Lotus Elan

Anyone experienced Pertronix Cap issue?

PostPost by: Tahoe » Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:17 pm

Asking the question because all of a sudden the car wouldn't start. Lifted off the bonnett (hood) and after scratching my big head for a second I noticed that my cap had come loose. Not only did the cap come loose but the rotor sheared at the slot allowing the rotor to spin around and the metal contact was bent. Being the kind of cerebral person that I am I decided to have a beer and ponder the situation. My conclusion is that I need a new cap and rotor. Anyway fast forward 1 week with new rotor and cap in hand and I put them on the distributor (dizzy). The dizzy part was me after a couple more beers and a shot of fine Kauai Rum. Anyway after putting the distributor cap on I noticed it was easy to pop off because the clips don't hold it very well. I decided to not try and start the car risking the clips popping off again and I think I'm going to remove the distributor and drill and tap for the hold down screws instead. The cap is made to accept both and I think the screws are a better choice. A little harder to remove and deal with but worth the effort.

So has anyone else experienced this?
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PostPost by: holywood3645 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:27 pm

I think your cap came from RD? Side entry? I have bought them from Bean and RD. RD is a better quaily more like the old Bacalite (SP?) and Bean is softer plastic. It is a flakey fit with the clips, and have worried about it but have not had any problems. The RD cap looks like it has had the clip indents added after. I think its the maybe 43D style. I say this because I received the Pertronix cap when I ordered a 43D cap.
The bean cap was a more positive fit using clips.

James
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PostPost by: YellowS4DHC » Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:47 am

I also got a Pertronix cap when I ordered a replacement 43D cap (side entry) from RD. I agree that the fit of the cap on the distributor is not as positive as I'd like, but it is satisfactory and has not given me any problems.

I do take great care to ensure it is seated properly and remains so when setting the clips. Once set, the clips have an adequate purchase on the cap. I use a mirror to make sure the inboard clip is seated correctly.

To use screws down there will be pretty nasty when you have to R&R the cap - assuming you have normal sized hands and don't plan to pull the carbs.

Rick

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'69 S4 Elan DHC
'67 S800 Coupe
'57 T1 Speedster
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:17 am

YellowS4DHC wrote:I also got a Pertronix cap when I ordered a replacement 43D cap (side entry) from RD. I agree that the fit of the cap on the distributor is not as positive as I'd like, but it is satisfactory and has not given me any problems.

I do take great care to ensure it is seated properly and remains so when setting the clips. Once set, the clips have an adequate purchase on the cap. I use a mirror to make sure the inboard clip is seated correctly.

To use screws down there will be pretty nasty when you have to R&R the cap - assuming you have normal sized hands and don't plan to pull the carbs.

Rick

'72 Europa Twin Cam
'69 S4 Elan DHC
'67 S800 Coupe
'57 T1 Speedster



Plus 1 on Rick's experience. Will check it carefully tomorrow. Have found it a bit off a few times, mainly after doing some repair or check in this area or after getting the car back from my mechanic. A bit concerning. Maybe we should be carrying a spare cap & rotor? Tahoe, were yo able to just fit the new rotor & cap and all good? wondering if a roadside repair would work?
Stu
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PostPost by: Tahoe » Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:34 pm

stugilmour wrote:
YellowS4DHC wrote:I also got a Pertronix cap when I ordered a replacement 43D cap (side entry) from RD. I agree that the fit of the cap on the distributor is not as positive as I'd like, but it is satisfactory and has not given me any problems.

I do take great care to ensure it is seated properly and remains so when setting the clips. Once set, the clips have an adequate purchase on the cap. I use a mirror to make sure the inboard clip is seated correctly.

To use screws down there will be pretty nasty when you have to R&R the cap - assuming you have normal sized hands and don't plan to pull the carbs.

Rick

'72 Europa Twin Cam
'69 S4 Elan DHC
'67 S800 Coupe
'57 T1 Speedster



Plus 1 on Rick's experience. Will check it carefully tomorrow. Have found it a bit off a few times, mainly after doing some repair or check in this area or after getting the car back from my mechanic. A bit concerning. Maybe we should be carrying a spare cap & rotor? Tahoe, were yo able to just fit the new rotor & cap and all good? wondering if a roadside repair would work?



It was easy to repalce everything. It's a little tight getting the cap on, but I put the wires on first then carefully slid it in, and clipped the cap on. It would be an easy road side fix as long as you have a light at night. One thing I'm doing as a temperary measure before taking it out to drill and tap the holes is putting a long tye wrap around the clips so they won't pop off. That way I can get a few weeks of driving in before we get hit with snow. Weather has been very nice here so far, hope it stays that way for awhile. Lot's of Winter projects planned however, so all is good.
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