1/1/2016: Happy New Year!
It has been too many years with the old website format. We were having much difficulty with updates & changes due to the old format becoming obsolete. I have always done the website maintenance personally, but the old format was limiting. We were having issues with payments, shipping rates, etc. It was time to make the change.
For expedience, I hired-out the initial website to a local designer. I provided content & some direction, but was unfamiliar with the format once it was delivered. I spent weeks learning the new format to make updates myself and not pay a website designer for every small change. Luckily, the designer was very patient with my questions & rework after delivery. If anybody needs the name of a website designer, please contact me & I’ll pass along the contact info.
We tried to maintain all the important content from the old site where relevant. We retained the LINKS PAGE. We added to the TECHNICAL INFO. PRODUCTS are now separated by brand / application. We eliminated a lot of the old content not needed for the ordering process.
One critical change that actually drove the update is the collection of 6% tax on purchases by Michigan residence. We are a Michigan business, therefore must comply with the recent crack down on internet purchases within the state & pay state taxes on local sales starting Jan-1, 2016. This was enacted in an effort to maintain equality with the brick-and-morter local business. This required us to register for a SALES-TAX license with the state treasury and employ an accountant to track the sales & pay the state tax based on local sales. Who ever thought designing & building the CDI’s would become the easy part! The good news for the customer is we did not raise prices on the CDI’s.
The new format also provides an E-commerce engine for ordering. Past customers will notice the typical SHOPPING CART for ordering / selection. The ordering experience should be more like other websites with selections added to your CART and shipping rates automatically calculated prior to payment.
If any problems are noticed, please let us know so we can get it fixed ASAP. Looking forward to the upcoming season!
4/25/15: UPDATE: BRUT 440, Polaris 72-TX-500, 72 Starfire 439, 650 & 795 and the 73-Starfire 439/650 & 72~73 Chap / Fuji 650.
With the cold weather & snow hanging on later this year, the CDI sales seemed to go on about a month longer than past years. The good news is, I finally was able to get to a design that we’ve had around for almost 10 years not. We did the Polaris Triple CDI from 1979~1990 quite a few years ago. This was an easy one to develop, since I have that sled/engine combo here. We tried to develop a CDI for the earlier ROTOR-type stator, used with the old Silver-case CDI, but never had the opportunity to work it out completely.
The models covered with this older CDI are the BRUT 440, Polaris 72-TX-500, 72 Starfire 439, 650 & 795 and the 73-Starfire 439/650, including the 72~73 Chap / Fuji 650. These are the old ROTOR-type ignitions (not flywheel type). The older stators had different values in the rotor models, as well as a different timing profile:
RED to BLACK was 420~480-ohms
RED to WHITE is ~ 22-ohms
Green to BLUE is 20~22-ohms.
Thanks to Ed Shaffer, who provided his early 440 triple for development testing, we completed the design. It follows the original OEM timing profile, which is basically a static profile, meaning the timing doesn’t change very much over the RPM range. The FIREPLUG CDI advantage is a little more spark energy, much better reliability, our unmatched warranty & it’s available! These old Silver-cased CDI’s are over 40 years old now. They were not that good to begin with, and time has not been kind to them. We’ve heard the calls that a replacement CDI is needed. We are very glad to finally have this FIREPLUG CDI available to help keep these classics running strong!
3/26/15: Spring is here!:
The Winter season is over. Things have slowed down, although March has been one of my busiest months this year. Strange, because it usually dies off end of February. Not this year. Could be the cold weather extended the season, but my guess is some just want to wrap up their projects before storing them away. Either way, this has been a good season for us providing FIREPLUG CDI’s.
Many ask me what model I move the most. Been doing this since 1998, and years back, the high volume was the Kohler / Prestolite FIREPLUG CDI replacement. Because I’ve been selling that model for almost 17 years now, I think we have saturated the market. Only move a dozen or so per season these days. The biggest mover has to be the Yamaha / Hitachi replacements, used on the 74~75 GPX, Exciter/76, and 76-SRX. A lot of those sleds sold over the years, including the Thunder-Jet’s, and Yamaha STX models which use the same CDI.
Yamaha always made a good quality sled, so mechanically, they held up well. The CDI was a weak link, so typically they lost spark way sooner than the structure or engine failed. Because of that, we sell a lot of FIREPLUG CDI’s for those models. Include the 77~79 Exciters & 80/81 Exciters and that is probably 70% of my total sales. The 77~79 & 80 SRX add to the numbers as well. We added the BRAVO & Enticers about a year ago, and those are also starting to go now. We cover Yamaha models from 1972 to 1986, so a lot of variations over 15 model years.
The PolarFireplug cdi has been a nice offering for replacement. I pre-sell 80% of them before Thanksgiving, anticipating my coil order to arrive by November. The problem I have is the coil availability. I can’t get enough coils to keep up with demand.
Next would be the Polaris TX/TXL/TXC FIREPLUG CDI. It started off a a slow mover years back, but word has gotten around that it’s a great alternative to the stocker. I’m still surprised when somebody just finds out we have that one available.
The Kohler / Prestolite is probably the 3rd in volume…a former champ for many years. Our reliability keeps that one from being a repeat seller. Like I said, think we saturated the market on those the first 10 years available!
The Harley sled & 3-cyl Polaris (79~91) CDI’s are close to each other in replacement volume. I’m actually surprised the 3-cyl isn’t higher in volume, since so many INDY 600 & 650 were produced. But since they are not a vintage racer, most are probably sidelined & may never be revived to run again.
The MERCURY THUNDERBOLT CDI, better known as the FIREPLUG ARC is probably the lowest volume CDI we offer. When you consider the low production numbers of the 76-MERC Sno-Twisters, it makes sense. Many that still have those sleds typically do not run them, myself included, so demand is low.
We are considering other models for the future. The 3-cyl BRUT and early StarFire CDI is in the works now. We have a sled here for the development, so just a matter of getting to it. Also looking at some Yamaha Motorcycles CDI’s from the late 70’s & 80’s. Also considering some other model snowmobiles. Will see how accessible the sleds are for our development when we start looking. We are also trying to get back to our CDI conversion module now that the season is over. Will keep you posted on the progress.
Thanks to all for supporting us this past season. Looking forward to the off-season for new developments! We will still be here in the off-season if you need CDI’s or stators. Just move a little slower in the warm weather.