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Roderick Waite
Experienced User
Username: rodwaite

Post Number: 39
Registered: 1-2012
Posted on Sunday, 08 July, 2012 - 04:55 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hello everyone, another update ... after 10 months of effort, Echo (my 1984 Spirit) still refuses to idle properly, and stalls when stopping. She has defied me and 4 different expert mechanics (one a very expensive specialist Rolls Royce repair shop). The latest man I have the most faith in, but even he is perplexed! This has to be the longest running single fault ever! But we're still in there trying ...

Rod
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Mark Aldridge
Frequent User
Username: mark_aldridge

Post Number: 75
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Sunday, 08 July, 2012 - 10:19 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Rod,
Disapointing, what has been done to date ?
Mark
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Roderick Waite
Experienced User
Username: rodwaite

Post Number: 40
Registered: 1-2012
Posted on Monday, 09 July, 2012 - 11:22 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hello Mark! You name it! But oddly, within minutes of writing that update, my mechanic friend rang to say he may be on to something. He started working methodically - plugs, leads, etc:, then the vacuum tubes and devices, the carburettors stripped and re-built, then compression checks. All perfect. Then he checked the timing and found it is way out, BUT, he found that as the engine revs fell the strobe light was going out exactly as the engine began misfiring. No signal - that led to the pick-up module under the rotor arm (new) in the distributor. A new one is en route from Introcar as I write. That, and correction of the timing, may be the problem! Very much cross fingers ... ! If the problem remains unresolved, a further possibility is an ignition amplifier, the workings of which I am currently unaware of.

So I'll report again within a few days on the result of fitting a new pick-up module ...

Stay well

Rod
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Jan Forrest
Grand Master
Username: got_one

Post Number: 354
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Tuesday, 10 July, 2012 - 06:42 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I don't doubt that there is a problem with the dizzy components as I was suspecting something along these lines. My first thoughts were that the advance mechanism had stuck at its maximum limit which would be too far advanced for idling revs. Even so I find it exceedingly strange that the module would fail at low rpm rather than at high rpm when it's under far more strain. Could it be that the leads to the module are being strained under minimum advance or something is fouling and shorting out the signal?
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Roderick Waite
Experienced User
Username: rodwaite

Post Number: 41
Registered: 1-2012
Posted on Tuesday, 10 July, 2012 - 07:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hello Jan, yes, we'll look at that too. I'm hoping the new module will arrive this morning - it's genuine Crewe part and set me back 135 plus carrage! I discovered, messing about on the net, that I can buy a brand new Lucas distributor for 175! BUT it says it can be modified to electronic ignition ... I suppose that means they fit the module etc: to a contact breaker model distributor, although it does say it's for Silver Spirits from Jan 1980 to Jan 1989 - I thought they were all electronic ignition?

We are also a bit puzzled why this only happens at low revs, but not at high revs! However, the strobe claims the ignition at idling speed (when we can get it to idle at all) is firing at 15 degs after TDC, when it should be firing 10 degs before. That's 25 degs out of kilter. The advance/retard mechanism is free and appears to work normally. It's true that under acceleration, although smooth, she lacks eagerness.

Hopefully, we'll find out in the next 24 hours - if the 17 express delivery works, that is ...

Good health

Rod
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Mark Aldridge
Frequent User
Username: mark_aldridge

Post Number: 76
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Tuesday, 10 July, 2012 - 07:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Rod ,I have had broken wire problems with the earlier opus units. Aldon Automotive sell a Pertronix unit and coil which gets rid of the whole opus and ballast resistor unit. I am not sure if a unit is available for your chassis number, but if you supply the distributor number, Aldon will advise.
Mark
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Roderick Waite
Experienced User
Username: rodwaite

Post Number: 42
Registered: 1-2012
Posted on Sunday, 15 July, 2012 - 06:29 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thank you Mark ... the pick-up module arrived (3 days late, so much for DHL Express)and has been fitted. No difference, she still won't idle and she still stalls. I have contacted Aldon Autos to see if they have a suitable model.

We have turned our attention to the 'Amplifier' unit, which costs a lot more than the pick-up module, but we cannot see what else would cause a lack of spark (as indicated by the strobe light).

Stay well

Rod
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Jan Forrest
Grand Master
Username: got_one

Post Number: 359
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Sunday, 15 July, 2012 - 08:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

What happens to the advance curve if you set the static timing to the correct value first?
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Peter Talbot
Prolific User
Username: squerryes

Post Number: 114
Registered: 7-2010
Posted on Tuesday, 17 July, 2012 - 06:55 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Rod

I've followed the trials and tribulations you have experienced with "Echo" with some interest.

I'm in the fortunate position that mine own 1986 Silver Spirit has no mechanical problems and drives like a dream.

You are NOT going to like this:

As far as I can judge, you have spent just about as much as "Echo" is worth on spares and service costs and still have a car which "fails to proceed".

Query: why not cut your losses, get rid of "Echo" for scrap and buy a replacement with a good service history and decent warranty?

Peter
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Jan Forrest
Grand Master
Username: got_one

Post Number: 361
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Tuesday, 17 July, 2012 - 07:42 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

There's just one point I would like to make:

It's all too easy to get 2 plug leads transposed. A couple of years ago when I replaced all the plugs and leads I checked, rechecked and checked a third time and still got an A bank lead and B bank lead the wrong way round! I even went to the trouble of making up tags for the leads, but I didn't fix them properly to the leads and they soon dropped off.

As I see it the problem is that engines are usually operating at their limits at either end of the rev range. Idle is perhaps the hardest as the flow of air and fuel is minimal and the slightest thing wrong will mean that the 'gaps' between each cylinder cycle when no power is being produced will be too much for inertia to overcome.

I would be inclined to set the static timing of the dizzy using a simple wire & bulb setup and only then revert to using a strobe light to fine tune it. If that doesn't help then I'm stumped.
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Mark Aldridge
Frequent User
Username: mark_aldridge

Post Number: 77
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Wednesday, 18 July, 2012 - 03:06 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Peter, sadly the cost/scrap equation applies to the vast majority of sub 50k cars if a major incident happens. My Bentley 8 had a new Crewe engine 10k miles before I bought it .The cost was 18K , I paid under half of this for the car ! I have a Spirit for sale at the moment(see my previous posts)http://www.carandclassic.co.uk/list/38/silver+spirit/ that the previous owner has spent crazy money on. Given the lack of interest I have decided to use it as a runabout until the MOT man condemns it or it fails to proceed bigtime.This problem also applies to prewar cars ,if a complete engine rebuild is required; 35k is not to hard to achieve.
I think we have to accept that these cars are a frustrating and expensive hobby, but we enjoy the challenge; I think ??
Mark
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Dave Puttock
Experienced User
Username: ariel

Post Number: 30
Registered: 5-2010
Posted on Wednesday, 18 July, 2012 - 09:48 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

The strobe light going out at low revs seems to be a clue. I would try moving the strobe pickup onto the coil HT lead, close to the coil and see if the same thing happens. If so it will eliminate tracking, rotor & distributor cap problems.
The next you need to find out whether the low tension feed to the coil stops in the same manner.
You would probably need a scope for that but you might just manage to spot the loss of pulses by putting an LED with 680 ohm resistor in series between LT terminal and earth. See if the LED goes out before the engine stops.
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 1111
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Thursday, 19 July, 2012 - 09:56 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Have the HT leads been removed from under the covers on the engine, suitably separated from each other and the engine test run?

These leads are prone to breakdown and arcing under the covers if not replaced on a regular basis.
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richard george yeaman
Experienced User
Username: richyrich

Post Number: 42
Registered: 4-2012
Posted on Thursday, 19 July, 2012 - 07:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hello Roderick.

I do not have any Technical advice for you, I am writing to give You Moral support,I do hope you are successful soon and have confidence in your well thought of car restored.

Best Regards.

Richard.
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Jan Forrest
Grand Master
Username: got_one

Post Number: 362
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Thursday, 19 July, 2012 - 07:53 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I've just had a thought: Are you absolutely certain that you've got the plug leads right in the dizzy cap? If they're all one position out of place (anti-clockwise) it would almost exactly equal the amount of retard that you're experiencing. It wouldn't take too long to move them all one place clockwise to advance the timing by ~23 degrees. This is because the dizzy rotates at half engine speed and therefore each degree of dizzy timing is equal to 2 degrees of engine rotation.

What have you got to lose?
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Roderick Waite
Experienced User
Username: rodwaite

Post Number: 43
Registered: 1-2012
Posted on Thursday, 19 July, 2012 - 08:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hello everyone, many thanks for the inputs - I've been away a few days, but am now back on the case.

Peter, I do see your point, and you're quite right! The snag is I love old Echo, and just want to get her back on form. Apart from this little foible, she's a sound car - even sounder now the gearbox, brakes, and a/c have been sorted out!

Jan - interesting about crossing the leads - I'll mention that to Frank (mechanic friend), but she runs so sweetly at anything above fast idle it seems unlikely. On the timing front (she is a bit retarded) we've been advised (by a pro Rolls Royce engineer now retired) that the strobe clue could be false, as at low speed there is a cut-out on the alternator that could equally cause that to happen - I have noticed that if started with no pedal, the ignition light can remain on (before all this lot began!). Since the symptoms (low speed misfire on both banks that stops as soon as the engine speeds up) accord with one carburettor failing to deliver fuel at idle speed, we have gone back to checking that (yet again!) only this time we propose to adjust the jets anyway ...

Dave - the strobe light clue is now suspect, as you surmise. For the moment it's back to the fuel supply ... we've had a voltmeter across the LT, and there was no loss of power when the engine stalled. Nice point!

David - Yes, all the leads were replaced new (together with plugs, dizzy cap, rotor arm, coil, and now the pick-up module). We couldn't get the leads to fit back in the channels, so we left the channels off! The car ran fine for 9 months after that.

Richard, many thanks for the encouragement! There are times when I need it! Our efforts have greatly improved matters over the past 10 months - I can actually drive her so long as I don't let the engine fall to idling speed! There was a time she wouldn't even start! Then again, a couple of weeks ago when I took her along to Frank's garage, she idled for 15 minutes while we waited for her to stall. But she was missing on both banks all the time. I eventually had to turn her off! Sod's Law, ennit?

I'll keep you posted!

Stay well - your cars too ...

Rod
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Dave Puttock
Experienced User
Username: ariel

Post Number: 31
Registered: 5-2010
Posted on Thursday, 19 July, 2012 - 09:42 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Just to pick up Jan, if every degree on the dizzy is two degrees on the engine then 45 on the dizzy = 90 on the engine not ~23
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Jan Forrest
Grand Master
Username: got_one

Post Number: 363
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Thursday, 19 July, 2012 - 10:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Dave: You could be right. I just can't seem to get my head around the dizzy to engine rotation relationship other than that the dizzy, running off the camshaft, has to be running at half engine speed meaning that 4 cylinders fire per engine rotation and therefore all of them in 2 full revolutions. With an 8 pot lump that should be more than enough to keep the engine running even with the timing out by so much.

Like Roderick I found that the engine would run quite well(ish) at more than idle but would get extremely lumpy at low revs. It was only by pulling the plug leads one at a time that I realised that both A2 and B3 (or was it t'other way round?) didn't affect idle lumpiness. Once I'd swapped the leads over she settled down to a smooth idle.

Even so I can't see this affecting the ignition timing such that it would be so far retarded. It seems to me that the dizzy has been statically timed at 15 degrees ATDC (using wrong timing mark?) and it's only the advance mechanism that brings to a little BTDC. I would expect under those circumstances that advancing the dizzy 20-25 degrees should bring things back 'up to snuff'.
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 1112
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Friday, 20 July, 2012 - 09:14 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

The thoughts that come to you in the middle of the night......

About 10 to 15 years ago, there was a discussion on one of the Forums [I am reasonably certain it was the Swammelstein Forum] about poor idling and erratic engine behaviour under load being experienced by some Shadow owners. I thought I had a copy of the thread in my archives but have not found it so far.

The cause of the problem was traced to the use of resistor spark plugs with radio suppressed HT leads. Apparently, this combination caused uneven sparks resulting in poor idling and ignition under load.

Does anyone remember this problem and. more importantly, have any experience with the use of resistor/non-resistor spark plugs? If my memory is correct, the only application requiring resistor spark plugs was minimising radio interference where copper core HT leads were installed. If conventional suppressed HT leads were installed, non-resistor spark plugs should be used.

Rod, can you post the type of spark plugs currently installed on Echo and if your HT leads are old-style copper core or the more common supressed leads?
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Roderick Waite
Experienced User
Username: rodwaite

Post Number: 44
Registered: 1-2012
Posted on Sunday, 22 July, 2012 - 04:19 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hello David ... the plugs are 2 years old and have done less than 3,000 miles. They are Type BPR5 ES, according to the Flying Spares invoice. The leads were all new at the same time, type 12064 - 71P (Flying Spares numbers). I'm sure they're not copper core, I thought carbon fibre?

Although Echo idles poorly, with continuous mis-firing (on both banks) she is fine at anything above about 900rpm. No mis-firing, and she revs smoothly up the scale, under load or not. We have proved it's not the carburettors - adjusting the jets on each had no effect on the mis-firing. We also tried swapping the needles over - no difference.

My latest thought is an air leak at one of the intake manifold gaskets. Big enough to upset the idling, but small enough to be insignificant once the revs mount above a fast idle.

In the meantime we've ordered another set of plugs and leads in case we have a couple of rogues that failed after about 2,500 miles. Introcar have kindly offered to take back any unused ones, being aware of our problem!

So the saga continues ...

Stay well

Rod
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 1114
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Sunday, 22 July, 2012 - 09:45 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Rod,

I would try a set of non-resistor spark plugs with the existing leads. The low speed roughness that disappears as engine speed increases could be due to a poor spark at the plug due to the combined resistance of the leads and the plugs and lower than normal battery voltage at idle due to the alternator not providing full voltage output [this could be the result of a larger diameter pulley being fitted by R-R for certain markets].

Changing the plugs and checking the battery voltage after at least 5 minutes of idling might provide some further clues regarding your problem as you seem to have exhausted everything else.

Some more information - the NGK plugs you are using are definitely of the resistor type and have an internal ceramic resistor. I suggest you should try a set of NGK BP5ES non-resistor plugs set initially to a gap of 0.90mm and see if these eliminate the misfiring problem. See the following link for more information:

http://www.sparkplugs.co.uk/pages/manufacturer/about-ngk-spark-plugs.htm

On reading the NGK link again, I noted a reference to the BPR5 ES plug being prone to misfiring when the gap is 0.8mm or less. The NGK recommendation for the Spirit is 0.035in. [0.90mm].
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Roderick Waite
Experienced User
Username: rodwaite

Post Number: 45
Registered: 1-2012
Posted on Sunday, 22 July, 2012 - 07:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hello David, and that made fascinating reading! There's more to spark plugs than meets the eye - I have a feeling Echo's are set to 0.032" (0.8mm), so that'll get checked first thing tomorrow! I'll order up a non-resistor equivalent to the BPR5 ES as well, and give those a go if the re-set gaps on the ones I have now doesn't work! I've sent the link to the NGK article to Frank (mechanic friend) so he can read through it too.

Very many thanks, and stay well

Rod
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Peter Talbot
Prolific User
Username: squerryes

Post Number: 120
Registered: 7-2010
Posted on Sunday, 22 July, 2012 - 07:24 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Rod - specified gap setting for my 1986 Spirit is 0.76mm / 0.030in - Peter
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 1115
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Sunday, 22 July, 2012 - 07:44 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Peter,

What plugs are you using - NGK are very specific about the misfiring with gaps of 0.8mm or less for BPR5 ES plugs?

My NGK data sheet specifies a gap of 0.035in for all versions of the Silver Spirit. If another brand of plugs specifies 0.030in, this tends to support my contention that excessive resistance in the HT circuit can enhance the possibility of misfiring especially if resistor plugs are installed.
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Peter Talbot
Prolific User
Username: squerryes

Post Number: 121
Registered: 7-2010
Posted on Monday, 23 July, 2012 - 03:46 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

David - Greetings

The plugs fitted to my 1986 Spirit are NGK BPR5ES. Just checked the gaps on each of them : 0.030in all round, as set when they were fitted in May this year.

I must confess I didn't look at the NGK data sheet, just accepted they were direct equivalents to the original Champion RN12Y plugs and set up the new NGK ones at 0.030in as specified in the RR Owner's Handbook for the RN12Y plugs.

Have since done 1294 miles with no problems and when examined earlier today the plugs looked to be in A1 condition.

Peter
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Roderick Waite
Experienced User
Username: rodwaite

Post Number: 47
Registered: 1-2012
Posted on Monday, 23 July, 2012 - 07:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hello again, another little episode in the saga, we looked at the pick-up module (it's a new one) and in accordance with a suggestion received, the gap was re-set to 0.040" (1mm)between cam and pick-up. The result was the car refused to start, let alone run. So we set it back to 0.015" (0.4mm). Car starts fine but still misfires ... I have ordered another rotor arm, distributor cap, king lead, 8 leads and 8 plugs from Introcar, and we'll try them. We're clutching at straws here!

Stay well

Rod
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 1116
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Monday, 23 July, 2012 - 08:56 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Rod,

If you have a good reliable multimeter, could you please test the total resistance of each current HT lead and spark plug combination [i.e. from the metal terminal that goes into the distributor cap to the center electrode of the spark plug] and advise the results.

Also, would you check the voltage at the cigarette lighter socket when the engine has been idling for at least 5 minutes then slowly increase the engine speed to at least half throttle and measure the voltage again. Use an insulated probe if possible to avoid a short circuit between the positive centre terminal and negative casing of the socket when taking these readings. Please advise these readings.

Has the distributor breaker plate pivot bush been checked for wear - does the plate visibly rock if lifted vertically from a position opposite the pivot? This bush is prone to wear if not lubricated on a regular basis and can cause the point gap to change causing erratic ignition during initial acceleration as the advance mechanism moves the plate to advance the ignition.
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Peter Talbot
Prolific User
Username: squerryes

Post Number: 122
Registered: 7-2010
Posted on Monday, 23 July, 2012 - 09:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Rod - maybe it's time to go back to basics:

Query: are you absolutely sure you've got the timing right - maybe worth another check:

Should be: 25* btdc at 2200rev/min with the hose to the vacuum advance capsule disconnected and blanked off.

I checked this out on my 1986 Spirit back in May when I fitted the new set of plugs - it was spot on.

It is dfficult to determine for Echo as to whether this is a mechanical or an electrical fault so I suggest you firstly re-check out the primary relevant mechanics:

Given that petrol supply OK, SU carbs OK, little is left to further check.

Query: have you manually (spark plug fitted but lead disconnected so no spark)checked both the initial compression and subsequent decay compression for each cylinder?. The timed decay rate should be very nearly the same for each cylinder.

Peter
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Omar M. Shams
Prolific User
Username: omar

Post Number: 264
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Tuesday, 24 July, 2012 - 05:21 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Dear Rod,
one test that I have previously done to see if the high tension system is not "leaking" high voltage was a crude "night time test". I would take my car somewhere very dark at night and pop the bonnet when the engine is idling to see if there are any stray sparks. Whenever there have been stray sparks these have been very clearly visible with the naked eye.
Its a cheap test that costs nothing. It may also yield nothing - but certainly worth doing in case it shows you straight away where you may have arcing.
All the best
Omar
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 1117
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Tuesday, 24 July, 2012 - 08:25 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I met up with a friend yesterday who is involved with maintaining historic aircraft and asked him if there were problems with plugs and plug leads on aircraft piston engines. He has given me the following link which makes interesting [and disturbing if you think about the risks taken by pilots flying with known problems] reading.

What is relevant in our case is the increase in HT resistance of at least one brand as the spark plugs age.

http://www.flyplatinum.com/blog/?p=690
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Roderick Waite
Experienced User
Username: rodwaite

Post Number: 48
Registered: 1-2012
Posted on Tuesday, 24 July, 2012 - 06:14 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hello Peter, not sure of what Frank has done about the timing, but a bit puzzled at your figure of 25 degs BTDC with the advance mechanism disconnected! Surely that means more than 35 degs BTDC when fully advanced? Sounds a lot - Frank has my manual so I can't check it. We have checked the compression on each cylinder, all the same reading, but not the decay rate other than none collapsed quickly.

David, we've ordered a complete new set of plugs and leads, rotor arm and cap too, the idea being to eliminate any fault in that area that may have arisen since they were renewed 2 years ago.

Omar, that's a good and simple check! We'll do it tonight! Can't hear anything - there's usually a 'Crack!' when a stray spark jumps.

Frank is a bit depressed - he's never known a car fail to respond to his careful and methodical approach to this kind of problem. He remains sure that it's electrical though.

Thanks for all the tips and pointers! Keep 'em coming - there has to be an answer!

Stay well all ...

Rod
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Peter Talbot
Prolific User
Username: squerryes

Post Number: 123
Registered: 7-2010
Posted on Tuesday, 24 July, 2012 - 08:07 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Rod - details re ignition timing are a direct copy from the original RR Owner's Handbook which came with my 1986 Spirit - Peter
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Jan Forrest
Grand Master
Username: got_one

Post Number: 365
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Tuesday, 24 July, 2012 - 08:29 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I think you'll find that Peter means the timing should be advanced by 25 degrees rather than to 25 BTDC, much as I recommended back on Thursday. If it's the same as the earlier Shadows the static timing should be only just BTDC at 3 degrees. Don't forget that the rotor arm has to be held fully retarded against the spring when timing statically otherwise the timing will be too far advanced. Even so the use of a proper strobe light is still the commonest way of checking that it's correct at all rpm rather than with a stopped engine.

Since I own a multi purpose exhaust gas analyzer I can, and do, use it to check both aspects of timing - advance/retard as well as dwell angle - while confirming the exact rpm with an accurate dual range digital rev counter.
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Roderick Waite
Experienced User
Username: rodwaite

Post Number: 49
Registered: 1-2012
Posted on Friday, 27 July, 2012 - 04:04 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Good morning - looks to be another hot day. Could use some rain ... !

Echo has now has her timing checked in accordance with the book - 2200rpm, 25 degs btdc, advance/retard disconnected. Spot on, no difference. Still mis-firing, although better ... maybe ... one problem is that it varies day by day, even hour by hour.

Frank has heard that the torque converter can be a cause of stalling. Sometimes Echo can be idling reasonably well, but pop her into gear and she stalls. Not every time though, so I query this. Is there any evidence that this could be a source of Echo's troubles, given the inconsistency of them?

The new ignition parts arrived, so today we'll try the new leads, cap, and rotor arm. If no change, we'll fit the new plugs - thus replacing all the new replacements again - I have the distinct feeling of straw-clutching ...

Stay well

Rod
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 1122
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Friday, 27 July, 2012 - 05:56 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Rod, please pay particular attention to the firing order if or when you fit the new leads. Also check to make sure No 1 cylinder is at TDC on the compression stroke when you set the static timing - an easy mistake is to forget to check that No. 1 cylinder is on compression.

I don't think you are clutching at straws - I think there is an ignition or engine timing problem with your engine; the problem is finding the cause without being able to look over your shoulder while someone is working on the car.

Another thing I would check is the distributor drive gear which meshes with the camshaft; there could be a shear pin that locates the gear on the distributor drive shaft that has worn or partially deformed.
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Roderick Waite
Experienced User
Username: rodwaite

Post Number: 50
Registered: 1-2012
Posted on Saturday, 28 July, 2012 - 05:39 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hello David, good points - we indeed paid close attention to the firing order (15486372) when fitting the leads. Hadn't thought of a shear pin deforming though. Not sure how to go about checking that! In the meantime though, and prior to removing the weakener for dismantling (never did that) we by-passed it altogether. Radical change! Idled perfectly, and on a test run it only stalled once. We'll be stripping the wesakener today - the anti-tamper cap does appear slightly damaged, so we wonder if anyone has got into it and upset it ...

I remember Mark tried removing it altogether, with beneficial results - I should have paid more attention! Anyway, we'll pursue it this time - dare I hope?

Stay well

Rod
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Roderick Waite
Frequent User
Username: rodwaite

Post Number: 51
Registered: 1-2012
Posted on Sunday, 29 July, 2012 - 04:44 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hallelujah! The Saga is finished! Regrettably, there is no one thing I can put my finger on as the cause! Both solenoid valves, and the weakener itself, were removed, the last being stripped. All were sticky and dirty, the weakener especially, so everything was carefully cleaned and re-assembled. No actual faults were found. Yesterday, by-passing the weakener improved matters immensely - today, after all was replaced, Echo started immediately and ran like a watch ... her tickover was re-set to 650rpm - smooth as silk, never a mis-fire. On test, she accelerated well, the kick-down was exhilarating, never a stall (and we tried to make her do so). At a standstill you only know the engine is running because the warning lights are off. She's like a new car.

I can hardly believe that after 11 months and thousands of euros, the answer could have been so very simple. It's always obvious once you know! So to anyone who suffers from stubborn mis-firing and stalling, make a start by removing and stripping the weakener, and the solenoid valves.

Stay well, and many thanks to everyone who helped with ideas and suggestions ...

Rod
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richard george yeaman
Experienced User
Username: richyrich

Post Number: 43
Registered: 4-2012
Posted on Sunday, 29 July, 2012 - 07:16 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Rod congratulations!!!! enjoy your car.

Richard.
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 1123
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Sunday, 29 July, 2012 - 08:12 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Rod - congratulations on your perseverance and the successful outcome - I must admit I never considered the fact that your car had emission controls.

First thing I suggest you do is pack your luggage and take your family and Echo for a weekend away to mark her resurrection. The long trip will do her good and the pleasure of driving Echo will do the rest.

Enjoy the future and this will compensate you for the angst, time and expense involved in solving your problem. Well done mate.
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Peter Talbot
Prolific User
Username: squerryes

Post Number: 124
Registered: 7-2010
Posted on Monday, 30 July, 2012 - 08:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Rod - Congratulations - Peter
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Niclas Olovsson
Yet to post message
Username: nicce

Post Number: 1
Registered: 12-2011
Posted on Tuesday, 31 July, 2012 - 05:05 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Rod,

Happy to hear that you found the issue - I was starting to feel anxious on your behalf as I followed the tread!

Cheers, Niclas
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Roderick Waite
Frequent User
Username: rodwaite

Post Number: 52
Registered: 1-2012
Posted on Wednesday, 01 August, 2012 - 03:46 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hello Richard, David, Peter, and Niclas, thank you for your good wishes. Echo is still in a very good mood, so therefore I am also. My mechanic friend Frank is not - he likes to understand precisely what's going on, so is immersed in the Fuel System section of the Manual ...

I'll be making up for lost time now ...

Thanks guys, and stay well

Rod