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  1. #1

    Default Looking for some opinions and thoughts on Shovel ignition options.

    I know you guys might have seen some of my other threads as I push to get this thing in the next month. I want to post threads and ask questions about the shit I'm dealing with in the hopes of getting good ideas and helping the next guy that's running into the same things.

    This topic is ignition. My cone Shovel has a points ignition. I've heard mixed things about them. I don't mind the maintenance and I do like the simplicity. On my current bike I have Dyna S because the stock module shit and left me stranded. The Dyna has been doing its job well since it's been in there. My bike is my main form of transport and this chopper will be my everyday. Am I better off swapping to an electronic ignition or running the points? My fear with the electronic is that if it shits on the side of the road, you're kind of fucked. What are your thoughts?

    Also, this is the type of coil I have on hand.

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    It's a standard HD dual fire that I originally bought for my Sporty before diagnosing the module failure. I should be able to run this on a Shovel correct? I don't have an issue buying another one if I need to.

  2. #2
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    Personally, the thing I like about the Dyna S is that if you run the dual fire Dyna S, you keep your points plate with you, and if it shits the bed, you just put your points set up back on. Simple swap, and from my experience they are about as trouble free as it gets.

  3. #3
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    It has to be points,...when an electronic system fry's (& they do all the time & without warning) it will be in the middle of Buttfuck Ohio at 3am on a wet Thursday in November,.....& you will NOT have a points setup in your pocket despite previous plans.
    as you said, points can be mended at the road side in a matter of seconds even if it is only good enough to get you home or to a gas station where a better fix can be made,.
    Personally I would recommend a Morris Magneto,.. yes a big outlay at first but basically they never go wrong less you mistreat them or don't understand them and fuck it up, but I have used them on all my Harleys since 1980 without a problem at all, I honestly cant fault them...
    http://morrismagneto.com/

  4. #4
    SamHain
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    Iíll say points, but I was always pissed off at mine. Would have went elec but was tired of throwing money at bike that ainít ever gonna take the abuse I throw at it.

    If going EI I would not maintain the stock advance, that ainít shit for an upgrade. Probably more reliable than condensors and thatís it. Those are easy enough to swap just be damn sure you have 1-2 every damn time you get on it.

    My 82 had the original eI on it with 50k, far as I know itís still tickin and Those are known for bein junk....

    Kick only points start better in my experience. They donít give a fuck about voltage or revolutions.
    Last edited by SamHain; 05-05-2018 at 7:07 AM.

  5. #5
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    Dyna S is the way to go for a Shovel. Simple, reliable and works well with electric or kickstart.

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    Points and condensers usually degrade gracefully and work great with a kicker. Spares are at every auto shop. (Chevy straight six)

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    Points only,

  8. #8
    SamHain
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmall View Post
    Points and condensers usually degrade gracefully and work great with a kicker. Spares are at every auto shop. (Chevy straight six)
    Bull fucking shit. I hitchhiked around for half a fucking day. No auto parts stores carry that shit anymore. get Lucky and Find someone who gives a shit about shovels or carry your own.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamHain View Post
    Bull fucking shit. I hitchhiked around for half a fucking day. No auto parts stores carry that shit anymore. get Lucky and Find someone who gives a shit about shovels or carry your own.
    Depends on where you live, but carrying your own is easy enough. I've never had a problem finding points in NC, SC, or GA and I fuck with many old cars and trucks besides bikes.

    Easy way to keep bench stock is order online. It's as easy to buy four points/condenser sets as one, and prices will never improve so ya may as well buy parts and gaskets/seals for many years in advance. The only downside is my estate sale will have a few hundred bucks in spares I didn't live to use, but I'll be gone so not my problem.

    OP has points, so buying more is cheap and easy as as leaving a set permanently in his riding jacket. My riding jackets each get folding hex key sets in a pocket and I wear my Leatherman 300 all the time anyway.

    Minimum spares I'd keep for a Shovel is two sets points and condenser, two pairs of spark plugs, a carb rebuild kit, and a complete engine and transmission gasket and seal kit. (Fuel line, clamps, wire repair shit are a given in any shop.) Need one gasket or seal? Take it from the kit and reorder ASAP. I never rely on local bike shops to have anything. I keep a complete new charging system but the same kit fits my Shovels and Evos so it will get used like the two before it did. I've had very few breakdowns but I've never cried myself to sleep over having parts on hand.

    Most on the road stoppages are due electrical issues, so OP should keep an eye on his wiring for chafing, loose connections etc. I don't care for fuses and if an HD breaker shits the bed I can swap to another breaker or put both eyelets on one stud. If OP has fuses then spares are a good idea. So is checking fastener torque every now and then.

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    Dave Shaw has something to say on this topic ...


  11. #11
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    Dave is the Man !!...I lived in the next town over and visited his workshop many times in the 90's,
    he is a real clever & Helpful man and always has time to talk and is always interested in what you have,....
    Now I'm in England, I have used him for parts on several occasions & the orders are always fast and always right....

  12. #12
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    Mags are fine, just stunningly expensive. That style began early last century as Fairbanks-Morse industrial and farm engine mags (many of which are still running). They work if the rest of your electrical system dies which is nice.

    Is spending a third or a quarter of what a Shovel is worth on ignition a good call? It's a fun call if you have the cash. 1400 bucks buys a lot of other parts. OP asked about running a daily. If you have to use a motorcycle for your main transpo in all weathers (been there done that for quite a few years) that suggests 1400 clams could be more wisely spent elsewhere or kept in reserve for emergencies instead of toy purchases.

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    True .... ^^^

    A very expensive Cigar Lighter ....

    But Man, what a classy way to light up .... !!!

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    Last edited by Dragstews; 05-05-2018 at 3:02 PM.

  14. #14
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    I Love my Magneto,..Wouldnt ever go electronic...
    as I plan to keep the bike & I want it reliable I didn't mind spending the cash to
    get what I wanted from a ground up build,.
    here in England mine was valued at £9500 ($12850 !!!),...
    in the States I'd be lucky to get $5000 for it. and as Shovelheads are not a common bike
    in England well built ones are very sought after & hold their value,......
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tzienlee View Post
    here in England mine was valued at £9500 ($12850 !!!),...
    in the States I'd be lucky to get $5000 for it. and as Shovelheads are not a common bike
    in England well built ones are very sought after & hold their value,......
    That Shovel would be about 7K today. The recession is over and it has some nice bits.

    Come over and fill up a shipping container during the off-season. At that kind of markup you could keep the nicest of the lot each time and make serious money to boot. Grab some vintage British machinery while you are at it. When the last, very old owners croak they'll all go into museums or collections anyway. Everyone who rode one in their youth has one foot in the grave today or is well over 50 which is the same thing.

    Before the Recession (when the Boomers were more spry and hadn't lost their retirement funds) it was common for buyers to tow a trailer from the Northeast and fill up on the way to Daytona to resell. They'd stop at shops looking for hogs for sale. You could do similarly then load a container at the port of your preference.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmall View Post
    That Shovel would be about 7K today. The recession is over and it has some nice bits.

    Come over and fill up a shipping container during the off-season. At that kind of markup you could keep the nicest of the lot each time and make serious money to boot. Grab some vintage British machinery while you are at it. When the last, very old owners croak they'll all go into museums or collections anyway. Everyone who rode one in their youth has one foot in the grave today or is well over 50 which is the same thing.

    Before the Recession (when the Boomers were more spry and hadn't lost their retirement funds) it was common for buyers to tow a trailer from the Northeast and fill up on the way to Daytona to resell. They'd stop at shops looking for hogs for sale. You could do similarly then load a container at the port of your preference.
    if I had the money to do that I would ,...when I see what some real nice bikes go for State side it really is a pisser !!
    now the UK customs have become a bit clever and they charge a shit load in TAX for imported bikes!!.....

  17. #17
    singlebeam
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    I like the Magneto too. Not cheap but efficient, here's mine.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails shovelhead.jpg  

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    I just finished building a 89" stroked shovel. Had a Morris magneto on it and kick only.
    After two days of going mental trying to kick it to life and with some good advise from the guys at shovelhead.us I put in a Dyna S I had lying around. Bike started third kick, so I will be sticking with that Dyna S for now. Simple and as said above, easily replaced with points should it shit it self.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by andri View Post

    I just finished building a 89" stroked shovel. Had a Morris magneto on it and kick only.
    After two days of going mental trying to kick it to life I put in a Dyna S I had lying around. Bike started third kick.
    Kinda wondering being you didn't say.... Was that a impulse mag that was causing you
    grief ....???
    Last edited by Dragstews; 05-06-2018 at 7:30 PM.

  20. #20
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    I run a Dyna S in my shovel.

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