Author Topic: Siba ignition mystery  (Read 29955 times)

steven mandell

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Siba ignition mystery
« on: May 16, 2014, 11:16:15 AM »
It was quite a thrill to finally get the Frisky Family Three's engine to run yesterday :D
After spending a  few weeks of free time cleaning out the tank, shut off valve and carburetor,  and chasing down the spark in the ignition system, I literally couldn't stop clapping over the roar of the engine for about the first 30 seconds after she fired up for the first time in nearly a decade.

The mystery to myself is why I could only get a decent enough spark to get it to run well, if I both disconnected what I believe to be the condensor, (see accompanying picture) and ran a spark plug wire without a static suppressing resistor in the spark plug end cap of the ignition cable from the coil.  Put either of these back into the electrical circuit, and the spark would become too weak/ erratic to start the engine.

I am using a new spark plug, and the wires involved look good.  I also did a precision job straightening and gapping the points and setting the timing of the point set that is energized for forward running of the engine.
For awhile I used an identical, but slightly shinier example of the same condensor with temporarily good results, but then a short while later, it would only spark well enough to run with the second condensor, and spark plug resistor removed from the circuit again.

John Meadows has verified that it uses a positive ground electrical architecture.  However at one point I burnt up a light gauge temporary jump wire from what I believed was the positive pole of the batterry to the 12 volt power in side of the coil terminal.  I was trying to factor out the dodgy ignition switch which only maintained power to the coil if I kept some counterclockwise pressure on the ignition key after it started.
It is possible that I hooked the temporary jumper to the negative battery terminal by mistake, as both positive and negative battery cables are in the same red color.
The solder tipped light blue wire in the picture that is connected to the condensor by spring pressure only, attaches to the other minor terminal of the coil, along with the point trigger wire.
Could I have blown the second condensor by grounding the 12 volt power in terminal to the coil just long enough go melt the insulation off the thin gauge jumper wire.  No other wires got warm during this brief fiasco.

If it is indeed a condensor, why does it show "500 V max" on both the Scootacar, and Frisky units?  Where can I get replacements?
I also have two identical bakelight 90 degree spark plug boots with built in 1 K ohm resistors.  She also wont run with either.

« Last Edit: May 17, 2014, 12:57:37 AM by steven mandell »

Bob Purton

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Re: Siba ignition mystery
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2014, 11:48:00 AM »
You can buy a replacement condenser from the Messerschmitt owners club. That's where I got my new one for my Nobel special, I reasoned, same siba black box and dynastart , then its got to be the right condenser. You could do an experiment and remove a condenser from one of your many Nobels, see if the Frisky runs with that.

steven mandell

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Re: Siba ignition mystery
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2014, 12:02:11 PM »
Thanks Bob.
I don't know why this site considers even one picture to be too large a file size to post, as I used to be able to send two at a time when taken and sent by the very same camera phone that I have used to post pictures previously.

The condensors in question have a wire with a soldered pig tail that is held in contact with the condensor by virtue of a coil spring pressing it into contact betwen a washer and the condensor's electrode. 

Any good guesses as to why the spark arrestor/ resistor at the end of the spark plug wire won't let enough spark through?
« Last Edit: May 17, 2014, 01:01:26 AM by steven mandell »

Bob Purton

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Re: Siba ignition mystery
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2014, 01:24:55 PM »
Yes, the condenser you describe is the Schmitt one. I don't know if partsmart still have that original type but what ever they provide will be the equivalent.
Re your resistor, is it an anti interference suppressor? Which ever, its can have only either have  broken down or the current coming down the HT lead is weak. Why do you need it anyway?

DaveMiller

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Re: Siba ignition mystery
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2014, 05:24:05 PM »
Steven

I don't know Friskys, but I do know the similar Villiers engine in Bonds.

I'm confused when you talk of supplying power to the coil:  if you are indeed using a positive earth system, then you would be correct, not mistaken, to provide the coil with "power" from the negative battery terminal.  If you mistakenly connected it to the "earthed" terminal, then nothing much should happen - it would connect "earth" through coil and points, back to "earth".

Burning out the wire suggests a short somewhere after the input to the coil?

I never run my Bonds with a suppressor in the plug lead.  They don't like it!

The "500V" rating is normal on the condensor.   The steady voltage applied to the coil is a mere 12V, but sudden cutting off of the current when the points open causes spikes in the voltage that the condensor "sees".   The crisper the separation, the higher the spikes.  The "500V" rating means that the condensor would be able to take spikes of up to 500V before it breaks down.   Much as with pliers that have insulated handles rated for "6000V" or whatever, I wouldn't expect the day-to-day use to approach anywhere near the rating!

steven mandell

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Re: Siba ignition mystery
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2014, 06:24:31 PM »
Yes, the condenser you describe is the Schmitt one. I don't know if partsmart still have that original type but what ever they provide will be the equivalent.
Re your resistor, is it an anti interference suppressor? Which ever, its can have only either have  broken down or the current coming down the HT lead is weak. Why do you need it anyway?


Would still like to see a picture before I buy.
Speaking of which, I am always turned off by such "exclusive" websites that require you to join a club/ pay a fee for the privilege of being allowed to buy a part from them that they are already making a fair profit on.  For goodness sake, they won't even allow me to download a picture of it.
Who do they claim to be protecting?  It is just their unjustly creating another reason to to get more money from you.
I shouldn't have to join a club to buy a part for each of the unusual microcars I own.  That is one reason why I joined RUMCARS.
Anybody have a work around for this?
I also gathered that the part that they are selling is different from the original in at least its mounting bracketry.
Anybody know of a more commonly available part that is electrically identical so I can go to a local parts store tommarrow, and be driving her down the road this weekend?

I do not need or want a suppressor at the spark plug end of my coil to plug wire, as the car never had a radio.  However, because it is a centrally stranded copper core wire, I can only attach the spark plug cap and boot to it via a central longitudinally orientated spear or wood screw like protrusion centrally mounted.   The only cap ends that I could find that use this type of electrical affixment are a bakelight part with a suppressor cast integrally.
I could use a resistance type wire with a simple non suppressed cap end, but then it would not have a central core design, and hence in addition to lowering the amount of current available to the sparking plug, not be readily adaptable to the central spear found in the end of the coil.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2014, 06:27:57 PM by steven mandell »

Bob Purton

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Re: Siba ignition mystery
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2014, 07:21:59 PM »
I suspect there is nothing very special about the condenser at all. It's a straight forward battery, coil, point ignition system. What is available in the USA?  An Isetta part perhaps? Don't you have classic motorcycles over there apart from those ghastly Harley things?? Same goes for the plug cap, old Vespa, Lambretta, Triumph, all use screw on plug caps. Try a classic bike shop. I can source them here for you but it seems unnecessary to me.
 I don't belong to the MOC but if I need anything from partsmart I just someone who is to get it for me.

Grant Kearney

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Re: Siba ignition mystery
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2014, 10:10:15 PM »
I shouldn't have to join a club to buy a part for each of the unusual microcars I own.  That is one reason why I joined RUMCARS.

Rumcars is not a club and therefore does not supply parts.  If you want a part for an unusual microcar then Rumcars can provide help and guidance on possible sources.  You have been given a source that happens to be another Microcar CLUB.  Why would they want to supply parts that are sourced and manufactured by members for the benefit of other members to those outside their CLUB ?.
If you choose to own a variety of unusual microcars then it can only be expected that you might have to join more than one CLUB in order to source parts.
Try looking on line for Villiers Services, who are used by a number of Rumcars members and might be able to supply the correct condenser. 
As a multiple Frisky owner, I can assure you finding a condenser should be easy compared to many of the unique parts made by Meadows.

Grant

steven mandell

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Re: Siba ignition mystery
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2014, 01:13:55 AM »
Steven

I don't know Friskys, but I do know the similar Villiers engine in Bonds.

I'm confused when you talk of supplying power to the coil:  if you are indeed using a positive earth system, then you would be correct, not mistaken, to provide the coil with "power" from the negative battery terminal.  If you mistakenly connected it to the "earthed" terminal, then nothing much should happen - it would connect "earth" through coil and points, back to "earth".

Burning out the wire suggests a short somewhere after the input to the coil?

I never run my Bonds with a suppressor in the plug lead.  They don't like it!

John Meadows says that despite what some other sources quote- all Friskys are negative earthed.
I currently believe that I had either the light gauge jumper, or the cables to the batterry reversed, and that is why the jumper fried when connected to the "15" terminal of the coil that was still connected to the energised wire coming from the ignition switch.  Fortunately it was a light enough wire to act as a fusible link, and apparently no other wires were warmed in the process. 
Do you think that this could have damaged my second condensor?

Your other commentary is duly noted and appreciated.
Thanks for your input.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2014, 01:16:57 AM by steven mandell »

Mark Green

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Re: Siba ignition mystery
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2014, 01:49:21 AM »
Hi Steve
I bought some Villiers spark plug boots and had to remove everything inside the boot as they would not work. I drilled them out and put regular spark plug connectors on the wires, put them back thru the boot so I could have the Villiers look.
1958 FriskySport

steven mandell

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Re: Siba ignition mystery
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2014, 02:25:28 AM »
Why would they want to supply parts that are sourced and manufactured by members for the benefit of other members to those outside their CLUB ?.
If you choose to own a variety of unusual microcars then it can only be expected that you might have to join more than one CLUB in order to source parts.
Try looking on line for Villiers Services, who are used by a number of Rumcars members and might be able to supply the correct condenser. 
As a multiple Frisky owner, I can assure you finding a condenser should be easy compared to many of the unique parts made by Meadows.

Grant I appreciate your contributions to the multi make microcar scene, and know of your eclectic involvements with multiple microcar clubs and registers.
I never expected that Rumcars would sell me any parts.  But I do respectfully disagree on the issue of requiring club membership prior to selling a part essential to the running of another make of vehicle for which no club exists.
Perhaps you are too forgiving in this instance, as MOC has clearly not invested in remaking the original part.  Their installation instructions refer to having only a single mount hole, and having to pigtail wires together to make it work.
if I am going to put up with such a non original result, I'll be damned if I am going to pay both an inflated price, as well as a membership fee to a club that caters to a car that I do not own for the "privilege".
Why even our other model citizen Bob sees the scam here.

The role model suppliers that I think deserve recognition include the likes of John Meadows or Stephen Boyd of the Scootacar Registry.  They operate these organizations strictly for the personal satisfaction of ensuring that these makes survive the rigors of time.  If they have a part, or indeed go thorough all the tremendous bother of remaking an original or even improved version of a no longer available part, they do their best to get the word out, and then charge just enough to cover their costs.
Now that is service a full order of magnitude higher in the realm of ethics and ideals,  than a "club" that portends to be protecting something for its members, whilst additionally lining their pockets.  The Mafiosa also sells this type of protection.
Let's hear it for the true enthusiast privateers, by giving them a token of our appreciation for not going the way of the profiteers. 
Do we have a Hall of Fame or something like that yet?
We could have another category for people like Andy Carter who are creating high quality parts that would otherwise be unobtainable, and jeopardize the survival of some of our endangered species, and charging a fair price for their product.

THANKYOU for the referral to the wonderful Villiers spares website.  I have emailed them my request.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2014, 02:40:21 AM by steven mandell »

steven mandell

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Re: Siba ignition mystery
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2014, 02:30:53 AM »
Hi Steve
I bought some Villiers spark plug boots and had to remove everything inside the boot as they would not work. I drilled them out and put regular spark plug connectors on the wires, put them back thru the boot so I could have the Villiers look.

Hey Mark,
Will tremendously appreciate it if you could post a picture of your modification.
Let me also take this opportunity to thank you for your incredible efforts and results in remaking improved spec Frisky Sport parts.  I guess we will need another category for the Hall of Fame for you.

Big Al

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Re: Siba ignition mystery
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2014, 08:56:19 AM »
I too am convinced that Frisky were negative earth. So the first thing is to sort out the dynostarter wiring so it is powering the starter coils with current going to negative. As its a reversing engine it can run in reverse wired up negative or positive. Check that it is running the starter circuit from positive to negative. If the engine has been run for a while 'the wrong way round' the flywheel will be magnetically reversed. It will need to be reset.

Having established that the engine and dynostart are rotating in the same way for the result required you can hook up the ignition to the feed, which is a power lead to the coil and the points lead from the magnetic switch relay to the other pole. The condenser is fitted between the contact plate and coil to prevent the contacts burning out, though the lesser spark still erodes the contact area over time. My experience of these condensers is they are tough, but time will see them off. The insulation goes. The old bolt on spring clipped item for Micros has long gone, so another will need to be sourced, if yours is duff. Most condensers for older cars have similar values. But a new one is pence from autojumble.

So poor spark. Well if half the system is positive and half negative, that will be a synch. With the wiring checked it makes sense to clean all contacts while you are going round. Make sure the magnetic relay switch is going home. If it is playing up you can wire the condenser direct to the points chosen to run, forward or reverse, missing out the magnetic relay switch. If the plug cap is suspect then take it off and just wire the HT lead direct to the plug, using the plug connector on the thread, for testing. If the coil is not very good it will show by getting hot in a few minutes use. Also it will void black wax from its top. Its far more likely to fail than the condenser.

In extremes you can create a HT spark gap in the lead to increase the voltage of the charge at the plug. It will therefore produce a bigger, longer, spark. This is all that is inside one of those Magic Spark, or other in line spark enhancing devices sold at car shows. Total con for the money, as you can make your own.

As to clubs supplying parts to non members. Its their choice, of course, but I think this practice of limited supply is fast becoming outdated. The membership fees are normally to cover magazine costs, but these publications are under attack from the Internet.The world has moved on and restricted ownership groups with some kind of advanced access to parts via a fee is becoming a way to ensure that only a minority of cars get used within a specific area of activity. Maybe that is considered desirable? I do not know. Once Van Rhiew, Oliver Herbolzhiemer and others supply the general Messerschmitt market, the cat is out of the bag. Add in that the club mentioned chose to alienate its best, cheapest and most loyal supplier, after falling out with its prior spares service supplier and constructor before even commencement of service, both no longer sells them anything, and I am not sure I am surprised to hear of further trading losses. If there is an argument in favour of restrictive practice in a Ltd company, I fear it is an extraordinarily weak one here, once given the facts.
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
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For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs

Bob Purton

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Re: Siba ignition mystery
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2014, 09:13:55 AM »
Just for the record Steven, I never said that the MOC Partsmart service was a "SCAM".
Ok, they may not be having replica condensers made to the original pattern but someone still has to source the alternative, test it and invest in buying a batch. They have however invested thousands over the years in having all sorts of stuff made including domes, panels etc. Clubs choose the way they want to run there parts service and we have to respect that. If you don't like it then its tough. I have enjoyed my few years of not belonging to any clubs because it has forced me to stretch my initiative and either make or source my own parts. I have learned a lot and quite often you end up with a better part than I would have bought from the clubs.
I agree with you over respect for Steven Boyd!

steven mandell

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Re: Siba ignition mystery
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2014, 11:26:36 AM »
I do not agree with a need to respect restrictive trade practices.  Maybe that's the American in me.
I think it likely that I will source an at least equal quality part locally for at most half the price.
Requiring me to subsidize magazine publishing costs for a mag that I do not need to read merely unnecessarily complicates, obfuscates and increases costs for someone who simply needs a part for a different mark of vehicle.

Great advice Al.  I will give the system a check over next chance I get.
Sorry to say , that your half positive and half negative comment relating to spark strength will require further elaboration to avoid following on deaf ears.
Same goes for a simple and practical way to construct the gap jump spark enhancing device you mention.

But I fear the Earth may be in danger of tipping over after having stopped spinning on its axis when I hear you say that you don't know if you agree that only a minority of microcars should be encouraged to be run, and in just specifically sanctioned events to boot.  I certainly hope that we are not beginning to see a new politically correct Al. 
For if that be so, I fear I have to face the fact that the majority of English gentlemen are  concerned about appearing "proper" to the point of impropriety.