Author Topic: 3780R Resto - Engine Restart  (Read 867 times)

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Offline dakazman

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Re: 3780R Resto - Engine Restart
« Reply #15 on: Thursday,November 09, 2017, 03:54:15 PM »
Another test is compression ,without it it’s a no-go.
Dakazman

Offline EuropaTC

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Re: 3780R Resto - Engine Restart
« Reply #16 on: Thursday,November 09, 2017, 10:54:24 PM »
Definitely not getting a spark and everything seems to indicate that the coil needs to be replaced.  But hope springs eternal, so I'm going to get a multimeter to do a proper test.  Just can't seem to find what resistance the meter should register so that I know the coil is good - or bad.  Anyone have that information?

If you suspect the coil then it's probably easier to simply replace it, they are cheap items and readily available.  It's probably cheaper than a decent multimeter, but I wouldn't discourage you from buying a meter - you can never have too many toys  ;)

My coil is an un-ballasted system coil and has a resistance of 3 ohms. There are different coil resistances (6/8 cyl engines have 1.5 ohm coils) and it's important if you intend to fit electronic ignition at a future date. I'm currently running a Lucas gold coil, like this one;

http://www.angclassiccarparts.co.uk/home/lotus/lotus-europa/electrical/ignition-sports-coil-lucas-dlb105-europa

no connection with seller, etc, it's just the first seller I recognised on google !

Offline DManglano

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Re: 3780R Resto - Engine Restart
« Reply #17 on: Friday,November 10, 2017, 11:00:36 AM »
Yes, but they talk about the coil reading X amount of resistance on the multimeter.  Not sure if it is the same for all cars or if there is a certain amount that it should read for the Europa. 

Can I just buy a replacement at my local auto parts store?

Offline EuropaTC

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Re: 3780R Resto - Engine Restart
« Reply #18 on: Friday,November 10, 2017, 11:08:32 PM »
There's nothing special or critical about the ignition coils on the Europa, they are just normal parts.

I have no experience of the Renault versions but the system in my '72 TC was originally a ballasted system with a resistor located at the side of the coil.  Because I'm a Luddite and like things simple I converted it to a non-ballasted ignition coil. The ballast resistor is there to make starting easier by lowering coil voltage but by the time I got the Europa I'd been running an Elan with the same engine for over 10 years with a non-ballasted system, so I just made them both the same.

Actually thinking about it, if your engine fires when you have the starter motor turning but gives up the minute you release the key, that's normally a ballast resistor problem because apparently they do occasionally fail. That's assuming you have a ballast resistor coil on your car of course.

But as for coils, they come in different flavours with some giving a greater spark ("sports" coils) and from the info I got with my Pertronix ignition a 4 cyl engine should have 3 ohm coils, 6/8 cyls have 1.5 ohm coils.  The other thing to watch out for is that you can't mix ballasted & non ballasted coils because they are designed around different voltages. Take those things into consideration and yep, you can buy one at the local shop (assuming they sell such old technology  ;)  )

Offline DManglano

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Re: 3780R Resto - Engine Restart
« Reply #19 on: Monday,November 27, 2017, 08:13:46 PM »
Still no spark.  I think I need to work on the distributor.  Can this be done without removing the distributor?  If I do need to take out the distributor it looks like I’d first have to remove the intake manifold.  Would like to avoid that.  Any advice?

Offline jbcollier

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Re: 3780R Resto - Engine Restart
« Reply #20 on: Monday,November 27, 2017, 09:24:17 PM »
It's a fiddle but you can take the distributor out without removing the carbs or intake manifold.

Take the distributor cap off.  Put the car in 4th gear and roll it ahead until the distributor rotor is either pointing straight up or straight ahead -- whichever is easiest for you to see. Take it out of 4th gear.  There is a bracket clamped to the distributor which has a single 7/16 (11mm) AF nut securing it to the block.  In this photo it is on the lefthand side of the distributor:

http://images.lotuselan.net/lel/19114/0/Distributor.JPG

Do not undo the pinch bolt holding the bracket to the distributor.  Undo the single nut holding the bracket to the block.  Now slowly pull the distributor out.  SLOWLY. Note which way the rotor turns as it comes out and where the rotor points when if stops turning.  When you put it back together you insert the distributor with the rotor pointed where it stopped turning when you took it out.  Make sure the rotor is pointed up or straight ahead (whichever you used) when the distributor is fully home.

Because you have not loosened the mounting plate clamp, when you put the distributor back in, the timing will be reasonably close.

Now, all that said, it is easier to get the distributor out if you just loosen the clamp on the mounting plate BUT you then also have to make note of the distributor body's position as well as minding the rotor.  You could just mark it with a sharpie BUT pay attention and don't wash your marks off.  If it might be a while before you re-assmeble it, TAKE PHOTOS.  Believe me, you will forget otherwise.

Offline EuropaTC

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Re: 3780R Resto - Engine Restart
« Reply #21 on: Monday,November 27, 2017, 11:11:20 PM »
John has given you the best way of removing the distributor so all I'll add is that the jpg attached to this reply contains the workshop manual instructions for replacing the distributor, which has slightly more detail on positioning.  If you follow John's method of removal you won't need to do anything at step #4 on the list (rotate the distributor body until the points open).  Don't miss out the "set it at TDC" step, it might seem like a lot of fuss but you'll have to do it at some point because without a reference the chances of getting the rotor arm back in the right place is pretty low.

It's generally easier to remove the distributor if you need to replace the CB points. Given the hassle involved I would replace the condenser at the same time, don't bother with cleaning just fit new quality items from one of your Lotus specialists.  I'm tempted to suggest you go to electronic ignition but as you've not had the engine running yet, it might be better to get it started on CB points which are generally simpler to fault-find.

Brian

Offline DManglano

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Re: 3780R Resto - Engine Restart
« Reply #22 on: Sunday,December 10, 2017, 08:38:08 AM »
Brian and JBCollier,
This is great advice.  Thanks.
Here are some pics of what I’m dealing with.  Going to have to do some contortions to get to the nut but at least I was able to find it with your help.

Brian,
From what section and page did you find the instructions for replacing the distributor?  I have an original hard copy of the shop manual and cannot find those instructions.

Thanks,
David

Offline EuropaTC

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Re: 3780R Resto - Engine Restart
« Reply #23 on: Sunday,December 10, 2017, 08:44:28 AM »
Brian,
From what section and page did you find the instructions for replacing the distributor?  I have an original hard copy of the shop manual and cannot find those instructions.

You won't....    that particular (and useful) page isn't included in the TC Europa manual but it is in the Elan manual. 

I have no idea why they didn't just copy the Elan Engine section across to the TC Europa manual (it is the same engine after all) but they didn't, preferring instead to re-write them.  As the Europa manual section has fewer pages than the Elan section I can only think it was Chapman again on his quest to "add lightness".   ;)

Edit to add;

IIRC it's a 7/16" spanner you need for the bolt holding it to the block and you can get away with a very small one as it doesn't need a lot of tightening. About 3" long and you'll find it easier to work with the smaller length.

Now an admission - my luggage tray isn't bolted in place, it merely rests on the body/chassis and so it is very easy to slide it out from the rear of the car. At that point you can step into the engine bay, sit on the gearbox and the access to the distributor via the rear carb is probably the best you'll get. Heck, you can even see what you're doing ! 

It sounds mad, but it's far easier than stretching over the side of the car and trying to work by feel from above the carbs.

 
« Last Edit: Sunday,December 10, 2017, 08:54:43 AM by EuropaTC »

Offline DManglano

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Re: 3780R Resto - Engine Restart
« Reply #24 on: Friday,December 22, 2017, 07:12:22 PM »
Okay, taking the distributor out was easier than I thought, once I step into the engine compartment.
I manually turned the engine over to get piston 1 to TDC.  I used a wood rod that went into the piston chamber and then held a sharpie in place with a piece of wood.  Had my son turn the rear wheel that was jacked up a couple of times to mark when the rod would reach its max height.  Bottom mark on the rod.  See pic.  Then put the car back on the ground and block the wheels and took the car out of gear.  She will not be moved until after the distributor is back in place.  Took pics to mark position of the distributor before removing.  Removed the nut holding the distributor bracket clamp.  Initially hard to get a small wrench on it but it moved with little force.  Not sure if this is a good, bad or irrelevant sign.  Ended up removing the nut by hand.  Slowly pulled the distributor out and took another pic to show its position after removal.  Enjoy the pics.  Thanks for the great advice.

Offline EuropaTC

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Re: 3780R Resto - Engine Restart
« Reply #25 on: Friday,December 22, 2017, 11:09:21 PM »
Now that's progress. For someone who's clearly stepping out of their comfort zone I think you're doing great - photographs, measure points, I certainly do similar things because my mind will play tricks when it comes to re-assembly time.

The distributor looks as if it's not been touched in years. I don't know what your plans are but if I were you I'd do a complete strip down/lubricate/rebuild on that now you have it on the bench.

When it comes to returning the distributor to the car, the most common mistake I make is to have the drive cog "one tooth out" so that when the central shaft rotates as the cog engages with the camshaft in the engine block the rotor arm is pointing either fractionally before or after where it should be, which puts the timing out.  Yes, you can adjust the body to compensate for this but it's simpler to just re-fit into it's correct location.

To make this easy I put the distributor cap on the body and make a small paint marker on the body where the #1 spark plug lead/terminal is on the cap. Then it's very easy to see if you've got the right "tooth" engagement. (just make sure you get #1 terminal though  ;)  )

Brian

Offline BDA

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Re: 3780R Resto - Engine Restart
« Reply #26 on: Saturday,December 23, 2017, 06:52:10 AM »
I would only add that your wood rod idea, while useful, is not as accurate as the timing marks on the flywheel. Now that we don't have to set the timing on cars (that's my excuse), it's easy to forget (at least it was for me when I recently changed the timing belt on my car) this simple and reliable indicator.

Offline 4129R

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Re: 3780R Resto - Engine Restart
« Reply #27 on: Saturday,December 23, 2017, 09:29:13 AM »
I actually painted the marks on the flywheel so they were easier to see.

I suggest using the wooden rod to determine TDC roughly, and then looking in the hole in the gearbox, and then clean and paint the timing marks for future reference. These can then be used with the timing strobe light.

Offline DManglano

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Re: 3780R Resto - Engine Restart
« Reply #28 on: Sunday,January 14, 2018, 09:52:46 AM »
Not to much progress after getting the distributor out.  Order and received new points, condenser and rotor but have not installed them on the distributor.  Reason being is that the more I look at the distributor the more I believe it is in fine shape and may not be my issue for not getting a spark.  So I went back to thinking what could be the cause.  Then I remember my own advice to others when working with electronics (e.g. the toaster).  First make sure it is plugged in.  So I put the multimeter on the battery and it read 12.5 volts.  With the key out I put the meter on the wires going to the ignition coil.  As I would expect no reading.  Turned the key so the ignition light would turn on.  Still no reading.  Turned the key so the engine would crank.  Engine cranked but still no reading at the coil.  So now I believe my real problem is between the ignition and the coil.  Either something got disconnected or the proverbial mouse eat through the wire.  Just so I can get a spark, is there a safe way to hot wire the coil?  As always thanks for the valuable advise.

Offline jbcollier

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Re: 3780R Resto - Engine Restart
« Reply #29 on: Sunday,January 14, 2018, 05:02:43 PM »
Ok to put a jumper wire from the battery to the coil.