Lotus Elan

123 Ignition Tune

PostPost by: vernon.taylor » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:29 am

Salut

Anyone got one, tried one or got something to say about it? To be clear it's a new version programmed yourself with a USB lead and computer. It's available with the correct drive gear and cap:

http://www.123ignition.nl/products.php?id=50&lang=eng

@+

Vernon

P.S. What would be the disadvantages compared to a MegaJolt? I can only think of rotor/distributor cap reliability - is that a big one?
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:47 am

http://www.lotuselan.net/cgi-bin/search ... oom_sort=0

123 distributor
elan-f15/123-distributor-t22739.html

Any recent news on 123 ignition?
elan-f15/any-recent-news-123-ignition-t21531.html

Has Anyone tried one of these?
elan-f15/has-anyone-tried-one-these-t22141.html

Electronic ignition.
elan-f15/electronic-ignition-t15843.html

I have not tried it, I still using points and condenser in the original distributer.

Gary
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PostPost by: J.E.S » Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:34 am

Hi Vernon

I have fitted the older version where you select the appropriate pre set advance curve via an access port in the base. Its a bit of a drag having to remove the distributer each time you want to try a different curve - however once fixed on the right curve ( I think I found setting 5 worked well for a 130 big valve) the performance is very good indeed.

I imagine the new programmable version would be a highly desirable upgrade.

Look forward to hearing from anyone who has fitted one.

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PostPost by: quaybook » Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:35 am

Hi Vernon

I may be wrong but I don't think this 123 system is comparable with Megajolt. From what I can see it is not a 3D ignition system i.e. is it does not read throttle opening or manifold depression and adjust advance accordingly in the way that Megajolt does. 123 appears to enable you to input via your computer up to two advance curves (not an ignition map) for your distributor and be able easily to switch between them. The advantage would therefore seem to be that you could design a 2 dimensional ignition ramp to suit your particular engine - you'd need to do it on a rolling road however. You could also, for example, have an advance curve for high octane petrol and one with less advance for lower octane, and switch between them according to what is in the tank.

It is a shame it is not a full 3D system, I have Megajolt on my tuned Kent Crossflow powered Westfield and it is definatley the best mod I've ever done. It transformed the engine from a temperamental 1200 rev minimum idle fuel guzzler, into a sweet tractable unit. Easy to start, smooth idle, pin sharp throttle response at any engine speed, much better part thottle fuel economy - all despite a fairly peaky cam and twin Dellortos. No increase in maximum power, but a lovely engine to drive.

also Vernon (confusingly)
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PostPost by: vernon.taylor » Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:54 pm

Salut Vernon

Thanks for your reply. It doesn't measure MAP but you can enter an advance curve for it - I haven't read up enough to know if that's a good thing or if it makes it similar to Megajolt.

@+

Vernon, the ignorant one ;-)
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PostPost by: Higs » Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:04 pm

The system allows you to map engine revs and throttle vacuum only. So a little beteer that nothing but not full 3D.

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PostPost by: vernon.taylor » Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:35 pm

Salut again

Just had a sales call from SCParts who claim the 123Ignition TUNE is a 3D ignition map system as it has a vacuum entry tube. Is this the MAP? I was told that the centrifuge advance curve and MAP advance curve combine to make a 3D ignition curve. Of course when you know nothing and someone sounds knowledgable it sounds convincing, but as you guys aren't trying to sell me something I'll believe you first!

I was told that some Webers have a 'hole' just for this, and if I had these I could hook them altogether and feed it to the 123.

Help, please!

Merci.

Vernon
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PostPost by: quaybook » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:24 am

Hi Vernon

I did not realise the 123 system took a MAP (vacuum) input. If so then it is 3D and potentially equivalent to Megajolt, although the latter can use either MAP or throttle position. Have you asked them how they recommend you provide the manifold depression? As I understand it, distributors on cars with twin 40's did not have vacuum advance because taking the depression on one inlet tract only resulted a very uneven pulse which caused the advance to 'flutter' at low revs. I think if you tap each inlet track and join them together for the distributor you will end up with horrid carb balance/tune problems. I'd be really interested in fitting 123 to my Elan if that problem can be solved.

Fingers crossed there is a solution out there somewhere :)

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PostPost by: vernon.taylor » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:06 am

Salut Vernon

Thanks for your reply. There's another thread about vacuum advance/retard for Strombergs and where the vacuum was taken - it seems Stromberg heads incorporated a balance tube. SCParts said that some carbs have a special port for this and that they 'just' need connecting together. I also read that a reservoir can aggregate/absorb pulsing. When should MA correction start? You can specify this in RPM withe the 123 - does pulsing become less of an issue at higher revs?

Merci et @+

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PostPost by: simonknee » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:03 am

Hmm, this is getting interesting. I did not realise it had the MAP connection either.

What I do know is that the 40DCOE18 or 2 or 31 do not have a special port.
Only the later models with air-bypass bleed adjustments such as the 40DCOE151 wiil have these.
They are used to balance the carbs like this:
balancing air bleed bypass.png and


However the manifold air pressure is freely available at the, erm, manifold.
This is what we use to make the headlights pop.
So why not take a feed on the "live" side of the pipe to the cross-member/pods.
Some kind of adaptor in the existing tube will do the trick.
I say live meaning that it must be on the manifold side of the one-way return valve.

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PostPost by: simonknee » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:25 am

To avoid confusion here's a pic showing where it can go.

map location.jpg and


I think that there might be a plug screwed in the other end too which would be just as good, and somewhat neater, if you put a nipple there instead
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PostPost by: vernon.taylor » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:13 pm

Salut Simon

Thanks for your knowledgable input, too. Could you correct these assertions if necessary:

1. Manifold vacuum/pressure = MAP
2. A distributor with centrifugal AND vacuum advance/retard = 3D ignition mapping
3. Total advance/retard is the sum of the two advance/retard curves
4. I have 40DCOE151 carbs, so I suppose it would be better to connect their air-bypass ports together and feed that to the 123 distributor

Concerning the last point the front manifold nipple goes to the headlight reservoir as you said and takes its vacuum from cylinder 1 only. The rear nipple (that's a thought) from cylinder 4 and that goes to the servo, if you have one. Would either be usable (both have non-return valves) and what about pressure fluctuations that Vernon (2) mentioned at low revs, and what are low revs in this case? Would it equalise enough if I connected just these two ports together?

Merci beaucoup

Vernon

P.S. I need to make up my mind soon (7-10 days) - I have a special price here in France at 359€/£255 which seems good compared to other sources
P.P.S. I've asked Hebels (the constructor) about this and also about the distributor height - he said that it might not fit under the carbs
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PostPost by: quaybook » Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:41 pm

Hi Vernon

A distributor with vacuum advance is not a full 3D system. A 2D system is where you have just two variables, engine speed and ignition advance. You can plot these against one another in a 2 dimensional graph - the advance curve. This system was modified for most cars with the addition of a vacuum advance which, rather crudely, moved the distrutor plate to advance the ignition in conditions of high vacuum, which means low throttle opening hence low load on the engine and thus no risk of pinking/detonation. The vacuum advance meant a lower static timing advance could be used which makes starting easier, and part throttle running at low revs would be more efficient because more advance could be used without risking excessive advance at high revs and under load which would cause pinking/detonation. It gives a much more economical engine on part throttle, better idlling and easier starting than the non vacuum advance option. A full 3D system uses electronics to vary advance with engine speed and either throttle opening or manifold depression (MAP or vacuum - all the same thing) to deal with different load conditions as well as engine speed. To represent the advance on these systems you need to use a 3D diagram, showing how advance varies with both engine speed and load - a 3D map. With these systems (eg Megajolt) you can plot the relationship of the variables into any complex topography that suits the engine's needs. So with the ford Crossflow in my Westfield we spent a couple of hours on the rolling road modifying the map for a whole range of load and speed conditions to maximise power output at each point - hence such a sweet running and relatively economical engine.

My concern is that with pre electronic distributor systems the advantages of adding vacuum advance to a 2D distributor system were well known and not expensive, but it was not done with engines using Webber DCOE carbs or the similar Dellortos. There must have been a good reason which could not be solved by just tapping a vacuum take off from one inlet tract and I believe the reason was excessive pulsing at low speeds. My question for 123 would be will it work with the vacuum off just one inlet tract and if it does not can I have my money back. Strombergs and a number of other carbs did use balance pipes, but again, Webber installations did not so I'm not sure there will not be ill effects if you cross connect the inlet tracts.

Last point. The Dellortos on my Westfields Crossflow have the sort of tappings shown in Simon's diagram and they are used for balancing as his diagram shows. But they are not the air bleed screws, which the Dellortos also have, these are different drillings and are for balancing between the two chokes of a single carb, they bleed air into the idle mixture I think.

Finally, just to say thanks for raising this, I'm very keen to hear both people's views and the outcome :)

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PostPost by: vernon.taylor » Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:43 pm

Salut Vernon(2)

The 123 (TUNE version only) has electronic advance that simulates centrifugal advance - advance against engine rpm - and a MAP port to electronically simulate vacuum advance - so that makes three variables - rpm, MAP and advance. They don't actually use the word 3D but there is the possibility to enter two curves (not to be confused with two maps) - one advance v. rpm and the second advance v. MAP. The examples in their doc are quite clear that they (can) work in tandem, and suggest that the advances of the two curves are cumulative. Please read their (short) doc as I would value your feedback. It can be downloaded here:

http://www.123ignition.nl/products.php?id=50&lang=eng

Plotting the two seperate curves on three axes would give a Megajolt-looking 3D ignition map with full programmable control of all three variables. Isn't that 3D? (Innocent question)

Tuning on a rolling road is mentioned as well as a crude method on a real road.

@+

Vernon T

P.S. All advance/retard is controlled by programming - there are no moving or sliding (or sticking) parts - both for rpm and vacuum advd.ance/retar
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PostPost by: Bud English » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:42 pm

Not to muddy the water here, but is there any real advantage to keeping the distributor over going without one using a crank trigger and a wasted spark system?

You're adding the computer that is the only real advantage that I can see either way. It seems like you are paying quite a bit extra for the new mechanical parts that really aren't needed with the electronics controlling all aspects of the timing, dwell, and advance/retard curves.

It would seem to me that the high voltage side of the equation would be much more efficient without the extra spark gap at the rotor cap as well.

Have modern engine manufacturers gone that direction just to cut costs?
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