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Miss Fire, The next installment (pertronix problems)

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  • Miss Fire, The next installment (pertronix problems)

    Ron Dame
    '63 Champ

  • #2
    Time for MSD ignition and fuel injection!!
    Jamie McLeod
    Hope Mills, NC

    1963 Lark "Ugly Betty"
    1958 Commander "Christine"
    1964 Wagonaire "Louise"
    1955 Commander Sedan
    1964 Champ
    1960 Lark

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    • #3
      Originally posted by starliner62 View Post
      Time for MSD ignition and fuel injection!!
      I wish I were smart enough to do the injection, and not so cheap as to not buy the MSD or 123 ignition.

      I want to have whatever is going on fixed before I try and start the new OHV 185 and have it backfiring during cam break-in. THAT would send me..well just like the guy who invented the Segway....
      Last edited by Ron Dame; 09-29-2010, 03:20 PM.
      Ron Dame
      '63 Champ

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      • #4
        I will be very interested in hearing what Pertronix finds. Please do keep us updated!

        Originally posted by Ron Dame View Post
        THAT would send me..well just like the guy who invented the Segway....
        Oh, and the Segway guy that drove the Segway off the cliff wasn't the inventor; he was the owner that bought the company from the inventor. No biggie, just a point of clarification
        Proud NON-CASO

        I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

        If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

        GOD BLESS AMERICA

        Ephesians 6:10-17
        Romans 15:13
        Deuteronomy 31:6
        Proverbs 28:1

        Illegitimi non carborundum

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Bob Andrews View Post
          I will be very interested in hearing what Pertronix finds. Please do keep us updated!



          Oh, and the Segway guy that drove the Segway off the cliff wasn't the inventor; he was the owner that bought the company from the inventor. No biggie, just a point of clarification
          I just got word back, Pertronix found the unit defective (no other explaination beyond that) and even though it's 3 years old, they are replacing it! Yay!
          Ron Dame
          '63 Champ

          Comment


          • #6
            You know with that much drive-ability trouble, I have to wonder, did I miss it in the RBS to AS Carb. conversion discussion or did you check the compression with oil in cylinders to seal the rings and check the valves?

            Bad Valves or cam timing sounds like the most likely reason for all the perceived Carb. and Dist. trouble which is really just backfiring, if through the Carb. it's Intakes or one hanging open, if through the Exhaust it's an Exhaust Valve or Valves.

            So it sounds as though you have proved it is NOT the Pertronix, because it continued after removing it right?
            This in spite of the fact you did have a bad unit according to Pertronix.
            StudeRich
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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            • #7
              You know it is such a contorted mess with so many false leads and multiple problems, here's where it all ended up: Mechanically, the engine is fine. Good, even compression, I verified the damper position being at TDC with the piston at TDC, best as I could tell, the valve timing was fine, and it doesn't knock so I cannot imagine how the cam timing could change without a broken gear. Engine vacuum is good and steady, no drops like expected with a sticking valve, except of course when it backfired. I'd still expect a sticking valve to show some drops in vacuum, even when the truck did not backfire.

              Yes the AS had some continual problems, finally sorted out, yet I still had intermittent problems with either distributor, and after swapping every ignition component for new or known good. Swapping back to the RBS out of frustration, the problem continued. So mechanical, fuel, and ignition all seemed to be fine. With the RBS back on, I tried the points dizzy AGAIN, and on start up, the truck seemed much improved. With the timing light on, the mark lined up with the IN-OP mark on the damper. I timed it back to the timing mark, it ran awful again. I advanced the timing again, and it runs good and drives much better, no pinging or backfiring. So I try again with the Pertronix. Same thing, only I had a heck of a time getting enough advance, the mark was way past the IN-OP mark. That's when I made the call to Pertronix, and they asked me to send the unit to them. Back to the points dizzy again, I set the timing using the highest vacuum at idle technique, and again, the timing mark ends p being under the "P" of IN-OP, and the truck runs fine. I got word yesterday that Pertronix did find the unit defective, and are replacing it. It's 3 years old, so I am happy with them.

              Now why the timing marks are so far off, is beyond me. I've set the timing for years, so the marks USED to line up fine. I can't find any evidence that the valve timing (and thus the ignition timing) has changed, even the engine vacuum looks good. Power is good (for an OHV 6), and it seems like my gas mileage is good. Can a timing light fail in this manner? I don't know. It is not one where you can measure the advance, it's just a cheap, simple timing light. NEW INFO: THH ONLY LOCAL FRIEND I HAVE THAT HAS A TIMING LIGHT JUST LEFT...MY TIMING LIGHT IS FINE, SO THE TIMING MARKS ARE OFF.

              Anyway the three concurrent problems, now apparently resolved, were:
              1) a bad rebuild of the AS carb.
              2) a bad Pertronix unit. And
              3) somehow really wrong ignition timing.

              I've been driving the truck all week, and it runs perfect. I'd forgotten how well this engine runs. I probably ought to leave well enough alone, but I've got that 185 OHV on the stand, ready to go in now that I know I've got good ignition and carburetion. I hope the additional power is worth the effort, and hope I don't screw the timing and carb all up again. Prayers are welcomed!

              Ron






              Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
              You know with that much drive-ability trouble, I have to wonder, did I miss it in the RBS to AS Carb. conversion discussion or did you check the compression with oil in cylinders to seal the rings and check the valves?

              Bad Valves or cam timing sounds like the most likely reason for all the perceived Carb. and Dist. trouble which is really just backfiring, if through the Carb. it's Intakes or one hanging open, if through the Exhaust it's an Exhaust Valve or Valves.

              So it sounds as though you have proved it is NOT the Pertronix, because it continued after removing it right?
              This in spite of the fact you did have a bad unit according to Pertronix.
              Last edited by Ron Dame; 10-08-2010, 10:46 AM. Reason: New information added
              Ron Dame
              '63 Champ

              Comment


              • #8
                By any chance has someone reassembled the harmonic balancer incorrectly? I've seen that on several V8 engines as the rubber cushions can be forced into the balancer weight in the wrong position if someone tries hard enough which could explain why it is not possible to get the engine to run properly when using the timing mark. The other problem could be the centrifugal advance sticking or completely stuck causing a lack of spark advance which would make it necessary to advance the base timing to get the engine to run better. Bud

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bud View Post
                  By any chance has someone reassembled the harmonic balancer incorrectly? I've seen that on several V8 engines as the rubber cushions can be forced into the balancer weight in the wrong position if someone tries hard enough which could explain why it is not possible to get the engine to run properly when using the timing mark. The other problem could be the centrifugal advance sticking or completely stuck causing a lack of spark advance which would make it necessary to advance the base timing to get the engine to run better. Bud
                  You know that is the obvious answer, but I was the last to have the balancer off and the last to put a timing gear in, and being aware of how tricky it can be was very careful. As far as the advance, if you dig back into the original post, one dizzy was rebuilt, the other had been checked as was not very worn. Once the new engine is in and running, I'm gonna take another look at that balancer and the timing marks on teh cam gear (It still runs too good now to be cam timing IMHO). Still I want to know what's been going on.

                  Ron
                  Ron Dame
                  '63 Champ

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                  • #10
                    Ron, You can check the balancer timing mark by removing the #1 spark plug check, for top dead center on the compression stroke and taking a look at the position of the timing mark. If the TDC mark lines up with the pointer, then the balancer is assembled correctly, if not then there is your problem. It's possible that the cam timing is off, but I doubt it. Have your distributors been checked on a distributor machine as I still think that there is a problem with the ignition? Bud

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                    • #11
                      Hi Ron - My sympathies! After reading your tribulations, I just couldn't resist a post. In addition to my 2R10 with Champion flat head, I also have a 1935 small Rolls with standard Kettering-type ignition (points, condensor, and coil). On tour with the Rolls, the reproduction helmet coil gradually failed. Weak spark. Replaced the coil with the spare I carry, and the car ran just fine for the last 600 miles of the tour. Like you, many Rolls owners have switched to Pertronix ignition for its perceived superiority over the OE system. However, my heretical opinion (shared by many Rolls mechanics) is to stick with the OE ignition, which works just fine and is easy to diagnose, and carry a spare set of coil, condensor, points, rotor, and distributor cap. Cheap, available from the local NAPA. If you must go Pertronix, then carry a complete new unit. Or, carry a complete set of OE parts to replace the suspect Pertronix. There is no need to call a tow truck when you can easily fix the ignition beside the road! Just my opinion. Best regards, Phil.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bud View Post
                        Ron, You can check the balancer timing mark by removing the #1 spark plug check, for top dead center on the compression stroke and taking a look at the position of the timing mark. If the TDC mark lines up with the pointer, then the balancer is assembled correctly, if not then there is your problem. It's possible that the cam timing is off, but I doubt it. Have your distributors been checked on a distributor machine as I still think that there is a problem with the ignition? Bud

                        You know, actually I did check the balancer at one point, and TDC of the piston does line up with TDC on the balancer. BIll Cathcart rebuilt the one dizzy, and it has few miles, so I assume it is good. The other, no, it's not been on a machine, but acts the same way. Anyway, I'll see once the engine is out and the new one running.
                        Ron Dame
                        '63 Champ

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                        • #13
                          My Pertronics module is defective. The flame thrower coil works great with points, though! The hood my 55K rubbed on the coil for a few miles. Caught it before any real damage.
                          Dave Warren (Perry Mason by day, Perry Como by night)

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                          • #14
                            I had a Pertronics in my 51 and I had to run the timing very advanced and I still had a hesitation. I put the points back in with the flame thower and it is running great. I E-Mailed Pertronics and am waiting for a reply.

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                            • #15
                              They basicaly said that it should run good on points. So I am sorry I ever tryed it. I guess I was just being lazy thinking I would not have to put points in anymore. Live and learn.

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