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L34 ignition problems


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#1 nzxu1

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Posted 09 June 2016 - 04:38 PM

Heading away for a long weekend a while ago  the engine in my L34  suddenly stopped while doing about 100kph , it was  just like someone  had  pulled a coil lead off  a coil and killed the engine instantly   .    Managed to get a tow to a garage  where  a mechanic  tested the system and couldn't find anything wrong except that the  cap had bad tracking inside it   .  It is a genuine twin coil   distributor and  l did have a spare  L34 cap and  rotor with me , these  were  fitted and the engine fired and seemed to run okay so we went on our way .  However after about  20 k's the engine dropped one cylinder and we  decided it would be prudent to head home instead .  Car  was down to about 4 cylinders  by the time we got nearly home and then it stalled  when l slowed for a  judder  bar  and we had to push her the last 50 meters  .  l have another complete L34  distributor and cap  but l am  LOATH  to fit it   in case  it stuffs up too and  then a large piece of the cars original equipment   is lost until l find what is wrong ..................................any ideas  on what is wrong  anyone  ?  .



#2 piquet

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Posted 09 June 2016 - 05:51 PM

These ignition systems were a problem in the cars when new. I always had problems with mine. With them being so difficult to get parts for now I'd be inclined to remove the twin coil twin point set up and fit a modern ignition system.

I know that it is not original but sometimes practicality has to take precedence.

When i changed mine which is a while ago now I fitted a single point system with a Lumenition Electronic system inside the distributor. It used a chopper wheel and an electronic light beam to activate the system. It was a simple fix and could do it myself. Solved all my problems for minimal interference. I left the second coil and wiring in place.

It is probably not really what you want to hear



#3 EunUCh

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Posted 09 June 2016 - 06:57 PM

Not sure if any help, condensers /points ? ...if the cap/s goes the points arc/burn and cause problems. 

The tracking won't help but depending on how bad the carbon track is  it can usually be removed to some point ?

A bit hard to measure cap. value but if it is known from book they should generally be replaceable with something very close.

Twin coil/points are nothing new , Packard used them on the straight 8 back in 34.

 

 

 

 

 



#4 VIXL34s

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Posted 09 June 2016 - 09:42 PM

I had one original coil bugger up once many years ago, had to get a new one sent from the city, a standard holden one would not work, hence it only ran on 4 cyls Once the new coil was installed I had no probs, prior to this event I was continually burning out plugs & points in about 5000 kms so came to the conclusion that the coil was faulty from new. Don't know if this is any help.

#5 arrimar

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Posted 10 June 2016 - 04:39 PM

You say the car once hot seemed to run on 4 cyls until you slowed for a judder bar (speed bump) and it stalled. That'd be the system running on one coil with the other failing under load.

If there's no visible damage to the newly fitted cap put two new coils on, run it up to temp and go for it.

#6 WhiteA9XS

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 11:23 AM

 I have had two problems with my L34 twin coil dizzy over the years that stopped the engine from running , you could check .

 

 1/ condensor faulty , I found to have no spark .

 

  2/ broken spring inside that connects to bobweights for ignition advance , i found this problem by using timing light and cranking engine over and timing was way out .



#7 nzxu1

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 11:34 AM

Might try swapping a couple of coils first and see what happens ........thanks guys  :)



#8 S pack

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 11:17 AM

Might try swapping a couple of coils first and see what happens ........thanks guys  :)

Condenser is stuffed. When it cools down enough it will work until it overheats again.


Edited by S pack, 26 June 2016 - 11:18 AM.


#9 nzxu1

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 07:59 AM

Forgot to bring this to a conclusion ...............but here goes  , one of the coil leads  was completely stuffed so we  think that  the sparks were jumping  down the other coil lead for a while  which ended up stuffing the   L34   cap and rotor    :(     .......................anyone  have a  spare set  ? .   Have  used a standard V8 distributor to get the car going again and there apears to be no engine damage from running it without  all cylinders firing  ,   only trouble is  that  now the  rev counter  shows  double  the revs  .



#10 Shiney005

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 08:30 AM

I think the switch on the tacho will be set for 4 cylinder as it would have only been picking up one coil.

What damage has been done to the rotor and cap? Cracks can be repaired with 5 minute araldite.



#11 WhiteA9XS

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 01:21 PM

I think the switch on the tacho will be set for 4 cylinder as it would have only been picking up one coil.
What damage has been done to the rotor and cap? Cracks can be repaired with 5 minute araldite.


Agree twin coil pulses as 4 cylinder on tachometer
I had my dentist repair a twin coil dizzy cap with denture glue , worked a treat

#12 nzxu1

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 04:04 PM

Caps are not cracked , just   showing bad tracking in several places on cap and the other   shows one track   on the new one l had as  a spare with me  .  



#13 Shiney005

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 02:42 PM

I don't suppose you could put up a photo? I wasn't aware of tracking, so it would be good to see what it looks like and its consequences. 



#14 EunUCh

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 06:21 PM

a picture of how bad the "tracking" is would help ? , a couple of things can cause "tracking" is moisture , dust or a combination of both.

sometimes there can be some sort of "flaw" over time that makes itself known  where some sort of conductive path can be found for the HT to go , (time /shrinkage of the resin that allows moisture/dust causing an easy way out ) , depending on how bad it is it is usually quite fixable with "modern"  techniques.

basically what happens is when the HT finds a "track" it will tend to follow that track , the result is that we end up with a carbonized track/s

that is the easy way out for the HT to go which causes all sorts of problems ...misfire and crossfire usually.

 



#15 nzxu1

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 07:38 AM

Sorry l can't take a picture   :(   ,  l gave  the L34 caps and rotors to the mechanic who installed the new distributor , he has a test bed and was going to check  them .



#16 piquet

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 09:19 AM

If it is a genuine L34 Tacho there is no switch on the back to change the pulse reading from 6-4-8. The tacho was already preset for 4 cylinder and couldnt be changed without a major rebuild.

Dont take the chance of stuffing the tacho  just disconnect it till you get the L34 dissy and coils back working again as they should.



#17 hanra

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 09:47 AM

Really? Did they make a tacho for 4-6-8 and then another tacho for SL/R with L34 option?



#18 EunUCh

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 05:54 PM

The L34 dizzy only has 4 lumps on it , good chance that the tach. sig. only came from one coil and a 4 cyl. tacho would work just fine.

As said , remove that that wire just in case ?



#19 S pack

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 06:25 PM

I read somewhere that the SL/R tachometer was only switchable between 6 & 8cyl and the tachometer in the optional combined instrument panel for the 4cyl Torana was 4 cyl only.

So would make sense the L34 would use a 4cyl combined instrument panel.



#20 hanra

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 08:35 PM

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