Lotus Elan

Reproduction 23d4 distributors

PostPost by: promotor » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:28 pm

I'm looking for a bit of feedback from anyone that may have purchased one of the reproduced 23d4 distributors that have recently become available.

I just purchased one for my Stromberg engine and bought it as a 40953a spec dizzy, which is what i need as i'm running a domestic spec engine. I asked the vendor to confirm that it would definitely have the advance curve of a 40953a - he confirmed this.

It arrived today and I notice the distributor has absolutely no markings on it - no application numbers or manufacturer name. I took the points mounting plate off to have a look underneath to see what was marked on the advance tab - no number. I was expecting to see 12degrees stamped on it as per Lucas 40953a spec.

When I looked at the actual distance from the advance tab to the advance stop post it's almost twice as much as that on another 23d dizzy i have (which has 10 degrees stamped in the advance tab). I estimate this new dizzy has got 18-20 degrees of travel on it. Multiplying this by 2 to give crankshaft degrees, add the static advance of 9 degrees and that works out at 45-49 degrees total advance!

I have a cynical feeling that these distributors are all being made with the same characteristics (hence the lack of ID on the casing or advance tabs) and being sold to fit different engines, which of course they will with a different drive gear, but aren't correct for a specific application.

This is a step back after feeling like I was making progress as I've been looking for a 40953a for a while now.
I really feel like I'm banging my head against a brick wall regularly when it comes to getting something fit for purpose! I've heard stories about well-known distributor companies not providing the correct distributor for a certain purpose so have little faith in getting what it is I need, and i don't want to keep putting money in peoples hands to have to send the item back!
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PostPost by: vernon.taylor » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:36 pm

Salut

No feedback but a possible solution is the 123Tune. It looks like a distributor but you can program (2 curves) the curves you want - both mechanical and if you want/need vacuum.

Here's the website for more info:

http://123ignition.nl/

I've bought one but haven't fitted it yet.

@+

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PostPost by: promotor » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:40 pm

Vernon,

I'm definitely going to buy one of those in the future, but not sure if I'm going to get the more programmable one which can also be used with fuel injection as a crank positioning sensor, or the one with just the pre-set curves.

It is a great idea for a product though!
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PostPost by: kstrutt11 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:16 pm

The guy who trades as the distributor doctor, seems realy knowledgeable on these lucas distributors, I am sure he coulkd re build your old one to as new condition. He does a top quality side entry cap as well.

Kevin
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PostPost by: Baggy2 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:46 am

I bought one a year or two back from an ebay seller who said it was for a lotus elan. Not impressed came with the wrong cap - top entry rather than side entry - huge end float on shaft - rotor arm hit electrodes in distributor cap. Sent it back and money was returned no problem. I think I would agree that the distributor doctor is the best route.
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PostPost by: promotor » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:41 pm

Well there's an update on this distributor - I sent it back due to the advance being completely wrong for a Lotus Stromberg engine (or any other Lotus, or perhaps even any other car in the world) and explained why it seemed wrong. The seller stated that their workshop had got parts for distributors mixed up and that was the reason for the incorrect points cam being in the distributor! I smell sh#t!

So he sent me another. I asked for it to be calibrated on a machine with a calibration graph supplied with it. He said that there isn't a machine in the world that gives a printout of advance curves!
Even if there isn't a machine with a printout function a graph is easy to show this, together with a signature to say who checked it etc! So you can imagine the lack of faith I've got in this company now.

The replacement arrived - the weakest spring wasn't even under tension at rest so the distributor has an effective "free fall" moment where it isn't controlled by a spring!

I spoke with Martin at Distributor Doctor and he told me he was sent some of these distributors by the same vendor and he was appalled at the quality of them and would never ever use one.

So, I don't know where I stand with providing the details of the company on an open forum in case there is any chance of legal action against me (and I have heard it mentioned on other forums against other users with similar issues), but I feel like people should be made aware of who is providing poor quality parts.

What I will say is, maybe if you are thinking of buying a new distributor, think twice about buying a reasonably priced distributor from Ebay where the company seems to have a large number of distributors for sale to fit any vehicle you can think of. Sometimes something can be too good to be true.
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PostPost by: Dave-M » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:53 pm

A simple solution to the problem with the replacement you were supplied with would be to have a couple of tube spacers turned up to the correct o/d to restrict the cam travel. These would slide over the limit pegs to restrict the advance to whatever you wanted.
Assuming the springs were correct this would give you the advance curve you needed.
It would be a simple matter of measuring the gap and a bit of simple mathematics, a cheapo digi vernier would be accurate enough.
If you need a couple of pictures of what is required just ask and I will show you what is fitted to my Shorrock supercharged pre crossflow.
I will even make you a couple if you want
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:02 am

Promotor

PM me with the details and I've no fear to Name and Shame (fed-up with shoddy over-priced crap)...

John :wink:
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PostPost by: andyelan » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:01 pm

Hi

Current problems aside, if you're still suck for a distributor another option you could try are H & H Ignition Solutions. They've rebuilt two dizzys for me and both times they did a first class job

Andy
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PostPost by: pereirac » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:22 pm

I bought my replacement distributor from Aldon Automotive many years ago and it's still going strong.
http://www.aldonauto.co.uk/shop/

Carl
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PostPost by: kstrutt11 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:24 pm

I also bought a cheap one off ebay, the difference is it was for my series 2 landrover, it works fine, but I have no idea what the curve is, but with around 70 hp from 2.25 litres it is not really critical!

for the elan I stripped and re built the original.
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PostPost by: miked » Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:43 pm

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PostPost by: promotor » Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:32 pm

andyelan wrote:Hi

Current problems aside, if you're still suck for a distributor another option you could try are H & H Ignition Solutions. They've rebuilt two dizzys for me and both times they did a first class job

Andy


Ok - thanks for that, I will bear them in mind!

Cheers.
Al

miked wrote:http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lotus-Twin-Cam-Ford-Lotus-Cortina-Distributor-Brand-New-In-Box-/190773649207?pt=UK_CarsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM&hash=item2c6afedf37


What about this. Mike :)


It ended up at a fair price didn't it (I didn't buy it though - just a bit beyond my budget!!).
I did consider buying it to check the springs in it and what advance cam it had in it so that I could verify what genuine new old stock came with! But oh well. I'll have to take the few sources I have read as gospel on this occasion!
Last edited by promotor on Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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PostPost by: promotor » Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:33 pm

kstrutt11 wrote:I also bought a cheap one off ebay, the difference is it was for my series 2 landrover, it works fine, but I have no idea what the curve is, but with around 70 hp from 2.25 litres it is not really critical!

for the elan I stripped and re built the original.


I think that is what I will continue to do - refurbed original is better than most reproduced in my mind!
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PostPost by: promotor » Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:37 pm

Dave-M wrote:A simple solution to the problem with the replacement you were supplied with would be to have a couple of tube spacers turned up to the correct o/d to restrict the cam travel. These would slide over the limit pegs to restrict the advance to whatever you wanted.
Assuming the springs were correct this would give you the advance curve you needed.
It would be a simple matter of measuring the gap and a bit of simple mathematics, a cheapo digi vernier would be accurate enough.
If you need a couple of pictures of what is required just ask and I will show you what is fitted to my Shorrock supercharged pre crossflow.
I will even make you a couple if you want
Regards
Dave


That sounds like a good idea so you can make one distributor have various advance by changing the tube spacers as and when you need to - it beats the welded version that I have just done in that you can increase and decrease advance as and when needed.

I would be interested to see pictures of the tube spacers and more importantly your Shorrock set-up as I have a pre-crossflow mk2 cortina!
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