Checkout the online shop for new parts and service for you ride!

Click Here www.hughshandbuilt.com for more info on parts! Thanks - Hughs.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

How-To: Pamcopete 277 Ignition Install

Ok folks, lets do this....

As you know, I recommend Pamcopete ignitions for ALL XS650's - and for good reason: They are the most reliable and simplistic systems on the market.  I'm not here to start an argument about TCI Vs. Points Vs. Boyer Vs. Pamco etc; I'm here to show you how to install your Pamcopete 277 Ignition system on your Rephased XS650 Engine... 

So first things first, lets see what Pete himself has to say about this install: 

"There are at least 4 ways to install the advance mechanism and two ways to build a cam for the 277 conversion so that means that there are at least 8 ways to install the ignition system times the two ways to install the PAMCO rotor, so that makes 16 ways to install the ignition system, and only one of them is correct for your engine. The best way to ensure success is to methodically "walk" the crank shaft around for at least 720 degrees and check that each cylinder will get it's spark at the correct time."

 So we are looking at 15 WRONG ways to install a 277 Ignition, and only 1 correct way...  No wonder I get so many emails about this!  Pete and I are friends, so I'm gonna help both of us and show you how to do this on the first try...

First - Lay out your Pamco Ignition in a clean and orderly manner...  

  *Keen eyes will note that not all of this kit is new, I assembled this from random bits laying about the shop...  But the install will be the same, so no worries...  And yes, I HATE those fugly "Green Monster" coils supplied by MikesXS....  


I'm not gonna show you how to pull the cam covers off of your engine, you should be that adept already.  If not, put down the tools and walk away... I digress... Once the cam covers are off of the engine, you should see this on the Right Hand Side - as if you were sitting on the bike (from now on, the "right" side will ALWAYS be this side, the side with the threaded end of the camshaft protruding from the oil seal) 




If you've pulled the right hand cam cover off and found NO Threads at all, some diptard of a mechanic has likely installed your camshaft backwards in your engine...  You'll wanna pull the engine and remedy that situation.  And YES, it is more common than you would think...

Sharp eyes will not that this cam already has advance rod bushings installed.  If not, install 2 of the supplied bushings into the end of the cam.  And no, they really do not matter which goes first, or if they look just like the OEM bushings you see already installed...  Just make sure you have them.  1980-1984 Model Engines did not have the bushings installed from the Factory.




Bushings installed and all happy?  Cool, lets keep moving...  You'll wanna locate the hole in the cam, and position it to the 12:00 Position by rotating the engine by the crank, kickstarter, etc..  This is not for timing purposes, this is to ensure that you can see what you are doing, and not drop the dowel into the cylinder while working on a wonky position.  So get the hole in the cam into the 12:00 Position and this will make like easier...  




Find the tiny dowel supplied with your Pamcopete Ignition Kit (only if the complete kit came from MikesXS - if not, then you'll wanna order one...) - on engines that came with points originally, this dowel would have been installed.  It likely was removed to disassemble the engine for the rephasing, so make sure you have one that fits properly.  DO NOT use a trimmed down nail and think it will work...  My Father In Law thought it would work, and it left me stranded on the side of the road when the advance unit exploded in the middle of Nowheresville... Don't cut corners, you'll regret it later, and it will be more expensive to remedy down the road...  




Install the dowel in the camshaft.  




It may require a slight bit of persuasion, use some pliers and be careful not to damage the cam.  




Now, onto the Mechanical Advance Unit.  Check it over for damage prior to install.  If in doubt, toss it in the trash and get another one.  If using a used one, get new advance springs for it before you finish this install.  




On the backside of the unit, you'll see a pin and a notch.  This will line up with the dowel you just installed in the camshaft...  




I found a crack near the notch on this unit, so I disassembled it, scavenged through my pile of spare parts, and found a better backing plate to use...  PS - When disassembling the unit, be careful with the snap rings, they will fly into orbit, never to be seen again until NASA starts space travel again... 




For the purposes of this How-To, I am using a but of yellow paint to highlight important markings and such...




Line up the notch on the backing plate with the dowel in the camshaft.  Slide the backing plate onto the cam, making sure that everything is seated properly, and sits evenly.




This funky looking nut holds the Mechanical Advance Unit onto the camshaft end.  You will notice a shoulder near the threads, this shoulder should face OUT when you install the nut.  This will ensure proper fit, and keep the Advance Unit tight on the camshaft.  




Use a dab of Blue Locktite on the camshaft threads, and hand tighten the nut onto the camshaft.  Doing this by hand will keep you from fubar'ing the threads on the cam, causing major strife in your build.  Take your time, do things right, and you'll have a nicer final product.  Follow this on ALL things related to your motorcycle build, and you'll have a machine that you love...  


Once you have the nut hand tightened on the cam, you can tighten it up using a flat ended punch and a small hammer.  I have a special tool for this job, but this works just as well, and I like to show folks how to do things without special tools...  Take special care not to damage the backing plate while doing this...




I like to use a bit of this stuff to lube up the flyweight pivots.  Use something similar if you have it...




Reassembly of the Mechanical Advance Unit.  Install the flyweights and the springs.




Those pesky snap rings/ E-Clips can be a nightmare...  Here is a simple trick to make these very easy to install. Get yourself a deep socket (easier to hold) that will just barely slip over the flyweight pivot on the advance unit. Line it up and simply "push" the snap rings onto the shafts to hold the flyweights on...






Now for another little trick I like to use.  Centrifugal force can put the test on those little clips, so I like to orient the "open" part of the clips outwards, so instead of slinging the clips off, they are forced on... Like so...




Now that the Advance Unit is installed, and ready to go, you'll wanna get this part out.  You'll notice I have a yellow mark on it as well.




Most people screw this part up, complicating the ever loving crap out of this install.  Make sure you can see the arrow and dash (highlighted in yellow) when you bolt it to the Advance Rod. The Advance rod has a pin in it, which indexes the above part properly. 


Use a bit of Blue again...




Do NOT overtighten this nut, it only needs a good snug fit... (sorry for the blurry pic, but you can still see the yellow paint, and thats a good thing...)




Spray some more of that white lithium grease onto the bushings inside the cam, and then install the Advance Rod..


Line up the marks you see here in yellow, this is often overlooked, causing way too many complications...  




Now that you have the Advance Unit installed, manually pull the flyweights out and make sure the Advance Unit "snaps" back into place...  If not, then you need to clean the Advance Rod and the Cam Bushings.  If it "snaps" back into place easily, move forward...  

Now, lets set the engine to TDC on the #1 Cylinder.  The #1 Cylinder on ANY XS650 Engine, regardless of rephase or not, is the Cylinder closest to the Alternator (or left cylinder if you are sitting on the bike)


If using an OEM Charging System, you will want to set the mark on the Rotor to "T" on the alternator, like below:




If using one of our Permanent Magnet Alternators, you will use the reference marks you made when you installed it, and set to "TDC" like below...


From there, you can now install the Electric parts of the Pamco.  Unroll the wiring and get it fairly loose from the unit.  Be careful not to damage the components on the board whenever handling any part of the Pamco...  




Install it on the LEFT side of the engine, behind the cam cover.  For initial firing, I always set my 277 Pamcopete to this particular location in the cam cover...  Note the Blue Allen Wrench is pointed to my starting point...  



Should look like this before you bolt it down...  Be careful not to damage any of the wires while positioning the unit...


Let's talk bolts - and why each and every single XS650 that comes to my shop with a Pamco doesn't have washers under these bolts....  I don't know if the universe conspires against me at times, but start using washers under these bolts PLEASE?!?!?!  Why?  Because I said so....  And because then you can actually time the engine, and not lose time when tightening the plate, as well as not damaging the plate when doing so...  And because I said so...  It worked when you were 5 years old and Momma said it...


You can go ahead and snug these up lightly, just snug enough that they won't come loose when  you fire up the engine.  You'll be loosening them again later to actually time the engine, more on that later...  


Route your wires cleanly, I like mine about like this:




Onto the Pamco Rotor.  I love Pete, but he complicates this part of the install too much.  Follow my directions, and you won't have a thing in the world to worry about...  


Take note of the 2 trigger magnets on the face of the rotor...  These are important...  Make sure they are both installed.




Now flip the rotor over, there should be 2 key positions.  One is for a machined and modified camshaft (like you get from HHB) and the other is for a ground and rewelded camshaft that has not been machined.  Which is which?  It doesn't matter, because we are gonna simplify this for you...




Ok, so long as you haven't messed with the engine too much, you should still be at TDC on the #1 Cylinder.  If you are, then you can align the Pamco rotor onto the Advance Rod to where the 2 Trigger Magnets are horizontal to the engine cases...  (If the rotor is snug on the shaft, it is ok to use the outside nut to pull it onto the shaft.  Just don't overtighten it...)




"What if my magnets are horizontal, but below the center line of the advance rod?" - It does NOT matter.  Why?  Because the camshaft turns 1/2 of a revolution to 1 full revolution of the crank. So if you were to spin the crank 1 full revolution, it would look like the picture above.  Simply put, it does not matter and you are still doing it correctly, so don't fret...  Anthing other than horizontal is wrong, and you need to find out why.  Cam installed incorrectly?  Wrong notch on the back of the Pamco Rotor?  Didn't align the Mechanical Advance Unit properly?  Check each and every single one of these items FIRST if you can't get the magnets horizontal... 


Now, put the large flat washer over the Pamco Rotor.  This keeps the magnets from coming loose and getting lost, should the rare moment that the magnets are loose in the rotor.  Not likely, but install it anyway...




Another small dab of Blue Locktite and tighten the nut onto the advance rod.  


 
Lightly try to twist the Pamco Rotor Clockwise and make sure the Advance Unit "snaps" back into place...  If not, then you need to clean the Advance Rod and the Cam Bushings.  If it "snaps" back into place easily, move forward...  

You just installed the Pamco without any issue - take a small break...  It wasn't that hard, but trust me I get more emails about this than anything I sell...  And I DON'T Sell these, so you folks should be nice to me - haha...  


Now that you've had a break, lets go to the wiring.  I'm NOT going to show you how to mount the coils, or how to wire your bike.  That is up to you, no two bikes are alike.  Plus I hate wiring, and sometimes you just need to do your own research.  There are a TON of good wiring diagrams on XS650.com for your bike.  I can't go into every detail here.  


The next thing that confuses people, is which wires go to which coil?  Well, let's make that simple too while we are at it...  Get your sharpie out, and mark the inside came cover just like so...


The grey wire directly under the "L" is going to hook to the left coil and fire the left cylinder...  The same goes for the "R" marked side.  To make your life easier, you should mount your coils "L" and "R" on the bike as well, so you don't get confused down the road...  


Hook the green wire from each circuit board to the proper coil.  They are color matched for your pleasure...   (I stole this pic from Pete) - Then make up your spark plug wires to whatever length you desire and you are done! 




As per Pete from Pamcopete, wire up the coils and Pamco just like this:  


"The green wire is negative and goes to the green wire on the PAMCO. The red wire goes to your source of switched battery (kill switch) and it is positive." 

As for timing the engine, get a timing light, and with the engine running at idle, you should adjust the Pamco plate so that your timing marks are on "Fire" if using our PMA, or between the dashes to the left of "T" on the OEM Charging System.

TIPS:  Loosen the bottom bolt on the Pamco plate before you try to adjust the plate, as the wire gets in the way and makes it hard to do on a running engine.  use the top bolt to set timing, then shut the engine off and tighten the bottom bolt.  
Always use a timing light, they are cheap and a surefire way to make sure your engine is running properly.   

Well folks, thanks for taking time to read this install.  I spend alot of time making these, so you can have more fun working on your bikes...  If you have any issues at all with your Pamco, please contact Pamcopete directly, as I do not warranty or sell these.  

As always, thank you for your continued support - now get into the garage/shop/kitchen/front porch and do some wrenching! 

Hugh






7 comments:

  1. Hugh, i always read all your write ups. U are always very detailed and speak in a language anyone can understand. The best part of any of your articles is your humor. Makes me laugh every time.

    Ben

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great work as usual Hugh! Pete needs to delete his 277 install tips page and simply have a link to this page! This saved me and now my ignition is installed correctly and my bike runs like a champ.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ahh, like a breath of fresh spring air blowing through the dim and dusty workshop... Thanks Hugh!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great stuff!Thanks for taking time to share your great creativity here with us..Its really inspiring me keep it up..pcb manufacture

    ReplyDelete
  5. A man after my own heart...

    Thank you for this!

    ReplyDelete
  6. how hard was it to put the bushing into the weight side. the first bushing cracked the end of my cam shaft and I am pretty upset.

    ReplyDelete

Checkout the online shop for new parts and service for you ride!

Click Here www.hughshandbuilt.com for more info on parts! Thanks - Hughs.