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Author Topic: Electronic alternative to distributor on 2000 carb Beta  (Read 3869 times)
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mangocrazy
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« on: October 21, 2019, 10:55:50 PM »

I've been giving some thought recently to the ignition side of the 2000 Beta motor I am so laboriously rebuilding, and was wondering if there is a fairly simple (plug and play would be lovely) alternative to the block-mounted distributor on the carb 2000 model. Ideally I would like a unit that provided the standard advance curve (or allowed it to be programmed in), with the option to modify it to a degree (pardon the pun).

It would obviously also need to provide the distributor function but would all be done in solid state, rather than using counterweights and springs. Does such a thing exist, and if so does anyone have any recommendations? It would also need to interface with the MSD Ignition box and coil I have and am intending to fit. My Beta is one of the later S2FL models with electronic ignition, but still uses the block-mounted dizzie.

I'm a complete dunce on these matters, so apologies if what I'm asking is painfully obvious...
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Neil-yaj396
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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2019, 07:36:27 AM »

Do Eric Weston's mods involve a non block distributor? (Eric?)
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smithymc
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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2019, 05:09:47 PM »

I think I would ask H & H Ignition services - they converted my dizzie to contactless while refurbing it and am sure they would do more high tech options, but yes, Eric is an invaluable source of course.

Mark



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mangocrazy
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« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2019, 06:18:29 PM »

I've contacted H&H ignition and they sound as if they can do exactly what is needed, even subtly tweaking the internal mechanism to take advantage of any engine mods I will have done. They say that the distributor will be returned to absolutely as new condition. Thanks for the heads-up! I'd still like to hear what Eric has to say on this, and be made aware of any programmable options, but at least I know I can return the distributor to as-new condition, with the option of some tweaks.
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1980 Lancia Beta Spider 2000 (S2FL)
2002 VW Transporter T4
2017 KTM Duke 690R
2008 Aprilia SL1000 Falco
1992 Ducati 888 SP3
1988 Honda VFR750F
1980 Yamaha RD350LC
WestonE
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« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2019, 07:30:30 PM »

Hi Neil

It all depends of course! I would use a trigger wheel and a wasted spark coil pack with a sensor on the carb spindle and an ignition ECU on a tuned engine running win carbs. This is the modern version of the Fiat Stada Abarth set up with 3d mapped ignition curves and no distributor to fail.

Trigger Wheel .com provide a lot to help do this.

Eric
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mangocrazy
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« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2019, 01:23:57 PM »

Thanks for the reply, Eric - this is a whole new area for me! Having looked at Trigger-wheels.com I was pleasantly surprised by the prices of trigger wheels and coilpack kits, although I'm not sure what else I will need and where I would source the parts from. I'm also not sure how the parts you mention would interface with ignition parts I've already bought. These are an MSD 6AL ignition box and matching MSD Blaster 2 coil. Would these be compatible with the trigger wheel setup you mention?
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1980 Lancia Beta Spider 2000 (S2FL)
2002 VW Transporter T4
2017 KTM Duke 690R
2008 Aprilia SL1000 Falco
1992 Ducati 888 SP3
1988 Honda VFR750F
1980 Yamaha RD350LC
WestonE
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« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2019, 08:40:05 PM »

Hi Graham

Stay with what you have BUT check with H&H that the sensor (optical, Hall effect or moving magnet) in the distributor they are doing for you will work with the coil and amplifier. Get a vacuum advance on the distributor if you can it is the only way it will be able to sense engine load unless they have some form of Map sensor needing a connection to the inlet manifold. Ask how will the advance curve by modeled for your car and how is it changed and by who if it is not a good match for the engine. Can it be set up at a rolling road and who do they recommend who knows how to do it?

The reason for 3D mapped ignition is to provide ignition advance appropriate to engine load and speed across the full rev and load range. This gives the best possible power economy and starting. The 36 - 1 tooth trigger wheel gives accurate engine speed and either a MAP (manifold pressure sensor) or TPS throttle position sensor gives engine load even better there is an engine temperature sensor and ignition is corrected for that. You need an ECU wired to do this and rolling road time setting up the map. Megajolt/ Megasquirt are cheapest then Canems.

When Darren Cooksey did the Stealth IE he used an Emerald K6 ECU which is what I used on Fuel injected tuned Twin Cams before the complexity of Supercharging and needing individual cylinders trims, coil per cylinder and sequential injection. A wasted spark coil is normally used with off the shelf plug leads. There are no moving points to wear out, burn or slip. Modern cars use a coil on plug per cylinder to remove the HT lead and provide individual cylinder ignition trimming when required. On my supercharged Montecarlo I use GM LS1 individual cylinder coil packs with short custom HT leads and a Link Fury ECU for individual cylinder ignition and injection settings alongside additional injectors outbound of the Abarth Volumetrico R10(037) Supercharger.  

Fitting this stuff is basic engineering fabrication and wiring by following the diagram in the manual and reading the book by Dave Walker to reduce the errors.  


I hope this provides a little light on the mystery of mapped ignition.

Cheers

Eric    
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mangocrazy
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« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2019, 10:16:54 PM »

Phew! Thanks, Eric - a very detailed exposition... It certainly arms me with some questions to ask H&H. I also have a distributor with vacuum advance fitted (I think it was from a carb 1600 engine), so maybe that might be a better option for them to use as a basis (unless they can supply vacuum advance units of their own). The manifold I will be using (a GC offset Beta-specific item) has one large tapping on the top - is this for the brake servo or for vacuum advance (or both?).

I think initially I'd go with a modified distrbutor setup as you outline, then investigate the mysteries of mapped ignition at my leisure. I can certainly see the benefits of no moving parts and being able to refine the fuelling, but (correct me if I'm wrong) to take full advantage of mapped ignition, you really need to go to fuel injection. A halfway house of mapped ignition with carbs would be slightly missing the point if I read you correctly.

I've got 3 motorbikes with EFI, but it was original fitment so I don't need to get involved with the complexities. The most recent one has full fly-by-wire throttle control, but the all the maps are write protected as it's all Euro-5 compliant, and they run the closed loop lean as hell, making low speed throttle control rather finicky and unpleasant. But I digress...
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1980 Lancia Beta Spider 2000 (S2FL)
2002 VW Transporter T4
2017 KTM Duke 690R
2008 Aprilia SL1000 Falco
1992 Ducati 888 SP3
1988 Honda VFR750F
1980 Yamaha RD350LC
WestonE
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« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2019, 10:00:28 AM »

Hi Graham

Give H&H a 2000 and 1600 Distributors and make sure they know which is which. Use the 2000 advance weights and springs with the 1600 vacuum advance as I did on the engine I did for Terry Wood's car. If you have the factory advance curve info give them that as well. Not much more that can be done with weights and springs without hours of development apart from fiddling with the stops for changing the staring advance or max advance.

The GC manifold main take off is for the servo but you can get different fittings and can take vacuum from ports in the carbs.

I fitted drive by wire to my monte from a porsche and I am also fitting it to my VX FI Beta Spyder.

Enjoy

Eric     
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mangocrazy
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« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2019, 02:26:11 PM »

Thanks Eric. That certainly looks like A Plan to me...

Graham
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1980 Lancia Beta Spider 2000 (S2FL)
2002 VW Transporter T4
2017 KTM Duke 690R
2008 Aprilia SL1000 Falco
1992 Ducati 888 SP3
1988 Honda VFR750F
1980 Yamaha RD350LC
mangocrazy
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« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2020, 05:49:27 PM »

I sent my Bosch distributor off to H&H ignition, along with a full list of engine, intake and exhaust modifications about a month ago. They were of the opinion that they could do all they needed without any vacuum advance, so that wasn't sent. The refursbished distributor came back today and it is absolutely indistinguishable form a new item. I'm very impressed. I'll post a picture up when I can get outside and take a few pics.

The box had the following details on it:

Lancia Beta Fast Road spec

Assuming 10-12 degrees idles @ 900-1000 rpm
Distributor set at 20 degrees max @ 3750-4000 rpm
(Degrees and RPM quoted @ crank degrees)
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1980 Lancia Beta Spider 2000 (S2FL)
2002 VW Transporter T4
2017 KTM Duke 690R
2008 Aprilia SL1000 Falco
1992 Ducati 888 SP3
1988 Honda VFR750F
1980 Yamaha RD350LC
WestonE
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« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2020, 11:37:17 AM »

Hi Graham

I hope it works for you as they suggest. Without seeing an advance curve it is hard to tell and no vacuum advance is no load sensing advance which is a missed opportunity. They should have listened to you! Many TC run to 35 degree max advance with distributors so their 30 - 32 degrees is cautious. Pull out GC's book and read the ignition chapter. On the plus side being fully re-built it should be reliable and accurate in delivering an advance curve for many years. Does the Hall effect output work for your MSD parts?

Eric 
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betabuoy
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« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2020, 12:51:19 PM »

Hi Graham

I think your set up should meet your needs as you describe.  When GC built my engine recently, we decided to stay reasonably period and keep the ignition fairly standard. I had my non-vacuum distributor reconditioned to standard spec.  Once at the setting up/rolling road stage, some internal fiddling was required to the distributor but it worked wonders and I get 35 degrees when I need it and smooth running across the rev range.  

I am a bit old school, and I like to keep things fairly simple.  This set up works really well for me.

Chris

  
« Last Edit: December 13, 2020, 01:56:18 PM by betabuoy » Logged

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mangocrazy
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« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2020, 01:51:50 PM »

Thanks Eric and Chris. The main thing I wanted was a reliable and as new source of ignition timing, and this should provide that. When the engine (finally) gets installed in the car it will go for a rolling road setup (once run in) and if at that point it becomes apparent that it needs more advance, then it can go back to H&H. But at least I have a solid baseline now.

The MSD 6AL ignition box I have is supposed to work out of the box with a variety of different distributor outputs. Some years back on GC's forum there was a guy named Perry who was quite an authority on the MSD boxes and he stressed how simple it was to get the box to work with standard Beta ignition, whether they used contact points or were (like mine) contactless. I also asked him whether to use the standard coil or buy and MSD one and this was his reply:

Buy the coil (blaster 2 or 3 will be fine) depending on whether you have a budget set or not. Standard coils don't like more than 9v - the MSD ones (despite the stupid brand name) are happy to buzz along at 14v all day.

The existing Bosch ignition (which probably has it's built in timing map) will be used to trigger the spark - so leave it all in place as normal. The MSD simply 'interfaces' with that setup.

You're welcome to email me direct when you are ready to fit and I'll give you some guidance. Friendship and advise are free in my world. What goes around comes around...
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1980 Lancia Beta Spider 2000 (S2FL)
2002 VW Transporter T4
2017 KTM Duke 690R
2008 Aprilia SL1000 Falco
1992 Ducati 888 SP3
1988 Honda VFR750F
1980 Yamaha RD350LC
mangocrazy
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« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2020, 05:31:55 PM »

As promised, here are some photos of the refurbished distributor. Shiny, shiny...



* DSC_4880.JPG (384.15 KB, 852x1407 - viewed 178 times.)

* DSC_4881.JPG (307.73 KB, 1044x964 - viewed 178 times.)

* DSC_4886.JPG (301.59 KB, 1318x785 - viewed 179 times.)
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1980 Lancia Beta Spider 2000 (S2FL)
2002 VW Transporter T4
2017 KTM Duke 690R
2008 Aprilia SL1000 Falco
1992 Ducati 888 SP3
1988 Honda VFR750F
1980 Yamaha RD350LC
GerardJPC
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« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2021, 08:38:03 AM »

Graham is already aware of this, but for anyone else interested, one possible route is the Aldon Amethyst system.  I have had this installed on my Beta 1600 Coupe and on my Fiat 124 Sport Coupe, with good effects.

http://www.aldonamethyst.co.uk/

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mangocrazy
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« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2021, 05:35:06 PM »

This (and Peter's intention to look at fuel injection) has set me thinking. I am still fully intending to start off the refurbished engine's life using distributor and DCOE carbs, but would like to ease any future transition to mappable ignition/fuel injection by fitting as much of the required hardware to the car in advance (especially with the engine out of the car).

So - would there be any point and is it feasible to fit a trigger wheel and sensor to the car in advance? It would obviously not be connected to anything initially but would be available for use if/when required...?
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1980 Lancia Beta Spider 2000 (S2FL)
2002 VW Transporter T4
2017 KTM Duke 690R
2008 Aprilia SL1000 Falco
1992 Ducati 888 SP3
1988 Honda VFR750F
1980 Yamaha RD350LC
WestonE
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« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2021, 06:46:42 PM »

Hi Graham

I could just say yes here, but suspect you want more. Trigger wheel machined to fit on suitably modified crank pulley. Sensor fitted to custom bracket then trigger wheel locked in the right reference position.
Also universal coolant sensor fitted to the head by removing then drilling and tapping the overheat sensor (it is pointless anyway because you know the engine has melted before it triggers the light).

Oil block sensors can be fitted later but basically you add additional Oil Temp & Accurate Oil Pressure (AEM Sensor).

There you go.

Eric
PS there are pictures of my trigger wheel installed in Members cars.
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mangocrazy
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« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2021, 10:51:39 PM »

Thanks Eric. I'll have a good look at your posts in the Members Cars section. So you basically gut the overheat sensor and drill/tap it to fit a smaller sensor inside? I agree that having a sensor that tells you a Bad Thing has happened, but after the event, is about as pointless as a chocolate fireguard.
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1980 Lancia Beta Spider 2000 (S2FL)
2002 VW Transporter T4
2017 KTM Duke 690R
2008 Aprilia SL1000 Falco
1992 Ducati 888 SP3
1988 Honda VFR750F
1980 Yamaha RD350LC
WestonE
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« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2021, 08:58:22 AM »

Hi Graham Yes you just gut the original sensor and re-tap it. EFI Parts sell suitable universal sensors with the important resistance table the mapper will want.
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