Dyna S on CB 450 I'm stuck


Been Around the Block
Anyone put a Dyna Ignition on a CB450? I am trying to figure out how to do this, but am finding zero videos or walkthroughs on it. The main problem (for now) is that the plate won't even fit in the spot that it needs to. It hits the bolt on the right. I could notch the plate, but I have no idea what the orientation that it needs to be at is. I was told this was the right ignition for this bike, but maybe it's not?


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That could work. I think I'll flatten the washer on that side and put it back in there. Now, I have no idea what the orientation of the unit is supposed to be. I've seen other ignitions that have windows to see the engine orientation and that allow some degree of fine-tuning to get everything to line up. Is there anyone out there with one of these installed? Maybe this should be posted in a more general forum?


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Set the motor to the TDC timing marks on the crank and then see where the ignition has to fit. They fire on the leading edge of the magnet. That will get you close enough to set the real firing point.

You will probably have to notch the backing plate to clear the rocker adjusting nut.
It should orient the sensors to where the cam would open the points. I know the dyna instruction sheefs leave a lot to be deisred. I got lucky as the GL has a good section on another forum with full instructions and pics. Hopefully someone with a 450 can chime in exactly what you need.
UPDATE! I got an email response from Rodrick Smith and he shared a pdf of his install guidance for the Dyna ignition. It has been very useful. I am still trying to figure out how to time this thing now that I have it set up, but I think once I do, I'll make a video to share the process. It looks like the pdf is too large to attach here
Here's a dumb question: Both of the coils on my bike have blue wires (neither one has a yellow) Will the coils behave the way they need to if I'm using two of the same (in this case right side) coils?
Ah! I figured it out! I thought I was crazy because it seemed like the coils were firing the wrong side, but then I realized that I had them wired incorrectly (this bike is an assembly of pieces and a lot of it is stuff that I didn't do), switched them and now it is set up perfectly. I am going to shoot a video and will post a link here when complete.
So, one more question: I tried starting the bike today after double checking wiring, adjusting the cam chain and valve clearances and it is turning over, but there is no fire happening. I timed the ignition by rotating the motor to the F position and making sure the ignition is connecting at that moment without advancing the pickup at all. Is this right? I've been watching a lot of electronic ignition set up videos on YouTube, but none are this bike and so they are all a little different. Should I be advancing the pickup? Should I be shooting for TDC?
I'm going to revive this thread. @jays100 was looking for more info and it reminded me that I meant to post an update about this but forgot
OK, so the info I got was from a dude named Rodrick Smith. He said that he got the info from another forum member (not sure which forum) username Augustiron, just so we can give more due credit to the smart people that first figured this out. What I'm going to share is a mashup of his instruction and my experience making this ignition work on my CB450.
Before proceeding with this install, PLEASE think this through, this is
not for the timid and I can only offer my guidance as someone who did this a few years ago. I will not be held responsible for any errors or omissions herein! You should understand motorcycle ignition systems as you may have to troubleshoot problems that arise and you have to be able to do some modifying to expensive parts

ok that said, let's begin...

1. Firstly let's look at what to buy from Dyna - “Honda GL 1000” Dyna “S” ignition Part No DS1-3. What’s in the box, as per photo, and the instruction are worth a read although this kit is not for the DOHC 450 it gives a good understanding of the wiring for the unit.

2. Remove the gas tank and disconnect the battery

3. Remove the point cover (15) and points plate (7) in it's entirety, save the 2 large screws and washers (27,35). Disconnect the ignition wires (one yellow and one blue) at the condenser and remove the harness through the housing (14) this may require a little patience.


Now remove the condenser, as it is not required with electronic ignition.
Next remove the 10mm head bolt (12) holding the mechanical advancer (11)on the end of the camshaft, slide the mechanical advancer off the cam. If it sticks, spray it with lube and you may CAREFULLY pry it off.


Take care not to bend the unit or crack the aluminum housing of the point covers. You should now have an empty housing that looks like the above photo.
4. At this point check you mechanical advance unit for stiff or worn “bob weights” and spring tension, if the springs are too loose or too tight address this now by modifying the springs. If at all in doubt strip, clean and lightly lubricate the unit (dry lube is best e.g graphite powder) or replace it with a new one!


Also check that the seal at the back of the housing is intact and not leaking (25)

5. With the advance unit in hand:
The point’s cam on the mechanical advance unit is used to open the points as we are replacing the points with a hall sensor the points and cam are not needed. Replaced the points cam with the magnetic rotor supplied with the kit.


Rotate the cam a few degrees while holding the backer plate and it should slide off from the weights, look at how the twisting motion lets the cam off. Make sure the spindle of the advancer is clean and free of gack, clean the shaft and use a little light oil here is ok, but remove any excess. Now install the magnetic rotor by spreading the weights enough to get the rotor slots to line up. Now check that the rotor moves freely on the shaft, Install the advance unit on the camshaft. Use a small washer that fits inside the rotor underneath the existing flat washer to make up for the rotor being deeper than the point cam. Try tightening the advance unit and when tight, try to rotate the rotor as it would at full advance, it should move freely and the bolt should be tight holding the shaft of the advance unit tightly on the camshaft if not then you will have to add another washer. The magnetic rotor should now be on the mechanical advancer and is moving freely

6. Place the Dyna S plate where the original points plate fitted and align the point’s plate so that the gap between the two hall sensors is approximately in line with the top of the left hand point’s cover retaining screw.


On the right side, Mark the base plate where the washer for the valve adjustment makes contact. Using the points base plate mark the Dyna base plate so that the valve adjustment washer will not be fouled.

OK, if you are this far in, time to get brave with that little $150 trinket... Go slow and always remove a little material and work up to having it all fit!


Grind/file/dremmel away the backer plate to clear the valve adjuster nut and washer, you can installed a smaller O.D. washer here under the nut if you don’t wish remove as much material.


Do not be concerned with the orientation in this photo as when I did mine I was following Augustiron instructions, which appear to have a different orientation to mine.

On the left side, I ground away a little of the aluminum housing so the washer of the left base plate mounting screw could seat properly. I removed the lower hall sensor so that I could work accurately (two small screws). Allow a little clearance to allow it to rotate a few degrees for timing.


The pickup must be oriented as shown in the photos, some modifications must be made to get it to fit this way. I used SS Allen keyed bolts and washers to hold down the base plate which required the left hand bolt to be ground down so as not to foul the hall sensor.

If you wish to use the original screws than you will need to remove material from the sensor.

This where I'll add a bit of my experience.
Grinding the back of the unit out is just to make a place for the bolt washer to tuck into to hold the ignition. I went slow and it wasn't too bad.



I didn't want to grind into the side of the unit and so I decided to just make the screw head smaller

the head hits the unit and you can see how much would need to be removed. Instead I pulled this screw out and used my poor man's lathe (chucked it up in my drill and filed it down. Worked great.


After that the head fit fine and I didn't need to grind the ignition. You could probably also source a narrow head hex bolt, I think these are M6, but this works too.



You can see the washer tucks into the ground out portion.
7. Wiring
Extend the 3 leads from the pickup over the top of the hall sensors and then through the original wiring harness hole, then far enough to reach where the old points met the condenser & coils under the gas tank. Using black for power and blue and yellow for left and right will match the factory setup and make things easier to remember. Tap the black wire (red from the unit) into the "ignition power on" black wire of your harness and connect the cylinder (blue/yellow) leads to the respective coils. The blue/yellow orientation of the pickup leads is correct. If I explained this right and you and I didn't screw up, you should now be able to rough time the unit. The backing plate is rotated to allow for the timing of one cylinder, this moves the lower sensor that is fixed on the base plate The top sensor is rotated (on two small Allen head screws) to allow for the timing of the other cylinder. I found it easer to time the cylinder that is fired by the base plate sensor first then time the adjustable sensor last. You will get a spark on TDC of the exhaust stroke, this is known as a wasted spark. Do not be concerned as this unit was designed for a four-cylinder engine this spark would be for the other cylinders. This wasted spark is quite common in modern engines and is used you reduce un-burnt fuel and emissions so will not harm your engine….see disclaimer!! Take your time and get it spot on and you'll never have to worry about it again!!! Next, pat yourself on the back and start saving for a pair of Dyna coils! I hope this is complete and accurate enough. If you have the “know-how” and tools, this is not a hard install, but it certainly isn't a drop-in. just a note: check both cylinder's spark timing carefully, you WILL have to adjust the two pickup blocks relative to each other to get them spot on.

One last thing is that I made a spacer out of plastic to push the cover out far enough to clear the ignition. It needs to be about ¼" thick or around 5mm
I hope that is helpful. I haven't had a ton of miles on mine yet, but so far it's been great because I haven't done a thing to it once I timed it the first time. I'm so glad to not have to clean and fiddle with points anymore!
I am last person on the planet that doesn't mind points?
No, I don't mind them if the condensors are working. Still have the originals that were on the RD400 when I bought it a couple years ago, just cleaned up. And I never even replaced plugs on my '76 RD400 bought new, sold in '79.
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