Honda ATC185 - No spark - Isolating issue help - Honda ATV Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Honda ATC185 - No spark - Isolating issue help

Hi guys, technical question. I brought a Honda ATC185 1983 engine only (air-cooled 180cc single cylinder 4 stroke), to learn how to do a rebuild before I tackle a real project.
I brought a brand new GY6 AC CDI and coil (from Startline, Edenvale) before the rebuild and got the motor running (albeit smoking EVERYWHERE to do burning oil).

I did the top-end rebuild as best I could and on reassembly I have no spark. Per the specs of the GY6 AC CDI, I think I have sufficient voltage from the stator and the pulse generator but still no spark. So I brought a replacement CDI but still no go... I did check ground everywhere and that seems fine.

I think the new CDI could be faulty but I am not sure - best would be to test it in another bike but I only have this one!

Any ideas of further troubleshooting/isolation I could do?

Here is a video of me turning it over with a cordless drill and multimeter hooked up to stator output and pulse generator.


Thanks in advance!!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 01:08 PM
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start with checking all the timing marks, spec at the rotor. as for the c.d.i. ?, unless it a china knock-off ?, id would go oem from honda if they can still be bought ?. too many fake china c.d.i.'s out there on the market.

'89 trx350D foreman 4x4...'85 vf700c magna, '03 trx450fm foreman 4x4 , 2015 Yamaha waverunner fx cruiser ho, '08 vt750c2 shadow spirit
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 05:46 PM
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start with checking all the timing marks, spec at the rotor. as for the c.d.i. ?, unless it a china knock-off ?, id would go oem from honda if they can still be bought ?. too many fake china c.d.i.'s out there on the market.
agreed on the china knockoffs... They got me for $20...

ended up getting an OEM one and fixed me right up.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. I think I have checked the timing marks properly - flywheel & cam sprocket marks plus the pulser alignment.

Stator is 152 Ohms and while cranking outputting +-18Vac. Manual I have says 100-400 Ohms, so in spec.

Pulse generator/pickup coil is +-30 Ohms and while cranking outputting +-0.28Vac. Spec I have for the GY6 CDI is 0.05-2.5Vac, so in spec.

Unfortunately I am in South Africa and it will be very expensive (if even possible) to get an OEM CDI, so I am stuck with the Chinese (GY6) CDI's, unless I can get my hands on a second hand one.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 12:49 PM
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get rid of china c.d.i. replace with oem c.d.i. and check all grounds, clean kill switch contacts, make sure your getting a neutral light to come on !.

'89 trx350D foreman 4x4...'85 vf700c magna, '03 trx450fm foreman 4x4 , 2015 Yamaha waverunner fx cruiser ho, '08 vt750c2 shadow spirit
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-17-2019, 03:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve james View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkrsa View Post
Thanks guys. I think I have checked the timing marks properly - flywheel & cam sprocket marks plus the pulser alignment.

Stator is 152 Ohms and while cranking outputting +-18Vac. Manual I have says 100-400 Ohms, so in spec.

Pulse generator/pickup coil is +-30 Ohms and while cranking outputting +-0.28Vac. Spec I have for the GY6 CDI is 0.05-2.5Vac, so in spec.

Unfortunately I am in South Africa and it will be very expensive (if even possible) to get an OEM CDI, so I am stuck with the Chinese (GY6) CDI's, unless I can get my hands on a second hand one.
Stator and pulsar coil are within specs, no issue there. Do you have the 5 pin or 6 pin china CDI? If itís a 6 pin, it could be a DC cdi by mistake.

OEM CDIs are the best, but the Chinese CDIs do work on many different engines as the input range is wide.

If you detail how you have it wired, I can tell you what the problem likely is. Also, do you have a spare, known good, ignition coil you can try?
china c.d.i's are pure junk !!!. I could be wrong here ?, but you sure seem to push china parts a lot sense you joined the forums here. please don't tell our members china parts are good ?, they suck balls bro !. they can fry your electrical system in a heart beat !. if you want to put china junk on your machines , then please..by all means..have at it !. but don't try to push that crappy junk on members here. china parts are not worth messing with. THIS IS A 100% PROVEN FACT COMING FROM SOMEONE THAT HAS BEEN DOING THIS FOR OVER 25 YEARS !!!! :-).

'89 trx350D foreman 4x4...'85 vf700c magna, '03 trx450fm foreman 4x4 , 2015 Yamaha waverunner fx cruiser ho, '08 vt750c2 shadow spirit
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-17-2019, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by steve james View Post
We bought a Ď95 trx300 as our first project atv for $200. The seller was having electrical problems and the bike lost spark and it sat for a year before posting it up for sale. With the purchase of the bike came 2 extra wiring harnesses, 4 cdiís, 3 oil temp warning units and 2 stators. He kept randomly swapping parts to get it running and gave up.

With all the included parts, we isolated the good vs. the bad and fixed a connection and put the old stator back in. He swapped out a good stator for one he burned up later. Within a few hours we had spark consistently. The OE carb was non serviceable so I took a chance and bought an aftermarket carb for $30, as I figured ďwhat do I have to lose?Ē.

This quad ran damn good, even better when I dialed in the float and air/fuel mixture. Never a problem for the year we had it. We even put on aftermarket brake cables that work just fine. All said and done, we had less than $400 into it and we rode the piss out of it.
how did you adjust the float ?, floats are not adjustable on any honda atv carb.

'89 trx350D foreman 4x4...'85 vf700c magna, '03 trx450fm foreman 4x4 , 2015 Yamaha waverunner fx cruiser ho, '08 vt750c2 shadow spirit
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-17-2019, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve james View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadetree View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve james View Post

Stator and pulsar coil are within specs, no issue there. Do you have the 5 pin or 6 pin china CDI? If itís a 6 pin, it could be a DC cdi by mistake.

OEM CDIs are the best, but the Chinese CDIs do work on many different engines as the input range is wide.

If you detail how you have it wired, I can tell you what the problem likely is. Also, do you have a spare, known good, ignition coil you can try?
china c.d.i's are pure junk !!!. I could be wrong here ?, but you sure seem to push china parts a lot sense you joined the forums here. please don't tell our members china parts are good ?, they suck balls bro !. they can fry your electrical system in a heart beat !. if you want to put china junk on your machines , then please..by all means..have at it !. but don't try to push that crappy junk on members here. china parts are not worth messing with. THIS IS A 100% PROVEN FACT COMING FROM SOMEONE THAT HAS BEEN DOING THIS FOR OVER 25 YEARS !!!! :-).
Are Chinese parts less quality than that of oemís, sure. Does that mean theyíre totally and absolutely junk and do not work? No.

80ís-90ís model ATVs are electrically rather basic in design so there arenít any parts that can be fried, except that of the CDI. Many will spout theyíre junk because they donít know what theyíre working with. Most common cdiís are 4/5 pin square single connector or 6 pin with 2 connectors. These both come in AC or DC input. China simplified this in a bad way as they made connections the same, regardless of CDI source input.

Case in point, Ď88 and maybe Ď89 trx300 CDI will plug into the later models, but it wonít start. Why? Is that CDI junk? No. It has the same connection, but the input signals are not the same pins on the CDI. Similar concept as where one canít run a DC cdi on an AC bike or vice versa. (atc185/trx300).

The guy trying to get his engine running lives in a country where buying an OE part is out of the equation and it doesnít even seem as the engine is running an actual wiring harness. Therefore, he can use any CDI he wants to get his experiment running.

Iím not pushing any agenda or any specific parts from any one manufacture. Iím stating that other non-oem methods plenty capable of working, especially if there are younger guys with less capital that want to fix up an old atc or trx they got for free or $50. This person may not be able to swing $150 for a cdi and $150 for a carb. Before you know it, the amount of money spent on parts is higher than the cost of a running machine.

It could be a cheap, fun hobby for some guys/ gals. Grab a wiring diagram and some parts and Iíll teach you how, if you like.

Want to know how I was able to wire a Yamaha to run a Honda CDI?
I wont argue your case bro, I go with what I know and seen. like I said, if you want to use china junk on your machine ?...great..have at it, but dont push that crap here.

'89 trx350D foreman 4x4...'85 vf700c magna, '03 trx450fm foreman 4x4 , 2015 Yamaha waverunner fx cruiser ho, '08 vt750c2 shadow spirit
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-17-2019, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve james View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadetree View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve james View Post

Are Chinese parts less quality than that of oemís, sure. Does that mean theyíre totally and absolutely junk and do not work? No.

80ís-90ís model ATVs are electrically rather basic in design so there arenít any parts that can be fried, except that of the CDI. Many will spout theyíre junk because they donít know what theyíre working with. Most common cdiís are 4/5 pin square single connector or 6 pin with 2 connectors. These both come in AC or DC input. China simplified this in a bad way as they made connections the same, regardless of CDI source input.

Case in point, Ď88 and maybe Ď89 trx300 CDI will plug into the later models, but it wonít start. Why? Is that CDI junk? No. It has the same connection, but the input signals are not the same pins on the CDI. Similar concept as where one canít run a DC cdi on an AC bike or vice versa. (atc185/trx300).

The guy trying to get his engine running lives in a country where buying an OE part is out of the equation and it doesnít even seem as the engine is running an actual wiring harness. Therefore, he can use any CDI he wants to get his experiment running.

Iím not pushing any agenda or any specific parts from any one manufacture. Iím stating that other non-oem methods plenty capable of working, especially if there are younger guys with less capital that want to fix up an old atc or trx they got for free or $50. This person may not be able to swing $150 for a cdi and $150 for a carb. Before you know it, the amount of money spent on parts is higher than the cost of a running machine.

It could be a cheap, fun hobby for some guys/ gals. Grab a wiring diagram and some parts and Iíll teach you how, if you like.

Want to know how I was able to wire a Yamaha to run a Honda CDI?
I wont argue your case bro, I go with what I know and seen. like I said, if you want to use china junk on your machine ?...great..have at it, but dont push that crap here.
Why donít you send him a OEM cdi, then we can talk about that.

Since he only has an aftermarket CDI, the conversation is relevant to the OP. Not your uninformed, biased attacks.
and thats why I said to buy an oem c.d.i. , not china junk. if he wants to fix it, and fix it right ?, then oem is the way to go. ask any one here that has tried china c.d.i.'s !!. as for your so called '' attacks '' ?..I speak with history under my belt to know the difference between china parts and oem, how many years have you been doing this if I may ask ?. this is the last time I will say this, I am done, don't push this :-).

'89 trx350D foreman 4x4...'85 vf700c magna, '03 trx450fm foreman 4x4 , 2015 Yamaha waverunner fx cruiser ho, '08 vt750c2 shadow spirit
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Hi guys,

Thanks for all the input.

@shadetree - your advise makes sense, stick to OEM - less hassles.

@steve_james - you are 100% right, it is hard to get OEM parts in South Africa (since we are a tiny market for Honda compared to USA) and this project is just to learn how to rebuild engines etc for practise so I have to make a plan GY6/Chinese parts (no OEM options available). The non-running engine cost me 30USD (R400), so this is a real tight budget project!

I did finally get to the bottom of it - eventually thought to test the spark plug for continuity and there was an open circuit between the terminal and center electrode!! I then double checked the coil (as per steve_james) and the primary was open circuit (should be a few ohms only). New spark plug and chinese coil and I have spark again - engine running after my first top-end rebuild ever! Lots learnt, and lots more to learn!

For anyone else reading this, this helped me alot:
https://www.buggydepot.com/tech-cent...1ljmPUtTBfch6s

Thanks again guys, really appreciate your help and input!

Cheers
Kevin
South Africa

Last edited by kkrsa; 03-25-2019 at 01:35 PM.
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