Lotus Elan

Accuspark

PostPost by: Chancer » Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:23 am

If the gear is eccentric to the shaft then it will not mesh correctly with the camshaft and premature wear and even perhaps failure will occur as during the course of one revolution it will go out of mesh to a degree and possibly even have no clearance 180? opposite.

The depth of the gear teeth I would not be too hung up about if there are no points then there is no longer even a minimum load being driven.

The end float is of concern as it will create timing scatter as will the eccentricty. Even if the thing does not fail in service and the double drilled hand filed not machined shaft, the lack of a toleranced fit between the shaft and gear, the eccentric gear etc will all conspire to make that happen, the timing scatter will be so appalling that you would be better off using an old worn distributeur and points.

A chocolate teapot and confirms my view that there is nobody in this company with even the slightest mechanical engineering knowledge.

Very bad publicity for them and so unnecessary, for all I know all the ditributor specialists may now have to work with rubbish materials like these but I am sure for example the guy from Bestek would do his best to overcome them, would not try to deny something that had slipped past him and would acknowledge the shortcomings.

I had a similar problem with some competition wheelstuds that all sheared within the first race, thankfully I was black flagged. I did a micro examintaion on them and it was both a material and machining problem, I contacted the company, well known in the UK, and they put me through to the technical director who just tried to bullshit me, I knew from his voice that it was the MD who I had previously met during a visit, a very good salesman no doubt at all but not a technical brain cell between the ears, I knew straight away that it wasnt even worth continuing the discussion as we might as well have been speaking different languages, I was concerned for other competitors, his product and reputation, he was just concerned with profit, I just accepted some new studs and kept a very close eye on them.
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PostPost by: elangtv2000 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:27 pm

For clarity: the 23D shaft is the rough-filed one, and has the cross-drilled, overlapped holes. The 43D shaft is the one that is short, and with the excessive end play.

Tony has responded that he will send shims but no replacement for the 43D because I haven't PROVEN to him that the measurement is accurate. How I am supposed to do this is unclear. He said I was "unable" to provide the 0.84" gap, but "Had I been satisfied that the gap was over 50 thou, I would have replaced the distributor". However, he has made it impossible to prove this to his satisfaction, which gives him a nice way out. He has refused any further communications, and will not replace either distributor, or even provide replacement shafts.

It is unclear to me how one sues a UK business from outside the country, and to be honest, I really have to focus on my life and businesses at this point, so spending hundreds or thousands for an unclear result over these pieces of uh, work, isn't in my interests. Since he refuses to replace either distributor, sending them back to him at the high cost of US international shipping amounts to not only throwing away my money, but relinquishing the very items I will be showing to all of the vintage racers and race engine rebuilders I know for their evaluation. I photographed these within hours of receiving them, and have done nothing to damage or further degrade them - they are the way they were sent to me. I've got a life, two businesses, and no time on my hands to fabricate a product defect, at any price, or for any return. These were originally purchased for two Elan owners for whom I am doing some work. They both were interested in the products, but I am the one who has suffered not only this incredible waste of time and money.

Tony states: "All you have done, right from the beginning is to be completely negative about our products. You are right ? this is something I take offence at. I am proud of my business and what we have achieved, and I do take the content and tone of your emails personally. This is my business and my products. Of course there are a few people who do not like the products for one reason or another, this is the case with all businesses."

"To give you an idea of the success and popularity of our products, on one of our ebay shops alone, we have sold over $1,600,000 worth of Accuspark products ? we think that speaks for itself."

Tony's parting statement:
"We are fully aware of UK selling legislation, I really don?t need an American to tell me anything about it."

OK, then.
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PostPost by: UAB807F » Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:47 pm

I'd have thought that any business with over a million quids worth of sales could afford to sort out something so obviously wrong. It's a pity you didn't buy through Ebay, some negative feedback might just slow down that sales profile.

I hate to say it of a UK company but this is a case that does need more publicity, if only to prevent others from ending up in the same position. Hopefully they will learn and pay more attention to their product quality although going on what you've reported, I'm not holding my breath on that one.
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PostPost by: Chancer » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:06 pm

In an attempt to cool things down a bit and find a resolution, insert a feeler blade or combination of smaller ones in the end float gap, then close up your vernier on it and take a photo like the other ones. That should be enough for them.

Maybe also a photo of the feeler blade(s) size(s)
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PostPost by: elangtv2000 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:42 pm

Actually, after the calipers, I did use feeler gauges to measure the gap and told that to Tony on two separate occasions by email. He simply doesn't believe me.There is nothing to make him believe me - he will simply state that I didn't prove the thickness of the feeler gauge. He has stated himself that the max. gap is 0.025". The photographs I've previously supplied show a gap clearly well above that maximum. I wouldn't even use this with 0.025" gap, and would add a shim. In fact, it appears to me that shims are simply missing, and/or the hole was drilled too far down the shaft.

For this forum, however, I have attached three photos - feelers in the gap and their position in the gauge set, the feelers open showing their stated thickness, and a shot from above showing the same feelers were used to measure. Measuring the stack of 3 feelers with calipers is really adding insult to my injury, and I must draw the line, as this is becoming a bad, bad joke.

Aside from the photos, I have already made this measurement for Accuspark, but this is just one concern I have raised. All of those have been systematically denied by Accuspark, which to me, is the real problem here. It's not my job to serve as their quality control, or have to go through this much wasted time and effort to point out defects which the seller chooses to negate.

Cheers
Attachments
43D feelers 3.jpg and
Confirming position of feelers to verify thickness
43D feelers 2.jpg and
Confirming thicknesses of feelers
43D feelers 1.jpg and
0.084" in 3 feelers in gap
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PostPost by: billwill » Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:15 am

Chancer wrote:In an attempt to cool things down a bit and find a resolution, insert a feeler blade or combination of smaller ones in the end float gap, then close up your vernier on it and take a photo like the other ones. That should be enough for them.

Maybe also a photo of the feeler blade(s) size(s)


Not just a photo, take a video of the whole sequence.

Perhaps put it on youtube as an unlisted video & send him the URL & say, there is the proof, would you like me to make this URL public!
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:26 am

How did you pay for the parts. If you paid via Paypal or a credit card you can probably get your money back through them and you offer to ship the "not fit for purpose" parts back if he pays.

cheers
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PostPost by: Chancer » Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:59 pm

elangtv2000 wrote: Measuring the stack of 3 feelers with calipers is really adding insult to my injury, and I must draw the line, as this is becoming a bad, bad joke.

Cheers


Sorry about that, it wasnt my intention, I didnt think that you would be able to do such a good job of photographing the feeler blades as you have done hence the suggestion of the caliper readout on the feelers in the gap, if that makes any sense.

The photo has saddened me though, they are if I am not mistaken Snap on feelers, I have lost mine and have to use rusty old ones that you cannot read the sizes of let alone photograph.

I completely agree that 25 thou is too much (for me) end float and I would also shim it, but thats just the way I am, I accept that in these days with reproduction parts 25 thou would not be unusual and i would do something about it but 84 thou :shock:

The British motor industry wasnt particularly quality conscious in the day and Lucas in particular did not have say the reputation of Bosch but can you imagine any manufacturer or even a part counter guy accepting a new part with 84 thou end float? Like I say, the timing scatter would be appalling, imagine the swing when the engine accelarates and decelerates, the inertia of the shaft and bob weights would have the gear moving up and down every time.
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PostPost by: pierrea76 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:36 am

Hello from France, i agree to that says chancer. i can add that is a simple job to overhaul a Lucas distributor. in fact, very often, cleaning and very light oiling of weights is sufficient;Today, it is possible to find good points and condenser, and the running should be exactly as it was in the past! Just one important neglected thing, be sure the distributor is the right one for your engine.There are at least four different advance curves, and you must check the stamped number on the side of distributor, not just 23D for instance, and overcross whith Wilkins' book; In France, we have many wonderful things as taxes, president, debt...but a poor gas mixed whith alcohol. Also, it is is necessary and safe to retard ignition of 2 degrees (i dont know if it is the same thing for you)Pierre
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PostPost by: billwill » Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:00 pm

pierrea76 wrote:Hello from France, i agree to that says chancer. i can add that is a simple job to overhaul a Lucas distributor. in fact, very often, cleaning and very light oiling of weights is sufficient;Today, it is possible to find good points and condenser, and the running should be exactly as it was in the past! Just one important neglected thing, be sure the distributor is the right one for your engine.There are at least four different advance curves, and you must check the stamped number on the side of distributor, not just 23D for instance, and overcross whith Wilkins' book; In France, we have many wonderful things as taxes, president, debt...but a poor gas mixed whith alcohol. Also, it is is necessary and safe to retard ignition of 2 degrees (i dont know if it is the same thing for you)Pierre



I don't think you have realised Pierre, that elangtv2000 bought the distributors to use with the Accuspark Black Box electronic ignition, so the weights were going to be wired tight and the original curves not relevant because the electronic box provides all the 'curves' by its internal computer. I presume they would also be fitted with an electronic replacement for the sparks and condensor.

lotus-electrical-f38/accuspark-t25226.html#p205580
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:50 am

In the last year they have allowed electronic ignition that fits into the distributor in our historic racing class. A number of guys have converted and many have had problems with spark reliability at high revs due to high temperatures that exceed the rating of the units which is typically only 110C. I have stuck to points and others have gone back to points. The only problem is that the Porsche 911 points we use in the Bosch distributors that are far superior to the Lucas units are NLA :shock: Hopefully the will be made again soon before my spares run out :lol:

cheers
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PostPost by: AHM » Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:13 pm

The thing that I can't work out is. Why would someone who could justifiably be proud of the business they have set-up, then chuck it all away with sub-standard products and appalling customer service?
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PostPost by: Chancer » Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:48 pm

Ego, pride, perhaps misunderstanding the tone of a communication from across the atlantic or misconstruing the requirements of the customer which I personally dont think are at all unreasonable.

The sad thing is that when things go wrong, as they invariably can, its a superb opportunity for a company to gain customer loyalty and goodwill.

There are companies that I use that consistently perform well, the correct goods as described and of the required quality always delivered on time etc but I would not know if they are a really good company until the day that something is amiss.
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PostPost by: bloodknock » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:29 pm

Hello Chaps
I am thinking of fitting contactless ignition to my sprint. I found the commentary on Accuspark very disturbing and would like advice on alternatives. My distributor is original and in very good condition only having covered 30k or so miles from new.
I would welcome the voices of experience.
Regards
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:28 pm

Bob

Before going EFI ,I used lumenition for years with no problems...

John :wink:
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