Lotus Elan

Ignition Advance (Part 2)

PostPost by: vincereynard » Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:35 pm

I thought I would start a new thread as the other was getting a bit lengthy.

I've now done another advance check and the result is slightly worse than the first.
It starts advancing at 500 (crank) revs! Then climbs rapidly (and unevenly) to 2000 before flattening out at maximum advance.
screenshot-from-2018-01-20-15-14-18.png and


Once the plate is removed the reason is clear. There is 4 mm difference in length between the springs. The difference in distances apart between the spring posts retarded to full advance is just over 4 mm! The secondary spring does virtually nothing. See how loose it is.
screenshot-from-2018-01-20-15-11-02.png and


This thing is junk and hardly worth the effort in modifying. Weights are crude stamped out steel. The pivots loose and rattly.
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:45 pm

My experience as well. Years ago, I re-bushed my dizzy and replaced the springs, pins and weights because they were so sloppy. It helped a bunch with timing scatter. 20 years on, its worn out again and most of the bits are NLA.

I bought one of the new 123 dizzys and plan to give it a try.
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PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:02 pm

Try this chap, http://www.distributordoctor.com/ In the past, he has been able to supply all the necessary parts I've needed to rebuild any Lucas distributor I've had problems with or needed to 're-calibrate'.
Re the two springs, they should be different, one stronger & longer than the other so that they engage at different stages.

Regards, Tim
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:08 pm

StressCraxx wrote:My experience as well. Years ago, I re-bushed my dizzy and replaced the springs, pins and weights because they were so sloppy. It helped a bunch with timing scatter. 20 years on, its worn out again and most of the bits are NLA.

I bought one of the new 123 dizzys and plan to give it a try.


This thing is new! A rubbish Eastern cheapo fitted by the usual suspects only a few hundred miles ago, for the dreaded P.O. Thats the way my thoughts are going. A 123 or Aldon setup.
I am considering the Aldon Emerald as an alternative.
http://www.aldonauto.co.uk/aldon-amethyst

Orsom Weels wrote:Try this chap, http://www.distributordoctor.com In the past, he has been able to supply all the necessary parts I've needed to rebuild any Lucas distributor I've had problems with or needed to 're-calibrate'.
Re the two springs, they should be different, one stronger & longer than the other so that they engage at different stages.
Regards, Tim


Sadly it's not a Lucas and a new one from the good doctor costs much the same as a 123. The problem with the longer secondary spring is it does not engage until the distributor is at full advance. I.E. useless.
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PostPost by: Chancer » Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:34 pm

Be carefull before you condemn the Dizzy or the company. There should be a gap on the secondary spring, of that I am certain.

Beyond that i am relying on (a poor) memory rather than digging out my reference books but IIRC the gap should allow the weaker first stage spring to do its job before the stronger secondary one cuts in.

There can be problems with mismatch especially at the transition point.


If I bought a remanufactured distributor from anyone I would expect something that on my luckiest day might fit with several hours of fettling, an absence of limits and fits and tolerancing, no interchangeability with OE parts and above all a single generic approximate advance curve despite what the resellers will claim for it.

Before fitting it to an engine i would seek out someone with a dizzy rig to set up the required curve and see what the scatter is like.

I learned the hard way some 30 years ago with an Aldon distributor, it was years before I finally cracked the tuning problem by getting the advance springs and weights set up properly, I used a guy trading as Bestek in Lingfield Surrey, probably long gone now.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:49 pm

Bestek may still exist - website has prices dated 2008.
Anyway here's what I found.
Website is http://www.bestekuk.co.uk
contact details:
Bestek (uk) Ltd
Oakhurst, Radford Road, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 3NW

Tel: 01293 882 425
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:47 pm

Chancer,
I'm sure you are correct about the secondary spring "gap". The problem with mine is that , as the gap is so large, it goes to the maximum advance stop before the secondary spring is activated. Hence it "maxing" at low revs.

It was fitted before I acquired the car.

I may experiment with it out of interest. I've downloaded the excellent article I was directed towards by Mark. So I may have a play out of interest.
First a stronger primary to prevent it advancing so early? Then a shorter secondary?

Mark,
Thanks for the search! I'll give them a buzz Monday.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:49 am

Vince
He is in business, I rang thi evening expecting either nothing or an answering machi e but i got a msn who owned up to being Bestek but not best pleased that I rang on a Saturday evening!
His website is out of date because he doesn't use it any more - he didn't think it was still available!
Glad to have bèen of some help.
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:33 am

Everyone seems to bag Lucas electrics - "Prince of Darkness" jokes etc. But my experience with them has been the opposite. In general I've found them to be well engineered and reliable, starters, generators, alternators, distributors, solenoids, coils etc. are all good. If you want to experience really bad electrics try FoMoCo distributors or even worse - electrics made by the French - Ducellier, Valeo and wiring in general on French cars. I'm not sure about recent stuff but 70's, 80's, and 90's French electrics is all horrible. Not a thought given to waterproofing or protecting wires from chafing and terrible plastics that go hard in no time. I cringe when I hear people just jumping on the bandwagon and describing Lucas "Prince of Darkness" electrics without identifying the true cause of the electrical failure. It's usually more a problem caused by the car manufacturer than the manufacturer of the electrical components themselves - e.g Lotus or British Leyland rather than Lucas!
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:10 am

2cams70 wrote: If you want to experience really bad electrics try FoMoCo distributors


+1 to that. I remember the dreaded FoMoCo Motorcraft (?) junk on early Escorts and Cortinas. They made the Lucas stuff look like Swiss watch quality.
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PostPost by: RogerFrench » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:13 pm

I've had the same experience with Lucas components, like starters, dynamics, distributors etc., but they are often let down by poor wiring looms, with insufficient earths and unprotected connections.
Sadly, Lucas made those too, though down to a price I'm sure.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:26 pm

Let's be fair everything gets old and tired.
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:48 pm

I doubt that Lucas would have made the looms too but I could be wrong. Never seem any looms on Fords labelled "Lucas" in any case. With modern cars at least there are specialised loom manufacturers, eg. Yazaki. The likes of Bosch, etc. don't do the wiring also.
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:38 pm

I have read a story of Lotus building their own looms after they’d moved to Hethel. However they didn’t check whether the workers were colour blind or not.

Urban Myth ???

You decide.........

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PostPost by: vincereynard » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:43 pm

MarkDa wrote:Let's be fair everything gets old and tired.


There is no need to be personal!
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