Don't leave the ignition on!

Been trying to get the old Daimler V8 barn find started to move it. It was running previously but I think the fuel got too low and it stopped. New fuel pump and filters fitted already and using separate plastic fuel tank. I have ordered new ignition leads and plug caps plus distributor cap as it is very old but they are not here yet. Having checked the fuel and a spark being present I had no luck starting her up at all and in the end left it. This morning I had a look and saw oil all over the engine and noticed the coil in pieces. I had left the ignition on all night!! No idea when it actually failed. It was off my other V8 so also about 30 years old. Hopefully a new coil and ignition set will allow it to start.

Well you heated up the coil or it collapsed, replace the coil, make sure the battery is charged and look over the wires that some thing didn’t melt up.
Good luck, that’s a tough old car, she will pull through!

I have done this 3 times over the years. The last time I had a very fine oil mist in the whole garage. Cleaning the 2 cars took a bit of time. On other surfaces it didn´t matter.
New coil of course. New lumenition ignitor once. New contact breakers once, as well as the wiring and round bakelite ring on the distributor once.
The first time was about 3 hrs. Another time the whole night.
Very annoying. I always keep the ignition key, without rings, other keys, fobs etc, in the ignition lock. I have never lost a key!

I had one boil in the car while I was driving, then fail, with oil everywhere in the engine bay! Another friend had one simply fail and the car wouldn’t start. Condensers often fail too, especially the newly made ones with the orange lead. After lots of messing around I have found a wonderful person in the UK called The Distributor Doctor. He sells a great coil which is used in thousands of Indian taxis, so well tested.

All his ignition parts are first rate. I’d make sure the condenser is a good one.


New coil and battery fitted. Got it running but fair amount of water lost blowing out the exhaust so I guess head gasket has gone but I can move it around until rebuild as temperature stays within limits.

Question: If I’ve replaced the points and condenser with an electronic Pertronix ignition, does that mean it would be safe to leave the ignition key on for ten minutes or so without the engine running if I wish to hear something on the cd player since, obviously, the Mark 2 does not come with an ‘accessory’ position?

10 min is certainly fine. Probably 30 as well. I was working on the music equipment on my red 150 when something else happened in or around the house, causing me to leave the ignition on for around 3 hrs.

Yes, no “accessory” position so I wired my radio to a permanently hot point behind the drop down panel. The worst l might get if l forget to turn off is a flat battery. Paul.

Just over six months ago I couldn’t work out how my battery had gone flat? The original HMV radio decided to work again and the light was so faint that I didn’t see that it was turned on. Not being tuned in didn’t help. The auto electrician worked it out for me. It must be wired independently from the ignition switch like yours, Paul? Anyway, I now have an outstanding early 1960’s analogue radio through which I can listen to the few remaining AM radio stations in Melbourne! I even have the authentic static too. :grin: Ah, memory lane. :sunglasses:


Yes Tim, that sounds about right. I have a period correct AWA. Always tuned you the ABC (Sydney) as there isn’t much else! Paul.

Now that you mention it, it might be an AWA? I remember the AWA tower in York St Sydney. It was once the tallest structure in Sydney. :scream: You’ve just sparked a memory as well. My great grandparents used to live in Longueville and they said you could see the GPO tower from their front verandah. When a sizeable storm was coming they used to flash a red warning light from the top of the GPO tower to warn people. What a blissfully disconnected existence.

Fortunately the ABC still has 3LO 774. Do you listen to 2BL 702 or 2FC? :thinking: :wink:


Thanks Peder. Good news indeed. Unlike Paul Breen, I would not have the option of wiring the radio/cd player to a permanent hot point behind the drop down panel since the light on the dial of the radio clock would remain illuminated and drain the battery in short order. 10 minutes would work out just right for me, enough time to listen to whatever favourite track may have been playing on the cd or radio when I shut off the engine…

There are delay circuits if it was that important to you, so the radio power would shut off, say, 10 minutes after the ignition was turned off like some modern cars do. You‘d need the hot wire, ignition power and a delay relay / timer circuit. Would be nice for the headlights sometimes!

Hi Tim, AWA tower is still there. I believe it has a heritage listing. Everything up around it of course. I listen to 702. Paul.

My light only comes on when the radio is switched on. Paul.

Hi Paul Breen,
I purchased a retro look radio from China for all of $40AUD and it works, no cd player does MP3. As I only listen to ABC classic FM it works fine even in Noosa. The original radio did not work as a PO converted the car to neg earth.
David Bruce.

Hi Paul,

It is an HMV after all. Took her for a drive today with the sunroof open. :sunglasses: Went along the freeway to the airport then up and around the Departure road. No one was around which was very surreal. Managed to get ‘thumbs up’ from the security guards who all looked rather bored.



1 Like

Great yogurt, that…:grimacing:

There’s a great site - Kevin Chant - he has circuit diagrams and details for some radios to change polarity. I did it to one of my old radios and it’s still working. Just in case you’re interested. Paul.


When I first bought my Jag 240 mk2 in '73 the coil was wired thru the map light switch. I always had to flip the map light switch before I started the car. I always thought it was an anti theft device. Apparently it was to prevent blown coils!

1 Like