Nissan EI Distributor Wierdness

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510Martinez
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Re: Nissan EI Distributor Wierdness

Post by 510Martinez » 05 May 2009 18:38

vgwagon wrote:
okayfine wrote:
okayfine wrote:I was thinking of my neighbors, none of whom own a car that would have a coil I could use. Then I thought about my 510's garage mate, my wife's '70 Bug. I'll have to wait for her to go to work, but I can pull that coil for a quick test.
No change. :(
Will the + side of the coil light up a test light when key on or crank?

A volt meter can't load the circuit and sometimes it'll show 12v+ but when you put a test light on it nothing happens, that means there is a problem in the feed circuit.

Try a test light to make sure you have real power to the + side of the coil.
I asked him to run a wire straght from the battery to the coil, and it didn't help so power supply should not be the problem. He has gone through 4 ignition modules, bypassed the wiring, checked and tested alternate coils. The distributor was replaced with a point-triggered one. Frankly there is nothing left to test. He has a basic flaw somewhere that is being overlooked and taken as a given when it isn't.

It isn't this hard to generate spark. He needs someone to take a look at his setup and point out the "aha! that's it" problem.

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icehouse
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Re: Nissan EI Distributor Wierdness

Post by icehouse » 05 May 2009 18:49

Do something! 6 pages of L series Dizzyness and nothing.....

So it still doesn't run? The only thing that hasn't been changed is the coil.... It's points now, and still problems. How annoying!

One thing I do to "test" a points dizzy is hook the test like the 12v + (the clamp) then pull the ground wire off that goes to the - side of the coil. touch the test light and crank it. Does it flash? then if that works plug the wire in and check it from the coil side. Or go the other way.

I've never once had to buy a new condenser, out of all the beat down cars we find, a quick bit of sanding to the points and they run fine. I also just eye ball the gap!

While you have the test light to the + side check the ground at key area's. You can also use the test light like that to backfeed power in a good way if needed.
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datzenmike
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Re: Nissan EI Distributor Wierdness

Post by datzenmike » 05 May 2009 20:06

7 pages! Those modules hardly ever fail so my first words were
datzenmike wrote:Get rid of that coil and run a Nissan EI one. Coils can stop working when they are hot then cool down and start working again. I hate aftermarket stuff... it could be drawing too much power through the module and cooking them.
Not at all familiar with the timing retarding as it revs up. Only makes sense if dizzy running backwards but not the case here. I can see an ECU retarding the timing with revs but not the module by itself. Have to say that the timing light is fucked up or being read wrong or used wrong. Replacing the coil or trouble shooting the wiring should get the spark back. This may fix the other problem but if not you can move on.
"Nissan 'shit the bed' when they made these, plain and simple." McShagger510 on flattop SUs

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James
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Re: Nissan EI Distributor Wierdness

Post by James » 05 May 2009 21:27

icehouse wrote: I've never once had to buy a new condenser, out of all the beat down cars we find, a quick bit of sanding to the points and they run fine. I also just eye ball the gap!
I've had 2 problems within the past month with condensers - one was new - didn't work at all. The other was an old one on a distributor I had modified for my Sister in Law's car, and it missed like crazy - changed it, ran great.
Although - I do have to agree - in the 24 years I've been driving 510's - mostly as my main form of transportation - all with points - have never had a problem with a condenser until this month.

Have you checked the ballast resistor?
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James
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Re: Nissan EI Distributor Wierdness

Post by James » 05 May 2009 23:00

Re - read this. Did your coil ever work after you tried after you tried the GM module? You said you were not getting spark at that point. Let us know when you get the stuff from Jason. Known working stuff is at least a good baseline.
Finished is better than perfect......

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okayfine
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Re: Nissan EI Distributor Wierdness

Post by okayfine » 06 May 2009 07:24

James wrote:I keep watching this hoping for some happy revelation that you or someone else has had that explains it all. On some level I hope you get the EL Dist. thing figured out - as I don't like the unresolved mystery of it hanging there.
Because I've got nothing else to try, I'm awaiting Jason Gray's care package of known-good EI dizzy guts to swap back into my shell distributor. I'd figured the points to be fool-proof, so opted for them for the short term. Turns out...well, you know...
James wrote:It seems to me you should be able to bypass all of the wiring that you are dealing with and set up a simple circuit direct from the battery (provided you can't find out why the coil isn't working),
I did this in response to a suggestion by 510Martinez, wired the + terminal of the coil directly from the battery. No spark.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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okayfine
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Re: Nissan EI Distributor Wierdness

Post by okayfine » 06 May 2009 07:26

vgwagon wrote:Will the + side of the coil light up a test light when key on or crank?
Yes, it will light up at both. The light is brighter with key ON than when cranking, but that mirrors the voltages I measured, and those voltage readings were confirmed by the specs in the "How To Keep Alive" book.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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okayfine
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Re: Nissan EI Distributor Wierdness

Post by okayfine » 06 May 2009 07:34

Wolfman, I'll try your tests.
datzenmike wrote:Not at all familiar with the timing retarding as it revs up. Only makes sense if dizzy running backwards but not the case here. I can see an ECU retarding the timing with revs but not the module by itself. Have to say that the timing light is fucked up or being read wrong or used wrong. Replacing the coil or trouble shooting the wiring should get the spark back. This may fix the other problem but if not you can move on.
I wouldn't assume I can read a timing light either, however there was no mistaking the actual performance with the Nissan modules hooked up. No power above 2K, no ability to push past the block, acted like lean-miss. Engine cut test proved there were full float bowl on new ZTherapy carbs, so it wasn't actually lean. That, combined with my timing light readings, should be farily foolproof.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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okayfine
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Re: Nissan EI Distributor Wierdness

Post by okayfine » 06 May 2009 07:37

James wrote:Re - read this. Did your coil ever work after you tried after you tried the GM module? You said you were not getting spark at that point.
To be honest, I don't even remember any more. Following the chain of events, I'd have to say no, but IIRC it wasn't sparking before that.

Was reading the EI distributor article in DQ and Jason warns against using the Bosch blue coils (with internal ballast resistor) popular with the air-cooled crowd...which is the same exact coil I borrowed from my wife's Bug. Jason doesn't expound on the reasoning, so the coil may not be eliminated.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

datzenmike
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Re: Nissan EI Distributor Wierdness

Post by datzenmike » 06 May 2009 07:56

If you assume coil working then the point's can't be grounding. Can you run a ground directly to the points plate?

Didn't mean to imply that you can't read a timing light. Not what I meant.
"Nissan 'shit the bed' when they made these, plain and simple." McShagger510 on flattop SUs

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okayfine
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Re: Nissan EI Distributor Wierdness

Post by okayfine » 06 May 2009 08:11

datzenmike wrote:If you assume coil working then the point's can't be grounding. Can you run a ground directly to the points plate?
I have not run a ground like that yet. I ran a ground clip from the breaker plate retaining bracket (the u-channel piece that locates the dizzy cap) to the chassis with no change. The ground wire is original, but tests good continuity. I'll see about running another ground when I do Jeff's tests.
datzenmike wrote:Didn't mean to imply that you can't read a timing light. Not what I meant.
No offense taken. At this point I must be missing something. My reply to your post was just as much for me to make sure I covered all the bases in switching from "It's gotta be fuel" to "It can't be fuel."
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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510wizard
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Re: Nissan EI Distributor Wierdness

Post by 510wizard » 06 May 2009 08:56

Can you find someone with a distributor machine? Have them spin it up to check the advance and to see if over all the distributor is working correctly. It would sure tell a lot and rule out one more thing. When Mallory was here in the area, we would have them check out our distributors, we sure learned a lot from the tests.

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okayfine
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Re: Nissan EI Distributor Wierdness

Post by okayfine » 06 May 2009 09:36

510wizard wrote:Can you find someone with a distributor machine? Have them spin it up to check the advance and to see if over all the distributor is working correctly. It would sure tell a lot and rule out one more thing. When Mallory was here in the area, we would have them check out our distributors, we sure learned a lot from the tests.
Advance isn't the issue, at least the mechanical advance mechanism.

The only dizzy machine I know of is in Oregon at ZTherapy, and I'm not sure they've gotten a chance to suss it out. Ain't no one in my county with a dizzy machine as far as I know.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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Byron510
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Re: Nissan EI Distributor Wierdness

Post by Byron510 » 06 May 2009 10:28

okayfine wrote:
vgwagon wrote:Will the + side of the coil light up a test light when key on or crank?
Yes, it will light up at both. The light is brighter with key ON than when cranking, but that mirrors the voltages I measured, and those voltage readings were confirmed by the specs in the "How To Keep Alive" book.
I'm not going to say I'm an expert here, but I will try and help. I have to admit, it's been over 15 years since I've trouble shot a points system!!
You said you had power at both + and - terminals with a test light, no problem. But the - terminal should also flash while cranking (or take it easy on the starter and motor and manually break the points). This manual breaking of the points should interrupt the coil - side. If not, then you may have found your issue.

I'll keep reading, and hoping....:D

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okayfine
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Re: Nissan EI Distributor Wierdness

Post by okayfine » 08 May 2009 07:49

One of the last suggestions for troubleshooting my points distributor setup was to connect a test light between ground and the negative terminal. Cranking the engine should result in a pulsing test light bulb. No dice, my test light dimmed a bit, but was solid.

Luckly, that very afternoon, Jason Gray's care package arrived. Inside was a known-good set of EI dizzy guts, including pickup coil, breaker plate, stator, reluctor, and Nissan OE module. I yanked the points out of my SR distributor body and installed the known-good parts.

Engine runs. Timing advanced with revs. Engine misses a bit, and engine won't run well under load with the vac advance hose hooked up. I pull off the hose and go for a drive. The miss is still there and seemed to get slightly worse over my two miles of driving. I had assumed I fouled at least one of the plugs with all the cranking attempts during the previous diagnosis sessions, and pulling the #4 showed a pretty fouled piece, but new plugs didn't clear it.

In any case, problem solved, right? Engine runs. Well, Jason's care package was more of a loan than a gift, and the real question remained - what was bad that would cause the issue?

So, I set about making my car not run, which was hard, mentally, to do. I replaced the module with one of my Nissan OE modules. Car still ran, engine advanced timing with revs. I replaced the pickup coil with the part that came with my rebuilt dizzy. Car still ran, engine advanced timing with revs. I replaced the breaker plate assembly. Car still ran, engine advanced timing with revs. I replaced the reluctor (the star wheel) - engine would cough, but not start. I removed and replaced the reluctor with Jason's part to verify, car ran, engine advanced timing with revs. I kept Jason's reluctor on there and replaced the final piece, the stator (the four-pronged ring that attaches to the breaker plate). Car ran, however, timing was retarded 25° and sat, solidly, at 5°ATDC. I did not rev this combo.

I removed the "rebuild" stator and compared it with Jason's known-good item. The are the same, the prongs are in the same location relative to the screw holes, and it even has the same number markings along the top. At the same time I compared the reluctors, only to find that the "rebuild" reluctor was offset 45°. Jason had mentioned this as a possibility, but actually talked about rotated distributor caps (or, more likely, that's just what I read). I'd think you'd have to have an offset reluctor and an offset dizzy cap for things to work correctly.

So, to summarize, my rebuild reluctor is 45° offset, which could be adjusted out by moving the distributor assembly over a few teeth. The bigger mystery is the stator, with it inducing 25° of static ignition retard right from the get-go.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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