Solid State Ignition Timing Setup

Glenn

Bonneville T100
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I am under the impression that when I replace the primary belt on my 1979 T140 with solid state ignition all I have to do is install the belt and do not have to worry about setting the timing. That if I do not mess with the reluctor under the points plate it does not matter at what position the rotor is set at. Because it is a solid state system it will automatically set itself.
 

Rudie

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This is confused. The primary drive does not have anything to do with the ignition. On any Triumph twin, the points and auto-advance unit or electronic ignition trigger unit are in a different part of the engine from the primary drive.

No electronic ignition for old British bikes can "set itself". If your bike still has its original Lucas Rita electronic ignition 5PU trigger unit, if the 5PU is ever removed from the engine, the reluctor only fits in the exhaust cam taper in one position, thanks to a peg at the bottom of the cam taper and a notch in the reluctor taper to fit over the peg.
 

Glenn

Bonneville T100
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This is confused. The primary drive does not have anything to do with the ignition. On any Triumph twin, the points and auto-advance unit or electronic ignition trigger unit are in a different part of the engine from the primary drive.

No electronic ignition for old British bikes can "set itself". If your bike still has its original Lucas Rita electronic ignition 5PU trigger unit, if the 5PU is ever removed from the engine, the reluctor only fits in the exhaust cam taper in one position, thanks to a peg at the bottom of the cam taper and a notch in the reluctor taper to fit over the peg.
I went back and re-read it. What it said was if you line up the stator keyway with the keyway on the shaft the stator fits on and put the key in it will be set.
 

Rudie

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I went back and re-read it. What it said was if you line up the stator keyway with the keyway on the shaft the stator fits on and put the key in it will be set.
You are still confused.

Whatever you "went back and re-read", your first post displayed in this thread is:-
I am under the impression that when I replace the primary belt on my 1979 T140 with solid state ignition all I have to do is install the belt and do not have to worry about setting the timing. That if I do not mess with the reluctor under the points plate it does not matter at what position the rotor is set at. Because it is a solid state system it will automatically set itself.
. The "primary" - as in "primary belt" - is on the left-hand side of the engine (when you're sitting on the bike looking forwards); there aren't any "ignition" parts, "solid state" or otherwise, on the left-hand side of a "1979 T140" engine.

. Otoh, a 1979 T140 was fitted originally with a Lucas Rita electronic ("solid state") ignition, the moving part of which, driven by a Triumph twin (or triple) exhaust camshaft, has always been called "the reluctor". The reluctor forms part of the trigger unit for the Rita and, as you sort of posted, it is in the small circular compartment that used to house the "points" and mechanical auto advance on Triumph twins before 1979. However, this circular compartment is in the right-hand side of the engine, therefore why would you "mess with the reluctor" when you "replace the primary belt" on the left-hand side of the engine?

. Nevertheless, as I've explained already, none of the electronic "solid state" ignitions made for old British motorcycles - including the Lucas Rita fitted to you bike originally - can "set itself". However, if you did find a reason to "mess with the reluctor", as I explained:-
if the [original Lucas Rita] 5PU trigger unit
is ever removed from the engine, the reluctor only fits in the exhaust cam taper in one position, thanks to a peg at the bottom of the cam taper and a notch in the reluctor taper to fit over the peg
. i.e. it is difficult to set either of the trigger unit parts in the 'wrong' position, therefore certainly a Lucas Rita will usually work normally after both the trigger unit parts have simply been refitted correctly. But it does not "automatically set itself" "Because it is a solid state system".

Turning to your second post (post #3), as I say, you appear to be equally confused:-
if you line up the stator keyway with the keyway on the shaft the stator fits on and put the key in it will be set.
. if you are still talking about replacing "the primary belt" in the left-hand side of the engine, you will have removed the alternator stator and rotor to have accessed the belt pulley on the crankshaft.

If so:-

. It is the alternator rotor "with the keyway", the alternator "stator" mounts on the three studs surrounding the belt pulley, the end of the crankshaft and the alternator rotor.

. The alternator rotor is so called because it rotates (on the end of the crankshaft), the alternator stator is so called because it is static, it doesn't rotate.

. You do not "line up the [rotor] keyway with the keyway on the shaft the [rotor] fits on and put the key in". When you remove the alternator rotor, it simply slides off the crankshaft ("the shaft the [rotor] fits on"), "the [Woodruff] key" should remain in its slot in the crankshaft; if it does not for some reason, the key must be replaced in the slot before refitting the alternator rotor. Only then do you "line up the rotor keyway with the key on the shaft" and the rotor should slide back on to the crankshaft.

To be clear, the only thing "set" by the Woodruff key between crankshaft and alternator rotor is the relationship between piston position and the moving ignition timing marks on the alternator rotor. You can then use a timing light to check the ignition timing by the moving timing marks and the fixed timing mark in the primary cover; however, nothing in or on the primary side of the engine - not Woodruff key, alternator rotor nor timing cover - has any effect on the ignition timing. Also be aware, because of potential errors in marking alternator rotors and the variable position of the primary cover on the crankcase, the accuracy of the relationship between moving and fixed ignition timing check marks cannot be guaranteed; if the marks are to be relied upon, they must be checked with the crankshaft timing special tool and a degree disc.

Finally here, if you really must remove the alternator stator from its three mounting studs to access the belt engine pulley, move the stator with great care and do not leave it suspended from its cable - the oil and heat causes the cable and its stator joint to become brittle; if the sheathing cracks or breaks, the stator wires will be exposed to the hot oil subsequently; if a wire breaks, they are difficult-to-impossible to repair depending how close the break is to the stator.
 

Glenn

Bonneville T100
Riding for 62 Years
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Glenn
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You are still confused.

Whatever you "went back and re-read", your first post displayed in this thread is:-

. The "primary" - as in "primary belt" - is on the left-hand side of the engine (when you're sitting on the bike looking forwards); there aren't any "ignition" parts, "solid state" or otherwise, on the left-hand side of a "1979 T140" engine.

. Otoh, a 1979 T140 was fitted originally with a Lucas Rita electronic ("solid state") ignition, the moving part of which, driven by a Triumph twin (or triple) exhaust camshaft, has always been called "the reluctor". The reluctor forms part of the trigger unit for the Rita and, as you sort of posted, it is in the small circular compartment that used to house the "points" and mechanical auto advance on Triumph twins before 1979. However, this circular compartment is in the right-hand side of the engine, therefore why would you "mess with the reluctor" when you "replace the primary belt" on the left-hand side of the engine?

. Nevertheless, as I've explained already, none of the electronic "solid state" ignitions made for old British motorcycles - including the Lucas Rita fitted to you bike originally - can "set itself". However, if you did find a reason to "mess with the reluctor", as I explained:-

. i.e. it is difficult to set either of the trigger unit parts in the 'wrong' position, therefore certainly a Lucas Rita will usually work normally after both the trigger unit parts have simply been refitted correctly. But it does not "automatically set itself" "Because it is a solid state system".

Turning to your second post (post #3), as I say, you appear to be equally confused:-

. if you are still talking about replacing "the primary belt" in the left-hand side of the engine, you will have removed the alternator stator and rotor to have accessed the belt pulley on the crankshaft.

If so:-

. It is the alternator rotor "with the keyway", the alternator "stator" mounts on the three studs surrounding the belt pulley, the end of the crankshaft and the alternator rotor.

. The alternator rotor is so called because it rotates (on the end of the crankshaft), the alternator stator is so called because it is static, it doesn't rotate.

. You do not "line up the [rotor] keyway with the keyway on the shaft the [rotor] fits on and put the key in". When you remove the alternator rotor, it simply slides off the crankshaft ("the shaft the [rotor] fits on"), "the [Woodruff] key" should remain in its slot in the crankshaft; if it does not for some reason, the key must be replaced in the slot before refitting the alternator rotor. Only then do you "line up the rotor keyway with the key on the shaft" and the rotor should slide back on to the crankshaft.

To be clear, the only thing "set" by the Woodruff key between crankshaft and alternator rotor is the relationship between piston position and the moving ignition timing marks on the alternator rotor. You can then use a timing light to check the ignition timing by the moving timing marks and the fixed timing mark in the primary cover; however, nothing in or on the primary side of the engine - not Woodruff key, alternator rotor nor timing cover - has any effect on the ignition timing. Also be aware, because of potential errors in marking alternator rotors and the variable position of the primary cover on the crankcase, the accuracy of the relationship between moving and fixed ignition timing check marks cannot be guaranteed; if the marks are to be relied upon, they must be checked with the crankshaft timing special tool and a degree disc.

Finally here, if you really must remove the alternator stator from its three mounting studs to access the belt engine pulley, move the stator with great care and do not leave it suspended from its cable - the oil and heat causes the cable and its stator joint to become brittle; if the sheathing cracks or breaks, the stator wires will be exposed to the hot oil subsequently; if a wire breaks, they are difficult-to-impossible to repair depending how close the break is to the stator.
I had to change the rear drive belt so I had to remove the entire primary (Norton dry clutch, rotor/stator, belt drive sprocket, rear wheel and drop the rear swing arm) in order to install the new belt. My question centered around this. When I put the primary parts back together (BTW the keyway on the rotor shaft on my bike is not a Woodruff. It is a square keyway. It came off when I pulled the rotor off the shaft. In order to get the belt off both the rotor and clutch basket have to come off. The key on the clutch shaft is a Woodruff) I know that I will have to reinstall the Square Keyway back in the slot and slide the rotor onto it. That is what I meant by lining it up. All of this I know. My concern is that I am not very knowledgeable about making sure the timing aspect is right. That is why I asked the question that I asked. I wanted to make sure everything is what and where it should be. As far as the alternator assembly is concerned, I put the stator back into the stator and used a zip tie to keep them together and hung the assembly to the exhaust where the finned clip is located. So, there is no way the wire will be affected. My electrical system is a Boyer

Thank you for your help. You went above and beyond in your reply. I will be the first to admit that the electronics system on a motorcycle as well as the timing system is not my strong suit, so I appreciate your reply. I knew most of the information you referenced but I am glad you wrote this with the assumption that I did not know anything. Some people may look at this as being condescending but I look at it as you making sure we were on the same page. Better to be thorough than assume. Some people respond with too little information assuming the person asking the question knows everything. The fact is if he/she did know everything he/she would not be seeking information. Again thanks.
 

Rudie

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primary (Norton dry clutch, rotor/stator, belt drive sprocket,
From your first post, I assumed standard '79 T140 ignition and primary parts; given the differences on your bike, glad my explanations were still of use.
 

Glenn

Bonneville T100
Riding for 62 Years
Local time
Today, 19:55
Joined
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Messages
450
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Age
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Glenn
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1979 Triumph Bonneville
From your first post, I assumed standard '79 T140 ignition and primary parts; given the differences on your bike, glad my explanations were still of use.
Thanks Rudi. I will tell you this. Knowing what I know now I would never have have had Ozzie to put on the rear drive belt system. I know that you are well aware of the labor involved in this process. The fact that you also have to drop the rear swing arm to put the rear drive belt on as well as take all the primary apart makes this a labor intensive job. Simply fishing a chain onto the two chain pulleys and connecting it with a master link is simple and much, much quicker. Very little labor involved. When this belt breaks I will buy the parts (two new chain pulleys and a chain) to make the change back to the original chain system. One thing is that the belt is much quieter. I do like the primary belt. Plus the fact that it is an easy job to replace the primary belt. All I have to do is take the cover off and remove the alternator and slip the primary belt on to the two pulleys.
 
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