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Discussion Starter #1
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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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.
 

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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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Discussion Starter #4
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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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 !.
 

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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.
Stator and pulsar coil are within specs, no issue there. Do you have the 5 pin or 6 pin china CDI? If it’s 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 !!!! :).
 

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We bought a ‘95 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 cdi’s, 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 “what do I have to lose?”.

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.
 

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Stator and pulsar coil are within specs, no issue there. Do you have the 5 pin or 6 pin china CDI? If it’s 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 oem’s, sure. Does that mean they’re totally and absolutely junk and do not work? No.

80’s-90’s model ATVs are electrically rather basic in design so there aren’t any parts that can be fried, except that of the CDI. Many will spout they’re junk because they don’t know what they’re working with. Most common cdi’s 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, ‘88 and maybe ‘89 trx300 CDI will plug into the later models, but it won’t 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 can’t 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 doesn’t even seem as the engine is running an actual wiring harness. Therefore, he can use any CDI he wants to get his experiment running.

I’m not pushing any agenda or any specific parts from any one manufacture. I’m 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 I’ll 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.
 

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Are Chinese parts less quality than that of oem’s, sure. Does that mean they’re totally and absolutely junk and do not work? No.

80’s-90’s model ATVs are electrically rather basic in design so there aren’t any parts that can be fried, except that of the CDI. Many will spout they’re junk because they don’t know what they’re working with. Most common cdi’s 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, ‘88 and maybe ‘89 trx300 CDI will plug into the later models, but it won’t 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 can’t 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 doesn’t even seem as the engine is running an actual wiring harness. Therefore, he can use any CDI he wants to get his experiment running.

I’m not pushing any agenda or any specific parts from any one manufacture. I’m 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 I’ll 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 don’t 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 :).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi guys, thanks for the input @steve_james and @shadetree!

I think the topic digressed a bit lol but I get your point Shadetree i.e. OEM >> Chinese. But steve_james is exactly right about my situation - I brought the ENTIRE ATC 185 engine (albeit no electronics or carb etc) for $30 (R400). I have managed to buy a whole bunch of tools, carb, CDI, top end kit, etc etc for $300.

This project is to learn so that I can have confidence to go onto something bigger and more expensive. For any bigger projects, I will use your advice and use OEM parts where I can (although South Africa is a tiny market compared to USA, so lots of OEM parts are simply unavailable here and we have to make a plan).

Back to the subject, I finally tested my coil's primary side and it was open circuit as @steve_james suspected. Also, I did makeup the wiring harness myself per Honda's wiring diagram. I then thought to test my spark plug for continuity (old one that came with the engine) and terminal to center electrode was ALSO open circuit! I think this (damaged spark) may have damaged my first coil but not too sure.
New coil and spark plug and I have a nice blue spark again!!!

For other readers, I found this guide useful in troubleshooting my issue:
https://www.buggydepot.com/tech-center/gy6-150cc-ignition-troubleshooting-guide-no-spark/


Thanks again for all the help and input guys, really really appreciate it!!
 

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Hi guys, thanks for the input @steve_james and @shadetree!

I think the topic digressed a bit lol but I get your point Shadetree i.e. OEM >> Chinese. But steve_james is exactly right about my situation - I brought the ENTIRE ATC 185 engine (albeit no electronics or carb etc) for $30 (R400). I have managed to buy a whole bunch of tools, carb, CDI, top end kit, etc etc for $300.

This project is to learn so that I can have confidence to go onto something bigger and more expensive. For any bigger projects, I will use your advice and use OEM parts where I can (although South Africa is a tiny market compared to USA, so lots of OEM parts are simply unavailable here and we have to make a plan).

Back to the subject, I finally tested my coil's primary side and it was open circuit as @steve_james suspected. Also, I did makeup the wiring harness myself per Honda's wiring diagram. I then thought to test my spark plug for continuity (old one that came with the engine) and terminal to center electrode was ALSO open circuit! I think this (damaged spark) may have damaged my first coil but not too sure.
New coil and spark plug and I have a nice blue spark again!!!

For other readers, I found this guide useful in troubleshooting my issue:
https://www.buggydepot.com/tech-center/gy6-150cc-ignition-troubleshooting-guide-no-spark/


Thanks again for all the help and input guys, really really appreciate it!!
yeah, sorry about getting off topic, it happens around here a lot !..lol. glad you got it sorted out !! :).
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
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-center/gy6-150cc-ignition-troubleshooting-guide-no-spark/?fbclid=IwAR2yxLxybhq0Bkmd2pgnSBpR3aMWQgVUCHv4k9mVOMwdo1ljmPUtTBfch6s

Thanks again guys, really appreciate your help and input!

Cheers
Kevin
South Africa
 

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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-center/gy6-150cc-ignition-troubleshooting-guide-no-spark/?fbclid=IwAR2yxLxybhq0Bkmd2pgnSBpR3aMWQgVUCHv4k9mVOMwdo1ljmPUtTBfch6s

Thanks again guys, really appreciate your help and input!

Cheers
Kevin
South Africa
good deal, glad ya got it going !. yeah..i do understand honda parts are not right down the road like here in the states ?, soo..ya gotta do what ya gotta do !. thanks for the update !.
 

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You're suggesting that the OP waste time and money on china garbage? And to hack up the wiring on the bike to put that useless china garbage on there? That ain't right. Shame on you.
 
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