Lotus Elan

Best Distributor

PostPost by: silverlink » Sun Jun 07, 2020 3:12 pm

Hi all,
I'm sure this has been asked before but things move forward.
I want to get a new distributor for my Sprint and would be interested in your comments on what is a good one to buy. I think originally my Sprint was fitted with a Lucas 23D type but nowadays there are others that would probably be much better. Possibly Electronic would be a way forward but its a minefield, I know many of you have this system so come on guys give me your thoughts. I will also need a new coil no doubt as well.
Cheers
Ian
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Sun Jun 07, 2020 3:31 pm

If it's running well with the original distributor leave well alone!! Very small performance gain to be had even by converting to electronic if the original is in good condition.
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PostPost by: Hawksfield » Sun Jun 07, 2020 4:06 pm

Ian

Have you a problem with your existing dizzy? if not you could add electronic ignition to improve maintenance ie longer between needing to gain access and adjust points and gap .This could show smoother running if there is any wear in the dizzy bushing.
There is plenty of cheap electronic systems on the market some to be avoided. I use Lumenition optronic and has been good and reliable for around 30 years although I changed the dizzy for a 43D4 for other reasons

There is plenty of posts on this site regarding good and bad the choice is yours
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PostPost by: tvacc » Sun Jun 07, 2020 4:31 pm

I have absolutely no relationship with this person other than I just bought a distributor/coil/wires from him. I have not even installed it yet. But I thought the price was good and as I have "had it" with Petronix systems I thought I would give this guy a try. I will let you all know after I install it. One of our LOONYs also bought a system from him and that is where I got the lead, but neither of us has installed them yet.

https://simonbbc.com/

Looks to be a very interesting kit.
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PostPost by: Fred Talmadge » Sun Jun 07, 2020 4:53 pm

Along that vein there is this discussion from a while back viewtopic.php?t=10471&start= I mentioned the Mallory dual point distributor but never pursued it. I'm not even sure it is still available.
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PostPost by: SENC » Sun Jun 07, 2020 5:50 pm

I was inclined towards electronic when I was at a similar point a few years ago, but then read every thread on this site and a few others on distributors, coils, etc. for our Elans. My thinking at the time was newer technology and more reliability - or even getting programmability with a 123 type system.

I don't think it is debatable that there are gains to be had from electronic ignition systems, but after reading all of the various positive and negative experiences with aftermarket upgrades and replacement systems I decided to keep it simple and stay with points. Having an extra set of points and a condenser in a travel bag is about as easy a backup system as possible.

Jay at Distributor Doctor can provide parts for or refurbish your distributor, or build you one to Sprint spec. As for the coil, I keep a couple blue bosch coils on the shelf. Some say that you need to be careful where they are made, and mine are the "recommended" made in Brazil variety, though I don't know if there is really a difference.
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Sun Jun 07, 2020 7:52 pm

Ian,

Had you considered Electronic Distributorless Ignition System. Although my car is not yet running, this is what I am using, and is recommended by friends I respect. I have always been worried about the car catching fire, particularly so with the distributor beneath the carburettors.

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PostPost by: Foxie » Mon Jun 08, 2020 12:00 am

RichardHawkins wrote:Ian,
Had you considered Electronic Distributorless Ignition System. Although my car is not yet running, this is what I am using, and is recommended by friends I respect. I have always been worried about the car catching fire, particularly so with the distributor beneath the carburettors.


Last year I fitted a DTA ECU distributorless system. When the engine overheated on the start queue for a hillclimb, I still got a carburetter fire :shock:
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Mon Jun 08, 2020 5:38 am

If your car has done a lot of miles the bush in the dissy may need replacing.
I fitted a "Hall effect" from Distributor Docteur and my Sprint runs perfect with it.
Alan
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PostPost by: HCA » Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:22 am

A question for the OP: do you want a fit-and-forget oignition system, or do you want a mechanical thing whirring away with clacks and clunks, requiring periodic diving under the carburettors to replace two bits of mtal that are all but welded together, twiddle the thing around so that it runs, keep spare bits of sprung metal - and associated tools - in the glove box for that rainy night break-down, not to mention the bevvy of parts and coils back home?

If the latter, then follow SENCs advice - it makes for great fun with the added bonus that you can have hours of chat :D Otherwise solid state such as Megajolt.
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PostPost by: HCA » Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:25 am

SENC wrote: I decided to keep it simple and stay with points.


:D :D :D
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:16 am

HCA wrote:A question for the OP: do you want a fit-and-forget oignition system, or do you want a mechanical thing whirring away with clacks and clunks, requiring periodic diving under the carburettors to replace two bits of mtal that are all but welded together, twiddle the thing around so that it runs, keep spare bits of sprung metal - and associated tools - in the glove box for that rainy night break-down, not to mention the bevvy of parts and coils back home?


The original service schedule to "clean and adjust points as necessary" was every 6,000 miles. How many miles do you do in your Elan each year? A lot of electronic ignition systems are overhyped. True if you can utilize a fully mapped ignition system and accurately calibrate it on a Dyno there is no doubt some engine performance advantage or if you want a dual mapped ignition or utilize knock sensing but unless you are running a bleeding edge engine there's not a lot of advantage.

An accurately timed spark is an accurately timed spark regardless of whether it is achieved by mechanical or electronic means. Doesn't matter if the spark is 30,000V or 1,000,000V. If the fuel/air mixture goes bang it goes bang!
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Mon Jun 08, 2020 10:20 am

You can buy a Base Plate for the Dissy so you can then fit the Cooper S csi points.
This will stop bounce and last a long time.
Plus fit new Bush at top of Dissy.
Distributor Docteur have all the bits and high quality Condensors.
Alan
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PostPost by: HCA » Mon Jun 08, 2020 10:27 am

2cams70 wrote:
HCA wrote:A question for the OP: do you want a fit-and-forget oignition system, or do you want a mechanical thing whirring away with clacks and clunks, requiring periodic diving under the carburettors to replace two bits of mtal that are all but welded together, twiddle the thing around so that it runs, keep spare bits of sprung metal - and associated tools - in the glove box for that rainy night break-down, not to mention the bevvy of parts and coils back home?


The original service schedule to "clean and adjust points as necessary" was every 6,000 miles. How many miles do you do in your Elan each year? A lot of electronic ignition systems are overhyped. True if you can utilize a fully mapped ignition system and accurately calibrate it on a Dyno there is no doubt some engine performance advantage or if you want a dual mapped ignition or utilize knock sensing but unless you are running a bleeding edge engine there's not a lot of advantage.

An accurately timed spark is an accurately timed spark regardless of whether it is achieved by mechanical or electronic means. Doesn't matter if the spark is 30,000V or 1,000,000V. If the fuel/air mixture goes bang it goes bang!


You are right - much of what I say is tongue in cheek, but difficult to always express with words and emojis :roll:

I just love the way topics regarding distributers involve lots of replacing things, carrying spare this and that for a roadside repair and having shelves of sparky things... Do not mind me, I have just had my fill of fiddly things and have embraced the computer age with wide open arms.. 8) :D
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Mon Jun 08, 2020 7:41 pm

Roxie,

You have got me worried, what was the source of ignition for your fire?

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