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How To: Upgrading the Thunder-Heart Ignition Module

Discussion in 'How-To' started by bdmridgeback, Oct 4, 2008.

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  1. bdmridgeback

    bdmridgeback Low Down Chop Shop

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    As you know, I eliminated the EHC out of my bike, but this is a upgrade you can do to make your bike run better than stock if you have done a cam, carb, and exhaust and want to do a programmable ignition in place of the stock one without changing out the cam cover for $400+. It will unleash all that "upgrade" power that the stock ignition is holding back.

    This upgrade will allow you to keep the crank sensor, and more less, just plug this module in and be able hook up a laptop and program a new timing curve the way YOU want it. My bike DOES run better after doing this and well worth the money. The correct part number is ASM-5012. It is listed as being for a Twin Cam Harley but don't let that confuse you. It is for a Crank Sensor Ignition engine basically, not just for a twin cam. You can get this through ANY Drag Specialties dealer local to you or off of Thunder-Hearts website.

    Thunder-Heart ASM5012 Stand alone programmable Ignition

    ...And if your local dealer doesn't carry them, go direct:

    Thunder-Heart Direct Buy Site


    This is the same unit BDM puts in the bike, only that the factory one has a preset curve that is really conservative to meet DOT requirements. When upgrades like cam, carb, intake and exhaust is done, the stock ignition can't "release" that new found power and a matching ignition needs installed as well.

    All that needs done for this install is cut the three plugs with about 2" of the wire off your factory module and solder and shrink wrap the connections onto the new module, wire color for wire color. That is all. 3 plugs, 3 wires in each of two plugs, and 2 wires in the crank sensor plug. It will mount in the stock location and everything. Tach output hooks up and works great with the factory tach (you may need to reset the pulse output noted below). You can see that there is a dial on the lower portion of the face that will set some pre-programmed timing curves and two different redline/rev limit settings as well.


    Here is what comes in the kit. New coil, wires, module, software, computer cable, and instructions:


    [​IMG]



    Here is a close up of the module. It has a basic program switch to select from factory programmed timing and redline settings:


    [​IMG]



    Here is after I had it mounted in the factory location:


    [​IMG]


    ...and installed but still wiring the Wire-Plus EHC elimination Module:


    [​IMG]



    This will save you $$$. On the 2005+ bikes, you would have to buy a new cam cover, crank sensor block off plate, stand alone ignition, cam cup and having to redo lifter adjustment after tearing the cam all out of it. None of this needed with this ignition kit!!! This kit runs about $360 compared to spending $600 for all the other parts, and that is doing it yourself without shop labor rates figured.

    If you get done installing, and the Tach runs at half the normal RPM, do this:

    Plug in your laptop and go into the "Read Module Settings" and go to "Tachometer Cal" setting and change it to "1" if it is set at "0", or change it to "0" if set on "1". One setting cuts the pulses in half and the other setting doubles the pulses to correct the reading. Do a "Save settings" and that should do it.

    ...And if you don't think this upgrade will make an improvement in performance.... Here is a testimonial to read from other BDM owners:

    http://www.bigdogbiker.com/forums/performance/8943-best-damn-upgrade.html


    Here are the close settings for the Ignition if you set it out of the box by the dial on the front of the module. Stock compression will require 30-32 degrees of total advance. I set mine at 4, I had tried it at 5, but went back to 4. You will need to possibly go down to 3 if you are at a higher elevation.

    Setting 2 is 28 degrees
    Setting 3 is 30 degrees
    Setting 4 is 32 degrees
    Setting 5 is 34 degrees
    Setting 6 is 36 degrees

    ALL these are at 5984 RPM Rev Limit
    A,B,C,D,E will be the same advance but with a 6240 Rev limit with A being 28 degrees

    I was told by the local BDM dealer that with stock compression to be no more that about 30 degrees. I ran mine at 30 and 32 and I am staying at 32 for now until the gas goes to shit down here! (It is halfway there)

    Here is a cool little tool I made out of an allen wrench so that I didn't have to remove my Ridgeback side cover to adjust the timing (short of plugging the laptop into it). I used a 1/8" allen wrench and cut the short end even shorter to about 1/4" or a bit more. I then cut each side with a Dremel to look like a screwdriver flat tip. Works great. I can remove my seat, look down in at the module, slide the wrench in from the bottom and click it up or down without taking the side cover off.

    [​IMG]


     
    #1 bdmridgeback, Oct 4, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  2. narow37

    narow37 Angry Southern White Man

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    nice job, nice info.
     
  3. kirk927

    kirk927 Member

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    I have a question. Would this change be of any benefit if I have just the exhaust and air cleaner upgraded? I have the 600 cam from the factory.
     
  4. bdmridgeback

    bdmridgeback Low Down Chop Shop

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    How did you get the .600 cam from the factory on a 2007 bike? Didn't know they started putting them in.

    If your bike has the .600 can and bdm didn't change the ignition, yes it would benefit you.
     
  5. scubaman15

    scubaman15 Well-Known Member

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    Is this a upgrade the would void the warranty Jake? I love this upgrade:2thumbs: GREAT JOB!!!
     
  6. barhopper

    barhopper Another round please

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    No doubt you would void it. I put on a belt drive and that voided it. Got the letter in the mail soon after I had some warranty work done on it. The shop that did the work ratted me out.
     
    #6 barhopper, Oct 6, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2008
  7. bdmridgeback

    bdmridgeback Low Down Chop Shop

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    By Law, they can't void your warranty at all until you have a problem and they can prove that your upgrade (or down grade) caused the problem. Then they do not have to warranty it and they will charge you for all costs to check the problem out. Here:

    Sema.Org

    This federal law regulates warranties for the protection of consumers. The essence of the law concerning aftermarket auto parts is that a vehicle manufacturer may not condition a written or implied warranty on the consumers using parts or services which are identified by brand, trade, or corporate name (such as the vehicle maker's brand) unless the parts or service are provided free of charge. The law means that the use of an aftermarket part alone is not cause for denying the warranty. However, the law's protection does not extend to aftermarket parts in situations where such parts actually caused the damage being claimed under the warranty. Further, consumers are advised to be aware of any specific terms or conditions stated in the warranty which may result in its being voided.
     
  8. Korben Dallas

    Korben Dallas Member

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    Hey Jake!

    I got my ThunderHeart, and was wondering if I should replace the Crane Cams Hi-Performance coil that is on my bike now with the one that came with the kit, which appears to be a generic coil. It also is not a perfect fit, I think I cracked my coil cover with the last turn of the wrench...

    :confused:
     
  9. bdmridgeback

    bdmridgeback Low Down Chop Shop

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    I am still using the stocker with my Thunder-Heart until it fails. I'll keep the new one as a backup.
     
  10. BorgerBigDog

    BorgerBigDog BORN TEXAN

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    Jake do you think when i get my .640 cam/gear .640 springs/xxx carb/bandit clutch/ shave the jugs the thunder-heart ignition will be all i need? I am buying parts now to do this in the future...:confused:
     
  11. Korben Dallas

    Korben Dallas Member

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    Hmmm...

    The ThunderHeart ignition upgrade has not turned out very well. After installing the module, (cutting, splicing, soldering, etc.) the bike would crank and run fine. At an idle, anyway. If any gas was applied, it would cough and sputter, and not accelerate at all. I double checked all the connections, and found nothing wrong. I then decided to look at the map with the provided software on my laptop but found that the module comes with a communications cable with a RS 232 connector, and they quit providing a RS232 connector on laptops about five or so years ago. I dug around and found a RS232 to USB adapter, so I thought I was good to go. Unfortunately, my laptop is running Vista, so it did not recognize the cable and the software said it would not connect to the module. I googled for a driver, but apparently there are none, so I am unable to access the module to read the map or change any settings. I called ThunderHeart tech support numerous times, but they never answer that extension, it always says leave a message. The trouble-shooting section of the instructions say that if the bike cranks and runs, the crank sensor wires are backwards, so I removed my shrink wrap, unsoldered the wires, and reconnected them. That made the problem even worse. At this point it looks like I will have to ditch the module, which set me back about $300.00. Also, once you hack into the wiring harness, you will find yourself having to add wire to make the connections reach. So far, my experience with this upgrade has been dismal at best.

    :bang: :bang: :bang:
     
  12. bdmridgeback

    bdmridgeback Low Down Chop Shop

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    I would say that you have something connected wrong. What preset curve do you have it set on?

    As for the Vista, I went to radio shack and bought a RS232 to USB adaptor made by Gigaware #26-949 and it is completely Vista compatable (says on the package) and worked great on my Vista laptop!!

    Radio Shack USB-A to Serial cable for Vista
     
  13. Korben Dallas

    Korben Dallas Member

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    Well, now I'm not sure if I want to spend $35 on the cable. The bike will not even crank now. I don't understand how it can be connected incorrectly, it's installed wire for wire, soldered, and shrink-wrapped. I double checked the connectors, no bent pins or anything...

    I tried the following curves:

    0,1,2,3,4

    Still won't crank...
     
  14. bdmridgeback

    bdmridgeback Low Down Chop Shop

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    Sounds like you have either a bad battery or a bad battery connection. a bad or wrong connection on the gnition module will not cause it to not crank. That is a separate issue.
     
  15. Korben Dallas

    Korben Dallas Member

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    It spins over really good, I keep it on life support, and that shows a green light after charging for a bit.

    Also when it ran, it would foul the plugs really quick.
     
  16. MARV

    MARV Well-Known Member

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    i am running the dyna 2000I with basically your same set up. problem is you'd need a new cam cover ($300+) as the 05 and up BD's dont have access to the cam from the ignition cover on the cam cover.

    the good thing about the dyna ignition is mine has been in since 05 and i havent had any EHC problems at all. bike hasnt been in the shop since i brought it in twice for recall work. :up:
     
  17. Korben Dallas

    Korben Dallas Member

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    OK, now for the latest, if ya'll will bear with me....

    I got 'er running, it seems that there was an issue with restricted air flow through the carb! :bang::bang: :bang:

    Now, I have a hesitation when the throttle is applied, like a dead spot, and fire (about a foot long) shoots from the exhaust.

    It looks awesome, but I'm pretty sure it's not a good thing..

    So, I have tried curves 2,3, and 4, what is this a sign of?
     
  18. MARV

    MARV Well-Known Member

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    since you havent done anything to the carb or valves then i'd check the timing with a digital light to confirm 30-32 degrees. IMO
     
  19. Korben Dallas

    Korben Dallas Member

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    Um, actually I have a XXX carb on it, switched from a "E" to a "G"
     
  20. MARV

    MARV Well-Known Member

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    then i'd say with a stumble off idle your lean. at idle spray the manifold with wd40 using the straw tube. if idle changes you have a leak.

    did you change the pipes also? cause if they are sucking air it'll blow flames.
     
    Intensetattoo likes this.
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