NOTICE: PENDING FOR VINTAGE CDI DEVELOPMENT
We are always open to new product development, and often reach out to the public to borrow or purchase specific vintage snowmobile or motorcycle models for R&D / CDI development. Almost every CDI we’ve developed since 1998 has come about this way. Your help will result in a FREE CDI!
We are located in SE-Michigan, about 40 miles North of Detroit (South of Port Huron). So if you have a particular Vintage snowmobile or motorcycle model that no longer has a CDI available, please contact us via e-mail link below:
Announcement / Stator Rewinding Service: We are sorry to announce, as of July, we are no longer taking orders for any Stator rewinding. Our service has slowed to a point of where they are no longer interested in any additional rewinding work. We are looking for other sources, but as of today, we have no other source for stator rewinding.
Most are aware since covid the stator rewinding service has been slowed, and extending the duration between shipments. As of recent, they have been approaching 6 month turn-around. We have been very patient, waiting for the shipments, while trying to explain the delays to those patiently waiting for the stators to arrive. After numerous discussions and meetings with the service, we were informed they will no longer support our stator rewinding.
We are aggressively searching for another source. To be honest, I do not want to be in the stator rewinding business, so hoping there is another source that can pick up this business and run with it. From experience, I can tell you just in Vintage snowmobile work, it could be very lucrative for a small shop. I turn away more stator work that I was taking in because my source did not want it. Lets hope somebody recognizes an opportunity and jumps on this, else there will be a void in the vintage snowmobile racing & hobby going forward.
The PolarFireplug re-design is progressing. Have parts on order to build prototypes for testing in April. We may be looking for grass-draggers running the Polarfire CDI to draft for some summer-testing.
The redesign of the PolarFire Fireplug has stalled the John-Deere CDI development. Good news is we’ve learned what needs to be done on the Rotax design, so taking the off-season to re-do the complete CDI design.
Still have the JD CDI on the schedule and have all the stuff needed to do it, just a matter of getting the time to finish the development.
Some discussion on adding some Yamaha CDI’s, so looking into that.
Stator rewinding has become very slow with our supplier. We love to find another source for the stator rewinding if anybody knows of any places that would be interested in the work. At this point we’re doing roughly 100 rewounds (and turning away almost as many) per season. We be interested in off-loading all the stator rewinding work if there are any skilled entrepreneurs out there that want to take on the stator rewinding work.
Winter 2022-2023: We’re trying to finish up the John-Deere CDI’s, but other things continue to come up and impede our progress. Still planning to get it done by end of November.
www.CDIBOX.com is back supporting the Relic MOD Single Class at Eagle River again for 2023. This is a low-cost class to participate in, so we’re trying to help support & build up the numbers in the class. I think last year nearly everyone that entered got some $ back for participating. Hoping supporting it again gets a few more sleds out there!.
Here’s Jon Buehler’s post on Vintage Sleds & FACEBOOK:
This is a fun competitive class to race and we’re looking forward to seeing a good turnout and some exciting racing!!
Check out Scott’s website for all your ignition needs, he has everything you need to keep your sleds running and preforming at their best.
FALL 2022: Summer went by fast, and other projects took priority. Still working on the JD FIREPLUG CDI’S, or hoping to get back on them shortly so we have them ready for winter. We did make some improvements on the CDI Conversion Module that cleared up some issues we saw above 10K RPM. Nothing that affects the units out there, but we are always improving things when we can.
We’ve added a New Product. We developed a FIREPLUG Tail-Light STROBE blinker. It converts a standard tail-light or Brake light to a blinking output when illuminated.
This pic shows the relative small packaging size of the Fireplug strobe. It can easily be hidden under your seat or mounted in the rear compartment. It is wired in-line with the existing tail-light wiring, so no additional wires to add.
The blinking rate is 2X/second so it gets noticed by your eyes! My goal was to keep track of my Grand-daughter while riding her 120 Polaris. The blinking light stands out from the other sleds at night or in snow dust or flurry conditions, so can easily pick her out when riding. It also would be a good addition to any Oval Sled due to heavy snow dusting existing on any track. As a former racer, it’s not always easy to see the tail-light of the other riders. The strobe effect is quite noticeable & may keep you or others out of harms way!
Here’s a BLINKING-STROBE-DOC with some detail about installation, and functions. The Video below shows the Strobe / Blinking rate. It has the option of either blinking as a tail-light or as a Brake-light, depending how it’s wired. Adding a switch can enable / disable the blinking function, so your tail-light functions normally or as a blinking strobe with a flip of the switch.
This could be installed on anything with a 12V light. It operates down as low as 8 volts and up to 30 volts.
It will work with the racers that are using a 9V battery LED tail-light. In fact, being it’s OFF for the same duration it’s ON, the average current is 50%, so it should actually double your battery life!
Can drive up to 100 watt load (roughly 7 amps), meaning multiple 1157 bulbs or lots of LED lamps.
Will get a dedicated page up on the website shortly. I didn’t plan on developing or offering this, but after adding it to the 120 Polaris, it’s too cool to just keep to myself!
80-84 JOHN-DEERE – FIREPLUG CDI development:
Have a prototype Fireplug CDI running that fits the 80-84 John-Deere Spitfire, Trailfire & Snowfire sleds (molded coil/CDI type. Will also start the research into the “HSR” ignition type, meaning High-Speed Retarding for timing used on the 82 Liquefire,
This running Fireplug prototype is a replacement for the integral CDI / Coil unit with numbering IU22-03/04-OG/OH by Kokusan. The prototype is following the same timing curve as the OEM unit we’re bench-marking, with ~16* of timing change over the RPM range.
Still need to determine a way to integrate this working CDI to a mounting plate that includes a separate coil. Initially it was as molded CDI/Coil combination package. The plan is to use a separate coil with the CDI module on a common mounting plate. Then the coil or CDI is repairable without throwing out the other working component. The good news is the CDI is working perfectly, so just a matter of packaging it. Hoping to have it available sometime before the winter season!
Pre 78 TX FIREPLUG CDI: We went back and took a look at the Early TX CDI design. Most swap the 78-81 stator and take advantage of the improved timing curve, however some want to stay stock. We had this early CDI working on some of the very early 70’s ATX, but found some issues on the TX400. After some slight revisions, we solved the issue on the early TX Fireplug with throttle-up. So the early TX CDI Fireplug is working exactly like it should now for those that prefer to stick with the OEM stator and static timing profiles.
80/81 2000S/5000 F/A: Over the past year we introduced some FIREPLUG CDI models for the Arctic Cat. The 80/81 5000 F/A and the 2000S CDI was not available for many years. We’ve shipped quite a few since it’s introduction and we’ve receive more “thanks” and appreciation comments for this CDI than any other CDI we’ve introduced over the past 20 years.
Seems this CDI was so rare, that there was a number of nice sleds siting dormant with dead CDI’s with no other options. With the introduction of the FIREPLUG for the 80/81 5000 F/A & 2000S, these sleds are back running again after many years! So lot’s of calls and e-mails thanking us for adding this particular CDI! We appreciate the kind words and comments / feedback!
T7 Fireplug CDI: We had a handful of racers install the early release FIREPLUG CDI on their T7-4-plug engines for evaluation. Feedback was slow in coming early on because of the lack of ice, covid restrictions etc. Once things ramped up, we started getting very good feedback with positive results!
Around mid-season we released the T7 FIREPLUG CDI to the general market, and shipped a number of units this season. All feedback has been positive, matching the OEM timing profile with increased spark energy. Some of the racers claimed the engine ran better than it ever has, started easier and noted an overall performance increase. We’re very happy with the feedback and performance!
We’ve heard there was a demand for this CDI for years! I’m expecting it will become much more popular over time for the 73-75 T7 engines!
CDI CONVERSION MODULE: With more of the CDI conversion modules installed and operating, we’ve identified an improvement that provides more spark energy in the upper RPM range. This is less noticeable improvement on the 1-cyl installation below 8000 RPM, but is a necessary update on the 2-cylinder installations. We are willing to perform this update at no-charge if you contact us and arrange to return your module.
T7 Fireplug CDI unit was shipped out for trial testing. I’m told it was received and should be under testing shortly. Will update w/feedback.
Arctic-Cat 80/81 El Tigre & Lynx 2000S FIREPLUG CDI has been well received so far. Seems word is getting out that we have available what has been impossible to find. Glad it helped out!
We are again working with Jon Buehler to sponsor the Relic Mod Single Cyl class at Eagle River for 2022. Here is Jon’s posting from the Vintage Sleds website: Good luck to all racers!!
Once again Scott at Hewtech Electronics and my wife and I at JC Buehler Trucking are putting up $1000 for the Relic Mod Single Cyl class at vintage weekend in Eagle River. There will be added money for 1st thru 3rd and money to show from 4th on, so bring the singles and let’s race!!
ROTAX CDI: We are selling a lot of the new Single-coil PolarFireplug CDI for 73~78 Rotax. So far there is probably 25 of them sold. Have got some good feedback from those who installed it and are running it already. Hoping this CDI is the answer we’ve been chasing for years!
10/25/21: Arctic-Cat 80/81 El Tigre & Lynx 2000S FIREPLUG CDI is now available in limited supply (while parts are available)! Here’s the link:
ARCTIC CAT EL TIGRE’ 5000 80/81: Finishing up a Fireplug CDI design for the 1980/81 Arctic Cat El Tigre 5000. This CDI was also used on the 1980 Lynx 2000S (single cyl 250cc). These were unique CDI’s, only used 2 years. Because they were low volume, nobody reproduced them, so was little options other than converting the complete CDI, flywheel & stator, including the wiring harness over from the previous 79 model year sleds. This sled was dropped off here last week, with a borrowed CDI, used for the FIREPLUG CDI development, which took about 1 week. A NEW FIREPLUG CDI will be provided to the sled owner for helping out by providing his sled for our development. We expect to have this CDI available on the website by the end of October.
6/18/21: Our FIREPLUG modules all contain semiconductors, so we also are being affected by the global IC shortage affecting the automotive and commercial electronic markets. We have found a lack of components available, showing many components we need are out of stock, indicating over 54 wk lead-time for more inventory. We’re gathering as much inventory as we can find, but appears we will be short based upon last years sales quantity.
If you are anticipating ordering a CDI for the 2021/22 season, please do it sooner than later, while we still have parts to build them. It doesn’t appear the lack of component availability will be solved anytime this year.
Added a few more vintage motorcycle CDI’s to the Fireplug line. This time it’s the Kawasaki 1977-79 KE250 and the 1975/76 Kawasaki KX400 CDI. Report from the development has been better power, cleaner starting, idling, stronger mid-range, etc. These CDI’s are no longer available as OEM’s, so any replacement has been risking a 40+ year old Ebay purchase. Many who have come to me already wasted money on failed Ebay boxes. CDI’s don’t get better with age! Now there is a NEW FIREPLUG CDI, available with a full warranty, and priced close to what the ancient stuff is sold for online. More vintage motorcycle FIREPLUG CDI’s will be added in the future.
The Ski-Doo RV CDI box is still the gift that keep on giving. We thought we had it, but seems (again) it only worked on a random few engines, then issues cropped up again with no upper RPM. If I wasn’t so obsessed with problem solving, I’d move on. However,…I have another RV being delivered shortly. Hoping I can dedicate the time required to get it figured out!
The FIREPLUG POINTS to CDI conversion module has been a great success so far. We have 12 units out there. Mostly on 1-cyl, but 2 or 3 are on 2-cylinder engines. Reports are it turns it into a completely different engine. We found that is the case on our 292 Yamaha, which got a lot of miles ridden this winter. It’s actually been the go-to sled for everybody wanting to ride, just because it brings back old memories. But the difference is, walk up & pull the rope & it will idle all day, clear power delivery, no plug fouling, way smoother running, and you can just ride!
Have 25 more modules being built, so will have a few more available shortly. Still pending is the adj-timing version. We have it built, but still have to do some debugging, which takes time…which has been limited. Hoping this summer will get it wrapped up.
2/5/21: Update –
FIREPLUG CDI CONVERSION MODULE: We are having some great feedback so far on the Fireplug CDI conversion module. Our early releases have been selected to be run on race sleds (some participated at Eagle River in Jan 21) and others on older recreational 1-cyl trail-sled. We’ve logged some hours on our own SM292 as well.
One unique installation in on a Suzuki RE5 Rotary engine motorcycle (74/76) located in New Zealand. This was outside the criteria for testing, but the owner is skilled enough to install and provide feedback.
Another unique install is a RUPP PLAYCAT, 2-cyl Kohler engine. The playcat was a tracked vehicle. This one is a larger project, requiring a lot more engine updates to seals, carb, cables etc…but I’m told it’s running better than it has in years, and doesn’t foul the plugs when idling now. There is more work to do, but I’m told he’s working on it as time permits. This was the entry module into the 2-cyl testing.
POLARFIREPLUG CDI: We have ~12 of these revised designs out there. so far, we’ve had little to no feedback, good or bad. I decided to dig, and contacted all those who have the new design, asking for feedback. Seems all have other pending issues, still rebuilding the engine, clutching problems, still building the sled etc. I’m now being somewhat reluctant to allow any more out unless the user can immediately provide feedback. I don’t want the issue where this CDI only worked on my test sled and nobody else. So we’re watching this closely.
Motorcycle CDI update:
We are working on a few more motorcycle CDI’s. All happen to be Kawasaki KE250, KX400 & KDX250 (separate projects) for late 70’s/ early 80’s bikes. These CDI’s tend to multiply once there is success with one model. All are still in development / early evaluation. Looking at a few other Yamaha YZ CDI’s that could be added in the future. Shipping delays has been the biggest hurdle, taking much more time than anticipated. Will post updates.
STATOR REWINDING: We are still offering rewinding, but our service has slowed due to covid restriction lock-downs, and shipping, rather than drop-off’s. It’s up to 4+ weeks now for turnaround. The delay is out of my hands. I have even taken the steps of acquiring stator cores of the more common models, hoping to have some stock on the shelf. However, everything I attempt to stock is used to fill orders, since the rewinding service times have extended so long. Hoping this delay is understandable and obvious that it’s out of our control. If anyone knows of other stator rewinding services that are willing to try doing older snowmobiles / motorcycles, we’d be interested in discussing.
12/20: We have released a limited number of the revised PolarFireplug CDI. We are expecting feedback on these to determined if our rework was successful.
11/17/20: Update -Fireplug CDI conversion module is undergoing final testing for limited release sale. The plan has shifted to release 2 separate models.
The initial model released shortly is intended for recreation / trail applications. It follows the existing points / condenser timing profile. The difference is a high-energy spark output that improves starting, idle, better performance and reduced spark-plug fouling.
The upgrade HP/Race model will have a user adjustable timing profile. This is intended for high-performance / racing applications. More details will be released as the launch of the high-performance device gets closer.
11/14/20: We are investigating the PolarFire CDI (again) in an attempt to offer a model that covers all applications through 1978. We are close and updates will be posted as progress is made.
4/1/20: Update – YZ465 CDI testing has shown our FIREPLUG CDI for the 1980/81 YZ465 Yamaha is a success! We’ve been told it runs really good and starts easier etc. This will be available shortly so check with us, even if it’s not yet listed on the website. Will try to get a dedicated page up for it shortly. Still intend to look into the YZ490, time permitting.
3/15/20: Update – POINTS to CDI Conversion Module: We had 2 prototype units out this past season that were running in racing events. The Sach’s motor had some unrelated bugs initially, but eventually got it going and participated in a couple of races. Feedback is the unit is working excellent and survived testing and the 2 events it ran with flying colors. The Yamaha sled was here in Lower Michigan. We had a terrible season for racing due to weather not staying cold for any length of time. Unfortunately not many hours were logged on the Yamaha 292.
The good news is, our 74-Yamaha SM292 has been freshened up with new seals, a carb rebuild, new fuel lines and it’s running like a champ! The plan is to install a module on this sled for our own testing. Since it’s a boogie-wheel suspension, I expect it will be ridden on the grass quite a bit this summer, logging test time.
80 SRX, 77-81 Exciter & Enticer / Bravo 8H4-20 Yamaha CDI update: We’ve had these FIREPLUG CDI’s available for some time now, but the FIREPLUG was physically a larger package than the OEM CDI, and required mounting the CDI plate to the chassis. The OEM used a rubber strap / holder arrangement that held the CDI in place. We have repackaged the FIREPLUG CDIs for these models into a downsized aluminum enclosure that matches the OEM size. It will now replace the OEM CDI in the original rubber holder. No more holes to drill. Electrically the design did not change internally, just the packaging.
NEW CDI’s under development:
T1 Arctic Cat / Kawasaki CDI: Appears we have success with this CDI design. All feedback has been positive so far. Will have it added for availability in the near future.
T7 Arctic-Cat / Kawasaki CDI: Still looking into the T7 CDI. Thinking we are close, but still some work to be done. Hoping to have it available this fall.
73-76 & 77-78 RV SKI-DOO: Have arranged for a 77 RV access this summer. This sled actually did show the signs of no throttle up with our production CDI, which is exactly what I was looking for. The previous 77RV we had here ran great regardless of the CDI style, so hoping to learn enough to get past this finally for the Fall 2020!
80/81 YZ465 YAMAHA: Sent out a prototype FIREPLUG CDI for the 80/81 Yamaha YZ465 moto-crosser bike. This was another once of those things that just happened. We’re hoping the research we were able to do in the evaluation of the OEM CDI is enough to have a working CDI available. Should know something shortly. Also have the 85 & 87 YZ490 stuff here to look at. Still doing some investigation to see if that is feasible or not.
SC500 73/74 Yamaha: This was another CDI we sort of fell into doing. I know they are not looked on as one of Yamaha’s best efforts, but part of that was the bad CDI. Looking at a possible FIREPLUG CDI version for this motorcycle if things pan out as planned. Have a stator / flywheel coming to run on our 360, which is a bolt-on compatible. So will be able to get timing profile etc once it’s up and running. More to come!
2/12/2020: Update – ARCTIC CAT / KAWASAKI T1 / T7 CDI: We’ve got feedback! The T1 CDI appears to be working as a direct replacement on the T1 engines we’ve tried so far. Some additional development is still necessary for the T7 CDI to match the OEM timing profile. We are working through it, and hope to have it also working shortly for the T7. But looks like we have a T1 replacement coming!
2/2020: Update – POINTS to CDI CONVERSION MODULE: We’ve had one of our trial sleds participate in a number of races. So far, all is working as it should on the SACH’s engine. We have another race coming up this weekend on the Yamaha GP300 trial sled. Hoping for good results!
We picked up a 1975-Yamaha SM292 sled for our own testing. In the process of freshening up the crank seals and rebuilding the carb, fuel-lines etc so it’s a reliable test-sled. Will use this in the off-season for the CDI conversion module testing. This will allow us hands-on testing and should get us all the feedback we need to launch this module into production for next season!
12/30/19: Shipped the initial CDI / points/condenser conversion module this week. Installation will be on a 1-cyl SACH’s engine. Waiting for more feedback before opening this up for general sale. Contact us if you have a single-cylinder sled, and are interested in purchasing, and willing to provide feedback.
12/26/19: T1 / T7-FIREPLUG prototype CDI for Arctic-Cat was sent out for evaluation on El-Tigr’e. Feedback has been positive so far. More details coming after the holidays.
12/1/19: 76-78 RUPP XENOAH RUPP FIREPLUG CDI AVAILABLE NOW!
We have dyno confirmation on the completed FIREPLUG CDI for the RUPP / XENOAH development, and it’s ready to go! It’s been added to the PRODUCTS menu, so is available for purchase now!
Price is $185/ea.
11/16/19: 76-78 RUPP XENOAH RUPP FIREPLUG CDI UPDATE: Shipping a CDI for a confirmation / dyno run this week. Pending positive results, they will be available in December.
11/2/19: 76-78 L/C RUPP 250/340/440 FIREPLUG CDI UPDATE: Some good news to report. Have the Prototype CDI working on the 76 RUPP NITRO. Thanks to Kevin Hasse for lending the sled & special shout-out to Adam Leubner for delivering it. Once I had the sled here, it didn’t take long to sort out the underlying issues. It’s another one of those situations where I never would have figured it out without having the running sled/engine here. Thanks again guys!
As a secondary benefit from doing the RUPP investigation, I may also have figured out a bit more on the ROTAX Polarfire issues with the 77/78 models. More to come on that.
FALL 2019 :
More progress on the: POINTS /CONDENSER to CDI CONVERSION MODULE DESIGN:
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN A CDI CONVERSION MODULE FOR YOUR POINTS-IGNITION SNOWMOBILE?
We will have a limited number of Points-to-CDI-conversion modules available in November / December as part of the early production evaluation offering that will be launched. An application form will be available shortly that provides us details about your intended use and how quickly you can install and provide feedback. We will evaluate the application and if you meet the criteria, we will offer a discounted CDI conversion module for installation on your sled. The discount is for being part of the field / test evaluation process, meaning we expect feedback. If the unit is installed in a timely fashion and feedback is provided, you are entitled to any module updates or refinements that may occur during this evaluation period. More details to follow.
contact us if you are interested and have an application.
10/14/19: The prototype CDI module was installed on a 1973 Yamaha RT3 Enduro 360. Gas tank was removed to access the coil. A small (blue) 12V rechargeable battery was used for the testing. The CDI module was connected to the points wire exiting the magneto & the ignition coil was replaced with a CDI-type coil. Bike was started and ignition timing was confirmed to not have changed (not shown in video). Engine was tested for starting, idle and throttle up. So far all is working perfectly.
This latest version may be available in a limited offering dependent upon the application. Would be specific to single / twin snowmobiles (prefer trail-sleds) with points / condenser type factory ignitions. Ideally the the sled will already have a 12V battery or are willing to install a small battery. This initial module release would be directed towards Trail-type sleds, with fixed ignition timing, manufactured with points and condenser / magneto type ignition (typically late 60’s into the late 70’s).
See additional descriptions and videos of the module below in the SUMMER 2019 discussion.
Secret Behind the scenes development: I’m finally back working on a design that I’ve started/stopped & restarted many times over the past 15 years or so. Always got to the 50% point, then had some issue that sidelined it until I was able to think through it. Recently an idea popped into my head, so forced myself to get back working on the design. This time I made some major progress moving the design forward. Details below:
7/11/19: The video below shows the prototype CDI / High Energy Ignition system that can be triggered with the standard OEM points that exist in older engines. This will allow a conversion from points/condenser to a high-energy CDI type ignition.
The prototype is triggered using a signal generator on the bench,. This allows simulation of RPM. The “clicks” heard in the video are switching the RPM rate. The spark rate increases & decreases w/RPM. The design can maintain consistent spark energy to 20,000 RPM (you hear the click when it jumps to 20K RPM). A battery will be required for power, however if a lighting coil exists, the battery is only used for initial starting, then the 12V lighting system may take over to supplement. Seeing about .5 amps at cruising RPM and under 1.5A at 10,000 RPM. The typical 12V batteries used in electric start snowmobiles would work fine and easily stay charged by the alternator.
The 1 to 2 cylinder applications could be limitless, with points and a battery being the requirements. Initial testing will be performed on a CASE garden tractor (Kohler 10hp) riding mower and a 1973 RT3 Yamaha 360 Enduro.
A single cyl snowmobile engine is also planned.
7/14/19 Update: Installed the CDI points converter prototype module on a 1987 CASE 220 Garden Tractor, powered by a 10hp Kohler K-series engine. Main reason it is used for testing (besides no snow) is opportunity for getting some valuable run-time to validate the design in the warm weather.
Jumper cables were used with a 12V battery power for initial testing. This tractor has not been run in 10+ years or more, wanted to be sure it even could run before doing the install. Once she fired up, a small tractor battery was purchased and installed and final connections were made prior to riding.
Installation is very straight-forward. Isolate the condenser and coil contact from the points wire. Connect points wire to TRIG wire on module. Connect switched 12V power from original 12V coil to use as module 12V power. Ground module NEG- to chassis ground (same as battery NEG). Mount CDI ignition coil to chassis & connect coil wire to module & spark-plug. Fired right up and ran with absolutely no issues.
7/15/2019 Update: Ran it for about 2 hours cutting grass and riding around taking data. Idled lower and smoother than it ever did. Note: This application is limited to 3600 RPM max, but is actually fine for initial testing during the summer months. Being a 4-stroke engine, the points only trigger every 2 revolutions. 3600 RPM on the 4-stroke engine is equivalent to a 2-stroke high-idle at 1800 RPM. Although this is possible to use the 4-stroke for testing, it’s relatively easy on the module.
The next install will be on something capable of running at a much higher RPM for testing. I’m thinking 1970’s chainsaw test-fixture!
More to come!
7/20/2019 Update: Today is in the mid-90’s and the shop is like a hot-box, so doing more inside Lab / Bench work. I took the opportunity to try out some of the other features I had yet to mention that are integrated into the module.
The module trigger input can work with points OR most pick-up / trigger coils used on CDI type ignitions. I did some testing today on a K340-2AS Kohler FAN engine used in the Trail-Twisters and numerous other models that ran the Prestolite CDI. The trigger fired the Module exactly as it would the original CDI. This did not use the stator. I designed the module input to accept the trigger inputs from most snowmobile / motorcycle CDI models that I currently offer the FIREPLUG CDI’s.
Because the High-Voltage is generated inside the module, the high-voltage coil on the stator is no longer needed (only the 12V lighting for battery charging is needed). Another advantage is the module provides consistent high-voltage over the total RPM operating range (1 RPM to 20,000 RPM).
To highlight that advantage, here’s an example. I recently re-investigated the Ski-Doo RV ignition system. During my testing, I monitored the stator HV (single) source coil for output voltage to the CDI. The highest output measured was just off high idle, and generated around 320V. As RPM increased, the voltage dropped to under 200V at 8000 RPM. It tends to follow a “BELL” curve. Anybody familiar with the RV’s back in the day will recall a Super-MOD ignition kit was offered for this very reason. It had 2 source coils (LOW & HIGH speed), which is better at distributing a more consistent voltage over a wider RPM range. The voltage output resembled more of an “M” curve over the RPM range.
High RPM generates high cylinder pressures. It becomes increasingly difficult to spark the plug as cylinder pressure increases, due to more energy required to jump the gap. Weak spark energy requires leaner-mixtures, smaller plug gaps, reduce octane or lower compression to keep firing the plugs at higher RPM when the spark energy is weak. The result is reduced HP. A 2-coil (high/low speed) stator ignition provides more consistent voltage when you need power over a wider RPM operating range, however it too is limited by physics, so will not provide a flat high-voltage delivery at all RPM’s. This module will.
Maintaining high energy over the total RPM range will result in better starting, good mid-range and even stronger high rpm running when compared to a stator that is designed to output a peak voltage at a specific RPM.
Should be cooler tomorrow, so may get the chainsaw running to do some high-RPM testing.
PS: Another feature that I have not yet mentioned is an adjustable Timing curve. This means an old points/condenser engine can be upgraded to a high-energy CDI type ignition, plus an adjustable timing curve that can be tweaked to match the application.
More to come!
72 KAWASAKI EXT 650 3-CYL FIREPLUG CDI:
We had recent success developing a FIREPLUG CDI replacement for a 72 Arctic-Cat EXT 650 3-cyl. This is the Kawasaki triple cylinder engine. The other good news is, I think some of the things learned will translate to the early Polaris Starfire and Brut 3-cyl CDI workings in the process. We had offered that CDI in the past, but lost the build notes, so had to stop building it. I think we can offer it again based on our findings during the Kawasaki CDI development. Will have validation know once somebody needs one for the early Polaris or Brute.
POLARFIRE CDI REPLACEMENT UPDATE:
Having access to the 77RV was the key to solving the “non-throttle up” issue. We had success with a prototype concept CDI sent to Canada. This was actually one of the RV’s that would not run with the Fireplug CDI. The new revisions worked great! I believe we now have a PolarFIREPLUG CDI replacement that will work to 1978.
We finally have a 1977 RV dropped off here! Some fine gents in Michigan stepped up to help solve this problem. We’ve been dealing with this since 2003 on random 1977 RV’s not throttling up with the FIREPLUG CDI. Unfortunately, the 77 dropped off worked perfect with the POLARFIREPLUG CDI, but that’s how it’s always been…6 out of 10 work fine. The good news is we are able to run the sled with various CDI configurations to see what works and what doesn’t. So far, we are on the path to finding a solution. Again, thanks to some great local Vintage sled owners stepping up!!
WINTER 2018 / 2019:
12/31/2018: 1972 Polaris ATX 335 twin-cyl snowmobile.
We released a FIREPLUG CDI for the 1972 Polaris ATX 335 twin-cyl snowmobile. The design was initially tested in 2011, but never put into production due to the rarity of the sled. In 2018, we had 3 requests for this CDI, so decided to finally add it to the product line.
12/26/18: RUPP UPDATE:
We are diligently working on a FIREPLUG CDI for the RUPP sleds (late 70’s). Updates on progress will be posted.
12/19/2018: 80~84 Yamaha models (8N4-20).
New FIREPLUG CDI replacement for the 80~84 Yamaha models listed below.
1983 SRV (SR540G)
1984 ENTICER 300 (ET300H)
1984 ENTICER 340 (ET340H)
1984 EXCEL III (EC340H)
1984 PHAZER (PZ480H)
1984 PHAZER SE (ELEC START) (PZ480SEH)
1984 SRV (SR540H)
1984 SS440 (SS440H)
The e-mails & phones ringing for snowmobile CDI’s! Tis the season of grass-drags & winter preparation for the sleds!
We completed a FIREPLUG CDI for the Yamaha MX175 A-B (1974/75) MX motorcycles early this fall. We had no intention of doing it initially, but the pieces fell into place very quickly with excellent results! This adds to our expanding list of Vintage Motorcycle FIREPLUG CDI’s now available. We will continue to look into other motorcycle CDI’s from 70/early 80’s as the requests & support come in.
We had no opportunities to add any snowmobile CDI models to the FIREPLUG line this off-season. All the arrangements we had for sled access fell through. This has become a tedious task when attempting to do development for snowmobiles the past few years. Listed above are the models we are still getting CDI request for. Any information leading to us obtaining these models (borrow, rent or purchase) is appreciated…thanks.
We just completed a summer FIREPLUG CDI development for a couple of Enduro / MX motorcycle models:
Kawasaki 1971~1975 F5, F7 & F9: (F7-175cc / F5-F9-350cc Bighorn). FIREPLUG CDI replaces OEM Kokusan / Kawasaki 21119-007 / CU1124 superseded by 21119-013.
Yamaha DT360A, DT400C, MX400B, IT400C & YZ400C from 1974~1976. FIREPLUG CDI REPLACES MITSUBISHI F8T00172 / OEM#: 445-85540-22: This CDI is close to production, but need a little more time to validate before marketing it. Available in November 2017. Please watch the website for updates.
We are expanding our FIREPLUG CDI line up to include some vintage MX motorcycles. We only started offering these at the end of 2016, and they have started to become popular already. We are finding the vintage MX bikes have a lot in common with the snowmobiles from the same era. So it’s quite possible we will be adding more Vintage motorcycle CDI to the FIREPLUG line-up in the future. Thanks to this expansion, we are now selling FIREPLUG CDI’s into warm-weather states where we have never sold a FIREPLUG CDI before. States like Texas, California & Arizona now have FIREPLUG CDI’s on their MX bikes. Here’s the latest FIREPLUG CDI models for motorcycles:
YAMAHA MX: YAMAHA 1973~75 MX 250/360, 1974~76 YZ125, 1974~75 YZ250 Motorcycles. OEM#: TIA01-02-3XX. Replaces Yamaha OEM CDI ignition module 364-85540-13-00, as well as previous -11-00 & -12-00 versions.
We also have a 1978 YZ250 available for CDI development. This should add a couple of additional models. Watch for it summer 2019
SUZUKI PE ENDURO: PE 175 / 250 / 400 (1977~84)
If you are interested in the PE175/250/400 CDI, please contact us.
SUZUKI CDI OEM#: 32900-41420 / 40420 / 40520 & possibly others
YAMAHA: Our Yamaha Enticer / BRAVO FIREPLUG CDI replacement has also become popular. Still lot’s of nice sleds around with no spark. As typical with Yamaha’s, the stator and components under the flywheel are pretty rugged. It’s the CDI’s that fail. An we are here to help!
JOHN-DEERE / KAWASAKI: We are arranging for a John-Deere 1980 Liquifier for this summers R&D for a replacement CDI. Lot’s of interest in this CDI, so we are going to make it happen. This same CDI was used on the JD’s & Kawasaki Invaders from 1978~1982, so hoping to cover some popular models with the FIREPLUG CDI for next season. We will post more info as we make progress with the development.
We are hearing rumors that one of the other CDI rebuilders & stator rewinding facilities in the southern states has got out of vintage snowmobile CDI products to concentrate more on their Marine applications. I’m not familiar with their vintage snowmobile CDI offerings, however we are looking into the possibility of picking up the models they did offer.