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By Johnboy
Hello Everyone,
I'm new to the forum so I don't know whether I'll get banned as I have an issue with a Triumph 5TA!
Let's see.
I have recently acquired a 1958 Triumph 5TA Speed Twin. It's 6 Volt positive earth and has a coil and distributor and uses points but I think it may have had a Boyer Bransden electronic ignition system fitted at some time in the past and subsequently been removed.
The electrics were a bit of a mess so i tidied up some of the connections and removed indicators that had been retro fitted. Whilst at it I removed what looks like a honda 6 volt twin condenser which was connected directly to the coil and bolted to the frame as I couldn't see why it was fitted. I thought possibly something to do with the indicators or the previously fitted electronic ignition but I'm sure it wouldn't have been fitted originally.
And of course it wouldn't start.
I re-fitted the condenser and it runs fine again.
Does anyone know why it's fitted? All I can think is maybe the condenser in the distributor is faulty (it's still fitted) and this has been fitted remotely for whatever reason. I'm clueless with electrics. Would this make sense?
The other thing I've noticed is that when the ignition switch is turned to emergency, the ammeter discharges. The bike fires up on this setting but I'm sure from memory it shouldn't show a discharge. When the bike runs it shows positive charge.
Can anyone, as Joseph Lucas used to say, shed any light on this?
User avatar
By Adrian
Unless someone strenuously objects to Triumph 5TAs , I'll chuck in my tuppence worth in.

The emergency start position on the old 6V systems is for use when your battery is FLAT. My old C15 SS80 had all that.

The condenser is to prevent or at least reduce sparking at the points, the Honda item may well have been an attempt to bypass a long-failed Lucas original.

I suggest you get your distributor sorted with a decent quality replacement condenser (try down the bottom of the page here if your dizzy is the 18D2: ... ensers.htm )

Unless you're insisting on total originality, converting to 12V will give you better electrics and a simpler wiring system. If your 6V alternator is still in good shape, you can configure it for full output via a 12V reg/rectifier easily enough.

By Daiwiskers
Another vote to convert to 12 volt
The condenser can be fitted anywhere between the points and coil the old Lucas one's where shall we say CARP

Did I say welcome to the forum

Cheers Dai
By Andy C
Agree with everything said above, and to say welcome to the forum.

If you want to join a forum that is more old bike generic - i.e. not just Enfield, try joining it's a site frequented by old curmudgeons who are happy to chat about anything old bike related.

Just thought I would mention it.

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