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Ignition Issues, Plz Help 10 Jun 2020 16:16 #827809

  • BikeNoob
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Recently bought a 1978 Kz650-b2.

I am relatively new to working on bikes but I am learning as I go, it has been fun so far.

However, I cannot get this bike running. Initially its previous owner had diagnosed that it simply needed a new stator but I was doubtful of that.

Since then, I have replaced the stator, ignition coils, battery with new oem pieces and cleaned out the gas tank, carbs, and petcock completely. The bike sparks at the contact breaker points and the engine rotates when I press the start button but I am still not getting a spark to my new coils which obviously has not allowed me to get the bike started up. What might I investigate to determine the cause of this? Regulator issues?

To determine that I was not getting a spark I used the classic screwdriver in the spark plug boot test which didn't provide a spark to my ground.

I have set my contact breaker points and set my timing as well so I don't think that is the issue. Only thing is the points themselves are slightly corroded (as in there is small bits of residue of one side of the point on the opposite point).

Anyone have any info that might help me?
78' KZ650-B2 (Under Construction)
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Ignition Issues, Plz Help 10 Jun 2020 19:47 #827828

  • hardrockminer
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Have you checked voltage at your coils? Also, what about your plug wires? If you're getting voltage to the coils then you might have bad plug wires.
I have a couple of Z1B's restored, an '80 KZ1000LTD restored, a 1981 KZ550 restored and a 2008 KLR 650 for off road fun. My wife has a 2019 Suzuki DR 650 for on and off road.

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Ignition Issues, Plz Help 10 Jun 2020 20:22 #827830

  • Mikaw
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I think Spark at the points is a sign the condensers are bad
1976 KZ 900 A4
1976 KZ 900 B1 LTD
1978 KZ 1000 B2 LTD
Kowledge Speaks, But Wisdom Listens.
Jimi Hendrix.

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Ignition Issues, Plz Help 10 Jun 2020 21:34 #827833

  • BikeNoob
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So the plug wires are also brand new along with the plug caps/boot. So I think it is more likely something else. Another odd bit is that the fuse box only had a 20a fuse when I got the bike but all the electrical besides the ignition worked, headlights, turn signals, horn, etc. Since then I have replaced the other fuses but one has been jerryrigged to accept a car fuse...
78' KZ650-B2 (Under Construction)

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Ignition Issues, Plz Help 10 Jun 2020 22:42 #827834

  • Barry1
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You might want to check that you were sent the correct coils.

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Ignition Issues, Plz Help 10 Jun 2020 23:01 #827835

  • F64
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Turn on your key.
Check DC voltage.
First, positive meter lead on the positive battery terminal(not the wire)--negative meter lead on the negative battery terminal(not the wire).
Make note of the voltage.
Move your negative lead to the spark plug hex nut.
Is the reading the same or close to the first reading?

How did you check your timing?
When you checked for spark. Did you have all the other spark plug wires attached to installed spark plugs?
Did you check for top dead center on the cylinder you were adjusting points for?
81-KZ440-D2. Louis Dudzik's GM HEI ignition module converted 2015--no issues, Motogadget m-unit blue.
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Last edit: by F64. Reason: sloppy editing

Ignition Issues, Plz Help 11 Jun 2020 11:20 #827900

  • loudhvx
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What neighborhood in Chicago are you in?

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Ignition Issues, Plz Help 11 Jun 2020 12:36 #827912

  • BikeNoob
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F64 wrote: Turn on your key.
Check DC voltage.
First, positive meter lead on the positive battery terminal(not the wire)--negative meter lead on the negative battery terminal(not the wire).
Make note of the voltage.
Move your negative lead to the spark plug hex nut.
Is the reading the same or close to the first reading?

How did you check your timing?
When you checked for spark. Did you have all the other spark plug wires attached to installed spark plugs?
Did you check for top dead center on the cylinder you were adjusting points for?


So to answer your first question, I checked the battery voltage which is steady at about 12.6 volts right now, and I got the same reading with the negative lead on the hex nut of all four spark plugs.

In terms of the timing what I did was follow the procedure in the owners manual, used an ohmmeter to see if the power was flickering at the F mark. The manual did not have a portion mentioning about top dead center however.

When I checked for spark all 3 other plugs were still attached to their respective wires.

loudhvx wrote: What neighborhood in Chicago are you in?


I am in Rogers Park
78' KZ650-B2 (Under Construction)

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Ignition Issues, Plz Help 11 Jun 2020 12:53 #827914

  • F64
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The reason for the voltage check on the battery and the plugs was to verify the engine had a good ground.
That checks out.
Hardrockminer asked above about voltage at the coils.
Have you checked that?
81-KZ440-D2. Louis Dudzik's GM HEI ignition module converted 2015--no issues, Motogadget m-unit blue.

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Ignition Issues, Plz Help 11 Jun 2020 13:42 #827924

  • BikeNoob
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F64 wrote: The reason for the voltage check on the battery and the plugs was to verify the engine had a good ground.
That checks out.
Hardrockminer asked above about voltage at the coils.
Have you checked that?


So I just checked the voltage to the new coils, each side is getting about 4.2 when set to the 200 ohms setting on my meter.
78' KZ650-B2 (Under Construction)

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Ignition Issues, Plz Help 11 Jun 2020 17:16 #827943

  • F64
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You measured the resistance.
Put your meter on 20 volt DC scale to measure the voltage at the coils.
Put the black probe on negative terminal of the battery and the red positive probe on the coil terminal.
Do this with the ignition on but don't leave it on for more than a couple of minutes or the coil will overheat.
Tell us the voltage you get.

photo: sparkfun
learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/how-to-use-a-multimeter/all

81-KZ440-D2. Louis Dudzik's GM HEI ignition module converted 2015--no issues, Motogadget m-unit blue.
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Ignition Issues, Plz Help 12 Jun 2020 05:29 #827969

  • loudhvx
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I sent you a PM.

Both plugs connected to a coil should spark at the same time. A path must be provided to allow both plug wires to spark to ground (or to each other).

The safest way to check for spark is to have all four plugs out and laying in contact with the engine with all plug wires connected. This puts far less stress on the starter and will allow you to check all four plugs simultaneously.

Make sure to blow the grit and dirt away from the plug areas before removing them.
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Last edit: by loudhvx.
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