FAQ : Frequently Asked Questions



General questions

Questions about ignition

Magnetic flywheel, magneto, CDI...


General questions


Your name, is it Corbier or Carbier ?

My name is Corbier, with an "O". The brand of the products is Carbier, with an "A". Why ? Read the page about that. You'll know all...


How can I send an order ? Are credit cards accepted ?

Please read the page "Orders".
Credit card payment is possible with Paypal.

What does mean "Price all included" ?

It means that the shipment costs are already in the price indicated. There is nothing to add. 



Hello ! I would need an electronic ignition for my engine. What does it cost ?

Every week, we receive messages like this one. We can hardly answer...
For any question, we need to receive as many information as possible : vehicle brand, type (car, bike, boat), model, type of engine (2-stroke or 4-stroke), number of coils... 

Do you have an ignition for to replace my volant magnétique, my magneto, my CDI ?

No. Carbier produces only ignition modules for engines with points-battery-coil (so called type 1), or with inductive sensors-battery-coil (type 2). 
Many use to call "CDI" all the electronic modules. The CDI are capacitive discharge ignitions. Carbier does not work on CDI. 

What are the real advantages of an electronic ignition which uses the original points ?

Normally, the current flowing in the original points is about 2 to 3 A, highly inductive since it flows through the primary of the coil. The points cut off this current several thousands of times per minute, with an overvoltage of about 250 V every time. This leads to arcs, to a fast wearout of the points, and to the needs for frequent adjustments. With CARBIER, the current cut by the points is about 40 mA, without any overvoltage. Points wearout disappears. Only remains the wear of the part touching the cam, and this modifies slightly the advance over the years. The ignition does not need anymore to be adjusted frequently.
On the other hand, the fact that the condensers (which can stay in place, but can also be removed) do not play any role makes the change rate in the primary current of the coil extremely sharp (it is the di/dt of the page "L'allumage batterie-bobine"). The overvoltage at the secondary is strongly increased, yealding in a spark of better quality. Idle becomes more stable and can be lowered, cold cranking becomes easier, engine resumes more strongly. The engine is very much more agreable. This is particularly noticeable on engines with high unit displacement (the changes on a FIAT 500 is really impressive).

Shall I improve the power of my engine with an electronic ignition ?

Accurate measurements at power bench are necessary to confirm a power increase. But it was noted : a better behaviour when resuming power, a more stable idle, and a slightly lower fuel consumption. Idle may be adjusted lower. This was noted on various engines, after A-B-A type tests. This type of test consists in making a modification, test it, go back to the previous state, test again, and reinstall the modification for a final test. It is a excellent way to check a change without being abused by a first impression.
The only way to really increase the power of an engine is to increase the torque, which means increase displacement, and/or increase RPM. After having increased RPM by (heavy) mechanical changes, one must improve the ignition to reach this new RPM. This can be done by installing Carbier.

And the condensers ?

The condensers of a classic ignition are connected in parallel with the points. They remove the spark at the points when they open, and create a series of sparks at the plug instead of a unique spark. Without condenser, it does'nt work.
With CARBIER, the consensers play no rôle accross the points. Then, according where they are in the circuit, they can be left in place or they must be disconnected.
  • if, after installing CARBIER, the condensers are accross the points, they can be left in place. They can be removed as well.
  • if,  after installing CARBIER, the condensers are connected to the coils, they MUST be disconnected or removed.

What about the centrifugal advance system ?

It remains in place. Don't touch it.

Can CARBIER operate on an engine at 14 000 RPM ?

It is not CARBIER which limits the RPM of the engine, but the time needed by the current to reach its final value in the coil. With a coil of 4 Ohms, inductance at 8 mH, it takes about 8 ms to reach a current of 3 A under 12 Volts. This time corresponds to a rotation speed of 60 / 8 ms = 7500 RPM. Beyond this RPM, the coil is not fully charged and the energy there stored decreases strongly (energy = 1/2 L I²). The spark becomes weaker.
The solution to turn faster is to mount a "more powerfull" coil, which is a coil with a lower primary resistance. Here is shown the rise time of the current in three different coils. It can be seen that  after a given time (e.g. 10 ms), the current reached is higher in a low resistance coil.

I have trimmed the advence of my engine perfectly, and I cannot make it run above 4000 RPM. What's happening ?

Very likely, the dwell is not proprely adjusted. Please read this text to understand the problem and correct it.

Why does the life test last 1333 hours ?

Easy : for an engine with one spark per crankshaft turn :
life duration expected without failure : 80 000 km
average speed of the vehicle : 40 km/h. This was the average speed of European cars some years ago. For sure, it is lower now.
corresponding operation time : 80 000 / 40 = 2000 hours.
number of sparks during this time, assuming an RPM of 4000 min-1 : 2000 x 4000 x 60 = 480 000 000 sparks.
a test done at 3000 min-1 takes then : 2667 h or 2667 / 24 = 111 days or 3,7 months.
to reduce the test duration, it is performed at a current twice the nominal current. Hence the new duration : 1333 h or 56 days, or 8 weeks.
For the engines having one spark every turn of camshaft, the test duration could be cut by two.

Does it work below 6 Volts ?

Yes. The tests on the modules for 12 Volts show that the operation is possible down to 4,8 Volts. Below this voltage, the spark disappears at the spark plug (on a free air test bench).
To avoid any problem under 6 Volts, some minor modifications were made to the hardware. So the version 6 Volts operates safely down to 4,0 Volts.

Why is there a need for a ground wire ? The bracket is attached to the frame, then to the ground. Is it not enough ?

The housing of the ignition Carbier and the fixation bracket are not connected to the electric circuit. They are electrically floating. Then a wire, as short as possible, is absolutely needed to let the coil current flow back to the ground.

Why not use a plastic housing for Carbier ignition ?

The housing of Carbier ignitions is made of an aluminium alloy, and serves as a heat sink for the power transistors actuating the coils. A plastic housing could not play this rôle. The power transistors are of a special type : they are not linked to the aluminium housing electrically, but only thermally.

What happens if the wire + of the Carbier ignition is disconnected ?

If the power supply wire of the Carbier ignition is disconnected, the coils go OFF. No current flows.

What happens if the wires + and Ground are swapped ?

Nothing. It does not work. When wired correctly, it starts again. 

What happens if the input wires and output wires are swapped  ? 

Nothing. It does not work. When wired correctly, it starts again.