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Crane XR3000 ignition  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 04-27-2009 02:52 pm
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sjensen24
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Got it.  I do have some basic questions, however.  I have gotten advice of all different types on the vacuum advance.  Some sources indicate that it get abandoned all together and some sources say that I need it at idle.  Does it depend on other issues?

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 Posted: 04-27-2009 04:53 pm
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sjensen24
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My total advance is about 17 to 18 degrees at 2000 to 2500 rpm.   10 degrees at idle and then another 8 when I boost the rpms.  This is with the vacuum attached.  Does this mean it would be at 25 if my vacuum was not attached? 

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 Posted: 04-27-2009 09:01 pm
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Jensenman
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That will depend on the type of vacuum capsule you have. An 'advance' type has no vacuum at idle, this is the type where the vacuum tap is on the carburetor. The vacuum tap on the carb will have no vacuum until the throttle is opened (this is called 'ported' vacuum). A 'retard' type has vacuum all the time, this type will conect directly to the intake manifold.

Here's how to check for the type you have, you will need a handheld vacuum pump, a helper and a timing light. Connect the vacuum pump to the advance unit, then start the engine and aim the timing light at the marks. Now have the helper work the vacuum pump. The engine turns clockwise; if the mark moves counterclockwise with vacuum, then it's an advance type which needs to be connected to ported vacuum. If the mark moves clockwise, it's a retard type and needs to be connected to manifold vacuum.

The timing is set with the vacuum disconnected on the advance type, the retard type is left connected. Either way, you should start out with ~10 degrees initial advance and by 3000 RPM it should be in the (IIRC) 30 degree range. 

The engine running rough and the timing light 'fading' as the engine speed increases indicates to me a possible problem in the ignition module. I would want to make real sure that the optical pickup is squeaky clean where the little LED and receiver are. Don't use harsh solvents like carb or brake cleaner, a soft clean rag and a little glass cleaner should be sufficient.


EDIT: I found this page with XR3000 installation information. It has a link to a PDF of Crane's instruction sheet. http://www.bmw2002faq.com/content/view/70/32/
 

Last edited on 04-27-2009 09:34 pm by Jensenman

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 Posted: 04-27-2009 09:37 pm
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Jensen Healey
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Let's assume you have a stock Jensen Healey distributor which is vacuum retard.

My total advance is about 17 to 18 degrees at 2000 to 2500 rpm.   10 degrees at idle and then another 8 when I boost the rpms.  This is with the vacuum attached.  Does this mean it would be at 25 if my vacuum was not attached? 

No, your vacuum retard is retarding the timing 8 degrees less when there is less vacuum, (remember high vacuum is when the butterflys are closed, like at idle and when decelerating). Of course, less retard is just the same as more advance.

Sounds like the mechanical advance is frozen.

If your static timing is set to 10 degrees the vacuum retard would retard it to 2 degrees at idle. I'll bet your static timing is set to 18 degrees.

You need to remove the distributor and send it to Jeff at Advanced Ignition. Move the engine to top dead center and note that the rotor points towards the #1 spark plug wire before removing. That way you can put it back in the same way when you get it back from Jeff.

I also recommend throwing the Crane XL Fireball 500 gee whiz POS in the trash and having Jeff install a Pertronix unit which he can setup correctly for you.

And disconnect the vacuum retard, cap the manifold, and never, ever, hook it up again!  Nobody has used one since 1975. My car runs great without it.

Kurt

 

 

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 Posted: 05-04-2009 02:33 pm
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sjensen24
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Progress report:  I attached a jumper wire to bypass the external ballast resistor.  HUGE IMPROVEMENT!!  Prior to doing this, the car would start missing badly at 3000 rpms.   Immediately after attaching the bypass, I revved to 7000 without a hiccup.

However, still no advance on the timing with engine speed.  I was dreading getting into the distributor, but there was no choice.  I pulled it out and very carefully worked my way into it.  Is it a bad thing if it is filthy inside?  Much oil and gunk to clean out.  I finally made my way down to the weights.  They did seem to be stuck.  I worked them loose and put everything back together.  Bad news is that I still get no advance.  I guess the next step is the expert at Advanced Distributor.

I set the timing to about 20 degrees btdc and restored the vacuum retard, which takes me down to about 12 at 1000 rpm.  The car runs better than it has in a long time and well enough to drive it back home where I can get it into the shop.

Thanks to everyone for all of the valuable advice.

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 Posted: 06-03-2009 09:13 pm
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sjensen24
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I finally got my car home and tried to call Advanced Distributors.  We traded emails earlier and he was very helpful.  Now, however, the phone number does not work and directory assistance has no listing.

Do you know if he is out of business?

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 Posted: 06-04-2009 01:27 am
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dwalls1
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He's certainly not out of business. He just rebuilt my spare distributor in one day. I dealt purely by e-mail and Jeff was right on top of things all the while. Go to his site to download a form to send with your distributor. By passing the ballast resistor should give better spark, but shorten the life of the coil. It is by passed during starting any way as I understand it.

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 Posted: 06-04-2009 02:45 pm
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sjensen24
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I did get an email back from Jeff and spoke with him today.  Turns out his phone gives an odd message if he is on the phone at the same time voice mail is taking a message and he is also unlisted.  Thanks.

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