Sign in to follow this  
ThomasBorchers

1947 Lincoln ignition problem

Recommended Posts

Hello,

 

I have still a problem with the ignition of my 1947 Lincoln V12. On the left engine side I have a regularly spark on every spark plug. On the right side I would say I have 90% regularly sparks. So sometimes on every spark plug of the right side a spark is missing. I would perhaps say, 10times a spark, then no, again 10times, no one.

I have a restored distributor, new coil, new condensers… and perhaps I don’t understand the ignition correct. If I see it correct, the two ignition points don’t work just for one side of the motor? So not the left one for the left side and the right one for the right side?

 

Would be great if someone could help me.

 

Kind regards

 

Thomas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Each set of points fires 6 cylinders but there are three plug wires on each side that cross over. I would try changing condensers first or at least swap sides with them to see if the problem changes. Could be cracked rotor or a bad resister .There is two of them ,one for each side of the coil located under the dash on the firewall. Also check for loose or dirty connections including the cap where the plug wires plug in.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Hi Ken,

 

 

thank you for the answer.

 

 

Well, I have tried now 3 sets of condensers. And I tried it already as you said, changed from one side to the other but the problem is just always on the right side of the engine.

 

 

Since I bought a restored distributor I would say, that the rotor should be ok. I have checked also if the plugs of the cables are clean and plugged in into the caps. The only thing I have not checked are the resisters because I didn’t know that they exist. I have found them and will try to check them. Do you now the value of the resistance?

But if the points works crossover, actually I should have then a problem on both sides at 3 Zylinders of the engine?

 

 

Thomas

Edited by ThomasBorchers (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sending your distributor complete with coil and the side caps to someone who can repair them.  I think Skip Haney in Florida does it, and perhaps Jake Fleming in Dallas who has a proper setup to test the distributors and calibrate them for proper operation.  I got a coil rebuilt by Skip some time ago, and it works well.  He actually guts the old coils inside the housing and replaces them with Ford coils and reseals them to get the hottest spark.  Other issues with the distributor need to also be checked off the engine.  I'd check the voltage on the coil terminals that comes from the 2 resistors under the dash.  You need to connect a couple of clip wires to the distributor for remote testing as it's very close to the fan blade! The resistors are of a low Ohm value, but the voltage under load on each side of the coil where the condensers attach is important.  Should be 3-4 volts with the engine running.  You have to have the resistors to limit the voltage/current from the battery so you don't damage the coils.  Your side plates where the plug wires attach also can be problematic.  There was someone who was refurbishing them and making sure there is proper clearance between the rotor posts and the brass pins protruding from the plates for max spark transfer.  Chris Harrel,  (Boos-Harrel) one of the suppliers of parts might have some or could tell you who does the rebuilding.  Also don't overlook putting new plug wires in the system as they also break down, and proper termination of the connectors on each end of the plug wires is very important for connectivity.  If you rebuild the electrical system of the ignition you should return to proper working order!   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Assuming anything rebuilt or restored is correct will always cause you problems. The system is basic and simple. Place the distributor on a Sun tester and check it out. Also LOAD test the ignition coils and condensers. Simple and straightforward. Often times you complaint is caused by a bad bushing in the distributor. Check side to side play of the shaft to see if there is any play, there should be none. I have a distributor tester, if you can’t find anyone local to check it out, contact me after Sept 1 when ai get back from the ACD show, and I’ll help you get it figured out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thanks you bouth for all your hints. I will check out several things. As far as I can remember ( it is more than 10 years ago ) I have bought a rebuild distributor and coil at “Lincoln Motor Car Supply” in Orwell, Vermont. But we have driven the car just 200miles or so and never the ignition problem was really solved.

 

 

Kind regards

 

 

Thomas

Edited by ThomasBorchers (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, little update: I have measured the voltage at first at the terminals of the condensers at idle speed: left: 3.5 volts, right: 3.1 volts. Then at the terminal of the coil where the red leads on it: left 4.0, right 4.6.

Then direct at the resistors: 4.1 and 4.6.  Input 6 Volts, Battery voltage is 6.2 volts ( generator is not charging, the next problem on my list ).

And I checked it again: On the left side of motor I have a regularly, strong spark. On the right side there is mostly a spark but not always and it is not that strong as on the left side.

So this means that I have a connection problem between the two resistors or one resistor has a too high resistance.

And I have to go inside now, it is too hot outside… 🌞🌡️

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An electric fuel pump hooked up to the ignition circuit power can cause voltage and amperage drop. Be sure you are not running a fuel pump on that circuit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

 Looking at everything else you have done and If all connections are tight I would go for a  new set of Champion  H10 plugs a distributor reset by someone who knows what they are doing along with a new coil, rotor and side terminal plates from Jerry Richman. Also plug wires inside steel conduits need to have  good insulation, no cracks. Another source of trouble can be at the ignition switch, check for loose terminal knurled nuts, and worn contacts inside ign. switch.   If it still fusses after that the trouble is somewhere else. 

Edited by 38ShortopConv. (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try measuring voltage on the low side of the coil with the engine running, (being careful of the fan!)  Should be 2-3 volts on each side.  I had a NOS distributor that had a bad spring on the points, took a long time to figure out.  Try to find someone with an old test set that can dial in the distributor, check vacuum advance too.  I've also had sparking at the terminal plate where the wires hook up.  Really messy.

Abe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thanks for all your hints.

 

@ Bwatoe: Well, with cold engine it runs just on 4.0 volts with a strong spark. Heated up then not. And the left side works with 4.6 volts very well with cold and hot engine.  But I have tried what you said with the 6 Volt direct from the battery and then... I had a strong spark.

@edinmass: No eletric fuel pump.

@38ShortopConv.: I checked the spark just with the ignition cable to ground. So the plugs itselfs could not be the problem.

@abelincoln: I have at the condenser terminal left 3.5 volts and right 3.1. On the terminals where the cables come from the restitors to the coil I have right 4.0 and left 4,6volts.

 

The dwell angle is on the right side 35.5° and left 30.5° at all conditions ( cold or warm engine ).

 

Today I have seen that when I have started the engine in cold condition that I have on all plugs ( ignition cables ) a strong spark. But after a while ( 10 to 15min ) all sparks on the right side getting weaker and weaker.

As far as I understand now, works the right condenser and point set for the right side of the engine. And the right part of the coil set also for the right side with its pin close to the engine side on the first part of rotor.

I have seen that the voltage at the coil and condenser is the same with good or weak spark. So actually… I would say that the right part of the ignition coil gets a problem when it heats up? Or something else which works just for the right side. And only with heated up engine. Or ist the 4 Volts which comes from the restistor too less?

 

Well, I try so much as I can myself since here is no one who has experiences with these ignition systems. Perhaps we have here in the country 3 Lincoln V12.

 

Small update from this evening: I changed the two input cables at the coil between the two terminals. Then I had 4.3 Volts. And at first I meant that now the spark on the right side was a bit better and on the left side weaker as before. But after next 10minutes the spark on the right side went weaker and now I had on both sides a weak spark. And tomorrow when everything is cooled down, I will have a perfect spark and good running engine. For 15 to 20 minutes….

 

 

Kind regards

 

 

Thomas

 

Edited by ThomasBorchers (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So it sounds like you  need to get your distributer timed and synchronized. Call Gerry Richmond. Dwell angle should be 36 Degrees both sides. 30.5 Degrees could overheat an old coil and cause a weak spark. May need a new coil as well.  Points need timing and  synchronizing on  LZ engines as they  run a  7 - 1/2 degree lead -  lag  spark from one bank to other to compensate the 75 Degree block. [ it  should be 60 Degrees].  Send distributor away to be  timed and  synchronized, call Gerry.  He has new coils too. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dwell should be at 36 degrees each side and the. Distributor must be synchronized. I have the proper machine to set the distributor up if you need. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

@38ShortopConv. : I understand, but the 30.5 is on the side where I have strong spark. But I understand that there is somewhere a problem in the distributor which I probably can't solve by myself. Is there a possibility to contact Gerry via mail? I am not really good over the phone in English.

@Ken: Thank you for your offer. Could you test also the coil?

Well, today I made another check with “hot” ignition coil. I checked the resistance of the coil but it is still 4,4 kiloOhms on both terminals. Cold or hot makes no difference. And also checked the voltage at the condensers and the coil input. No change if hot or cold. I checked the resistance of the ignition cables: No change if hot or cold.

Or says it nothing that the resistance of the coil is the same if cold or hot? And the coil could be broken?

But it is still the same, after warming up, the spark gets weaker and weaker. If everything is cold, it starts perfect, runs great but after a while… but I can’t imagine that this is a question of timing and synchronisation since the coil doesn’t change its resistance? I don’t understand this all, the distributor was tested as I ordered it and just 100miles or so on the street. Or is it the coil?

I am out of ideas.

Well, the problem is that I have to send the distributor to USA and it is a very long distance. I am afraid, that it could be lost over the long way. In worst case I would have another one but this is for restoration again with no coil.  But it seems that it is the only way to bring the car back on the street for a longer time, not for just 10minutes or so.

Kind regards

Thomas

 

Edited by ThomasBorchers (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  Re edit. Post,,  4400 ohms on secondary and 1240 ohms on primary from memory sounds about average readings .Could still short to ground when hot due to poor insulation. May need new coils.  Condensers could short to ground when hot if faulty. The original condensers can  leak "insulation oil "  if over tightened.  Could replace with modern" pig tail" condensers. From 22 Mf. 
Re 2nd Post Back, 30 .5 degrees  dwell on strong side. Left side points produce spark to  front 3 left side and  back 3 right side. Right side points do front three right side and back 3  left side.  New double  rotor and 2 new  caps could help. 
Early Ford V8 club in Europe may be able to retime your distributor.    Enough from me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thomas, your problem has all of the earmarks of a bad coil, except that you weak spark is only on the right side.

 

A normal resistance check is not a definite test of a bad coil. I use a Snap On model MT335 coil tester to check the coils. ( https://www.ebay.ca/itm/Vintage-Snap-On-Coil-and-Condenser-Tester-Car-Truck-Tractor-Garden-marine-MT-335/293203552634?hash=item44444b297a:g:oeQAAOSwnAJdZY7M ).

 

This tester will check for spark intensity without using the points or condenser in the circuit. It also has a feature to heat the coil and then test the coil hot. You may be able to find a similar tester in the EU for sale or check with local car clubs to see if anyone has one to loan to you. To use it you would remove the coil from the car, connect the tester to the coil, using the coil wire from the resister as the voltage source and test each side of the coil both cold and hot.

 

Your other option is to send the coil to Skip Haney in Florida to have both sides rebuilt. You will still have to have the points serviced somewhere. Skip does have some cores that he can sell, he may have a 12 cylinder distributor and coil.

 

The only part of the ignition system that is isolated to the right side is the inner distributor cap and it should cause problems both cold and hot. You should check the spark on all cylinders by removing each plug wire and holding it close to a head nut. The spark should be blue in color and jump about 12 mm. The main thing to look for is that the spark is the same color and length across all 12 cylinders.

 

Good luck and keep us informed on your progress.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ 38: I edited my post because I made a mistake. The resistance on primary side is 0.9 ohms on both sides. So this should be normal. Condensers are brand new made by Valeo with pig tail as you said.

 

@19tom40: Well, what I found out in the meantime is, that after a longer time of running ( half an hour ) all sparks are really not the best. But on one side a little bit better but not the same as when the coil is cold.

Such a tester is a good thing which I should buy because we have other classic cars.  Heat up function is important.

 

So what I would like to try as a last test is to let the car run until the sparks are weak. Then remove the coil and cool it down as fast as possible. Then replace it and start again. So perhaps I see then if the spark is again better. If not… there is probably be an other problem and I think then I have to send the whole distributor to an US specialist.

 

What I don’t understand is that the dwell is out of adjustment. I bought it as fully tested, cleaned up, new points… ok, seems not that it was the best work.

 

Kind regards

 

Thomas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, I wanted to avoid sending the coil such a long distance. I have seen before that Skip is the first address for this kind of coils.

 

In the meantime I made a test with ice spray and after I have cooled down the coil, the sparks were better again.

 

I am trying here to find a company to restore the coil but it seems that no one wants to do this.

 

Kind regards

 

Thomas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You probably won't find anyone who either knows how to rebuild the coil or is interested in it.  Skip uses new Ford coils to rebuild the coils.  And remember these coils are made of electromagnet wiring......copper wire that is coated with a varnish for insulation just like in transformers.....and over time that can be compromised.  All it takes is a shorted turn of the copper wiring inside the coil to make it malfunction.  When the coil is heated the varnish can be compromised and literally  you have 'shorted turns' within the coil.  You can't fix that, only rebuild the coil with new wiring to restore the original function of the coil.  As to getting lost in shipment, send it to Skip via FedEx insured and he'll  rebuild it for you.  Probably your distributor is working, but getting a correct working coil on it and testing things is the best way.  If you still have trouble with the distributor you can then send it to Skip for rebuilding and calibration the same way you did the coil.  You will be able to log onto FedEx.com and track your package to give you peace of mind where it is located in the system and it will tell you when it is delivered and who signed for it.  This is the only way to get the distributor/coil working and your car running properly!   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sent my coil to Skip's 3 years ago. I had no problem with shipping either way and have not had any issues with the coil. The coil was rebuilt by another vendor twice that stated he could rebuilt it and I had problems with it both times within one year of him rebuilding it.  You may save a little money on the rebuild or shipping but if it's not done correctly you wasted more time and money.  Good luck George.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shipping from Germany is expensive but it should be reliable. I have had several items shipped from England over the past 20 years and never had one lost.

 

There is another option for you, install a coil adapter and use 2 6 volt coils and condensers from a 1949-1955 Ford. In my opinion, the adapters look ugly and detract from the nice clean look of the Lincoln engine compartment.

 

https://www.vintageautogarage.com/1939-1948-Lincoln-Zephyr-Flathead-V12-Coil-Adpt-p/v12ca1.htm?gclid=Cj0KCQjwqs3rBRCdARIsADe1pfR9QwcN2c0bXVIwEwPf98yKuMAhiCLvldKVBxqaijsL_aREnO9EdQ0aAudsEALw_wcB&click=2

 

Another option would be to find a coil for sale in the US and have it shipped to Skip Haney and then onto you. Check with Skip, he may have one that he will sell to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this