Big G

KE55 Electronic Ignition Module

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So i bit the bullet at the end of last year and got in touch with rob roy classic road and track and got an Accuspark unit for the Princess' hardtop. However it has been running really well and I have been super busy so it has sat on the bench since it arrived early January. Cue the fury from a nearly broken down teen and so it was all hands to the pumps on the weekend to get her rollin again. It was a pretty simple install I did have to grind a bit here and there off the base plate to make it fit perfectly. Probably an hour all up. Kicked her over and the timing was way out so she wouldn't start. Out came the timing light and 12mm and we were away. Took her for a spin around the block and all good. I don't know if there is any performance improvement but time will tell I guess. So fingers crossed I wont have to deal with an angry broken down teen again.

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Hi Graeme,

                    Good to hear you got it all up & going OK.  Initially, you probably won't see any more improvement, than if you had just replaced a new set of points.  However, unlike points, which start deteriorating from the moment they are fitted, the Accuspark unit, will not experience any drop off in performance, over time,  EVER.

However, the major way of improving the ignition performance of your girl's KE55, is with the advance curve.  The Accuspark unit does not affect that. It is simply an electronic points replacement/substitue.  Advance is still provided by the springs & bob weights below the dizzy mounting plate. These should always be kept clean & oiled lightly.

I've been running my Accuspark for a couple of years now, without issues at all. I have seen a great improvement in performance, but I locked the dizzy advance mechanism up, & provided a far more aggressive advance curve, with a Jaycar programmable ignition controller. The Accuspark unit is purely used as a trigger for the Jaycar unit.

If you ever want to go down that path, give me a yell, & I'll come across to Buccan, & show you what is involved.

Cheers Banjo

  

Edited by Banjo

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It appears that I spoke too soon. The Princess went to go to work this morning and the rolla wouldn't start so I'm in double trouble as the missus had to get up and take her to work. I have no idea what is going on as the message I got was it just didn't start. So looking forward to getting home this arvo....not! Fingers crossed it's something simple.

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Hi Graeme,

                   Yeh, hope it is something simple, & not the Accuspark unit.

Was there a ballast resistor on the coil before you added the Accuspark ?

If not, what was the primary impedance of the ignition coil you have fitted, as Accuspark unit can only handle coils with primary resistance of 3.0 ohms, without ballast resistor.  If a ballast resistor is used, the total series resistance of coil & ballast should be no more than about 3.0 ohms. Low resistance primary coils, should not be less than 1.5 ohms.

Cheers Banjo

.

Edited by Banjo

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So it turns out the Princess got in it yesterday and turned the key and got nothing. She thought the battery was dead and that I had something to do with it. When I got home I walked up stuck the key in the ignition turned it over and she fired up straight away and idled quietly. i didn't even have to give it any pedal. I drove it to her work and picked her up, the Princess  drove it home and she never missed a beat. Stop start traffic and open road. Its baffling. I checked battery terminals when I got home and anything else that I may have disturbed. Nothing stood out. I hope it was 'just one of those things'. It does have a ballast resistor standard. I checked all the values and they were within the tolerances required so that is why I went ahead with it. So I am hoping this will the be the last I hear of this. 

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graeme i think shes trying to get u to buy her a new carr!!!!
:P
If not, and she really had a temperemental no crank situation, the only thing I can think of is when u removed the negative battery terminal to install the accuspark, that u may have introduced a situation I have experienced a few times;  the negative battery terminal doesnt conduct electricity when asked to suply a large current, but only sometimes when cold. For me I found it to be from constant connecting and disconnecting of the negative terminal, which seems to kind of encourage that white lead corrosion, at first i thought it was in the usual place, where the terminal clamps around the battery lug, but then i learned it was the copper wires in the terminal crimp which just sometimes don't want to supply any current at all, even to the solenoid.

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Hi Graeme,

                    Intermittent electrical problems are always the worst ones to uncover. Open circuits, or short circuits are easy. I agree with what Jeremy has said about battery terminals, as starting the car from a cold start, is the highest load you can ever put on the battery & associated wiring.  

Unfortunately, it will happen again, as it unfortunately is not a "one off event".  I would be inspecting all the heavy duty terminals between battery post & the starter motor.  Don't discount the starter motor itself, either.  The brushes on them do wear, & they can get to the point where they just make contact, with little pressure on the armature. There are two other items, that could cause the problem in a 40 year old KE55.

The starter relay, which is hidden down behind the drivers kick panel, off memory. Not unheard of, for them to fail.  usually contacts, because they handle a fair current to drive the starter motor solenoid.  Never forget the ignition barrel switch.  They do get tied after many years, & I have seen a couple in my time, where they worked sometimes, & not others, just as you describe.

Probably a couple of hours work there, but you will solve the riddle eventually, which may be better than the fury of a teenage daughter, as I have one just like yours.  :D

Cheers Banjo 

Edited by Banjo

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I went over all the obvious connections last night and didn't find anything that stood out.  It is a bit hard to diagnose when the fault has gone. It will be one of those things that hangs over my head until it happens again. So I m hoping its not a Friday midnight failure. I have hinted that the Princess consider a later model car, that suggestion was met with threats of physical violence against my person. I am sure glad she loves me.:D Thanks for your help. I will keep you posted.

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Hi Graeme,

                    The easiest check on this fault is to cut it in half, when it happens next time.  To me the half way point is the starter motor relay, which I think  in your girl's KE55, is down behind the driver's kick panel.  If you remove the kick panel, you can locate it by sound or feel, as it a bigger than normal 12 volt relay, so has a good "clunk".

If you turn the key to the start position, & the relay does (audibly or "feel wise") not operate, then the problem will be the relay itself, the ignition barrel, or an intermittent 12V supply to ignition, or the wiring between ignition barrel & starter relay. 

If the relay does operate, then it is more than likely that the fault lies beyond the relay, in wiring to the Starter motor solenoid, or possibly in the starter relay contacts themselves.

If however, you can hear the starter solenoid come in, but no starter rotation, then the issue will be either in the heavy duty cabling or connections between battery & starter, or the brushes in the starter itself. 

A quick check you can do, is on a cold start, measure the 12 volts at the starter motor itself, to the engine or starter motor frame. Couple of long leads with a couple of little alligator clips will do.  This may show up any potential issue with the battery to starter motor cabling or terminals, if the reading is very low.

P.S. Prevention is always better than cure, on a cold winters might on a back road in Buccan !

Cheers Banjo 

Edited by Banjo

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