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 Posted: 09-29-2018 04:00 pm
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Randallclary@icloud.com
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Come to our JH meetings each month at Round Table Pizzain Costa Mesa and bring your JH. We usually have from 3 to 6 JHs there with 6 to 10 folks in attendance. Great pizza and just a nice evening with friends. Join us. Randy Clary - 909-938-2090

Also most of us in attendance have a great deal of experience with the striker crank 2.2 L mod and the Delorrto 45s so give us a call. I live in Riverside and there are others that live closer to you in Fullerton.

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 Posted: 09-29-2018 08:28 pm
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noomg
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Don,

I'm curious, while you've got a number of niggling, frustrating problems(tach, oil leak, backfire)has your Healey ever stopped running and left you stranded? Or is it just not running they way it should.

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 Posted: 09-30-2018 05:16 pm
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Esprit2
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answerman wrote:
No, the rebuilt Lucas has been perfect. Problem was that my original distributor, the one that came with the car, was a 45D4, not a 25D4, and Greg was pretty sure it was an MGB distributor. So, I had to scour the group for someone who had an actual JH spec 25D4 that could be rebuilt (thanks Stephen Luckett). That worked out fine once I got the correct one: I still have oil leaks to track down, but not from the distributor.Don't focus on the "25D4" as being the answer. It's the "JH spec" part that is critical. When the JH-907 came out, Lucas was making the 23D4 & 25D4 distributors. Later ('74 ??) Lucas introduced the 43D4 & 45D4, and dropped the earlier models. Which distributor your engine came with was a simple function of where it was in the timeline, and for which market it was destined (emissions or non-emissions).

Standard Lucas distributors (23/ 25/ 43/ 45) didn't have shaft seals for horizontal operation. 907 distributors were specially configured with shaft seals, and no non-9XX replacement (MG/ most Britcars) will have the seals. That includes the various aftermarket Lucas-clone distributors, like Pertronix and 123. It's unfortunate that JH/ Lotus specialists sell those modern aftermarket distributors for the 9XX... they're not appropriate as they come.

In general, the 43/45 distributors are superior to the 23/25 units. Nothing big, just evolution. One difference to notice is the size of the distributor cap. The 23/25 cap is very small, which places the plug wire terminals close together. If you run a 'hot', high performance coil (ie, 45k volts), the spark can arc between the terminals inside the small cap. For a 23/25, it's best to stick with stock coils. If you want to use "hot" coils, then it's best to install a 43/45 JH-907 distributor.

Regards,
Tim Engel

Last edited on 09-30-2018 05:19 pm by Esprit2

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 Posted: 09-30-2018 06:59 pm
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DonBurns
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My JH has never stranded me, but I have not driven it much. I am grimly determined that it be absolutely 100% sorted out before I take it to paint and body. I rebuilt my first JH myself, but on this one I decided to have a professional speed / machine / dyno shop do it, and then opted to have them install the engine and do final set up and tuning. They ended up charging quite a bit more than the estimate and delivered a car that was barely drivable. Took it back a couple of times and finally decided to give up on them. I do not recommend Superior Automotive in Placentia. Have since taken to two different tuners who made some improvement, but I'm still not happy. With this much invested (time and money) I want it perfect.

I will try to get to the next meeting. Maybe it's not as bad as I think - a reality check might be a good idea. I received the RVI - RVC kit for the tach yesterday, and hopefully will have the new distributor by then also. I have asked Greg about supplying a 45D instead of a 25.


I was under the impression that you needed to use the hot coil with the Pertronics Ignitor? Is that not true and the combination of 25D, Pertronics Ignitor and standard coil is better?

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 Posted: 09-30-2018 08:57 pm
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Randallclary@icloud.com
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Many of us are retired and have taken the time to get the cars right mechanically and electrically for the sake of reliability. We have either done it ourselves or with the assistance of our JH friends (both local and remote). I’m interested in getting my tach to read accurately. I know how to calibrate to a running GPS device and working backwards based on tire size, transmission and rear end ratios. I also have work to accomplish in getting a working speedometer that I can calibrate to my custom gear ratios. I have a 4!speed and am using 205/60/15 wheel/tires on the rears.

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 Posted: 09-30-2018 10:28 pm
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DonBurns
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Being retired and then not is why I ended up going the "throw money at it" route. I retired mid 2014 just as I was starting on this project. I did a bunch of suspension and cosmetic work thinking the engine was OK. It's a long sad story but I started finding some serious mechanical issues that the previous owner had clearly gone to pains to hide. After the third potentially fatal discovery (as in possibly fatal to me) I decided it all had to come apart. About that time my old company talked me into coming back for two years. It seemed like free money at the time, and since it looked like I now had more money than time, I went the route of having other people do the car. If I could do it over I would have stayed retired and done the work myself.


Anyway - if you are looking for a good speedometer shop - Gail's Speedometer in Costa Mesa is reliable and fair. http://www.gailspeedo.com/

I have never calibrated a tach, but once I do the RVC conversion I will need to. There are instructions on Spiyda.com site. A cable came with the kit that you can borrow if you need it. It's really just a stereo headphone jack connected to two alligator clips to input a signal.

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 Posted: 10-01-2018 02:17 am
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redracer
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For a local super expert, I would recommend you call Richard Reyman of West Coast Cylinder Heads in Van Nuys, about an hour away.
(818)996-5673
info@proheads.com

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 Posted: 10-01-2018 03:30 am
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DonBurns
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I contacted West Coast Cylinder Heads in late 2015. They used to support Jensen Healey but have since decided to focus on Corvettes. They scoured their shelves and I am told I got the last full set of the "big valve" set with Viton seals that they produced.

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 Posted: 10-02-2018 12:36 am
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noomg
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Don,

It sounds like it's got very few miles on it. If it were me I'd drive it, take it to the grocery store, run errands, drive it around close to home to gain some confidence in it's reliability. Putting some miles on it just may reveal the answer to one or more of your problems. Also when problems crop up as they always do on Brit cars I find it best to tackle one problem at a time, I try to start with the easiest first and sometimes that even leads to a solution for the next.

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 Posted: 10-02-2018 01:25 am
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DonBurns
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Just finished with the Tach conversion to RVC. I'm pretty certain I followed the procedure exactly. Nothing is happening though when I follow the calibration procedure. Needle doesn't even twitch. Are there any instrument places that might be able to help sort it out? Maybe I am not applying the calibration signal correctly.

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 Posted: 10-02-2018 04:07 am
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Tom Bradley
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Don,
If you are sure that the assembly is correct, that you have a good 12V power to the tach and have tried reversing the signal polarity, then the most likely problem is that the calibration signal is not large enough. Have you tried listening to it on the speakers or headphones? The signal should be extremely loud for it to work. Some laptops or tablets might not have enough signal strength. When I calibrated mine I used the speaker system a desktop computer which still needed to be turned most of the way up. Does your DMM have an ACV measurement? When the signal is hooked up to the tach the signal voltage should be close to 12VAC peak-to-peak or something like 9V RMS.

Another possible approach is to wire the tach into the car 12V and ground and to the coil. It should at least respond, if not accurately. If you have an accurate tach on your engine analyzer you can use that to calibrate the spiyda. Or hook it back to the computer and figure out what is wrong there.

Last edited on 10-02-2018 04:35 am by Tom Bradley

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 Posted: 10-02-2018 04:41 pm
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noomg
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Don,

I don't know what RVC is but it sounds like you may have just added another problem to your list.

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 Posted: 10-02-2018 05:14 pm
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answerman
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Don, I did the Spiyda RVC conversion on mine and I never got the calibration signal to work either. I ended up just using my automotive multimeter (which does RPM among other things) to calibrate the tach instead.

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 Posted: 10-02-2018 05:50 pm
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DonBurns
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Noomg- RVI tachs use an Impulse signal as the signal to drive the tach, RVC uses contacts signals from the distributor (I think that's close anyway). The consensus, not just on this forum but others is that RVI is very often a problem when used with electronic ignition and it seems pretty common to do this modification. The issue I am seeing with an unstable tach has been fixed by others by converting to RVC. My understanding is that all modern tachs are RVC.


Tom- How did you supply 12V to the coil? It looks like the easiest would be to run a white wire from the now unused white wire that used to go to the tach to the + side of the coil. And I understand that the White / Slate wire from the tach moves from the + side to the - side of the coil, but I see some recommendations to run new wires all the way. I have all new wiring so the connections should be pretty clean. If you did not use the old white female connector, where did you splice into? I always worry about adding to a circuit that can't handle the current and anyway hate to butcher my pretty new harness. For the aux fan, O2 meter and Accusump I used relays and ran power straight from the battery. It's getting really challenging to feed more wires through the bulkhead grommets, though.


Apparently my problem with my practically new Innovate 02 meter suddenly going wacky for stability isn't that rare. I found references to this on a number of forums for different cars (BMW, American Muscle, etc etc) with no solution but to buy a new one.


My oil leak through the Pertronics dist seems to be getting rapidy worse. Before barely a sheen of oil before now a puddle. Probably won't make much progress until rebuilt Smiths arrives.

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 Posted: 10-02-2018 09:16 pm
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Tom Bradley
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Don,
Standard 14 gauge wire to the coil is perfectly OK. The only thing I get worried about is the connectors. This is where I have had most of my problems over the years. When I re-did my ignition system I got rid of as many as I could, especially inside the engine compartment. The spade terminals like on the coil, alternator and starter are the worst. If you have these, even if they are new, make sure that they are very tight. They should be difficult to push on and pull off. If they slide easily they are too loose and you should tighten up the connector on the end of the wire with a pair of pliers. People who are in a hurry to put things together sometimes wiggle the connectors to get them to slide in easier. This does not usually cause problems right away, but often cause intermittent problems down the road as they loosen up some more.

I once had an intermittent problem that only occurred after I had been driving for 15 minutes or so that I finally tracked down to a loose spade connector inside the Lucas alternator. Apparently after the engine compartment got hot the connector loosened up enough so that the alternator randomly stopped working, but then was fine when everything cooled down enough for me to work on it. One minute with a pair of pliers fixed the problem.

On the coil I got rid of the spade connectors and put ring terminals on the end of all the wires to get rid of the problem, though I think I may have been getting carried away there. As long as the connectors are good and tight they should last for many years.

The weakest link at this point is probably the ignition switch itself. With the original points, the ignition switch could get burnt just like any switch. I ended up replacing it with an electronic switch of my own design which has worked well for many years, but that is a pretty major undertaking and butchers up the wiring big time. Since the Pertronix 2 has built-in current limiting hopefully that will extend the life of the ignition switch as well.

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 Posted: 10-03-2018 06:00 am
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CDA951
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Esprit2 wrote:
answerman wrote:
No, the rebuilt Lucas has been perfect. Problem was that my original distributor, the one that came with the car, was a 45D4, not a 25D4, and Greg was pretty sure it was an MGB distributor. So, I had to scour the group for someone who had an actual JH spec 25D4 that could be rebuilt (thanks Stephen Luckett). That worked out fine once I got the correct one: I still have oil leaks to track down, but not from the distributor.Don't focus on the "25D4" as being the answer. It's the "JH spec" part that is critical. When the JH-907 came out, Lucas was making the 23D4 & 25D4 distributors. Later ('74 ??) Lucas introduced the 43D4 & 45D4, and dropped the earlier models. Which distributor your engine came with was a simple function of where it was in the timeline, and for which market it was destined (emissions or non-emissions).

Standard Lucas distributors (23/ 25/ 43/ 45) didn't have shaft seals for horizontal operation. 907 distributors were specially configured with shaft seals, and no non-9XX replacement (MG/ most Britcars) will have the seals. That includes the various aftermarket Lucas-clone distributors, like Pertronix and 123. It's unfortunate that JH/ Lotus specialists sell those modern aftermarket distributors for the 9XX... they're not appropriate as they come.

In general, the 43/45 distributors are superior to the 23/25 units. Nothing big, just evolution. One difference to notice is the size of the distributor cap. The 23/25 cap is very small, which places the plug wire terminals close together. If you run a 'hot', high performance coil (ie, 45k volts), the spark can arc between the terminals inside the small cap. For a 23/25, it's best to stick with stock coils. If you want to use "hot" coils, then it's best to install a 43/45 JH-907 distributor.

Regards,
Tim Engel


Thanks for the info, Tim.

Here is a link to a chart with a part # and description of pretty much any Lucas distributor known to man:

https://mgaguru.com/mgtech/ignition/pdf/lucas_distributor_specs.pdf

According to a chart, the distributor that came with our '74 J-H is a 41623 43D4, which is from a '78-83 Lotus Esprit/Eclat, so it should have the appropriate shaft seal. I noticed a couple of small shaft seals in the bag that I got from JAE months ago when I ordered all of the relevant seals for the distributor and the auxiliary shaft/oil pump housing, which I am sure will require distributor disassembly to replace.

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 Posted: 10-03-2018 03:05 pm
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redracer
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A word of caution: the 5 digit # stamped on the distributor casing will be misleading if you plan to have a "professional" shop rebuild it:
if you notice the "arrow" that was on the top (where the vacuum retard capsule goes) was "filed" off because the direction of rotation for the shaft is OPPOSITE what the 5 digit #s stand for.
In the late '90s, I sent 4(Lucas #41634 25D4) to a place in Pennsylvania for rebuilding. When I installed one, as the engine sped up the engine "died". After putting a timing light on it, I saw the "advance" was going the wrong way. I called the shop to get my original weights back and springs but they had been thrown away.

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 Posted: 10-03-2018 03:21 pm
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DonBurns
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Not to worry - I am not having mine rebuilt but am exchanging it for a club rebuilt unit. Greg says he has them bench tested somehow for proper advance and oil seal.

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 Posted: 10-03-2018 04:17 pm
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noomg
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Don,

Thanks for the explanation on the different tachs, so let's see if I can add to the confusion. Sometime in the '90s I installed the Pertronix unit in my distributor, it ran great but the tach didn't work. I don't remember where I got the info(maybe at the monthly meeting)but someone told me to install a ballast resistor from a '71 Dodge Van(I think), it worked great and has ever since.

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