28 July 2012

FZ1 Mod: +4º Ignition Advancer

I finished the last bit of the RR Carb Stuff mods today by installing the ELS +4 Advancer.  It's been nearly two years since Cruzman and I did the Carb Stuff (can't believe it's been that long).  Recently I noticed the bike sometimes feels a bit sluggish below 3k.  I figured I just need to sync the carbs but then I saw a post on FZ1OA that made me wonder if advancing the ignition would help.

When I saw the thread, I went back to RavenRider's post and saw "The 3 - 4 deg advancer will help low and mid-range performance."  With the question answered, I went ahead and ordered the +4º advancer from the AdvancerMan because it made sense to pay for one that came with a money back guarantee.  I ordered it on a Friday and it was in the mailbox on Monday.  Can't ask for faster shipping than that!  

What is an ignition timing advancer?  In simple terms, it changes when the ignition fires.  The reason to change the timing is to get better detonation of the gases in the piston which creates more power (and burns the gas more efficiently).  If advanced too much or too little, it can cause knocking in the engine.  The +4º advancer will fire the ignition 4º sooner than the stock making the motor sound crisper, respond faster, and give more low to mid range. For a more detailed explanation, check out Dan's MC page.

Fortunately for me, the guy that created the thread also described how to do the swap:
Set the bike on the side stand and then removed the allen screws from around the timing cover. It's the square-ish shaped cover on the right side of the motor. I gently pried off the cover, it doesn't take much, being careful not to damage the gasket. Then I put the bike in 6th gear, stepped down on the rear brake pedal and unscrewed the 14mm bolt that held on the stock advancer. Just reverse the process to install.
Sounded simple enough.  I was going to do an oil change anyway so it seemed to the perfect time to go ahead and do this too.  I followed everything he said and got the cover off without damaging the gasket.  I was happy about that because I was too impatient to put the advancer on and didn't take the time to order a replacement gasket.
The "square-ish shaped" cover is right in front of where you fill the oil.
OEM Advancer and the hard to remove 14mm bolt
I got the bike in 6th, put my foot on the rear brake, then used my new heavy duty ratchet to try to loosen the bolt.  Fail.  All I managed to do was spin the thing around a bit.  It was humid and hot (gotta love summer in Georgia).  I was sweating like a pig so I decided to go inside and search the forum for some more tips in the cold A/C while I re-hydrated.  I discovered a thread from way back in 2003 that suggested an impact wrench would help but mostly I found that all I needed to do was have the bike in 6th with my foot on the brake.

Not being one to give up, I returned to the hot garage to try again.  This time I stood on the brake and used my foot (since my legs are stronger) to try to break the bolt but had the same results.  I still needed to finish the oil change.  With the sun setting, I did that then put the cover back on.  I either needed someone to sit on the bike with their foot on the brake so I could try again or buy an impact wrench.

I chose
Harbor Freight 1/2" Impact Wrench.  It was on sale at the right price.
and a larger diameter hose for my air compressor (also on sale).  Unfortunately I left my 20% coupon at home and had to make another trip to get the impact sockets.  I probably used my savings in gas but...

Once I had everything I needed, it took mere minutes to do the swap.  I used my new hex sockets on the nine 5mm bolts that hold on the cover.

New vs Old

OEM Advancer removed
ELS +4 Advancer Installed
I took a quick test ride and noticed the difference right away as I climbed the hill to get out of the subdivision.  I was able to maintain the speed limit smoothly and easily at 4k rpm.  Once I took off on the main street, the bike seemed to pull harder sooner.  I stole a glance at the rpm gauge the next time I took off, noting that I was off the clutch at 2,000 rpm with the bike pulling hard.

Cruising at 4k rpm is a lot more comfortable too.  I can't wait to take an extended ride.

Thanks for reading,
patrice, theWolfTamer

My new heavy duty ratchet (with my old socket) was useless to remove the 14mm advancer bolt.

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