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N. Craig Bryant
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 68.6.117.74
Posted on Tuesday, 18 May, 2010 - 07:18 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

My 1976 Silver Shadow LRE 22573, has had an ignition failure. Ordinarily such a thing would pose no concern for me, and the rest of you would never know, because I would repair it promptly, and claim that my car never breaks down!
That said, I have never dealt with the ignition of one of these cars after the introduction of the breakerless system in 1975.
When I contacted the dealer parts department, I was met with the suggestion that "this was not an issue for me to tackle myself" although I am an inveterate DIY guy.
Any comments, or advice from members as to why I should fear tackling this problem myself would be most appreciated.

(Message approved by david_gore)
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Richard Treacy
Grand Master
Username: richard_treacy

Post Number: 2127
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Tuesday, 18 May, 2010 - 12:43 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Craig,

These systems were good when new, but are an accident waiting to happen after a few decades at most. The device on your car is 34 years old, and well past its use-by date for a reliability and safety consumable. Unlike breaker ignitions, electronic ones are not satisfactorily or realistically repaired, and do fail without warning.

Time to replace the electronic module and sensor, but fear not.

Genuine replacements are horrendously expensive, and I would never trust a repaired one.

Fortunately, there are several, in fact many, brands of superior aftermarket screw-in replacement modules and sensors availabler nowadays and at bargain prices, especially from the USA, and a good tuning shop will help. There is even a certain fancy development once mentioned on this site, one with electronic advance and huge but questionable claims of improvement, but quite honestly it will add nothing unless you are running a race motor at 10,000RPM, so I suggest that you stay with a conventional electronic system with mechanical advance. That way, you will not need to do any modifications.

I-m sure that you will be bombarded with several recommendations like Pertronix and the rest. I would, however, find a really good tuning shop which does custom ignition and fuel systems, and take the most plausible recommendation.

RT.
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Paul Yorke
Grand Master
Username: paul_yorke

Post Number: 586
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Tuesday, 18 May, 2010 - 06:09 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Don't know where you are N, but in the UK substitute modules are available built on the original design base plates, but with improved electronics. About £240 exchange.

Have a quick check if your ballast resistor is black or silver. Black ones need replacing with modified silver ones. (If your car has ever had a replacement module, it will be silver)

Fitting is straight forward, we usually do it in the car but you can remove the distributor with just 2 nuts (and a monkey arm to refit them ;) ). Three screws for the plastic cover if fitted. Three screws for the base plate. Circlip for the rotor.

Untangle the plate from the vacuum advance rod. (no need to remove it. The new one will be easier to fit because they no longer have the tab under the rod - so it will drop vertically in.)

Oil the advance mechanism below while it is exposed ( and this should be done regularly on all the cars)

Fitting is the reverse. Plus adjust the pickup so it is as close as possible to the rotor without touching.

Set ignition timing.

A good sign that the old unit has failed is that you get no spark when cranking but then ONE spark when you turn the ignition off. Do check the wiring and gap etc before replacing the unit.
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N. Craig Bryant
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 68.6.117.74
Posted on Tuesday, 18 May, 2010 - 04:12 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Richard,

Many thanks for your comments. As a general rule, I am a terrible snob with regard to factory parts etc. But, you are correct, the price of the factory parts is rather shattering!

I shall investigate further, using your advice as a guideline.

Craig

(Message approved by david_gore)
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Richard Treacy
Grand Master
Username: richard_treacy

Post Number: 2131
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Wednesday, 19 May, 2010 - 02:58 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

As a guide, a Pertronix unit (Ignitor I, II or III) is advertised at just over US$200 at Classic Garage. You may obtain a quote by email from Pertronix Australia by clicking CONTACT US on:

http://www.pertronix.com.au/

See the Classic Garage offer on:

http://classicgarage.com/rollsroyce4.html

Classic Garage happily and regularly ships such products to Australia.

The Pertronix units are often cheaper on offer. These are brand new devices, not repaired exchange jobs.

I am not actually recommending the Pertronix Ignitor as I have never bought one, but know of many American R-R enthusiasts swear by them.

As stated, jou will probably be advised of other brands and recommendations. Note that Crane Cams sold the Pertronix unit under their own Crane Cams brand until recently. Sadly, Crane Cams has closed down, leaving a void in the market for their excellent products, quite a few of which suited our cars perfectly.

RT.
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N. Craig Bryant
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 68.6.117.74
Posted on Thursday, 20 May, 2010 - 01:38 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Richard and Paul,

Of course, many thanks for your thoughts.

I have sent an enquiry to Classic Garage, here in the States, vis-a-vis the Pertronix, and am awaiting a reply. Note to Richard, a Los Angeles area R-R tech mentioned that they used Crane as a replacement. Wonder if he is aware they have closed?

Will keep you posted as to my progress. I am more flumoxed than ever, as I opened the distributor today, just to have a look-see at the module etc. Note to Paul, the ballast resistor is the original black, as you mentioned. Does this qualify me to brag about the incredible originality of my vehicle? Anyway, I stared at the interior a few moments (wishing it had points in it!) and then snapped the cap back on again. On a whim, I cranked it over, and low and behold, it started, ran about 20 seconds, and died. And then would not start again. Does this tell us anything mysterious?

Craig

(Message approved by david_gore)
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N. Craig Bryant
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 68.6.117.74
Posted on Friday, 21 May, 2010 - 07:03 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Richard,

Classic Garage responded to my query about the Pertronix Ignitor unit. Unfortunately, they say it IS NOT suitable for use in my 1976 with Lucas Opus system, that it is intended as replacement for the earlier 'points' system to be upgraded to breakerless.

(Message approved by david_gore)
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Richard Treacy
Grand Master
Username: richard_treacy

Post Number: 2132
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Friday, 21 May, 2010 - 12:05 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Craig wrote:

quote:

Classic Garage responded to my query about the Pertronix Ignitor unit. Unfortunately, they say it IS NOT suitable for use in my 1976 with Lucas Opus system, that it is intended as replacement for the earlier 'points' system to be upgraded to breakerless.




Craig,

I'm afraid that I don't believe that, as many Opus systems (1976 SS, SSII etc) have been replaced by Pertronix over the years. Sure, the online Pertronix catalogue does not list the conversion, so maybe the salesman did not know better. In fact, the online catalogue only lists conversions for the early twin-point distributors for that matter.

In the USA you have several possibilities.

The Pertronix unit is the same as can be purchased almost anywhere, and the prices vary wildly. A genuine Pertronix unit is expensive. Crane Cams rebranded it as the Crane Fireball XR700 aftermarket electronic ignition kit

The expense from the suppliers is to set it up on a plate which will bolt in and tie to the vacuum retard unit. I know of one case where the plate and Pertronix system were supplied by Dennison-Jayne motors (610) 436-8668 in West Chester Pa.

You may also try British and Classic Car Company. The owner is Scotty MacClymonds. He is a RROC member and apparently great guy and an excellent source of information.

http://www.britishcarpartsco.com/index.htm

Don't give up too easily }

RT.
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Paul Yorke
Grand Master
Username: paul_yorke

Post Number: 588
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Friday, 21 May, 2010 - 05:52 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

"Note to Paul, the ballast resistor is the original black, as you mentioned. Does this qualify me to brag about the incredible originality of my vehicle?"

Craig - I think it does - and also goes some way to dispelling the unreliability rumours. There are still thousands of cars going around on their original units.

Trouble is . . . when they do go, it's usually at the most awkward time and place possible!

Lucas did have a few phases where even the new units would not work out of the box! Confusing for us mechanics - embarrassing for R-R & Lucas! They were on 'back order' at R-R for a couple of years.

Don't accept any kits which involve 'modifying' either your distributor or the module. I've seen many people with conversions which subsequently fail and the same kit is not available or has been changed. This then leaves them with a destroyed distributor and/or no old module to exchange.

Good luck with the search.
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N. Craig Bryant
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 68.6.117.74
Posted on Friday, 21 May, 2010 - 03:30 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Richard,

I was myself surprised at the response from Classic Garage. Your continued interest and suggestions/sources are appreciated.

Craig

(Message approved by david_gore)
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Udo Hoffmüller
Frequent User
Username: udo

Post Number: 59
Registered: 2-2008
Posted on Tuesday, 25 May, 2010 - 07:09 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Dear Craig, I am using the Ignitor since many years without any problems. It was 90 Euros for the distributor with points (it is even cheaper in USA). There is also a unit available to substitute the breakerless Lucas electronics 35DE8, Pertronix parts number is LU-281, any other information is wrong, at least in Germany they do sell it. Have a look here http://www.pertronix.com/catalogs/pdf/ptx/2010/ptx2010_ignition_conv.pdf. But LU-281 is expensive because it contains the whole base plate while LU-181 is only the electronic components.

But I would simply buy a used distributor with points and fit the Ignitor LU-181. The job is easy, but you can find instruction videos on Youtube.

Good luck - Udo
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Paul Yorke
Grand Master
Username: paul_yorke

Post Number: 597
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Thursday, 27 May, 2010 - 11:17 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Sods law . . .
Here's one from a Camargue that broke down Monday!

Some cars have a clear plastic cover over the module, but are the same underneath.

No need to take the distributor out but this was in a cramped garage so it was easier. Do check your vacuum advance module isn't punctured.

Remove circlip and carefully remove rotor ring.
Remove three screws from module.
Watch the vacuum advance lever - it goes on a pin on the bottom of the pick-up. Wiggle it out gently.

old one

Make sure weights are free and lubricated with light oil. Lubricate shaft spindle.

weights

New module fits straight in.


New Module

Happy Days!
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N. Craig Bryant
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 68.6.117.74
Posted on Tuesday, 10 August, 2010 - 03:11 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Sorry it has taken so long to let all know of the successful conclusion. LRE 22573 is back on the road and all is well.

Many thanks to Paul for all his information. Paul, you will be pleased to know that I replaced the old "black" ballast resistor as well as the ignition module. 34 years seemed enough to ask of it!

And Richard, your advice was not taken in vain. I intend to go with the Petronix unit in my 1970 fhc CRX 9164.

Happy motoring to all.

N. Craig Bryant
Santa Barbara, CA

(Message approved by david_gore)

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