There is oddsynchronicity that occurs in my life, at times. I acquired a mostlyoriginal 1966 CA77 305cc Dream recently. I discovered that theignition point set was not the original, but one of the variousaftermarket copies, which are nearly impossible to adjust to OEMspecs.
Then, yesterday, Iwound up in a 30-message email exchange from a customer who wasrebuilding a CA77 engine and experiencing great difficulties withthe ignition timing. He sent photos of the engine’s cam timingsetup, which all looked normal. It’s kind of hard to get Dream camtiming off a lot or even the point cam. The point cam is double-endedfor the 360-degree crankshaft Dream engines, so you can put it ineither way and it still works. If you do that with a 180 degree CB/CLengine, you will wind up having to install the points plate upsidedown in order to make the engine run.
My distant friend(in Canada) was tearing his hair out because when the points were setto normal gap, the ignition timing was about 30 degrees advanced. Hewas concerned that something was wrong with the cam timing setup orsomehow installed the point cam in incorrectly. The point cam onlygoes in one of two ways, so you can’t install it 30 degrees off, nomatter how hard you try.
My suspicions zeroed-in to the ignition points, which I have observed repeatedly as beingout of specifications in all cases if they are not OEM parts. I asked if the points were NDstamped (Nippon Denso). I could see in the slightly blurry photo thatit was a ND point setup vs. the optional Kokusan designed parts. Hereplied that the point plate said DENSO on it next to the contactset, which didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear. I could see, evenin the photos, that the insulators for the point wire were a brightred plastic, which is almost always a sign of aftermarket pointinstallations. ND uses a Bakelite-type of insulator which is a dullred.
I sent him photos ofclose-up images of new ND points and asked if they matched up withwhat he had on the points plate. Another out-of-focus photo came back, taken about 3 feet away. Again, I asked: “Does it have the ND stampon the point contact set?”Finally, he replied that it didn’thave ND on the points and he noticed a <F.E.W> mark where theND was supposed to be. I tracked down a couple of sources of genuineND points and sent links for him to purchase the correct parts.
<F.E.W.> aftermarket points. Note backing plate position
Somehow, he stillwondered if installing an electronic ignition would solve theproblem. Well, the answer is YES because the trigger wheel is heldonto the point cam with a set screw, so it has virtually infiniteadjust-ability.Eventually, he resigned himself to ordering a set ofND points and will report back to me about the results.
Concurrently, I received prompt 4-day delivery of some Dream parts from DSS (www.davidilverspares.com), including a set of ND points andcondenser and set about to install them in the 3600-mile Dreamengine. As I extracted the old points, I looked at the contact basewith a magnifying glass and discovered <F.E.W> stamped on thepoint set.The bike had been running with the points, but the pointbacking plate was turned all the way to the right end of theadjustment slot. The point gap looked to be about. .008”; justenough to break the circuit but not what Honda specified normally,which is .012-.016.”
Note that the rubbing block contact point is different between the two examples. ND at the bottom of the images.
With the new NDpoint set installed, the end result was the backing plate set moretowards the center of the slot and the point gap around the.016”range. The bike fired up normally and settled down after a briefwarm-up. What I did notice when checking the static ignition timingis that if the timing was just to the right of the F mark on oneside, a full revolution put the point opening just between the T andF marks! With a dynamic timing light, you will see the idle timingmarks shifting back and forth depending upon which end of the pointcam is being used. You can either leave it as-is and live with theinaccuracy OR you can use a wet-stone to carefully work down thepoint cam lobe that is more advanced, so that eventually both endsare going to open the points right at the F mark alignment.
Nippon-Denso original points. Note backing plate position
In any case, DO NOTORDER/INSTALL any points that have <F.E.W> or a little three-blade propeller stamp which is from the Daiichi company. Bothaftermarket point sets will give you the same headache, without adoubt. So, again, I say “No, no… a thousand times NO” to theinstallation of any aftermarket ignition points that don’t have NDstamped on them. The part number for the ND points is 259-004 vs.259-003 for the Kokusan point sets, which will not install on a NDpoint plate at all. There are aftermarket copies of the Kokusanpoints as well, so BEWARE of fake copies. Unfortunately, for vendorsof those products, they are stuck with an inferior product thatshould never be marketed in the first place.
And now you know....