Lotus Elan

Advice on dizzy rebuild

PostPost by: JonB » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:52 pm

Hi

I need to rebuild a Lucas 23D4 distributor. Looking for advice and a source of parts. Is it even worth doing? A new reproduction unit is around £45... but are these rubbish?

Thanks in advance!

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PostPost by: Mazzini » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:53 pm

Distributor Doctor.
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PostPost by: englishmaninwales » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:59 pm

+1
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PostPost by: SENC » Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:30 am

Agree with above. I had DD build a new distributor to the correct spec for my non-federal stromberg engine, and also bought the parts to rebuild my original as a backup. The one he built works perfectly, and the replacement parts (rotor, points, cap, condenser, etc.) for my original are high quality.
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:52 am

Another positive experience with the DD, who helped me with parts to rebuild a distributor for a 1932 Standard.

I will now only use the rotor arms and dizzy caps he supplies on my Elans after an ongoing series of failures with dizzy parts supplied by other apparently reputable Lotus specialists.
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PostPost by: JonB » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:40 am

Yeah, I was thinking of doing it myself.. but having read the DD site there are all sorts of comments that are clearly intended to dissuade me from that course of action. A dizzy rebuild with them is about £220, is it not? A replacement pattern dizzy can be had for 1/4 that much (example: Powerspark unit shown on their web site, with an unknown advance curve). The question remains - are these units [email protected]?
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PostPost by: steve.thomas » Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:21 pm

Jon
I bought a replacement distributor from Matty’s a couple of years ago and it’s been faultless so far. I think it was around £100. The one thing to be aware of that they don’t tell you is that with the points gap correctly set, the dwell angle is not as per the manual. From memory I think it was 45 degrees. I queried this and Matty’s told me they never use dwell angle, just set the points and away you go... This difference is presumably caused by the cam profile being slightly different to the original spec.
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:19 pm

If you go down that route you might want to check what's in there - springs and bobweights. I bought a new one from them many years ago after the original housing cracked, and while the car started and ran perfectly it always felt a bit flat at the top end. Years later I noticed the bob weights were marked 7 degrees. My Stromberg engine is supposed to have 12 degree weights (33 total - 9 static / 2). A few file strokes and 5 degrees later the engine is so much better but I still don't know what characteristics the springs are giving.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:32 pm

I suppose the expense buys guaranteed accuracy and peace of mind re longevity.
Still less than 123?
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:54 pm

JonB wrote:Yeah, I was thinking of doing it myself.. but having read the DD site there are all sorts of comments that are clearly intended to dissuade me from that course of action. A dizzy rebuild with them is about £220, is it not? A replacement pattern dizzy can be had for 1/4 that much (example: Powerspark unit shown on their web site, with an unknown advance curve). The question remains - are these units [email protected]?


This forum contains a wealth of knowledge and many of the subjects raised here have been discussed previously, it might be worth searching through the forum before making a decision.
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PostPost by: JonB » Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:15 pm

Hi Mazzini. Of course I searched! But it returned hundreds of results with the words "distributor" or "overhaul" in it - in other words, 99% irrelevant to my question.
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PostPost by: prezoom » Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:22 pm

David Vizard's book, Tuning Twin Cam Fords calls for for a dwell of 60, and says to never use a feeler gauge to set the points.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:02 pm

Yes dwell angle is a much more useful test particularly for used points where there may be some erosion.
Also fluctuations in the reading may help identify wear in other parts of the distributor.
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PostPost by: elangtv2000 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:24 pm

JonB wrote:Hi
A new reproduction unit is around £45... but are these rubbish?
JonB


The cheap one I bought a few years ago was rubbish.
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PostPost by: alanr » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:26 pm

Dwell angle should be in the band 57-63 degrees. Any variance/scatter to this which shows up will indicate a worn distributor and time to replace it.
Checking point gap with feeler gauges should be strictly for the roadside emergency!

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