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1984 venture Royale " TCI " --- in 2024?


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Happy riding days ahead to all.  and hello from the northwest of Canada. I am looking for some help or a steering in the right direction. I have been lurking and searching the web. Often google sends me to this site for the info. Which is a fantastic library of subjects and threads.  Great stuff everyone!    For this though I thought it may be quicker to engage the experts directly and perhaps revive a modern discussion on this.  I will get to the details promptly.  But since many like to know history and potential gremlins embedded here is a background.

I recently took on a sideline bike project. I certainly do not need more things to do nor distractions took it to try to help a fellow out. By the VIN search it comes up as a 1984 Venture Royale. The bike had been parked and essentially abandoned. Based on the condition of the bike, and my experience, it looks to me like this bike was left out expose to the elements for at minimum 15 years. The last time this was on the road, per registrations, is 2007. It was pushed to the spot and abandoned. The history as per the last guy tells it has been given or traded for stuff but hasn't moved from its parked spot. No one in the line of ownership had the tools or skills to get anywhere with figuring it out. He was pretty bummed that it was essentially worthless. I am pretty diverse and have been through a number of projects like this one, so took it on at a low price and gave the option for him to buy it back at cost once it is running.  

I have spent the past 3 weeks off/on evenings going over the bike. The bike has less than 42,000Km - 26,000 miles on the odometer. Mechanically: I believe this number to be true. Cosmetically; from being left out it looks like pos trash. This bike is one of those "the more you look the worse it gets" kind of a basket case. I am not interested at all in how it looks, am focused strictly on getting it to a safe and reliable running state.

The problem stonewalling this bike right now is NO SPARK. Using information from this wonderful site I have downloaded the electrical diagrams and the shop manual. I've used those in step by step troubleshooting through the electrical system this way, that way, the other way, his way, my way, and their way. If you like I can list off everything checked in a followup post if this gets any responses. I have pictures to boot!

At this point I believe I am down to the last piece, the black box " TCI " ignitor as the failed component. I have searched and scanned the site a bit to try to get a sense of direction of what to do about this part. In that journey it appears there are different models or versions of the TCI.  I really need help to land on exactly which black box I need and what current 2024 options are.  OR if this component is potentially repairable by me.

Looking forward to your guidance.  Thanks!

FaceDeAce

 

Edited by FaceDeAce
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This opens a big can of worms. Unfortunately the value of the 1st gens is to the point you can buy one running cheaper than doing a restoration. The 83’s and early 84’s had an issue of losing 2nd gear, I’d definitely make sure the vin is a post correction bike before sinking cash in it. Hopefully @skydoc_17 @Marcarland some other 1st gen guys see this and chime in on recommendations. 
That being said there’s no bike on the road more fun to ride than a 1st gen that’s road ready. 

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Thanks for the response!  Ya, I can see potential to sink a lot into it if wanted to make pretty and fix everything.  If am focused strictly on the the running components, it is a viable project ... thus far.  Unfortunately I will not discover some of those other problems (eg 2nd gear) until the engine is running and can take short test ride.   But if what I have can be pre-emptive known based on VIN, where would I find such an index?  The VIN starts on this one as JYA41W006EA.....

 

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This bike has a bunch of add-on chrome bling as well.  Includes the air ride unit (works), am/fm radio (works), cassette player (not tried), cruise control system (not tired but powers up fine).

Been through the mechanical systems and fluids. Turns over on a set of booster cables, very high compression - or a weak starter motor.  

No spark. Based on using spark tester tool I have, as well as checking a removed spark plug when turning over, and fact there is no pop whatsoever. Spark system is totally flat.

Electrically I have checked / done:

- interlocks (black/white wire);  tip switch works, clutch switch works, neutral switch works, kickstand switch is faulty- have bypassed for now.

- relays; tested off bike, all working properly

- replaced the fuse box with spade block

- cut, disconnected, removed rats nest of excess accessory wiring from previous owner(s) to eliminate excess loads. Back to basic stock wiring

- primary and secondary coils ohm out nicely.   3 / 12.5

- pickups ohm out nicely 112-114

- spark plug caps were a mess of corrosion, clipped and cleaned wire ends, including screw in resistors in the caps.  Ohm at 7.5-10K

- every connector reachable on the bike has been opened, cleaned, reseated

- ignition key switch disassembled, cleaned, tested

- all handle bar switches disassembled, cleaned, tested. 

- tested (ohm) backwards from the plugs at the TCI to ground and power leads. All check out.

I am little confused on the function or description of the fuel pump - emergency stop relay supposedly works and if or how that could stop a spark.  I can say the fuel pump works to pressure up the carbs.

The above works all lead down to why I think it is the TCI.  I have not figured yet how to get it out of the bike. It is buried pretty deep behind frame and fairing components.

 

Edited by FaceDeAce
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Off hand, I have an 86 sitting here and have an issue with dealing with the cost to get it road ready.

That being said, here's some thoughts.

On the 84s, all of them, the frame has a rotting issue, about the middle of the bike. If you want something that is ride-able then check the frame out first. Some have been repaired, others hit the grave yard. This issue was remedied not until mid 85. 

On the TCI, any 84 should work, if it works at all. You'll need to dig deep to get at it, but it is not impossible. Not sure is Ignitec (spell) still has replacements, @Skydoc might know better. Take out battery, battery floor and proceed from there. You might get lucky just cleaning the connector, but I doubt it. It's a bit of work. When you get it out it can be opened and that might give you a chance to clean and repair.  It has been done before.

Starter is normally weak, but if the engine starts promptly then does decent service. Most have gone with a 4 brush 2nd gen unit.

There is a relay that governs the fuel pump, so it will shut off, either due to pressure or time.

Best of luck to yah, post more if needed.

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Was just out tinkering some with it.  The TCI is too deep to take stuff apart to get to the screws and remove it "properly". The screws look rust-welded in anyways.  So I got a very sharp chisel out and knocked the tabs off. Here is what I found. IMHO - definitely need a TCI.

Thanks for the frame integrity note!  I will definitely be checking that.

I am trying to figure out how to attach pictures.  But I did just take a video and popped it to youtube .. a few moments ago.   Have a look.

 

 

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OK thanks for the link to second gear.  This bike is number 700. So it likely has that problem too, LoL.

I have been surfing through the tech library. Either finding directly what information I need, or finding enough tidbits to figure things out.  

Is there a known yammy VR boneyard / salvage yard out there?  Or some obsessive collector?  Either which may have the part I need (TCI) laying around on the back shelf. ...

Else I guess I am off to ebay and rolling the dice.

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Some of the issue with the TCI unit was faulty diodes. Do a search on TCI diode replacement and you should come up with some discussion with photos on how to fix them.  Looking at works, it does appear that moisture was being held in the box and cause some corrosion to the connections.  Might check Ebay and see if you can find a replacement that is reasonably priced. Some of us upgraded our TCI boxes to Ignitech.  URL line..  https://www.ignitech.cz/en/vyrobky/tcip/tcip.htm     This might be an option for you.

I hope this helps you out..

Rick F.

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Thanks for all the tips this far.  As per the video and pictures I posted to the links, this box is too far gone beyond my abilities to repair.  So definitely looking for a replacement.

Which is the recommended option?   …. A used old but working box off of eBay or a a new modern box from Ignitech?  By the time either gets to me, the Ignitech is about 30% higher cost.   And either one is near the cost that I acquired the entire bike for, meaning near doubling the cash sink I have into it thus far  

Decision point.  Resell the bike.  Part out the bike. Or get a TCI and ride the bike - and which TCI. 

Edited by FaceDeAce
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The minimalist I want to do is to get it to run and purr. The project will go from there. I got the bike cheap enough that there is a bit of spend room before it becomes a sinkhole of deminishing returns.  So ... I've decided to give the Ignitech a go. I've been doing some web surfing about the unit and it looks like a good flexible solution.  Options on the table at the moment are new direct or used on classifieds.  If I went with a used one to keep costs down, would anyone here that did that one have the setup file to share so I can ensure the right one is loaded into the Ignitech TCI?

 

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