[TR] Distributor help

John Macartney john.macartney at ukpips.org.uk
Fri Apr 10 10:38:41 MDT 2015

This an interesting thread and one which will have strong advocates for both
electronic ignition and points/condenser set-ups. Though I no longer have a
classic car, I did have major issues with the 2000 and 2500 injection
saloons I owned ten years ago. Both came to me with Lumenition set-ups and I
never did get either car to run as I wanted. It was clear that both dizzy's
were worn and for all I knew at the time, both may have had incorrect units
fitted by previous owners. The only thing to do was to have them properly
rebuilt and I used an old ex-Lucas guy here in the UK to do the work. He did
a superb job fitting new springs and bushes, new vacuum chamber, points,
condenser, rotor and cap. They were both fitted to their respective cars,
the points removed and the Lumenitions re-connected.
The acid test of seeing how they performed showed no real difference and
initially I felt I'd wasted my money. After all, electronic ignition was the
way to go, wasn't it? Much extended life, no points to fiddle with and
constant performance.
Well, not in my case.
In the end, I thought I'd experiment and go back to points and condenser on
the 2000 - and what a difference! It was so convincing, I did the 2500 as
well with the same much improved result. I'm not being critical of
Lumenition but I was convinced as far as my two cars were concerned that
points and condenser was the better alternative. Okay, points need cleaning
and re-setting from time to time but I did this each year when I did a
top-end service on valve clearances and carb/metering unit adjustments and
never had to touch them between times. In any case, cleaning the points on
an oilstone was fun and all part of the pleasure of ownership. It also had
the added advantage that if I did have an ignition failure during fair
weather months, there were always two spare sets of points and condensors in
the glove box and a timing light and tools in the toolbox. It was also a
much cheaper way of sorting out ignition issues than buying a costly module!
I then did the same thing on 'Daisy' my Ferguson tractor and although she
didn't have any sort of electronic set-up, she ran far more happily after a
rebuilt dizzy went on. Mind you, at the time I took the dizzy out, the shaft
did run in a rather elliptical fashion - and the new one didn't. We both
celebrated by fitting a three furrow plough that winter for the local
ploughing competitions:)


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