Lotus Elan

accuspark distributor no start

PostPost by: oldelanman » Wed Jul 01, 2020 2:04 pm

I have now fitted my old distributor with new points rotor arm and condenser

Are the fibre washers and nylon spacer correctly fitted where the points spring and pig-tails attach to the post on the base plate ? If not the coil will be permanently earthed. Use a test lamp connected between distributor LT and earth .. it should flash on and off as the points open and close, if not you have a short.
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PostPost by: l10tus » Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:33 pm

Even if your timing is 180° out, you should still have a spark at the points, as the previous post says.....

So you need to go back to the begining:-
• Check battery is ok / fully charged
• check power to ignition switch
• check power out of switch in engine cranking position
• check 12v to coil
• check coil to distributor supply.
• check power 'splash' at points when opened/closed
• check distributor cap, central carbon connector is still in place and spring loaded / moves in cap.
• check to see if there's a spark at no.1 plug when earthed to engine.

Come back to tell us what you found and close out when issue is identified.
Philip.

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PostPost by: checkrail » Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:44 pm

I have 12v from the battery at the solenoid but I now can't get a voltage reading at the coil terminals, whereas I could earlier on. However the flat terminal on the solenoid below the two main ones is slightly loose which I guess is not helping, so I will get a new one.

The points are the one piece type with the plastic bushes, there is no spark from no1 plug when its earthed on the engine

Thanks for all your suggestions

John
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PostPost by: l10tus » Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:31 am

John,

Just wondering:

The supply wire (normally white) to the coil, comes via. the rev counter, it's wrapped around a sensing terminal on the back of the instrument.

Has this been shorted or cut?
Philip.

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PostPost by: oldelanman » Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:35 am

Another thought John,
Does your car still have the anti-theft switch connected in the ignition circuit ? Most have probably been bypassed as they can be unreliable and cause problems ..... maybe worth checking.
Roger
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PostPost by: checkrail » Thu Jul 02, 2020 3:34 pm

Connected a wire from ignition terminal of solenoid direct to + on coil, disconnected resister feed from small terminal on solenoid.
It fired straight away but what a 'machine gun' racket! Checked all plug lead connections for tightness, tried advancing / retarding dizzy.
Is it because of the direct feed that causing the miss fire. I have still got the anti-theft switch connected but I never use it as I have a battery master switch, but I tried it, still works blowing the horn, also the rev counter has always been nice and steady when the Ignitor was fitted.

Looks like one step forward six back. As always any ideas please. John
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PostPost by: l10tus » Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:19 pm

Good news John.

Looks like the solenoid is us.?

When the feed is direct it has no reason to cause a misfire - in fact just the opposite - it should be fault free!

Was the car running ok previously.?

Messing with the distributor probablly hasn't helped.

You need to strobe it and experiment with timing.

Were the carbs ever checked/set up properly?
Philip.

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PostPost by: mbell » Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:52 pm

checkrail wrote:disconnected resister feed from small terminal on solenoid.


Does your car have a ballest resistor?

If so:
- Did you power the module from the coil after the ballest resistor? (This wouldn't work as voltage would be two low for the ignition module)
- Is your replacement coil correct for ballest system? (If you fitted a 12V coil with ballest it also might not work.)
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:19 am

John, well done for getting it started.
Regarding the misfire......in changing the distributor cap is it possible you have the plug leads mixed up so the firing order is wrong ? Apologies if you've already discounted that possibility.
Roger
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PostPost by: checkrail » Fri Jul 03, 2020 3:46 pm

New solenoid, new set of NGK's, this is the first time on a points set up I'm using the same dizzy cap as the Ignitor set up.
The carbs were set up by Matty's, the plug leads are all numbered and I know the timing is not 180 degrees out (dizzy replaced at TDC with cam lobes facing in on no.4)
The new coil is ballasted, small terminal on solenoid has yellow wire to + on coil.
It will start with wire direct from solenoid to coil but not just with the yellow one, but only for a few seconds sounding like a tractor. At one point it was kicking back and then other time ran on when I switched off so too far advanced, tried retarding but would not start.

Looks like the carbs will have to come off so I can get to the points to time it.

Sorry this is a bit long winded but once again thanks for any more help

John
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:55 am

John,
Did you check the static timing after you fitted the distributor ?
The distributor shaft rotates when you insert it into the engine as the skew gear teeth engage with the jackshaft so you need to check that the tip of the rotor arm is still pointing at the No1 plug lead in the cap when the distributor is fully inserted. It's easy to be one tooth out and the timing will be way off as a result.
Roger
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PostPost by: checkrail » Sat Jul 04, 2020 3:32 pm

Roger, I took a photo of the dizzy at tdc before I removed it when all the problems started, rotor arm at 10 o'clock.
After much struggling with a mirror and torch I set the timing marks to 10 degrees, I know it should be 12, fortunately the PO had white painted the pulley mark. That put the rotor arm a tooth out so I put that back to 10 o'clock.
Regarding starting it will still only run with a direct 12v wire from the solenoid to the coil but that then gets hot, it will not start with the ballast wire connected.
If I could solve this resistor problem then I might be able to keep it running so that I can try rotating the dizzy. It's not an easy job as I have no helper.

regards John
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Sat Jul 04, 2020 4:40 pm

Hi John,
To maintain the same setting you had before removing the distributor you just needed to refit it with the body of the distributor and the rotor arm both in exactly the same positions as before, without turning the engine. Assuming the timing was more or less correct before, that should get the engine started so you can time it properly.
I think by turning the engine from TDC to 10 deg BTDC and then fitting the rotor back in it's original position you have probably added another 10 deg advance and that may be why you can't now get it running.
Roger
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PostPost by: SENC » Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:42 pm

I agree with Roger, and though I don't have electronic distributor experience I still think something is not right in your wiring (but stand ready to be corrected).

Specific to points systems (which I think is what you have installed now, correct?)... with a ballast coil, as I understand it the wiring from the solenoid should go direct to the coil+ and the lead that goes through the ballast resistor should be from the "run" position (via the tachometer and/or antitheft switch), and then on to the ignition to the coil+. The intent of the lower resistance 1.5ohm coil is to aid cold starting spark even when less than 12v is available (down to 6v) to the coil. Once started and running, when the generator/alternator are ensuring a constant feed of 12v, the ballast resistor is needed to increase resistance so the coil (or downstream points/condensor) don't fry.

If I'm following you correctly, it sounds like you've created a 2nd direct connection from solenoid to coil+ (perhaps there is a break/short in the original wire?). Or are you saying you're picking up 12v on the battery side of the solenoid? If the latter, then you're continuously sending 12v through a low resistance coil once running and that would explain why it is getting hot (probably 2x the wattage/power).

Last - are you certain there is a ballast resistor somewere between the ignition and the coil, or just assuming because the old coil was designed for a ballasted system?
Henry
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PostPost by: checkrail » Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:53 pm

Yes I am running points, and yes I have tried a direct wire from the solenoid to the coil which is why it gets hot. The problem is the existing yellow from the small terminal on the solenoid to the second + terminal on the coil does not show any current on the meter.
When I bought the Plus 2 it was running with the Ignitor and the Lucas ballasted coil so I assumed it had a resistor system with that yellow connected.
As everything was fine before I left the ignition on and overheated the module, I wondered if it upset the resistor as well, because I cannot any power from that yellow lead.

I would be happy to get rid of a ballasted system, if there is a resistor where is it. I know the manual shows the external one on the coil.

John
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