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Car cutting out, tach all over the shop


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I know that earth cable looks like it is still fine but maybe try taking it off and cleaning the contact points on either side. The rev counter bouncing all over like that is one of the symptoms of a dodgey earth connection. It could also explain the rest of the issues...

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 If I set the engine to top dead centre and then remove the distributor to see what I'm doing, would I have to reset the ignition timing when I put it back in?

 

Not if you mark its position with a narrow line of paint when you withdraw it.

 

As your on points, you can also set the timing statically using a couple of wires and a small 12v bulb. A google search on setting static timing will show you how.

 

A proper timing strobe light which allows you to set it with the engine running is best however. Again- ebay is your freind.. they are cheap as hardly anybody uses them nowdays.

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Just caught up with this one and TO ME..could be several issues.

 

The tacho picks up its signal from the negative side of the coil.  If the coil is failing, it would make sense that the signal also will fail.

 

The coil breaking down would give you the ability to start the engine as the oil inside is nice and cool it allows the windings to stay tight.  4-5 miles down the road as the ignition coil is warming up, the coil windings begin to get looser, or the lacquer between the wires breaks down meaning your ratio of the windings drop and so does the efficiency.  This would give you the symptoms of a failing ignition system.  Let the coil cool down and the engine could start again.

 

Borrow a known working coil from someone and tape it or secure it somewhere as a temporary measure as a process of elimination.  If you are lucky this will sort it.

 

 

Rev limiters are a known problem to shut down excels... can't see why an eclat would be any different.

 

AB14 ignition amplifier... don't mention this on the excel forum... words of doom!

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Hi Dave ,Not a hundred percent sure not having an éclat but I think the broken connector gives 12V to the coil + when the solenoid is

energised this is to help starting , thereafter the supply comes from the ignition switch via the ballast at a lower voltage , so if anything

it would give you starting problems.

 

Cheers  Ian

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Hi Dave ,Not a hundred percent sure not having an éclat but I think the broken connector gives 12V to the coil + when the solenoid is

energised this is to help starting , thereafter the supply comes from the ignition switch via the ballast at a lower voltage , so if anything

it would give you starting problems.

 

Cheers  Ian

 

Ian is correct - the wire from the solenoid to the coil is only live when the starter is cranking. It won't be the cause of  issues to the coil feed when the engine is already running. The feed  once running comes via the ignition key - which along with spade connectors and wires to the Low tension connection on the coil and the coil to distributor HT lead - remain my prime suspects for the symptoms described.

 

It can't be the black box rev limiter, or the AB14, as this car doesn't have either component fitted. Dave's car is a '79 eclat on points.

 

Denis's suggestion of condenser is also a fair shout as is trying a replacement coil.

 

Put an auxiliary switched wire onto your coil from the +ve of the battery, and see if the problem disappears. If it does, you can focus on the igniton switch and feed wiring. If it doesn' t - you look downstream at your coil, condenser and coil-distributor lead.

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If you don't have access to making an Aux lead - I can make you one and post it to you?

Dunc, that could be awesome.  I've got a few spare parts though so let me switch them and see if the problem goes away.  If it does then I'm golden, if it comes back I might get you to do that as it would help with diagnosis.

 

Really appreciate that offer :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Replaced condenser and HT lead today.  Found the old HT lead had resistance of about 9k ohms and the new one is about 2.5k ohms.  Might be a different type of lead I'm not sure, but this new one seems to be working fine so I'll stick with it.

 

Reset timing (it was a little off but not so much) and car seems OK.  I haven't replaced the coil yet because the current one has spade type connectors and the replacement (a Lucas DLB125) has stud connectors so I need some stud connectors and a crimping tool.  I also need to take a Dremel to the bolts holding the current coil in at some point too as the captive nuts have broken off and I can't loosen the coil off.

 

Once that's done I'll try to take it for a long drive and see what happens.

post-17588-0-94974100-1416140689.jpg

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Does your current (excuse the pun) coil have something similar already bolted to it?

Unfortunately not.  I had a look from what I could see with it still in place, and it looks like the spade connectors are part of the coil.  Pretty sure it's not some adapter that sits over a stud with spade connectors.

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  • Gold FFM

As a quick fix you can open out the spade connectors on the end of the wires then shape them to fid over the studs on the coil, it will do to test it.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi Dave I too have a bright yellow éclat that suffered the same issue mine turned out to be the ignition switch breaking down.Replaced it and no issues since

Regards Alec

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A Burgess

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  • 3 months later...

Well I thought this issue had gone away. Went for a drive today and had the car cut out on me twice. Both when I was over 3,500pm. First time it just dropped off and died completely, with the tach dropping. Second time the tach started swinging around wildly for a couple of seconds before dropping. Came to a stop, and I couldn't even bump it back into starting like I could previously. Once I'd stopped I turned the key again and the car fired up with no problem whatsoever. After the second time I drove the rest of the way home without missing a beat. Since my issues I've got an electronic unit in the distributor, and changed the coil from the original. But nothing has changed in the last year or so in the ignition area. Wondering if it could be the ignition switch or a short somewhere.

On 02/11/2014 at 10:38, Dunc said:

Put an auxiliary switched wire onto your coil from the +ve of the battery, and see if the problem disappears. If it does, you can focus on the igniton switch and feed wiring. If it doesn' t - you look downstream at your coil, condenser and coil-distributor lead.

How thick does this wire need to be going from coil to battery? I've got a spare switch so should be able to rig something up in the engine bay to test this.

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  • Gold FFM

Hi Dave. Still sounds like the coil to me. I had a similar issue with her many years ago, sometimes would be fine, then the coil would heat and she would splutter for a second and die. Once started she would run fine again.

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6 minutes ago, johnpwalsh said:

Hi Dave. Still sounds like the coil to me. I had a similar issue with her many years ago, sometimes would be fine, then the coil would heat and she would splutter for a second and die. Once started she would run fine again.

Thanks for the thoughts, John. Might go for a brand new coil and see how we get on.

Didn't feel overly hot when I'd got home, but wasn't able to check how it felt right after the car cut out.

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1 minute ago, mikeeech said:

If you have electronic ignition you can bypass the ballast resistor although coil life might be reduced. 

Do you think I'd be best bypassing the resistor? Also, is it an easy wire to bypass if I were to go for an unballasted coil?

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The ballast resistor breaks down over time and an old one can be a problem if it gets hot. I understand that the elite used a resistive wire and not a decrete resistor. There should be a wire that runs from the ignition switch to the positive coil terminal. This will be the resistive wire I guess.

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I was just reading back on a thread I posted at the end of last year where I was looking at resistances of coil wires etc (http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/topic/77699-hard-to-start-when-left-for-any-length-of-time/?do=findComment&comment=611764). Looks like the red wire from fusebox to coil was 17 ohms, which would reduce the voltage going into a ballast coil. I tried bypassing that at one point doing some troubleshooting but it ended up lighting up my dashboard gauge lights for some strange reason!

Think I'm going to try and replacement coil and see where we can go from there if it doesn't sort things out.

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10 minutes ago, mikeeech said:

Did the gauge light stay lit when the engine was running? (Is when the alternator was charging the battery and putting out a high voltage)

Yeah, they did from memory and checking out that old post.

Quote

I have the MacGuyver-esque idea of running a separate wire from that fuse box connector to the coil.  Had a good fiddle with the fuse box and did that.  Reconnected the starter solenoid to coil wire and turned the key.  Engine fired up quickly and didn't die.  I then look down to the dash and see the dash lights on!  Light switch isn't on and lights aren't on, but dash lights are.  Unplugged the extra wire I'd connected and lights went out.

 

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