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Pertronix Distributor Help!!!  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 04-25-2007 04:48 am
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Jensen Healey
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I couldn't spell trailer. Sorry about your frustration. It could be any number of things.  My first thought was weak spark but I thought that would be insulting considering you already spent a bundle on the Pertronix distributor which is supposed to take care of that area.

I'm sure you'll get it with a bit of persistance.

Last edited on 04-25-2007 04:58 am by Jensen Healey

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 Posted: 04-25-2007 01:09 pm
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flatlanderep
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Yeah sorry man, didn't mean to get all pissed....I'm just frustrated with this whole project.
But I gotta keep going.
I'll keep everyone posted.
Thanks again.

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 Posted: 04-25-2007 01:35 pm
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John Kimbrough
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I understand your frustration.  When I put in my Pertronix ignitor and coil, I felt the same way.  You might want to take a look at my web site which chronicles my installation.  It may give you some clues.  One thing I had to do is increase the spark plug gap in order to get a good spark, and to get all cylinders firing, but I had put in a high tension coil at the same time.  John.

http://home.comcast.net/~jrkengr2/

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 Posted: 04-25-2007 07:32 pm
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flatlanderep
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Thanks John, your website is awesome....full of info.

While I was sligtly rotating the dist., i noticed drips of gas......obviously coming from the carbs. Is this a result of the endless cycle of turn ignition on, crank engine by hand, watch spark?

Or is this a bad seal? I know I'm drifting out of the ignition section and into the carbs realm, but eh.

I don't want that freakin' gas to start a nice little fire on the starter ya know?

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 Posted: 04-25-2007 07:46 pm
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Greg Fletcher
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The o-ring on the bottom Stromberg float bowls fail on a regular basis, it's a lame design. New ones are cheap. Of course cranking the engine can cause flooding too at the valve seats. I'd fix that pronto.

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 Posted: 04-25-2007 07:58 pm
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edward_davis
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Paul,

If your float valves are working properly and you're only getting the 2-3psi at the carbs, you shouldn't have a weeping/flooding problem.  I had a sticking needle valve that caused that problem, but the car would still start ('course, I was troubleshooting carbs and not ignition, so I didn't flood it the way you could've).  I think, though, that if you've got the choke on (actually it's a fuel enrichment valve, not a true choke), you could have created this problem without having anything wrong with the carburettor.  I'm assuming here that you have Strombergs.

If you've replaced the fuel pump (or even, if the PO replaced it), you should check the line pressure at the carbs.  I've had two of the "low pressure" Facet pumps that supposedly max out at 3psi, and I had to install a pressure regulator to calm both of them down.  Killed the first one with what the Facet rep called a 'typical uncontrolled voltage spike, expected in an antique car.'  So I bought the cheaper (but externally identical) generic knock-off as a replacement.  Anywhooo,  these pumps and others solid state pumps, while more 'reliable' than the old points-type fuel pump can easily blast open the poor little needle valves in these carbs and flood the engine.

I think that's all I can contribute to the fuel-side of this problem.  I'm interested to hear about the pertronix distributor, though.  I'm thinking of getting one of the mechanical-advance only dizzies that I saw when I visited Delta in January.  As soon as I can get my wife to forget about that new starter motor....

Also, I understand that the vacuum-advance pertronix dizzies have an actual vacuum-advance instead of the vacuum-retard capsule I have blocked off on my old, stock unit.  I'll be interested to hear how that works for mileage and power.

Good luck with your JH, and let us know what finally fixes it.  I've avoided a lot of new posts to the board by finding out the resolution to others' problems.

If it's not a Jensen it's just another car...

Edward

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 Posted: 04-25-2007 10:12 pm
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Judson Manning
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If I read you post correctly, 3 is firing at 10^ BTDC?

Firing order is:

1 & 4 at 10^ BTDC

3 & 2 at 10^ BBDC

1-3-4-2 . . .

 

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 Posted: 04-26-2007 03:44 am
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flatlanderep
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Well its running........................................................................rough.
Sounds like one cylinder is missing.
But the good thing is the engine actually runs, never thought I'd hear it again.
Just thought I'd let ya know.

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 Posted: 04-26-2007 03:52 am
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flatlanderep
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about the cylinder not firing (cyl 2).........when I remove the plug it appears very fouled, wet and such.

is there too much gas in the cylinder from the whole ignition timing process (while the fuel pump was on?)

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 Posted: 04-26-2007 04:14 am
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James Sohl
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To track down rough running, you will need to eliminate variables.  Dry the plugs.  'Best would be to have all four in as nearly the same condition as possible.  With dry plugs, move on to spark.  Check to see, as best as you can anyway, whether the spark is nearly the same strength at the plug end of each plug wire.  If you find a weak spark, try swapping wires and see if the weak spark follows the wire or stays in place.  If a weak spark stays in place, well, all sparks originate from the same source so something between the coil and plug wire is suspect, like cap problems.
Good luck!

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 Posted: 04-26-2007 06:26 pm
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flatlanderep
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Judson Manning wrote: If I read you post correctly, 3 is firing at 10^ BTDC?

Firing order is:

1 & 4 at 10^ BTDC

3 & 2 at 10^ BBDC

1-3-4-2 . . .

 

Short answer.......umm yes. It was all messed up, that's what happens when you work on something into the late hours of the night and you're jacked on energy drinks.
But anyway, started it up the first time (well...attempted to start it up), didn't turn over, sounded terrible.......I knew something was wrong.

Sure enough the wires were in the wrong order.

Would this damage anything? Attempting to crank the car several times with the engine completely out of order......i'm guess the first time around the firing order ended up being 1432......

Engine obviously never started up, but I'm worried that through my several attempts at starting it in the wrong order that I messed something up.

Someone please take away my worries.

FYI, the engine is running now (IN THE CORRECT ORDER), but I"m working with the spark plug gaps in order to get it smooth.

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 Posted: 04-26-2007 07:59 pm
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Judson Manning
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The short answer is NO you probably haven't screwed anything up, aside from too much gas washing the oil off the rings and some really fouled plugs.  All it's going to take is for you to get it running well and up to temperature.  Go ahead and change the oil if you haven't lately.

Now...see how much fun something SIMPLE like changing out a distributor can be!

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 Posted: 04-26-2007 08:05 pm
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flatlanderep
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Judson Manning wrote: The short answer is NO you probably haven't screwed anything up, aside from too much gas washing the oil off the rings and some really fouled plugs.  All it's going to take is for you to get it running well and up to temperature.  Go ahead and change the oil if you haven't lately.

Now...see how much fun something SIMPLE like changing out a distributor can be!

Ha, yeah thanks!

If it wasn't for your guys' help, I'd be putting the old distributor back in and walking away for a long time.

And Judson - the NEW plugs I just put in are already quite fouled up (oily, wet, whatever). Sucks, but oh well. S

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 Posted: 04-26-2007 09:18 pm
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edward_davis
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Paul,

I did the exact same thing when I put my dizzy back in after installing new points.  "Crank, crank ... pfft pfft"  Hmm, why's it popping back into the intake manifold.

Turns out the firing order isn't like on my ol' VW Beetle.... 1-4-3-2....

No permenant damage, though; hard to do when just cranking her over.

You should be able to clean those plugs with some degreaser or WD40 and an old toothbrush.  I used to use an emory board to clean up the ends of the plugs on my VW, then regap them and use them again.  Same with the points.  Those are cheap cars to maintain.

If you don't have any systemic problems with your JH, the plugs should be clean after a few good pulls onto the interstate, anyway.

Edward

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 Posted: 04-27-2007 03:15 am
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flatlanderep
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OK, back to it tonight. Had a neighbor who is mechanically very good with cars come over and assist with the timing. After getting it timed with a timing light, it is still running rough, sort of like running on less than 4 cylinders. It barely holds idle speed and when I press the gas to make sure it will continue to idle and rev it up, it consistently back fires at rpms less than 1000, i.e., drop the revs down to <1000 and rev to 1500 or so and it will back fire as it starts to rev up to 1000. I purchased new wires from Delta and have installed new plugs. All plug wires are connected and same with coil to distrib. Plugs are gapped at 0.030. Seems like I am almost there but I know that does not count. Something still not right. Anything else to try???

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 Posted: 04-27-2007 03:57 am
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Mark Rosenbaum
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Didn't see a mention of coil type in any of the posts so I'll presume you are using a standard coil with the ballast resistor still in place.  With a standard coil, the plug gaps should be 0.025" not 0.030".  This may contribute to your rough running.

Was the engine still running rough once it warmed up?  Did you remember to disengage the 'choke' once the engine was running fairly well?

Have you checked the compression and verified that each cylinder is about the same, and ideally 120 psi or so?

Have you verified that you have no vacuum leaks anywhere?

When the timing was set, did you disconnect and plug the vacuum line to the distributor?

Have you tried setting the timing for best idle, then seeing what the timing light indicates?  Indicated timing will be 10° off with an old crank pulley on a new engine, or vice versa.

Are the distributor cap and rotor in new or near-new condition?

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 Posted: 04-27-2007 05:26 am
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flatlanderep
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UPDATE:

JUST GOT DONE SETTING PLUGS AT .025, NOT ANY BETTER. SO I DID .035....same deal....backfires. I might also note the plugs are glazed - carbon deposits.

I SET IT FOR BEST IDLE, still runs like crap.........BEST IDLE IS @ TDC, 1000 rpm is @ 10 BTDC, 1600 rpm is at 16 BTDC and 2500 is around 18 BTDC. (aren't these close to the manual specs or am I reading something wrong?)

Engine runs rough once warm, choke disengaged, compression good, no vaccuum leaks....etc.

So now, round 84. I'm going to lay the plugs on the manifold again and make sure they are firing in the right order.

Thats the only thing left I can think of to do.

Besides retuning the carbs, but they were fine before the new dizzy. So hmmmmmm.

This might be the neverending post. How do you guys feel about that? Ha.

  - Paul




Mark Rosenbaum wrote: Didn't see a mention of coil type in any of the posts so I'll presume you are using a standard coil with the ballast resistor still in place.  With a standard coil, the plug gaps should be 0.025" not 0.030".  This may contribute to your rough running.

Was the engine still running rough once it warmed up?  Did you remember to disengage the 'choke' once the engine was running fairly well?

Have you checked the compression and verified that each cylinder is about the same, and ideally 120 psi or so?

Have you verified that you have no vacuum leaks anywhere?

When the timing was set, did you disconnect and plug the vacuum line to the distributor?

Have you tried setting the timing for best idle, then seeing what the timing light indicates?  Indicated timing will be 10° off with an old crank pulley on a new engine, or vice versa.

Are the distributor cap and rotor in new or near-new condition?

Last edited on 04-27-2007 07:08 pm by flatlanderep

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 Posted: 04-27-2007 08:59 pm
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flatlanderep
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just to verify, here's the location of all the plugs, rotor arm hitting right at sp wire 1

Attachment: JH-SP-positions.jpg (Downloaded 61 times)

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 Posted: 04-27-2007 09:00 pm
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flatlanderep
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condition of spark plugs when pulled.....nasty

Attachment: spk.jpg (Downloaded 138 times)

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 Posted: 04-27-2007 09:00 pm
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flatlanderep
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and finally.......the position of the wires on the block

Attachment: sp-positions.jpg (Downloaded 139 times)

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