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Still not happy with the car's performance. Have ironed out most of the issues but the engine does not have as much power as it should, or even as much as it did on the drive up from Melbourne (before I started screwing around with it!!)Basically, it feels like the engine is struggling a bit, reaches maximum revs very quickly and is not as smooth as I would like. Top speed is only around 80 kms with the engine feeling like it is at full revs.

To summarise: Red 138 engine from LC Torana. Have replaced carby with rebuilt unit and installed a Chinese HEI dizzy along with the correct coil. Originally I set timing at 5 BTDC but found after some tweaking that it seems to run a little better at around 8-10 BTDC.

What I am thinking now is that the Chinese dizzy may not have enough mechanical advance, being a cheap copy as it is. I think total advance should be around 36-40 degrees at full revs, but I have no way of measuring this as I don't have an advancing timing light. If I measure the diameter of the balancer, and mark off a mark 1/10th of the diameter behind the original mark on the balancer that will be 36 degrees, and that should then hit the TDC marker at full revs.

Does this sound right? And other suggestions would be welcome. Cheers

Comments

I reckon the problem is the dizzy itself. If you have the original dizzy, why not put that back in and try it. You did say it ran better before you played around with it. Being chinese and cheap is two against it being any good.

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Cheers
Keith

you dont need an advancing timing light,disconnect and plug the vac advance then increase engine revs with your light on the balancer and watch how far it goes.,you can wrap some masking tape with felt pen marks to go beyond the normal range of the balancer.

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WHAT? no gravy?

Good news...you dont need an adjustable timing light :).
Hook up a normal light and point it at the balacer, bring up the revs. The mark will start to move away down the pulley as the revs rise. The mark heads down the pulley and touches the fan belt. This is approx 32 to 36 degrees.
....or...grab a protractor and mark the balancer 36 degrees further around from the TDC mark, hook up light, rev up and your new mark should come around to TDC...

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Q-ball.

"Clay is for racing on,Tar is how you get there!!"
[http://gallery.oldho...|My Shed]
3401

Is the rear brake adjustment correct after recent settings? May be slightly dragging.

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throw the dizzy over your shoulder . go buy a electronic commodore dizzy from a 3.3 blue motor - no more troubles, or put the points dizzy back in as anything is better than those chinnese made dizzies

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I will have to start checking wreckers - they seem hard to come by. In the meantime will make sure the total advance is right with is one

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Dave H - Sydney
[http://gallery.oldho...|My Shed] - 1963 EJ Special - Ti Tree Green

no. leave the original one in it but replace the points with an optical sensor kit. around $35 and you dont disturd ignition curve. people think they are all interchangable but the curves vary alot.

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a "dial back"timing light can be used to reset to zero after the engine is running,even though its at say 5 degrees,,you can then see your advance degrees without having to do math in your head,,like how hard is it to subtract 5 or whatever from any number?its a yank lazy thing and more tech for the sake of more tech.

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WHAT? no gravy?

Thanks for the advice. Yeah, I know it's a cheap dizzy but it does produce a nice fat spark and I am just wondering if the mechanical advance just isn't enough for the engine. Brakes are adjusted ok, no drag. I will mark the balancer at 36 degrees (shood be easy, 1/10 of the total diameter) and see how much total advance I have. Am I right in thinking it should be at least 35 but no more than about 40? Also, should I check the total advance with vacuum connected or blocked off? I think at high revs there is no vacuum anyway yeah?

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Dave H - Sydney
[http://gallery.oldho...|My Shed] - 1963 EJ Special - Ti Tree Green

lay the masking tape just past the tdc mark,then rotate the balancer to the index marks on the case,with a felt pen mimick where they are on the tape,itll give you a fair idea,,if your spark is scattering all over the place at steady rpm like say 2500 that chong wee laughing horse dissy is cactus out of the box,as most of them are,,a fat spark is easy having it accurate is harder.

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WHAT? no gravy?

The mark does sit nice and steady at all revs, and moves down the pulley smoothly on acceleration. It's just that I don't know how far, which is why I will check the total advance tomorrow. Cheers

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Dave H - Sydney
[http://gallery.oldho...|My Shed] - 1963 EJ Special - Ti Tree Green

"which is why I will check the total advance tomorrow"

Good move.

Check Mechanical and Vacuum Advance individually by unplugging and reconnecting the Vacuum at 2000 RPM.

The Timing Mark *must* move to reflect the change in connection.

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T

My Shed

Holdenpaedia, they're the brakes Mate.

The big fat spark may also be jumping from the coil lead and numbers 1 and 5 plug leads
across to that heater(?) hose you have running past the dizzy.
I prefer 32-34 deg total advance.

Jeff.

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Can you explain this? Can a spark jump to a rubber hose? Should I move it away from the leads?

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Dave H - Sydney
[http://gallery.oldho...|My Shed] - 1963 EJ Special - Ti Tree Green

Automotive rubber hoses also contain carbon, a good conductor of electricity. I would re-route the hose.

Jeff.

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You say its flat out at 80
have you checked to see what diff centre is in it
if it still has the EJ centre 3.89 80 is about all you'll get out of it
try change the centre to EH 3.55 it will be a lot better

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Where is the ratio marked so I can check?

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Dave H - Sydney
[http://gallery.oldho...|My Shed] - 1963 EJ Special - Ti Tree Green

Here ... http://holdenpaedia....

While you don't need a 3.55, it would show benefits.

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T

My Shed

Holdenpaedia, they're the brakes Mate.

Am I right in thinking that the red motor cars have a different pinion flange that hooks up to the rear uni than the grey motor cars? In which case I would need to change the uni on my new Tailshaft? The one on there now attaches with four small bolts

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Dave H - Sydney
[http://gallery.oldho...|My Shed] - 1963 EJ Special - Ti Tree Green

I think you have the option of cross-fitting the Pinion Yoke to match your Uni Joint.

It's true later Models use the Horseshoe Bolts on the Rear Uni.

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T

My Shed

Holdenpaedia, they're the brakes Mate.

You have Adequate Spark if:

1. The Engine starts OK.
2. It doesn't Gag under initial acceleration.
3. It doesn't Gag when you floor it in Top Gear.

All these symptoms indicate Weak Spark.

The higher the Engine Load (e.g wide Throttle and low RPM) the more Spark Energy the Ignition has to produce to jump the Plug Gaps.

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T

My Shed

Holdenpaedia, they're the brakes Mate.

Starts fine, acceleration fine, no "gagging" as you say. It just seems to be straining, doesn't have as much power as it should when putting your foot down in top.

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Dave H - Sydney
[http://gallery.oldho...|My Shed] - 1963 EJ Special - Ti Tree Green

"Starts fine, acceleration fine, no "gagging" as you say."

Good News.

I agree with everyone that Advance is the likely cause and is the first thing I would check.

It might be a good time to consider converting to the genuine Bosch System. These have the correct male High Energy Plug Connections on the Distributor ( as opposed to female as shown in your Shot).

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T

My Shed

Holdenpaedia, they're the brakes Mate.

I'd be happy to upgrade to the real thing if I could find one - only reason I went with the Chinese one is I couldn't find any genuine BoscheHEI's around when I searched online. Can someone point me to a place I could score one, preferably refurbished.

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Dave H - Sydney
[http://gallery.oldho...|My Shed] - 1963 EJ Special - Ti Tree Green

I bought a few of them from EBay in good shape for $50.
They seem to come and go in Spates.

The ironic thing these days is you could probably get an entire blue or black Engine for free with one fitted to it.

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T

My Shed

Holdenpaedia, they're the brakes Mate.

Performance ignition will do you one and curved to suit your motor, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for

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Thanks for the tip - have asked them to quote for a new dizzy

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Dave H - Sydney
[http://gallery.oldho...|My Shed] - 1963 EJ Special - Ti Tree Green

Also check the Alternator Voltage at high RPM.

Because the Spark Rate increases with RPM a drop in Voltage can leave the Ignition starving.

As soon as you close the Throttle the Spark Rate drops along with the need for max Spark which can mask the Low Voltage Problem.

Consider fitting a Dash Voltmeter.

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T

My Shed

Holdenpaedia, they're the brakes Mate.

Here's the genuine HEI Distributor Cap ... http://holdenpaedia....

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T

My Shed

Holdenpaedia, they're the brakes Mate.

its a 138 for crying out loud,,if i drove yours id think theres deffinatley something wrong with it,,but there aint,,thats how they go,its a small but heavy old tech engine,smooth and thats all.

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WHAT? no gravy?

138....ride the old pushy faster :P

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Cheers,

Emu

O.H.T.C. original member

lol dont knock the 138 there a great engine
mine will cruize all day at 120 k no probs

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put a standard dizzy back in it mate

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Yes I'm starting to wonder. I might try the original back in and see. I think the new coil will be too powerful for it, so would have to reinstate the original coil too I guess.

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Dave H - Sydney
[http://gallery.oldho...|My Shed] - 1963 EJ Special - Ti Tree Green

red 138,s never had much power-good fuel economy though.i used one in a hk once for about 3 weeks,the poor little thing was gutless in the hk but fine in a light torana.

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Well, I measure the diameter of the balancer - 15.2 cms. Worked out this is 47.75 circumference. Marked off a spot 4.77 around from TDC mark which would be exactly 36 degrees. Ran her up, popped on the strobe, gave her full revs and the second mark moved up nice and smoothly to be exactly where the TDC mark was at idle.

Now here's the question: Should the second mark move up to where the original mark was, or just up to the TDC mark on the indicator?

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Dave H - Sydney
[http://gallery.oldho...|My Shed] - 1963 EJ Special - Ti Tree Green

Just thinking this through - if the mark I made 36 degrees below the grooved mark comes up past the TDC mark on the indicator, then this means I'm getting more than 36 degrees total advance I think. It should just sit on the TDC mark. If it comes up to match the original, then that means I have 10 degrees initial, PLUS 36 degrees mechanical = 46 degrees, which is way too much. Am I right?

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Dave H - Sydney
[http://gallery.oldho...|My Shed] - 1963 EJ Special - Ti Tree Green

OK, So I read this n an article online:

"Total timing is the term given to the highest amount of advance. This is when the initial timing is added to the mechanical timing. For instance, if an engine has 10° of initial combined with 21° of mechanical, the total timing is 31° BTDC. Note that Total timing never includes vacuum advance."

So I disconnected Vac Advance line and plugged it off. Then ran the test again and this time the 36 degree mark came up to the TDC pointer and stayed there. So......does this mean I have 36 degrees total advance, which is exactly what it should be? If so, the cheap Chinese dizzy is doing exactly what it's meant to and behaving perfectly.

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Dave H - Sydney
[http://gallery.oldho...|My Shed] - 1963 EJ Special - Ti Tree Green

Sounds a good check of the Mechanical Advance.

An absence of Vacuum Advance causes a Street Car to be a real Slug off the mark and to lose pickup in every Gear.

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T

My Shed

Holdenpaedia, they're the brakes Mate.

for future reference, if anyone else needs to check their total advance, i find the easiest way to mark the dissy is to get the balancer to TDC, then wind the motor over BACKWARDS so the timing mark is at 10 deg BTDC. where the "zero" mark now is, mark the balancer, this is now 10 deg BTDC. repeat with the new mark at 10 BTDC for 20, then again at 30, and 40 deg BTDC. then you will be able to check easily with a standard type timing light and no need to do any measurements of the balancer etc etc.

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and by the way, if i was you trying to troubleshoot i would just road test the ej pulling over to advance the timing a bit at a time until it pings or goes slower...

remembering that a 138 is just 2.2 litres, would you expect a 2.2 litre 4 cylinder motor to make a heavy-ish car go that well??

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Well, just took her for a run down the Old Princes Highway to Helensburgh and back. She ran fine, not sure of top speed as my speedo is not very accurate, but what I think was about 90k was fairly easy and smooth. Pulls strongly up hills in top gear and overall was very good.

The only problem now is in the lower rev range, eg in top gear at lower revs in a line of traffic about 50k. Engine sounds "beaty", kind of like it's missing a little. Once you increase the revs this smooths out. Any ideas?

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Dave H - Sydney
[http://gallery.oldho...|My Shed] - 1963 EJ Special - Ti Tree Green

further to this some remove the vacuum advance thinking its like some smog thing and hampers power,,youll gain more power and economy with the vacuum hooked up,as soon as you floor it and vacuum drops so will the advance,,,it mostly comes into work at cruise situations and light throttle load where vacuum is high,this is where you gain economy with the advance being higher.

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WHAT? no gravy?

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