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Ignition coils


Wilf

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I suspect the coil on my lumenition equipped S3 NA is on it's way out (runs fine until hot and then coughs, misfires a bit and generally unhappy. A spark tell tale showed no spark during the coughing. Let it cool a bit and its fine again until it heats up). I've seen you can buy a standard coil for 15-20 pounds, or a alleged fancy one at a lot more which is supposed to give better sparks. Are the fancy ones worth it?

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Well, new coil and still the same symptoms. The coil appears to be overheating (hot to the touch - not just warm) as if I swap a cold one for the hot one the engine runs fine again until the cold one heats up. Ballast resistor is in place and providing 9V to the coil as expected. I have a spare lumenition power unit and swapped that just in case - no better. So the question is: Is their a ballast resistor failure scenario that would cause only hot issues? Any other ideas? I'll probably get a new resistor just in case.

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Not wanting to teach Granny eggsucking....but you did get a ballast type coil, I trust? The other thing that I've found can cause ignition collapse is the 3 pin connector between the distributor sensor and the spark box. This can get corroded and the sparks die...also the wiring from the sensor where it comes throgh the side of the distributor can wear away the insulation and short out to ground. I've never had one of the Lucas magic spark boxes fail..even after being underwater for months!

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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Yes I got a new ballasted coil, the symptoms are it runs just fine for about 20 mins, then misfires on anything more than very slight throttle openings. I actually ditched the ballast resistor and coil this evening and stuck a 12v coil on. Still seems to get quite hot but no misfiring or running issues now.

I suppose I could have had a new coil DOA, and I'll admit I've never felt a coil after running the engine for any length of time so the heat may be normal. Anyone care to check how hot the coil gets with lumenition? Even the instructions say it will get hot.

24. I have fitted the Optronic system to my vehicle and it is working perfectly. However I have noticed that my coil is very hot. Is this normal?

This is not necessarily an issue. All Coils get hot in operation and it is possible that you have not noticed before how hot the coil became before fitting an Optronic ignition. It is also likely that any additional coil temperature is only occurring on tick-over and when the engine is driven the coil temperature will return to similar levels or below those generated using points. This is not a fault and is created by the way the Optronic system operates. The rise in temperature is unlikely to damage the ignition coil. Please see our product technical section for further information.

In the meantime I'll stick with the 12V coil, buy a new ballast and then try the new coil again. It does seem to be running better than it has done for quite some time now. It bugs me I have not been able to determine which bit is faulty!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, went out for a decent long run and my problems just seem to have been delayed a bit longer. Low tension side of things looks to be fine, so changing the cap, arm, leads and plugs, and check the wiring in the distributor. Coil got so hot I could not touch it and this was a 12V one...

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Cleaned up the battery connections, (+ve and -ve) and the earth connection onto the block and all is well again. Coil gets warm but not burning hot as before. Can only guess it was likely a bad earth causing the coil to work harder? Also changed the rotor arm as it seemed to be coming apart a bit so could have been that.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Went for a decent drive and on return the coil still seems too hot in my mind but not cutting out or spluttering as it used to, lumention box gets equally hot (not too hot to touch but too hot to comfotably hold for more than 5 seconds). On an evening like today the entire engine bay is also pretty darn hot too, to the extent that I guess a certain amount of heat must be from the general hot environment. I have the tin foil on the inside of the coil/lumenition box but how much use will it be there?

Must still have an earth issue as this seems to be the main reason the coil has to work harder from a bit of googling. This ones starting to cheese me off and I usually relish an electrical fault....

Has anyone else ever checked how hot their coil is after a decent run on an S3 with lumenition?

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  • 9 months later...

In the end I bought a cheapo alternative ignition system off ebay, from a chap called www.simonbbc.com as a way of debugging. The cheapo system seems to work fine and is still on the car. I'm probably going to revisit the lumenition at some point as I must be unlucky to have too duff power modules, but as they are both 30+ years old who knows!

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