Lotus Elan

Dizzy cap damage to electrodes?

PostPost by: Europatc » Sat Oct 24, 2015 8:39 am

My thinking is that you need compression, spark and fuel for the engine to run. If you add fuel (easy start) and it runs I would want to make sure the none running wasn't been caused by lack of fuel delivery before spending time on the spark.

So checking the fuel level in the carbs to ensure they are getting fuel and can deliver it to the engine. Then the pump jets to ensure pumping the throttle on start is actually delivering fuel would be things I would invest a little time checking before spending lots of time & money on the ignition system.[/quote]


But if the rotor is hitting the terminals in the cap how can fuel cause that? Or am I missing something?
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PostPost by: jimj » Sat Oct 24, 2015 10:11 am

There`s an old adage that 90% of fuel problems are electrical. In this case it would be an amazing coincidence if you had a fuel problem in addition to the, already identified, distributor issue.
You really don`t want ongoing ignition issues and for around ?250 you could replace the whole of the system , leads, coil, distributor, etc with a fit and forget electronic set from 123 or wherever. That`s not so much.

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PostPost by: elj221c » Sat Oct 24, 2015 11:04 pm

jimj wrote:You really don`t want ongoing ignition issues and for around ?250 you could replace the whole of the system , leads, coil, distributor, etc with a fit and forget electronic set from 123 or wherever. That`s not so much.


We've been running Lucus distributors for years without all this faff!

Get on and service it. If you can't do it, go here:-

http://www.distributordoctor.com/

Never used 'em but ......
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PostPost by: mbell » Sat Oct 24, 2015 11:29 pm

Europatc wrote:But if the rotor is hitting the terminals in the cap how can fuel cause that? Or am I missing something?


Your right it can't, but the original issue is poor starting which lead to the discovery of ignition system concerns.

I am just saying it worth spending a few mins checking a couple of things on the carbs to rule them out as they could cause the poor starting.
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PostPost by: EPA » Sun Oct 25, 2015 11:00 am

If the rotor arm has been hitting the contacts then you have a definite fault, you should fix this first and see how the car starts then.
It is worth having a look in the carbs prior to try to start the engine to see if there is sufficient fuel to allow it to start.

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PostPost by: ricarbo » Sun Oct 25, 2015 11:38 am

Try waggling the distributor shaft, there should be little or no sideways movement.
Use a dwell meter. If you can't get the correct dwell with the normal gap, then the shaft lobes are worn. I checked a distributor not long ago that had to have the gap set to 5 thou for the dwell to be correct. Check the total advance using a strobe, ideally logging the curve against engine speed. If you have these problems it's clearly time for replacement or rebuild.
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PostPost by: GHill » Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:03 pm

Cheers Guys the advice is welcomed!

Never heard the ol adage about 90% any others ?

Also I tried to wriggle the shaft and it seemed pretty stiff eg no play (insert comedy moment here :D )

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PostPost by: l10tus » Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:39 pm

Gareth,

Although obvious, Judging by the state of your plugs, I would say you need to balance the carbs, cylinders 1&2 are very rich.

I've just experienced a similar problem, and had to remove and clean my plugs, before the engine will start, caused especially by allowing the engine to tick over for longer periods.

Also been advised to run NGK BP6 ES instead of '7's.

I need to get my car to a decent tuners with a rolling road, in order to completely set up timing, carbs and tuning.

I am planning on using Aldon at Brierley Hill Dudley, Worcs. - they supplied the Electronic Distributor and were found to be excellent at setting the car up, on the last one I took to them. ( no association etc,)

The points are ok, but IMHO you are handicapping yourself in not converting to Hall Effect systems, break downs will become a thing of the past !

Electronic Systems are nearly as cheap as the steam powered variety now !

Good luck.

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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:41 pm

A few points:
1. Your picture of the rotor appears to me to show mechanical contact on the first part of the rotor sweep -- it appears, at least in the photo, not to have any oxidation while the rest of the sweep does.

2. Actual mechanical contact will very slightly advance the timing because the point at which the spark first is able to jump the gap is closer.

3. Even minor mechanical contact can't be good for the affected parts, which includes everything back to the dizzy drive. Kind of like a miniature jackhammer.

4. Could be the picture, but plug 2 appears to have a funky gap (side electrode bent towards the center one more than the others)

5. I agree on the pointless ignition. If you want the advantages of both, do as I did until I got really happy with mine and carry a ready to drop in distributor with points. (It's true that with a bad ignitor, you won't get home, but with a worn set of points, you can probably fiddle them to make it home. The counterpoint is that the worn set of points happens more than 20x the frequency of the bad ignitor. But my 1983 Toyota did strand me once at 10 degrees below zero and in the day, I too cursed the progress that led to cold toes.)
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PostPost by: GHill » Sun Nov 08, 2015 10:42 am

Cheers All

I like the idea of electric with a points dizzy set up in the trunk - although wouldn't you also need a timing gun and the like or would you do it by ear?

Went to start the car today and did 4 pumps and turn the key and started first time like a gem - is this still within the symptoms of a failing dizzy (eg comes and goes).

On another point I put my air flow meter (synchro meter is it) on the carbs (dellorto DHLA 40s) and there is a clear distinction between the air flow from the carbs - question therefore which one is right and is this something I can adjust myself or do I need an expert! I also listened via a piece of rubber hose and the first carb was quieter (consistent with the lower air pull I suppose) and in the 3rd trumpet there was a much higher 'clicking' nose on idling again is this normal?

Pictures

image.png and
Carb on 1 & 2


image.png and
Carb on 3 & 4


Thanks
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:42 pm

considering flow in 1 and 2 seem quite similar, and that flow in 3 and 4 is, too, I would try to get them all equal by adjusting the link between the two carbs - you will probably need to readjust the idle in the process.

Once flow balanced on all four, your idle should be smoother

good luck !
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PostPost by: billwill » Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:35 pm

The two chokes within each carb seem to be balanced to each other, so you won't need to touch the idle bypass screws (dellorto has them, Webers don't)

You only need to adjust the spring loaded screw thingy that is between the two carbs. Make small adjustments only and reset the idle RPM each time to the same figure (say 1000 RPM).
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PostPost by: GHill » Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:55 pm

Cheers guys job done - now both carbs are pulling the same!!

That was a lot easier than I thought it would be!

Thanks as always

Regards
Gareth
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PostPost by: billwill » Sun Nov 08, 2015 8:50 pm

It iseasy with that meter device, pain in the A... without one.

:shock:
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