Lotus Elan

What To Do With My Dodgy Dizzy

PostPost by: simonknee » Mon Sep 13, 2004 7:16 pm

Hi all,

Just got back from a great trip round the Scottish Highlands. The only bummer was my Lumentition control unit failed. The local garage, at Loch Carron, luckily found correct points and condensor and we were on road again.

Whilst doing this it was found that the advance weights had seized (oops I admit it, I forgot the oil) and one of the springs wasn't even attached.

I have been in and out of the unit a few times now, with knowledge gleaned from Marcel Chichak's document at: <a href='http://www.telusplanet.net/~chichm/tech/lucastuning.pdf' target='_blank'>http://www.telusplanet.net/~chichm/tech/lu...lucastuning.pdf</a>, Miles Wilkins book and threads on this site.

Other faults discovered are:
Excessive vertical movement due to no nylon thrust washer.
A primary spring as loose as the secondary.

Next I need a strobe to check what the advance is actually doing.

However the 23D4 unit is inscribed as 41489 which doesn't feature in Miles book at all.
With the correct advance springs it should be fine, yes? However which curve should I have? The engine, according to my DPO, is a standard 105bhp Weber unit. So should I get the dizzy to match the 41189 curve? Our should I just abandon it and if so what should I go for?

A company called Holden will recondition but it takes three weeks and I need the car most days. Any body got a spare I can borrow? Plus what spec should I get them to recondition to?
Simon
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PostPost by: sk178ta » Tue Sep 14, 2004 2:32 pm

Re. luminition failing. I had my Elan fitted with it and it failed within a week. A F Autotechnics who fitted it, recovered the car and replaced the whole lot. It failed again after 2 days at 11 p.m. 20 miles from home. A F A recovered the car again and this time fitted an Aldon unit. After 1,000 miles there`s no problem, nor should there be. The whole point (!) is for better reliability.
Have we both been unlucky or is Lumenition a pile of *****?
Jim
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PostPost by: simonknee » Tue Sep 14, 2004 4:49 pm

I talked to Lumentition and they said that two possible causes of failure are high voltage due to dodgy alternator/regulator or low impedance coil (less than 3ohms).
Mybe one of these problems was present in your car. I haven't checked either yet but will before I fit the replacement. However I have had many years of trouble free Lumenition motoring on various cars so aren't going to right them off just yet.
Simon
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PostPost by: cliveyboy » Wed Sep 15, 2004 7:01 am

I have used Lumenition Optronic on a few classic cars and have had no problems.
If you need to replace the coil, Lumenition make a series of uprated coils to match the different electronic ignition systems they do.
1972 Elan Sprint FHC
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PostPost by: simonknee » Wed Sep 15, 2004 1:56 pm

Back to the real issue... Can anybody answer my dizzy questions?????
Simon
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Wed Sep 15, 2004 2:58 pm

Simon,
I would think that you would need the advance curve of the 41189 but are you sure that your dizzy is a 41489 and not a 41189 ? after thirty years is the number still clear?
I'm not saying it isn't a 41489 but I would have another look just to make sure.
Brian
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PostPost by: simonknee » Wed Sep 15, 2004 5:56 pm

I did double check but I could be wrong.
That said it's running awfully since my last fiddle with the springs.
Admittedly I am setting the timing by hand/ear/feel!!!

I have ordered up a new 43D4 in 103TC spec from Paul Matty since they seem to have the most knowledge on this. Plus at ?120 it's only ?10 more than having my 23D4 rebuilt. They do four different spec dizzies, whereas most other suppliers only have one.

Now I read elsewhere in these lists that there's a thrust washer that lives below the unit. However PM say there isn't, so did I read this wrong and the thrust washer is actually integral to the distributor?

Are the timing lights with rpm and avdvance readings worth having?? Or will a bog standard one do the job?
Simon
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Wed Sep 15, 2004 7:34 pm

Simon,
There is a washer that is fitted between the dizzy body and the drive gear, in the exploded diagram it's refered to as "Washer (distributor shaft thrust) "
Timing lights with a rpm scale are not that useful unless its got the facility to check the timing advance as well, i.e. a scale to show how many degrees its advancing at a given rpm, the ones I have seen have not been that accurate with the rpm.
You do need a strobe but you do not need a fancy one unless you are getting serious and want to check the advance through the entire rev range.
As you are getting a new dizzy I doubt its worth spending a lot on an expensive strobe.
Brian
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