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Old 08-28-2012, 01:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The VOES

Hi again,
I've been putting on the miles and having a blast but my 1985 FXR is starting to act funny. It runs fine and has a great idle most of the time but it started to drop way down on idle at times then be fine. Now it is starting to do it more often and after reading the FM I saw mention of the voes controlling the advance and that is what this seems to be. Where is this voes and will the generic ones I see advertised work or is there another solution? This is new to me so I appreciate the help.
Thanks,
Jon
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm not sure on the fxr's location but on my 98 softail it/s in between the two tanks. Vacuum tube comes off the top the carb. You can test it with a vacuum gauge. Should be between 3-5 inches of vacuum and should hear it clicking. As for aftermarket units, couldn't tell you. I thought the voes is supposed to retard the spark when under load. Some one please correct me if I'm wrong
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes... It mounts t the frame just above the Carbby between both cylinders.

Check the manuals for the right one for your year as there are several different pressure units out there.

They are normally bloody reliable...and have bugger all to do with idle. Check the use to it as well as the compliance fittings for your manifold as they go and can give the symptom you have.


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Old 08-28-2012, 10:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thermodyne is reading this now saying WTF is this? Thermodyne is reading this now saying WTF is this?
The VOES is just an on-off vacuum activated switch. It tells the ign unit to retard the timing at a preset low manifold absolute pressure. That would be low manifold vacuum for you old school'rs. Anytime you work the motor hard, like lugging a hill, it retards the timing. When it retards, is preset in the switch, but some replacements can be adjusted. How much it retards is a function of the ign unit. VOES off of Sportys are the most performance oriented. Bagger VOES are the least desirable.

The VOES is mid 70's FoMoCo anti knock technology. They used it in conjunction with the fender mounted ignition units. The EVO scooters had them because by law they had to run on 87 octane fuel. Some will tell you that an EVO run on high test has no need of a VOES. That's not completely true.

In your case it's easy to diagnosis. Just unplug it and see if the issues go away. If it does, then test the switch with a vacuum source and a VOM. The switches are mostly trouble free. The rubber hoses decay with age and the wires are susceptible to chaffing. On your scooter it mounts with the same bolt that mounts the left side of the upper engine locator strut. It hangs behind the coil bracket.
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replys my friends. I was thinking it retards the timing for starting too. I know I gotta pull some stuff off now and do some testing, I read the test in the FM so I'll get her done.
I'd rather just ride than wrench is my problem...
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Old 09-05-2012, 05:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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VOES does not retard timing. It advances it. Have you ever heard the term vacuum retard? No, it's because you hear vacuum advance. Which is all the VOES is. When a VOES fails, there is a spring in it that will cause it to fail in the open position, a failsafe if you will. The one time I have had one go out, the silicon in it basically ran out. This created a huge intake leak, and my bike wouldn't do anything but idle. As was said they can be tested with a vacuum pump and a multimeter. Set it on continuity (Ohms) and beeper if you can. Hook one lead to each wire from VOES (don't matter which). Pump up vacuum pump and let air bleed off. Multimeter will be beeping until the switch separates (because the spring overrides the air vacuum). If it quits beeping at 4.5, then you know the VOES is for a light bike, like a Sportster or FXR. If quits at 7, you know it's for a bagger. Anyways, this is a very easy test to do. I would recommend it before you go buying another switch because they are around 60 bucks.

Read this and it will help you understand it.

http://www.wildwestcycle.com/f_voes.html
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the link, interesting read and informative.
I should have some time tomorrow to test mine.
Jon
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