Thursday, 13 July 2017


Whilst on a short run out in Stella, on one of the hottest days, I was almost home when Stella started to back fire as I was coming down the hill just before the turn into my road, I swung into the road, and realised there was no power steering and the engine had died. I was able to roll along and stop just short of my drive, well that was lucky. I first thought it was fuel vaporization, or the fuel pump had failed as I couldn't hear it clicking, but when I removed the fuel line from the pressure regulator/filter, petrol poured back from the carbs, so no shortage of petrol then. I then checked the HT lead fron the coil to the distributor and no spark. My recently fitted coil, end of March, had failed. Bless em, Robsport got a replacement one to me next day and I could then drive up the drive to the safety of my garge. Robsport immediately refunded the cost when they received the dud one back.

Confidence boosted a slightly longer run, again on a very hot day and in heavy traffic and the same problem I had expeirenced in Wales, only more often. When I  came to a standstill in the traffic, if I didn't immediately put her into neutral the engine would die, she would restart immediately, but it was a bit disconcerting to say the least.

I had done a lot of research on electronic ignition systems and to my mind the Pertronix Ignitor came out on top with relaibility and simplicity of installation. I was pretty sure the problem was point related as it must have been at least a couple of years since the points had been adjusted whilst under previous ownership. I hadn't adjusted points for probably 40 years I didn't want to start now and Pertronix Europe got a system to me the next day and it was fitted in an hour or so.

The two sets of points, condensor and base plate were quickly removed. I checked and lubricated the bob weights at the base of the distributer housing and ensured that the vacuum advance mechanism was working, I fitted the new base plate, ignitor module and pressed the circular magnet sleeve down onto the eight pointed cam. It was a snug fit but evenually it pushed all the way on.

The rotor was also firmly pushed into place and dizzy cap replaced and wiring connected, the only slight complication being that I had to run a fresh, ignition switch controlled, 12 volt suppy to the ignitor, as the original set up only supplies 6 volts to the coil and distributer, too long to explain, but I understand why that is. Stella started immediately and I went for a run to check it out and all was fine. I noticed on return that the dizzy cap was wriggling about and that shouldn't be. When I removed the cap I realised that the carbon brush had been pushed right up into it's housing, the nose of which was rubbing directly onto the rotor, which was why the cap was jiggling about.

I resolved this problem by grinding a few mm from the underside of the rotor as I realised that the magnet sleeve had raised the rotor by 2 mm.

However, as I couldn't get the carbon brush to come out of the housing, I assume that it had been worn right down, but again Robsport to the rescue and a new dizzy cap arrived the next day and now Stella appears to be once again extremely reliable with a very steady tickover. Another job ticked off.

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