Ignitech ignition module
Much has been discussed lately about the Ignitech module. As our CX's age, the CDI module on them becomes less and less reliable, and starts to cause many problems. Probably the most notable is the dreaded "can't get past 5000 RPM" issue. While this isn't always the cause of the ignition system, it creates a situation that makes it harder to diagnosis where the problem actually lies. It is for this reason and the running coils going bad in the stator that the Ignitech was developed. Well, it wasn't just for our models, I understand that it can be programmed to work on many brands and models.
First a little background on what Honda originally used on the 1978 - 1981 CX models only. If you have a GL model or a 1982+ CX model, you have a different type of ignition. You guys can stop reading and drink a beer. OK, the original CX's used a CDI box (Capacitive Discharge Ignition), mounted under the seat. It was usually black or a gold color and had wires going to the coils, kill switch, and stator. The stator had three different sets of windings to generate electricity. The main group provided power to recharge the battery, but the other two provided power to the CDI box for use by the ignition system. One generated power for the low speed (below 5000 RPM), and the other for above 5000 RPM. While this did provide for operating the bike without or with a bad battery, the downside was that if one of those two coils went bad, you would still have problems. And those coils are located inside the engine case, behind the flywheel. Engine removal is required to service them.
The CDI box itself can also go bad. They take the electricity from the two coils on the stator and feed it into a circuit. There are also two pulsars mounted adjacent to the flywheel that are used to pick up crankshaft position signals to feed into the CDI. And pulsar coils on the rear engine case to provide for spark advance also feed the CDI. The CDI box takes all this information and determines when to send a electrical pulse to the appropriate coil, based on crankshaft position, motor RPM, and any advance that is needed. As you can imagine there is a bit of electronics potted inside these boxes. There have been several attempts to recreate this system but not all have been successful. One of our friends in OZ developed a module (Raymodule) that took the place of the stator's output to the CDI and only used the battery's power to run the CDI. I believe that it is now working reasonably well, but it still requires a CDI box that is no longer made and getting scarcer every year.
Now enter the Ignitech unit. This unit is made in the Czech Republic for several different bike models including the CX 500. Current individual price from them is about $250, the CX/GL forum has been running a "group buy" compliments of Cobram to get this price more into the $175 range. (Thank you Cobram for the effort you spend doing this) That isn't to say that you can immediately expect 30 people to need one the same day you do, the process may take a few weeks, but it is well posted on the forum.
This "box" replaces the CDI box under the seat with another box. I have to go on record that I don't have one, and all information I am providing has come from reading the forum posts. This box uses the bike's battery to provide power for the ignition system. So, if your stator is still charging the battery, but the running coils are kaput, this will work. It also needs the crankshaft signal from the two pulsars mounted adjacent to the flywheel to know when to fire the coils. Other than that, I understand it is plug and play. And the results have all been positive from what I have gathered. It seems to work well and gives a old bike new life, providing the ignition was sub par.
Another advantage of the Ignitech is that now you can install a 250 watt stator in place of the 170 watt original to provide more power for heated clothes, more lighting, and etc. The only caveat is that you still need to use the CX flywheel to provide the two pulsars the crankshaft position. But it is truly rare that a flywheel becomes unusable. This can even make the Ignitech a better value if your old stator needs replacing. A 250 watt stator from a GL can be sourced for about $100, Add the cost of the Ignitech and you have a total of $275. Replacing a CX stator will cost $215 for the stator, and maybe $100 + for a used CDI, box that could also fail at any time. All in all, the Ignitech seems to be a worthwhile, cost effective modification.
by Blue Fox
It's been found that running an Igntech or a raymodule will accelerate the deterioration of the CDI HV coils on the stator as they are normally left open. Here's a couple of threads with conversations on this topic and a solution to prevent their failure. http://australiancx.asn.au/forum/index.php?topic=10548.0 http://cx500forum.com/index.php?/topic/17557-checking-the-cdi/pagest40
More information will be added to this as it's received.
Here is a manual for the Ignitech Ignitech manual PDF (Keep in mind that things do change. This was uploaded on 10-30-2012. There may be more current information available.)
For lack of a better spot to post this, here is a discussion on the individual components of the stator on a CDI style bike:
This pic shows the stator and left and right pulsars(#1,#2 and #4,#6 coils) A brass button on the flywheel triggers a signal to the CDI when it passes the pulsars that causes the CDI to send spark to the spark plugs through the ignition coils..
Resized to 75% (was 600 x 587) - Click image to enlarge
The #3 advance pulsar that you have the bad reading on is another part, basically a small stator that fits on the rear cover under the small cover at the back. It is part of the timing advance unit.
The 3 yellow wires are from the charging windings on the stator(all the windings(14 coils) you see in the pic that are not labeled.) They are not part of the ignition they are for charging the battery. The ignitech is used to replace the high speed(#8) and low speed#(9) source coils that are used to power the ignition(CDI).
If the charging system windings develop a short to ground it can cause the ignition part of the stator to not work, I am not sure why, but it does.
You may be able to get spark to see if the bike will run by unplugging the 3 yellow wires. This may give you spark but you will still need to change the stator or you will not have a working charging system for the battery.
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