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Louie, Technician
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 12572
Experience:  25+ yrs. experience
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Having ignition upgrade problems on a 1988 Kawasaki KE 100.

Customer Question

Having ignition upgrade problems on a 1988 Kawasaki KE 100.
JA: Have you checked the battery lately?
Customer: Yes. It has been charged. It is a magneto system, so does not require a battery to run. Battery powers the lights.
JA: What is the model of your '88 motorcycle?
Customer: Kawasaki KE 100
JA: Are you hoping to fix this yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Replaced the old stator assembly with one from a '98 model. Replaced the coil with a new 6/12V points/CDI unit. Tired of wasting time chasing problems-need professional advice.
JA: Anything else you think the mechanic should know?
Customer: Nothing I'm aware of.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Motorcycle
Expert:  kwiggins29059 replied 1 year ago.

The wiring is alot different for the cdi bike, did you swap the whole harness? If not what is the part # for the CDI unit you have?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The original stator assembly is Kawasaki PN###-##-#### with 3 magnet magneto###-##-#### and I am switching to stator PN###-##-####with 4 magnet magneto###-##-#### The current wiring harness is PN 26001A, and the correct one for a '98 is PN 26030. All these parts are out of production. I got the stator and magneto from someone on ebay. This was necessitated by the original stator being pretty much trashed, and replacement parts being almost non-existent. Best I can determine, the biggest difference is replacing the original coil with a newer "igniter". I must be missing something, because I don't seem to be getting anything from the igniter to the plug. This is a "simple" (ha-ha) old 2 stroke that I'm trying to get running for a local charity <100cc bike run.
Expert:  kwiggins29059 replied 1 year ago.

Yeah, the coil has different resistance for cdi. I don't believe you posted the cdi part number. With that we can check the wiring real easy to see if that's the issue.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Therein lies the rub: There is no listing for an actual CDI module for this bike that I have been able to find. As best I can determine, at least for this 6V 2 stroke bike, changing from points to magneto CDI is little more than the newer stator and a newer igniter/coil. I have trolled the internet, and especially Partzilla (comparing differences between model years) looking for anything that will guide me in this endeavor, but there is little to be found, which is why I got in contact with you. I figured an actual motorcycle mech. might be able to help me dig my head out of my rear! BTW-I am using the original harness.
Expert:  kwiggins29059 replied 1 year ago.

I did some digging and I apologize for having the kx and ke confused. KE never used cdi, however you can use a generic 5 pin cdi and coil to swap over.

You'll need this CDI unit and this coil

Then you'll modify the wiring to this

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay-I'm confused. If the KE never had a CDI, then what do I have now? The old stator had a points/condenser setup, whereas the new one does not. As well, if the KE never had CDI, then why do I need a CDI module? Further, as this bike is kick start only, do you by chance have a diagram that omits the starter?I am including pics of a stator that is like my original, as well as a pic of my new stator and flywheel.
Expert:  kwiggins29059 replied 1 year ago.

I apologize for the misunderstanding. Some guys change over to cdi for better performance.

The LAter model KE100 was wired like this from what you describe that should be what your current set up is compatible with.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As I previously indicated-the original stator assembly is more-or-less junk, which is why I have a different assembly. I ended up with the '98 assembly mostly because I could get my hands on it! Now I'm trying to get it to work!The A7 wiring diagram is for a '78 model, which remained essentially the same until about '95-ish (complete with points). I believe the '96 (B15) was the start of the revised stator assembly, and Partzilla shows both a coil AND an igniter for that year, leading me to believe it was a mid-year change. So-If I'm understanding you correctly, what I have now ('98 (B17) stator/flywheel assembly in a '88 (B7) bike) SHOULD work with the existing wiring harness and coil? What about the parts you mentioned in your last message? Did you find a reference to a OEM CDI unit, because I can't find anything on one.
Expert:  kwiggins29059 replied 1 year ago.

That's corrrect on what you have now should work. There's no oem cdi unit. I don't have much info otherwise, so I will open this back up to other experts.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is someone else picking this up? Two days have passed and I haven't seen anything.
Expert:  Louie replied 1 year ago.

Hi, I’m Louie. Sorry you had to wait awhile but I’ll do my best to help.

Initially, the main concern would be physical mounting and as a result thus equally critical, the timing. Proposed preliminary considerations (if have not been factored in):

  • • the new stator assy., pickup coil (pulser) and rotor/magneto should fit and inter-acct;
  • • the rotor/magneto slot for the Woodruff key would dictate the timing;
  • • and/or the position of the rotor's metal tab that passes near the pickup coil;
  • • the stator assy would have to have three (3) output voltages:
  • - AC Voltage for battery charging to regulator/rectifier combo (not necessary for the ignition system);
  • - pulsating low voltage from the pickup coil to the CDI to trigger the CDI to discharge the capacitor;
  • - pulsating high voltage to charge the CDI's capacitor;
  • • the CDI in turn would have to have:
  • - the above two (2) pulsating voltages from the stator;
  • - a kill wire;
  • - pulsating output voltage to feed the ignition coil and produce spark;
  • • and like the old contact point (breaker) / condenser, the CDI does not need a battery to produce spark through the ignition coil.

Hence and based on the above:

  • • establish the presence of the two (2) pulsating voltages from the new stator when attempting to start;
  • • perform a spark test;
  • • determine if the spark occurs at the same piston position as the old ignition system.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Louie,
This bike does not have a CDI module, and there is no known OEM CDI module for this series of 2 stroke KE bikes by Kawasaki. While I appreciate the thoroughness of your reply, I am failing to understand where we are going. There are four wires coming off the stator assembly harness: two that go to the rectifier (to drive the lights), one that goes to the coil/igniter, and one that is merely for the neutral indicator from the transmission. I believe the system you are describing is for something other than what I am working on.
Expert:  Louie replied 1 year ago.

If these are the wires from the new stator ( two that go to the rectifier (to drive the lights), one that goes to the coil/igniter, and one that is merely for the neutral indicator), then yes, it would not work with a CDI.

Still and for this new stator, the only applicable ignition check then would be for the presence of pulsating voltage on the wire "...that goes to the coil/igniter..." when attempting to start

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Now we're getting somewhere!
What AC voltage range should the stator be putting out to be picked up by the coil/igniter, and what should the voltage be going from the coil/igniter to the plug? Will the old coil work at all, or must it be changed? I have looked all over the place, but haven't found any references to what these voltage values should be. I do know they are AC, but beyond that.....??
Expert:  Louie replied 1 year ago.

The voltage from the magneto ignition winding is actually pulsating DC or more particularly, repeatedly collapsing DC V. And it would be a very brief spike of 100V+.

The magneto ignition coil would have a coil resistance of around 0.5Ω.

Ideally, the ignition coil would have a very low primary resistance ~1Ω while the secondary winding would be in the KΩ.