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I’m working through some electrical kinks and for some reason I keep frying ignition coils. I have the key on for a few minutes, testing switches and turn signals, and the ignition coils randomly smoke and sound like they’re frying. I’ve been through 3 so far. Any idea what could be going on? One of the points is always grounded, so I can’t see a way to avoid it.
 

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Put the corner of a business card between the points contacts to hold them open.
 
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Or Turn the KILL Switch to OFF unless your electrical issues are with the points and you need the coils powered that will keep them from burning up the coils.
 
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Since you burned up your coils, it seems safe to assume that you bought a new set of aftermarket coils. There are a lot of choices there for surprizingly little cost. My experience is that these aftermarket coils have anywhere from a 1 to 3 Ohm resistance. This is well below the factory spec of5 Ohms. The low resistance allows for increased current flow through the primary winding and cooks the coild from the inside out. Couple of choices: Buy high quality 5 Ohm coils or measure the resistance of your coils and add a ballast resistor in series to the primary winding.

Yendor is correct. the safest thing to do is to use the key or kill switch when you are not riding. But, these bikes are designed to sit with the coils energized for a long time without cooking the windings, So the best fix is to buy quality coils and move on to the next problem.

Cheers,

Mitch
 

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Good afternoon , I am certainly no expert but a very good friend mentioned in passing the other day that running a very low battery could cause a rectifier controlled charging system to overcharge to the point of burning out bulbs and other components. Sounds reasonable, possibly some sort of ground issue allowing the same thing to happen. It must have worked correctly at some point. Mitch mentioned aftermarket coils, I sure have had an education with aftermarket electronics. I had a problem with the fuel pump in one of my HD's , ripped my hair out with 2 new complete aftermarket pumps, regulators etc before caving in and taking it to the dealer. $1100.00 later we had all new HD parts and it works fine. The aftermarket pump was several #'s shy of enough pressure for the bike to run. So I try to use OE parts as much as possible. Thanks for letting me put in my 2 cents worth. Jeff
 
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