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Discussion Starter #1
I’ve read that many have this dangerous shut-off problem. Here’s how I solved mine.
I have a second-hand ‘96 Softtail Custom, modified by a previous owner who sold it to me so he could get married and buy a house. Mild cam, S&S carb. Ran perfectly for a year. Daily driver, year around. (North Carolina.)
Last winter it cut off for the first time. Wouldn’t start. Felt like it just ran out of fuel. Turned the fuel valve back and forth. Five minutes later, it started up. Added some fuel/carb cleaner.
A couple of months later, it did it again. And again. Odd times. Sometimes right after taking off. Or maybe a half hour into the ride. Sometimes it would start right back up. Sometimes it would take 15 minutes. Or an hour. Figured out it wasn’t the fuel, but spark.
Checked battery. All connections. Wiring. Sprayed contact cleaner on ignition, shutoff switch.
Opened nosecone. Found a Crane HI-4 dual fire ignition. Light was on as it should be. Blinked as it should while turning over.
Replaced coil, thinking it was scrambled inside. Problem slowly kept getting worse. Very dangerous and supremely aggravating.
Read every thread on this forum and others. Thought maybe it was the VOES switch under the tank behind carb.
But one day it wouldn’t start at all. Just for giggles, I flipped the HI-4 ignition to race mode, and it fired right up, although it did its shut-off thing a few minutes later.
I realized then the HI-4 ignition was likely the culprit. Ordered an Ultima single fire kit (it had great reviews and at $174, was less than half the price of other options.)
It was easy to install except for finding TDC by myself (good thing I have an eight foot wingspan) and it fixed the problem.
Bike is running perfectly. Daily. How sweet it is!!
Confession: I didn’t want to remove the tank just to put the new connection on the VOES switch, so I carefully and neatly spliced into the old wire under the seat.
If you have one of these high-tech tuneable ignitions, know they can develop gremlins with time and heat exposure.
 

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I have installed less than 12 hi4 by crane,,, qnd it has been a decade since I did soevery one of them failed,,, all this occurred within a 30 day window,,,, one even failed before I was finished adjusting it,,, what a pos these werr,,, even my other shop owner friends were having issues with them...

I k ow crane was not producing these,,, rather sourcing them from an outside vendor... crane replaced every one,,, but my labor was free on the replacements.. Z&S bought the rights,, so I'm sure there is a much better one,, with the S&S badge...

crane was a manufacturer of premium cams and valve train products..
 

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Nose cone ignitions will always have a higher failure rate than remote mounted systems. Heat being the enemy of electronics.

Now with that said, by buying a cheap ignition box, you got what you paid for. I know an indy who has a bucket full of nosecone spark boxes beside his dyno, and the vast majority of them are Ultima. Just not reliable above 4000 rpm according to him.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Nose cone ignitions will always have a higher failure rate than remote mounted systems. Heat being the enemy of electronics.

Now with that said, by buying a cheap ignition box, you got what you paid for. I know an indy who has a bucket full of nosecone spark boxes beside his dyno, and the vast majority of them are Ultima. Just not reliable above 4000 rpm according to him.
 

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Thought about going back to original set-up because of the heat. The Ultima has better reviews than most that I checked. I’ll be pissed if it fails quickly.
This is my town bike. Doubt I’ll be topping 4 grand much on this one, Pulls nicely at low revs, as a Harley should.
 

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Thought about going back to original set-up because of the heat. The Ultima has better reviews than most that I checked. I’ll be pissed if it fails quickly.
This is my town bike. Doubt I’ll be topping 4 grand much on this one, Pulls nicely at low revs, as a Harley should.
So I guess you never heard of a company writing their own reviews?

How do you even get in touch with Ultima, let alone post a review to their web page.
 

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I read somewhere the problem with the Ultima ignitions generally is the poor quality coils that come in the kits. I've installed 3 Ultima ignitions on my bikes and two more have the Dyna 2000 ignitions. The only ones that have ever failed were the stock Harley ignitions, ( but then I don't ride enough to wear anything out) which appeared like they just melted away and they were no where near the engine, go figure.
 
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