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TCI/CDI Igniter Box Rebuild 1982 XV750 Virago Gen 1

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TCI/CDI Igniter Box Rebuild 1982 XV750 Virago Gen 1

Post by Rob » Fri May 22, 2015 10:28 pm

I will be creating the walk through here on the forum and once it is finished I will be making it into a Tech Article for the main side of the site.

PLEASE NOTE: There will be 2 different ways to recondition that you can do. One is resoldering everything AND replacing ALL 12 capacitors on the TCI circuit boards to a 105c degree rated capacitors and the other reconditioning is just re-soldering the circuit boards.

OK. This is going to be a detailed walk through of Repairing/Rebuilding a TCI Box (some people refer to them as CDI or Igniter Box but these are transistor controlled so they are really a TCI) from a 1982 XV750J Yamaha Virago. I believe this will cover 1981 and 1982 and possibly 1983 bikes. This is the metal box with numbers J4T00671 and a 1620 below that with a Mitsubishi logo on it as well.
What this rebuild consists of is replacing the 12 Capacitors, 2 Transistors, and re soldering ALL the solders on the board. Why this must be done is because of age and vibration. Over time the solders on the board become weak from the constant heating and cooling along with the vibration caused from the engine. Another problem with these TCI boxes is that from the factory quality control completely sucked and lots of these units got by with some solders on the board barely having any solder at all on them.
As far as replacing the Capacitors and Transistors goes it is a good idea because they just fail with age and use. Lots of people have got by with just re soldering the boards.. some have had to replace capacitors, and some transistors, and some everything. As far as I am concerned the capacitors are extremely cheap. The replacements I ordered cost $2(That's not $2 each but $2 for them all!). So why not replace them and know that they wont be a problem any time soon. I also recommend replacing the 85C rated capacitors with the 105C rated ones.
For the transistors I am still having problems finding a cross reference for them. I have posted all over the net looking for an answer to no avail... As soon as I do find out what the replacements are I will update this post accordingly. The transistors have a circle with an S in the middle and a line going through it kinda like a dollar sign. The numbers off it are 152 EDT51 -030 and are 3 prong heat sunk transistors.

Before I get started I want to explain why I am doing this. I have been having an issue, on and off, where when I first start the bike the rear cylinder fired but the front would not. After a few minutes the front cylinder would start to fire finally, and fire more, as she heated up. I ruled out pretty much everything but the TCI. After much research I realized that my problem was indeed the TCI Box. The box sits under the tank and gets heated up by the rear cylinder quickly. As she heats up, it swells the soldering connections in the box, and starts making the connections needed to fire the front cylinder. This is what I believe is happening anyways. I have also read the heat can cause capacitors and transistors that are failing to start working. So, that could also be the issue, or both the parts and the soldering. Just for shits and gigles I took the box out, plugged it in, and cranked the bike up. I then proceeded to run a blow dryer on the box and it went to running properly much faster as I heated the box. After this I KNEW the damn box was my problem!!

Part one coming soon!!
Here is a picture of the box I have.
0516151909a.jpg
0516151909a.jpg (605.82 KiB) Viewed 6315 times
0516151909.jpg
0516151909.jpg (682.86 KiB) Viewed 6315 times
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Re: TCI/CDI Igniter Box Rebuild 1982 XV750 Virago Gen 1

Post by Rob » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:59 am

Sorry for the delay in starting to make this how to but I have been extremely busy with life and lots of backend work on this site. I am also in the process of making my sister a contest blog for her sweepstakes she is involved in at mobilesweepslist.com. Enjoy the following information :D

Part One:
For this first part of the how to I am going to be going over a simple way to remove the protective coating that is on the circuit board of the TCI unit.

Items needed for this part:

Nail polish remover that is 100% acetone (very cheap to get cost me $1 from Rite Aid)
Some protective gloves
Some protective eye wear
Spray bottle that is free of any chemicals in it
Old tooth brush



Dissembling the TCI unit.
Once it is off the bike it is very simple to get open. You just bend the 4 tabs on the bottom side of the unit outwards so the the bottom plate and rubber moisture protector can be removed.

Once you have the bottom cover and rubber removed there are 6 screws that you need to remove to separate the circuit board from the metal housing. Two of the screws are on the outside of the metal case. The other four are located inside. Please be sure you have removed ALL 6 screws before you attempt separating the TCI circuit board from the metal housing. Losing these screws is very easy so I highly suggest putting them in a small plastic sandwich bag and setting them where they wont get thrown away or messed with.



This is a photo of the TCI unit before removing the circuit board from the metal housing.
0525151355a.jpg
When removing the two parts from each other be sure to also pull loose the rubber grommet surrounding the wire bundle as well but be careful not to put any stress on where the wires connect to the circuit board. This is very important as you do not want to damage where these wires connect to the circuit board. It is built very strong but avoiding putting stress on any of these connections is always important whenever working on any electronics.

Now you should have the circuit board separated from the metal housing.

Now if you look carefully at it you will notice there are actually 2 circuit boards. There is the lower larger board and a smaller top board. These are connected but several small black wire that lets the two circuit boards communicate. To get these two boards to separate you will have to look for some metal tabs on the small board. The boards will not separate completely but you can get them to open up in the fashion of a book opening. The metal tabs need to be bent so that the circuit board can be pulled up and away from the metal brackets sitting between the top and bottom circuit boards. If you take a minute and close look at it you will see how it is that these tabs hold it in place. I do not have a good enough camera to take a close up of these so for this part you will just have to relate what I am saying to what you are seeing.

PLEASE NOTE: YOU DO NOT NEED TO SEPARATE THE TWO CIRCUIT BOARDS FROM EACH OTHER IF YOU ONLY PLAN ON DO A RESOLDER OF THE BOARD. ONLY SEPARATE THE TWO CIRCUIT BOARDS FROM EACH OTHER IF YOU WANT TO REPLACE THE 12 CAPACITORS.

Once you have the metal tabs bent to where it looks like they will not be in the way for when you go to pry the top board from the bottom then you are ready to do just that. It will take a bit of effort but start from the furthest side from the black wires attaching them together and pry upwards. As it starts to separate be careful not to just rip them apart. Use some finesse and your best judgement as you remove them apart. What you should have when they are separate is like you just opened a book.

Now if you look at just the sides of the TCI circuit boards with solder and not the components it will be hard to see but there is a film over it all. It is VERY obvious on the component sides as it is gooped up everywhere but the same stuff in goops is actually in a thin film on the sides with just solder connections. The reason we are going to perform this step and remove this film is because you will be re soldering ALL the connections on this board as well as replacing 12 Capacitors so this stuff is in the way.

The easiest way I found to hold the unit so I could perform the removal was to attach it to a tree. The screw holes make a perfect hole to put a nail through and nail to a tree! Here is exactly that in my back yard.
rsz_0516151333a.jpg
Now once you have this hung up nicely you can get started. It doesn't matter how you decide to keep the TCI in position as long as you don't expose it to excessive static electricity or excessive force on the unit.

Take your 100% acetone nail polish remover and put it into a very clean spray bottle. I say VERY clean because you do not want any chemical reactions happening due to there being any residue left from whatever previously was in the bottle. Cleaning it thoroughly with soap and water then rinsing it well should make it fine for use.

IMPORTANT!! IF you are doing this outside (which I highly recommend due to the strong fumes... yes I think women using this stuff is why we have dumb blonde jokes) please pay close attention to the wind. Make sure the wind is at your back and not facing at you as to avoid you accidentally spraying acetone into your own face.

So now you have a spray bottle full of nail polish remover. Put on your protective gloves ( I just use rubber gloves), protective eye wear, and grab your tooth brush.

The acetone will NOT hurt any of the components on the TCI unit. So do not worry about getting it on any of them.

You only need to remove the thin film on the sides of the board that do NOT have components on them. Besides.. it is almost impossible to remove the goops of stuff they have on the other sides anyhow... even with acetone.

So start to lightly spray the board and brush with your tooth brush. As you do this you will see the thin film that is there start to ball up some and start to come off. Continue this process until you feel 100% sure that you have removed all of the thin film covering both the small and large circuit boards.

The small circuit boards side you should clean.
0516151331a.jpg
Once again I will say, do not bother trying to remove the protective goop off the sides of the boards where it is thick. Some of this you need to remove when replacing the capacitors I will explain when you get to that part. Do NOT try to remove any of that now because the acetone wont help because the stuff is so thick. If you have any questions please post them and I will get back to you ASAP.

Part 2 coming Next. It will be an explanation of what can be done
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Re: TCI/CDI Igniter Box Rebuild 1982 XV750 Virago Gen 1

Post by Rob » Tue Aug 04, 2015 6:51 pm

Still have the remaining photos for this walk through. Hopefully I will have time to finish it soon.
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Re: TCI/CDI Igniter Box Rebuild 1982 XV750 Virago Gen 1

Post by zalex » Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:48 pm

Were you ever able to find part numbers for transistors and capacitors?

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Re: TCI/CDI Igniter Box Rebuild 1982 XV750 Virago Gen 1

Post by Rob » Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:25 pm

I did a ton of searching and found the ones that were better. I have that data somewhere. Let me see if I can find it.
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Re: TCI/CDI Igniter Box Rebuild 1982 XV750 Virago Gen 1

Post by zalex » Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:36 pm

Rob wrote:I did a ton of searching and found the ones that were better. I have that data somewhere. Let me see if I can find it.
That would be awesome! Any help would be great. Thank you!

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Re: TCI/CDI Igniter Box Rebuild 1982 XV750 Virago Gen 1

Post by ViragoJoe » Wed Feb 08, 2017 6:46 am

zalex wrote:
Rob wrote:I did a ton of searching and found the ones that were better. I have that data somewhere. Let me see if I can find it.
That would be awesome! Any help would be great. Thank you!
If you don't want to tackle this job yourself and if Rob can't find the information for D.I.Y. fix. We do know of a person who does TCI Reconditioning in Illinois:
http://viragotcirepair.com/
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Re: TCI/CDI Igniter Box Rebuild 1982 XV750 Virago Gen 1

Post by Rob » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:54 pm

I cant find the info on it at all. Maybe I can get the parts list from the order I made from the part supplier I bought from. I would definitely consider getting it sent off though or getting a replacement as the fix didn't work for me at all. I still had issues after doing all that work to the TCI.
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Re: TCI/CDI Igniter Box Rebuild 1982 XV750 Virago Gen 1

Post by zalex » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:45 pm

If you end up locating that would be awesome, if not no big deal. Im not in any kind of real hurry now, that I need to do a rebuild on my quad lol

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Re: TCI/CDI Igniter Box Rebuild 1982 XV750 Virago Gen 1

Post by Rob » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:05 am

Wow. suprised I was able to find this email with the part numbers. Here is a screenshot. Mouser Electronics is the store I bought from. Parts are quite cheap as well.
viragotciparts.png
Virago TCI parts
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