Lotus Elan

No spark with new electronic ignition. What am I missing?

PostPost by: Craven » Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:12 pm

OK,
What car is this fitted too? I didn?t realise Positive earth AccuSpark were available!
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PostPost by: bob_rich » Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:39 pm

Hi Rich (again)

In your first post (11/12/2016 at 1:13PM) you mention accuspark and powerspark. These are different units which one are you using? I think that is where the confusion is coming from

hope this helps

Bob
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PostPost by: RichC » Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:39 pm

powerspark.
thx bob
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PostPost by: William2 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 6:18 pm

As a point of interest, I was told that Powerspark and Accuspark are the same product and they certainly look identical.
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PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:48 pm

I had a Powerspark unit fail. Powerspark told me it was due to using copper-cor HT leads but I suspect a poor heat sink. I hadn't ground off the small post on the base plate of the distributor which is used for adjusting points. As I wanted to be able to switch back to points if necessary, I used a Dremel tool on the new Poerspark module to cut a groove into its mounting plate and now have excellent contact between the PS unit and the distributor base plate. I got a set of Powerspark's leads with the new ignition module and following the modification described above haven't experienced any ignition problems.
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PostPost by: RichC » Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:37 pm

thanks Galway Lotus .
I just fitted a new coil and still no spark, so spoke to simon of powerspark fame and returned the failed powerspark kit to him for checking and I've mentioned that i had brand new silicone leads installed before the powerspark and have no 'post' to impede heat transfer.... let's wait and see what he has to say once he's checked it out ............. :wink:
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PostPost by: RichC » Sun Jan 01, 2017 3:36 pm

Well, having fitted the replacement powerspark electronic ignition a week ago we decided to go for a spin today and broke down!
after about 4 or 5 miles there was a faint misfire which got worse and worse ... to the point that i went to pull across a busy junction and full throttle went about 2mph and eventually conked out.
Much headscratching later , say 20mins, we started the car and it sounded like it was firing on all 4 cylinders (just about) and we made it another half mile before conking out again , this repeated with less success two more times before we gave up the chance of getting home.
Needless to say plugs had already been removed for inspection plug 4 no spark and plugs 1&2 odd black & white colouring , fuel lines / filters to carbs were checked as was pressure regulator . for a moment thought about vacuum in tank but remembered the tank air breathers were in situ ...you just get so paranoid about missing something obvious .
I'm assuming that the brand new coil is fine,, and of course with electronic ignition it doesn't . get as hot anyhow.....
Mrs picked us up and we're home for lunch now. Going to give it a few hours to get stone cold before we go and attempt one last rescue mission!..... already decided that electronic ignition is not a goer & it's points from now on
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:35 pm

did you check the fuse box of late? I once had a similar evanescent no spark symptom till I realized the fuse holder had lost some of its springiness and would cut off ignition without warning (esp. when the engine bay got warmer)...

good luck !
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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:33 am

I had exactly the same symptoms a few months ago. I've been plagued by a high rpm misfire for a few years and tried everything to find the cause. Fitting a powerspark sorted it for a while but then the problem returned, gradually getting worse (especially in hot weather and traffic) until I had a journey similar to the one you've described - 3 hours to do 15 miles! I would get 3 miles down the road and would have to pull over for 20mins for it to cool down before repeating the process.

I swapped back to the points and the problems reverted to the previous state with just the high rev misfire.

Simon was very good and gave me a replacement unit that had been tested and I bought a dry coil at the same time as he was convinced it was my coil that was at fault. I fitted the new coil but this didn't completely cure the problem. Once the replacement module was installed the thing was finally fixed. For now... It's on probation for the moment...
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PostPost by: bob_rich » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:39 am

Hi Rich

The problem sounds to me as though the unit, which I believe, sits in the distributor where the point used to sit is warming up and miss behaving. There is not much cooling or heat sinking in a distributor which will after a short time get up to around (engine) 85C temperature and the units own dissipation will take the module above engine temperature by an amount depending upon how well it is thermally bonded to the distributor body. Did you fit the module with thermally conductive grease? Is it down nice and flat? Vaseline (Petroleum Jelly) is a good alternative to thermal greaser as a stop gap. You could try one of the electronic cooling or freezer aerosols that would cool the unit down and then see if normal performance returns thus confirming, or otherwise, if you have a thermal problem with the module.

It is worth sorting out as any electronic ignition that either removes the points or reduces the current that flows in them will in the long term be more reliable and keep the ignition tuning optimum much longer.

hope this helps best of luck

Bob
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PostPost by: bob_rich » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:39 am

Hi Rich

The problem sounds to me as though the unit, which I believe, sits in the distributor where the point used to sit is warming up and miss behaving. There is not much cooling or heat sinking in a distributor which will after a short time get up to around (engine) 85C temperature and the units own dissipation will take the module above engine temperature by an amount depending upon how well it is thermally bonded to the distributor body. Did you fit the module with thermally conductive grease? Is it down nice and flat? Vaseline (Petroleum Jelly) is a good alternative to thermal greaser as a stop gap. You could try one of the electronic cooling or freezer aerosols that would cool the unit down and then see if normal performance returns thus confirming, or otherwise, if you have a thermal problem with the module.

It is worth sorting out as any electronic ignition that either removes the points or reduces the current that flows in them will in the long term be more reliable and keep the ignition tuning optimum much longer.

hope this helps best of luck

Bob
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PostPost by: RichC » Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:24 pm

after late lunch yesterday returned to the abandoned car to find on starting the misfire was still present so left it there in the dark & rain...
this morning with the sun shining I managed to pluck up the courage to load up the Mrs estate with anything i might need to do roadside repair.
turned up and the overnight freeze seemed to have done the trick ...it started fine so drove it the few miles home ...the misfire and popping and loss of power started again just before arriving home .... :D but managed to get there .
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PostPost by: RichC » Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:06 pm

Okay it's a week later and I only have myself to blame for being broken down 10 miles into my next journey!
Having checked the electronic ignition last weekend I thought I'd diagnosed a slightly loose screw as I tightened up an extra 1/8 turn. Certainly the motor was running without a misfire now...
So to today...
I'm waiting for engine to cool down and I hope to limp home.
This is the 2nd positive earth powerspark unit failing within a few minutes usage from them which is mystifying....
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PostPost by: bob_rich » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:24 pm

Hi Rich

my you do have bad luck! How is the rotor arm? I had a problem once that was the voltage breaking down the rotor arm to the distributor shaft. Effect was that car (Austin Metro) would start, run for a bit them when I put my foot down throttle opens more so more air and fuel so bigger spark voltage needed then the arm broke down and acted like a rev limiter. I had the effect for around 20 miles or so before it broke down totally to a hard fault. Distributor cap could show similar symptoms if it was breaking down. Voltage breakdown can be worse when temperature rises. I guess I would still suspect heating up though

Hope this helps the VERY best of luck!!

Bob
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PostPost by: RichC » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:09 am

Yeah... Did I mention leads and distributor cap brand new?..... Goes without saying rotor arm new. ...... So all new items are potential culprits...
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