Dyna/S Installation / Troubleshooting on the Honda GL1000

Setting up a Dyna/S ignition on a GL1000 can be a vexing proposition.  The good news is that done properly – it’s a “once and done” proposition!

Dyna/S: How to Time / Adjust:

Dyna/S Installation on the Honda GL1000:

Note: There is a “fixed” plate and an adjustable plate.  Dyna’s instructions are rather poor, but the “fixed” plate is actually adjustable as well (on the back). 
If the “fixed” is not adjusted near the center of its slot, you will run out of range on the other plate.

Dyna/S Common Problems:

1. Total loss of ignition – suspect the fuse that feeds the Dyna unit….typically this is the turn signal circuit if the Dyna install instructions were followed. Dyna supplies a Scotch-lok connector to tap into the turn signal circuit.  Those connectors are not very reliable.

  • The ignition switch and kill switch are possibilities, but not if power is reaching the Dyna unit continuously
  • Depending on the whim of the original installer, you may or may not have an “extra” fuse protecting the Dyna/S unit hidden somewhere in the power feed.
  • Failed 30-amp master fuse
  • Main battery ground cable connection issue
  • Main battery positive cable connection issue (battery to starter relay)
  • Main harness connector (above battery)
  • Partial battery failure
  • You may or not have a ballast resistor (depending on various details). You may in fact have 2 ballasts resistors depending on the details. You may or not actually need a ballast resistor if you have a Dyna/S installation. In any case, if you have a ballast and it fails – you will lose ignition (at least when the starter button is released). More details on ballasts here: https://www.randakksblog.com/?p=1420

2. Partial loss of ignition –  (Losing only #1/#2 or #3/#4 ignition.)

  • Suspect bad wiring or a short to the Dyna unit from one of the coil primary wires (a “pinched” coil primary wire near the air filter housing is common). 
  • There is a set of connectors at the mid-point of the coil primary wires (near the battery) that sometime come loose and must be checked.
  • Failed Dyna module (see Dyna Module testing procedure)

3. Module Reversal –  ( “F” marks way off from where you expect them)

  • Suspect reversed wires at the mid-point of the coil primary wires (near the battery)

Dyna Module Testing Procedure:

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19 thoughts on “Dyna/S Installation / Troubleshooting on the Honda GL1000

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  1. I bought a 78 gl1000 and just found out it has the dyna ignition, how do I check to be sure the timing is correct? The engine runs like the timing may be off a little.

    1. Here is a link to a timing blog for the GL1000. Feel free to call or chat with our tech team any time to discuss this further. Thanks!

  2. 77 gl1000 with duel webber, dyna s ignition static timed. Checked timing advancer, has accel coils, new stock fuel pump. Bike is falling on its face under hevy throttle and hesitating under light throttle. If I further advance timing past oem it seems to all but cure problem. Do you have any suggestions. Don’t want to damage engine. I’m not understanding why it wants more advance. If it’s a symptom or what it needs do to setup. I feel like i am so close.

  3. hey guys i feel like a peeping tom, Ive been using this sight for a while now restoring my second 79 gl1000. I just want to say thanks for all the help. BTW the dynatec instructions aren’t just lacking they are horrible.

  4. 1976 GL 1000 Bought the bike with a Dyna ignition system already installed. Has coils replaced. No ballast resistor in wiring. Bike starts good and idles good. When you hit 3000 RPMs it starts to break down. Don’t know what the problem is. Everything seems to be wired according to the instructions except the ballast resistor.

    1. Ballast by-pass is fine. These things come to mind:

      1. Carburetor problems
      2. Problem with OEM timing advancer
      3. Bad wire/cap/spark plug/coil
      4. Problem with Dyna module.

  5. If I remove my points and install electronic ignition will I still have the timing difference of 2-5 degrees between #1TDC and 180 Degrees for #2 Cylinder. Most commonly known as “Split Timing”

  6. I have dyna coil and ignition system bypassed ballast and condenser. and I have 12v at the red wire but I don’t get a light between the coil wire and ground when I try to time it. the key is on and I have triple checked all wiring. I have also tried to manually trigger the ignition with a magnet and still no light and i cant find anyone else having the same problem. I also tried to start it and I just got gnarly flames. Don’t know what to do or where to go from here.

  7. Just in the interest of detail, the Dyna S Installation Instructions identify the “fixed” and “adjustable” pickup components on the Dyna S “plate”, as “modules”.

    1. My view: Dyna’s instructions are very weak. The unit has pickup modules mounted to 2 plates …both plates are actually adjustable. Randakk

  8. I found out that i had to adjust the so called “fixed plate” in order to dorrectly perform the split timing procedure. I also had to remove the spark advance weights to remove the OEM points cam, and then reinstall the weights.

    1. Howard: Correct. As I mention above: “the “fixed” plate is actually adjustable as well (on the back).” This detail trips up a lot of people! Rndakk

  9. Make sure to get the locking screws tight, had an issue with the one I had on my 77, the screws loosened up enough to allow the timing to change.

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