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@dougw avatar
UTC

Hooked
1974 Rally200, 2007 GTS250ie
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Posts: 253
Location: Lawrence, KS
 
Hooked
@dougw avatar
1974 Rally200, 2007 GTS250ie
Joined: UTC
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Location: Lawrence, KS
UTC quote
I've had a 74 Rally for over 20 years, and have been running an original Femsatronic CDI without problems. One day a few months ago it wouldn't start. I suspect the Femsa.

1) What are some tests I can do on the Femsa? I have a multi-meter. It does still make some spark.

2) What is the experience with the Indian aftermarket CDI? I bought a new one once, and it crapped out after 10 minutes of use. I returned it and went back to the Femsa. I don't have much faith in the Indian CDIs, but would like to hear others' experience.

No. Don't tell me to covert to a P200 electrical system. I want it to keep it 6V and as original as possible.
---------------
PICTURE ADDED - I've added a picture of my Femsatronic and engine. This CDI was a used Femsa replacement I put on when the original died in the late '80s. On a side note, this engine was built by Erik Larson at Go Fast Scooters (SoCal) around 1987. I believe he's the same guy now at Piaggio USA. 30mm delorto, ported, cut/balanced crank, Pinasco kit, high drive gear. It's been a rock solid motor and goes pretty well too (until lately).
----------------
Thanks.
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
⚠️ Last edited by dougw on UTC; edited 1 time
@the_deacon avatar
UTC

Enthusiast
'76 Rally
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Location: Chicago
 
Enthusiast
@the_deacon avatar
'76 Rally
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Posts: 94
Location: Chicago
UTC quote
what about the ducati conversion? I've heard it works really well.
I'm not super familiar with it but hit up the search, there should be some pages on it.
@rover_eric avatar
UTC

Moderator
1965 Vespa SS180, 1963 Lambretta LI150
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Location: Detroit, Michigan
 
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@rover_eric avatar
1965 Vespa SS180, 1963 Lambretta LI150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6980
Location: Detroit, Michigan
UTC quote
I would not spend the money on the femsa reproduction unit. I don't like it.

Buy a ducati CDI and do the conversion - it's the most effective, cheap, reliable system.

Otherwise try to source out a used femsa CDI and go from there.

at least if you get a known working ducati CDI and it doesn't work you know it's not your femsa and you have a spare.
OP
@dougw avatar
UTC

Hooked
1974 Rally200, 2007 GTS250ie
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Location: Lawrence, KS
 
Hooked
@dougw avatar
1974 Rally200, 2007 GTS250ie
Joined: UTC
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Location: Lawrence, KS
UTC quote
Thank you for the advice about the aftermarket CDI. I don't trust them either.

I have considered the Ducati swap, but never felt like I had all the right information. In a previous post (topic 33106), Sparks303 gave the following instructions:

"from the pics you posted, the set up still looks to be 6 volt. i see a femsatronic repro cdi, as well as a femsatronic pickup. are you sure the rally is converted to 12 volt? if its not, and you have a 12 volt ducati coil, you will need to hook up the wires in a different order. (To use a Ducati P-style CDI on a Femsa Rally, just hook up the green wire from the stator to the red terminal on the CDI, the red from the stator to one of the greens, then ground the black wire to the post as normal, but also add a jumper from there to the white terminal on the CDI (also ground the Ducati unit's redundant ground jumper), and then clip and cap the blue wire from the stator. Oh, and then send me your Femsa CDI. Basically, on the Femsa system, the Red is the power to the CDI, the black is ground, the Green is the pulse from the pickup telling the CDI when to spark, and the Blue is the line back to the condenser. On the Ducati system, the green is power, the white is ground and the red is the pulse from the pickup. The Ducati CDI has a condenser/capacitor built in, which is why the blue wire is not needed in the conversion.)
i did this and i haven't had a spark problem since. i own a 75 Rally that has been rife with electrical problems so i feel your pain and frustration.
additionally, if the cam is rubbing against the pickup, it can cause burned out coils. new pickups for a rally seem to be too big and require some filing to fit. good luck, hope you're on the road soon."

Do you know if this is accurate? Do I need anything besides the CDI to make the conversion? My electrical system is completely stock, with working turn signals, battery-run head light, etc. I do not want to change any of that.

Thank you.
@rover_eric avatar
UTC

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1965 Vespa SS180, 1963 Lambretta LI150
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@rover_eric avatar
1965 Vespa SS180, 1963 Lambretta LI150
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UTC quote
yes, everything in that statement is correct, and no ...you don't need anything except for a ducati CDI, spark plug wire, NGK cap, and the bracket that holds a ducati CDI to the engine case ( it's a little L-bracket you could probably make yourself with the right equipment, but you want to mount the CDI to the engine and not the frame ...trust me ).

It's a lot easier than it sounds.
@gatekeep avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
1974 Rally USA 200 1980 P200e
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Location: Pioneer Valley Ma.
 
Molto Verboso
@gatekeep avatar
1974 Rally USA 200 1980 P200e
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Location: Pioneer Valley Ma.
UTC quote
dougw
How do you know its your Femsa? I also need a education on when to replace.
@rover_eric avatar
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1965 Vespa SS180, 1963 Lambretta LI150
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@rover_eric avatar
1965 Vespa SS180, 1963 Lambretta LI150
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Location: Detroit, Michigan
UTC quote
Unfortunately ... it's hard to know it's your CDI unless you have a known working CDI to swap it with.

For me, the CDI would just die, and i wouldn't have spark - and the bike was running fine. I'd run through the normal tests for spark anyways... but i'm incredibly suspect of CDI's anymore. They go more and more frequently it seems.
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@dougw avatar
UTC

Hooked
1974 Rally200, 2007 GTS250ie
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Hooked
@dougw avatar
1974 Rally200, 2007 GTS250ie
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Location: Lawrence, KS
UTC quote
Re: dougw
gatekeep wrote:
How do you know its your Femsa? I also need a education on when to replace.
I don't _know_ it's the Femsa. It just seems like the most likely candidate. The next most likely candidate for the problem might be the fly wheel pickup.

I actually _am_ still getting a little spark, but the engine sure won't run. I've been through the fuel system and it's all fine. Compression and all the normal stuff check out. This bike has run flawlessly for the 20+ years I've had it. I've done plenty of wrenching on it. This is the first problem I've had that I haven't been able to easily repair.
@sparks303 avatar
UTC

Enthusiast
1975 Rally 200 (Femsatronic)
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Posts: 97
Location: Denver
 
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@sparks303 avatar
1975 Rally 200 (Femsatronic)
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UTC quote
an extra cdi is a good thing to have either way. if you can, pick up a Ducati and try it out, if it doesn't fix the problem, at least you have a extra coil for when the Femsa finally does go. I went through 2 Femsa repros last summer and finally tried switching for Ducati. I've been using the same Ducati ever since, and I have an extra one in my glove box.
When my Femsa(s) started going out my Rally would begin to backfire and lose power. it would still run for awhile, but would fire erratically and give extremely poor throttle response, sometimes no throttle response. Then eventually it would just stop working. After it cooled off overnight it would sometimes start up after some effort, but would not ride under load. Finally the first one died. The second would still give a spark, but was too weak to start my scooter up.
I honestly feel like my Rally has run the best it ever has since i switched to the Ducati.

http://clientes.pluricanal.net/pla00523/conversaoi.htm
http://www.scooterrescue.com/Femsa2Ducati.html
@oscillator avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
1974 Rally 200
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Location: Heading north on Forever Street
 
Molto Verboso
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1974 Rally 200
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UTC quote
My 74 Rally 200 Femsa is starting to give up the ghost. No spark, then spark, then not.

I've heard the Ducati's might need some tweakage (filter?) to work on some 6v systems. Anyone care to expound???

Awhile back there was a MV link to a good source that might answer that question, but it is now broken.

tia,

\\osc
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@dougw avatar
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Hooked
1974 Rally200, 2007 GTS250ie
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@dougw avatar
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UTC quote
Rover Eric wrote:
yes, everything in that statement is correct, and no ...you don't need anything except for a ducati CDI, spark plug wire, NGK cap, and the bracket that holds a ducati CDI to the engine case ( it's a little L-bracket you could probably make yourself with the right equipment, but you want to mount the CDI to the engine and not the frame ...trust me ).
Thanks again, Rover Eric. Sure, I trust you, but it sort of begs the question. What's the issue with mounting the CDI to the frame? I assume the original Ducati (blue colored) CDI for VSX/VLX is the best replacement?
@tracysf avatar
UTC

Hooked
74 Rally 200
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Location: San Francisco
 
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@tracysf avatar
74 Rally 200
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UTC quote
Quote:
My 74 Rally 200 Femsa is starting to give up the ghost. No spark, then spark, then not.
This is what happened to mine, I replaced it with the apparently crappy "after market" one, and it has been working fine for several months, (however, now that I said that it will probably die soon.)
@mayhemsbehindthewheel avatar
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UTC quote
DUCATI all the way..don't buy anything else. Spend the little extra $ and you will not have anymore problems with your CDI.
@rover_eric avatar
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1965 Vespa SS180, 1963 Lambretta LI150
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@rover_eric avatar
1965 Vespa SS180, 1963 Lambretta LI150
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UTC quote
dougw wrote:
Thanks again, Rover Eric. Sure, I trust you, but it sort of begs the question. What's the issue with mounting the CDI to the frame? I assume the original Ducati (blue colored) CDI for VSX/VLX is the best replacement?
It's not the most ideal place. Realize that the frame is fixed relative to the engine which is bouncing around. There has to be a lot of slack in the wires...both the stator to CDI and the spark plug wire to accommodate the travel of the engine / suspension. Hitting a big enough bump can ( and has in my case ) pulled the spark plug cap off the spark plug in the middle of the ride. It's a problem you completely avoid in attaching the CDI to the engine ( likely the reason they went to it after the Femsa rally years ) via the bracket. Why add unneeded points of failure by sticking to a poor design?

(unless you're building a stock restoration / show bike )
@mayhemsbehindthewheel avatar
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Hooked
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UTC quote
Rover Eric wrote:
dougw wrote:
Thanks again, Rover Eric. Sure, I trust you, but it sort of begs the question. What's the issue with mounting the CDI to the frame? I assume the original Ducati (blue colored) CDI for VSX/VLX is the best replacement?
It's not the most ideal place. Realize that the frame is fixed relative to the engine which is bouncing around. There has to be a lot of slack in the wires...both the stator to CDI and the spark plug wire to accommodate the travel of the engine / suspension. Hitting a big enough bump can ( and has in my case ) pulled the spark plug cap off the spark plug in the middle of the ride. It's a problem you completely avoid in attaching the CDI to the engine ( likely the reason they went to it after the Femsa rally years ) via the bracket. Why add unneeded points of failure by sticking to a poor design?

(unless you're building a stock restoration / show bike )
Where exactly on the engine would you mount it to? Just curious.
@rover_eric avatar
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1965 Vespa SS180, 1963 Lambretta LI150
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@rover_eric avatar
1965 Vespa SS180, 1963 Lambretta LI150
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UTC quote
MAYHEMSBEHINDTHEWHEEL wrote:
Where exactly on the engine would you mount it to? Just curious.
Well, the VSE1M ( rally 200 ) engine case is nearly identical to the VSE1M ( P200 ) engine case.... so similar they share the same VIN prefix. If you're looking straight at the engine fly-side, immediately to the left of the flywheel in the cases ( behind the flywheel shroud ) are 2 holes. They are on practically every largeframe engine. On the GS / SS / VBB / P125....basically every model that didn't have an internal HT coil you mount an external HT coil there. On the P200 it utilized those same holes to affix an L-bracket that allowed you to put the CDI on the back of the engine.

Really, the Rally 200 was the only scooter i can think of offhand that allowed the CDI to be affixed to the frame. LML / Bajaj engines use a CDI on their system that is separate from the HT Coil ( which i personally think is stupid ) ... and as such the HT coil mounts on the back of the engine, and the CDI portion mounts in the glovebox. This is why you see this somewhat frequently now on VBB/s and crap that have been converted to newer LML engines ( or bikes from asia, etc ).

I personally think the P200 had the best setup in this regard. ( pictured below ). CDI and HT coil are a single unit, mounted on the L-bracket to the rear of the engine.



External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text



*edit* i thought of 1 downside to this : if someone wanted to steal your scooter and knew enough about it, all they have to do is reach underneath your cowl, pull out the closest green wire to them, and your entire kill circuitry is disabled and someone could ride away the bike. Then again, if someone wanted to steal your bike, they're going to whether they understand CDI kill circuits or not
UTC

nothing at all
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Location: westla
 
nothing at all
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UTC quote
agreed

if they know to pull the green then the're just not some drunk looking for a joy ride.

they want 'that' bike.
@brandonpx avatar
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Addicted
74 Rally 200. 79 P-whatever
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Location: Austin, TX
 
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@brandonpx avatar
74 Rally 200. 79 P-whatever
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UTC quote
i have an extra OG femsa CDI and stator, along with an entire harness and everything else from a femsa rally if youre interested, i just converted one to 12v ducati.
@mayhemsbehindthewheel avatar
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Hooked
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UTC quote
Rover Eric wrote:
MAYHEMSBEHINDTHEWHEEL wrote:
Where exactly on the engine would you mount it to? Just curious.
Well, the VSE1M ( rally 200 ) engine case is nearly identical to the VSE1M ( P200 ) engine case.... so similar they share the same VIN prefix. If you're looking straight at the engine fly-side, immediately to the left of the flywheel in the cases ( behind the flywheel shroud ) are 2 holes. They are on practically every largeframe engine. On the GS / SS / VBB / P125....basically every model that didn't have an internal HT coil you mount an external HT coil there. On the P200 it utilized those same holes to affix an L-bracket that allowed you to put the CDI on the back of the engine.

Really, the Rally 200 was the only scooter i can think of offhand that allowed the CDI to be affixed to the frame. LML / Bajaj engines use a CDI on their system that is separate from the HT Coil ( which i personally think is stupid ) ... and as such the HT coil mounts on the back of the engine, and the CDI portion mounts in the glovebox. This is why you see this somewhat frequently now on VBB/s and crap that have been converted to newer LML engines ( or bikes from asia, etc ).

I personally think the P200 had the best setup in this regard. ( pictured below ). CDI and HT coil are a single unit, mounted on the L-bracket to the rear of the engine.



External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text



*edit* i thought of 1 downside to this : if someone wanted to steal your scooter and knew enough about it, all they have to do is reach underneath your cowl, pull out the closest green wire to them, and your entire kill circuitry is disabled and someone could ride away the bike. Then again, if someone wanted to steal your bike, they're going to whether they understand CDI kill circuits or not
Got it. I'm going to do the electronic ignition upgrade to my 150cc but I don't want to use some random shitty coil..rather go with the blue Ducati...but it looks like I will need to mount it to the frame.
⬆️    About 3 years elapsed    ⬇️
UTC

Member
200 ts
Joined: UTC
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Location: derby england
 
Member
200 ts
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Location: derby england
UTC quote
femsa
youve been lucky then with the femsa,20 or so years,,,mine is ducati,,,its the best,,whats point in keepin original,, Clown emoticon
@gatekeep avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
1974 Rally USA 200 1980 P200e
Joined: UTC
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Location: Pioneer Valley Ma.
 
Molto Verboso
@gatekeep avatar
1974 Rally USA 200 1980 P200e
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1806
Location: Pioneer Valley Ma.
UTC quote
Re: femsa
terenzo wrote:
youve been lucky then with the femsa,20 or so years,,,mine is ducati,,,its the best,,whats point in keepin original,, Clown emoticon
They are around if you look. Mine works fine.
UTC

Member
PX, Rally 200, GS150
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Location: Denmark
 
Member
PX, Rally 200, GS150
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Location: Denmark
UTC quote
Ducati conversion
The Rally 200 pick-up coil could also be your problem but it is easier first to replace the CDI. You may do it like this:

http://www.vespa-klub.dk/Rally_CDI.HTM
UTC

Molto Verboso
Joined: UTC
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Location: NC, USA
 
Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
I am totally femsa ignorant. Can a femsa Rally be converted to points? Will the points cam operater such as on a Rally 180 fit on a femsa Rally's crank or how else would it mechanically operate the points? What about stator/flywheel compatibility? Or possibly modifying the femsa stator? I actually prefer points. It could possibly influence a purchase decision. It's not too difficult to convert a P200E, but at least Ducati CDIs are plentiful.
@joshzingzing avatar
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
px200 cutdown,px180,px150. Puch SR. Puch scooterette
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
@joshzingzing avatar
px200 cutdown,px180,px150. Puch SR. Puch scooterette
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UTC quote
blackbart wrote:
I am totally femsa ignorant. Can a femsa Rally be converted to points? Will the points cam operater such as on a Rally 180 fit on a femsa Rally's crank or how else would it mechanically operate the points? What about stator/flywheel compatibility? Or possibly modifying the femsa stator? I actually prefer points. It could possibly influence a purchase decision. It's not too difficult to convert a P200E, but at least Ducati CDIs are plentiful.
femsa=different crank and all as far as i know
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250 Super
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250 Super
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UTC quote
Re: Ducati conversion
jhaugsted wrote:
The Rally 200 pick-up coil could also be your problem but it is easier first to replace the CDI. You may do it like this:

http://www.vespa-klub.dk/Rally_CDI.HTM
I've done that conversion. It makes for a relatively easy conversion even for those w/o decent soldering skills (ask how I know that) with easy to find parts that works well. I am still using the Femsatronic, just found another one, and now have the Ducati as a backup backup.
@boney avatar
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Hooked
74 Rally 200
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Location: Sonoma
 
Hooked
@boney avatar
74 Rally 200
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Location: Sonoma
UTC quote
Make sure it's not your harness...

Mine had finally begun to fail and would cut out when the suspension compressed. The wires from the stator to the Femsatronic were cracked and shorting on each other.

I soldered in a new set and it's as good as new.
⬆️    About 12 years elapsed    ⬇️
OP
@dougw avatar
UTC

Hooked
1974 Rally200, 2007 GTS250ie
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Posts: 253
Location: Lawrence, KS
 
Hooked
@dougw avatar
1974 Rally200, 2007 GTS250ie
Joined: UTC
Posts: 253
Location: Lawrence, KS
UTC quote
Well, she's still sitting in the garage with a bad Femsatronic lo these 15 years later. I bought a Ducati ignition, but never did the wiring to hook it up. I just saw this doo-dad come across my Facebook page. If it works, it should solve my problem and look cleaner than a homemade version. Does anyone have any real-world experience and feedback?

https://beedspeed.com/en-us/collections/vespa-coils-and-ignition/products/electronic-ignition-ht-coil-cdi-converter-rally-to-ducati
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
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