Lotus Elan

Powerspark / Aldon ignition

PostPost by: joe7 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 2:14 pm

I left some slack inside the distributor cap for that exact reason. However, I left a little too much and the red/hot lead was rubbing on the plate when it move causing it to occasionally short out. Fortunately the shorting out didn't cause a failure.
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 2:19 pm

I would have thought that temperature and vibration were not only known quantities on car engines but specifically what you'd be designing your modules to resist. Otherwise you could just solder a few jumper wires between the components and stuff them all into a matchbox. At least ours are working on the 'cool' side of the engine rather than being stuck down near the exhaust manifold somewhere and baked to death. Are most of the electronic bits in these modules not epoxy potted against vibration.

I know designers don't always get it right - the failure rate for many motorcycle reg/rec units is testament to that, but if you're an aftermarket company supposedly supplying a fix for an oe issue then you really do need to make sure your cure isn't worse than the disease.

Rather than just throwing away non functioning modules has anyone tried to work out exactly what failed and why? It can't be as simple as getting the lead lengths wrong can it? I don't suppose the manufacturers are going to tell us but I certainly would have more confidence in changing from points if there was some kind of knowledge base rather than the current black box lottery.
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PostPost by: Craven » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:44 pm

Theory is quite complicated but discharging an inductance into almost an open circuit results in a reverse pulse being reflected back to the source. In the case of a coil a high voltage spike will appear at the low voltage terminals. If internal components in the unit can’t withstand this, then breakdown will occur.
Introducing some resistance into the spark plug leads will lower the almost infinite impedance of the open circuit spark gap lowering the reflected voltage. A coil with a lower primary resistance, that is a fewer number turns, will also produce less of a spike.
FWIW
paper-cap.jpg
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PostPost by: Donels » Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:26 pm

Elan +2
Elise mk 1
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:54 pm

cobraboy wrote:I wonder if you guy's who are fed up with Chinese condensers and points know about these ………..

http://www.distributordoctor.com/distri ... ensers.htm

http://www.distributordoctor.com/distri ... oints.html

I've read the info about Condensers and it speaks about a Wire in the China Condensers being too short. Which is NOT true, there is NO Wire in a Condenser.
Can someone confirm
Alan
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PostPost by: Craven » Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:43 pm

Condenser is the very old term for a capacitor, not used in electronic for some 60 + years.
In its simplistic form a capacitor is formed by two plates separated by a small air gap, those of us of a certain age will perhaps remember an old radio variable tuning capacitor where turning the dial engages more or less of the multi plates.
Value of capacitance is of surface area of the plates and dielectric between them, voltage rating is the ‘strength’ of the dielectric, hence a rolled construction of a sandwich gives high surface area in a small physical space. Only wire involved is the connecting wire.
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space.jpg
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PostPost by: cobraboy » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:22 pm

alan.barker wrote:
cobraboy wrote:I wonder if you guy's who are fed up with Chinese condensers and points know about these ………..

http://www.distributordoctor.com/distri ... ensers.htm

http://www.distributordoctor.com/distri ... oints.html

I've read the info about Condensers and it speaks about a Wire in the China Condensers being too short. Which is NOT true, there is NO Wire in a Condenser.
Can someone confirm
Alan


Read it again
Text clearly says winding not wiring.
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PostPost by: DavidLB » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:47 pm

I’ve used a pertronix in a type14 elite for 20 odd years without problems.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:09 am

cobraboy wrote:
alan.barker wrote:
cobraboy wrote:I wonder if you guy's who are fed up with Chinese condensers and points know about these ………..

http://www.distributordoctor.com/distri ... ensers.htm

http://www.distributordoctor.com/distri ... oints.html

I've read the info about Condensers and it speaks about a Wire in the China Condensers being too short. Which is NOT true, there is NO Wire in a Condenser.
Can someone confirm
But there's no Winding in a Condenser either :oops:
Surely a Winding is made from Wire :wink:
As far as i know there's only Foil in layers :?
Alan
Last edited by alan.barker on Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: cobraboy » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:40 am

The foil is a strip and the only way to get it in a small round case is to wind it up.
The purpose of my post was to provide the community with a source of quality ignition parts for our cars.

I wish I had not bothered !

Every forum has its wind up merchants, I guess I found the one here.

Over and out.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:48 am

cobraboy wrote:The foil is a strip and the only way to get it in a small round case is to wind it up.
The purpose of my post was to provide the community with a source of quality ignition parts for our cars.

I wish I had not bothered !

Every forum has its wind up merchants, I guess I found the one here.

Over and out.

Sorry if i have wound you up.
It was not my intention and i am not to my knowledge a wind up merchant.
It seems that in the description in fact they are taking about the length of the Foil that is wound around its self.
I hope you enjoy the rest of the Christmas Yuletide period.
Best regards
Alan
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PostPost by: derek uk » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:04 am

This old thread is worth revisiting. lotus-electrical-f38/pertronix-ignitor-with-solid-core-leads-t25713.html
Google search Pertronix with solid core plug wires for lots more including advice from Pertronix. The original and less electrically safe Pertronix 1 doesn't apparently suffer from this but the module in the 2 and 3 is more complex and more prone to stray electrical signals. Carbon leads are fine but it's one of those tuning things that big and chunky solid core leads are hyped up to be essential.

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PostPost by: billwill » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:47 am

Sigh, there are many designs for making capacitors, but probably there are indeed wires, they would be used to connect the foils to the external terminals.

And the foil and insulating layers are indeed WOUND around in the form of a coil. Winding as a verb or noun does not apply solely to those made with wire.

The picture above shows a design for an ELECTROLYTIC capacitor, which has a layer wetted with a liquid or semi-liquid electrolyte. These are often found in electronic equipment as you get more electrical capacity for the same physical volume, but they are not suitable for car distributors, the heat would evaporate the electrolyte.

Distributor capacitors/condensors would use just dry layers: alternative layers of conducting foil and nonconducting material (usually like paper). For this reason they are often called 'paper' capacitors.

'condensor' is the old old name, which has somehow survived through the years in the motoring industry, but 'capacitor' is the name that has been used by the electronics industry for almost forever.


Here are lots of pictures of paper capacitors:

https://www.google.com/search?biw=1637& ... hKYp9ImveM
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PostPost by: archigator » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:11 pm

I put on a Pertronix distributor, coil, and new wires about a year ago, and was out for a Sunday morning drive when the engine died a mile into my drive. I could not get it started on the roadside, and I and the Elan took the ride of shame home on a flatbed tow truck. The Pertronix had been working fine to that point and was pretty new. So my thoughts turned to the carbs, water in the gas, etc. I cleaned the carbs and jets, I drained the oil and refilled (no water in the oil), drained the gas and refilled with fresh, changed my plugs and coil. I got the engine to idle, but as soon as I push the accelerator, it bogs down and dies. Could it be that this Pertronix distributor has already crapped out with less than 500 miles on it? Are these symptoms of a defective distributor? If so, can Pertronix distributors be repaired, or is a new distributor in order?

Thanks,

Gary
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:23 pm

Gary, I had similar symptoms to what you describe. It then refused to work at all.

The module in the Pertronix distributor can be changed out. I got a replacement from RD Enterprises to make sure I got the correct module. It is a pretty easy job to install with the distributor out.

You can also bench test the module. Here is a link to the procedure. My guess is it will check out on the bench if it is working at idle though.

https://mgaguru.com/mgtech/ignition/pdf ... e_test.pdf

Although my replacement module checks out on the bench, I still could not start the car. As I installed my other ignition system I gave not fully chased down what is going on with my Pertronix yet.

HTH

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