Faulty Pazon Ignition Caused My 850 Commando to Not Start

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Mar 1, 2007
Thanks to all of you who gave me advise on My 74 850 Commando. I finally solved the starting problem. I purchased a brand new pazon sure fire ignition from Map in Florida. I wired it in corrrectly and the trigger wires were soldered to the plate ABSOLUTELY CORRECTLY so watch out if you purchase one of these systems. The instructions clealy state that if you get the trigger wires switched it will retard the spark and make it hard if not impossible to start. That is what mine was doing. The factory error caused me to pull my hair out for a week and many lost hours trying to solve the problem. Thanks God I did not pull the timing cover to check my chain link count. I did however pull and clean the carbs twice. Anyway on suspicion I decided to reverse the wires on the plate to the opposite color code as per instructions.. This plate is by the way CLEARLY marked and any idiot could not get it wrong. Whoever assembled the Pazon at the factory got the trigger wires switched inside the sealed unit. After I put the wires on in reverse of their clear instructions the Damn thing started first kick. Boy Howdy am I pissed and they will hear from me on Monday--Not Map but Pazon------Do you guys think I should now send the unit back for another or is this just an unfortunate screw-up at the factory??? I do wonder if they got everything else corrrect??? It timed out just fine at 28 degrees BTDC 4000 RPM. I warmed it up to op temp and re tightened the pipes. I then took it up and down my long street for a test run. It is running great. I let it cool down for several hours and have re-torqued the head. It was geting dark but I did get in a few hard blasts to seat the rings. I seated my buddies top end last year the same way by loading it up pretty hard and then backing off the throttle to seat the rings. His is still running like a bat out of hell with no smoking so I prefer this method of break in for about 20 miles and then change the oil. Question is should I return the Pazon for another or jut keep it and assume it was just a bit of bad luck and all is well now??? It seems to be running fine----Thanks for any further advise and maybe I can keeep someone my age (53) from having a coronary from kicking the living shit out of their bike to no avail due to a color code switch from the factory. I do intend to make them very aware of the misshap-------Mark C.
ive been thinking about purchasing a pazon from MAP, i'd be curious to hear what their response is to your dilemma. ~Gavin

Glad to hear you got it going at last.

I agree you should certainly make Pazon aware of your problem, after all it is as much in their interest as ours for them to know about any possible production problems. Others here have fitted the Pazon and haven't reported any problems, so far.

If we don't complain when we get sent parts that either don't fit, or otherwise don't do what they are supposed to do then we should all make the suppliers (and manufacturers) aware of the problem.

However, I was thinking this could possibly be an instruction sheet error?

As that ignition unit is suitable for both Triumph, BSA and Norton twins, the same pickup plate used for both clockwise and anti-clockwise rotation (Triumph - clockwise, Norton/BSA anti-clockwise)?

Therefore I would have thought the way the pickup wires need to be connected to the plate would depend on the direction of rotation?
Yes let them know, try and be polite for as my old mate would say "Them'uns who do nowt get nowt wrong"
As usually it's something stupid, pleased to hear you've got it sorted though.
Interesting about the Pazon. I have one waiting to go onto my 850, so if I have starting problems I'll keep this in mind.

I would certainly let them know about it, but since the problem is resolved and the bike is running good I'd just use it as is.

Pazon Problem

Well I just spoke with the tech at Map and he was very apologetic. He said I am the first to call with this delimma and that the instructions are printed correctly. He said Pazon will replace it but since it is working fine now and it has a 7.5 year warranty I think I will keep it. He said he has never had to return one. I will however e-mail the factory about it so It does not happen to someone else. Thanks again for all your good advise and if yours behaves the same when you install it just switch the trigger wires. I hope they did not have a lot of these get out by mistake/ I must be jinxed cause I had a Boyer last year that failed on me and would kick the crap out of you when you least expected it. It was 3 years old---Mark Cigainero
I just bought a Pazon sure fire system but I got mine directly from Pazon. I hope mine is fine since I don't have much hair left to pull out iof something goes wrong. I'm a self professed electro-retard so I hope my unit is wired fine.

Glad you got your bike running!
A friend has recently fitted a Pazon to a road going B50 and it gave major starting problems which were cured by fitting a Boyer MK3 box. Pazon did a swop but the problem persisited, a reading of the Pazon site shows an enancement over the Boyer, the ignition will not switch on until it detects 100 rpm. If you think logically about this you can see that for a Pazon to produce a spark on a kickstarted bike the crank has to move through 360 degrees before firing, it needs to sense 2 pulses from the rotor magnets for it to be able to work out 100 rpm from the gap between the pulses. On a lightly flywheeled, high compression, low kickstart geared B50 being kicked this gives a problem. Pazon on being told of the theory rapidly replaced the second unit, this works and the part number has an extra LS on the end. Seems most of the B50's being used are bumped started and the std Pazon works.

Now move this experience across to an 850 Commando, from cold a kickstart on an 850 will not move the crank far, should you risk a Pazon or wait for the rumoured low voltage Boyer thats in testing.
Fitted a Pazon last year but one of the coils went open circuit after 30 mins. It was replaced with no argument but was an unusual failure. Works well and resolved the nasty kick back I always had with the Boyer Digital (had to retard to 28deg max advance to stop this).
Just noticed something this weekend when checking the timing. After fitting an RMA tensioner December I'd replaced the ign parts using marks made before removal. With the std tensioner and the chain pretty tight I had 27 deg at 3000 and the full 31 at 5000 +. Now I'm seeing 28 at 3000 and 35 at 5000 +. So I retimed for 31 max and have 23 at 3000, way off the Pazon design curve. I don't see how the curve can change (Can the electronics alter after some cycling?) I'm very careful to take readings and plot a curve each time. Only thing I have noticed is that at max advance the strobe is very solid and does not move much.
Strange thing is that with that extra advance the Pazon was retarding enough not to kickback on starting. Will ask them but thought it worth a shot on here.
Keith - if the only thing that changed was the chain tensioner, I'd look directly at that part having an effect on timing while running.

Logic is a strange critter.
Thanks, that was my thought. Probably thinking too much trying to rationalize the disparity in timing. I guess I have to assume the pre RMA readings were incorrect but I know I took them many times. The old readings matched the Pazon curve, now they don't!!
isn't the RMA spring tensioned? maybe spring is being compressed under the higher RPM's??
Yes, that's how the auto-tensioner works, and that's how the timing curve is varying.
I would recommend Tri-Spark ignition on Commandos rather than either Boyer or Pazon. I had Boyer on my 850 - it was OK but the Tri-Spark system has transformed it.
On a lighter note maybe when they moved from the U.K (northern hemisphere) to N.Z (southern hemisphere) the wiring may have to be reversed,They say the water goes down the plug hole they other way down there :D

I like your theory on bedding rings in, it worked for me on a velocette engine I rebuilt but a previous rebuild on a Suzuki it burned oil for a couple of thousand miles before it settled down.
Thanks guys. I was hoping the tension from the RMA would prevent this kind of thing. Surely with crank rotation the top run of the cam chain is dead tight and the tensioner (whatever kind) takes up the slack on the unloaded side? Is there really that much cyclical loading/unloading from the cam train that could overcome spring tension?
Yes, when in a decellerating/unloading condition, the camchain slack is at the top of the chain, just as in all other applications of a chain drive.
Hello -
I'm a new guy to the forum. Please forgive me if these questions have been answered. I did look through the previous Pazon threads.

I just finished restoring/modifying my 74 Commando for the second time. I completely rewired the bike to negative ground, added a Sparx charging system, a 12 volt single coil and bought a Pazon PA2 (from MAP Cycle). I followed the directions to the letter. I have spark but the timing is clearly way out. It kicked back hard and I thought it was going to blow the Mikuni off the manifold. I tried the Boyer method of bringing the motor to TDC then setting the magnet/pick up plate so the magnet is just passing the hole. Still won't start but it stopped the kickback / back fire. I have checked everything. The Pazon tech didn't give me any advice other than what I've already tried. The tech guy at MAP just said we never had any problems, call me when you figure it out. Big help. I will try switching the yellow/black and white/black wires at the plate. I know that worked for one guy, but it is hard to believe that it would come from them backwards.

So, has anybody else had to switch their wires to get a Pazon to work? Are there people who installed one without a problem? Did you follow the Pazon timing directions or use another method? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Darrel
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