Sparx and Ignition light

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I fitted a Sparx 3 phase alternator whilst delving into the primary. It seems to chuck out useful power at quite low revs but the ignition warning light stays on all the time. I put the multimeter on and I know it's charging well but would like to be warned if anythings goes tits up whilst out and about.
Anyone been through this before and come up with a fix?
thanks
millard
 
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I just recieved all of my parts for the Sparx ignition and alternator upgrade so I'm about to do the install in the next week or so.

Was it difficult to install everything? Namely the 3-phase alternator? I've never cracked open the primary so this will be my first in depth mecahnical endeavour with my Commando.
 

Ron L

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Millard,
How did you wire in the warning light assimilator with the three phase kit?
I am told the original assimilator will work if you take it from one leg of the three phase, but mine would not. I purchased a "low voltage switch" from RGM (I believe Al Osborne supplies a similar device) which turns the light on when the voltage drops or when it exceeds 13.5 volts. It wires into the battery side.
 
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It wasn't quite as straightforward as it should have been Coco. I had to mount the outrigger plate in the lathe and skim some off so the stator could fit, as the diameter of the stator was just a wee bit too big. Then I had to drill out the three mounting holes in the stator so I could get a wee bit of adjustment on the mounting studs to get clearance between stator and rotor.
Not a big job nor a particularly technichal one, in fact quite easy IF you've got a lathe. I ended up fartin around for a day but had about 10 thou clearance all round in the end.
I suppose I should have returned it, but I got it at Xmass and when I eventally got around to fitting it the other week I was just itching to get it on.
Seems to be working now though, although it's really only had the breifest of runs and a meter put accross the battery on a fast tickover.
Any one else have problems?
millard
 
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"How did you wire in the warning light assimilator with the three phase kit? "

I didn't Ron, coz didn't know how. I suppose this is the question I need answering. I did think about one of those warning light thingies but there must be a simple way of wiring in the standard warning light??????


millard
 
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millard said:
It wasn't quite as straightforward as it should have been Coco. I had to mount the outrigger plate in the lathe and skim some off so the stator could fit, as the diameter of the stator was just a wee bit too big. Then I had to drill out the three mounting holes in the stator so I could get a wee bit of adjustment on the mounting studs to get clearance between stator and rotor.
Not a big job nor a particularly technichal one, in fact quite easy IF you've got a lathe. I ended up fartin around for a day but had about 10 thou clearance all round in the end.
I suppose I should have returned it, but I got it at Xmass and when I eventally got around to fitting it the other week I was just itching to get it on.
Seems to be working now though, although it's really only had the breifest of runs and a meter put accross the battery on a fast tickover.
Any one else have problems?
millard

Is yours a MKIII? Don't know if that will make a difference or not for the stator fitting.

I don't have a lathe, nor have ever used one. Damn.

I'm sure the install won't be that difficult but I was simply wondering if you had any snags along the way.
 

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Millard,

Assuming you have the solid state warning light assimilator (as MkIII's should have) rather than the mechanical round can style , two of the three wires (any two) should be connected to the ALT terminals of the assimilator.

With the Sparx system, I believe the three wires from the stator plug into the three yellow leads from regulator/rectifier. You will need to tap off of two of these and run additional wires to the AL terminals on the assimilator.

I have not installed the Sparx units, but have done a couple Lucas three phase with Podtronics regulator/rectifiers. When I did my own '73 850, it had the mechanical can assimilator and it would not work connected to only one side of the alternator (only one AL terminal). It might have been a problem with the assimilator. It was easier to buy the voltage sensor and wire it to the battery feed.

By the way did you fit the 5K ohm resistor plug caps? Sparx claims non-resistor wiring will screw up the regulator. The Podtronics makes no such claims and I haven't had a problem with non-resistor. I was wondering if Sparx isn't just being cautious.
 

L.A.B.

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millard said:
"How did you wire in the warning light assimilator with the three phase kit? "

I didn't Ron, coz didn't know how. I suppose this is the question I need answering. I did think about one of those warning light thingies but there must be a simple way of wiring in the standard warning light??????


millard

If you didn't connect the assimilator to the Sparx alternator output (AC) then the assimilator obviously won't work (light stays on) but how the assimilator operation would be affected by running it from two of the three alternator phases I really couldn't say (probably not??! You could have a word with Al Osborn?).


(MkIII assimilator Diagram 2)
http://www.nortonownersclub.org/technic ... etail.html
 
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Is yours a MKIII? Don't know if that will make a difference or not for the stator fitting.

Yeah it's a Mk111. It's the only Commando I've had and my 1st foray into it's guts so no idea apart from the lack of starter gear what the other models are like.


I'm sure the install won't be that difficult but I wa simply wondering if you had any snags along the way.


I think that if these sort of install probs were common then people would be slagging Sparx units off and we'd all be backing off by now, but that hasn't happened so I'm assuming I was just unlucky

millard
 
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Assuming you have the solid state warning light assimilator (as MkIII's should have) rather than the mechanical round can style , two of the three wires (any two) should be connected to the ALT terminals of the assimilator.

this is the heart of my problem Roblem Ron, I don't know what or where the assimilator is/was. However after reading these responses and LAB's link to Al Osborne, can I assume that it's the wee black box wi wires to the fore of the battery tray?
I have one of those canister thingys on a spring under the battery tray by the back wheel, but thought that was the flasher relay or summat ??

The plug caps are 5k ohm type but I've don't think I've run it up long enough for it to bugger anything yet, apart from me starter. :-(

millard
 

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millard said:
can I assume that it's the wee black box wi wires to the fore of the battery tray?

Yes that should be it.

millard said:
I have one of those canister thingys on a spring under the battery tray by the back wheel, but thought that was the flasher relay or summat ??


If it is blue then that should be the 2MC emergency starting (flat battery/no battery) capacitor? Although it would not originally have been *below* the battery tray (flasher relay would originally have been inside the headlamp shell -rectangular silver box - 2 terminals/wires).
 
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Sparx

I installed the sparx ignition system but cant seem to get the timing right. According to sparx, their ignition is fully advanced at 13 deg yet the markings on the Norton rotor don't even register 13 deg. Is this something I have to guess at? Of course I did, and though my bike will pop, it will not run. Both cylinders spark fine and all my other electronics work before and after the install. I've followed the sparx directions, but no luck. Thanks in advance to anyone who has done this.
 
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Re: Sparx

Joel said:
I installed the sparx ignition system but cant seem to get the timing right. According to sparx, their ignition is fully advanced at 13 deg yet the markings on the Norton rotor don't even register 13 deg. Is this something I have to guess at? Of course I did, and though my bike will pop, it will not run. Both cylinders spark fine and all my other electronics work before and after the install. I've followed the sparx directions, but no luck. Thanks in advance to anyone who has done this.

I'm sure glad this thread came about since I'm doing the Sparx install soon.

I've never even set the timing on a car let alone a Commando.

I hope it works out for me. :wink:
 

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Re: Sparx

Joel said:
I installed the sparx ignition system but cant seem to get the timing right. According to sparx, their ignition is fully advanced at 13 deg yet the markings on the Norton rotor don't even register 13 deg.

Joel,
I think you have misunderstood the Sparx info?
As *13 degrees* is the amount of ignition advance, this is not *13 degrees BTDC*, see the graph at the bottom of their instruction page: http://www.sparxelectrical.com/acatalog ... nition.pdf

The graph shows the ignition advance curve increasing from 6 degrees @ 600 RPM to 13 degrees @ 5000+ RPM, these also appear to be degrees of camshaft rotation therefore for degrees of crankshaft rotation the figure needs to be doubled, so the total advance range of the unit is: = 26 degrees.

Note that the info on the sheet appears to show how to set the ignition on a Triumph twin and maybe the graph info isn't specific to any particular model (as it would normally be 38 deg. BTDC on a Triumph twin??) so for a Commando the fully advanced setting could be 28 deg BTDC?
 
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Re: Sparx

Joel said:
I installed the sparx ignition system but cant seem to get the timing right. According to sparx, their ignition is fully advanced at 13 deg yet the markings on the Norton rotor don't even register 13 deg. Is this something I have to guess at? Of course I did, and though my bike will pop, it will not run. Both cylinders spark fine and all my other electronics work before and after the install. I've followed the sparx directions, but no luck. Thanks in advance to anyone who has done this.

Set the timing statically first and get the bike running. It should run pretty well just by lining up the holes in the ignition pickup backplate. Mine did. Are you running an electronic ignition? Once you get it running, then use a strobe light on the rotor. You need to set the timing in the fully advanced position (28 degrees) at 5000 rpm to be accurate. You should also re-check using a top dead centre tool and timing disk. I have read on several forums that the timing marks on the SPARX rotors (and probably Lucas rotors as well) can be off by several degrees. So you should probably verify your timing independently using a top dead centre tool and timing disk to make sure it is exactly right.
 
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Well coming back to the original question (BTW I don’t mind this thread going off now into timing issues as I’m done with it :wink: ) I used the Al Osborne link and hooked up two of the three alternator wires from my new Sparx unit to the assimilator and the ignition warning light now works. :lol:
Thanks to all who replied.
cheers
millard
 
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Re: Sparx

tpeever said:
So you should probably verify your timing independently using a top dead centre tool and timing disk to make sure it is exactly right.

Seeing is how I have never done something like this I assume I need a special TDC tool and timing disc for the Norton?

This is going to be a challenge but I'm confident I can pull it off.
 

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Re: Sparx

Coco said:
Seeing is how I have never done something like this I assume I need a special TDC tool and timing disc for the Norton?

Simply make one from an old spark plug body with the centre removed and with a bolt and nut/s fitted to it so that it stops the piston about 20-30 degrees either side of TDC when turning the engine backwards and forwards carefully by hand.
If you set the timing disc so that each stop position registers an equal amount either side of 0 degrees (by adjusting the timing disc) then the 0 degree position will be exactly TDC.

As you have an 850 MkIII then that has the 28 degree position (full advance) crankcase timing plug anyway, but you could always check how accurate it is with the piston stop and timing disc?
 
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Re: Sparx

L.A.B. said:
As you have an 850 MkIII then that has the 28 degree position (full advance) crankcase timing plug anyway, but you could always check how accurate it is with the piston stop and timing disc?

I didn't realize the MkIIIs had a crankcase timing plug. That makes it much easier and allows another independent check. My Triumph TR6C has one of these and when I checked against the timing mark on the SPARX rotor, it was off by about 2-3 degrees. So it is definitely not safe to assume that the mark will be all that close. Several others have mentioned this on various forums so I assume my experience isn't out of the ordinary.
 
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