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  1. #101
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    Coils fail from heat and vibration, but bad plugs and bad plugs wires will kill coils quicker; the high voltage won't have a good path to the plug (where it is grounded) and can burn through the insulation layers inside the coil creating a short.
    A high resistance in the coil's primary windings will result in low output with a weak or no-spark condition. As mentioned, the stock coils are not great, but have been around and used for years...like, how old are the ones you have now - 27 years old?
    The copper core wires you are using are not suppressor type plug wires. What plugs are you running - resistor type? - with a R in the code (i.e. BPR7ES)? if not, you should use resistor type plug caps - NGK 5K ohm are common, but not both; resistor plug cap + resistor plugs.

  2. #102

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    Looks like it was my plugs that killed the coils. I had the non resistor type(without the R). Just bought new plugs and coils are in the mail. By the weekend I should be good. In other news: my electric start is a no go. The starter spins but doesn't engage anything. Bought a second starter a while back so I replaced it with that and it's still no good. Did some reading and it's a very common problem on XS's. The spring clip on fourth gear wears out and looses it's spring tension. I could order a new one or bend back the original. We'll see what I do, I'll just manage off the kickstarts for now.

  3. #103
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    It's not the lack of a resistor in your sparkplug that killed your coils - older systems never had 'em, they were first introduced to reduce radio interference,then later required to prevent the electrical 'noise' from affecting sensitive on-board electronic devices.
    I think it just from heat, vibration, age, an understanding that they are not the greatest, and that we ask so much from parts that have to work so fast and so hard every time we twist the throttle...at a moderate 4,000RPM, that coil is collapsing the primary winding and getting a big jump of about 30K volts 33 times per second - shocking! Amazing they continue to function year after year.
    any rebuild kits out there for troublesome xs650 starters?
    Last edited by TriNortchopz; 05-20-2019 at 10:14 PM.

  4. #104

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    Oh, I was under the impression that I needed either resistor plug wires, caps or plugs(only one kind). And being that I had nothing, I figured that's why my coils went bad, so I opted for resistor plugs which are the easiest and cheapest option.

    As far as the starter, its not so much the starter itself that is bad, but the worn out spring clip on 4th gear in the trans where it engages(if i'm not mistaken). I followed along with this thread:

    http://www.xs650.com/threads/starter-gear-fix.18060/

  5. #105

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    Sorry for not keeping this updated, but I got her going! New coils, resistor plugs and adjusted/cleaned points. She's been running pretty good so far, and I'm enjoying the fuck out of riding it. The hardtail isn't uncomfortable as I've been told, but that could just be because I have a spring mounted seat. Either way, It's a blast to ride. Keep an eye out for me at bike shows around the trip state area, and say hi if you recognize me! Can't wait to road trip this bike all over the place.
    Chop on!

    Edit: Still haven't sorted out the starter issue, but that's alright. Kicking it is a lot cooler

  6. #106
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    Right on, good to hear you been ridin'!
    Can you share two photos; one of the stock xs before you started and a recent one with what you built...

  7. #107

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's the before and after. It's one hell of a difference, and still tons I want to change/add on.
    My instagram is @davidz30 if you guys wanna follow me and my bike around on there

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