Lotus Elan

up to date distributors

PostPost by: yvesmontreal » Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:50 am

A Mallory dual point distributor lurks underneath the SU, yes SU, carbs on my recently purchased Elan. It wouldn't start, a broken rotor didn't help. It led me to find that parts for this vintage piece of equipment are obsolete. They are available when you search deep enough, but a complete tune up kit would cost $100.

The Mallory dual point distributor is an oddity from the 50's hot rod days; both points are in parallel but slightly out of phase such that one controls opening and the other one closing of the low tension circuit. Dwell can thus be adjusted independently from gap.

This being 2015, there are newer technologies available; $100 would contribute to the purchase of a 123 or Pertronix electronic distributor.

What do yo think?

Does anybody have experience with the Pertronix distributor? Does it come out of the box with an adequate advance curve?
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PostPost by: jk952 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:34 am

Yves, not sure if this will be very helpful, but I have a petronix in the 7 but it is a pushrod not twink, works ok by the way.
Recently I was at a specialty shop and inquired about a petronix for a twink, the petronix book only lists one unit ie. does not distinguish between the Elans nor Plus 2's which begs the question shouldn't the curves be different or does it not matter that much (?).
Maybe someone can chime in with more useful info....
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:04 am

I was looking for a replacement ignition solution last year for a weber twink, and hesitated quite a while between pertronix and 123.nl, to eventually opt for the latter after extended forum scrutinizing : a bit more pricey but custom adjustable timing curve, which I figured would be a plus if I were to fine tune or change camshafts down the road (actually what did it for me was that the version III was postponed again and again at the time and I could not get a reliable delay information from a variety of suppliers in the US - plus the customer reviews I found on the net - not a fully reliable source as you have to assess the reliability and sense of a great variety of authors, so I'll let you browse through it to make up your mind). So my personal experience relates to 123 dizzy, and I've found it very well made and easy to get to work, plus the company support opened and friendly to interact with (I've contacted them regarding a modification to get TPS input instead of the vacuum input).
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PostPost by: yvesmontreal » Sun Dec 20, 2015 10:11 pm

I'm a little late, but thanks for the info.

I also have an Alfa 2000 GTV; I have been using a 123 distributor for a little while and it is fully satisfactory. I didn't think it was available for the twincam.

Pertronix has a distributor for Alfas; but some alfabb readers have obtained the advance curve and it is all wrong. Hence my question in my earlier post.

I came across ads for the Accuspark range of Lucas style distributors and research on other Elan.net threads has pretty much killed this option too.
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PostPost by: nomad » Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:43 am

Jeff Schlemmer at Advanced Distributor in Minnesota claims that points distributor's give more accurate spark than the after market electronic. Has dyno tests to prove it. Of course, considering how hard it is to get to the distributor on Elan's the electronic would seem to make sense but I believe the Pertronix has been known to be more failure prone than a Crane and any regular Lucas distributor can be converted to either the Pertronix or the Crane.

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