Delco (black distributor cap) or Bosch (brown distributor cap)
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electronic ignition breaking down

Post by Mandingo » Thu May 10, 2018 4:28 pm
Joined: Wed May 09, 2018 10:08 pm
Posts: 3
Hi please tell me how to stop my electronic ignition breaking down!
The facts: I have almost spent £1000 on reconditioning distributor, had it checked and set up twice by local engine engineers. Replaced the optical eye once following diagnosis it was breaking down, new ht leads, second correct coil on the information given that the previous one had burnt out, Timing set up, brand new carburettor. It's still misfiring backfiring, and stalling when it gets that little bit to hot in traffic.

I am at a complete loss apart from some kind suggestions about checking the distributor cap for hairline cracks, and the rotor arm etc... One thing that was factual was that upon it breaking down under workshop conditions we immediately removed the distributor cap and squirted some cool break cleaner over the optical eye to cool it and immediately replaced the cap and it started and ran fine.

I'm so lost Please help.

Re: electronic ignition breaking down

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Post by Phil Bradshaw » Club admin » Thu May 10, 2018 5:23 pm
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:15 pm
Posts: 3587
Which ignition system is fitted?

I'd guess at Lumenition fitted to Delco D300 distributor but the optical bit should be good up to 125C...
  • What is real is not the external form but the idea, the essence of things. Constantin Brâncuși

Re: electronic ignition breaking down

Post by Mandingo » Thu May 10, 2018 6:41 pm
Joined: Wed May 09, 2018 10:08 pm
Posts: 3
Yes a lumenition

Re: electronic ignition breaking down

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Post by Phil Bradshaw » Club admin » Thu May 10, 2018 10:51 pm
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:15 pm
Posts: 3587
My guess is that the optical sensor is suffering from overheating and may be faulty (i.e. out of range of specifications).

Delco D300 on the Vauxhall OHC engine does get quite hot inside but I've not come across one that can boil water.

If you need evidence of faulty sensor, or the distributor getting too hot for some reason, then a K-type (thermocouple) thermometer may be the best way to determine breakdown temperature while the engine is running.

If you want to know more about this then just ask. :thumb:
  • What is real is not the external form but the idea, the essence of things. Constantin Brâncuși

Re: electronic ignition breaking down

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Post by VDUB384 » Club admin » Sun May 13, 2018 9:10 am
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:01 am
Posts: 1340
If all fails I can recommend the Aldon electronic system it’s very simple and lobe sensor, I used one for years before buying a Bosch system I sold both separate when I sold my camperDave
Whilst good maintainece is the best prevention"If its not broken don't fix it."
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Re: electronic ignition breaking down

Post by 1972nail » Thu May 17, 2018 5:19 pm
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 1:53 pm
Posts: 23
The Luminition system is prone to faults like that. It probably is not be the sensor which is faulty but the capacitors getting old in the amplifier box itself. Unless you're into electronics or know someone willing to try to fix it then it's scrap. As it just happens I was talking to a VX4/90 owner last night who had exactly the same problems. He sent his back to Luminition to find the fault and repair if possible. After weeks of waiting he finally got an email saying 'sorry we cant test your unit as it's faulty'......

As Dave says the Aldon system is a good replacement. However, the Aldon 'Ignitor' system is sold as 'Petronix' in the USA and it is basically the same as an Accuspark which is less than 1/2 the price of either.

You'll probably find that the Luminition sensor is quite expensive, especially if you are not sure if the amplifier is working properly. So it may make sense to swap over completely to one of the other more modern units.

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