I finally reached the end of my tether with my Series I. After several months of intermittent rough running and a couple of complete breakdowns, I snapped. Abandoning the quest for originality, I caved in and returned to the relative certainties of electronic ignition.
However, this time around all that’s needed is the eviction of the contact breaker points and condenser in favour of a neat little electronic pick-up. Externally, the only clue that the distributor isn’t quite as Mr Lucas originally intended is that there are now two wires, instead of just one, connected to the coil.
Okay, so I’ve also got the later type of dizzy, with top-entry silicone leads (rather than side- entry copper ones with chunky Bakelite spark plug caps) and I’ve fitted a Flamethrower coil. The ignition changes are fully reversible without much work. I even have a set of Bakelite plug caps stored away, just in case.
So, was this ‘return’ to electronic ignition worth it? Until quite recently, I’d been using an Autoera distributor with electronic pick-up and was perfectly happy with it. But, after covering over 30,000 trouble- free, post-engine rebuild, miles,
I suspected it was past its best. Then began my quest for the smooth-running motor I’d first experienced right after the engine was rebuilt in 2007.
I opted first for a carb rebuild/ refurb. Better, but not cured. Then a full dizzy rebuild and a return to traditional points. Still not quite there. After some major lumpy running and a breakdown, a second carb clean-out helped a lot, but still left a few ‘lumps’.
Finally, I went for electronic ignition in the new distributor. Combined with the silicone leads and a Flamethrower coil already fitted, plus opening the plugs up to 40 thou’ and resetting the timing accordingly, it seems to have done the trick. So far...