Lotus Elan

Aldon Igniiter Static timing?

PostPost by: l10tus » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:01 am

Gents,

Can anyone advise the best method for setting the static timing on an engine fitted with Aldon electronic ignition please?

I would like to time it at 10 degrees before top dead centre on number one piston (forum advice seems to suggest this is correct?), but without points, can't see how to set the distributor / cap in the correct place without using a multi meter to indicate when the points are just 'breaking' ?

The Aldon sensor unit occupies about 20 % of the physical circumference of the top of the distributor head - so I'm not sure when or at which point the spark is generated and at which position the rotor arm should be, to line up with number One plug lead / TDC?

I could really do with sorting this before re-fitting the carbs, Airbox etc, as I have hands like a boxer's and can't get at the distributor once everything is in situ !

Advice please?

Regards,

Phil.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:04 am

Though I have never tried it my understanding of the Hall effect triggers used in these systems is they will actuate at essentially zero speed. So powering up the electronic ignition module ( but not the coil to avoid any risk of shocking yourself) , setting the crank at 10 deg BTDC and then rotating the dizzy by hand with the clamp loose just like you used to do with points and connecting a multimeter to the wire to the coil earth to measure when it is earthed should enable you to determine the required dizzy position needed for the initial setting. Once running then you should check it using a strobe light

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PostPost by: RogerFrench » Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:11 pm

I have the same thing on my Elan and Europa (actually Petronix brand, but same stuff). I just line them up approximately by eye leaving the clamp semi-tight and set by strobe when running.
By the way, I've often thought the clamp is the wrong way round for an Elan, and a clamp you could tighten from the front would be a lot easier to use. I may amuse myself and make one.
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PostPost by: Esprit2 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:20 pm

rgh0 wrote:Though I have never tried it my understanding of the Hall effect triggers used in these systems is they will actuate at essentially zero speed.
I think I have to disagree, Rohan. I'm not a Hall Effect expert, but that description doesn't agree with my understanding that it needs to be moving with significant speed (ie, at engine cranking speed) before the Hall sensor will trigger. That agrees with my experience timing later Lotus 910 engines (1983-88) and engines equipped with Pertronix Ignitor II or III systems... both of which are Hall Effect triggered and cannot be static timed. With them, you pre-set the distributor timing by eye. It won't be perfect, but the engine will start and run. Then you use a strobe to time the running engine.

As an example, in the case of the Lucas HEI system in the 910, there are four bumps on a spinning reluctor wheel, and one bump on the pick-up. Align a reluctor bump with the pick-up bump at TDC, and the engine should start & run.

Are we certain the Aldon system uses Hall Effect? Or is it a question of what vintage Aldon ignition system we're talking about?

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PostPost by: mbell » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:25 pm

Not Sure on the Aldon but a Pertronix I can be static times at zero speed as Rohan says. Personally I used a test light between ground and the ground wire from the Pertronix to coil. Rotate the engine to desired BDTC and then rotate the dizzy until the light is lit. I know this as I have done it on my car.

My understanding is that, as Tim says, the Pertronix II and III do not work at zero speed and can not be timed in this method.

So whether this will work on a Aldon I am not sure but it's not a hard process to try you might as well give it a go and report back.
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PostPost by: UAB807F » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:13 pm

It's an interesting point about the Petronix 2/3 models needing a few revs to trigger, that's new to me. (and to a self-confessed luddite, that's a good reason to stick to version one :wink: )

Like the previous poster I have the version 1 on my Elan & Europa and initially set both just using a small bulb and rotating the distributor, just as you would do with CB points.

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PostPost by: Europatc » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:56 pm

Hello Phil,
I bought and fitted one two weeks ago after the system fitted to the car failed. I could scan and e-mail you the documentation that came with it if that would be of any help
all the best
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PostPost by: Esprit2 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:06 pm

mbell wrote:(Snip)...a Pertronix I can be static times at zero speed as Rohan says.
(Snip)...
My understanding is that, as Tim says, the Pertronix II and III do not work at zero speed and can not be timed in this method.
The original Pertronix Ignitor used magnets. The upside is that it can be static timed with a continuity light. The downside is that it has no internal reverse polarity or thermal overload protection, and can easily be fried.

The Pertronix II and III are Hall Effect triggered, and cannot be static timed. On the other hand, they're programmed for self-preservation, and don't fry easily.

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:12 pm

Magnets are used in all Hall effect devices - the Hall effect is the generation of a voltage difference in the presence of a stationary magnetic field (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hall_effect) . If the Pertronic 11 and 111 don't trigger at close to zero speed then it is probably due to their added protection electronics switching them off at extremely low speeds

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PostPost by: l10tus » Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:33 pm

Gents,

Thanks for the well informed replies.

Stuart,

Thanks for the offer, please forward the info ASAP.
(Does this info explain how best to time / static time, the unit?)

I will check, but I think my igniter is a Mk 2 version? ( but I can't find the original box !)

Has anyone managed to static time this most recent version, of an Aldon Ignitor ?

Just find it really difficult to access the distributor clamp when all the clutter is fitted!

Plus, it's a new build, so I would like to be reasonably assured it's there or thereabouts, before refitting the carbs again ?

(Also, I was just thinking it must be quite awkward to adjust when the engines' running?)

That clamp is sure difficult to get at, in its backward position ( as noted previously!)

Thanks,

Phil.
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PostPost by: Chris » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:21 am

Hi PHil.
Dead easy.
First. Loosen the distributor clamp sufficiently so it can be turned with one hand, but not so loose as to be slack. Turn your engine to just before TDC on number one cylinder firing stroke, the crank timing mark should be around the TDC mark.

Second. Establish which of your HT leads is for number one cylinder, and the remainder are arranged as per firing order ie 1,3,4,2, counting anti clockwise from the previously established number one.

Third. Establish the positions of the four magnets in the rotor with a small screwdriver, these are midway between the rotor lobes, and not at the lobes as might be expected. Mark the magnets position with tippex or similar.

Take note of the position of number one HT lead, preferably marking the distributor rim so it can be seen with the cap off. Turn the previously loosened distributor body until the rotor arm is pointing to the mark representing number one cylinder, and a rotor magnet is in the centre of the static pick up refit distributor cap.
This should be sufficient to start the engine. When running the distributor can be turned with one hand until reasonable running is achieved. Accurate timing can then be accomplished using a strobe.
Stop the engine and tighten the distributor clamp, and recheck with the strobe that nothing has moved.
Hope this helps
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PostPost by: l10tus » Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:05 pm

Chris,

Thanks for the advice.

I tried this but the engine just backfired through no 1 side draught ! - obviously not timed correctly.

The pick up is circular on the Aldon - so no lobes !

I've found the magnet positions, so I'll try again tomorrow.

Should the static timing be 10degrees beforeTDC or at TDC when no 1 plug fires?

Carbs off again tomorrow !

Eh ho hope I can get it right next time?

Regards,

Phil.
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PostPost by: mbell » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:54 pm

I believe it's 12 deg btdc in the book. but 10 is a good target for first start up.
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PostPost by: Europatc » Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:24 am

Good Morning Phil,
I'm having real problems trying to attach the document. If you send me your e mail I will send straight back
all the best
Stuart
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PostPost by: l10tus » Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:32 am

Stuart,

That came through fine, many thanks!

I'm about to try again shortly, here goes!

Regards,

Phil
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