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Thread: Rough running TR6 = Pertronix?

  1. #1
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    Rough running TR6 = Pertronix?

    Hi,

    I put a pretronix ignitor in my 6 recently and my first real drive with it, 45 mins to work on Monday, car ran very well. However a few minutes before getting home the car started to run rough.

    The car runs fine for about 15 minutes or so, then it will run rough below about 2200 rpm, kind of like the dwell is off a bit.

    Could this be the pretronix?

    I used to have a MSD6 in it, and it would over heat in stop and go traffic causing the car to rough very rough, until the MSD cooled down. I wonder if this is a simmilar problem. Monday's drive was not stop and go, and no overheating was happening.

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    Great Pumpkin Brosky's Avatar
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    Re: Rough running TR6 = Pertronix?

    Rooster,

    I don't know if this will help or not, but here it is:
    Paul Rego
    S.E. MASS - USA
    1974 TR6 Mimosa & Chestnut
    Original Owner / Non Original Car
    1980 TR8 Lava Red Pearl / Tan
    New Owner / Non Original Car

    My TR6 Resto-Mod Project

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    Re: Rough running TR6 = Pertronix?

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for that.

    I think that test is to be used to indicate if the unit has a bad sensor. In which case I think that the car would not run at all . In my case the engine revs freely when there is no load, and runs rough once the car has been driven for a while.

    It might not be the pertronix that is the problem, but since I just installed it, it's the first thing I'm looking at as the possible culprit.

    I'm wondering if any one else has ever had a simmilar problem with the pertronix?

  4. #4
    RonMacPherson
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    Re: Rough running TR6 = Pertronix?

    Can't tell you about the pertronix, as I have run Allison/Crane for over 15 years no problem. So you might want to take a quick look at the fuel filter, fuel pressure and volume, just to see if a problem crops up there. All I can suggest with the Pertonix is contact them and see what they say.

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    Jedi Trainee pa297pass's Avatar
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    Re: Rough running TR6 = Pertronix?

    Hi Rooster:

    What you are describing are the same symptoms I had on my TR6 when the ignition coil went bad. The car only acted up after it got hot. Took me a while to find it as I thought it was a fueling issue at first, but a new coil solved the problem.

    Good luck with your diagnosis and fix.

    Matt

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    Yoda
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    Re: Rough running TR6 = Pertronix?

    Good point on the coil Matt.

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    Re: Rough running TR6 = Pertronix?

    Hi Matt,

    I put in a new coil at the same time as the pertronix. The new coil is a pretonix flame thrower. I still have the old one, so I can give it a try tonight. At least it's an easy swap.

    Thanks.

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    Great Pumpkin Brosky's Avatar
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    Re: Rough running TR6 = Pertronix?

    Did you re-gap your plugs at .035" when you did the installation of the coil and ignition? If so, you may want to back them off to .030" or .028".
    Paul Rego
    S.E. MASS - USA
    1974 TR6 Mimosa & Chestnut
    Original Owner / Non Original Car
    1980 TR8 Lava Red Pearl / Tan
    New Owner / Non Original Car

    My TR6 Resto-Mod Project

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    Jedi Knight roofman's Avatar
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    Re: Rough running TR6 = Pertronix?

    It seems like every "new" part I put on my car complicates something else. I have a new pertronics, and coil on my shelf now, but get paranoid when my car is running good to mess with it.


    Current car: 1980 Triumph Spitfire
    Past cars: 1975 Triumph Spitfire, 1973 Austin Mini,
    (2) 1969 TR6's, (2) 1972 TR6's, 1975 TR6, 1977 TR7, 1969 GT6+

  10. #10
    RonMacPherson
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    Re: Rough running TR6 = Pertronix?

    Okay, you mentioned you put a coil in it. What about the rotor and center terminal(spring carbon) in the distributor cap. Next time it starts running rough, with a pair of insulated pliers, might want to pull one of the plug wires away from a plug and see what quality of spark you're getting. Then take a good look at the inside of the distributor cap and rotor. Make sure the blade on the rotor is tight, the rotor is tight on the distributor shaft and the carbon brush in the cener of the distributor cap extends slightly(and compresses when you push it in). Just some troubleshooting suggestions.

  11. #11

    Re: Rough running TR6 = Pertronix?

    Quote Originally Posted by rooster
    Hi Matt,

    I put in a new coil at the same time as the pertronix. The new coil is a pretonix flame thrower. I still have the old one, so I can give it a try tonight. At least it's an easy swap.

    Thanks.
    Seems to me the Pertronix Flame Thrower is a 12 volt coil. Does the TR6 use a 12 Volt Coil or a 6 volt Coil??

    I find this is a typical mistake when people buy new coils.
    Glenn A. Merrell ,,, a.k.a. StagByTriumph
    TTA North American Charity Drive 2009 Coordinator,TriumphStag.net administrator/owner, past Chair & Pres of TSC USA 2001-2009
    "The best trophies are: miles on the odometer, stone chips in the paint, dead bugs on the windshield, and the occasional smell of manure!"

  12. #12
    RonMacPherson
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    Re: Rough running TR6 = Pertronix?

    Bein' as how every TR6 came from the factory as a 12 car(at least those sold to North America) The coil, hopefully, is 12 volt.

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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Rough running TR6 = Pertronix?

    Hello Ron,

    certainly all Triumph TR6's are 12 volt systems, but Triumph used a ballast resistor coil set up on many of their models, (Not just the TR6) as an aid to starting.
    It works by putting a resistance in series with the coil feed so the coil voltage running was about 8 volts. On start, this resistor was shorted out by the starter solenoid and gave full battery voltage to the coil. Although this voltage was dragged down a bit by the starter motor,the cioil did not effectively recieve a low voltage as it is a low voltage coil.
    A very simple system although difficult to explain in just a couple of words.

    I'm not so sure that this is Rooster's problem though as I would expect low HT voltage to affect running higher up the rev range rather than lower as the voltage requirement at the plugs goes up as engine load goes up, rather than low down.

    Alec

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    Re: Rough running TR6 = Pertronix?

    Hi,

    I didn't realize that this would genrate so much interest!

    Here's an update on my situation.

    I have new plugs gapped at .035 ( as per the manual) and new plug wires, new cap and new rotor. I decided the new rotor was garbage so I put the old one back on, it looks to be ok shape.

    When I got home last night, I measured the dwell of the pertronix, and it was 25 degrees.

    I removed the pretronix and installed a new set of points, set them to about 39 degrees and the car purrs like a kitten [img]/bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif[/img] . With points the car usually runs well at about 40 degrees give or take a degree or 2 (I have difficulty setting the dwell that accuratly ). Anyhow at least the problem is now isolated to be something to do with the pertronix.

    I wonder if I have the wrong pertoninx unit? I got the one that pertronix said was for a lucas 22 dist.

    Or do I have to make an adjustment to the timing to account for the difference in the dwell, given that the pertronix has a dwell of 25 degrees?

    Is there any one else who is running a pertronix on their 6, can tell me the model and measure the dwell that it gets?

    Thanks

    Todd

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    Great Pumpkin Brosky's Avatar
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    Re: Rough running TR6 = Pertronix?

    What is your base timing at idle (with vacuum line disconnected & plugged) and total advance at 2500-3000RPM read?

    Also, the spark plug gap is supposed to be .025" from the factory manual, not .035". Many try opening up the gap to .035" when they install the Pertronix and it may work well for some, but others have the car run very well at .025".

    Ask me how I know that.

    I had the same issues when hot after installing the Pertronix, whereby the car would buck and hesitate on acceleration under a load when hot. Ran great when cold. Timing must be reset after the install, no matter what the instructions say.

    I cured it by doing the following:

    Set base timing at idle (850-900RPM) at 14-16 BTDC.

    Set plug gap at .025"

    Cheap and easy items to try and you may be surprised with the results.
    Paul Rego
    S.E. MASS - USA
    1974 TR6 Mimosa & Chestnut
    Original Owner / Non Original Car
    1980 TR8 Lava Red Pearl / Tan
    New Owner / Non Original Car

    My TR6 Resto-Mod Project

  16. #16
    RonMacPherson
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    Re: Rough running TR6 = Pertronix?

    Okay Alec,
    You seem to be aware that some TR6's did come with a ballast resistor, however operating voltage was supposed to be in the neighborhood of 9 to 9.5 volts. The coil for all is still 12 volts. Supplied voltage may not be 12 volts. Plus a lot of high performance coils, Crane, Jacobs, Mallory want 12 volts supplied to the coil.

    I am not too familiar with Pertronix, from what little I've read of it, it reminds me of a system from Southern California about 20 years ago that was sold by Bill Hays. I believee it was called Stinger, or something like that.
    Almost every optical and hei ignition that I know of requires 12 volts, if it is a twelve volt system. They advise you to remove any resistors. Course I don't go out and expose myself to every ignition there is on the market anymore, but I do have some familiarity with a lot of them.
    As far as the 25 degrees dwell goes, that is an arbitrary number with electronic ignitions. With point ignitions the dwell was integral with what the point gap was and mighty important for proper coil saturation. WIth the electronics of today(and going back to GM's HEI of the early 80's) most are in the area of 25-30 degrees of dwell.

    So we may be trying to help explain things to each other that the other knows full well. I do, better than I write, frequently.

    A little background so that you might be able to understand me. I am a Recertified Master CMAT tech, member of IATN. Was line tech, shop foreman at Honda/Acura/Mercedes Benz stores, with a little Porsche and Pontiac, Alfa, Ferrari, Subaru, Fiat, Datsun and VW thrown in at multi line dealerships;one I ran the diagnostic center, roller chassis dyno, full scope set up,etc. Since I started turning wrenches as a full time profession in 1969. I have become a mechanical breakdown inspector, documenting and verifying automotive, motorcycle, and some boat failures for extended warranty insurance companies and some forensics(burns, air bags, etc). I have owned and taken care of my Tr6's after my 54 XK 120M and 40 Ford Couple Deluxe, with Baja in 69 and most of a season as sole mechanic for a two car Formula Three team in Europe in 1972. So I am always open to learning new information and different applications, but I consider myself fairly well versed in the basic design and implementation of the systems found in the TR6's.

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    Re: Rough running TR6 = Pertronix?

    Hi Paul,

    You are right, it's .025, I just double checked and I did set my gap to .025. I must have had .035 in my head when I wrote the above post.

    I don't know what my timing or advance is at. I don't have a timing light. I've been meaning to get one, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Should I get one with an advance/retard adjustment on it or is a standard one ok?

    Once I get one, (probably in a few days) I'll check the timing and adjust the timing like the way you did.

    Thanks for your help.

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    Re: Rough running TR6 = Pertronix?

    Hi Folks,

    About the coil...it's a 12v one.

    There are 2 12v coils for our cars that we can get from pertronix.

    There is a 3 ohm one, that does not use a ballast resistor, and there is a 1.5 ohm one that does require a ballast resistor.

    Unfortunatly the pertronix web site isn't very clear on this and I first got the 1.5 ohm one, thought is was the incorrect one and then got the 3 ohm one. Of course the 3 ohm one does not use a ballast so I ended up having to add a wire to bypass the ballast resistor. It's not a big deal, but annoying just because the way it was written on the pertronix site you'd think that the 3 ohm coil is the correct one but in reality its the 1.5 ohm one that we should be using.

    Clear as mud ain't it.

    Cheers

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    Re: Rough running TR6 = Pertronix?

    I like the advance models. These are subject to personal preference and can be the topic of much debate.

    Depending on your budget, you can go as high as $500 for a Snap On unit. A decent basic light that just does timing which is all you technically need, is about $40 at Sears and their advance model is $70. One problem with these is that they don't read correctly with Magnecor wires, which I just found out tonight, so mine will be going back. They are just fine with normal wires. I don't want to swap a wire if I want to play with my settings.

    I'm giving a lot of thought to one of the newer digital units that has everything on the monitor and will do voltage, rpm and dwell, as well as total advance with te rpm reading. I'm probably going to order this unit tonight:

    http://www.etoolcart.com/index.asp?P...OD&ProdID=4683
    Paul Rego
    S.E. MASS - USA
    1974 TR6 Mimosa & Chestnut
    Original Owner / Non Original Car
    1980 TR8 Lava Red Pearl / Tan
    New Owner / Non Original Car

    My TR6 Resto-Mod Project

  20. #20
    RonMacPherson
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    Re: Rough running TR6 = Pertronix?

    I've got one, one works good. Not the same name. Same system though. Believe this outfit "packages" in about three different names. Just like Sun used to do for Snap-On, Blue-Point, etc.

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