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Needing some Uncommon Distrubuter advice.

Discussion in 'Engine & Transmission' started by 68BUS, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. 68BUS

    68BUS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,612
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Hey folks,
    I am just wanting to get some thoughts or advice.
    I have a Dual ignition Pobjoy 1916,
    When it is running well it is great. But I have had a few issues with it and Stan Pobjoy has been really unhelpful to deal with.
    It started with overheating that was confirmed by Custom Vee Dub and Ash Performance (my two mechanics). And also confirmed by all the data online such as The Samba and Ratwell. And Books such as Idiot Guide.

    Stan just keeps saying that his engine's don't overheat and there is no issues. And I am wrong.
    Not asking for money, but advice, so pretty disappointing in an engine builder.

    The latest issue was the Dizzy burnt out and then the coils whilst traveling to Busstop in Mallacoota.
    The local mechanics managed to put a replacement module in the Dizzy and install a single working coil so I could at least get home.
    I asked advice from Stan about the timing etc of the motor, and at first he told me that it should not need to be set. But then after another email he advised that if I look down at the rotor you can line two point up to set timing. But cannot use a timing light as the leads he uses read upto 7degrees out.

    I opened up the dizzy cap yesterday to see if I could find these marks and found that the rotator button has a burnt section in the side wall (Picture below).

    Anyone have an idea what might be causing this? Could it be that it is a dual ignition dizzy but only one coil is working?

    And, given that the dizzy turns out being from a 90's pintara, would you all stick with this technology, or would an electronic ignition system be a better option?
    Something like this https://joeblow.me/products/ignition-systems/mega-spark-ignition-kit-inc-pulley
    (Of course I have know idea how to install it yet??)

    Once again I have asked Stan and all I get back is passive aggressive advice that I should not have touched it. Which, when stuck 2000km from home, unable to get Stan on the phone and having to get my family home, is unfortunately not an option.

    What do you reckon folks? I am not sure how to proceed at the moment. And having the second dizzy burning out (The first one did not have any signs of melting like this one does) I do not feel safe driving it.

    I am tempted to sell the motor and my 1776 to fund a subi conversion at the moment... But really need to work out a more logical and cost effective plan of a attack to get the bus on the road reliably again.

    20190624_151709.jpg
     
  2. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,475
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Hi Brad.
    Might be benifit to add what current system is just in case it makes a difference for any replacement system.
    ie , think you have twin plugs per cyl with coil over each or paired ?
    Cheers
     
  3. 68BUS

    68BUS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,612
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Also,
    Another question I am trying to work out. The bus was overheating badly as stated above. So I fitted a 96 plate external oil cooler.
    Which works brilliantly. On the freeway now the temps are around 90-100degree Celsius and the head temps are 150-195degree Celsius. And stable.
    There is an issue during city driving however, the oil is not getting as hot as I would like. 7.5 litres of oil now and a larger oil pump is obviously doing its job.

    If I was to install two stock cocks in the oil cooler lines which effectively shut the oil cooler itself out of the system when I am doing city driving, would I cause any issues that I am unaware of?
    My thought were, when only doing city driving I would just have the bypass in place permanently. Then when I was going to do a freeway trip I could open both valves and make use of the oil cooler.
    The issue's I see would be if I was to only open or close 1 valve, or if I was using the cooler and closed it while it was still too hot. Might cause issues with expansion / contraction of the system.

    Alternatively, there is a thermo switch for the fan to engage at over 80degree oil temp. Is there such a thing as a valve that opens only when the oil gets upto temp?

    Also, if I only have one valve on the side before the oil cooler, would this work? It would mean the risk of not opening / closing both valves was removed. And the oil pump would pump oil through towards the cooler, and then divert along the bypass route. Some of that oil would then turn towards the cooler, but 90% of the oil flow would be back to the motor as that is where the draw for oil would be coming from. This would also mean the oil in the cooler would be returned to the system all the time, but in a small quantity.

    Hope all of that makes sense. Trying to get my head around this.

    Some photos of the pump from side on and the entry to the cooler. (Best I can do without it being on a hoist).

    20190329_112617.jpg
    20190329_112622.jpg
    20190329_112707.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 27, 2019
  4. 68BUS

    68BUS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,612
    Location:
    Brisbane
    The current system when running correctly is 2 coils. One running the top set of standard plugs. The second running the bottom set of extra plugs.
    The dizzy is from a 90's Pintara which was a 4 cylinder motor with twin spark also.

    Currently the system is only running 1 working coil. The second is still installed but not working. Not sure if this is causing the burnt out issue. Or if there is something else.
     
  5. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,893
    Location:
    Abbotsford NSW
    Brad
    Do you want to keep the twin fire system?

    Have you considered putting a 123 dizzy in and just having one plug connected?

    Even just doing it to get a base line comparison?
     
  6. 68BUS

    68BUS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,612
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Ideally I would like to keep the twin spark. It does drive noticeably different without.
    Much nicer power down low and drives a bit less like a kombi.

    I drove it back from NSW with the single spark. I am sure it is not as good as it could be running on half this dizzy and the timing might not be perfect.
    I may also have been driving cautiously to get home. But I noticed the difference on hills regarding power. Instead o 3rd gear up most hills I was down to 2nd on most.
     
  7. 68BUS

    68BUS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,612
    Location:
    Brisbane
  8. peter drogi

    peter drogi Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    bass hill
    Hey 68 Bus,
    how long have you had the twin spark engine for?
    what are the km this engine has done??
     
  9. rstucke

    rstucke Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,849
    Location:
    Wamberal NSW AUS
    I'm thinking the distributer drive isn't standard on your vw Brad to make it fit a Nissan
     
  10. 68BUS

    68BUS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,612
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Peter. Less then 10,000km.

    Rstucke, not sure what you mean.
    This is standard Stan Pobjoy. Outdated technology seems to be what he does.

    A lot of people think he is the bee's knees. Unfortunately not much info online about the faults and lack of service. I investigated heavily and chose him. Wish I did not now. But thats life...
     
    David H likes this.
  11. peter drogi

    peter drogi Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    bass hill
    68 Bus, now you are scarying me, I also bought twin spark 1916cc motor off Stan,
    Mine is in a 1969 beetle currently , was considering to put it on the road as a daily driver.
    Also was considering swapping it into our kombi power plant.
    My motor has twin Kadrons,I did the same as you, stepped up from 1776 c
    The reason I asked you what mileage , rotors and caps get swapped after xx amount of Klms.
    Since installing the motor I always drive the bug with bottom engine lid propped out.
    My lid has two vents which I consider not enough air for breathing.
    I would get two new coils, same as what was supplied and a new Nissan twin rotor, swap those out, the timing is an issue.
    Can't recall the procedure, but there was a big warning from Stan not to tamper as I recall.
    That's my advise, as you said , when it's working it has great benefits.
    Regards,
    Peter,
     
  12. gazman

    gazman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,899
    Location:
    Perth WA
    Thats 80's technology - the CA20 only had the twin spark setup to meet emissions laws at the time. There are reasons why it didn't catch on (eg cost and reliability^), if it was me I'd swap the ignition system for something more 'conventional'...
     
    Mordred, oldman and Barry like this.
  13. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,893
    Location:
    Abbotsford NSW
    From what I know you can’t “just get” a new Nissan dizzy.
    Well you can - but it then needs to be machined to suit.
    You are either going to have to
    1 get another dizzy through Stan
    2 re-invent the wheel if you want to stay twin spark
    3 convert back to standard VW set up

    What was the problem with the first dizzy?
    Do you still have it?
    I assume the 2nd dizzy camefrom Stan?
    Who installed it and set the timing?
     
  14. 68BUS

    68BUS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,612
    Location:
    Brisbane
    First dizzy just died. No prior warning, first lost power as a reverse surge feeling. (If that makes sense).
    Then a couple of big back fires and it was dead. Rolled to a stop and could not get any spark at all.

    Towed to mechanic and we diagnosed it as zero spark but coils were working. Tried to get Stan on the phone and could not.
    So then we found a dizzy with same codes less the final number. Spoke with a mate who has serviced and sold Nissans for decades and he checked his info and advised it was the same dizzy.
    Got it shipped down and pulled mine to replace it. Except the one from Stan is modified to remove vac advance, different shaft length and the half moon key on the bottom is different.

    In the end pulled the module out and bits and pieces and got mine going again to find coils were knackered. It could be because the mechanic left the ignition on and they burnt out as they are solid state and not a oil filled one which self cools.

    So still have pieced of each dizzy. Timing was set with a timing light as 7degree advance. But Stan has advised that the high performance leads he uses can be upto 7 degree out if using a timing light as they are heavily insulated.

    Had a long chat with Stan this morning again.
    Typical chat too. Asked if I can switch to electronic ignition. He told me no because electronic things fail all the time. And mechanical items are better. But then also said the mechanical items fail too. o_O

    I think that I am going to give up fixing it myself, and take it too my mechanic along with a new rotor button, dizzy module, and 2 coils.
    Then buy a second set of all of these and keep them in the bus for next time.

    Still no idea why it went pop. And no idea why there is a hole burnt in the current dizzy.

    But the motor with the twin spark is really nice to drive. So I don't think I can give up on that.
    And if it all fails again maybe I have to try an electronic system.

    But I know for certain, if someone offered the right money for the bus I would be getting rid of it the way I am feeling about it at the moment.
     
  15. 68BUS

    68BUS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,612
    Location:
    Brisbane
    In my personal experience, they bus is not providing enough cooling for the motor. I know he says they don't overheat but both mine and Niko's (on DSK) were overheating in a similar fashion.
    He fixed his by installing a porsche 356 pulley in place of the VW one. It is smaller and the result is the fan now turns a fair bit faster providing cooling to the doghouse cooler.
    He is in Melbourne though. I have not been down there but assume that QLD freeway ambient temps are much higher which is why I chose to go the oil cooler option.

    It would be awesome in a beetle through!
    Goes well in the bus when it is working. Still suffers a bit from hills, but not too much. And on the flat it has a lot of power.
    Generally we have a reasonable load in it too.
     
  16. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,613
    Location:
    Avalon Beach NSW
    Have to disagree with that observation Brad....
    I've been running an EI module (points replacement unit) for over 8 years now, without a hiccup.....timing has NEVER altered in all that time.....and I do a lot of miles in all sorts of driving conditions.
    Critical to longevity of these modules is quality of unit and proper air-gap when installed.
    Quite a few horror stories on KC about units installed by owners failing due to lack of attention to detail.
    Good luck with your outcome.
    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  17. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,893
    Location:
    Abbotsford NSW
    The standard Nissan device should be ok.
    There are no horror stories of mass failures of that dizzy
     
  18. 77/kombi/surfer

    77/kombi/surfer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,055
    Location:
    Budgewoi N.S.W. AUSTRALIA
    Yours is a tricky one...might be worth a chat with Andrew the volksdoctor about your disy,
    Hes a guru on that stuff!!
    good luck anyways......
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
  19. 68BUS

    68BUS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,612
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Mark. I agree.
    I think I will give the module replacement one last go then change.
    Mainly because i cannot afford the electronic unit and a decent auto electricions help at the moment.
    They do look like a good option though. And i woukd assume easier to find people who understand them as they are current technology amd not a mechanical item that only older mechanics know inside amd out.
     
    oldman likes this.
  20. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,475
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    So Stan can't supply a replacement unit or parts?
     

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