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Doesn't necessarily need engine heat, the flow of current through the box causes heat which causes it to malfunction as it warms up from the ignition being on.

It's becoming a more common problem on 80's bikes now. The ignitions of that time seem to have a lifespan of ~25 years, and a lot of them are starting to check out now. Unfortunately unless you're a total electronics whiz, there's not really anything you can do aside from find a replacement, or if it's worthwhile to you fit an aftermarket generic ignition unit.
 
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