Chinese 5 Pin CDI Wiring Diagram (Pictured & Explained)

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If you’re looking at an aftermarket CDI box for your vehicle and are hoping to save some coin, chances are you’re considering a Chinese 5 Pin CDI Box from the likes of Amazon, E-bay, or some other online retailer.

These Chinese 5 Pin CDI Boxes work just fine in most scooters, dirt bikes, pit bikes, go karts, ATVs and UTVs.  And they’re likely a good bit cheaper than any replacement CDI Box you’ll find from the original equipment manufacturer.

So while you save yourself some money, I’ll save you some time and effort on the installation with this guide to:

  • What the CDI system does
  • The wiring and components of the CDI box
  • How to connect the CDI box to the ignition system

It will include detailed photos and descriptions, along with a full Chinese 5 pin CDI wiring diagram for reference.

What Is A CDI System And How Does It Work?

The CDI system (Capacitor Discharge Ignition) is an electronic ignition device used in a wide range of vehicles powered by smaller engines.  

It is the most important part of the ignition system for many scooters, go karts, motorcycles, ATVs, quads, and lawnmowers.

It works by storing an electrical charge which is then discharged through the ignition coil, resulting in a spark from the spark plugs to start the engine.

Chinese 5 Pin CDI Box

Though there are a number of different Chinese 5 pin CDI boxes on the market, most of them look pretty similar. They generally come in the form of a black box with a male connector up top.

The five pins are located inside of the connector and are responsible for providing power to the engine by linking the various parts of the ignition system together.

These five pins connect the following components:

  • Timing trigger (or pulse generator)
  • Ignition coil
  • CDI ignition power
  • Kill switch (or key switch)
  • Ground

Connecting Chinese 5 Pin CDI Box

When purchasing a new CDI Box, many times you can purchase a kit that also includes a new wiring harness along with it.  But the Chinese 5 pin CDI box should attach to the stock wiring harness in your vehicle as well.

The wiring harness should have a female connector with five different wires that plugs into the male connector of the Chinese CDI box.

After connecting the CDI box to the wiring harness, you’ll still need to connect the remaining parts of the ignition:

  • Timing trigger
  • Ignition coil
  • CDI ignition power
  • Kill switch (or key switch)
  • Ground wire

Timing Trigger

Sometimes also referred to as the pulse generator, the timing trigger is responsible for sending the initial signal that a spark is needed to the CDI Box.

The timing trigger wire is almost always blue or blue/white in color, especially in newer wiring setups.  It connects to the blue wiring on the stator.

Ignition Coil

A current is sent from the timing trigger to the ignition coil, which then sends the electrical charge to the spark plug.  This results in the spark needed from the spark plug to start the engine.

The ignition coil wire is generally yellow or yellow/black in color.  This wire connects to the yellow wiring on the wiring harness which then routes it to the ignition coil.

A green ground wire also connects to the ignition coil from the wiring harness.

CDI Ignition Power

The wire for the CDI ignition power supplies the CDI box and system with the power it needs to function.  This power is supplied from the alternator.

This wire is usually red or red/black in color and connects to the wiring of the same color that runs directly from the stator.

Kill Switch or Key Switch

The kill switch wire is usually black or black/white in color.  It connects to the black or black or black/white wire of the wiring harness, which routes it to the kill switch.

A green ground wire also connects from the wiring harness to the kill switch.

Ground Wire

The ground wire is almost always green in color and connects to one of the grounds located on the body of the vehicle or stator.

Green ground wires also connect the wiring harness to the kill switch or key switch and ignition coil.

Chinese 5 Pin CDI Wiring Diagram

Below you will find the Chinese 5 pin CDI wiring diagram for guidance.


Replacing components that need to be re-wired, such as the CDI box, can be a bit intimidating.

But even for those with little or no electrical experience, installing a new CDI can be done.  And this guide to a Chinese 5 pin CDI wiring diagram should assist you.

For more on CDI boxes, check out this guide to a 6 Pin CDI Wiring Diagram before you go.