123ignition distributor - 15000 miles road test - Page 14 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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post #196 of 212 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 05:28 AM Thread Starter
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Set the crankshaft at the static timing for the curve that you are using. Looking from above, rotate the distributor CCW until the light just comes on.

Ed Prytherch
79 Spider
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76 Suzuki GT500

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them. - P.J. O'Rourke
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post #197 of 212 (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 08:43 AM
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when is the "F" mark referenced?
As 5thinline wrote, the "F" mark is the static timing - essentially, where the timing light should shine at idle. When you are starting from scratch, you set the crankshaft to "F", and rotate the distributor CCW until #1 fires - that gets you close enough to start the engine.

But the odds are low that your distributor's range of advance will exactly hit "F" at idle and "M" at maximum RPM. And the maximum setting is more important. So as you wrote, you set the timing to "M" at 5,000 rpm, and let the idle setting fall where it will.

(Copied from earlier thread)

It always is exciting to run the car at 5000 and look for M with the fan blades whirring in your face.

Last edited by Dr.G; 01-13-2017 at 08:46 AM.
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post #198 of 212 (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 10:36 AM
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This may get the timming close enough to start the motor. Then you can use the timming light to get max advance where you want it.

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post #199 of 212 (permalink) Old 01-20-2017, 09:41 PM
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Hi All, i recently bought a 123 distributor and new bosch coil and tried to install it today. I followed all the instructions that came with the booklet and was very meticulous about doing so but could not get it to work. I set the crank to the timing mark 'F' and made sure the rotor arm on the old distributor was pointing at the point for cylinder one and also noted the rotor arm was moving clockwise. I then took the old distributor out and put 123 in making sure the drive gears had mated. I then rotated the distributor body counter clock wise until the green light came on with only having the red wired connected to the coil. Then i put the leads into the 123 cap in the same order as the one on the old distributor (with the firing order being 1-3-4-2). I then tried to start the car, it would turn over but wouldn't actually start. Is there anything i'm missing or haven't done? Feeling pretty frustrated currently.
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post #200 of 212 (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 01:36 AM
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You need to advance/retard the ignition until it starts, normally I start advancing the ignition, if worse than before then I retarded until it start to catch, finally after the engine starts and idle check with a strob light the ignition timming
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post #201 of 212 (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 03:10 AM
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Thanks for the reply quadrifolio. I guess there may have been a bit of presumed knowledge i'm lacking. I'll give it another crack shortly. Out of curiosity does it matter which way you rotate the body to get the LED to light up? It's just that the instructions in the booklet differ slightly to those in the following link http://123.neortic.org/manualsPDF/123ALFA4RV.pdf
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post #202 of 212 (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 05:24 AM Thread Starter
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First check to see if you have a spark. Insert a plug lead into the coil, bypassing the distributor, and spin the motor. If you have sparks then you have a timing or plug wire related problem or fouled plugs. If you have no sparks then you have a wiring problem or a defective distributor or coil.

Ed Prytherch
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85 GTV6 3L
76 Suzuki GT500

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them. - P.J. O'Rourke
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post #203 of 212 (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 05:43 AM
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Either you´re not in compression stroke for cyl.1 (means your dizzy cap is pointing towards cy. 1 connector & lead, but your piston&valve hardware isn´t at TDC for cyl. 1 in compression stroke) or you´ve been setting up the green light in the wrong position turning on. Compared to a standard points dizzy that would mean the points are just closing and not just opening. Which would mean you have the spark timing wrong to fire up. Try to crank by somebody else anf while cranking turn the dizzy CCW about 10-20°. If you´ll notice the engine willing to start, you´ve set up the green light turning on in the wrong way.

As to check your wiring: Is the coil correctly wired ?
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post #204 of 212 (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 07:40 AM
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Start with the obvious stuff: pull a lead to a plug and make sure that you are actually getting a spark. If you are, then we know the system is working and it's a matter of alignment. If not, then check your coil lead and then the coil wiring and then your rotor. I had some trouble with the rotor not being properly seated when I first installed mine.

On my car, with the Alfa logo in the grill representing 12 Noon, the rotor points to roughly 10 when piston #1 is at TDC. Make sure that things are tightened down enough that the distributor can't rotate out of position when you try to start the car.

71 Spider

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post #205 of 212 (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 10:45 AM
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The first thing i did when i started was wire the new coil up to the old distributor and try it just to check the new coil was good. I took photos of the wiring on the coil and just copied it over . It started no problem with new coil and would run provided you gave it revs but refused to idle with the new coil, it would then stall and there'd be some noticeable smoke coming from the carbs. As i understand it there can be issues surrounding impedance of the coil so just assumed it was issue related to an old distributor being matched to a new coil and when the 123 was installed that would no longer be an issue.
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post #206 of 212 (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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A coil of less than 1 ohm primary resistance will damage the 123. Someone posted about the failure happening immediately. Have you measured yours?

Ed Prytherch
79 Spider
85 GTV6 3L
76 Suzuki GT500

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them. - P.J. O'Rourke
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post #207 of 212 (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 10:56 PM
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I haven't measured the resistance of the coil. It's just a standard blue bosch coil and i assumed that as it was new there wouldn't be any issues with the resistance. I'll go and measure the resistance to make sure everything is okay though. Thanks for all the advice. I'll report back when i get around to giving it another go next weekend.
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post #208 of 212 (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 06:04 AM Thread Starter
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A Bosch Blue coil will not damage the distributor, nor will it make the strongest spark. The Bosch Red coil has a primary resistance of 1.3 ohms which is about as low as you can find in the acceptable range. It will make stronger sparks than the Blue. Many of the high energy coils are around 0.7 ohm and they will damage the 123.

Ed Prytherch
79 Spider
85 GTV6 3L
76 Suzuki GT500

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them. - P.J. O'Rourke
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post #209 of 212 (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 06:42 AM
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Mine worked fine with a Blue Bosch (Past tense because my current car has a Marelliplex and the 123 is in a box because of that)

71 Spider
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post #210 of 212 (permalink) Old 02-05-2017, 05:06 PM
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123 Programable

Has anyone had experience with the 123 programable versions, ether the usb connection or the bluetooth version?
Thanks,
Mark
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