Lotus Elan

Ignition Woes

PostPost by: type26owner » Sun Jun 08, 2003 4:59 pm

I got stranded again last Monday for the second time in about a month
on my way home from work when the ignition system just shut off while
driving in traffic. I couldn't find or fix the problem along side the
roadway so I got it towed home.:-( This morning I had the time to look
at it and diagnosed the problem to the new rotor had burn through and
shorted out the ignition again. Along with that the center carbon
wiper electrode in the new distributor cap had somehow lodged itself
back into the pocket so it's face was just flush with the plastic and
would not stick proud to make contact with the rotor. Okay, maybe this
is just coincidence but I believe the quality of the replacement caps
and rotors has turned to total garbage. I'm really peeved off because
this is my daily driver and it's completely unreliable now. BTW, the
little spring retainer in the new rotors is also joke.

What do I do to get my 23D dizzy reliable once again? Add a ballast
resistor to step down the coil's voltage output? It's only a 25K volt
coil now. Make my own rotor? Replace the dizzy with a Bosch one? Do
the Bosch dizzies which fit have simliar problems? For sure I'm now
going to carry several spare rotors and caps with wires now at the
very least until I can find a permanent solution. Is there a supplier
anywhere in the world where I get buy quality parts regardless of the
cost? At this point I would pay a small fortune for a quality cap with
real copper electrodes and a rotor with proper electrical insulating
properties.
type26owner
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1616
Joined: 18 Sep 2003

PostPost by: mackmotorsport at aol.com » Sun Jun 08, 2003 5:27 pm

I repair British cars for a living.I've seen this problem but not lately.Try
a different brand of cap and rotor.Bosch did at some time make lucas caps and
rotors of excellent quality and same funny color as their own stuff.I think
making them black is a stupid idea as the black pigment is conductive somewhat
and if they are off a little with the formulation the parts are prone to carbon
tracking.I have used Intermotor with decent results.If you get stuff that
works buy extra from the same lot.
Bill Mack
PS did I say making a living?I meant eking out a living
mackmotorsport at aol.com
 

PostPost by: roadterror » Sun Jun 08, 2003 5:38 pm

Is there a distributorless system somewhere out there? I had the same
problem about a year back. Just parked the Lotus and finally got round to
working on it a year later! Initially thought that the coil or high tension
wires may have shorted out as the cap and rotor appeared to be in good nick.
Only changed them as a last resort and wanted to kick myself for not
changing them first. No sign of wear or worn carbon ... just didn't work.
They were about a year old and the car was a daily driver.

The symptoms were that the engine wanted to fire up on cranking but just
won't. After many attempts it would occasionally start but won't idle and
couldn't rev up.

Looks like another hot topic for intense discussion ....
----- Original Message -----
From: <***@***.***>
To: <***@***.***>
Sent: Monday, June 09, 2003 1:27 AM
Subject: Re: [LotusElan.net] Ignition Woes


I repair British cars for a living.I've seen this problem but not lately.Try
a different brand of cap and rotor.Bosch did at some time make lucas caps
and
rotors of excellent quality and same funny color as their own stuff.I think
making them black is a stupid idea as the black pigment is conductive
somewhat
and if they are off a little with the formulation the parts are prone to
carbon
tracking.I have used Intermotor with decent results.If you get stuff that
works buy extra from the same lot.
Bill Mack
PS did I say making a living?I meant eking out a living





aut
hor, all rights reserved. http://www.lotuselan.net/legal_stuff.htm

roadterror
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 113
Joined: 12 Mar 2004

PostPost by: "Mark Van Osdel" » Sun Jun 08, 2003 6:25 pm

Electromotive makes a distributorless system called the HPX, using a crank
trigger and built in coils. You may be able to find a used example of their
previous version, the HPV for a lower cost. QED sell an Aluminum distributor
hole plug.
Mark VanOsdel

----- Original Message -----
From: "Brian Chan" <***@***.***>
To: <***@***.***>
Sent: Sunday, June 08, 2003 11:03 AM
Subject: Re: [LotusElan.net] Ignition Woes


Is there a distributorless system somewhere out there? I had the same
problem about a year back. Just parked the Lotus and finally got round to
working on it a year later! Initially thought that the coil or high
tension

wires may have shorted out as the cap and rotor appeared to be in good
nick.

Only changed them as a last resort and wanted to kick myself for not
changing them first. No sign of wear or worn carbon ... just didn't work.
They were about a year old and the car was a daily driver.

The symptoms were that the engine wanted to fire up on cranking but just
won't. After many attempts it would occasionally start but won't idle and
couldn't rev up.

Looks like another hot topic for intense discussion ....
----- Original Message -----
From: <***@***.***>
To: <***@***.***>
Sent: Monday, June 09, 2003 1:27 AM
Subject: Re: [LotusElan.net] Ignition Woes


I repair British cars for a living.I've seen this problem but not
lately.Try

a different brand of cap and rotor.Bosch did at some time make lucas caps
and
rotors of excellent quality and same funny color as their own stuff.I
think

making them black is a stupid idea as the black pigment is conductive
somewhat
and if they are off a little with the formulation the parts are prone to
carbon
tracking.I have used Intermotor with decent results.If you get stuff that
works buy extra from the same lot.
Bill Mack
PS did I say making a living?I meant eking out a living






aut

hor, all rights reserved. http://www.lotuselan.net/legal_stuff.htm
















"Mark Van Osdel"
 

PostPost by: gobw2 » Sun Jun 08, 2003 7:39 pm

That sounds nice,but I'dsure be more comfortable with a rev limiter - is
there one for their system? George

On Sun, 8 Jun 2003 11:21:55 -0700 "Mark Van Osdel" <***@***.***>
writes:
Electromotive makes a distributorless system called the HPX, using a
crank
trigger and built in coils. You may be able to find a used example of
their
previous version, the HPV for a lower cost. QED sell an Aluminum
distributor
hole plug.
Mark VanOsdel
gobw2
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 968
Joined: 25 Sep 2003

PostPost by: gjz30075 » Sun Jun 08, 2003 7:52 pm

--- In ***@***.***, "type26owner" <[email protected]> wrote:
is just coincidence but I believe the quality of the replacement caps
and rotors has turned to total garbage. I'm really peeved off

Keith,
You're right on with this diagnosis! I've been through several caps
and rotors recently and I keep finding aluminum shavings in the cap.
No, the dizzy shaft bushings are NOT worn out but I'm really tired of
the junk we get for caps and rotors nowadays. Time to peruse the
street rod mags for the latest in ignition neat stuff.

Greg Z.
'72 Sprint
Greg Z
45/0243K Sprint
36/5727 pre airflow coupe
User avatar
gjz30075
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 3016
Joined: 12 Sep 2003
Location: Roswell, Georgia, USA

PostPost by: "Gino Ciotti" » Sun Jun 08, 2003 8:26 pm

I used to make the moulds for making rotor arms and distrbutor caps over 20
years ago in the UK for AC Delco.
The Black phenolic resin is the cheapest type . All coloured phenlic resin
types cost double the price and more.
Now you probably know why the made em in Black.
Gino
----- Original Message -----
From: <***@***.***>
To: <***@***.***>
Sent: Sunday, June 08, 2003 7:27 PM
Subject: Re: [LotusElan.net] Ignition Woes


I repair British cars for a living.I've seen this problem but not lately.Try
a different brand of cap and rotor.Bosch did at some time make lucas caps
and
rotors of excellent quality and same funny color as their own stuff.I think
making them black is a stupid idea as the black pigment is conductive
somewhat
and if they are off a little with the formulation the parts are prone to
carbon
tracking.I have used Intermotor with decent results.If you get stuff that
works buy extra from the same lot.
Bill Mack
PS did I say making a living?I meant eking out a living








"Gino Ciotti"
 

PostPost by: "Mark Van Osdel" » Mon Jun 09, 2003 12:11 am

Check out their website www.electromotive-inc.com . The unit has a built-in
adjustable rev limiter and connections (2) on the unit to use a simple
switch to set and hold a temporary rev limit below that set on the unit. You
can set the initial advance, the additional advance at 3000 rpm, and the
advance added/subtracted at 8000 rpm. Options allow you to add a map sensor
to replace a vacuum advance, etc.

Mark VanOsdel

Mark VanOsdel
----- Original Message -----
From: <***@***.***>
To: <***@***.***>
Sent: Sunday, June 08, 2003 12:37 PM
Subject: Re: [LotusElan.net] Ignition Woes


That sounds nice,but I'dsure be more comfortable with a rev limiter - is
there one for their system? George

On Sun, 8 Jun 2003 11:21:55 -0700 "Mark Van Osdel" <***@***.***>
writes:
Electromotive makes a distributorless system called the HPX, using a
crank
trigger and built in coils. You may be able to find a used example of
their
previous version, the HPV for a lower cost. QED sell an Aluminum
distributor
hole plug.
Mark VanOsdel











"Mark Van Osdel"
 

PostPost by: "Michael Geiger" » Mon Jun 09, 2003 1:22 am

Yikes! $520 for the universal HPX, plus the cost of any machining
you might need, plus the cost of a possible tachometer interface. I
have no idea a complete new distributer costs. But it does sound
like a really nice solution/enhancement.

http://www.racerpartswholesale.com/electro1.htm

Mike Geiger
"Michael Geiger"
 

PostPost by: type26owner » Mon Jun 09, 2003 4:01 am

The worst part of this is our PhaseIII BRM Twincam in the 41 uses the
same 23D dizzy, only it needs 36 degrees of mechanical advance. It's
got a 50k+ volt CD module which will burn these rotors right through
in minutes I'm guessing. I'm actually really glad this happened to me
in my roadcar. A crank fired ignition system isn't a vintage legal
option unfortunately for the racecar.
type26owner
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1616
Joined: 18 Sep 2003

PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Mon Jun 09, 2003 9:57 am

check the up/down movement in the dissy rotor,if too much maybe it's
shunting the carbon brush up into its little hole,thereby,maybe,causing it
to arc across-hence knackered rotor arm???
john
68plus2


-----Original Message-----
From: type26owner [mailto:***@***.***
Sent: 08 June 2003 17:59
To: ***@***.***
Subject: [LotusElan.net] Ignition Woes


I got stranded again last Monday for the second time in about a month
on my way home from work when the ignition system just shut off while
driving in traffic. I couldn't find or fix the problem along side the
roadway so I got it towed home.:-( This morning I had the time to look
at it and diagnosed the problem to the new rotor had burn through and
shorted out the ignition again. Along with that the center carbon
wiper electrode in the new distributor cap had somehow lodged itself
back into the pocket so it's face was just flush with the plastic and
would not stick proud to make contact with the rotor. Okay, maybe this
is just coincidence but I believe the quality of the replacement caps
and rotors has turned to total garbage. I'm really peeved off because
this is my daily driver and it's completely unreliable now. BTW, the
little spring retainer in the new rotors is also joke.

What do I do to get my 23D dizzy reliable once again? Add a ballast
resistor to step down the coil's voltage output? It's only a 25K volt
coil now. Make my own rotor? Replace the dizzy with a Bosch one? Do
the Bosch dizzies which fit have simliar problems? For sure I'm now
going to carry several spare rotors and caps with wires now at the
very least until I can find a permanent solution. Is there a supplier
anywhere in the world where I get buy quality parts regardless of the
cost? At this point I would pay a small fortune for a quality cap with
real copper electrodes and a rotor with proper electrical insulating
properties.









User avatar
john.p.clegg
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 5709
Joined: 21 Sep 2003
Location: Manchester

PostPost by: type26owner » Mon Jun 09, 2003 1:59 pm

The dizzy is kept in perfect condition. Back in the day when we were
seriously racing and we were still using points we would modify the
engine blocks by boring out the opening for the dizzy and fit an
eccentric adjustment ring with which we could remove the play between
the helical drivegear and the jackshaft to reduce the scatter. Every
little bit helps. Just resleeved one of those blocks so I can provide
pictures of that modification for the doubters.
type26owner
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1616
Joined: 18 Sep 2003

PostPost by: richboyd » Mon Jun 09, 2003 4:01 pm

Mike,

I think that $520 is the cost of the ignition HPX module, which include two
coils, but ... you will have to shell out an addition $200 for a crank
trigger set-up (sensor and trigger wheel). Then, as you point our,
machining/mounting costs pile up. As you said: "Yikes!" Why do all of the
major "improvements" for the Elan (CV-axles, cassette pumps, etc.) cost a
fortune?

This kind of distributor-less technology is standard equipment on every car
since the Yugo. OK, I exaggerate (only slightly; Japanese motorcycles have
been using it since the mid-seventies). My point is: It should be a lot
cheaper. If car manufacturers used modular "off the shelf" distributor-less
ignition systems, the HPX would be available for a very reasonable price.
But manufactures engineer ignition hardware (and software) into their
proprietary engine management systems, which we can't purchase without
buying the rest of the car. I would guess that the ignition portion of a
modern car's price amounts to $50 or $75, sensors and all. We pay for the
"one-off" execution of the HPX, because the technology certainly is not
"one-off" in nature.

Rich Boyd


At 01:22 AM 6/9/2003 +0000, you wrote:
Yikes! $520 for the universal HPX, plus the cost of any machining
you might need, plus the cost of a possible tachometer interface. I
have no idea a complete new distributer costs. But it does sound
like a really nice solution/enhancement.

<http://www.racerpartswholesale.com/electro1.htm>http://www.racerpartswholesale.com/electro1.htm

Mike Geiger
User avatar
richboyd
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 272
Joined: 12 Sep 2003
Location: Seattle

PostPost by: gobw2 » Mon Jun 09, 2003 8:05 pm

If you can't find anything else, perhaps a temporary bodge may help -
dress down end of Distributor shaft a tad, slip a piece of high
dielectric plastic in rotor, use dielectric grease for more protection.
By the way, when Ford was running high energy ignition systems with
dizzy's (to early 1990's), their manual said to coat rotor, and cap
contacts with dielectric grease!!! I think the idea was to reduce arcing.

I followed their advice, cleaned once a year, and had original
caps/rotors on 3 Fords for over 100,000 miles, no problems.
George 67 S3

On Mon, 09 Jun 2003 04:01:11 -0000 "type26owner" <***@***.***>
writes:
The worst part of this is our PhaseIII BRM Twincam in the 41 uses the
same 23D dizzy, only it needs 36 degrees of mechanical advance. It's
got a 50k+ volt CD module which will burn these rotors right through
in minutes I'm guessing. I'm actually really glad this happened to me
gobw2
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 968
Joined: 25 Sep 2003

PostPost by: gobw2 » Mon Jun 09, 2003 8:30 pm

Rich, we probably could find a lot of suitable donor cars in boneyards. I
suspect we want the simpler vehicles with separate ignition systems -
that probably means pre fuel injection. George
On Mon, 09 Jun 2003 08:11:47 -0700 Rich Boyd <***@***.***>
writes:
Mike,

I think that $520 is the cost of the ignition HPX module, which include
two
coils, but ... you will have to shell out an addition $200 for a crank
trigger set-up (sensor and trigger wheel). Then, as you point our,
machining/mounting costs pile up. As you said: "Yikes!" Why do all of
the
major "improvements" for the Elan (CV-axles, cassette pumps, etc.) cost a

fortune?

This kind of distributor-less technology is standard equipment on every
car
since the Yugo. OK, I exaggerate (only slightly; Japanese motorcycles
have
been using it since the mid-seventies). My point is: It should be a lot
cheaper. If car manufacturers used modular "off the shelf"
distributor-less
ignition systems, the HPX would be available for a very reasonable price.

But manufactures engineer ignition hardware (and software) into their
proprietary engine management systems, which we can't purchase without
buying the rest of the car. I would guess that the ignition portion of a
modern car's price amounts to $50 or $75, sensors and all. We pay for the

"one-off" execution of the HPX, because the technology certainly is not
"one-off" in nature.

Rich Boyd
gobw2
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 968
Joined: 25 Sep 2003
Next

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests