Alton Sheer Plugs

Derek Wilson

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As stated on another post, I experienced my Alton e-start failing to serve its installed purpose (yet again...) over the weekend. Parked the bike Friday night, only to try starting it Saturday morning, with the starter motor whirring, but not turning over of the engine. The rest of the weekend was facilitated by the use of the kick starter - which the pessimist in me will not allow the removal of.

Fast forward to today - I pulled off the primary cover to find that the plugs had in fact sheered much to my dismay, as the engine has never kicked back or done any thing that might try to fight the action of the starter. Note in the picture below that the yellow paint marks are no longer in alignment:
IMG-6577.jpg


After taking the over load unit apart and washing all the little sheered pieces out of the primary case, I compared the old plastic slugs to the new ones. The old ones have definitely discolored, most likely due to absorbing the Dexron ATF that I use in my primary. I am wondering if this absorption has also affect the sheer strength of the plastic. See picture below: New-Top, Old-Bottom

IMG-6578.jpg


As an aside, I also inspected the starter drive flange for signs of cracking, I am not noticing anything visually.
IMG-6583.jpg
IMG-6584.jpg


Has anyone else had there overload device spontaneously sheer without warning? I know I am not the only one using Dexron in their primary...

Yes - easy fix, but still a PITA.

I may or may not have put more than three plugs back in, made from a plastic that can withstand ATF.... I will admit to nothing.... LOL
 

Fast Eddie

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I read that the Alton can have between 3 to 6 plugs IIRC.

When I read that, my thoughts were thus: if, even with 6 plugs fitted, if they still fulfill their role of shearing before other damage is caused, then why would anyone not simply fit 6 plugs ??
 
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Derek Wilson

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I read that the Alton can have between 3 to 6 plugs IIRC.

When I read that, my thoughts were thus: if, even with 6 plugs fitted, if they still fulfill their role of shearing before other damage is casued, then why would anyone not simply fit 6 plugs ??
Yup - may have gone down that road.... lol

Like I said, I have never had the engine fight the starter - ever. But have had the center sheer out of the drive flange....

I also mistakenly believed that I would get through the remainder of the season without having to take the primary cover off again. Had a good run going too - I think it was last off in May...
 
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ntst8

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I run 6 in mine. Alton did give me a replacement set at one stage, thrown in for free with something else i bought, as a just in case. They supposedly upgraded the material at some point. My originals turned out to be fine but a mate who bought around the same time had to replace his. Mine is an earlyish model.
 
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Just as an aside, the use of Type-F ATF and not Dexron is due to the incompatibility with sintered clutch bronze plates and bronze bushings.

Might it be a consideration to use Type-F ATF when you refill?
 

Derek Wilson

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Just as an aside, the use of Type-F ATF and not Dexron is due to the incompatibility with sintered clutch bronze plates and bronze bushings.

Might it be a consideration to use Type-F ATF when you refill?
The type I use is compatible with both GM and Ford transmissions. I have been using it for years prior to the Alton install. I use a fiber plate clutch. Never been an issue...

I am thinking it is the grade of plastic used - I made the new ones out of Nylon 6/6, and put 6 in. I guess we will see what happens.
 
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A new battery tends to prevents them breaking. Worst thing to use with an Alton is a battery that has seen 2 - 3 years use and been sat idle in the winter months. It's a very common call in the spring months when we get through a lot of plugs which is when we realised it could be the battery.
 

Mart UK

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In that case, it seems to be a design flaw in the starter. Not good if the first sign your battery is tired, is your starter motor failing?
 

Derek Wilson

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A new battery tends to prevents them breaking. Worst thing to use with an Alton is a battery that has seen 2 - 3 years use and been sat idle in the winter months. It's a very common call in the spring months when we get through a lot of plugs which is when we realised it could be the battery.
I can understand that being a problem.

My Shorai is only about 4 months old, and is fully charged. With the tune of the bike, a light tickle from cold, the engine starts so quickly that you don't even hear the starter run.

As I said, the ATF looks to have been absorbed by the plugs - I don't have a Shore measurement device, but the fingernail test shows that the old plugs are definitely softer than the new ones.
 
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Hmm..it's possible that the plugs are adversely affected by ATF. I've run ATF in there primary since I bought the bike in '06. I installed the Alton in '12. No issues but I suspect my Alton does not have those pins. I never saw any in the installation, don't recall any mention of therm, and they certainly were not included as separate parts. So I assume Alton changed the design to include them later for kickback protection. I've never had a kickback with the Trispark so I can't comment on that issue.

OTOH, as we all know, per factory specs ATF is NOT the "correct" lubricant for the chain case. It definitely affects certain soft products and will expand O-rings, etc. Whether it reduces strength/softens those pins, it seems like that could be tested easily enough. If it does, then going back to engine oil as the chain case lubricant might be indicated. ??
 

baz

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Hmm..it's possible that the plugs are adversely affected by ATF. I've run ATF in there primary since I bought the bike in '06. I installed the Alton in '12. No issues but I suspect my Alton does not have those pins. I never saw any in the installation, don't recall any mention of therm, and they certainly were not included as separate parts. So I assume Alton changed the design to include them later for kickback protection. I've never had a kickback with the Trispark so I can't comment on that issue.

OTOH, as we all know, per factory specs ATF is NOT the "correct" lubricant for the chain case. It definitely affects certain soft products and will expand O-rings, etc. Whether it reduces strength/softens those pins, it seems like that could be tested easily enough. If it does, then going back to engine oil as the chain case lubricant might be indicated. ??
When you purchase the Alton kit new the drive unit with the pins is already assembled
 

Derek Wilson

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Hmm..it's possible that the plugs are adversely affected by ATF. I've run ATF in there primary since I bought the bike in '06. I installed the Alton in '12. No issues but I suspect my Alton does not have those pins. I never saw any in the installation, don't recall any mention of therm, and they certainly were not included as separate parts. So I assume Alton changed the design to include them later for kickback protection. I've never had a kickback with the Trispark so I can't comment on that issue.

OTOH, as we all know, per factory specs ATF is NOT the "correct" lubricant for the chain case. It definitely affects certain soft products and will expand O-rings, etc. Whether it reduces strength/softens those pins, it seems like that could be tested easily enough. If it does, then going back to engine oil as the chain case lubricant might be indicated. ??
I have been running ATF for over 20 years... not changing - lol

Likewise - no issues with kickback (running a TriSpark as well).

The new plugs I made are Nylon 6/6 which is compatible with ATF - cure the disease by killing the patient ;)
 
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phippsy

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I replaced mine with the nylon but only use 3 never had a problem since putting them in ,mine runs dry ( belt drive)
 
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"The new plugs I made are Nylon 6/6 which is compatible with ATF"

Hey! When I was a kid I was given a Remington Nylon 66 .22. Good to know I can toss into a vat of ATF with no issue! :)
 
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Yes, nylon stocks but they also (per Remington) didn't require lubrication so maybe the friction surfaces that the bolt rode upon were nylon as well. I don't remember. Haven't looked at or shot the rifle in probably 30+ years!
 

gortnipper

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Yes, nylon stocks but they also (per Remington) didn't require lubrication so maybe the friction surfaces that the bolt rode upon were nylon as well. I don't remember. Haven't looked at or shot the rifle in probably 30+ years!
Ok, Wikipedia says the stock and receiver.
 
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As stated on another post, I experienced my Alton e-start failing to serve its installed purpose (yet again...) over the weekend. Parked the bike Friday night, only to try starting it Saturday morning, with the starter motor whirring, but not turning over of the engine. The rest of the weekend was facilitated by the use of the kick starter - which the pessimist in me will not allow the removal of.

Fast forward to today - I pulled off the primary cover to find that the plugs had in fact sheered much to my dismay, as the engine has never kicked back or done any thing that might try to fight the action of the starter. Note in the picture below that the yellow paint marks are no longer in alignment:

After taking the over load unit apart and washing all the little sheered pieces out of the primary case, I compared the old plastic slugs to the new ones. The old ones have definitely discolored, most likely due to absorbing the Dexron ATF that I use in my primary. I am wondering if this absorption has also affect the sheer strength of the plastic. See picture below: New-Top, Old-Bottom



As an aside, I also inspected the starter drive flange for signs of cracking, I am not noticing anything visually.

Has anyone else had there overload device spontaneously sheer without warning? I know I am not the only one using Dexron in their primary...

Yes - easy fix, but still a PITA.

I may or may not have put more than three plugs back in, made from a plastic that can withstand ATF.... I will admit to nothing.... LOL
I have the same issue.

Was assuming that the battery was to weak and motor does rattle and does not turning the engine.

Pic:

42061323vb.jpg


I have used 3 puks as mentioned and recommened.
Others say I have to use 6 puks.
Puks were very stif, no soft or felxible feeling by pressing with finger nail.
I wrote a mail to Alton to clarify that matter.
Setup:
Batterie is new, 20W50 in Primary, chain driven, no Back fire from Motor, Trispark Ignition, no start while gear was insert.
I wait for reply and then I will decide how many puks I will assembel.
One thing is clear: It is not so funny to disassemble that unit after such fail.
 
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When you purchase the Alton kit new the drive unit with the pins is already assembled
If I get you right and you meant the puks were inlayed to the double gear?

I bought a new one 6 weeks ago. Is that new? ;) As I do remember the pins / puks are not assembled.
 

baz

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If I get you right and you meant the puks were inlayed to the double gear?

I bought a new one 6 weeks ago. Is that new? ;) As I do remember the pins / puks are not assembled.
My second Alton kit is maybe 2 or 3 years old
It came with 3 pins already assembled
 
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