NOTICE: MODELS WANTED 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: Your help will result in a FREE CDI for your efforts!
SNOWMOBILES WANTED FOR CDI DEVELOPMENT:
(No specific order to listings below…Engine Must Run)
ARCTIC-CAT: 4-plug Kawasaki F/A-T7 engine (1975-El-Tigr’es’ etc)
NEW FIREPLUG T1/T7 CDI DEVELOPMENT PENDING…looking for good running sleds out there that are willing to test a CDI!!
SKI-DOO 81 / 9500 BLIZZARD (think we found one)
John-Deere Liquefier 1980
KAWASAKI INVADER 78~82
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:
A POINTS /CONDENSER to CDI CONVERSION MODULE DESIGN:
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.