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  1. #1

    1989 WR500 replacement CDI timing

    I recently acquired an '89 WaveJammer with a bad CDI unit. I read on another forum that it can be replaced with a different, cheaper unit out of a late model scooter/moped, and I am wondering how important the timing is?

    The replacement is from a single cylinder 4-stroke, and I have a twin 2-stroke...will this cause issues? According to the attached image, the stock CDI box will advance the timing from 0 @ 1000 rpm to 12 @ 5500 rpm. I cannot find any info regarding the timing of the replacement, I am assuming that it has some basic advance but I'm not sure what that might be?

    Also, is this an AC or DC CDI unit? I think it is AC, but I am unsure and don't want to break anything.

    One more thing, I was wondering if it would be possible to replace it with something like this, as it's MUCH cheaper than the o/e part.


    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Just thought I'd give an update for anyone who might be interested in these old skis. Went ahead and bought a cheap scooter CDI from amazon, managed to get it hooked up without anything exploding (I was a bit anxious the first time I crank it over though!). Started right up on the trailer, shut it down and put it in the lake for a test...but it won't get past around ~2200 rpm. It tries, and really wants to, but just cuts out when it starts to rev. Since it starts so easy, I suspect that the timing is not nearly as advanced as it should be, likely the result of using a 4-stroke box in my 2-stroke ski. I plan on trying to find a cheap 2-stroke box and/or an adjustable 4-stroke one, and trying that....I'd really like to ride this thing by the 4th!

  3. #3
    So I finally got another CDI, this time a "racing" model with no rev limit and more advanced timing (at least according to the product page). Hooked it up, runs great! I guess it must have been the rev limiter on the stock box, I believe it was limited at around 7000 for a single cylinder 4-stroke. Since that is one spark every other revolution and my 2-stroke twin is two sparks every revolution, it ended up being effectively rev-limited at ~2000.

    After repairing a broken carb stud, took it out on the lake and had no problems at all! the only quirk is that now, with no rev limiter, it winds way up there when it un-hooks so I'll have to pay attention to the throttle.

    In case anyone trying to do the same thing finds this thread, I even managed to find the correct (I think, haven't tried them yet, will update) connectors for this CDI at CONNECTORS | Scooters4Life

  4. #4
    You mind sharing info of what brand of "racing" model CDI box you got?

  5. #5
    Sorry for the late reply, been busy this week. Anyways, it was this one, for a chinese GY6 engine. Any similar item should work, but that's the one I used. If you have any other questions, let me know

  6. #6
    So did you make the stock wiring mate to the new CDI using the connectors mentioned? I would like to keep the stock CDI connectors and match the new one to that. Does it come with any schematics? I just aquired a WR500P (91) model. Have over 10 hours of usage over the last two weeks, running reliably.......maybe I should leave it like that

  7. #7
    I did, though I have not installed the new connectors yet (I happened to have some terminals laying around that fit, so I put heat shrink tubing over them and didn't use a housing). For the other side of the adaptor harness, standard barrel crimp-on barrel connectors fit perfectly.

    Edit for clarity and getting it all in one post:

    The CDI I used is found here: CDI @ Amazon. However, any similar one should work, and the wiring is significantly less messy if you can find one that does not use a pigtail.

    The connectors for this CDI can be bought here: Scooters4Life Connectors. They are called "S4L", and you will need one (1) of the four position connectors, and one (1) of the two position connectors.

    The wiring is as follows:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Pin functions:

    1. Trigger feed
    2. Power to ignition coil
    3. Nothing/open
    4. Ground
    5. Kill switch
    6. CDI power

    WR500 Wavejammer wire color codes:

    1. White/red stripe (pulser coil)
    2. Orange (ign coil)
    3. Leave unused
    4. Black (to ground stud)
    5. (Don’t remember…may be white/black stripe? Goes to kill switch on handle bars, not too hard to figure out. AKA, NOT the wire that goes to the starter solenoid!)
    6. Brown (charge coil [AC voltage])

    Now I am doing this from memory, so it may not be 100% right, and could possibly cause damage, either short term or long term. That said, mine is still running great and I've put at least 15 hours on it since installing this box. Just have to be careful about over-revving when it cavitates.

    Also, while I haven't installed the connectors yet, I did have a spare GY6 CDI to test fit them to, and they fit perfectly.

    As for changing out the original...I'd leave it, till it dies anyway, but on the other hand these go for $150+ on ebay
    Last edited by GalaxyWide; 09-17-2013 at 10:02 AM. Reason: Clarity/future readers

  8. #8
    Great read. Thanks for taking the time to post.

  9. #9
    Galaxywide, Is this still working? i just order new coils, rectifier repair, manual and this cdi that you mentioned. Can you please confirm wire to wire connection for me? I dont see it so plain as maybe others do above. Thanks for this information too

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by rborza View Post
    Galaxywide, Is this still working? i just order new coils, rectifier repair, manual and this cdi that you mentioned. Can you please confirm wire to wire connection for me? I dont see it so plain as maybe others do above. Thanks for this information too

    whoops , i see that you matched them. i got it now. dont know what i was reading earlier that didnt click with me

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