1953 VH stalled and won't start

Singles, twins and fours.
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Bob.Murphy
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Re:

Postby Bob.Murphy » Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:45 am

Put a brand new plug in before you go for the serious stuff.

First ride out on my 'new' VH and it died after 1.5 miles - nothing would persuade it to run.

Pushed it to a garage then walked home and got the car and trailer.

Put a new plug in and its been fine since (I had cleaned the old one a few times).

Bob.
My avatar shows the late Len Rich in 1970 with the bike I now have - a 1958 Ariel VH

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Eero.Korhonen
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Re: 1953 VH stalled and won't start

Postby Eero.Korhonen » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:28 pm

I like the look of that NH very much, not so clean.
And if you change a plug, Champion would be best option
(in my point of view). I have some poor experience with NGK.
Would it be good idea to measure, if the points in magneto
are closing. It sometimes happens that they are dirty and stay
open all the time.
Br, Eero
Ariel VH 1954, IZH 350 1962, H-D Sportster Hugger 1992, AOMCC Member 133

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robjameson
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Re: 1953 VH stalled and won't start

Postby robjameson » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:58 pm

I agree with the comment on ngk plugs, they are useless in my experience, I use Bosch plugs now which seem really good.
Rob Jameson
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1957 Ariel VH
1956 Ariel KH (LARGE project!)

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Eero.Korhonen
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Re: 1953 VH stalled and won't start

Postby Eero.Korhonen » Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:23 pm

Somehow NGK plugs seems to have problem with magnetos.
It is same thing with British twins as well.
-Eero
Ariel VH 1954, IZH 350 1962, H-D Sportster Hugger 1992, AOMCC Member 133

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Re: 1953 VH stalled and won't start

Postby andy.mcgregor » Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:30 pm

When I first got my BSA twin on the road after a full restoration I had lots of problems with plugs and kept having to replace them. The mag had been overhauled and initially I thought it was down to poor NGK quality.

On one occasion I'd booked an MoT and did a brief start up and check over the night before. The bike was running perfectly. However, the next day when I came to run it to the MoT station, no amount of kicking would start it and there was not a splutter on either cylinder. I had to cancel the MoT, but when I got hold of some new plugs and fitted them it was fine again.

I couldn't believe that both plugs would simply fail over night and spent some time trying to get to the bottom of it. The 'bad' plugs sparked out of the engine, but seemingly not under compression. After some discussions on another forum, I learned that with modern fuels if the engine isn't fully warmed up then a layer of highly conductive residue forms on the plug and can stop it working. To prove to myself that this was really my problem I managed to burn the crud off a pair of 'faulty' plugs and I got them working again.

Since then I've always got new plugs in the toolbox. But I'm careful to ensure that the bike is run for a decent length of time and gets hot every time and I've had no further problems with either NGK or Champion plugs.

I'm not sure if that is the original poster's problem or not, but it's worth bearing in mind.
Andy

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Postby nevhunter » Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:31 pm

The anti scuffing additives in some oils will get on a plug insulator and short them out under compression. Modern engines use very little oil, but some of our bikes use a bit more.
Make sure you don't use anti interference plug leads or "R" resistor type plugs as they are hard on magneto's. Magneto's don't handle open circuits on the secondary windings well. Nev

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Postby MichieldeM » Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:50 am

I bought a new plug last night (I could chose between an NGK plug and a Bosch plug, I went for the Bosch after reading your comments). I will try it out tonight, but I think it is a good idea to have the magdyno reconditioned anyway.

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brenton.roy
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Postby brenton.roy » Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:08 pm

Yes, it probably is.. But before you spend a lot of money, just check the obvious spark killers.
Assuming correct point gap and timing, These are (as others have pointed out);
Dirty points. Singles can blow a little oil through the Magdyno and out via the points cover. I have had a bike with exactly your bike's symptoms due to this.
Crap on the HT pickup - clean the pickup and the brass ring in the magneto.
Any kind on suppressor stuff - lead, cap, plug.
Broken HT lead (stranger things have happened). I had an intermittent problem in a car which turned out to be a broken wire inside the sheath.
HT lead earthing against the motor.
Good luck!
Brenton
'51,'56 Squares, '48 VH, '27 Model C, R67/2, Mk IV Le Mans, '06 Super Duke and Ariel projects.

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Eero.Korhonen
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Re: 1953 VH stalled and won't start

Postby Eero.Korhonen » Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:15 pm

Good advices from Brenton and one more.
And of course you can always check earth brush!
-Eero
Ariel VH 1954, IZH 350 1962, H-D Sportster Hugger 1992, AOMCC Member 133

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chris.shearwood
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Postby chris.shearwood » Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:49 pm

Hello MichieldeM,
I'm not so sure it would be such a good idea to have your mag reconditioned. I tend to agree with the old maxim: "If it ain't broke, don't f*** with it". You say you are getting sparks at the plug. How have you checked this? Try bending the ground electrode of a known good plug 1/8 or 3/16 of an inch away from the other electrode and then hold the ground electrode against the motor somewhere. Kick the motor over and if the mag generates enough voltage to jump a big gap like that, then the magneto is probably O.K.
Regards, Chris
1946 4G, 1950 NG and 1951 VH


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