    1998 CB600 Hornet

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    Their literature notes if a stock coil is used, then the ballast is unneeded. Note the GL is a wasted spark system, no different from your application. If yours is working, run with it!

    The ballast resistor lengthens the inrush time into the coil, measured in ms. I think coils fully saturate within 5ms at full rpm, something like that. Inrush peak can be 10x the steady state current draw so you get the idea of scale.

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    That last suggested that rpm effects inrush when it’s the other way around. That is, the coil saturates at the same speed independent of rpm.

    At really high rpm, spark events can crowd inrush such that the coil won’t be ready for spark demands.

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    Today's ride in was uneventful, 64°F this morning. The bike fired right up and as usual when changing from mechanical to electronic triggers, the idle was way high but once that adjusted down, it's stable. Overall a good change. Now, we'll see how reliable it is!

    There are observations I hadn't sorted whether fuel or ignition related. One of my bikes has PWK33's (68 CL450) on it and pulls smoothly down to 2K rpm. It doesn't make much power there but I can smoothly coax it to accelerate into a better rpm band. The OEM CV carb'd bike (70 CL450) starts to get really unhappy at 3K rpm and won't pull below that. Both bikes have e-ignition and my oil pump. The spark plug caps are fairly new on both and new plug wires on the 68 PWK bike /Yamaha 650 coils and E3 spark plugs while the other bike has OEM coils from 1970 and Autolite spark plugs.

    I do think spark plugs make a difference but I don't have enough miles on either to decide which I like better. I only have about 600 miles on the E3's and 15 on the Autolite's. Neither are resistor types. So far, the 70 with Autolite plugs, idles better. BTW, both advance mechanisms have been rebuilt/restored and are in good shape - no jumping around on the timing strobe.

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    Are you running different brand plugs because of the lack of B8ES availability? Or just trying them? Good thing your oil pump is in the one that started with a really high idle...

    Oh, and 64°??

    Man, I can't wait for October.
    (move along, nothing to see here)

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    Generally, yes. I had the E3's available and wanted to verify their claims. so far, it's just another spark plug. Conversely, the Autolites are surprisingly crisp in runability.
    I can still find NGK's but thought "why?" when others are available.

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    My past experiences with Autolite and Champion have not been good, seemed like every bike I saw them in did not run well. But, that was a long time ago so who knows these days. And I always wondered about the E3 thing too.
    (move along, nothing to see here)

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    You're correct, the new design Autolite uses a reduced diameter center electrode and the ground strap is a tapered shape that only reaches part way across the center. All in all, I like the design. Still on the fence for performance and I did use anti-seize - just in case they're in there for a while (which would be a good thing).

    I guess my initial thoughts on the E3 are they're just another spark plug. perhaps having a higher output ignition system would capitalize on its design?
    E3_36_Tip_Image.jpgatl-4063_xl.jpg

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    Yeah, I suspect that since anything newer than our ignition coils has more output voltage, the E3 plugs might work better.
    (move along, nothing to see here)

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    Left pic is the E3 and the other is the Autolite with updated electrodes.

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    Well folks, the grand experiment failed. It wasn't an epic fail, but grand just the same. I got about 20 miles on the ignition and one side was intermittent and eventually failed. I was able to limp home on one cylinder the rest of the way. A little troubleshooting by swapping spark plugs side-to-side was done, which didn't move the problem with it, solidified the module at issue.

    Back to points it is, at least for now.

    I contacted the vendor to let him know the problem and asked what their warranty process is and he replied with "what partial refund I'd accept." As you can imagine, Jay's not too happy with this vendor not standing tall behind his product. I expected some request for pictures, or installation details, that kind of thing but he hasn't asked for any of that so I'm in negotiation limbo. I require a replacement (that works) or a refund. No middle ground. Their site also requests negotiation first before negative comments, doing what I can but this may get ugly.

    What's vexing is I really wanted this to work! Will keep you posted.

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    Well, that sucks. I hope you get a full refund.
    (move along, nothing to see here)

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    Presumably this is a Chinese vendor ?

    We had a problem with a vendor on Ebay, item described as stained glass turned out to be thin screen printed plastic. I suppose we should have known it was too good to be true, given the price. On requesting a refund, instead of just giving the money back via Paypal, vendor tried negotiating, offering partial refunds on condition that we gave positive reviews, returned the goods to China, despite being allegedly sent from a UK address, didn't raise a dispute etc. We were refunded in full eventually, but the vendor really tried to wriggle out of a full payment, gradually increasing his percentage offer. Really left a bad taste. Needless to say, I did not post the piece of plastic tat back to China ...
    1972 CL175K7
    1970 CB174K4, 'upgraded' to a K6 alike
    1971 SL175, with a few non standard parts !
    1998 CB600 Hornet

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    The result for me was a half refund.
    Extremely dissatisfied customer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jays100 View Post
    The result for me was a half refund.
    Extremely dissatisfied customer.
    Well that sucks. Please post the seller's eBay site so we know who to avoid.
    (move along, nothing to see here)

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