Junior non starter - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-28-2018, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Junior non starter-RESOLVED

Hope everyone has had a good Christmas, now back to the serious stuff!
I finally got round to the last part of my ignition upgrade ( '75 GT Junior 1600 with 1750 head, Marelli distributor ), so far new plugs,leads and coil have been fitted and all was fine. I then fitted a Pertronix Ignitor electronic ignition.
She started up ok after a bit of spluttering-which is usual- but then just cut out, as though I'd turned the ignition off, turned over fine but wouldn't start at all.
Doesn't seem to be a spark when plug taken out, there is fuel, the distributor is not fitted 180 degrees out, so what to do next? Has the Ignitor packed up already?
Thanks in advance.

Last edited by spidermale; 02-11-2019 at 01:57 AM. Reason: more info
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-28-2018, 10:34 AM
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Besides obvious checks that everything is pluged and connected correctly, see if the rotor is turning. If that's good, then it's probably a defective Petronix
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 07:15 AM
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You checked your wiring re the Pertronix unit, everything is correct? It must have instructions? You have 12V at the coil + side?
If you lay a spark plug on the engine, connected, and turn the engine over, if no spark, yes, your issue is in the ignition.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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Yes I've checked and double checked everything, the fact that it worked briefly indicates to me that it was ok.
Then it just stopped. Rotor arm is turning and there is no spark at the plug.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-02-2019, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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Bit of an update, checked a few voltages: -ve side of coil: 0v ignition off,12.3 v ignition on, drops to 9v when starter engaged-I would have thought it should go to 0volts?

+ve side of coil:again, 0volts, 12.3 volts then 9v.

The wiring is correct, green/black wire from ignition switch goes to +ve on coil as does red wire to Pertronix. Black wire from Pertronix goes to -ve of coil. Distributor body is connected to ground. Coil,HT leads & plugs are 3 months old.
Everything was fine until I removed the points!

Have now fitted new distributor cap & rotor arm.
No spark to plugs, what else can I check before I ask for Pertronix ignitor to be replaced?
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-02-2019, 10:12 AM
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Bit of an update, checked a few voltages: -ve side of coil: 0v ignition off,12.3 v ignition on, drops to 9v when starter engaged-I would have thought it should go to 0volts?
You're on the right track. It should alternate between + 9 to 12V and 0V as the points or Pertronix switch it between open and ground. The fact that you aren't seeing a square wave signal suggests that the Pertronix isn't working.

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+ve side of coil:again, 0volts, 12.3 volts then 9v.
Nothing wrong there.

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what else can I check before I ask for Pertronix ignitor to be replaced?
A quickee check would be to:

- Unplug the Pertronix lead from the coil "-" terminal
- Put a timing light on the coil-to-distributor high voltage lead
- Alternately short the coil "-" terminal between ground and open.

You should see the timing light flash every time you break the connection to ground. That would indicate that the coil is OK.

Another check would be to reinstall your points & condenser and verify that the car runs OK (no doubt it will).

Are you sure your coil's resistance is appropriate for the Pertronix? It may have fried because the coil has too low a resistance and draws more current than the Pertronix could handle.

Or as Nakagtv wrote, the Pertronix your received may simply have been defective. I had a similar experience with a Pertronix knock-off product called the "Hot Spark".
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-02-2019, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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A quickee check would be to:

- Unplug the Pertronix lead from the coil "-" terminal
- Put a timing light on the coil-to-distributor high voltage lead
- Alternately short the coil "-" terminal between ground and open.

You should see the timing light flash every time you break the connection to ground. That would indicate that the coil is OK.

".
That's a good idea, I'll try that later. Thanks
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-21-2019, 03:21 AM Thread Starter
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update

It's been a couple of weeks but an update. Having eliminated everything else, the Pertronix ignitor was replaced and now at least the spark is back-However she still won't start!

So now, spark is healthy, rotor is turning ok, fuel is ok. Turning over well, the battery is fully charged. I'm thinking despite being very careful, because the distributor has been in/out 2 or 3 times have I got it 180degrees out? Is this possible if the notches are lined up and the rotor is turning? Or is the timing so far out?

Any more advice would be appreciated thanks.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-22-2019, 12:32 AM
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Possible that you have put you have timed the distributor based on the wrong stroke. To check you could swap the HT leads around. Swap #1 and #4, swap #2 and #3. and see if it starts and runs. Good luck.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-22-2019, 05:39 AM Thread Starter
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Possible that you have put you have timed the distributor based on the wrong stroke. To check you could swap the HT leads around. Swap #1 and #4, swap #2 and #3. and see if it starts and runs. Good luck.
Thanks for reply Malcolm, it's too cold to try today but I'll try the leads 180 degrees from where they are now.
I can't get my head around this distributor being 180 degree out idea! The distributor fits right down into the slots on the oil pump drive. No gap, but if the stroke is out, how do I rectify it? Remove distributor,rotate the crank through 180 (or 360?) degrees with the distributor not rotated, then refit?
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-22-2019, 11:05 AM
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It depends what you did from the distributor being fitted correctly and how it is now (assuming it's not correct) - when you removed and refitted the distributor. The drive slot is offset, so it can only go on one way, but the distributor body can be freely rotated - so has that go on in the same position each time? Have you fitted the plugs to the same position on the rotor arm each time? So it may be worth going back to square one.

If the engine is at TDC #1 cylinder (as indicated by the mark on the front pulley), it could be either TDC firing or TDC non-firing. You could check which by removing #1 spark plug, getting someone to blip the starter and feel when you get compression/puff of air - or by checking the position of the cams (cam cover off). Or you can guess - 50/50 chance of being right.

With the engine at TDC firing, the rotor arm should be pointing at the plug lead for cylinder #1 (front of engine, near the radiator). So set-up that one first, then connect the next one (cylinder #3), then cylinder #4, then cylinder #2) - knowing which direction the rotor arm turns. Clockwise I believe - but you can check yourself by watching it turn when you crank the engine.

Try and start the car, if no joy - assuming everything else is OK - try swapping the plug leads #1 with #4 and #2 with #3. If that works - then great. If still no joy, then something else is wrong
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-22-2019, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks again, first chance I get I'll swap the leads around , that will prove if it is actually 180 out. Then take it from there!
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-22-2019, 01:12 PM
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.... the distributor has been in/out 2 or 3 times have I got it 180degrees out? Is this possible if the notches are lined up and the rotor is turning? Or is the timing so far out?
An engine has to be timed fairly accurately in order to start. So it's possible that your distributor isn't 180 degrees off, but is a few degrees off. Instead of doing the "swap all wires 180 degrees" thing, you might just static time it carefully, and try starting it again. Or pull the cam cover to determine conclusively whether it's 180 off.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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She lives & breathes!
Finally got some time and milder weather to get in the garage, and have got Giulia running again. The original Ignitor was faulty which obviously caused me to doubt everything else I'd done while fitting it, thanks to the help on here I fitted new Ignitor, checked timing was correct- the numbers stamped on a new distributor cap also threw me, '2' was actually number 1 position! With a bit of subtle distributor moving and she now fires up fine. Just got to set the timing at max revs now. How on earth is that done single handed!!
Thanks again for your combined help.

Last edited by spidermale; 03-06-2019 at 12:40 PM. Reason: info
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