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VIDEO: How to install a Pazon Electronic Ignition on your vintage Triumph Motorcycle

When it comes to vintage Triumphs, we've got you covered. In this video, follow along step-by-step as Todd installs a Pazon Electronic Ignition on a vintage, unit 650 c.c. Triumph motorcycle. Many people are intimidated by wiring and ignitions, but you need not be. Watch this video and it will demystify the process for you, and you can follow along in your own garage, working on your own bike, getting it dialed in so it starts easy and rides great!

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You can read a full transcription of this video below:

Hey guys and gals. Todd from Lowbrow Customs here again today. We're going to show you how easy it is to install an electronic ignition on your Triumph 650. This also works well for BSA and Norton. A very inexpensive kit. We have these available on the website. A very good upgrade for your motorcycle. Make it a very reliable one-kicker, two-kicker max

A program that we're going to get rid of the stock. Advanced unit points plate can be troublesome. Advances may be worn out after 40 years of service. Not very practical to replace those parts when you can get this kit and everything you need is included in this box to do the conversion other than a set of coils and we'll talk about that as we get going here.

Let's go ahead and examine what comes in the box here for the kit. The ignition we're going to use today is called the Pazon. Been using these for a number of years. I know some people are like the Boyer system. I have used Boyers in the past. It's a good system. I prefer this kit. It is the most economically best kit on the market for doing this conversion. Okay, let's go ahead and open up the box and we'll take a look at what we have in here.

Okay, we have the three main components of the kit. This is the power box. This is the trigger and this is the magnet. They are zip tied to the box so this is what it looks like when you get it in the mail from our shop. We'll go ahead and remove these components and set them over to the side. That's your trigger plate. We'll go over everything that's on this plate as we go along through the video here. Once again, your power box which appears to be taped down. Here's our power box.

One of the reasons I like this system is notice how long the wires are on this system, makes it convenient. You have to find it, locate a place on the bike to mount this box and then wire it in. Now, the other things that come in the kit, there's also some conduit which is very nice. We'll use this smaller piece of conduit to go from here up to the coils and then there's a larger piece that you can use and it also comes with a bag of wire connectors and such.

I think I use a couple of connectors out of here. I prefer the connectors I have in my electrical wiring kit that I've made up for doing this kind of stuff. I'm really not going to go over this crimp connector in here. You do have to have a special crimper for those. I'm going to show you an easy way to do it so we'll examine those. There's a couple of zip ties and then there's a pretty detailed instruction sheet included with every kit. I'm not going to be going step-by-step in the kit because I have my own way of doing this.

I'm not saying that I don't do it according to the instructions. I'm just saying that I may do it in a different progression than what's listed in the book. There's also a couple of wiring diagrams in the book and this kit can be wired positive or negative ground. This is a custom bike. I wire all my custom bikes negative ground because it makes better sense. I'm starting from scratch. I'm making a complete wiring harness.

If you're putting in on a stock bike that is still positive ground, it will still apply. The wires will hook up in a different fashion. A couple of wires will be hooked up to a different position on the coils and also the box. One other thing is we do have this simplified wiring diagram. I printed this from our website. I drew this diagram a while ago and one of the guys at the shop cleaned it up. There's a PDF file linked to the Pazon ignition on the website. This is basically how I wire all of my custom bikes.

I pretty much do them all the same. I've discovered this is the easiest and best way to do it. One thing we won't be doing is I don't have a high-low beam on this particular bike. I'm just going to run a single beam so I don't have a switch in the system for that, but everything else on here is exactly how I've been wiring this motorcycle. One other thing is I've already went ahead and wired. I've hooked up the battery, the voltage regulator, tail light, brake light.

We're going to be working from the ignition switch forward and hooking up the coils and the ignition system. A lot of times I get calls from customers and they're scared of electricity on a motorcycle. It's really not all that complicated if you can crimp a wire and you can use some shrink wrap and you can follow a diagram, it's really not that difficult to do this kind of stuff.

A lot other times I'll tell customers to break it up into what's on the bike, what systems are on the bike. For instance, we have our charging system which consists of the rotor and stator which are inside the primary and we'll be seeing those later in the video. The charging system rotor, stator, regulator. Stator is creating AC output that's alternating current. When that current gets to the regulator, the regulator converts it to direct current which would be 12-volt DC.

Everything on the motorcycle is 12 volts. The ignition system is 12 volts, the lighting system, everything's 12 volts. The next system we have is lighting system which will consist of on a custom bike headlight, taillight, brake-light switch. That's it. There's nothing more to it. Then we have our ignition system which we will be covering extensively in this how-to video on how to put a Pazon on your Triumph.

Once again, this will apply to a BSA, A65, Norton Commando. This kit fits all three of those brands of British motorcycle. I'm going to go ahead and take this chrome cover off the timing cover here. That's where you're going to find the points plate in the advance unit. I'm going to tell you that you're not going to see anything inside here because this is a fresh engine rebuild. I wasn't going to put an old set of points and advance in there but I do have some units here that I'll show you what it looks like in there when you're in your garage taking it apart and I'll explain how that works.

We'll go ahead and take the cover off. That should have a gasket to keep water out because you don't want your ignition system getting wet in a rainstorm and there may or may not be a gasket on here because like I said this is a fresh rebuild. There is not but that's okay. I've loosely installed the parts that were not present when we started here. Basically, this is what it will look like when you take your cover off. Obviously, these wires aren't going to be hanging down. They're going to be exiting a hole back here but we'll talk about that as we're feeding the wires for the new system in there.

Here it is. Your points plate. Your advance unit is in the end of the camshaft so this is what it will look like when you take your cover off. Don't worry about the wires right now. You're just going to remove the two-pillar bolts, top and bottom which this stuff's just loosely installed in there for demonstration purposes. Here's your pillar bolt that the cover attaches to. It has these threads that go into the timing cover and so you're just going to take those two off and then you're going to remove this, the points plate.

As you're removing it, you'll notice there's a hole right here. That's where these two wires would have originally been through that hole. If you have an earlier model, you may see it looking like this one where the condensers are connected in series with the points. This is a later year one where they put the condensers up by the coils. I also forgot to mention that there is going to be a center-fixing bolt going through the advanced unit and this is what that looks like.

Now, this is your advanced unit and wow. This one's not doing a darn thing. It's stuck. [laughs] Anyway, once you take that center bolt out, on the backside of the advanced unit, there's a taper and there's also a pin in the end of the camshaft that locates with this slot. Well, when you've tightened that center bolt through that advance, it forms -- it's a fit to it because it's a taper.

When you take the bolt out, this isn't just going to fall off in your hands. You have to pull it off of there because it's a press fit. In order to do that, you'll notice that there are internal threads in the end of this and this being the early one that I just removed from this points plate that has the condensers and this is a later one. There's a tool for that job and this is what it looks like. It looks like just a little slide hammer and you'll notice on the tool it has two threaded ends.

It's going to be early in late. This being the earlier one that came from that. That's going to thread in there. Other end is going to be for the late model and then I'll just demo this even though this is not pressed in there. This is what you're going to do to remove it. You're going to thread the tool into the end of the advance unit and try to catch as many threads as you can.

Once again, the only reason those threads are there is for this polar. You're just going to give it a little slide action and bang that against that bolt there and it will pull this taper out of the end of the cam. That will remove the advance unit from the camshaft. Once again, this is attached to the very end of the exhaust camshaft. That's where it gets it timing.

Okay, in order to access the coils on a stock bike. They are underneath the gas tank. There's a recess on the tank and even though this is a custom bike, I choose to mount my coils in that position because I have the factory mounts on there. It makes my life easier when I don't have to figure out where to mount the coils somewhere on this motorcycle. This is a new build. The tank's not completely tightened down so I'm not using any wrenches here, but I am going to just go ahead remove the tank.

Once we get it off, we will be able to see where the coils are located and how the factory mounted the coils on a 650 Triumph. You have two fasteners in the front and one in the rear. Don't forget to remove your fuel lines, otherwise, you'll be trying to pull your tank up off the bike and it'll still be connected to fuel lines. Makes it difficult to get it off of there.

Good god's name is McClure. There we go.

There we go. Had to wiggle it around a little bit to clearance the fuel valves that I didn't want to take back off. I didn't pop the seat off because that made it a little easier. I'm going to go ahead and set this in my house so it doesn't get damaged while we're working. Okay, now that we have the gas tank off, you could plainly see how the stock coil mounts system works. That's underneath the recess on the tank.

At this point in time, I'm going to talk about the coils for just a minute. On the Pazon ignition system, it does recommend -- I'll go ahead and reference the instruction sheet real quick here, just so that you can understand this a little better. It says, "When using standard arrangement of two ignition coils, which we have on here like a stock set up, one coil for each cylinder."

It says, "Must be connected in series." We'll cover that and it says, which I've often wondered why it says this. I personally think it contradicts itself and I'll tell you why. It says, "For low compression engines, two 12-volt coils connected in series can be used, but we strongly recommend in bold letters, running with two six-volt coils connected in series with a primary resistance of three to five ohms."

Well, now, in my opinion, I think that says -- I'll tell you why I think this. If you were to measure the resistance of one 12-volt coil or you're checking the resistance in ohms, you're probably going to see a number right around three-and-a-half, 3.7. Well, now, if you add hose two coils together because they are hooked in series, how many ohms do we have now? Over seven, seven ohms.

It just plainly told me -- and there again I didn't write the instruction sheet -- three to five ohms. Well, here's the fix. Run two six-volt coils. Number one, you don't really want to count on a 40-year-old coil with your brand new ignition system, so you're putting two new coils on the project, You're also following their instructions where you have three to five, because if you were to measure one six-volt coils resistance in ohms, you'd probably see about 1.5, 1.7 give or take. Add the two together. Now, you're right around three-point-something ohms. That's perfect. That's what they're saying is required for their system.

I have often wondered why the instruction sheet says that. To be honest with you, I just put two brand new six-volt coils in the system and call it a day. One other thing, I'll tell you about having six volt-coils is, the rest of your bike doesn't even know those coils are there. It's still 12 volts. It's got 12-volt battery, 12-volt charging system, 12-volt lights. Perfectly acceptable to put two six-volt coils in the system.

We'll go ahead and get started in installing the ignition system now. I want to install the box first. I've decided to go ahead and put it right here in between here. They do give you a couple of zippy ties in the box. They tell you to zippy tie it on. Since you won't be able to see any of this when the tank's on, I really don't have a problem with putting it here. These three wires are going to go to the coils and the other two wires are going to go to the pickup. I went ahead and decided to run the wires backwards instead of forwards because then they'll be very close to the coil. It will be a very short wire.

I'm just going to put it this way and then I'm going to loop them back towards the coil. The other two that go to the pickup are going to go along here and down here to this area. I have this Velcro that I like using. It's made by 3M. It's called dual lock. The nice thing about this Velcro, you don't need two separate pieces, it sticks to each other, so you can buy a roll of this. I think I bought this on Amazon, very inexpensive. It's pretty heavy duty and it's works very well for situations like this.

Doesn't matter, right side up, upside down, it doesn't matter. I'm going to go ahead and figure out how big of a piece I need on here. Looks like about that much ought to cover it. I'm not super concerned if the Velcro comes off. I don't think it will or I wouldn't do it this way. Once that things on there and wired, it has nowhere to go with the tank over it. It should be perfectly fine. Once again, dual lock, this stuff's awesome. Go ahead and figure out what size we need for the other piece by just connecting it together.

Another nice thing about the Pazon system, it has a seven-year warranty, so if it does fail within that seven-year timeframe as long as you didn't cause it to fail, they'll warranty it. Very rarely do I have any issues with this ignition system. Most times it is poor electrical connections that cause problems with these. Again, we're going to face our wires backwards I went and installed one piece of Velcro on to the box. I just went ahead and applied the other ones. Once I stick it on there, I'm done. I'll go ahead and start wiring.

That's centered on that tube there. Stick it down. There we go, pretty solid. No zippy ties required. Okay. Now, we can go ahead and start terminating some of these wires. Like I said, the kit comes with this smaller piece of conduit. This works very well for the two wire that go to the pickup which are going to be the yellow with the black tracer and the white with the black tracer.

If you look at the other wires, they are a smaller gauge than the other three wires that are going to go to the coils. We're going to figure out, I'm going to put them under that coil bracket. I'm just getting a general idea of how long I need to make this wire to get to where it needs to go. I think I'll go ahead and just stick it through the holes where it goes permanently and then we'll get an estimated length on that.

Anytime I am working on a wiring harness, making wiring, I always cut this with quite a bit extra until I'm ready to terminate it. That way I don't end up with a wire going somewhere that's too short and now I have to add some wire to it. We're going to come along here. We're probably going to go front then we're going to end up zip tying this to the tube. We're probably going to go under that, front, engine mount, and that's about how long it needs to be.

I can safely say and then I'm going to add a little bit like I said, so that we don't end up too short. I'm going to go and cut those two wires off. Now, I'm going to figure out how much conduit I need to go from here, down to there, and I'm also going to leave that a little long because I can cut it again. I can't make it longer. See, I'm using just about the entire piece of this. Now, we'll go ahead and try it'll fit this and determine our actual length on the conduit. You'll find that these wires go through this conduit very easily. They've supplied a good size for this, where you're not fighting to get the wires through. Sometimes it can be difficult. [music]

There we go. Once again, I decided I'm going to run this under this bracket.

In front of that or it'll come out in between the tank. I'm going to come down here and I'm going to go under this motor mount. That'll keep it tidy. Then there's a hole on the backside of the crankcase where that wire will come through.

Okay, so I've run the conduit with the two wires through the hole. I've figured out where I want to attach it to the frame and I just put my trigger plate on there temporarily because these two wires are going to hook up to these two points right here. I could plainly see that I do need to trim this conduit back probably to right about there. Here, we'll just take a piece of tape or something and mark it so we don't screw up.

We're probably going to trim it to right about there. Okay, I went ahead and just put a little piece of tape on there. When I pull this back out, I'm just going to yank the wires back out. I'm going to cut this off again and then I'm going to pull it through and zip tie it to the frame and we'll be done with that portion of the program. Just be on the safe side, I'm going to pull it all the way out so I don't cut into my wires. Then I'm going to go ahead and put in on there again to verify that I've done it correctly in case I might need to take just a skosh more off because I'm kind of anal and I like things to be just so.

[music]

Okay, that's looking pretty good. I'm happy with that. I've got my conduit ending right about there. I still have plenty of length on these. We'll terminate those once we get this all put together. I'm pretty happy with that. I'll go ahead and throw a couple of zippy ties on that wire. All right, I'm pretty happy with the way I've got that routed and how much conduit I have left there. Once again, extra wire for terminating it. I think I'll go ahead and zip-tie this on because I'm pretty much done with this wire. Since we have an available hole right here on this coil bracket, we'll put a zip-tie there.

Anytime I'm adding a bunch of zip ties to a wire that's tying to a frame like this, I just leave them loose until I get all the zip ties positions and then I can move the wire to where how I like it and then go ahead and pull the zip ties tight. Those might not be long enough for this. We're okay.

I think maybe we'll do three on there. Not a big fan of wires hanging and dangling. I'd like it to be nice and tidy. Looks like we need to come this way just a little bit. Go ahead and tighten that one up. Now, we've got just the right amount sticking out there.

There we go. A little bit of play there, that's okay. Another thing worth mentioning is once you've done, I'll finalize with this. It's a good idea to fill up the back side of this hole with a little bit of silicon. That way water can't get in there and possibly get into this area. That wires run. Ready to be terminated once we get our ignition in there and timed correctly.

Pretty simple so far. Okay, now we have these three wires to terminate. White one's going to be your ground and once again we're wiring this negative ground. We'll go head and we'll consult the Pazon instructions and here we go, negative ground. Another thing I do too is I like to fold this page over. If I'm doing negative ground, I don't even want to see that other diagram. I might get confused and look at the wrong one and then terminate a wire in the wrong place.

We're going negative ground. You can see, we're working with these tree wires right now, the red, white, and black. According to the diagram, the white will be ground, the red will go to positive on this coil, and the black will go negative on this coil. Okay, so now we can go ahead and terminate these three wires here. Once again, red to positive, black to negative, white to grounds.

I've decided to go ahead and run this in a piece of conduit that's going to come up and power the coil. Here's my chassis ground right here, which is in turn connected to the battery. Can't get a better ground that that, directly to the chassis to the battery. I also have a star washer under here. If you're working with a freshly powder-coated frame, it's always a good idea to scrape, or use a Dremel, or some fashion to remove the powder coat wherever you're putting your chassis ground.

Essentially, what happens, once you've connected the negative terminal, this battery to this frame, this entire frame should act as a ground. We can see that it is grounded perfectly because I have a taillight on here that has a brake light, and a running light, and no ground wire. If I turn the key on right now, the light comes on. That tells me that the chassis is working as a ground. Very important to have a good ground on this electronic ignition and also to make sure that your lights, everything's grounded perfectly, so you don't have issues on the road.

All right, I keep a pretty good selection of crimped-style connectors that I get from local auto parts store. For hooking the two wires to the coil, I'm going to use this size ring terminal because it fits very nicely over the stud on the coil. Now, the only problem I have with this type of connector is this crappy little blue piece of plastic on here. I'm going to show you what we're going to do to make a beautiful connection.

Okay, that little blue piece on there, we need to remove that. I just have these soft jaws of my vise, clamp that down, a pair of needle-nose pliers, off with the blue thing. We don't like those things. You can't possibly get a good crimp on a connector through a piece of plastic. We need two of these connectors for the coil wires. There we go. That's the connectors with the piece removed.

The nice thing about these, even though these are inexpensive connectors from the parts store, you can plainly see there's a split on the middle of that. All right, now by looking at our Lowbrow Customs simplified-wiring diagram for this motorcycle, I can see that I need to put the black wire from the Pazon on to the negative of one of the coils. I just looked at the coils and I see I have negative positive. I'm going to jump those two. I have negative available on the outside on this side. I'm going to run this black wire to negative on this side, and then we'll run the red wire to the positive on the left coil.

I'm going to figure out how long I need this now and once again, always leave a little extra. It doesn't hurt. I'm going to make it about that long. It would be a bad time to cut a wire too short when you're so close to home. I think I can actually make it a little bit shorter. That should do it. Now, using simple wire strippers, make sure you have it in the hole for the right gauge wire. You're going to pull off, just enough of that that will coincide with the amount of space we have on the crimp connector. You don't want it to be sticking through there so far that it's hanging over the end and looking for.

Okay, since we took a little blue thing off, we do want to put a piece of shrink wrap on the wire before we crimp it and that way it'll protect it from the elements, the connection. I have the shrink wrap. I actually found this really nice made in USA shrink wrap at Fastenal. Okay. I'm just going to cut a small piece of shrink wrap off of here and I'm going to want to slide that over the wire before I put my connector on or I won't be able to get it on there. It's always a good idea to be careful that that doesn't fall off in the meantime.

Next thing, very important when using the style connector, you must have a good high-quality pair of crimpers. Not those cheap ass junky ones you got with that box full of those connectors that don't work right. This is Cline Tools. Now, this forever, works great. You also notice I don't have a wire stripper on the end of here where I'm trying to put my crimp all the way down past all those wire stripper positions.

Put my connector in there and I line up this little bump on here to where the split is on there. Then I'm just going to make sure my shrink wrap still on there. I'm going to insert the wire. There's really no need to twist the wire unless you want to and then I'm going to fold that over. I've only done half the crimp so far. That thing's already on there very nicely. Now, I'm going to fold over the other side of that and then I'm going to give it an extra little squeeze.

There's the ring terminal, it's going to connect to the coil right there anytime I'm using crimp connectors. Once I’m done with my crimp, I am going to try to pull that connector off. If it doesn't pull off that's probably a pretty good crimp, shrink wrap over the connector. Despite what you may have been told, lighters do work for shrink wrap, inexpensive heat gun from Harbor Freight works better.

There we go, very nice, good crimp; good connection, totally protected. We'll go ahead and put that on our coil where it belongs. Good idea to terminate wires as you go along, not just put your connect the ends on and then go "Gee, where am I putting this one? I'm putting this one here." There we go. We'll tighten that down after we get all our connections on the coil. Red ones going to go to the other coil. This one's on the negative. This one's going on the positive. It's again following the diagram the Lowbrow diagram, the Pazon diagram, same program.

Okay, I went ahead and made up the jumper wire, simply two ring terminals, one on each end to hook the positive and negative on the two coils as depicted in the wiring diagram right here. Positive to negative, you got to hook the two coils together to give the other coil power because when we run our power wire from our ignition switch up to the one coil, it can't get to the other one unless it has this jumper wire. I know what you're thinking. I just said I'm hooking positive and negative and that's just the way it's done. It's just an electrical thing. There we go.

You may have noticed how I put a piece of conduit over top of that wire. I really like to use conduit when available. It protects the wiring, protects it from chafing, keeps it dry, tight, and clean. All right, we're almost done with the wiring of the coils. The only other wire we have left to do to the coils is going to be a power wire from the ignition position on the switch up to the positive terminal on this coil, where our red wire from our Pazon box is and then the system will be live.

All right, now that I went ahead and connected the two coils together, positive and negative. I went ahead and made a red wire that's going to go to the I-terminal on the ignition. That's going to be power from the ignition to the coils. I have a blue wire that's for my headlight and I have a black wire. I also put an additional ground wire on my headlight because when I powered up the blue wire, the light wasn't coming on. It had to have its own ground so I made a ground for that. I have the white ground coming from the Pazon power box.

This is really all I have left to do to finish up the wiring harness here. I’ve already tucked these wires up in here and ran them where I liked them. I went ahead and have a larger piece of conduit here that I'm going to go ahead and put on these. Then we'll have to terminate these two to ground. This one to the light position on the ignition switch and this one to the ignition position on the ignition switch. Then we'll be ready to go ahead and install our magnet and our trigger and set the timing.

We'll go ahead and get this going here. Like I said four more wires to connect. Once again, I really am a big fan of using conduit. It just makes for a much cleaner, nicer installations. I sprayed a little WD-40 down inside the conduit to make the wires feed through easily. Like our white one, we get that tucked up as nicely as possible. Okay, that should be good right there. I’ll go ahead and get this zip tied to the backbone here. Nice and neat, and tidy, headed down towards the switch.

Like I said, we'll terminate these four wires and then we'll be ready for timing. Okay, anytime I am making a custom wiring harness for one of these bikes, I do like to run an inline-fuse holder. I get this little fuse holder right here from the auto parts store. You can open it up here. It's like water-resistant and then it takes a modern-style blade-type fuse plugs in. I usually run a 30-amp fuse. I hook this fuse holder in between the positive terminal on the battery and the portion of the key switch that has a B on it, that stands for battery.

Now, there's some other markings on the back of the switch. Each terminal is marked to help you wire it up. Obviously, we just talked about the B one. Next one says, IG. That stands for ignition. The final one has an L. That's for lights. The way these switch works is it's a true two-position switch like here, it's off. When you turn it to the first position, that energizes the ignition terminal.

It jumps from the battery to the ignition inside the switch and then what I’ve wired to the ignition portion of the switch is power to the coils, obviously, to make the ignition hot. What I also do is I wire my rear brake light switch to the ignition spot. The reason I do that is because here in Ohio, we don't have a headlight-on law. We don't have to ride around with our lights on all day long like some states have a law where you have to have your light on.

The way that works is once I turn the key to the first position, my ignition's hot. I can start the bike. If I never turn my headlight and taillight on when I hit my brake pedal, the taillight will come on. Let's say, I'm out riding and it's starting to get dark and I want my lights to come on, the last position on here on the switch, the last terminal has an L, that's your lights. I hold my headlight and my taillight to the L position. I'm riding down the road, I’ve got out on the first click, the ignitions hot, the brake lights hot, "It's getting dark out. I need to have lights on."

Click it to the second position, headlight, taillight comes on. Now, if you do live in a state where you have to have your light on, you'll have to just put that the other way around, if that makes sense. Now, we do have these switches on the website, deluxe switch. The inexpensive switch we have on the website basically is off in the middle, on to the middle left, or on to the right. I don't like using that switch. I like having two positions on my switch. If you let's just say you were to wire your ignition on one side of that switch and your lights on the other but ignition two, as you go past the middle where it's off, it could interrupt the ignition. I did this quite a number of years ago. I had a switch like that on a bike and it was starting to get dark so I went to flip it to the light position, it interrupted the ignition.

Before I click the lights on, the bike backfired really loud and what happened was it must have been on that position of the engine for it to spark. There was some unburned fuel. When it sparked, it let out a big kaboom out of the tailpipe. It's not a good scene. This switch here does the job. Okay, so I went ahead and terminated the two ground wires that I ran one for the headlight, white wire from the Pazon box to my chassis ground, which happens to be the best possible grounding location.

I have two more wires to hook up. I have the blue wire that's going to the headlight that will be on the second position of the switch. Then I have the red wire that's going to power up the coil and the ignition system. I've removed my fuse from my fuse holder on the bike so that when I'm hooking up those last two connections, I'm going to use a real long screwdriver from the other side of the bike to get to the tiny screws that are on the switch.

In case, if I were to touch ground while screwing it in, it could blow the fuse and cause a spark so we don't want to do that. Anytime you are working on electrical things on your motorcycle, it is a good idea to disconnect the battery or remove the fuse if you have one which you should. Okay, let's get those last two wires hooked up and then we'll move forward.

Okay, now that the power box is all wired up, we can go ahead and do the final step which is installing the rotor which is nothing more than a couple of magnets and the trigger. Now, in order to install this which attaches to the end of the camshaft, we have a couple of bolts that come with the kit, socket-head bolts. Pay close attention to which one is for your year motor and the reason I'm saying that is because there are two different thread pitches.

What I like to do before I put the magnet on there is I determine which one fits the year motor I'm working on. One will be standard thread and the other will be Whitworth depending on the exhaust cam that's in there. It's pretty easy to tell. You're just going to start it in there and see which one goes and threads in nice and smooth. I got it on the first try. That one is the one that's going to go in the end of this cam because the threads are corresponding.

Whatever you do, make sure that you check that ahead of time because if you were to try to thread this one in, it might feel like it's working but it's not the right threads. I just thread it, it started but then it stopped dead. If you had the magnet in there and you're thinking, "I just need to tighten this down." You may cram that in there and then you'll bugger up the threads in the end of the camshaft and that's a bad thing.

Once again, I’ll double-check the threads. That one threads in nicely and then what I do next is I remove the other screw from the work area so I don't actually pick it up later and try to put it in there. Get rid of that, bada-bing. Okay, there's also a flat washer that goes on to that screw that we're going to use to hold the magnet into the end of the cam. Also, notice there's some red dots on here. We're going to use those to line it up once we have, you'll see as we go along here. They're going to line up to the clockwise hole.

There's also some threads in the middle of this and this is for -- because this is a taper just like the advance unit. Once this tightens down in the end of the cam, it can't get loose because it's a taper fit. If you would ever need to pull this off say you totally screwed up the timing and you wanted to pull it off, there's threads in the middle of this that you can use a bolt by threading it in there to pull it off similar to the puller that we use to take the advance unit off.

Okay, one other thing worth mentioning is remember when we showed you in the end of the cam, there was a little divot, a little tit and that tit lines up with the slot on the back of the advance. One thing I like to always do before installing the magnet is I’ll look down in the end of the cam with a flashlight and I’ll see where that is and I’ll gauge how far back it is. What you don't want to happen is, you don't want this taper to come in contact with that and not fully seat in there.

There's something in the instructions to that effect that says if that's the case, you can put a slot on this or you can remove the pin from the end of the cam. Sometimes they come right out, sometimes they do not. Okay, so it's a good idea to check how far down into that taper that pin is. Normally, I use a Vernier and I just stick it in there and I measure it and then I go to the magnet but I don't have my Vernier today, so I'm just going to use this piece of TIG welding rod here.

What I'm going to do is I'm going to take a sharpie and I'm going to run this down in there until it contacts that tit and then I'm just going to put a little mark on here at the outside edge of the cam. Now, I can see my mark and then I'm going to compare this to my taper. I can see that the taper is going to go in okay and not interfere with that little pin in there. Okay, now the next thing we need to do is we need to rotate the engine and get the cam in the correct position to install the magnet.

We'll go ahead and remove the spark plugs because the engine will turn over much easier with the plugs out. Obviously, these are loose, you would need a spark plug wrench to remove these. I'm going to remove both spark plugs. It really doesn't matter which side you time this two, because this ignition fires every time. Also, when wiring the coils, it really doesn't matter which one you put the black and red wire on. You do want to kind of look at your wiring diagram and think this is number one coil, this is number two so that you don't mix things up.

Once again, Pazon does fire every time. Okay, now that we have the plugs removed, I'm going to put a jack underneath the frame and jack up the back wheel so I can rotate the motor backwards after I’ve found top dead center. Okay, so we got the bike jacked up, got the rear wheel up enough to be able to spin it. Then the next thing we're going to do in order to set the ignition timing is what we're doing here, this procedure, part of the job. Spark plugs out. We're going to rotate the motor and we're going to find top dead center because that's our starting point.

One of the ways you can tell if you're on compression stroke is if you just put your thumb over the hole and start rolling it, it'll push your thumb off the -- you hear that? That's compression stroke. Basically, the piston should be on its way up now and we can look in the hole and here I can see it coming up. I also sometimes use a stick which helps and I don't like using a screwdriver. This is soft.

I have marks on this stick so basically pistons starting to come up. You can see it coming up and I can tell by my mark, that's pretty much where it needs to be. Once the piston is all the way up at the top, it'll start to go back down, then you have to roll it back through again and come back up to top dead center. You can verify that that piston is all the way up in the bore by looking in the hole. I can see the piston there.

There's also a tool available on the website. I don't have one here today but I’ll show you where it goes and how it works. There's a plug on the backside of the crankcase. Okay, this plug right here, we'll take this out. I’ve already loosened it. You will need a socket to loosen that. I’ll take this plug out and the tool that we have on the website will thread into this hole and it'll have a little plunger that is loose and you'll roll the motor. When it gets the top dead center, the little plunger will drop into a slot that's on the flywheel.

I have a couple flywheels over here on the workbench that we'll take a look at in a sec here and you can see what the mark on the flywheel looks like. Well, now I'm pretty sure we're pretty close to top dead center. What you can do if you don't have the tool is you can go around the other side of the bike and shine a light in that hole. You should see the slot on the flywheel. Once again I’ll show you what that looks like in a sec here.

Here's a flywheel that's removed from an engine and you can plainly see the slots on there that will be lined up in that hole that the plunger of the tool will drop down into as you're rolling the motor over. As I said, if you look in the spark plug hole and use the stick, you can tell when it's at top dead center, if you want to take a look at those slots on there. Some motors will have two slots, one for top dead center and one for where we're going to position the motor in a second here to 38 degrees before top dead center, not all the flywheels will have both slots.

Since this is an earlier motor, we don't have the inspection hole here. If your bike has this style cover on it and you're doing this job, it makes your life a lot easier. Basically, you're going to remove this front cover that says Triumph on it. There's going to be this pointer on here. When you rotate the motor backwards to get the 38 degrees before top dead center, is where it needs to be to put the magnet in for the Pazon. The line on the rotor will line up with that pointer, makes your life real easy.

On the early motor, there's one of two ways you can do it. You can either find yourself one of these covers. I have extras hanging around the garage because I do so much of This motor work. I actually have an even worse one than this that's kind of dented and cracked and not worth a darn. I basically use it only for checking, doing this job where I'll pop this cover off, replace it with this one.

Now, the other way to do it is using a degree wheel. We'll go ahead and remove this cover and we'll show you both methods. Okay, so in order to remove this cover, we do need to get the brake pedal and the foot peg out of the way, I'm also going to pop the pipe off. I went ahead and pre loosen it. I think I got to loosen this one. It's just going to make life a lot easier to get in there and show you guys how this works, so we'll go ahead and take the pipe off.

There's no gasket on here. Like I said, at the beginning of the video, this is a fresh rebuild. In anticipation of knowing I was going to do this job later, I did not put the gasket on. Once I get all this stuff done, I'll go ahead and get a gasket on there. Here's your early cover, no hole. Late cover has the hole. Okay, so by simply substituting this cover on there, you can now see the pointer here and there's the line on the rotor.

Incidentally, the line on the rotor coincides with the keyway on the crankshaft. On a real early rotor, you may find a rotor underneath your cover that doesn't even have a line on it. If you want to put a paint mark or a line on it, what you can do is take this nut off, figure out where your keyway is and then paint a line on there. I've done that in the past also because there is more than one way to do some of this stuff. We'll go ahead and reinstall this cover screw on here.

Okay, line on the rotor, pointer. What we'll do now is we'll go ahead and we'll put the bike in gear. I usually use second or third gear and then we're going to rotate the motor backwards, while watching that mark. There you can see, pointer is now lined up with the rotor and that means we are at 38 degrees before top dead center and we're ready to put the magnet on.

All right, I went ahead and remove the cover that I was showing the pointer in the line. I've put it back to the motor back to top dead center, utilizing the piston coming up and the little mark on the flywheel. Technically without an adapter -- I don't have an adapter because I have these other various methods of doing this. If you were say you're building an engine and you knew you were going to use electronic ignition, you could always do this operation before the rotor and stator is installed.

If you absolutely have to take it off to do this job because you can't get your hands on it later your cover, then that's just the way it is. I'll just kind of explain this to you. I'm not going to physically install the degree wheel on the engine, but I will explain it, it's pretty easy. This will be attached to the crankshaft and there see where it says top dead center zero. What you do is you take a piece of coat hanger or wire or whatever you have around the shop, and you're going to attach that to the screw on the cover. Then you're going to line this up with the zero.

Once this is attached to the engine, you can bend this around and get that lined up, so then you have a reference point. Right now, the motor is at top dead center. When the motor is running, it's going this direction. In order to turn it back to 38, you're going to have this a top dead center and this is running direction, you're going to go back and then you're going to go 10, 20, 35, 38, and so that's what it would look like at 38 degrees before top dead center. Then you could go ahead and install the magnet.

There's more than one way to accomplish this. My favorite way is to have an extra cover if you have an early motor. Okay, so just to review top dead center, 38 degrees, you're going to go backwards with the biking gear, pointer lined up with the line on the rotor, which coincides with the keyway on the crankshaft. Now, we're ready to install the magnet. Okay, we've already got the correct screw.

Now, this is where the two dots on here come into play. The next thing you're going to do is you're going to go ahead and lightly install this. You don't want to tighten it down so that it won't move and you'll find out why in a second here. I'm just going to put my magnet on and I want it snug. When I go to do the final step here, I want it just loose enough where I can turn this. It doesn't act like it wants to turn, so I'm just going to grab a screwdriver so I can turn it with that. What I found is a good way to move this is there's a snap ring here. See, how it's moving now, but it's not so loose that it's flopping around.

This is where the two holes in the trigger plate will come into play. Basically, all we're going to do is we're going to put that red dot in one of these two holes, where you'll see that one says anti-clockwise and one says clockwise. The clockwise will apply to the triumph motor, anti-clockwise will apply to BSA and Norton as far as where you're putting that red dot on the rotor in conjunction with this.

Okay, so the next thing we want to do is we want to introduce the trigger plate to the cover. Our goal here is to have that red dot in the hole. What you want to keep in mind is that you need some room for adjustment for timing purposes, so you basically want to Center these two long slots in the hole that we're going to put the pillar bolts in. We've put the trigger plate on.

We want those bolts centered. You also see there's two sets the holes here. Oftentimes I see Triumph timing covers or this outer cover on there and it's cockeyed. You want to use the two sets of holes where you'll be up and down for this cover so it'll be in line when it's installed. You can plainly see when I'm holding this up here that I'm going to be using this hole and this hole.

As you can see, the dot is just the side of the hole, so what you want to do now is you want to take this back off. Once again, you can just move this by hand or with your screwdriver. I like using the screwdriver because it's a little more precise and if it's just snugged up. See, how much I moved that. That's probably too much. Then you want to move that until that hole is centered in the clockwise timing hole.

Right now, I've got it pretty good I think I'm going to move it just a little bit. I'm going to send it this way a little bit so that these two slots are exactly centered. I want to move this ever so slightly. Take your time when you're doing this, no hurry. Okay, that's a little too much. Probably right about there, should be good, and there it is. I've got my slot centered so when if I want to change my timing, I have plenty of places to go. I have my hole lined up with the red dot on the magnet.

At this point, we're ready to go ahead and put the pillar bolts on. you want to make sure -- I want to show you one more thing before we put these in. Your pillar bolts should have some pretty thick washers underneath where that attaches on the threads, overtop of the threads. If you don't have any of these washers on there, you want to get some on there. You don't want to tighten this up against that trigger plate with just this hex going against it. You only have so many threads available inside that hole.

You want to make sure you have those extra thick stock-style washers on there for your pillar bolts. We have our dot lined up. We got our slots centered. We got our nice thick flat washers on our pillar bolts. We can go ahead and install those, top and bottom once again. When you tighten these pillar bolts, you don't need to crank them down hard because you don't want to break the plastic plate. They don't need to be frickin tightened like crazy. Go ahead and install those two and then we can get our plate where we like it when we go to tighten it.

The next thing we want to do is we want to go ahead and securely tighten the rotor. As you're tightening this, you want to tighten it pretty securely so it's pulling that taper in. You want to watch that dot to make sure it's not moving out of the hole. In other words, it's not turning the cam which usually doesn't happen. We're going to tighten that down. Once again, this does not need to be cranked down hard. Basically, you're pulling the taper of the magnet into the end of the camshaft. I do a lot of this stuff I feel, just don't overdo it.

Okay, there it is. It's now static timed, should start and run once we get everything buttoned up. We still have to hook up these two wires. We'll go ahead and do that next. Okay, now we can go ahead and cut these two wires off and terminate them. I like to leave just a little bit extra here. That way if you screw up when you're pulling the wire off, this is a very small wire, so we got those cutoff. We're going to leave it just a little bit extra, won't hurt anything. Go ahead and strip these off just enough to go into the holes here where they tighten on the screws.Okay, now I got those two wires cut to length. Now, it does matter which wire goes to which position on the trigger plate. I'll grab my instruction sheet here real quick and I'll just take a quick look. On the page, it's probably in the text but I can see in the picture that the yellow one is going to this one, the further back one. The black and white ones going to the front one, but we'll find it in the text for you real quick here. "Insert the yellow-black wire into the left-hand screwed terminal, and the white-black wire into the right-hand screw terminal."

Okay, so here's the screwdriver that I've ground the end down on my grinders because these are some very, very tiny screws. We're going to go ahead and loosen those up, enough to stick the wire up in there. Okay, and then there's a hole back here that you can't really see very well. It's more of a square, rectangular shape than it is a hole, but we'll go ahead and -- this is a little fiddly because it's such a small stuff you're working with here.

Insert that in, stick it all the way in, so that it's going to be contacting this. Then you're just going to tighten that screw down so that it pinches against the wire. To be honest with you, this is another time where you don't want to overdo it. I've never had any issue with these wires coming out of here. See that? I'm given that a little tug. I'm not pulling on it like I'm trying to rip it out of there, but I can plainly see that that's a very good connection on that one.

There you have it, pretty much all the way installed. All the wires are terminated, ignition timing set. Like I said your static timing it at this point where the motor will start and run when you're ready after you put your tank and everything back together. Then once you get the bike running, it's a very good idea to go ahead and strobe timing. Once again, that is where the later model cover is really comes in handy, where you've got the pointer and the hole, and you're just going to use an automotive style timing light.

Generally, I use a remote battery. I don't use the battery that's on the vehicle. I grab another battery. I hook up the timing light. One of the inductive pickups will go on either sparkplug wire because it does fire every time. You're going to start the bike up. You're going to rev it up so that it's in the advanced mode. You're going to point your timing light at the pointer and the mark on the rotor and they should line up.

If they do not, that means if it's one way of the pointer or the other way, it could be a few degrees advanced or a few degrees retarded. Remember, we showed you the degree wheel where we were doing the 38. If it doesn't line up dead nuts with that pointer on the cover and the line on the rotor, then what you're going to do is you're going to loosen the two pillar bolts. You're going to turn this plate ever so slightly until those two marks line up with each other when you're giving it some RPM and you're holding it high and steady. You're not just going vroom, vroom, vroom, and looking at it. You're holding it, vroom, and bring up the RPMs so that the unit is in the advanced mode because you're timing it at 38 degrees before top dead center when it is advanced.

Another way to think about that is if we refer back to the points and the advanced unit, it has a set of bob weights and springs. As the RPMs increase, it throws those bob weights out and puts it into the advanced mode. We're going to go ahead and button up this bike. Once we get her running, we'll show you the stroke timing.

Okay, we got her all buttoned up, gas tanks back on, everything's all hooked up. We'll go ahead and get it fired up and then we'll show you how easy it is to stroke time it. Basically, we're just going to use this automotive style timing light. If you don't have one of these, you can generally use the tool loaner program at your local auto parts store. They should probably have one. I've had this one for a long time, small-block Chevy stuff.

It's always a good idea to use a remote battery and don't use the battery that's in the bike to do this operation. Basically, we're going to hook -- this is called an inductive pickup. We're going to hook that to either sparkplug wire because this ignition does fire every time. We'll get that hooked onto the plug wire. Again, we're just going to hook up positive and negative on the battery.

Okay, now we're going to fire up the bike. Basically, we're just going to be pointing this at this opening here where we have our pointer in our line that we discussed earlier. The other thing you want to do is you want to turn the throttle up and that will put the ignition into the advanced mode. Basically, you're not timing it at idle. You want to see 2,500 or so RPM so that the ignitions in the advanced mode. I got the timing light all hooked up, go ahead and fire it up. We'll point our light in the hole and we'll check where our timing is right now. There is a sticker on and it says, "Don't try this at home." I'm not very good at following rules.

[engines revving]

All right, it's flashing now, I'm going to crank up the throttle.

[engines revving]

There she is. Okay, you may have noticed that the line on the router was slightly to the right of the pointer on the primary cover. That means it's ever so slightly retarded. What you can do to fix that is to make sure it's dead nuts lined up. That's going to be perfect timing. You're going to go ahead and loosen these two pillar bolts. You'll see on here there's some degree marks, very fine marks and it says advance retard. We need to advance it a little bit.

We're going to turn the trigger just a little bit that way and then we're going to lock these back down. Now, you see the importance of doing the stroke timing at the end of the install. You want your timing to be spot on. You don't want it to be a few degrees advanced or retarded. You're going to get the optimum performance out of this rebuilt engine if your timing is spot on. Yes, static timing it gets you in the ballpark. You see that the bike did start and run no problem, sounded pretty good, static time. You do want to finish off your install with your stroke timing. Pretty simple operation, there's no mystery going on there with that. That's all there is to it.

Now, thanks for watching my Pazon tech tip installation video and if you like this video, you can click the subscribe button and check out all the Lowbrow videos on our YouTube channel.

One thought on “VIDEO: How to install a Pazon Electronic Ignition on your vintage Triumph Motorcycle”

  • Great video Todd,

    Do you have any recommendations to strobe time on an earlier engine (no inspection window to the rotor/stator) if you don't have access to a later model primary cover?

    Thanks,

    Brandon

    Reply
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