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Old 12th February 2020, 21:28   #196
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Default re: Royal Enfield Electra: 1,22,000 kms & 18 years

Tharian:
If you do try to adjust the clearance between the alternator rotor and stator,the gap must be uniform all around the rotor. You will find that as soon as you loosen the nuts, the strong magnetic forces in the rotor will instantly pull the stator into it at one place leaving a larger gap elsewhere.

It is just about impossible to centralize the stator with the rotor if you only use your hands to do it.
The gap should be about 0,4 mm (.016") all the way around. (That is about the same thickness as 5 sheets of typing paper stacked one on top of another.)

One way that works fairly well is to cut a piece of cardboard cereal box that is long enough to wrap almost completely around the rotor without overlapping. Then, after wrapping the cardboard around the rotor, slide the stator over it. After tightening the nuts, remove the cardboard.
If you can't find cardboard that is thin enough, a plastic softdrink bottle can be used. The ones I have are thinner than 0,4 mm but they are thick enough to assure a minimum clearance that won't rub.
My advice is, check the gap between the rotor and the stator with a piece of soft drink bottle. If it can be inserted all the way around the gap, leave things alone.
The only time it is wise to remove the stator is if there is a problem with it or, it needs to be removed to gain access to other areas of the engine.

Last edited by ArizonaJim : 12th February 2020 at 21:30.
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Old 12th February 2020, 22:14   #197
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Default re: Royal Enfield Electra: 1,22,000 kms & 18 years

Quote:
Originally Posted by adrian View Post
Glad to hear that you are making progress.

Here is what Mr.Peter Snidal has to say about mounting the alternator

Invest in a feeler gauge and a torque wrench. You will never regret your purchase.

regards adrian
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaJim View Post
Tharian:
If you do try to adjust the clearance between the alternator rotor and stator,the gap must be uniform all around the rotor. You will find that as soon as you loosen the nuts, the strong magnetic forces in the rotor will instantly pull the stator into it at one place leaving a larger gap elsewhere.

It is just about impossible to centralize the stator with the rotor if you only use your hands to do it.
The gap should be about 0,4 mm (.016") all the way around. (That is about the same thickness as 5 sheets of typing paper stacked one on top of another.)

One way that works fairly well is to cut a piece of cardboard cereal box that is long enough to wrap almost completely around the rotor without overlapping. Then, after wrapping the cardboard around the rotor, slide the stator over it. After tightening the nuts, remove the cardboard.
If you can't find cardboard that is thin enough, a plastic softdrink bottle can be used. The ones I have are thinner than 0,4 mm but they are thick enough to assure a minimum clearance that won't rub.
My advice is, check the gap between the rotor and the stator with a piece of soft drink bottle. If it can be inserted all the way around the gap, leave things alone.
The only time it is wise to remove the stator is if there is a problem with it or, it needs to be removed to gain access to other areas of the engine.
I opened up the clutch case today to check and there was a gap on one side and the opposite sides were touching the rotor. Thankfully I haven't used the bike much and would have run less than 20kms.
I wasn't able to get the spacing uniform all around because of the strong magnetic pull.
If I knew this earlier, I would have avoided removing the stator in the first place. But removing it is what made me notice the loose wire which I think was the cause for my starting issue of many years. I'll try the cereal box or the plastic bottle to keep the clearance. I watched some videos too on tapping it to position with the fasteners not tightened fully.
I should be able to fix it after which I think the bike is good for another few years.
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Old 13th February 2020, 17:53   #198
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Default re: Royal Enfield Electra: 1,22,000 kms & 18 years

Finally, got the clearance between the stator and magneto correct and test rode it and the sound is gone. It was an eye test as well to check the clearance.
There is a slight sound only when the headlight is on which reduced after I topped up oil which was only a third of the capacity as I realized today when I was topping up.

Thanks A.P, Adrian and ArizonaJim for the help and tips. Hopefully ol faithful will run like this for another decade.

Last edited by tharian : 13th February 2020 at 17:55.
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Old 15th February 2020, 16:14   #199
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Default re: Royal Enfield Electra: 1,22,000 kms & 18 years

Well, that didn't work and the issue returned today. And this time I was around 40 kms away on the outskirts of Bangalore, trainspotting!

With full confidence that the issue I identified was the cause and that it is fixed, I thought of doing a short ride along with some trainspotting. The bike was starting fine till Wednesday when I fixed the clearance issue and was unused yesterday. This morning, when I tried, it took few kicks, but started and I thought it was probably a cold engine. On the way, the engine felt rough and I thought it was because I was running low on fuel and topped up on the way. After I reached the spot, I did fire it up in between just to be sure and started on the second or third kick. After another half hour, when I was about to leave, it was dead again. A bad knee showed it's face again yesterday during some house work and that made it tough to keep kicking.

Since I was away from the city, there was no chance of pushing it or leaving it parked. I have a cousin who heads region sales in RE and asked him to hook me up with the service centre in Yelahanka which was around 14 kms away. Since it was their lunch break, they said they will send a mech after 2pm. In the meantime, I kept trying since I know at times, it will fire up after a while. Everytime I tried after a while, it would fire once and turn off.

I thought of grabbing lunch since the service centre guys would take time and decided to give it one more try and this time it fired up. Returned home like nothing happened. In the process, the Kicker spring broke too, not surprising.

It's straight to the mech and probably during this year, will look at a new bike which I have been pushing aside for a while and keep this for city use.

Last edited by tharian : 15th February 2020 at 16:16.
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Old 15th February 2020, 17:34   #200
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Default re: Royal Enfield Electra: 1,22,000 kms & 18 years

Visited my mech to change the kicker lever spring and explained the issue to him. He wants to get the stator serviced as he says the starting coil must be weak and the person who does the rewinding can confirm if the coil was bad.

Anyway, i'll be giving the bike for service one of these days and it will be done then.

Last edited by tharian : 15th February 2020 at 17:51.
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Old 15th February 2020, 21:59   #201
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Default re: Royal Enfield Electra: 1,22,000 kms & 18 years

Quote:
Originally Posted by tharian View Post
Visited my mech to change the kicker lever spring and explained the issue to him. He wants to get the stator serviced as he says the starting coil must be weak and the person who does the rewinding can confirm if the coil was bad.
Personally not a fan of rewinding.

If the stator is easily available and not pricey then it would be logical to simply replace it, no questions asked. The peace of mind alone would justify the money spent.

Kicker spring snapping I see as a consumable wear and tear considering the age of the motorcycle, nothing I'd worry about.

I'd not jump the gun and get a new motorcycle, fact be told these are just minor inconsistencies when you factor in the age of the vehicle and I can bet you that no modern machine would be as forgiving as your current motorcycle.

Regards,
A.P.
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Old 15th February 2020, 22:27   #202
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Default re: Royal Enfield Electra: 1,22,000 kms & 18 years

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwinprakas View Post
Personally not a fan of rewinding.

If the stator is easily available and not pricey then it would be logical to simply replace it, no questions asked. The peace of mind alone would justify the money spent.

Kicker spring snapping I see as a consumable wear and tear considering the age of the motorcycle, nothing I'd worry about.

I'd not jump the gun and get a new motorcycle, fact be told these are just minor inconsistencies when you factor in the age of the vehicle and I can bet you that no modern machine would be as forgiving as your current motorcycle.

Regards,
A.P.
I enquired if the genuine part is available and he said yes as even I was thinking of replacing rather than repair.

A modern, faster bike was always on my mind ever since I sold my 500 cast iron five years ago. Just that I didn't go about pursuing it seriously as life advanced. Once this issue is sorted, it will be business as usual for this too.


In all for this commotion, the bike hit 1,22,000 kms.

Last edited by tharian : 15th February 2020 at 22:30.
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Old 17th February 2020, 17:26   #203
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Default re: Royal Enfield Electra: 1,22,000 kms & 18 years

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Originally Posted by tharian View Post
.....Everytime I tried after a while, it would fire once and turn off....
Probably a noob question ( bear with me ):
When it fails to start, was it possible to check if there was a spark in the plugs?. I mean just unscrew the plugs , ignition on and kick start while placing the plug against the cylinder body?.
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Old 17th February 2020, 18:06   #204
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Default re: Royal Enfield Electra: 1,22,000 kms & 18 years

Quote:
Originally Posted by tharian View Post
I thought of grabbing lunch since the service centre guys would take time and decided to give it one more try and this time it fired up. Returned home like nothing happened. In the process, the Kicker spring broke too, not surprising.

It's straight to the mech and probably during this year, will look at a new bike which I have been pushing aside for a while and keep this for city use.
Phew! All is well that ends well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tharian View Post
A modern, faster bike was always on my mind ever since I sold my 500 cast iron five years ago. Just that I didn't go about pursuing it seriously as life advanced. Once this issue is sorted, it will be business as usual for this too.
Congratulations on 1,22,000 kms with the Electra, I dont think Ive crossed that many kilometers in all my years of riding across ownership of 4 motorcycles from 4 different companies! What bike do you have in mind as your addition to the garage? From following your thread over the years, the Interceptor seems to be a logical choice that will also pull at the heartstrings.
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Old 17th February 2020, 18:13   #205
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Default re: Royal Enfield Electra: 1,22,000 kms & 18 years

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Originally Posted by srini1785 View Post
Probably a noob question ( bear with me ):
When it fails to start, was it possible to check if there was a spark in the plugs?. I mean just unscrew the plugs , ignition on and kick start while placing the plug against the cylinder body?.
First and foremost check for compression, if your kicker is moving without any resistance or if you can move your motorcycle in gear without any resistance from compression then you're royally screwed. You could try letting the motorcycle rest for a bit and try again, if you get compression then all is well, as some old gen Honda's like the Unicorn and ZMA tend to loose compression due to a valve stuck open. But if you can't regain compression then don't bother, call for help!

There are some age old jugaad's to regain compression, one is by pulling the plug out and pouring oil into the cylinder and then turning the engine a few times with the spark plug window closed with your thumb, oil will leak out but that's the point, after removing your thumb turn it a couple more times before putting the plug back in.

Another method shared by fellow tbhpian Manoj is to inject oil into the SAI port, since its positioned over the exhaust port it will help the exhaust valve get free if its stuck.

If compression is fine then, move on to check for spark, pull the plug cap off and then unscrew the cap and rest the HT cable directly on the spark plug and turn the motor, if you observe spark then all is good as far as ignition is concerned. MAJOR NOTE: Try not to get electrocuted, the current is so strong that it'll make your teeth clatter, no permanent damage though.

Why didn't I take the spark plug out?

Well since I change my plugs every 10k km's without fail I am certain to a point that they're fine.

In this case if you're not getting spark then you need to need to work backwards from the HT cable to the coil to the CDI BUT before that confirm the type ignition,if its DC then you need to look whether the battery has charge and the charging system is fine. If ignition is AC then after CDI you look directly at the primary coil on the stator, but chances are you'd get spark after swapping the HT coil.

But say if you're getting spark, then next in line is fuel.

Unscrew the carburetor float drain screw, fuel should flow out, if water is coming out then let it drain till you see fuel, then close.

Finally check the Air Filter, if you're like me and change that once every 5k km's then you'd not need to take the effort.

So basically it all comes to how prudent you are with changing your consumables, if you've got everything in check then the chances are your motorcycle wouldn't fail to start and if so it fails then diagnosing the concern is pretty easy as you can see.

Cheers,
A.P.

Last edited by ashwinprakas : 17th February 2020 at 18:26.
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Old 17th February 2020, 20:08   #206
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Default re: Royal Enfield Electra: 1,22,000 kms & 18 years

Quote:
Originally Posted by srini1785 View Post
Probably a noob question ( bear with me ):
When it fails to start, was it possible to check if there was a spark in the plugs?. I mean just unscrew the plugs , ignition on and kick start while placing the plug against the cylinder body?.
Since I knew what the issue was, I knew there wouldn't be spark. I learnt from the past symptoms that the ignition goes dead and I have checked earlier when this had happened,for spark. But electricals work. But this was the first time that it tried firing and went dead. It made sense when my mech told me that mostly the ignition winding on the stator is weak. Because it is trying to create enough current to spark. But that one kick each time wasn't helping. Maybe if it had an electric start, it may have fired up after turning over few times like how it did when I slipped the clutch last time down a slope and it fired. But it does only after few tries. It is like each time it is creating current and after many tries, it has enough to fire up and keep it going.

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
Phew! All is well that ends well.
Yep. After all said and done, I must say, the bike has never let me stranded or given up. Even when it has not fired up that one time, it was in safe parking at office. Or eventually after a while, it will start up. And this issue never came up on my trip last December.]

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post

Congratulations on 1,22,000 kms with the Electra, I dont think Ive crossed that many kilometers in all my years of riding across ownership of 4 motorcycles from 4 different companies! What bike do you have in mind as your addition to the garage? From following your thread over the years, the Interceptor seems to be a logical choice that will also pull at the heartstrings.
I would love to have a twin barrel bike for sure. I just love the firing of a twin and the exhaust note. And for all I know, that would be my last purchase for a long time. So the Interceptor makes sense and is on the top of my list too. Only part I was worried about was the pillion comfort. Nothing beats the comfort and posture on a Bullet, for me. And my wife and me have done some long trips on my 500 comfortably back in the day. I don't think we'll revisit those days, but for sure she would like few short rides now and then which we used to do until few years ago, which is what makes me think twice about the Interceptor.
But no hurry, so I'll wait and watch if something interesting comes along.

Last edited by tharian : 17th February 2020 at 20:10.
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Old 22nd February 2020, 22:29   #207
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Default re: Royal Enfield Electra: 1,22,000 kms & 18 years

Replaced the stator today. Picked up the CDI unit as well as the magneto and pulsar coil. Replaced only the stator, so I can single down were the issue was.
Engine was anyway firing fine everytime I used it in the last week. As on date, I've replaced the ignition key, ignition coil and stator. I have the pulsar coil, CDI unit and magneto in stock.

I also found this genuine part dealer on JC road where I picked up the stuff from who also has the cylinder kit among other parts in stock.
Need to see if the issue occurs now. The good part of all these part replacements were that the engine feels more peppy now.
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Old 24th February 2020, 16:52   #208
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Default re: Royal Enfield Electra: 1,22,000 kms & 18 years

Stator replacement - No go.

Bike didn't fire up today. Thankfully it was at home. I was supposed to head to the same shop I bought the parts from to check the CDI unit since the timing was off when plugged in and firing. The same was the issue with another CDI unit I bought few months back and returned making me think if the units are compatible and are the same for the AVL350 & CI350.

Hopefully the bike starts later in the week so I can check with another CDI unit at the shop itself.

As of now, there are two parts left to replace which is the CDI unit and pulsar coil out of which I feel the CDI unit can be the culprit. It is the original part made in 2002.
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Old 26th February 2020, 12:36   #209
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Electra: 1,20,000 kms & 17 years

Update on the starting issue.

The CDI unit which I got from the RE Genuine shop didn't work although they say it was a good piece. When I checked with them and my mechanic, they say it is the same unit for both AVL and CI engines, but there is a difference for sure since the timing was off with both the units I bought and tried.
The genuine part shop wanted the part number of the CDI unit on my bike to check if they have it in their database for which I had to remove the tank. All this after waiting by the road with my bike idling for over an hour and overheating, waiting for them to check for the part. I was interacting with the owner of the place directly who was helpful and was trying his best to source the part, but since this was an old model, he was finding it difficult and wanted the part number. I decided to head back since it was evening peak time and I had to ride 8 kms in that traffic on an already overheated engine making sure the engine doesn't turn off. Got the amount I paid for the CDI back as well and went directly to my part shop for another CDI unit. This time I got the right one although it wasn't a genuine part and headed to my mech to replace it.
Once he replaced it, the bike didn't fire for the first few kicks. I was thinking this is the right time since now he can diagnose the issue. But it looked like it was the new CDI unit just starting up and it fired the engine eventually. The issue persisting is still 50:50 and I noticed that my mech pulled out one of the wires that was connecting the ignition coil to the CDI unit socket and that is when it fired up. Not sure if that was a cause or just co-incidence as after he plugged that wire back, it fired again.

This morning, it fired up after 3-4 kicks and I rode to office and I will know when I head back home to know if it fires up or not. The only part left to replace is the pulsar coil.
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Old 28th February 2020, 07:52   #210
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Electra: 1,22,000 kms & 18 years

Well, the culprit seems to have been the CDI unit. (fingers crossed)

I have been using the bike for the last two days and it is starting, except that it starts after misfiring the first 3-4 kicks. But while riding, there is no timing issues. I guess it is to do with the quality of the CDI unit.
I am trying to procure a genuine part for both the CDI and pulse coil. Neil.Jericho had helped me with the genuine part dealer contacts in Cochin for the same. Once I get a hold of them, then I will replace it.

For now, I feel it is fixed since before that, the starting issue had become very frequent which was not the case in the last two days. Sadly, after the CDI unit replacement, I feel the power, especially the torque low down has decreased. When I start off from standstill, I need to throttle a bit more and slip the clutch for it to pick up. I hope with the genuine parts, that will be resolved. I was happy that the engine, although run so much, was still peppy and now I can surely feel that is reduced, even with the exhaust note which has become a bit soft.

Last edited by tharian : 28th February 2020 at 07:57.
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