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Old 12-01-2008, 04:10 AM   #21
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This is getting good and I am learning a lot. Keep it coming guys
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Agreed
Old 12-01-2008, 05:54 AM   #22
twistedcrankcammer
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Agreed

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcvierh
The whole point of the article was to point out that it isn't the coil that improves preformance, beware of Coil manufactures with claims of hugh HP gains and whiter teeth....if your burn is over 900* your going to melt you pistons, if your burn is under 400 your going to foul out your plugs....it has to do with your points, plugs, timing.....sure a hotter coil will give a preceived advantage, but a hotter coil doesn't give a hotter burn rate at 800 rpm or at 2500rpm, or at any other rpm for that matter....the way I've heard it put was, just because you can piss on an electric fence doesn't mean you should


I agree with what mcvierrh is saying 100%,

There is also the fact that I have worked on 1,400 horsepower mechanically fuel injected big blocks that were supercharged and alot inbetween with lots of nitrous experience. I have seen guys that will swear by power gains in seat of the pants for everything from platinum plugs to sticking an electronics fan in the air box of their motorcycle (a guy really did that) Anyhow, without independant dynomometer use (independant as dynos can be manipulated), I always doubt first.

Yes upping the voltage allows for incresed gap, but we are still only igniting a volitile mixture. If the volitile mixture is not igniting propperly, we have a problem.

Multiple variables are possible if there truely was a difference;

1) Definately could be that stock coil was bad already.

2) When the battery starts going bad, the voltage output of that battery drops. A coil increases voltage by a set ratio to how much voltage is fed into it. A good battery could be arround 14.4 volts or so, a battery that is bad might only put out say 10 volts. A good coil will step up voltage in the neighborhood of 2,000 to 2,500 to 1 as Dyna coils are usually in the neighborhood of 30,000 volts output. So it is very easy to see how much the output can vary with a bad battery if we loose 2,000 or 2,500 volts for every volt of lost battery input.

3) I am not saying this member had or replaced a bad battery, but it is highly possible as if he was having starting problems, he would of been using his starter alot more, so another battery related problem is cranking speed. Pistons and rings are not by any means a perfect seal, and if we don't turn the motor over fast enough, it will not start.

4)I bet he changed plugs if he went through the trouble to change the coil. Were those plugs probably somewhat fuel fouled, I would say probably, as coil going bad, or a battery going bad is going to foul plugs, so is this the reason for the increase in performance??

5) If the plugs were changed, where were they indexing??? Most guys never think about indexing their plugs, they throw in a set of plugs and if it works then it works. Indexing is more important on a race engine then a street engine, and the benifits decrease the closer we get to a true hemispherical combustion chamber. For the laymen, a plug has threads on it, the cylinder head has threads on it. Spark plugs are not made for only one application. When we screw the plug in and tighten it, where is the electrode on the plug facing??? It will vary from plug to plug, so shims of varying thickness are use to make sure the electrodes are always facing in the same direction. Why?? Because the flame has to travel in a certain direction, so we don't want the ground electrode (the curved one that hangs lower) in the way of the flame as it will hamper the time of the burn.

I am not putting these all out here to say it IS what happened, only that without stringent guidelines of what was or was not done, that there are a hell of alot of things that the outcome which this member percieved that people don't begin to think about, hence why I am usually sceptical. I don't know him, or any of the rest of you, but I do know human nature on alot of guys that have only a small part of the entire picture.

I will say that if you have a starting problem, that Dyna coils are better and probably cheaper then OEM, but you are going to wear other stuff out faster unless everthing is set up to match, and you don't need more then what the factory gave you for a simple pipe and jet increase.

Now if you add compression ratio, nitrous, turbocharging, blower or screw charger, we are talking a totally different set of variables and spark output will need to increase as well as timing changes in the ignition.


Roger
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Old 12-01-2008, 06:37 AM   #23
usbpphillips
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Good information guys. I learned alot, not only about the ignition system, but about forum dynamics as well. Roger, that was a well thought out explanation and the delivery was handled very well. Roger gets a smily face . All of what little bashing that has gone on, has been directed squarely at the issue at hand, not at each others mothers. Smiley faces all around . I wouldn't have believed in a million years that the words "I agree with what Mcvierh is saying 100%", would ever have spilled out of Rogers computer in this, or any other parallel universe. It's like one great big dysfunctional family. I thnk I may have to start on that bomb shelter project I have been putting off. I'm pretty sure that Roger and Mcvierh agreeing is one of the signs of the Apocalypse!!!! I think I'm going to be verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves......
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:18 AM   #24
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Since I (and most of the rest ) don't have a points set-up, this is not a something I'm concerned with. Computers control the timing. Except for programmable computers (which I can't buy), I'm stuck with the timing offered. To improve my ignition, I got rid of the old coils which were about half the output of the current standard. (They are also cheaper than stock.) Since plugs aren't getting eaten up in other newer bikes running at the higher voltage, why would I have this problem? (There is no sign of this.)
I replaced wires because they were original. I replaced plugs because they were put in by the previous owner, not because they were necessarily "bad". As far as I know, this is the extent of what I ( and most of us) can do to improve the ignition system. Without removing the heads, how can you index plugs?

I replaced the battery with a AGM because wet cell batterys suck. I cleaned up all the battery connections and switches.

I changed all fluids and filters.

Except for the coils, this is just good maintenance.
It starts with the push of the button, and comes off the choke fast, even on the coldest days. When I crack the throttle it leaps, and that's no lie. It's better than it was for relatively little money.

I'd be open to suggestions for other small mods that would increase performance of the bike. (Excluding carbs and pipes, which are in good shape.)

So, What do you have that I haven't done?
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Indexing Plugs
Old 12-01-2008, 10:14 AM   #25
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Indexing Plugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by rocksolid
Since I (and most of the rest ) don't have a points set-up, this is not a something I'm concerned with. Computers control the timing. Except for programmable computers (which I can't buy), I'm stuck with the timing offered. To improve my ignition, I got rid of the old coils which were about half the output of the current standard. (They are also cheaper than stock.) Since plugs aren't getting eaten up in other newer bikes running at the higher voltage, why would I have this problem? (There is no sign of this.)
I replaced wires because they were original. I replaced plugs because they were put in by the previous owner, not because they were necessarily "bad". As far as I know, this is the extent of what I ( and most of us) can do to improve the ignition system. Without removing the heads, how can you index plugs?

I replaced the battery with a AGM because wet cell batterys suck. I cleaned up all the battery connections and switches.

I changed all fluids and filters.

Except for the coils, this is just good maintenance.
It starts with the push of the button, and comes off the choke fast, even on the coldest days. When I crack the throttle it leaps, and that's no lie. It's better than it was for relatively little money.

I'd be open to suggestions for other small mods that would increase performance of the bike. (Excluding carbs and pipes, which are in good shape.)

So, What do you have that I haven't done?



If you know the shape of your combustion chamber and or the direction of flame travel, you can very easily index your plugs to where you want by marking the top of your spark plug directly above your electrode. This will show you if your electrode is ending up in front of where you wish flame to travel and thereby causing a problem.

As for additional modifications:

Are your pipes and carbs stock?? If so, you can always recoupe some by selling the used on ebay!! Someone has always bitched up their chrome and will buy a clean used set to save money.

1st, my bike is a V-Max, but just like the Shadow, you can go alot faster for alot less with other bikes, but the V-Max was what I always wanted, so the issue becomes if you do not mind spending more for less increase then.....

Pipe and jets are always the simplest of mods to benifit most any bike without having to do alot of work.

I have 39mm FCR Keihin flatslides carbeurators x 4, custom intake manifolds and aftermarket pipes.

I also have the Dyna 3000 ignition module to go with my Dyna mini coils.

I also have a completely ported head with larger valves.

I have aftermarket cams.

I also am running a 3 inch longer notched and braced swing arm.

I also have a 200 rear tire.

I also have Nitrous oxide with a 4 dial progressive digital nitrous controller, Stainless NOS foggers with nitrous express shower heads, pro mod series solonoids, WOT activation switch, purge system, remote on/off solonoid, nitrous bottle pressure regulator, bottle warmer, dedicated secondary fuel delivery for the nitrous, Hobbs switches to shut it down if oil pressure, bottle pressure or fuel pressure drops off, rpm switches that wont allow activation below preset RPM, RPM limiter that shuts nitrous off before hitting the rev limiter of the ignition.

Air Shifter with Dyna billet shift light and Dyna shift minder plus a second Dyna shift minder so I can set the air shifter for automatic at any RPM I want it to shift at, and ignition cuttout for the air shifter.

Dyna Shift counter wich keeps track of what gear I am in.

Back cut transmission gears for better shifting.

Barnet pressure plate with oversized pressure plate spring bigger than what comes with the pressure plate.

I have two extra core engines and plan on building a 1500 or 1630cc long rod carrilo rod engine with a lock up clutch.

How much are you willing to spend on performance, and what kind of modifications do you have questions on how they work????

Roger
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Old 12-01-2008, 11:40 AM   #26
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My bikes are street machines, not drag bikes. I don't need 95% of what you've listed to be happy with it's performance. Most of this is big dollar drag stuff. Almost nothing on your list is a small mod. or adjustment.
It's quite competitive against the local guys, and still very good on the highway. Bone stock, my engine is 3 valve and 9.5 to 1. For street riding, the cam is excellent. It's the highest hp shadow ever made (As far as I know. )
I noticed the Dyna 3000 module on your list. If they made one for my bike, I would have it (to go with my coils) as you did.
Do you know of anybody else who makes aftermarket programmable modules for the 83 - 85 Shadows? The old stock stuff is getting harder to find.
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Old 12-01-2008, 04:12 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedcrankcammer
If you know the shape of your combustion chamber and or the direction of flame travel, you can very easily index your plugs to where you want by marking the top of your spark plug directly above your electrode. This will show you if your electrode is ending up in front of where you wish flame to travel and thereby causing a problem.
Question (now don't bite my head off): I know that indexing the plugs is common in performance and racing engines, is there any point/real benefit in doing it for recreational/street riding? Also (and I'm just curious on this one), when they shim the plugs to index them, obviously the electrode now doesn't go as deep into the chamber. Does this make a difference to combustion? I'm guessing not as your analogy of a match vs a zippo in a room full of gas still causes an explosion is correct, but when getting this precise, would it make a difference? And (last question), if so, is there yet another trick (timing, mixture, etc) to make up for it? Just wondered about the science of it all. Thanks.
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Spark Plug Indexing
Old 12-01-2008, 04:40 PM   #28
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Spark Plug Indexing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaker
Question (now don't bite my head off): I know that indexing the plugs is common in performance and racing engines, is there any point/real benefit in doing it for recreational/street riding? Also (and I'm just curious on this one), when they shim the plugs to index them, obviously the electrode now doesn't go as deep into the chamber. Does this make a difference to combustion? I'm guessing not as your analogy of a match vs a zippo in a room full of gas still causes an explosion is correct, but when getting this precise, would it make a difference? And (last question), if so, is there yet another trick (timing, mixture, etc) to make up for it? Just wondered about the science of it all. Thanks.

Beaker,

Good question.

Really the answer would be that I see no real need on a Shadow Engine, as the Shadow is a a stroker engine, not a big bore engine. Stroker engines make tourque down low and don't see high RPMs. In a big bore high RPM aplication, we obviously have a shorter time for each burn cycle, and therefore little things like indexing the plugs will become more crucial. Further still, as we raise compression ratios via pistons, nitrous, or forced induction (blowers, turbos etc.) the more compressed load burns faster and becomes more detonation prone. To rectify this, we use slower burning / higher octaine fuels and advance the timing, actually lighting that mixture earlier in the compresssion stroke as the piston is still coming up, to build a propper, more usable burn for the power stroke. Obviously, in such circumstances, getting the timing of that burn exact becomes more critcal. Honda obviously felt this was still important though as with a 3 valve head, the plug has to sit so far off to one side that they added a second plug to make for a more coencentric burn (on a 4 valve head, the spark plug is dead center in the combustion chamber) So , while definately not as critical in the Shadow engine, you can still play with it now that you understand how and why. I would guess that the best location for the electrodes would be so that they were indexed towards the center of the combustion chamber.

As for the electrode not going as deep into the chamber, these shim washers are in very small increments and wont affect the depth that much, if you are say 350 degrees out from where you want to be, you are still slightly less then 1 thread depth difference, and this would be atypical. Giving clearavce on a high compression piston engine has it's benefits as well.

Any other questions feel free to ask....

Roger
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1983 to 1985 mods
Old 12-01-2008, 04:54 PM   #29
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1983 to 1985 mods

Quote:
Originally Posted by rocksolid
My bikes are street machines, not drag bikes. I don't need 95% of what you've listed to be happy with it's performance. Most of this is big dollar drag stuff. Almost nothing on your list is a small mod. or adjustment.
It's quite competitive against the local guys, and still very good on the highway. Bone stock, my engine is 3 valve and 9.5 to 1. For street riding, the cam is excellent. It's the highest hp shadow ever made (As far as I know. )
I noticed the Dyna 3000 module on your list. If they made one for my bike, I would have it (to go with my coils) as you did.
Do you know of anybody else who makes aftermarket programmable modules for the 83 - 85 Shadows? The old stock stuff is getting harder to find.

Rocksolid,

I did some looking, and from what I can tell you are really limited on aftermarket anything availability for your bike. Being that your engine is a stroker engine, it really will not benefit as well from a full head porting, mild yes, but your motor does not want the RPMs of alot of flow. I couldn't locate anything on an ignition module either.

As for my V-Max, it is fully streetable. I burn 83 octain gas in it unless I will be using Nitrous, then I drain the tank and run Cam II race fuel. The 1985 V-Max adds state 145 HP, that was a ringer engine and power at the crank. A stock 1985 to present V-Max has 112 to 115 HP at the rear wheel. Alot less then the new Max about to be released. With current mods, I am arround 190 at the rear wheel with nitrous. PCW racing has been building "tourmaster" street engines of 1500cc for years that will make 200 rear wheel HP on premium pump gas, so alot is available if you spend the cash. A good buddy of mine just released a bolt on turbo settup that you bolt on without any mods to a stock V-Max engine and turns 183 HP at the rear wheel. So alot can be done, but just like my V-Max, your Shadow engine is not the best starting place. I could be making 400 to 500 rear wheel horsepower for less money with a turbo Busa settup.....

Roger
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Old 12-01-2008, 05:14 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedcrankcammer
Beaker,

Good question.

Really the answer would be that I see no real need on a Shadow Engine, as the Shadow is a a stroker engine, not a big bore engine. Stroker engines make tourque down low and don't see high RPMs. In a big bore high RPM aplication, we obviously have a shorter time for each burn cycle, and therefore little things like indexing the plugs will become more crucial. Further still, as we raise compression ratios via pistons, nitrous, or forced induction (blowers, turbos etc.) the more compressed load burns faster and becomes more detonation prone. To rectify this, we use slower burning / higher octaine fuels and advance the timing, actually lighting that mixture earlier in the compresssion stroke as the piston is still coming up, to build a propper, more usable burn for the power stroke. Obviously, in such circumstances, getting the timing of that burn exact becomes more critcal. Honda obviously felt this was still important though as with a 3 valve head, the plug has to sit so far off to one side that they added a second plug to make for a more coencentric burn (on a 4 valve head, the spark plug is dead center in the combustion chamber) So , while definately not as critical in the Shadow engine, you can still play with it now that you understand how and why. I would guess that the best location for the electrodes would be so that they were indexed towards the center of the combustion chamber.

As for the electrode not going as deep into the chamber, these shim washers are in very small increments and wont affect the depth that much, if you are say 350 degrees out from where you want to be, you are still slightly less then 1 thread depth difference, and this would be atypical. Giving clearavce on a high compression piston engine has it's benefits as well.

Any other questions feel free to ask....

Roger
Thanks Roger. You've certainly added to some basic understanding that I had. Having moved back and forth from 4 stroke and 2 stroke dirtbikes over the years, I've realized the difference between the 4 cycle's low end torque and the 2 cycle's high rpms and subsequent need for real good spark. Your comments regarding slower burning high octane fuels are also on the money. I've had many guys look sideways at me when I suggested to them that they were not only robbing their wallets, but the performance of their bikes by buying premium, rather than plain old 83-87 at the pumps for their stock metric cruisers. The indexing info was a bonus. Good information!

Thanks,

Dan
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