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I have a 1984 Harley Davidson FXRS. I have a single fire crane hi 4 ignition system. It ran flawlessly for a few years and now the bike missed a few time then quit entirely. Now have no spark and would like to know how to trouble shoot it, resistance checks for the coil,voltage checks that sort of thing. Kenny

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There's no real way to check the coil, it either works or it doesn't. I've found that with my Harley's when I lose spark it's generally a bad wire or loose connection. If the wires/connections are good, then it's either the coil or the ignition module. I'd say with the newer Crane on it, that the problem is going to be with the coil. Check the voltage from the ignition module going into the coil. I'm not exact on the voltage, but as long as you have a good strong current getting to the coil, and low to nothing on the plug wire side, then the coil is bad.

Posted on Aug 06, 2008


Coils can be tested dynamically with an oscilloscope which you probably do not have so your next best approach is a ohm meter. not knowing your coil will make it hard to suggest a reading but you can get the spec's from the manufacturer or web site. the primary side could be from one ohm to 3 to 5 typically, could be more depending on coil. you can also check the ohms on the secondary by probing the primary terminal and a secondary (plug wire hole) terminal. here you should have a few thousand ohms depending on coil. if you get no readings, then the coil is bad. by the way, if you are checking voltage as pyrhyc says, you will have 12 volts on both sides of the coil. why? most ignitions will open the ground side of the coil to make it fire because as the current is pulled down, the magnetic field will colapse inducing electrical current in the secondary thus firing the plug. one redneck check is to take a 12 volt battery and hook one wire to one primary terminal and drag the other wire across the other terminal (bike wires removed for test) and watch plugs, if you get fire, check module.

Posted on Aug 27, 2008


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If my 1981 flt has points ignition, then I don't have to purchase a centrifugal advance to convert to electronic ignition. Is this correct?

Hi, Douglas it all depends on the cost of electronic ignition that you purchase most brands use a mechanical advance for cost reasons on some of its models and then offer straight electronic ignition without a mechanical advance for more money if you upgrade to a stock Harley electronic ignition no problem do your homework and find something that you and your wallet are comfortable with check out Crane, Dynatek and Compufire for more information about your issue and free downloads that you will need please visit the websites below, and for specific information or questions, please feel free to contact me at Good luck and have a nice day.
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That's because you have to use a different coil with points type ignition systems rather than electronic. The coil for an electronic ignition system has a primary resistance of 2-3 Ohms. For a points type ignition system, you must use a coil with a primary resistance of 5-6 Ohms. I assume you have a reason for converting to points ignition. I'd rather have gone to a Crane HI-4 system unless the price was prohibitive then I'd went with a Crane HI-1 system for about the same money as the points conversion setup. Don't forget to service the mechanical advance unit about once a year. You need to take it out and lubricate the bearings on the flyweights.

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I have a 1995 1200 sportster. just recently put a wide glide conversion kit on it. now i got a accel super coil part#140408 that has 2 negative post and 1 positive post. My factory wiring only has to wires...

You have the wrong coil for your bike. This coil is designed to be used with a "single fire" ignition system. If you have the stock ignition system on your bike, it is the original "dual fire" ignition. Harley has used a dual fire ignition system on all their bikes except a very few years ago. Try to exchange the coil for the correct one where you bought it.

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Need wiring diagram for HI4 single fire Crane ignition

Regrettably, you failed to tell me the year and model of your bike. More importantly, the model of your ignition module. But, all is not lost. Go to this site and select "ignition" modules for your model bike. Then look for "installation instructions" for the model ignition unit you have.

Let me know if you don't find the information you need. I'll need your year and model bike as well as the model number on your HI-4 unit.

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I need a wiring diagram for a electronic ignition module.

If I understand correctly, Your bike has points in it now and you want to go to electronic ignition. If that's what you want to do, I would suggest that you go with one of the aftermarket ignition units. They're more versatile, costs less, and easier to install.

There are two types available. Your bike has a mechanical timing advance unit behind the points breaker plate. One type of electronic unit eliminates this mechanical part and makes the system truly maintenance free while the other type retains the mechanical advance unit and cost less. A prime example is Crane Cam's HI-1 unit that retains the mechanical advance and their HI-4 unit that eliminates it. Most bikes made after 1984 do not have the mechanical advance units. Since your bike does not have any of the original components left on it, I would suggest that you get one of the units that goes in the "nose cone" of the engine. It simply replaces the everything in there if you get the unit that does not use the mechanical advance. The Mechanical advance units are prone to wear and since no one ever services them, I'd suggest getting rid of it. You'll have to purchase a "timing cup" from Harley, costs about $20, a lot less than $100 bucks for needle bearing mechanical advance unit. Get the shorter screw that goes with it as well.

All you have to have with either unit is a "hot" wire going to the coil. The coil must have a primary resistance of somewhere around 3-4 ohms where a points type coil has a primary resistance of 4-6 ohms. To determine the resistance of your coil use a Digital Volt Ohm Meter and measure the resistance between the two small terminals on the coil. To wire the ignition units is usually just a two or three wire hookup that is very simple. They all come with wiring instructions.

Now, the next thing is whether you wish to stick with "dual fire" ignition or go to "single fire" ignition. Dual fire is the system that almost all Harley's come equipped with from the factory. In this type of system, both spark plugs fire when the pistons are top dead center. Since one piston is on the exhaust stroke, that spark is of no consequence and therefore is considered a 'wasted spark". In a "single fire" system, the spark plugs fire independently when each piston comes to TDC on the compression stroke. It requires either two coils or a "two in one" type coil. This added coil increases the cost of the system and to be honest with you, I cannot tell a difference between the two systems. With that in mind, I opt to go with the less expensive and simplier "dual fire" system.

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Ok, this will get you started. Installing an electronic ignition system in an older Harley is easy to do. The difficult part is deciding which one to go with. Once you do that, no problem. If you have anymore questions, drop me a line at .

To see how to hook up one of the units, go to their website and look for a "Technical" page. Go to that page and look for "installation Instructions". Print them out and it'll tell you everything you need to know. If not, I've got some different types of systems installation instructions that I can scan and send to you.

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