Lotus Elan

Ignition Modules - less fire risk??

PostPost by: William2 » Fri Sep 24, 2021 5:26 pm

Having fitted a Powerspark electronic ignition module to my distributor a few years back I have just had a thought of an added benefit aside from less maintenance. I assume that because the points are no longer present that there is less of a fire risk from fuel dripping from the overhead carbs. Having said that, I suppose there is the arcing from the rotor arm that could till ignite the fuel.
William2
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 972
Joined: 20 Jan 2013
Location: West Sussex

PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Fri Sep 24, 2021 6:59 pm

William,

I am old enough to remember when our cars were new. My memory now is poor, but I think I remember them catching fire from fuel leaking onto the distributor. For this reason I am using an Electronic Distributorless Ignition System (EDIS for short) this enables me to remove the distributor and place the coil pack so it is not under the carburettors.

Hope I have not made a mistake,

Richard Hawkins
RichardHawkins
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 922
Joined: 05 Jul 2008
Location: Lincolnshire U.K.

PostPost by: cliveyboy » Fri Sep 24, 2021 9:49 pm

Whilst I did produce a bracket to relocate the coil away from under the carbs to give better access to it etc.
I do not personally know anyone whose car caught fire. So it may be an urban myth.
Clive
1972 Elan Sprint FHC
cliveyboy
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 614
Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Location: Oxfordshire UK

PostPost by: Andy8421 » Sat Sep 25, 2021 7:47 am

The rotor arm to dizzy cap arc is a higher voltage spark, but either the points or the rotor arm would be capable of igniting an air / fuel mix.

I have not had direct experience of a distributor starting a fire (though it seems reasonable that it could) but I have blown the cap off a distributor that I had washed in petrol and hadn't dried off properly. It was on a Mini where the dizzy faces forward. I had the grill off to work on the ignition. First turn of the key, a loud bang and bits of dizzy cap were shot around the garage with the remainder of the cap attached to the plug leads looking like an ill octopus.
Andy8421
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 600
Joined: 27 Mar 2011
Location: Surrey, UK

PostPost by: nmauduit » Sat Sep 25, 2021 9:59 am

cliveyboy wrote:I do not personally know anyone whose car caught fire. So it may be an urban myth.
Clive



currently for sale locally after a fire (no affiliation) - actual cause not detailed though...

https://www.leboncoin.fr/equipement_auto/2045069159.htm

11187266b24f35f6331dc09669b88eb9ced6f729.jpg and
Sprint after fire

0b415568c22988940f5ddd3c96d0639823f45be4.jpg and
Sprint after fire

80a7ffa862b00587c19c2ba8ba91a492dad90f19.jpg and
Sprint after fire
S4SE 36/8198
User avatar
nmauduit
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1820
Joined: 02 Sep 2013
Location: France

PostPost by: h20hamelan » Sat Sep 25, 2021 1:24 pm

Interesting, more timely

https://www.lotustalk.com/threads/somet ... ty.485398/

Does anyone use a deflector under their carbs, or is there anything else we can do outside of electronic distributor?
Born, and brought home from the hospital (no seat belt (wtf)) in a baby!
Find out where the limits are, and start from there
Love your Mother
Earth
User avatar
h20hamelan
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1233
Joined: 25 Sep 2010
Location: RACECAR spelled backward, is——RACECAR!

PostPost by: Slowtus » Sat Sep 25, 2021 6:56 pm

cliveyboy wrote:Whilst I did produce a bracket to relocate the coil away from under the carbs to give better access to it etc.
I do not personally know anyone whose car caught fire. So it may be an urban myth.
Clive


Not completely. :(

After.jpg and
Slowtus
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 317
Joined: 22 Sep 2017
Location: Canada

PostPost by: cliveyboy » Sun Sep 26, 2021 6:17 am

Thanks everyone for the pictures keep them coming.
I had better re clarify my statement.
I do not personally know anyone whose Elan caught fire "because" of fuel specifically dripping onto the coil.
Although to be fair its probably quite difficult to prove unless you know you have a fuel leak and its dropping onto the coil.
Clive
1972 Elan Sprint FHC
cliveyboy
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 614
Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Location: Oxfordshire UK

PostPost by: Andy8421 » Sun Sep 26, 2021 10:50 am

cliveyboy wrote:Thanks everyone for the pictures keep them coming.
I had better re clarify my statement.
I do not personally know anyone whose Elan caught fire "because" of fuel specifically dripping onto the coil.
Although to be fair its probably quite difficult to prove unless you know you have a fuel leak and its dropping onto the coil.
Clive

As long as the cables are tight, there should be no spark at the coil, so it shouldn't be a source of ignition. The real problem is the distributor with two ignition sources, the points and the rotor arm to distributor cap gap.

The fire prevention benefit of fitting the EDIS system is it gets rid of the distributor, although mounting the EDIS coil pack somewhere other than under the carbs can't hurt either.
Andy8421
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 600
Joined: 27 Mar 2011
Location: Surrey, UK

PostPost by: h20hamelan » Sun Sep 26, 2021 1:39 pm

You loose the points spark going electronic, which is probably the only one of concern. Though vapours could, from the rotor arm cap.
Born, and brought home from the hospital (no seat belt (wtf)) in a baby!
Find out where the limits are, and start from there
Love your Mother
Earth
User avatar
h20hamelan
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1233
Joined: 25 Sep 2010
Location: RACECAR spelled backward, is——RACECAR!

PostPost by: Donels » Sun Sep 26, 2021 6:04 pm

I have never set fire to a Lotus but I did to a Westfield. The banjo came loose between the Weber’s and sprayed fuel everywhere. It wasn’t the distributor that ignited the fuel but the spit back from the carbs as they ran dry of fuel. It went with quite a bang, but fortunately I carried a small fire extinguisher which successfully extinguished the fire. The car was a right off but it was not all bad news as I bought a Lotus with the proceeds. Moral of the story is always carry a fire extinguisher.

And for the pyrotechnic fetishists here’s some pics………

5467AF66-38A3-4C40-AF5F-E7A3E65076A8.jpeg and


F63D7332-4785-4AC8-B48E-B48B844A0DCC.jpeg and


903435CC-7FFF-4B8B-AB33-C489D184130E.jpeg and


6A857924-4093-4C26-8F31-325E40761572.jpeg and
Elan +2
Elise mk 1
Donels
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 426
Joined: 10 Sep 2016
Location: Tamworth

PostPost by: cliveyboy » Sun Sep 26, 2021 7:44 pm

That was a close call.
The good thing was you got out OK.
1972 Elan Sprint FHC
cliveyboy
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 614
Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Location: Oxfordshire UK

PostPost by: Slowtus » Sun Sep 26, 2021 8:35 pm

But wait, there's more...

For those who don't do jigsaws, it started out looking like this.

before.jpg and


Lotus cleverly designed the 907 engine so that fuel leak at the carbs would descend onto and into the casting 'webs' and other nooks and crannies where it would gather nicely until it met a source of ignition.
And the result...

After1.jpg and


After2.jpg and



Fortunately I had a fire extinguisher or it could have been a lot worse :lol:
Slowtus
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 317
Joined: 22 Sep 2017
Location: Canada

PostPost by: The Veg » Tue Sep 28, 2021 2:22 am

:shock: :cry: :shock: :cry: :shock: :cry:

I never set a car afire, but I'm told that my former Turbo Esprit would make nice little fiery pops from the tailpipe when I came off the throttle. :mrgreen:
Last edited by The Veg on Thu Sep 30, 2021 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1969/70 Elan Plus 2 (not S) 50/2036
"It just wouldn't be a complete day if I didn't forget something!" -Me
User avatar
The Veg
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1929
Joined: 16 Nov 2015
Location: Atlanta 'burbs (southeast USA)

PostPost by: Andy8421 » Tue Sep 28, 2021 7:02 am

Donels wrote:I have never set fire to a Lotus but I did to a Westfield. The banjo came loose between the Weber’s and sprayed fuel everywhere. It wasn’t the distributor that ignited the fuel but the spit back from the carbs as they ran dry of fuel. It went with quite a bang, but fortunately I carried a small fire extinguisher which successfully extinguished the fire. The car was a right off but it was not all bad news as I bought a Lotus with the proceeds. Moral of the story is always carry a fire extinguisher.

And for the pyrotechnic fetishists here’s some pics………

5467AF66-38A3-4C40-AF5F-E7A3E65076A8.jpeg


F63D7332-4785-4AC8-B48E-B48B844A0DCC.jpeg


903435CC-7FFF-4B8B-AB33-C489D184130E.jpeg


6A857924-4093-4C26-8F31-325E40761572.jpeg

That's very interesting. I have also had a banjo bolt fall out of a Weber carb, luckily with no fire. I had to drive the car on two cylinders with a bit of twig stuffed down the fuel pipe to get me home.
I have seen owners safety wire the bolts which I thought was overkill, but perhaps it is a good idea after all.
Andy8421
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 600
Joined: 27 Mar 2011
Location: Surrey, UK
Next

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests