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Discussion Starter #1
reference-
https://www.hondarebelforum.com/f80/no-spark-past-my-understanding-111505.html
Comment #5

I have a fully charged battery on the the bike, it is up on a rear stand, in neutral, kickstand up, killswitch OFF (aka set to allow run), black & white wire connections pulled out of the CDI and the spark plug grounded to the engine with no spark on either side. I have tested the primary and secondary coil on both sides and they seem fine but perhaps I am misinterpreting. The primary coil is so small that my meter doesn't show anything different than directly connecting the leads to each other, and the secondary coil without cap shows resistance that seems out of bound, but with cap it is within range IIRC. Given the entire unit is used together, I'm not sure how the resistance without the cap matters. They are also consistent on the two sides as well, but perhaps both going bad at the same time
& by the same degree happens.

I have not been able to figure out where exactly to measure the pulse generator and exciter coil. Any video or photos that show this process?
 

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I see that the comment I previously mentioned was spec for gen 1. I'm not finding a similar spec list for gen 2 but I am trying to follow the procedures in the Clymer manual.

My resistance reading is 3.02-3.05k without the cap on both coils as measured with two different multimeters. That seems low and out of spec (3.7-4.5k according to Clymer), but before I drop $60 x2 to replace them, I wanted a second opinion and to see about measuring resistance on other components. Am I just supposed to find where the wires come out of the stator and measure resistance across the wires?
 

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I measured resistance/continuity at the two wire (black & white) connection to the ICM/CDI and played with the kick stand and kill switch and ignition switch and and I think I was getting proper readings with *NO* continuity when I was ready to start the engine (neutral, kickstand up, kill switch to RUN, etc) and very little resistance with other settings. I think that would be expected because it would mean I would be grounding out the CDI when something was out-of-desired-state about the safety switches.

I found this
https://www.manualslib.com/manual/1232303/Honda-Rebel-250.html?page=230#manual
to
https://www.manualslib.com/manual/1232303/Honda-Rebel-250.html?page=232#manual

I am finding the above sketchy copy (of the official Honda manual I think), and I have a peak voltage meter attachment (though it came with alligator clips which have made it difficult to shove into the connectors). The connections I am supposed to make with my peak voltage adapter on the multimeter doesn't compute. On page 230 referenced above, it seems to talk about grounding the spark plug in the boot, and then leaving one wire running to the coil, but disconnecting the one and using the multimeter on the other coil lead. Which coil lead do I connect to my meter and which is connected to the spark plug wire? I assume I just ground the other lead on my meter?
 

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I did notice that the wire end of my coils seem a bit munged up and I was only able to get a reading on resistance without the cap on today. Can I trim a quarter inch from the end of the wire perhaps to see if the cap forms a better connection? It's just ~5 strands inside a thick insulation, right? The precise length should not matter too much I hope.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
At this point I am just talking to myself and maybe making notes that will help someone else. This was an excellent video, and I much better understand the ignition and charging system.

 

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I did notice that the wire end of my coils seem a bit munged up and I was only able to get a reading on resistance without the cap on today. Can I trim a quarter inch from the end of the wire perhaps to see if the cap forms a better connection? It's just ~5 strands inside a thick insulation, right? The precise length should not matter too much I hope.
Keep in mind I am usually wrong more times than not when it comes to electrical issues, but don't think making the wires shorter would be a problem.
 

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Thanks man. It seems some of the other old timers besides you (like BuickGuy, mojorisn, Duckster) are absent from these forums lately, or have just been inactive for months or years. I'm not sure how many electrical experts are left. Hopefully there are some and they are just busy riding. :)

I think I figured out how to use the peak voltage adapter and got a reading of 2.7 v on the ignition pulse generator (.7v minimum is spec) and 120volts on the exciter coil (100v minimum spec).

Given my ignition coils tested low on resistance (3ohms, spec is 3.7-4.5) then replacing those with a used set off ebay seems reasonable for 25-40$ for both including new caps and everything.
 

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Unfortunately, Duckster died suddenly from a heart attack a while back. Buickguy left a few years ago and hasn't been a regular for quite a while. Both were/are very knowledgeable and their expertise is missed. There are many members with a lot more electrical knowledge than I have.
 

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That's really sad to hear about Duckster. His advice here over the years has been a value to many. I hope others will continue to keep this forum alive and well. I wish I could be of more help, but despite having the Rebel almost 8 years now, I haven't done much. Heck, I've only added about 14k miles to her in that time. It's a really fun bike (when it runs). Thanks for your service here good sir.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Used coils arrived from eBay seller and had 0 resistance on the primary side for both (totally fried, internal short).

I called and talked with Jack (Rebel Warehouse) again and he suggested the CDI is very likely to be the issue. I had ordered some brakes and turn signals last week from him and he was very kind to brainstorm with me a bit both times. He may be a good resource for others when stuck.
 

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Okay, I'm an idiot. The primary side is *supposed* to have nearly zero resistance. I was supposed to be testing the secondary side to get 4k ohms roughly. The eBay plugs were fine, but also tested at the same level as mine (3.05 or so).

Jack had suggested a used Chinese CDI like I got off Amazon should be totally fine (at least at low rpm on a 2nd gen) so I went ahead and connected everything back up to test again... I must have had a loose connection. It got spark with both coils, I double checked that everything was tight and through the tank and main seat back on and ran around the block. It ran like crap at first and I had to take a shower and change clothes to get rid of the gas smell... just adjusted the idle screw and all seems fine.

If anyone out there has no spark, disconnect the things and reconnect them again. Don't replace parts unless you have a real strong indicator that there is a problem (obvious physical damage, you cracked open the case and took of the flywheel and might have damaged something, etc. I spent the last two months reading and testing parts off & on, and I just needed to re-firm all my connections and crank it over.

Now, oil change, turn signals, brakes, new tires, new chain & gear (possibly)... Oh, and checking valve clearance sometime soon. It's been 10k miles I think.
 
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