Lotus Elan

Installing points

PostPost by: Johnny America » Sun Feb 18, 2024 9:13 am

Hello, (again), I installed a new set of points and condenser yesterday on my +2 factory fitted with Strombergs. This is the first time I have done this job on this particular car. Because of the limited access and wanting to get the points adjusted accurately. I elected to remove the distributor rather than attempting in situ.

All went well, but wondering if this is how others perform this job. Getting at the pinch bolt and pinch plate to block bolt is tight but doable. But I figured worth the effort to bench set the points and knowing the clearance is correct.

Think I maybe cutting down an old spanner and bending it to make life easier next time.

Welcome others tips or advice. Thank you.

J
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PostPost by: smo17003 » Sun Feb 18, 2024 9:57 am

There's some good info here including a mod to the distributor baseplate viewtopic.php?f=39&t=50024
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PostPost by: alanr » Sun Feb 18, 2024 12:02 pm

Personally I don't ever remove the distributor just to fit points.
I fit points with the distributor in situ, do an approximate 15thou eyeball gap, and then adjust/measure gap by Dwell angle, 57-63 degrees, this is more accurate than trying to adjust the gap with feeler gauges and takes in to account wear in the distributor.
I check Dwell on tickover and again at 3000rpm adjusting gap as required.
Usually followed up with an ignition timing/advance check with a timing light.

Alan.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sun Feb 18, 2024 3:39 pm

Always removed Dissy to change Points and Condenser in the past.
But fitted Simonbloc Hall Effect about 8 Years ago cheap and 100%.
Set of Points and Condenser in the Boot but not needed so far :wink:
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PostPost by: steve lyle » Mon Feb 19, 2024 12:03 pm

smo17003 wrote:There's some good info here including a mod to the distributor baseplate viewtopic.php?f=39&t=50024


I see I participated in the linked thread. Here’s an update.

When converting to Webers, coincidentally my Pertronix failed. So out came the dizzy and back in went the points.

Amid lots of other issues, much timing adjustment followed. Eventually I got so frustrated with getting a wrench on the clamp bolt that I pulled the dizzy and reversed the bolt, welding the nut to the clamp. Now the bolt head is easily accessed with 7/16 socket on a 1/4” ratchet. Timing adjustment is now a pleasure.
Last edited by steve lyle on Mon Feb 19, 2024 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: englishmaninwales » Mon Feb 19, 2024 2:11 pm

steve lyle wrote:…reversed the bolt, welding the nut to the clamp. Now the bolt head is easily accessed with 7/16 socket on a 1/4” ratchet. Timing adjustment is now a poeasure.


I was delighted to find my car on purchase had this mod carried out by a previous owner. I have many memories of misery with my previous Elan and Lotus Cortina back in the 1980s
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PostPost by: IainP » Tue Feb 20, 2024 5:40 pm

Would you have a picture of this mod please….. I was looking at this yesterday and thought how much easier it would be with the bolt head nearest the block.
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PostPost by: steve lyle » Tue Feb 20, 2024 10:00 pm

IainP wrote:Would you have a picture of this mod please….. I was looking at this yesterday and thought how much easier it would be with the bolt head nearest the block.


Here you go...

IMG_0862.jpg and
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PostPost by: IainP » Wed Feb 21, 2024 6:38 pm

Many thanks
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Wed Feb 21, 2024 10:17 pm

alanr wrote:Personally I don't ever remove the distributor just to fit points.
I fit points with the distributor in situ, do an approximate 15thou eyeball gap, and then adjust/measure gap by Dwell angle, 57-63 degrees, this is more accurate than trying to adjust the gap with feeler gauges and takes in to account wear in the distributor.
I check Dwell on tickover and again at 3000rpm adjusting gap as required.
Usually followed up with an ignition timing/advance check with a timing light.

Alan.


I do the same and it’s easy. You can only accurately gap the points using a dwell meter and even more important than setting the dwell correctly is setting the timing correctly afterwards. Ignition timing changes with changes in the points gap. I don’t know why some of you guys find it necessary to remove the complete distributor or needlessly modify the clamp.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Thu Feb 22, 2024 6:53 am

Imho it's a personal choice if you remove dissy or not.
For me at 75 it's easier to remove and fiddle with small screws and feelers on a bench. Easier for my eyes and back.
Never used a meter to measure dwell angle in my life, again personal choice.
It's not a F1 engine.
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Thu Feb 22, 2024 11:35 am

alan.barker wrote:Imho it's a personal choice if you remove dissy or not.
For me at 75 it's easier to remove and fiddle with small screws and feelers on a bench. Easier for my eyes and back.
Never used a meter to measure dwell angle in my life, again personal choice.
It's not a F1 engine.
Alan


One tip for dealing with small screws as they are almost ready to come out is to fix a blob of Blue Tack to the end of the screwdriver to hold the screw in place. Blue Tack is wonderful stuff with a lot of uses. I know there is nothing worse than that screw falling out and dropping behind the baseplate!
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PostPost by: steve lyle » Thu Feb 22, 2024 5:13 pm

2cams70 wrote:
alanr wrote:Personally I don't ever remove the distributor just to fit points.
I fit points with the distributor in situ, do an approximate 15thou eyeball gap, and then adjust/measure gap by Dwell angle, 57-63 degrees, this is more accurate than trying to adjust the gap with feeler gauges and takes in to account wear in the distributor.
I check Dwell on tickover and again at 3000rpm adjusting gap as required.
Usually followed up with an ignition timing/advance check with a timing light.

Alan.


I do the same and it’s easy. You can only accurately gap the points using a dwell meter and even more important than setting the dwell correctly is setting the timing correctly afterwards. Ignition timing changes with changes in the points gap. I don’t know why some of you guys find it necessary to remove the complete distributor or needlessly modify the clamp.


“Necessary”? “Needlessly”?

Neither word is appropriate here. Sure, it can be done either way, so clearly not necessary. But more convenient? That’s a matter of opinion, apparently. If our opinions differ, so what?

As for needlessly - it’s obviously not a matter of need, it’s a matter of convenience. You have to loosen and tighten the clamp whether you remove the dizzy or not, just to adjust timing. At least with my dizzy you do. And I think it’s inarguable that the bolt head is more easily accessed if the bolt is flipped. And if you have a MIG welder sitting in your shop, why not take few minutes and make the mod? But again, if you don’t think the benefit is worth the cost, good for you.
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PostPost by: Johnny America » Thu Feb 22, 2024 6:06 pm

Very helpful discussion. I suspect I will do the mod too the pinch bolt next time I remove the dizzy.

Helpful to have a range of views and as also sharing knowledge helps us all.
Last edited by Johnny America on Thu Feb 22, 2024 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Thu Feb 22, 2024 6:08 pm

But you have the Set Screw through the Slot for fine tuning.
If you choose to change the Points "without" removing the Dissy you only need to "fine tune" . So you don't touch the famous pinch bolt that if tightened too much breaks the Dissy omg.
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