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Raiders of the Lost Spark

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saultrader View Drop Down
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    Posted: 22 Nov 2017 at 11:20
Having lovingly put my 1967 V700 to rest around three years ago, that is take the battery off, lean it against a piano and cover it with an ever increasing pile of sheets, blankets, bike jackets etc, I fully expected its recommissioning to be a reversal thereof. How wrong I was, there was no spark! Where had it gone? I had 12v at the coil and 12v at the points but nothing at the plug. I swapped the coil, changed the plugs, polished the brass and still nowt. The only thing I didn't have a spare of was the condenser. I got a new one from Gutsibits, fitted it and she fired up first time and ran like a watch.
I've had faulty condensers before which have affected performance but I've never known one to completely shut off the ignition. I was thinking of selling this bike as part of my Autumnal cull, I may have second thoughts now.     
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ranton_rambler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Nov 2017 at 12:39
Mine killed the ignition completely. First time in the middle of a roundabout on the way to MOT, second time about 200 miles after fitting a replacement. I was out and about so bought a Mini condenser (in a Lucas box) and bodged it on. Ran fine straight away and has been fitted ever since.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote saultrader Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Nov 2017 at 13:01
It's good to hear that I'm not completely alone even though there's now yet another device to clutter up my ready-use locker for when I venture into foreign parts.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brian UK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Nov 2017 at 18:17
Condensers can go like that and provide a dead short across the points, which would mean no spark.
Brian.

Better 5 minutes late in this world than years early in the next.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GUZZIPETE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2017 at 08:31
Failing condensors' seem to be a common occurance Phil. I know Norm has had a couple suddenly fail too. 
Likewise with oil pressure switches. I've had two fail in the last year or two, one of those after a lay-off as with your condensor.
Why these parts should fail when dormant is a mystery. Last spring I had one condensor and two instrument bulbs to replace when I first wheeled the 850T out. They were fine when the bike was put away.
It probably proves that they need to be exercised regularly and don't like being ignored?
1971 Moto Guzzi V7 Special
1976 Moto Guzzi 850T
1977 Moto Guzzi Convert
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brian UK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2017 at 10:51
It's the Guzzi sense of humour.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Amboman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2017 at 15:53
Oddly enough, in the 20 years and 73k miles I've owned and ridden my '69 Ambassador, I've never experienced a failed condenser. <shrug>
Charlie
'69 V700, '69 Ambassador, '76 Convert, '85 Morini 350 K2
http://www.AntietamClassicCycle.com
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Brian UK View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brian UK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2017 at 16:13
Guess what's going to happen now. LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote red leader one Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2017 at 16:30
Never antagonise the Gods.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote saultrader Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Nov 2017 at 16:12
I'm going to get a spare condenser to carry in my Guzzi tool roll. Is it the same part as used on the Tonti bikes? I know that it's outnumbered 3 to 1 but I don't want my G5 to feel left out.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brian UK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Nov 2017 at 21:54
A condenser is a condenser is a condenser.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cyclobutch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Nov 2017 at 09:41
Yeah - though a lot of those available these days do seem to be quite short lived.
Butch
V50 II - 'The Black Pearl'
T3 - 'Blue'
Eldo Loop - 'Jug'
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brian UK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Nov 2017 at 09:45
But I doubt the specific source will affect that. Many that you buy from specific shops are old stock, they degenerate from age as much as use. Best thing would be to get one from an electronics supplier, that way you get something new. But it would probably have to be altered to fit the connections.
Brian.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Amboman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Nov 2017 at 14:19
Charlie
'69 V700, '69 Ambassador, '76 Convert, '85 Morini 350 K2
http://www.AntietamClassicCycle.com
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saultrader View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote saultrader Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Nov 2017 at 09:47
Thank you all for your input on this. I seem to have got away with knowing very little about coils and condensers for over 50 years of riding bikes and I've certainly never considered a condenser to be a bike stopper. I've limped home with a faulty coil but that was on a two coil system and I might not have been so lucky on an old loop frame. I was once told that there is no easy way of testing coils and condensers off the bike, is that so?   
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