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Old 16th June 2019
ryan66 ryan66 is offline
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Default 1985 XLX Ironhead with Hi-4N Ignition - Spark cuts out at 3500 rpm

Hello! I am turning to the forum for help as I am about at my wit's end with this bike and would like to hear ideas.

I have a 1985 XLX Ironhead Sportster with a S&S Hi-4N ignition that loses spark at 3500 rpm. I narrowed it down to spark by using an inline-spark tester. Spark is consistent through RPMs and then it sounds like it hits a wall at 3500 rpm, and the spark starts missing (appears to be blinking in the spark tester). This happens on both cylinders. It sounds exactly like hitting a rev limiter, however I have my rev limiter set to 6500 RPM. The ignition itself is not losing power, as the led light on the module stays constant and does not cut out as spark cuts out. Once you let off the throttle, the engine settles nicely down into idle and will idle all day long.

I have tried two different Hi-4N modules, so the issue is not with the module. I have tried two S&S dual fire coils, and two sets of brand new spark plug wires. I have tried two different batteries.

I used a jumper from the battery to the coil, and the problem persisted.

I tried grounding the VOES wire from the module, as well as taping it off and leaving it open, with no change, so its not a VOES issue.

Battery appears to be charging normally (12.x when off, 13.x when motor running).

Any ideas or further tests to try out would be greatly appreciated! I really want to get this bike on the road.
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Old 16th June 2019
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what do the plugs look like?
a rich mix will flame out
ign uses a cam pickup?
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Old 16th June 2019
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Try checking the mechanical centrifugal weights, behind the module. Maybe a broken spring or rust or ?
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Old 17th June 2019
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I would try changing the rev limiter settings higher and lower and check for changes.
______ I remember there being something about the rev limiter and single and dual fire ..
Also check the settings for the single fire and dual fire. I love the single fire on my 85 XLS stroker but mine is the older Hi-4-N and supposedly yours is much better..
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Old 17th June 2019
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toejam503 View Post
Try checking the mechanical centrifugal weights, behind the module. Maybe a broken spring or rust or ?
No weights on this ignition...
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Old 20th June 2019
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Default

I haven't had a chance to touch the bike since this post. I only have one day off a week (and I usually work on it) and my neighbors have kids so I can't really test it in the evening (being as all I'm doing to test it is revving it in place). Already gotten a couple complaints.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iNSaNeSHaNe View Post
I would try changing the rev limiter settings higher and lower and check for changes.
______ I remember there being something about the rev limiter and single and dual fire ..
Also check the settings for the single fire and dual fire. I love the single fire on my 85 XLS stroker but mine is the older Hi-4-N and supposedly yours is much better..
I tried messing with the settings on the last ignition with no change. I'll try again with a more drastic change. Per the Hi-4N instructions, you're not supposed to set the rev limiter above 7500 RPM, but I'll give it a shot at 8500 or so, just to see if there's a change.

I've got it set to Mode 1 which is dual fire, single plug, but I'll double check that. I've got the Advance setting on 9, which is what the S&S install tutorial on youtube recommends for an otherwise stock bike. I've also tried adjusting that with no change.

I haven't really run the bike enough to get a good reading on the plugs (and haven't checked for a few start ups) but I am 99% sure its not carb related. I cleaned the carb many times while chasing this problem, and have the low-speed/idle needle set to 1-1/2 turns out and the main screw 4 turns out, per stock settings.
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