Lotus Elan

Timing problem

PostPost by: richardy8496 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:02 pm

3 sets in 500 miles seems a little excessive!
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:34 pm

Or fit "Hall effect" from "Simonbloc"
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:38 pm

richardy8496 wrote:3 sets in 500 miles seems a little excessive!


There's something wrong! Either poor quality reproduction parts or condenser is faulty or has the incorrect capacitance. Back in the day points systems were perfectly capable of 5,000 mile intervals between adjustments. Check the coil too. If you are using a ballast resistor type coil in a non ballasted system the points will be required to switch excessive current.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Wed Feb 26, 2020 6:42 am

On my Elan Sprint i got fed up with crap..Condensers made in China. The last one lasted 80kms.
That's why 5 years ago i fitted a "Hall Effect" Simonbloc and my Sprint has run perfect since.
For me the choice is clear Dr Distributor or Simonbloc.
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Last edited by alan.barker on Fri Feb 28, 2020 7:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:42 am

Quite easy to measure the capacitance of a condenser to see if it is within spec. Most multimeters these days have a capacitance measuring function and are very cheap. You can get heaps of high quality electronic grade capacitors from places like RS components. Many of these will be superior to OEM and could be easily adapted to suit. A suitable polycarbonate capacitor of suitable capacitance voltage and temperature rating should serve quite well.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:20 am

Honestly, i always understood it was not possible to check a Condenser to see if it's good.
Could you tell me how to check one please.
Thanks
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Thu Feb 27, 2020 1:24 am

alan.barker wrote:Honestly, i always understood it was not possible to check a Condenser to see if it's good.Could you tell me how to check one please.Thanks Alan


Most multimers these days have a capacitance range that you can use to measure the condenser capacity. It should be in the range 0.18 to 0.25uF for the Lucas capacitor. Unfortunately you can't test the capacitor for leakage using just a multimeter because you need to test at 250V or so. The capacitance measurement however is usually a good indication of the state of the capacitor. Any electronic grade film capacitor of 0.18 to 0.25uF with a voltage rating of around 250V or so should do the job.

https://www.jaycar.com.au/economy-true- ... r/p/QM1321

See link below also. Seems someone else has done an investigation and come to the same conclusion as me that an electronic grade capacitor would be a good substitute for poor quality reproduction condensors.

http://nonlintec.com/sprite/cap_failure/
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Thu Feb 27, 2020 9:11 am

Unfortunately you can't test the capacitor for leakage using just a multimeter because you need to test at 250V or so.
So not so easy to test just with a Multimeter like i thought :wink: :wink:
Imho it's better just to buy a new one from Dr Distributor + fit Cooper "S" points (with adapter plate).
The only problem with the Cooper"S" 32 ozs Points is after a while with the extra pressure it can wear the Bush in the Distributor. Unless you fit a needle roller bearing in the Distributor or adapt a Distributor from a Massey Ferguson Tractor (Clive Tricky tuning minis book).
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Thu Feb 27, 2020 9:45 am

alan.barker wrote:Unfortunately you can't test the capacitor for leakage using just a multimeter because you need to test at 250V or so. So not so easy to test just with a Multimeter like i though


I'm lucky because I have the full kit and kaboodle to measure capacitor leakage! Granted it's not something everyone has in their tool kit. I built it myself from a Silicon Chip article. I also dabble in vintage radios, amplifiers and suchlike so it comes in handy for that too

I don't understand why you would need Cooper S points unless you are regularly using racing RPM's however. They never ran high tension spring points as standard. I've found Lucas distributors to be very reliable. They ran in all forms of Cortinas, Minis, Escorts and umpteen other varieties of cars with 100,000+ mile reliability no problem.
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PostPost by: Craven » Thu Feb 27, 2020 12:20 pm

There is a lot more to capacitors than just stated value, a capacitor has impedance, this means there are internal losses that causes heat. Far better to stick with tried and tested purpose constructed capacitor.
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Thu Feb 27, 2020 12:25 pm

Craven wrote:There is a lot more to capacitors than just stated value, a capacitor has impedance, this means there are internal losses that causes heat. Far better to stick with tried and tested purpose constructed capacitor.


No there isn't. They are pretty simple devices to specify actually. The "purpose constructed" capacitor is just a garden variety film capacitor in a tin can. You can get an any rating you want virtually polycarbonate or polypropylene capacitor from RS components, etc. that will be far better than the remanufactured automotive condensers you get these days. Only issue may be the physical constraints - size and where to put it.
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PostPost by: Craven » Thu Feb 27, 2020 1:46 pm

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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Fri Feb 28, 2020 4:10 am

Craven wrote:2cams70
for your edification!
https://passive-components.eu/esr-losse ... explained/


Wow - what a load of waffle that article was! We need to keep in mind that we aren't selecting a capacitor for the space shuttle here. We are selecting a capacitor to use in a rather crude system used to generate an ignition spark that was originally conceived way back in the last century during the 1920's. Provided the capacitor is of the correct ratings and of similar construction (eg. you wouldn't swap an electrolytic for a film type capacitor) I foresee no major problem. You'll likely get a far higher specification, quality capacitor from a known reputable manufacturer from the sources previously mentioned at about one fifth of the price of an unknown make capacitor put in a small tin can for use in ancient obsolete automobiles.

As a side issue I confess that sometimes this forum disappoints me. Lots of people never give any acknowledgement or thanks for the advice others offer. Lot's of people "ghost" the forum so we a are left with no conclusions or resolutions of issues discussed. Many people are stuck in their ways, are reluctant to think outside the square and will not consider alternative ways of doing things. Either that or they take some kind of offence at any form of robust exchange of ideas. Its a pity given the innovative history of Colin Chapman and all the other great minds that had links with the Lotus marque.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Fri Feb 28, 2020 6:50 am

The Cooper "S" Points are made with a Tufnol Heal and are far superior to plastic made in China. So needing less often adjustment. Have you tried them yourself.
They were STANDARD on an Austin Cooper S.
I used to have a 1964 1071cc Austin Cooper S an amazing car. Never a problem with made in China Condensers..
I have been using a "Simonbloc" Hall Effect on my 1972 Elan Sprint fhc for the last 5 Years. Cost me about £30 not expensive for a nice running Sprint.
I just hope the weather would get better and i could go for a drive
Alan
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:06 am

2cams70 wrote:
Craven wrote:2cams70
for your edification!
https://passive-components.eu/esr-losse ... explained/


Wow - what a load of waffle that article was!


it's merely a list of effects, without taking in account the frequency at which these effects may play a role in the resulting behavior of the capacitor - but at 9000 rpm the capacitor would only operate at 300Hz, which is very low by electronics standard, so the ability to take heat from the engine and retain the adequate capacitance over time is ruling the specs sheet definition I would think, not the losses resulting from complex impedance.
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