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Author Topic: Electronic ignition  (Read 4548 times)
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davidwheeler
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« on: 04 August, 2012, 06:45:32 PM »

The spark timing on my Lambdas is variable because of wear in the distributor cam which appears to be made of some sort of fibre.  My Fulvia has been converted in the past to electronic ignition by means of an LED and sensor mounted in the distributor body and a vane which has been glued (?) to the rotor shaft.  This works well.  I see a number of kits for modernish distributors with a rotor and a Hall effect pickup which look as if they would fit into a Lambda distributor but there is no clue about dimensions.  Has anyone tried fitting such a thing to a Lambda?
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David Wheeler.  Lambdas, Aprilia, Fulvia Sport.(formerly Appia and Thema as well).
Dilambdaman
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« Reply #1 on: 05 August, 2012, 06:32:26 PM »

David,  couple of postings from the Modestine thread. Frank Jolly of Jolly Engineering is a super guy and very helpful.

I had also been plagued for a long time with contact breaker point gaps closing and on investigation found them to be totally knackered and shorting out. So, I had the distributor modified to electronic ignition. No bolt on kit was available so the work was carried out by Jolly Engineering of Malvern http://www.classicheads.com. A splendid job with nothing visible externally to give away the modification and greatly improved starting, idling and acceleration. Apologies to the purists. 


On the Sliding Pillar Rally just before Sunday lunch  the ignition system packed up altogether. Many thanks to Reg Maybury (Rachel nee Wilcock's husband and Roy's son-in-law) )who towed us to the lunch stop assisted by James Parry. I then took a huge amount of stick for converting the distributor to electronic ignition which precluded any hope of repair and resulted in our homeward journey being courtesy of AA Recovery. On the bright side we saved about 60 worth of petrol!

Returned the distributor to the guy who carried out the conversion to find that the module had indeed failed which he replaced under warranty.  I am totally unrepentant for the doing the conversion having enjoyed perfect starting, smooth running and lovely tick over since. However, I will now be carrying a spare module, coil and a set of refurbished points!

Robin.
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Robin Lacey 3222

1932 Dilambda
1992 Y10 GTie
2012 Delta Mk3
davidwheeler
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« Reply #2 on: 07 August, 2012, 01:06:53 PM »

Robin
This could well be Accuspark which retails for about 27-35 depending on model.  Simple to fit but I just need to know dimensions to get the right kit!  Not something you could help me with as I am sure Modestine is different from Old Boot in the distributor department.
David
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David Wheeler.  Lambdas, Aprilia, Fulvia Sport.(formerly Appia and Thema as well).
johnturner
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« Reply #3 on: 08 August, 2012, 08:46:35 AM »

David

I am not sure that I approve of all this modernisation, but Bob Seaney fitted electronic ignition to his Lambda and reckons the performance was transformed.  It was I think a very small and inexpensive unit from mapli.  have a word with him.

John
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davidwheeler
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« Reply #4 on: 11 August, 2012, 01:04:56 PM »

All I can find on their website is an amplifier.  Since this uses the points it does not solve the problem of irregular timing which is making Boot's engine rough.  I'll do some more research...
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David Wheeler.  Lambdas, Aprilia, Fulvia Sport.(formerly Appia and Thema as well).
fay66
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« Reply #5 on: 11 August, 2012, 10:39:36 PM »

All I can find on their website is an amplifier.  Since this uses the points it does not solve the problem of irregular timing which is making Boot's engine rough.  I'll do some more research...

Bob had one previously made & fitted to their Fulvia Coupe, which I inherited when they sold the Fulvia, it sits inside a plastic margarine tub which is painted matt black, it works very well and it is easy to switch back to the original points, although I did replace the coil and resistor with a new coil.
The set up works very well and my 2c runs much better than it did with the points taking the load, whereas now they just act as a trigger.
If I can find the information leaflet  I'll post it on here.

Brian
8227 Cool
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Own 1966 Fulvia 2C Berlina since 1997, back on road 11-1999.Known as "Fay"
2006 Renault Megane 1 5 Dci Sports Tourer
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lancialulu
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« Reply #6 on: 12 August, 2012, 05:22:27 PM »

I built on of the Maplin amps up and as Brian says it uses the points as a switch thereby overcoming the erosion of the points. It stil would not compensate for a worn distributor as would no other aftermarket opto or hall device fitment. These would however take away the long term wear of the points heal which slowly closes the point retarding the ignition over many thousands of miles.

Back to the maplin device, it had a switch over to return to conventional and I did a number of subjective tests on a Fulvia 1.3S. To be honest I did not check fuel consumption but everything else was in the margin ie indeterminable. So I took it off. I later fitted a Sparkrite period amplifier to protect points wear but again could not detect any other benefit. I should say the 1.3 was perfectly set up and in a good state of tune.

Tim
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Its not the winning but taking part! or is it taking apart?
Lancias:
1955 Aurelia B12
1967 Fulvia 1.3HFR
1972 Fulvia 1600HF
1972 Fulvia 1600HF
1983 HPE VX
1988 Delta 1.6GTie
1998 Zeta 21.  12v
davidwheeler
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« Reply #7 on: 13 August, 2012, 09:12:13 AM »

My problem with the Lambda distributors. I think, is that the cam is worn so giving variable points gap and spark timing.  An optoelectronic or Hall effect system would obviate this as the gap is not critical and the timing is dependent upon the accuracy of manufacture of the rotor and neither is subject to wear.  I have an optoelectronic system on my Fulvia and, once I corrected the installation (not mine) this last weekend, it now runs very sweetly.  This system does provide a big spark which has eroded the contacts inside the distributor cap but I have replaced this. The timing strobe still shows variability of spark timing at low revs due to the mechanical advance/retard but this should disappear at more than 2,000 rpm.  I cannot confirm this at the moment as I have not marked the flywheel sufficiently in advance.  Even at full revs the spark timing on the Lambdas varies by some 5-10 degrees.
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David Wheeler.  Lambdas, Aprilia, Fulvia Sport.(formerly Appia and Thema as well).
Dilambdaman
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« Reply #8 on: 15 August, 2012, 07:53:29 AM »

David,

May well be that my set up would not suit a Lambda although Jolly Engineering reckon to be able to adapt most models.

However, as this thread has interested others here are a couple of pictures of Modestines distributor. Its a magnetic system where by there are 8 magnets in the cam which is a push fit onto the original points cam. The sighting of the sensor is not overly critical and does not suffer from the dust and debris problems associated with optical systems.

However, Morris Parry having spent a lifetime in electronic engineering is opposed to the conversion to electronic on the grounds that vintage cars can generate sudden and very large flashes of current particularly when the starter button is released, leading to destruction of the electronic module. On Modestine we've fitted a simple surge protector in the live feed to the module and a capacitor on the live feed to the coil. Both available cheaply from Halfords who market them to protect In Car Entertainment systems. Morris thinks that this should be sufficient protection but only time will tell!

For the Dilambda we had a new base plate made which results in us being able to rebuild the original points and carry as backup should the module fail. We've also been very fortunate in that Peter Renou in Austrailia has a Dilambda distributor which he is sending over for me to purchase for a very reasonable sum. Many thanks Peter.

As others have attested electronic ignition does away with many of the problems associated with contact breaker points and doing the relatively high mileages in a year that I do I think its worth trying it out.. I well remember in the 1960's fitting all sorts of modifications to older cars as technology advanced. 


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Robin Lacey 3222

1932 Dilambda
1992 Y10 GTie
2012 Delta Mk3
fay66
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« Reply #9 on: 15 August, 2012, 08:39:29 AM »

Robin,
It doesn't get much simpler than that in terms of the number of components! nice to hear Modestine is still behaving herself Cheesy

Brian
8227 Cool
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Own 1966 Fulvia 2C Berlina since 1997, back on road 11-1999.Known as "Fay"
2006 Renault Megane 1 5 Dci Sports Tourer
Dedra Technical Adviser
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