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Ignition Types

NO Urals approved for sale in the USA from the first ones in 1994 forward were approved for points ignition.

Type I - Models from 1994 up to about '96 or '97 had a 'Type I' - a pot metal rotor on the camshaft with 2 steel slugs and a small sensor coil mounted close to the rotor. A hand wound coil was also mounted under the front cover. The 'brains' of the box were a bit bigger than a VHS cassette and had big heat fins, mounted under the seat. The main problems with this system was a relatively weak spark, and sometimes the timing curve diodes would fail, but the diodes could be replaced with aftermarket ones and usually gave good service after that.

Type II - Somewhere about 1997 or '98 the Type II appeared. All of the electronics now fit inside a small C-shaped module that mounted under the front engine cover, across from the magnetic rotor sensor. A different coil was fitted that had a higher output. The components in the module were 'potted' (encased in epoxy) to protect them against vibration, like military boards. These modules had issues with heat buildup.

Type III - A few months after the Type II appeared, it was replaced with the Type III (approximately mid-1998). Physically it looked the same as the Type II, but the circuit board was modified to prevent heat failure. Partway into the production span of the Type III, a high output coil was mounted outside the front engine cover so it could stay cool. This system was very reliable, although the heavy mass of the rotor sometimes caused wear of the key. Also, a few cases of the steel slugs coming loose from the pot metal rotor were noted.

Type IV - In 2002 with the adoption of the 750 engines the Type IV was introduced. It featured more modern electronics. The massive pot metal rotor was replaced by a lighter stamped steel unit with notches that uses a Hall-effect sensor mounted in the module cover. The electronics were incorporated on the front rotor cover. The coil was a newer design high output unit that mounted under the front engine cover. A plastic engine cover was used for heat dissipation. A built in diagnostic LED simplified setting timing and gave indication of unit functionality. This unit also had some heat related issues, partly caused by a method of testing during assembly on one line - a surge was damaging a component on this line during testing.

Type V - In 2004 the Type V appeared, which is basically a Type IV split into 2 parts. The electronics were moved out into the airstream for cooling. The LED is now visible without any disassembly. Extensive testing in Europe revealed no problems, but there have been a few issues with units in the US under very hot conditions and this is being checked.

Vance Blosser


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