Joe Hunt Magnetos

Classic Norton Commando Motorcycles.

Joe Hunt Magnetos

Postby jseng1 » Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:42 pm

I've got say something positive about Joe Hunt Magnetos.

I've been using one for a year on my Atlas cafe. The new rare earth magnets and the flatslide carbs make for one kick starting. No problems at all - never a miss. The points are right were I set them a year ago. I came up with detailed instructions and a tool that makes it easier to time plus a reusable silicone housing gasket that doesn't leak. Special spacers are required to keep from crushing the silicone gasket. Best of all you don't need a battery.

I've used electronic ignition and appreciate its benefits. But upgraded old school has arrived with these mags and its too bad they don't bolt right up to Commandos - machining required to fit them behind the cylinders. Some suppliers don't seem to share details on how to set them up and I made some modifications that make things easier. For instance the slotted screws are nearly impossible to deal with when changing points and need to be replaced with allen head cap screws. Taking care of a few details like that makes everything good.

In the photo you can see a bit of the red silicone magneto housing gasket. You can also see the silicone timing cover gasket - this is the only one in existance that I know of.

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Jim Schmidt
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Re: Joe Hunt Magnetos

Postby lcrken » Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:33 pm

Sounds pretty good. I like the news of the strong magnets. You can fit them on a Commando without machining, but they look kind of vulnerable sticking out of the timing cover. It also has no advance mechanism when fitted this way. Fine for a racer, but not so hot for the street. This pictue of my featherbed frame with Commando engine, taken as I bought it in 1984, shows an original Joe Hunt mag bolted on in place of the points. I remember seeing the same setup on some dirt track racers with Commando engines.

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This is a picture of the parts kit to fit it to a Commando.

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It worked pretty well, but the hex key drive eventually wore too much, and I replaced it with points. It's been wearing an ARD mag for the last 15 years or so.

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I had a couple Commando 920 engines back in the '80s that had been modified by George at HPI to fit a magneto behind the engine on the back of the timing cover, like the Atlas, but never took any pictures. I used the early ARD mags that were based on the same basic Fairbanks Morse points and coil magneto that Joe Hunt used for his. They worked really well, but it took a bit of welding and machining on the crankcase, and the use of Atlas timing gears and chains inside, as well as the Atlas centrifugal timing mechanism. I broke the crankcases on both the engines, and never had another set converted. By then Alan at ARD had developed his compact electronic mag that fit in the points housing, and I used that instead.

Ken
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Re: Joe Hunt Magnetos

Postby ashman » Fri Nov 12, 2010 2:39 am

Hi All

I have just put a new Joe Hunt Maggie on my 850 Norton, easy to set up and even easier to tune, my motor is new and fresh, has been on the road for a few weeks now, on my 4th tank full of fuel and I just love the Joe Hunt, first kick every time, idles perfect at lights and as my motor gets closer to being run in i'm starting to give it a few quick revs through the gears and the Joe Hunt is performing as it should...

As for the hex key dive that came with the Joe Hunt kit, it is only made out of soft steel so replaced it with a allen hex the same size, just had to cut to size, get 2 spares from one allen hex, lot harder steel, did the same thing to my Triumph that had a Joe Hunt on for over 9 years and never had any problems with it, but I tell you the new Joe Hunts put out a lot more go than the old Joe Hunts, well worth the money...

Ashley
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