Lotus Elan

My ignition is dying

PostPost by: Hamish Coutts » Fri Apr 14, 2006 10:07 pm

Evening all,

I've been working or servicing carbs and have got the engine going again. It was a bug$$r to start but after changing the plugs everything was fine. It has been ok for a few days.

However tonight I started it again and it ran well for 10 mins then ran rough, firing on 2 or 3 intermittently and finally died.
I swapped the plugs but no joy.
Fuel flow is ok and there is fuel in the float chambers. I took new plugs out after trying to start the engine for a few minutes and they were soaking wet. :? I put a spare set of plugs in and tried again - no joy.

So, the fuel system seems ok. I haven't moved anything so the timing is OK.
That leaves the ignition.
The spark seems a bit puny but more than that, it seems a bit intermittent. The ignition is lumeniton (the old optical system which is 20+ years old) and the box mounted on the inner wing gets very hot. Not having much experience with this system is this normal? The distributor cap is new (plus there is not any tracking on it) and I fitted a set of magnecor (blue) leads late last year.

Methinks it's time to retire the Lumenition and fit a new ignition (e.g. an Aldon + a new coil) but before I do that, does anyone have any ideas or opinions?

If I need to replace the Lumenition, what's the best system to replace it with?

One of these days I'll cure these %$?!! niggling problems and get this damned car back on the road properly!! :? Sorry, but this is getting on my ti!s.

Thoughts are very much appreciated.

Regards,

Hamish.
"One day I'll finish the restoration - honest, darling, just a few more years....."
User avatar
Hamish Coutts
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 517
Joined: 29 Jun 2004
Location: Scotland.

PostPost by: chrishewett » Fri Apr 14, 2006 10:24 pm

Hamish,
I sympathise! Sometimes it seems that as soon as I fix one problem another three present themselves!
From my experience I can highly recommend the Aldon ignitor system. I bought mine from them direct and had it delivered in a new dizzy. This was something over ?200. They are very helpful and efficient. I also use their flamethrower coil, it may not be any different from any other coil but I like the name. Bearing in mind where the dizzy sits I like the idea of never having to mess with it again. Also the tacho still works ok.
I hope you are enjoying married life, hope over experience etc.
Chris
chrishewett
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 472
Joined: 06 Oct 2003
Location: Lincolnshire

PostPost by: rgh0 » Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:39 am

Hamish

If the Lumeniton electronics box is getting very hot I suspect that is the source of your problem. I have had 2 of these units on my plus 2 and Esprit for 20 years plus and neither have ever got even warm to touch.

The problem could be in the electronics in the unit itself or it could be that the coil is drawing to much current and overheating the switching transistors in the unit.

If you car has a 6 volt coil with ballast resistor you need to ensure this is wired correctly to avoid it drawing to much current. i.e. The ballast resistor should only be bypassed via the starter switch and delivers 12 volts to the coil via the lumenition unit only when the starter is engaged.

Some of the so called high performance 12 volt coils also draw signficantly more current and can overload electonics based ignition systems. Or the coil could just be faulty and have an internal short that causes it to draw more current. Is the coil itself getting hot in operation?

I would try a new coil first and if that does not work try a new electronic ignition system. Dont have any recommendations as to type as I have never needed to replace my old optical lumeniton units.


regards
Rohan
User avatar
rgh0
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 7487
Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPost by: 1964 S1 » Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:47 am

Check all ground wires.
1964 S1
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1496
Joined: 15 Sep 2003
Location: Hamilton County, Ohio

PostPost by: steveww » Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:30 am

I use the Lumenition Magnatronic system, this is like the Aldon in that it sits completely inside the dizzy. I got mine from Burton Power along with one of their high output coils.

Hang on in there it is all worth it in the end. I have finally finsihed this winter's project and got to drive out yesterday. Sun shining, roof down, twin cam screaming - ah bliss. The first drive is always great, the Elan so immediate after driving my modern all winter.
User avatar
steveww
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1838
Joined: 18 Sep 2003
Location: Northamptonshire, England

PostPost by: Hamish Coutts » Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:32 am

Morning all,

Many thanks for your replies and ideas. Looks like my suspisions have beed confirmed. Damn! :(

I'm going to check everything - again. Then if still the same, go and get a new coil, try that and if still no joy, go down Chris's Aldon route.

Finally, just to close of any other avenues, I think Lumenition make a unit similar to the Aldon. Has anybody any thoughts about that?

Hamish.
"One day I'll finish the restoration - honest, darling, just a few more years....."
User avatar
Hamish Coutts
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 517
Joined: 29 Jun 2004
Location: Scotland.

PostPost by: Hamish Coutts » Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:42 am

Thanks Steve.

Your post came in while I was writing mine. I have a look at the web site. Was it easy to fit and set the timing?
Same question to you Chris about the Aldon.

I will hang on in, I was a bit frustrated last night as we were planning a trip away in the Lotus this weekend. The first of the year. We'll still go away but in a turbo diesel passat :( , not quite the same.

As an aside we're going over to South Ayrshire (below Ayr on the west coast). Nice quiet twisty roads to play on, even at Easter. Joy! :) :)

Regards,

Hamish.
"One day I'll finish the restoration - honest, darling, just a few more years....."
User avatar
Hamish Coutts
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 517
Joined: 29 Jun 2004
Location: Scotland.

PostPost by: carrierdave » Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:59 pm

Hi Hamish,
The other month I picked up a Lumenition MK12 box with lucas dizzy with the intension of fitting it to my car (period piece).

The dizzy has two optical pickups opposite each other with two leads coming out of the dizzy.
Someone at some stage has cut the plugs off of these leads leaving blue, black red and yellow wires.

The lead from the lumenitions box has a blue black and red cable with two further spade connections; one marked coil and the other marked pos.

Does this sound the same as your system?

If so do you have any fitting instructions as I have absolutely nothing.

Kind regards

David
carrierdave
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 333
Joined: 23 Sep 2004
Location: Rochester, Kent

PostPost by: Ry_Willi » Sat Apr 15, 2006 6:01 pm

Hi Guys,

Just fitted an Aldon dizzy with ignitor to a sprint, they had fitted the ignitor for me but by the looks of it very easy as a retro fit in situ. Only two wires, both go to coil.

Found Aldon very good to deal with, clear instructions and car now goes like stink.

Ryan
Ry_Willi
New-tral
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 04 Apr 2006
Location: Dorset, U.K.

PostPost by: Hamish Coutts » Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:03 pm

David,

Haven't had a serious look at what wires come out of the dizzy. Will do so. Do you want to know?
There is a cable coming out of the dizzy with a few wires in it.

The engine started first turn of the key this morning. Not what I expected. However, 5 mins later it stopped. Running on 2. Both carbs checked out OK but the plugs were clogged with petrol. Looks like there is an ignition problem but I am checking the float chambers in the carbs tomorrow.

This thing has been sent to try me, I'm sure.

Hamish.
"One day I'll finish the restoration - honest, darling, just a few more years....."
User avatar
Hamish Coutts
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 517
Joined: 29 Jun 2004
Location: Scotland.

PostPost by: Hamish Coutts » Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:05 pm

Thanks Ryan,

Very encouraging about Aldon. Just my luck this all happened at Easter when they are all closed. Will attend to things next week.

Hamish.
"One day I'll finish the restoration - honest, darling, just a few more years....."
User avatar
Hamish Coutts
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 517
Joined: 29 Jun 2004
Location: Scotland.

PostPost by: carrierdave » Sun Apr 16, 2006 11:02 am

Hi Hamish,
Thanks for the note. The one I have at the moment has 4 very small wires enclosed in a red cover. They are blue, red, black and yellow. From the Lumenition I have an earth, a live connection and then a blue, black and red which I believe connect to the dizzy.
My problem is where does the yellow go?

Inside the Dizzy I have two optical sensors opposite each other and then I have two of these cables coming out of the dizzy which I think I can pair together - Not sure.

Any help would be greatly received.

Your problem certainly appears to be one of plug fouling - I would be surprised to see the ignition only affecting 2 out of 4 cylinders.

Have you tried running the car, waiting for the missfire and then cleaning up or just swoping out the missfiring plugs and then re starting the car?

Good Luck

David
carrierdave
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 333
Joined: 23 Sep 2004
Location: Rochester, Kent

PostPost by: Matt7c » Sun Apr 16, 2006 8:50 pm

I'd just like to add my tuppence about the Aldon Ignitor - its a top piece of equipment! You get modern(ish) electronic ignition reliability, all tucked away inside an original Lucas dizzy, which looks thouroughly authentic. No extra boxes and no extra wires. Its simple to fit, with simple instructions, and in the 14 months since, I have not had to think about the ignition once (other than resetting the timing after cam-off jobs).
1965 Elan S2
Matt7c
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 190
Joined: 01 Aug 2004
Location: Gloucester, England

PostPost by: john-c-elan+2 » Mon Apr 17, 2006 9:47 am

Full fitting instructions for optronic can be downloaded off lumenition's wbsite. I know coz I had to get them that way ! When u get them printed off u can see that they did a colour change to the wiring, but its all explained there. I have just found them and the web address shown is as follows: www.denaploy.co.uk/autocar
(I'm sure I just put lumenition into google) but hey however u get it!)
john
john-c-elan+2
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 125
Joined: 22 Sep 2003

PostPost by: Matt7c » Mon Apr 17, 2006 11:04 am

Rohan,

A few posts ago, you asked whether the coil was getting hot in operation. This prompted me to check mine and I found that it is quite hot. Should it be cool?

Matt
1965 Elan S2
Matt7c
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 190
Joined: 01 Aug 2004
Location: Gloucester, England
Next

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests