Charlies ignition - thinking of buying one
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  1. #1
    Member Scottx's Avatar
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    Charlies ignition - thinking of buying one

    Hi there

    It's been ages since I have posted on here, but I would love opinions on Charlies ignition please.

    I have a CB77 in my garage that is pretty much perfect mechanically except for a miss fire under load.

    I've owned the bike for about 8 years, but haven't ridden it for about 3 or 4 since this miss fire appeared after a little off. I don't think this miss is related, but the bike did sit for a little while waiting for a couple of parts.

    I have checked the points and changed the spark plugs. When I was checking points I noticed some movement in points shaft. I have also had the carbs apart and they appeared clean.

    I would really love to ride this bike again and was thinking of putting charlies ignition on it. With the exchange rate it will end up costing $1100 so I thought I would ask for opinions first.

    Would you go for a Charlies ignition or would you start with some ordinary coils and leads?

    Thanks very much for any opinions or thoughts you may have.
    Scott

  2. #2
    Sensei 66Sprint's Avatar
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    I would attempt to "cure" the apparent movement in the points shaft first, regardless of what ignition system you choose to employ.....
    Excessive and/or rapid cam journal wear is often attributable to fuel-thinned oil......(leaving petcock ON while sitting)......I'd start there......
    "I have a mind like a steel trap.....Old and rusty, of antiquated design, and hard to get stuff back out of...."
    Contact info: E-mail; [email protected] Phone; 540-525-5199

  3. #3
    Senior Member Rob Axel's Avatar
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    I'm with sprint..correct the problem FIRST. Don't throw money at a problem HOPING it will fix it. I'm comcidering a E.I. For my other 450.. it runs like a sewing machine..for now. Have a Pamco on my other, runs good.. got it torn down for some cosmetics..never REALY dialed in the timing proper or adjusted the valve train.
    Has anyone heard new about the shockwave? Seems as that thread went silent ..
    "Yes, my hands and nails have grease stains. I ride vintage!"
    -xulf13-

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  5. #4
    Senior Member ancientdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Axel View Post
    Has anyone heard new about the shockwave? Seems as that thread went silent ..
    ^^^I agree too - you need to determine if the problem is something other than ignition, then when the bike is running normally, install the "better" ignition.

    As for that Shockwave situation... the thread went silent and so did the distributor about it. And here I thought they were looking for feedback - but maybe some of the members who installed it have been communicating with CMC outside of the site. If that's the case, we need to hear what the latest is. I find it interesting that the thread was started with a bit of exuberance on their part as if it was the next big thing and now, nothing... does make you wonder what is going on. If I were them, I'd consider keeping the conversation going and letting us know any updates on the product or improvements being made, as well as if their projected date of release for sale is still on track. After all, Brendan and his significant other ARE members here (Zephyr King and Zephyr Queen). Although at this point, I don't think it's going to influence me much...
    Tom

    Ride along at the drag strip - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20jFPazXlvU



    running points... because I'm too old for mysteries that begin with pushing

  6. #5
    Super Moderator frogman79's Avatar
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    I will just leave this here, still like my points as well.

    https://www.common-motor.com/honda-s...ronic-ignition
    Franz >>> 450 build >>>360 Build

  7. #6
    Senior Member Rob Axel's Avatar
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    After glimpsing through the "description" and requirements for warranty ..looks like they learned from Peet's mistake... valid only if......
    And YES.. no matter what E.I. I decide on (or not).. the first "upgrade" to this well running bike.. will be the R/R.. 50+ year old "electronics"..can be No Bueno as this years continue..
    Last edited by Rob Axel; 05-03-2019 at 05:11 AM.
    "Yes, my hands and nails have grease stains. I ride vintage!"
    -xulf13-

  8. #7
    Senior Member ancientdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Axel View Post
    After glimpsing through the "description" and requirements for warranty ..looks like they learned from Peet's mistake... valid only if......
    And YES.. no matter what E.I. I decide on (or not).. the first "upgrade" to this well running bike.. will be the R/R.. 50+ year old "electronics"..can be No Bueno as this years continue..
    I'm surprised you haven't done it already, just as a matter of course... even though all is well, no point in waiting until it isn't to do such an inexpensive upgrade
    Tom

    Ride along at the drag strip - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20jFPazXlvU



    running points... because I'm too old for mysteries that begin with pushing

  9. #8
    Supporting Member Yendor's Avatar
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    I have (2) bike running Charles Place EI's.
    LOVE THEM.

    I visited his shop in Glendale, CA once - he is a regular upstanding guy.

    BUT... Fix the Play in the Shaft as an EI will do nothing to fix other problems.
    It only eliminates the need for regular maintenance on Points/Condensor replacement, adjustments and timing.
    1970 CB 350 CAFE - Current Project on the bench,
    1972 CB 350 K4 Red - Now a Happy Rider ! !
    1972 CB 350 K4 Green (My Sons) DONE - YES !,
    1st Bike 1970 SL 350 (Brought home in Parts - Trailer/Trunk/Back Seat - I miss that bike),
    2nd - Bike Kawasaki 750
    3rd - '73 XLCH 1000

  10. #9
    Senior Member Richard_Pitman's Avatar
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    It only eliminates the need for regular maintenance on Points/Condensor replacement, adjustments and timing.
    I'll second that.

    I have a Charlies Place ignition on one of my 175s, three years trouble free so far, set the timing once, never have to touch it again.

    But it is just a replacement for the mechanical contact breaker. As the rest of the original ignition system is retained, standard coil setup with mechanical advance mechanism, it doesn't make the bike go faster or make the spark fatter, like a modern CDI with built in advance curve, crank mounted timing pickup etc, might.
    1970 Honda CB175K4
    1972 Honda CL175K7
    1999 Honda CB600 Hornet

  11. #10
    Member Scottx's Avatar
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    Good info, thanks.

    I thought maybe the way it worked it wouldn't matter about the shaft moving about like it does with the points.

    At least I know what I need to do and that is good news because the bike used to run fine under any conditions.

    Thanks again for responding
    Scott

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