Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Healey Distributor Cap, Phase 2

Forum to discuss Austin Healey Sports Cars

  1. #1
    Jedi Trainee
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Fleming Island, Florida
    Posts
    261
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Healey Distributor Cap, Phase 2

    Some may remember my recent jabber about my inability to get the carbon bit out of my BN7's distributor cap so I could attach the coil wire from a new Lucas ignition wire kit. Briefly, the Moss side-entry caps from Taiwan (at least the last one was so marked) upon delivery have enough of the carbon bit protruding so that it can be removed for the wire installation. However, once that piece is pushed back into its hole, only a nub is exposed, and that nub defies removal. I learned this the hard way. Because the attachment clip on the fender side of my distributor will not snap over the ledge on new caps, I use a Dremel-type tool to lower that ledge. That extra bit of handling and seating the six plug wires somehow pushed the carbon bit into a replacement cap, and I damaged it (spider cracks) while trying to get it out as described above.
    So, (still another) new cap in hand, I removed the carbon piece and its spring and installed all of the wires. Two of them did not provide continuity with a multi-tester. Upon examination of the cap interior, it was noted that the brass bits on those two wires were backing out of their seats. We gingerly applied a small c-clamp to push the brass bits back in place. While re-inserting the wires, one of us (yes, I had an assistant) used a screwdriver to hold the brass fittings down in place while the screws that penetrate the wires were snugged. Car still did not start.
    Removed cap, replaced rotor (I have the rivetless kind) and the car started and ran perfectly. Actually, my associate had one plug out to check for spark and got shocked, but the car started on five cylinders. Consoled assistant. Removed the new replacement rotor, cleaned a tiny bit of grease from the inside base of the original rotor, installed it, and the car again started and ran perfectly. This process all began because I thought I wasn't able to get my SUs properly adjusted. I was getting erratic running, and that seemed to change while underway and day to day. A wiser head in our Healey club suggested changing the ignition wires. I doubted that would work, but found the idea more plausible when a resistance check on the old carbon or graphite wires showed a lot of resistance, the new Lucas (wire) wires no resistance.
    This process was unnerving to me partially because I knew my distributor was installed 180 degrees out and I was loathe to rotate it into the correct orientation. And I was also afraid that I had somehow reinstalled the wires in the wrong position. There are quite a few lessons in all of this. Checking your wire resistance and removing the carbon bit and its spring until you are ready to replace the rewired cap are a couple of them. Make sure you get continuity and the brass pieces aren't extruding themselves. How beneficial were the new wires? The car had historically run quite well, with good power. It now seems to run better than ever.
    Owner of a 1960 BN7 with Toyota 5 speed and a '92 Porsche 968 coupe. Former owner '62 Jaguar MK2, MG-TF brought back from military service in Italy 1958, '61 Healey BT7, pre-A Porsche 356, and a Porsche 944.

  2. #2
    Yoda
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    California USA
    Posts
    3,205
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    4
    Thanked in
    4 Posts

    Re: Healey Distributor Cap, Phase 2

    "99% of carburettor problems are ignition." Anonymous, but oft-quoted mechanic.

  3. #3
    Darth Vader John Turney's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    2,861
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    3
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Healey Distributor Cap, Phase 2

    Thanks for the feedback. It helps us all learn.
    John, BN4

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •