Author Topic: Lucas Rita Ignition woes  (Read 4622 times)

Anthony

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 10
  • ALABAMA HESKETH
Lucas Rita Ignition woes
« on: May 16, 2014, 05:56:52 PM »
Hi Guys,

My V1000 stopped firing on the rear cylinder, thankfully on the way home. I checked over the ignition system connections, changed the plugs and hey presto off I went........until after about 3 miles and no sparks at all. Trailered it home and went over everything again and had sparks so went out for a test run........until after about 3 miles again no sparks. All dashlights are on, battery is fully charged but no firing. I left alone for a couple of weeks and sparks returned. Question is, are the coils and or trigger overheating and breaking down? has anyone had similar problems? and what are my options to upgrade?

Thanks in advance for your help

Best regards

Tony
Best regards

A. M.

Miti

  • HOC Committee
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 392
  • Brit V-Twin Fan
    • Hesketh Owners Club
Re: Lucas Rita Ignition woes
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2014, 11:32:16 PM »
Hi Tony;

Sounds like an intermittent connection somewhere...  I think the plug swap didn't really achieve anything as it seems that the sparks might well have returned anyway with the bike being left a while.

Things to check:

1.  ALL of the ignition wiring connectors - don't forget the fusebox and the RHS handlebar switch connectors.

2.  Remember that the bike has a "wasted spark" ignition system.  Both cyls fire together.

3.  Remember that the bike has 2 x 6V coils, wired in series.  If one coil is starting to break down, then the other will not be able to fire properly either.

4.  Check your battery voltage when the bike is running.  The Lucas Rita performs quite poorly when the supply voltage is low.  If your rec/reg isn't producing enough voltage, then the battery won't charge properly and the bike might start up perfectly well after having been left a while, but then fail as the battery voltage decays as it discharges.

There is some info on how to check the ignition system on the Hesketh OC website, here:  It's very generic though and a lot of common sense will be required too...  Points to note include that the V1000 has a model specific AB11 amplifier fitted.

Alternatives systems are limited.  The V1000 Lucas Rita has automatic advance built into the box and this would need to be replicated by any replacement.  Hesketh M/C have been updating some bikes with a digital system (made by Gil - same folk who made the systems for the early Bloor triumph triples)  This involves adding a crankshaft trigger wheel and position sensor and costs $$$.  I would check out the serviceability of your OEM kit first, as repair and/or replacement may well be a far more cost-effective option.

That said, this Czech frm - IGNITECH - gets a very good rep and seems to offer tuneable systems for almost any bike, at rock botoom prices... Often compatible with OEM trigger units too... Might be worth a quick e-mail if you find that you've definitely gor a duffer on your hands..

Hope that helps

Jeff
« Last Edit: May 17, 2014, 10:23:25 PM by Miti »
1975 Triumph Trident 750 (New Project)
1980 Yamaha XS1100 (Midnight Special)
1981 Yamaha XS1100 Sport (Trike Project)
1981 Yamaha XS1100 Sport (Reg'd 1985)
1982 Hesketh V1000 (Pre-Production Engine)

David S

  • HOC Committee
  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 23
  • Brit Bike Fan
    • 1950 BSA A10 Golden Flash PMU121
Re: Lucas Rita Ignition woes
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2014, 11:43:50 AM »
Yes, I had this problem en route home from an event in Wales.

I was overtaking on a steep climb and suffered a severe misfire. I stopped to inspect but couldn't find anything obvious. Restarted and it fired okey until about a mile later when the misfire occurred again. This happend a couple of times and was eventually trailered home.

It turned out to be the reluctor coil going open circuit at 50 degC. Once it cooled down a bit it was okay.

How can I be so precise? I tested it in the oven!

DWS

Anthony

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 10
  • ALABAMA HESKETH
Re: Lucas Rita Ignition woes
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2014, 05:10:16 PM »
Hi Guys,

Thanks for the info. Last night I changed out the battery main wires for car type. I am getting a lovely big fat spark when turning the ignition switch off but on the starter button there is still no spark apart from when I release the starter button and I get one good spark. R/H switch looks good so I'm tracing all wires and connections. Im getting 670 +/- ohms from the signal trigger at the cam and will check the coils from the manual info, does anyone know where point "A" and "C" is mentioned in the workshop manual? I guessed "C" is at the connector block to the trigger and thats where I got the ohm reading from.
Best regards

A. M.

Miti

  • HOC Committee
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 392
  • Brit V-Twin Fan
    • Hesketh Owners Club
Re: Lucas Rita Ignition woes
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2014, 08:06:10 PM »
Going by the instructions, points A and B are along the current path that the +12V DC supply takes from the supply, through the coils and then through the RITA unit, to earth...

So, extrapolating those instructions and starting at the supply, the voltages should be:

+12V DC - battery voltage - measured  at the +ve side of the Upper Coil.
+12V to +8V DC - measured  at the -ve side of the Upper Coil/+ve side of the Lower Coil.
+2V to +6V DC - measured  at the -ve side of the Lower Coil.

This sort of infers that each coils develops +4V DC across its primary coi, when that coil is AOK...

The 200V to 400V AC must be a result of the coil field collapsing and must be being measured where that collapsing field feed back into the RITA unit, so measured at the -ve side of the Lower Coil...

I hope this helps...

Miti
1975 Triumph Trident 750 (New Project)
1980 Yamaha XS1100 (Midnight Special)
1981 Yamaha XS1100 Sport (Trike Project)
1981 Yamaha XS1100 Sport (Reg'd 1985)
1982 Hesketh V1000 (Pre-Production Engine)

Anthony

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 10
  • ALABAMA HESKETH
Re: Lucas Rita Ignition woes
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2014, 04:45:59 PM »
Hi Guys,

I have ran tests and have determined the reluctor coil is bad and now it has gone down completely. I am going to contact IGNITECH as suggested by Jeff (Thanks Jeff) as the nice guys at British Cycle Supply Co. do not have that type. (F.Y.I. They can test the AB11 and get them rebuilt  est $250 US, but do not have any for sale as an item).
Question is which Reluctor coil do I have?
I cannot trust the ohm reading I was getting to start with!!

Is it the C/low C, 2 PU or 5 PU ???
Best regards

A. M.

Miti

  • HOC Committee
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 392
  • Brit V-Twin Fan
    • Hesketh Owners Club
Re: Lucas Rita Ignition woes
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2014, 11:26:07 PM »
Is it the C/low C, 2 PU or 5 PU ???

There is more info on the Eurospares site, here: http://www.eurospares.com/geninfo.htm

"3. There are four Pickups in use and these are identified as follows:

  • 2 P.U. Type. Basically hexagonal in shape and full encapsulated. Normally used only on racing machines.
  • The standard "C" type used on Trident and Suzuki three-cylinder.
  • The low "C" type used on most other road machines.
    • The 5 P.U. Pickup and Reluctor used on OEM Triumph twins when the AB11 amplifier is used. This Pickup is also compatible with the AB5 amplifier - OBSOLETE
    "

    So, it seems likely that it's the low "C" type...  Anyone out there with more definite info..?

    Jeff
1975 Triumph Trident 750 (New Project)
1980 Yamaha XS1100 (Midnight Special)
1981 Yamaha XS1100 Sport (Trike Project)
1981 Yamaha XS1100 Sport (Reg'd 1985)
1982 Hesketh V1000 (Pre-Production Engine)

Andygbsmith

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Brit V-Twin Fan
Re: Lucas Rita Ignition woes
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2014, 01:29:09 PM »
If you contact John at Mistral engineering (the manufacturer of Lucas Rita ignition)
They produce a new box called a Moyra as a direct replacment.
I have been using one for a couple of years now, it uses a programmed chip for the advance curve, as opposed to the old boxes that used the number of tuns on the coil to give the curve.
Andy

Miti

  • HOC Committee
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 392
  • Brit V-Twin Fan
    • Hesketh Owners Club
Re: Lucas Rita Ignition woes
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2014, 12:11:50 PM »
Hi Anthony;

Did your ignition woes cause problems at Bonneville..?  I've yet to hear a full account of your exploits there - bet it would make interesting reading... (hint).

The bike is looking good BTW... I see you took a rosette at the Barber Festival, but couldn't find an article that said what the prize was.  Care to educate us..?



Jeff
1975 Triumph Trident 750 (New Project)
1980 Yamaha XS1100 (Midnight Special)
1981 Yamaha XS1100 Sport (Trike Project)
1981 Yamaha XS1100 Sport (Reg'd 1985)
1982 Hesketh V1000 (Pre-Production Engine)

Anthony

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 10
  • ALABAMA HESKETH
Re: Lucas Rita Ignition woes
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2014, 02:57:43 AM »
Hi Jeff,

I won best rider in the "Classic Motorcycle" magazine Vintage competition. Best restored went to a Brough combo, so we were in good company.
I think what swung it was Alan Cathcart was judging and he was out on the salt the year before and had seen the Hesketh there and was surprised to say the least. Rob said he would put a little bit in the next "Sock".
Update on ignition woes,
I have had no success so far with Mistral Engineering, they have never picked up the phone and their voice mailbox is full. I have sent a letter asking to contact me... we'll see! I also sent off an e mail to IGNITECH but have also not heard back. Your advice to contact Peter and Claire was followed up but no reply as yet. I'll try them by phone.
Best regards

A. M.

Anthony

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 10
  • ALABAMA HESKETH
Re: Lucas Rita Ignition woes
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2014, 01:59:19 AM »
Spoke with Peter today, he has a reluctor coil pick up and will get it to me asap. I'll let you know how I get on, hopefully I'll get back on the road soon.

Thanks to Peter and Claire for purchasing the parts and plowing through the sorting out and cataloging what they got. Sounds like its been an epic task.
Best regards

A. M.