123 and tachometer

Talk about the E-Type Series 2

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AnD3rew
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#1 123 and tachometer

Post by AnD3rew » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:13 pm

I am considering a 123 distributor replacement in order to try and solve my ongoing missing and tune problems. However I don’t want to have to send my tacho overseas to be rebuilt to solve the issues the 123 can cause. Som have said theirs hasn’t been effected is there any way to predict whether it will or not and is there any easy solution short of rebuilding the tacho?
Sydney Australia

Current
Red Series 2 2+2 XKE
Italian Racing Red F-Type S
Land Rover Discovery 3 TDV6

Previous of interest
Jaguar XJ6 Sovereign series 3
MGA 1959

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phil.dobson@mac.com
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#2 Re: 123 and tachometer

Post by phil.dobson@mac.com » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:09 am

Can you explain what diagnostics have lead you to believe its a distributor problem?

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cactusman
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#3 Re: 123 and tachometer

Post by cactusman » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:53 am

Good question Phil....the 123 has not always been a success for others who have fitted it I believe....for some it is fine but for others just a heap more problems. And if it fails out on the road you are stuffed. I suspect the simple answer to your question Andrew is there is no way to know...your tachometer might be fine or it might not...the only way to find out is to fit a 123 system.

Personally I would go with the electronic points replacement...e..g Pertonix module. Much cheaper and easy to revert to points if you need to.....mine has one....been perfect for five years...
Julian the E-type man
1962 FHC
1966 MGB....fab little car too

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Herzeg
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#4 Re: 123 and tachometer

Post by Herzeg » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:28 am

Julian

I am glad your Pertronix works fine. Mine managed to burn out a coil. Having replaced it I still had a misfire and finally Angus traced it to the condensor which maybe was also damaged by the ignition. The first problem was an inability to rev over 3000rpm, raised to 4000 with a second coil. Finally an episode of driving up the road with sparks coming out of the exhaust, backfiring and shaking.

My distributor was rebuilt by the dizzy doctor but all my problems related to the Pertronix. Ask Angus, I'm not the only one having problems and maybe they had a dodgy batch?

Going back to the original post, I would recommend taking to a rolling road. I did it with mine and it allowed me to eliminate the carbs as a problem and showed specifically where it was going wrong. Money well spent, after spending a lot on "new" technology and then reverting to original. :banghead:

John
1969 S2 OTS

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cactusman
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#5 Re: 123 and tachometer

Post by cactusman » Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:31 pm

O dear....not sure mine is actually Pertonix. Memory fails me......there are several makes advertised...touch wood mine works a dream...
Julian the E-type man
1962 FHC
1966 MGB....fab little car too

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christopher storey
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#6 Re: 123 and tachometer

Post by christopher storey » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:44 pm

If you look back over my posts on this subject over the years, you will see that I have an axe to grind ! Sadly, my experience of electronic ignition on various classics - mostly owned by other people although I had a complete failure on my Daimler V8 - has been pretty awful , with failure after failure stranding people unless they had the means with them of reverting to points . The strange thing is that modern cars with ostensibly similar systems are so reliable, but.... and it is a big but... it is clear that with moderns the whole electrical system is designed to be compatible with electronic ignition, so that coils, capacitors etc do not get fried . It may be also that the charging systems of moderns are such that voltage spikes etc which can play havoc with electronics are avoided. For whatever reason, my advice is that you are far better off sticking with points, coil and condenser, and that if you absolutely must fit electronics, make sure that you always have the means with you to go back to conventional ignition at the roadside

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AnD3rew
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#7 Re: 123 and tachometer

Post by AnD3rew » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:01 pm

Thanks all.

I might reconsider. I have been having endless problems with missing now to the point that it is almost undrivable. The car already has a Pertronix system. I have replaced every other ignition component and after being tuned and timed it runs week for a week or so and then reverts to problems. Could be carbs still as I have been trying to eliminate ignition first, but it’s unlikey to be carbs when fixing ignition and timing stuff seems to make it go ok for a while. I guess I could replace the Pertronix with points and see how it goes,but I was suspecting the distributor as being worn and losing the timing.

I guess I can just try replacing the distributor with a standard one.
Sydney Australia

Current
Red Series 2 2+2 XKE
Italian Racing Red F-Type S
Land Rover Discovery 3 TDV6

Previous of interest
Jaguar XJ6 Sovereign series 3
MGA 1959

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mark10337
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#8 Re: 123 and tachometer

Post by mark10337 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:48 pm

Have you checked inside the distributor where the weights are? Is that all cleaned out and no muck or gunk. That did cause a very hard to trace misfire on mine a while back.
-Mark

1969 Series 2 OTS, Regency Red
'Life's to short to drive a boring car'

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AshM
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#9 Re: 123 and tachometer

Post by AshM » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:58 pm

Respecting it is a topic that gets a variety of responses and views all I can say is I put a 123 into my S2 last winter and have had hundreds of trouble free miles since. Edinburgh to Windsor last year without missing a beat.

The car noticeably starts more easily, especially when hot.

But I know if it does ever stop then it's a call to the AA... But I am a fan.

cheers
Ash

PS Tach was fine - no issues at all.
Series 2 FHC 1970
1R 20607

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christopher storey
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#10 Re: 123 and tachometer

Post by christopher storey » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:27 pm

Just referring back to the misfire problem, one of the most elusive causes of this sort of defect is poor earthing. It is sometimes worthwhile even providing a second earth cable between engine and "chassis", and also making absolutely sure that there is nothing insulating the distributor from the engine

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Herzeg
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#11 Re: 123 and tachometer

Post by Herzeg » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:29 pm

christopher storey wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:44 pm
The strange thing is that modern cars with ostensibly similar systems are so reliable, but.... and it is a big but... it is clear that with moderns the whole electrical system is designed to be compatible with electronic ignition, so that coils, capacitors etc do not get fried . It may be also that the charging systems of moderns are such that voltage spikes etc which can play havoc with electronics are avoided.
I think Christopher that you have hit the heart of the matter. Modern cars are just ... different. If I leave the E for three weeks it sets off the tracker when I try to start it as the battery is so low. If I leave my 100,000 mile seven year old BMW for three weeks it says hello then starts. I believe you are playing with dark forces when you stick electronics in an E-type, I even swapped my DAB radio set up for a non-wired 60's Radiomobile to keep the spirits happy. That or Angus who accused me of a failure of taste :questionmarks:

John
1969 S2 OTS

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Mark Gordon
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#12 Re: 123 and tachometer

Post by Mark Gordon » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:54 pm

You really have nothing to lose by going back to conventional points, setting them up properly and seeing how they do. I really doubt that your problem of missing has anything to do with your Pertronix or any other electronic system. Unlike points, electronic ignition either works or it doesn't. If it fails, it's like someone pulled the HT leads off of your dizzy. My guess is that your distributor is worn and needs an overhaul. In GB, the Distributor Doctor seems to be the go to man. We've had several threads on this topic and polar opposite opinions of the value and reliability of electronic vs points/condenser ignition systems. Christopher, as he admits, has generally had nothing but negative experiences with electronics, the 123 in particular. I, on the other hand, have had nothing but positive experiences with initially Pertronix and lately the 123 units. My complaint with points is that they can be a bear to start in cold or particularly cold, damp weather. Plus, they inevitably deteriorate over time although they can be rectified roadside if they act up. As I said earlier, electronics either work perfectly or they don't work at all. I've had my 123 for over 4 years; it's never failed me and the car starts instantly in all weather even after sitting for a week or more. Different strokes for different folks. If you go back to points as a test and you still have the problem, send the dizzy of to Dist. Doc or put in a 123.
Mark

67 OTS 1E14988, 2002 VDP

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cactusman
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#13 Re: 123 and tachometer

Post by cactusman » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:51 pm

Well I ran my mgb on points for two years. Got through at least two sets and broke down st 6 am in Leighton Buzzard when the condenser went short circuit. I then fitted a lumenition system that has never missed so much as a single spark in 25 years. I would agree that earthing is extra important but well designed and correctly installed, an electronic system should perform for years and there is nothing to physically wear out...which is why all modern cars use electronic systems and not points...
Julian the E-type man
1962 FHC
1966 MGB....fab little car too

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AnD3rew
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#14 Re: 123 and tachometer

Post by AnD3rew » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:07 am

Well we are about to find out. Car and 123 delivered to mechanic today hopefully will have a result this weekend.
Sydney Australia

Current
Red Series 2 2+2 XKE
Italian Racing Red F-Type S
Land Rover Discovery 3 TDV6

Previous of interest
Jaguar XJ6 Sovereign series 3
MGA 1959

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AnD3rew
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#15 Re: 123 and tachometer

Post by AnD3rew » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:24 am

First impressions are good, runs more smoothly than it ever has, even idle is almost smooth, not quite but almost, starts immediately feels like it has more power and definitely more responsive to the throttle.

But I’ve been down this path before only to be disappointed. The test will be if it stays that way.

Oh and the tacho is fine.
Sydney Australia

Current
Red Series 2 2+2 XKE
Italian Racing Red F-Type S
Land Rover Discovery 3 TDV6

Previous of interest
Jaguar XJ6 Sovereign series 3
MGA 1959

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AnD3rew
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#16 Re: 123 and tachometer

Post by AnD3rew » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:11 am

So I am up to about 3 weeks with the new 123 so far and so far all good, it runs so smoothly it’s like dream it’s never sounded so good, it starts very easily and the idle is even fairly smooth. It’s just on the standard advance curve settings and the one thing I may try is changing that at some point, my only complaint is that the power curve is now almost too flat, it will now pull consistently through all speed and rev ranges which is nice when you are doing 60mph and you put your foot down, it just pulls strongly and consistently. But I do feel it’s lost a bit of edge down lower when accelerating hard. I’m sure a different curve will change that.

No signs of the previous issues recurring so far. And when you are cruising at 50-60mph it is just lovely listening to her purring.
Sydney Australia

Current
Red Series 2 2+2 XKE
Italian Racing Red F-Type S
Land Rover Discovery 3 TDV6

Previous of interest
Jaguar XJ6 Sovereign series 3
MGA 1959

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cactusman
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#17 Re: 123 and tachometer

Post by cactusman » Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:23 am

Good news :bigrin:
Julian the E-type man
1962 FHC
1966 MGB....fab little car too

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Lost Horizon
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#18 Re: 123 and tachometer

Post by Lost Horizon » Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:32 am

Not sure why the 123 waveform would give grief to the tach, but the last Car I did was a FF Racing Cobra that we fitted with Electronic ignition and an electronic tach that refused to work sensibly. I built a simple and reliable square wave rectifier to drop out the secondary noise that was causing some false triggering.

It's a general solution to reliable pulse forming where there may be issues. Feel free to give it a try if all else fails. It should go in series with the input line close to the tach so it catches the electrical noise downstream of the wiring from the engine. The pot shown is simply to adjust the triggering point to best suit the particular tach. Parts cost were about $5.

Image

Once you know the best trigger voltage division across the coil off the pot wiper, you could replace the pot with 2 resistors across the coil. I think we used a 100k pot. It's not critical, just has to be insignificant as a draw on the coil primary. Here is the prototype, which was a bit of overkill, I freely admit. :roll:

It could be made much smaller as a package behind the dash.

Image
Last edited by Lost Horizon on Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Dana
Late S2 1970 OTS US LHD

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johnetype
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#19 Re: 123 and tachometer

Post by johnetype » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:54 am

This is a great solution if you have a voltage sensing tacho but for those Series 1 cars with an electronic tacho and all Series 2, they have a current sensing tacho so this will not help or work.

Any electronic ignition will come with an additional lead that requires a 12 volt ignition switched supply. If you fit electronic ignition to a car with a current sensing tacho, the important thing is not to wire the 12 volt supply the electronic ignition requires direct to the coil, even when for convenience the instructions will tell you to wire it to the coil. You need to leave the connection to the coil from the tacho alone and connect the +12 volt wire for the electronic ignition to a connection that goes directly to the ignition switch andso isn't drawing additional current through the tacho.

Your new electronic ignition will work fine whether you connect to the coil or a separate ignition switched supply as I'm suggesting, it is just that this way you will maximise the chances that the tacho will continue to operate normally with your new electronic ignition.
John

1969 Series 2 FHC

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Lost Horizon
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#20 Re: 123 and tachometer

Post by Lost Horizon » Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:58 pm

johnetype wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:54 am
This is a great solution if you have a voltage sensing tacho but for those Series 1 cars with an electronic tacho and all Series 2, they have a current sensing tacho so this will not help or work..........
ah so.. the LM555 can also directly source or sink 200ma off pin 3. Not sure if those old tachs need welding or toaster current tho, so I'll leave it to the informed such as yourself. You could make it 'big' current output on the cleaned up event by just adding a (power?) transistor / mosfet south of the 100 ohm resistor. This is just an easy way to make a front end for the coil LR(c) circuit waveform to clean up the more aggressive transients off the very sharp/steep cutoffs for modern electronic ignitions and consistently guarantee one pulse per plug.

Now I know for my own car currently undergoing rebuild, which will have a CSI ignition setup.
thx.
Dana
Late S2 1970 OTS US LHD

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