Author Topic: Stick Coils Arcing  (Read 6276 times)

Offline billhook

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Stick Coils Arcing
« on: October 06, 2013, 04:23:34 pm »
Got a great deal on some ZX6R Stick Coils (Mitsubishi F6T560s) and a ZX14 harness, which I rewired as needed for the sticks on the Connie.  The Fleabay seller noted that the "insulators" were missing, but all I can see different from pictures of dozens of other stick coils is what I believe are the seals at the top of the stick for sealing off the plug well in the valve cover.  I figured I didn't need them, since I would cut down the Connies to fit.  Anyway I am getting arcing on all 4 sticks about half way down the coil in the plug well and the bike won't start.  Any thoughts on why?  Is there an "insulator" that goes down the length of the stick? I didn't have the seals in place, as I didn't want to cut them until I knew the sticks would work.  I put the OEM coils back on and it fired right up.

Also, all four seem to seat loosely on the plugs compared to the "zip" seating of the OEM boots. But, I can feel them engage and seat.  The sticks will wiggle around in the well, but that should be taken care of once the seals are are on them.  Is that "looseness" normal for the sticks?

Offline Outback_Jon

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Re: Stick Coils Arcing
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2013, 04:54:54 pm »
Is there an "insulator" that goes down the length of the stick? I didn't have the seals in place, as I didn't want to cut them until I knew the sticks would work.  I put the OEM coils back on and it fired right up.
I don't know about an "insulator", but mine did have thin, metal "bands" (for lack of a better word) around them.  They ran most of the length of the coil.  (They'd look like a "C" if you took them off and looked down the length.)  But since they were metal, I don't really see how they'd stop any arcing. 

Although, there were short rubber seals on the bottom of the stick coils.  So they seal over the spark plugs.  Do yours have those?  That's a spot that I could envision arcing happening if they were missing.

Also, all four seem to seat loosely on the plugs compared to the "zip" seating of the OEM boots. But, I can feel them engage and seat.  The sticks will wiggle around in the well, but that should be taken care of once the seals are are on them.  Is that "looseness" normal for the sticks?
Mine wiggled, but the rubber grommets that were on them fit nicely into the top of the Connie's valve cover, snugging them up nicely and keeping water out.
"Outback Jon" Gould *** South Cairo, NY *** COG #9506 *** 2006 C10 "Blueline" *** CDA #0157

Offline billhook

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Re: Stick Coils Arcing
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2013, 05:07:58 pm »
Yes, they do have the rubber boots that go over the spark plugs.  The arcing is about halfway between the top of that boot and the top of the coil, through the "C" shaped bands.  Those bands are all there and are black and either thin metal or plastic.  They don't wrap completely around the coil.  There's a 1 mm gap where the two edges come together, but the arcing is not coming through the gap, but through the band.

Offline Outback_Jon

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Re: Stick Coils Arcing
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2013, 06:02:15 am »
Yes, they do have the rubber boots that go over the spark plugs.  The arcing is about halfway between the top of that boot and the top of the coil, through the "C" shaped bands.  Those bands are all there and are black and either thin metal or plastic.  They don't wrap completely around the coil.  There's a 1 mm gap where the two edges come together, but the arcing is not coming through the gap, but through the band.
Well, that sounds like all the parts of the coil that should be there, are.  I can't imagine what might cause that arcing, though. 

I don't remember from when I did mine, but do those C-shaped bands come off?  I think mine were loose enough that they could slide off.  If so, I suppose it is possible that the previous owner used something to clean them off, and there is some residue under those bands giving the electricity a path to where the arcing is occurring.

Even so, that arcing doesn't make much sense.  I would think that the path to ground through the spark plug gap would be shorter (and have less resistance) than the path off the side of the coil.
"Outback Jon" Gould *** South Cairo, NY *** COG #9506 *** 2006 C10 "Blueline" *** CDA #0157

Offline jim snyder

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Re: Stick Coils Arcing
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2013, 12:10:20 am »
PM Tony (T-Cro) since he was the one who started the stick coil craze and I bet he can tell you why they are arcing.
Hopefully he won't ask you why you didn't just buy the stick coils from him but maybe not.
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Offline billhook

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Re: Stick Coils Arcing
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2013, 06:11:22 am »
As I posted on the COG forum: "What I thought was the seal for the plug well, is what appears to be the "insulator" that's missing.  It's a rubber ring/collar that sits underneath the head of the coil.  I think there's stray voltage coming out of the head and traveling down to the sleeve."

I didn't want to bother Tony, because it isn't one of his sets.  But, the reason I rolled my own, is because I got the full set up for $31 vs. $125 for his.  I wouldn't even have bothered, but I couldn't pass that deal up.

Offline T Cro ®

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Re: Stick Coils Arcing
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2013, 07:40:19 am »
Many people do not even use the rubber seal that your talking about as that is all it is; it is not an insulator. Some have used nothing more than a simple o-ring to seal the well from water...

Sounds like a wiring issue to me. Are you sure that you connected (in series) the black into 1 and out to 4 as well as connected (in series) the green into 2 and out to 3 as well as paralleled the red to coils 3 & 4 ? Polarity of the stick coils is not important as long as you follow the same suit... The black with yellow is a ground wire and is no longer utilized.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2013, 09:19:15 am by T Cro ® »
Tony P. Crochet
(SOLD) 01 Concours Winner of COG Most Modified in 2010
Ask me about a set of Stick Coils & Harness or Precision Shift Linkage for your C10 Concours

Offline T Cro ®

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Re: Stick Coils Arcing
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2013, 08:06:09 am »
... Hopefully he won't ask you why you didn't just buy the stick coils from him but maybe not.

Makes me no never mind, I'll still try to help; many people have to try and roll their own it's in our spirt....

While my kit might seem costly to some keep in mind that it is fully bench tested and the quality of my wring harness is absolutely second to none; I simply do not skimp on building a durable and robust harness with no compromises due to cost....
Tony P. Crochet
(SOLD) 01 Concours Winner of COG Most Modified in 2010
Ask me about a set of Stick Coils & Harness or Precision Shift Linkage for your C10 Concours

Offline billhook

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Re: Stick Coils Arcing
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2013, 08:22:56 am »
Yes, I am 99% positive the wires to the coils are correct.  I visually checked and double checked, and ran continuity checks with a voltmeter through every wire to make sure they are going where they are supposed to.  Bike red to '+' on 1 and 2, '-' on 1 to '+' on 4, '-' on 2 to '+' on 3, '-' on 3 to bike green, '-' on 4 to bike black.  I also spliced the reds going to 1 and 2 together and only connected to one bike red.  I believe both reds are always hot (key on) and the igniter completes the ground through the black and green wires when the plugs need to fire, right?

I also ran resistance tests at the harness ends and came up with 2.6 - 2.7 ohms on both circuits, the same as each individual coil (1.2-1.4 ohms).

I did reattach the black/yellow to ground.  Should that not be done or is it a "doesn't matter"?

As I look around the internet some more at other bikes' setups, I see that the rubber seal is not needed.

Thanks for the help, Tony.

Offline T Cro ®

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Re: Stick Coils Arcing
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2013, 08:59:20 am »
The ground does not matter but I reconnect it as it helps keep the ground integrity strong...

The Reds are indeed both switched hot, I tell people to use one and save the other for future switch relay use.

From the sounds of your description I think you got your paired coils out of phase sequence... As I stated polarity does not matter but you must follow suit once you pick a starting point. You could also have wired the red to the pos on coils 1 & 2 and continued with the only other workable option.

The wiring is simple but difficult to describe...

Black______(1)_____(4)_____Red
Green______(2)_____(3)_____Red
Tony P. Crochet
(SOLD) 01 Concours Winner of COG Most Modified in 2010
Ask me about a set of Stick Coils & Harness or Precision Shift Linkage for your C10 Concours

Offline billhook

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Re: Stick Coils Arcing
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2013, 09:31:59 am »
Many people do not even use the rubber seal that your talking about as that is all it is; it is not an insulator. Some have used nothing more than a simple o-ring to seal the well from water...

Sounds like a wiring issue to me. Are you sure that you connected (in series) the black into 1 and out to 4 as well as connected (in series) the green into 2 and out to 3 as well as paralleled the red to coils 3 & 4 ? Polarity of the stick coils is not important as long as you follow the same suit... The black with yellow is a ground wire and is no longer utilized.

I think I went backwards from what you describe which is just switching polarity, which doesn't matter.  I did: Red to 1(+), 1(-) to 4(+), and 4(-) to black. Red to 2(+), 2(-) to 3(+), and 3(-) to green.

Offline T Cro ®

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Re: Stick Coils Arcing
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2013, 11:01:19 am »
I think I went backwards from what you describe which is just switching polarity, which doesn't matter.  I did: Red to 1(+), 1(-) to 4(+), and 4(-) to black. Red to 2(+), 2(-) to 3(+), and 3(-) to green.

Red____(1)____(4)____Black
Red____(2)_____(3)____Green
As drawn above "should" have worked too...
Tony P. Crochet
(SOLD) 01 Concours Winner of COG Most Modified in 2010
Ask me about a set of Stick Coils & Harness or Precision Shift Linkage for your C10 Concours

Offline billhook

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Re: Stick Coils Arcing
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2013, 11:07:34 am »
Red____(1)____(4)____Black
Red____(2)_____(3)____Green
As drawn above "should" have worked too...

That's what I did.

Offline T Cro ®

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Re: Stick Coils Arcing
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2013, 01:47:52 pm »
Other than telling you to try the wiring that I first mentioned I am at a loss here as this is normally an easy gig to perform....
Tony P. Crochet
(SOLD) 01 Concours Winner of COG Most Modified in 2010
Ask me about a set of Stick Coils & Harness or Precision Shift Linkage for your C10 Concours

Offline billhook

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Re: Stick Coils Arcing
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2013, 03:53:47 pm »
I got another set of stick coils and installed them today.  The bike fired right up and ran fine.  Side by side, the old sticks and new sticks are identical, so I have no clue why the first set was arcing.  Thanks for the help guys, especially, Tony.