[E-Type] Ignition Problem Driving me nuts!

This problem has been absolutely driving me crazy for the last 2
years ( I�ve owned the car for the past 2 � years and driven
whopping 750 miles! And it was stored in my garage for 20 months
due to this problem) . My car stumbles after fully warm up,
stalls at the lights, and eventually would not restart. I have one
of those inline spark testers which light up at every spark. I can
see there is no spark when the engine stumbles and dies.
These are what I or jag mechanics have done relating fuel/ignition
systems before the problem:

  1. Spark plugs and wires replaced
  2. Minor tune up done
  3. After market Coil installed
  4. Carb adjusted
  5. Vacuum retard plugged
    These are what I or jag mechanics have done relating fuel/ignition
    systems after the problem:
  6. Replaced the original OPUS board with ReOPUS. It didn�t
    fix it.
  7. Installed an Optima battery.
  8. Took out fuel tank to coat the inside for possible
    rust/crud. It was clean.
  9. Stored the car for 20 months. Got tired of it.
  10. Replaced all fuel hoses. Blew out the fuel line with
    compressed air.
  11. Replaced fuel pump with an electronic SU pump . I guess
    20 month storage dried up the diaphragm.
  12. Installed an aftermarket see-thru fuel filter.
  13. Replaced all vacuum hose or plugged.
  14. Had 4 carbs rebuilt.
  15. Checked for vacuum build up in the tank. None
  16. Replaced the coil with Lucas coil. Still same problem!
  17. Had ReOPUS replaced with Crane XR700 by a different Jag
    mechanic( He had an old model in stock).
  18. Replaced the ignition lock/switch assembly because the
    lock tumbler was messed up.
  19. Few days later no spark during warm up. Told the optical
    sensor was bad and he replaced the amp and sensor with new ones.
    He also found and replaced bad fuses. I installed an additional
    grounding cable for the new amp.
  20. Next day I drove 20 minutes and filled up the almost
    empty tank. Within few minutes the engine stumbled. The mechanic
    thought it may be bad fuel. I drained 20 gal fuel from the tank.
    No fun! Added new fuel.
    I still have an exactly same problem. Now the mechanic who
    installed XR700 thinks the ballast resistor may be the cause
    because that is the only thing left. Can it be? I am about to
    toss in a towel. The car has spent almost as much time on flat bed
    trucks as on the road. I feel AAA is going to drop me at any
    moment. I need your help, gentlemen!–
    Drew, 74 OTS
    sacramento/ca, United States
    –Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–

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In reply to a message from drew95829 sent Fri 16 Mar 2012:

What a drag, when youve done almost everything, it’s something
else.
A friend of mine went around the bend with his Fiat spider, similar
issue. Finally he gave up and sold it. The new owner took it to the
only person in the world who had not had previous imput. This
mechanic removed the cover around the ignition and found a loose
wire, problem solved.
I really hope this helps.
Gordon Heisch
68 EType, 61 MKII 3.8, 86 V12 VDP.–
The original message included these comments:

This problem has been absolutely driving me crazy for the last 2
years ( I�ve owned the car for the past 2 � years and driven
whopping 750 miles! And it was stored in my garage for 20 months
due to this problem) . My car stumbles after fully warm up,
stalls at the lights, and eventually would not restart. I have one
of those inline spark testers which light up at every spark. I can
see there is no spark when the engine stumbles and dies.


gordon heisch
vancouver/BC, Canada
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I’m running a Crane ignition, and had to bypass the ballast.
LLoyd

My driveway is long enough that you can appreciate the conflict between the desire for privacy and the terror of being completely lost .----- Original Message -----
From: “drew95829” gilpend@hotmail.com
To: e-type@jag-lovers.org
Sent: Friday, March 16, 2012 4:18:33 PM
Subject: [E-Type] Ignition Problem Driving me nuts!

This problem has been absolutely driving me crazy for the last 2
years ( I�ve owned the car for the past 2 � years and driven
whopping 750 miles! And it was stored in my garage for 20 months
due to this problem) . My car stumbles after fully warm up,
stalls at the lights, and eventually would not restart. I have one
of those inline spark testers which light up at every spark. I can
see there is no spark when the engine stumbles and dies.
These are what I or jag mechanics have done relating fuel/ignition
systems before the problem:

  1. Spark plugs and wires replaced
  2. Minor tune up done
  3. After market Coil installed
  4. Carb adjusted
  5. Vacuum retard plugged
    These are what I or jag mechanics have done relating fuel/ignition
    systems after the problem:
  6. Replaced the original OPUS board with ReOPUS. It didn�t
    fix it.
  7. Installed an Optima battery.
  8. Took out fuel tank to coat the inside for possible
    rust/crud. It was clean.
  9. Stored the car for 20 months. Got tired of it.
  10. Replaced all fuel hoses. Blew out the fuel line with
    compressed air.
  11. Replaced fuel pump with an electronic SU pump . I guess
    20 month storage dried up the diaphragm.
  12. Installed an aftermarket see-thru fuel filter.
  13. Replaced all vacuum hose or plugged.
  14. Had 4 carbs rebuilt.
  15. Checked for vacuum build up in the tank. None
  16. Replaced the coil with Lucas coil. Still same problem!
  17. Had ReOPUS replaced with Crane XR700 by a different Jag
    mechanic( He had an old model in stock).
  18. Replaced the ignition lock/switch assembly because the
    lock tumbler was messed up.
  19. Few days later no spark during warm up. Told the optical
    sensor was bad and he replaced the amp and sensor with new ones.
    He also found and replaced bad fuses. I installed an additional
    grounding cable for the new amp.
  20. Next day I drove 20 minutes and filled up the almost
    empty tank. Within few minutes the engine stumbled. The mechanic
    thought it may be bad fuel. I drained 20 gal fuel from the tank.
    No fun! Added new fuel.
    I still have an exactly same problem. Now the mechanic who
    installed XR700 thinks the ballast resistor may be the cause
    because that is the only thing left. Can it be? I am about to
    toss in a towel. The car has spent almost as much time on flat bed
    trucks as on the road. I feel AAA is going to drop me at any
    moment. I need your help, gentlemen!


Drew, 74 OTS
sacramento/ca, United States
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In reply to a message from drew95829 sent Fri 16 Mar 2012:

Sounds like you’ve got one of those jinxed E-types. Tell you what,
I’ll take it off your hands …

I’ve been where you are, though not as long. Sounds like you’ve got
a particularly tough one. Whatever it turns out to be Drew it will
be a simple fix and your only reget will be not having been smart
enough to see it in the first place. Your car is designed to run
like a finely tuned clock and yours is not acting normally because
something critical is out of sync or out of spec. It could be
anything, but it will be simple. Are the spacers between your ZS
carbs and the intake manifold correct? No holes blocked off that
shouldn’t be? Air leaks at the intake manifold from a damaged
flange? It will be something like that. Good luck.–
The original message included these comments:

This problem has been absolutely driving me crazy for the last 2
years ( I�ve owned the car for the past 2 � years and driven
whopping 750 miles! And it was stored in my garage for 20 months
due to this problem) . My car stumbles after fully warm up,
stalls at the lights, and eventually would not restart. I have one
of those inline spark testers which light up at every spark. I can


1968 E-type OTS since 1982, 1954 XK120SE OTS since 1991
Ontario, Canada
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In reply to a message from drew95829 sent Fri 16 Mar 2012:

Maybe a loose ground strap? How does it start? Does it fire
right up while cranking or just as you release the key?–
The original message included these comments:

due to this problem) . My car stumbles after fully warm up,
stalls at the lights, and eventually would not restart. I have one
of those inline spark testers which light up at every spark. I can
see there is no spark when the engine stumbles and dies.
These are what I or jag mechanics have done relating fuel/ignition
systems before the problem:


Pete Peterson 70E(193K) 88XJ40s(270K & 256K) 94XJ40 (122K)
Severna Park, Maryland, United States
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In reply to a message from Jaguarpete sent Fri 16 Mar 2012:

Many times on these older British cars an electrical problem can be
traced to a bad ground connection. Some of the ground paths that
get overlooked are: battery neg cable at engine end, ground strap
between engine and body, even ground wire inside dist can go bad
and cause mayhem. An intermittent problem is usually a wire that
appears intact but isn’t. Easiest way to check for bad ground is to
use a VOM. There should be ‘‘0’’ Ohms resistance in all ground paths.
An infinite res reading indicates a broken connection. Meter
showing some res can be a corroded connection, take it apart, clean
it, re-assemble and re-test it. A little dab of grease will prevent
the green color from coming back.–
The original message included these comments:

Maybe a loose ground strap? How does it start? Does it fire
right up while cranking or just as you release the key?


Kim Duleff S2 OTS BRG Colorado, USA
Denver Colorado, United States
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In reply to a message from Jaguarpete sent Fri 16 Mar 2012:

Pete,
I installed a ground strap between the coil mounting screw and the
starter relay mounting screw near, thinking it couldn’t hurt. No
change. The engine starts strong but stumbles after about 20 min.
The tach works. I don’t know how old the ballast resistor is.
What other componebts would be affected by the temp rise? The
running coolant temp is just a hair above the center of the gauge,
where it should be. The carb rebuilder measured fuel pressure when
the engine stumbled and it was about 3-4 psi which is good. It
just gradually looses sparks.–
The original message included these comments:

Maybe a loose ground strap? How does it start? Does it fire
right up while cranking or just as you release the key?


Drew, 74 OTS
sacramento/ca, United States
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In reply to a message from drew95829 sent Fri 16 Mar 2012:

From what you’ve said, the problem did not exist for the first 6
months you owned the car.
Then you made 5 changes.
Subsequent to that, you have an issue that you are certain is
ignition related. So I’d be looking hard at Items 1 and 2, since
#3, the aftermarket coil, was dealt with.
BTW does your spark tester verify spark, or ignition of the
mixture?
Is it possible that the plugs installed before the problem started
are simply gapped too wide, and they misfire once the car is warm
and the mixture is lean?

Another suggestion…just go through every electrical connection
related to the ignition.–
1968 S1.5 OTS
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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In reply to a message from drew95829 sent Fri 16 Mar 2012:

Hi Drew,
I don’t really have much to add to what you’ve checked or the
excellent suggestions given to you thus far, what a
frustrating problem! IIRC the coil for the V12 was quite
specific for that car, I wish I could recall the details, but
you might try switching the old one back in and see what
happens. Other than that I guess I’d start replacing the new
components with the old one one at a time then check…
Good luck,
Lynn–
The original message included these comments:

This problem has been absolutely driving me crazy for the last 2
years ( I�ve owned the car for the past 2 � years and driven


Lynn G.
68/85 ots, 73 2+2, Boise, Id., United States
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In reply to a message from drew95829 sent Fri 16 Mar 2012:

These later cars have a sealed fuel and evaporator loss
control systems that can cause fuel starvation problems. The
problems described could be a devilish combination of both
ignition and fuel problems, one masking and confusing the
other. Replacing the fuel pump and filter will not solve
them. In addition to what been discussed above, I would also
check the charcoal canister and the associated vent plumbing
for blockages. IIRC, the system is controlled by a
thermostat on the intake manifold. That could be bad.
Disconnecting parts of the system to vent to the atmosphere,
and opening the fuel cap when the problems resurface might
help.

There is also a fuel recirculation system, so that when the
under bonnet temps are high the chance of vapor lock is
reduced by keeping the fuel sitting in the lines moving back
to the tank. Perhaps the return line is blocked and vapor
lock is occurring.–
The original message included these comments:

What other componebts would be affected by the temp rise? The
running coolant temp is just a hair above the center of the gauge,
where it should be. The carb rebuilder measured fuel pressure when


A Blackley http://www.xkedata.com/cars/detail/?car=1R41606
Chardon Ohio, United States
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Don’t know anything about the V12 machines but as a general
thought…going back to your original post I believe you’ve said
the problem is gradually diminishing sparks…only couple of
things that immediately come to mind when ignition problems associated
with temperature are 1) bad coil…2) bad ignition switch.

Does the ignition switch get warm/hot? If so you might just have
some poor connections within the switch or its connections. This
could cause loss of power to the required components.–
Les…'68 S1.5 2+2


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In reply to a message from drew95829 sent Fri 16 Mar 2012:

It sounds like an OPUS issue to me. I had similar problems with
a '72, replaced the OPUS, but the problem continued. Narrowed it
down by placing an artificial ice pack on the opus to cool it down
when it would not start. In the end I moved it to a different
location. But you have already switched it out twice. The ballast
resistance can be checked by using a hair dryer at it. Are any
carbs/carb running rich? Good luck in finding the issue.

Never, ever, give up.


The original message included these comments:

due to this problem) . My car stumbles after fully warm up,
stalls at the lights, and eventually would not restart. I have one

  1. Replaced the original OPUS board with ReOPUS. It didn�t
  2. Had ReOPUS replaced with Crane XR700 by a different Jag
    I still have an exactly same problem. Now the mechanic who
    installed XR700 thinks the ballast resistor may be the cause


Ralph, 1970 FHC, www.xkedata.com/cars/detail/?car=1R27295
Pine Beach, NJ, United States
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In reply to a message from drew95829 sent Fri 16 Mar 2012:

You can bypass the ballast resistor to eliminate it as the
cause. Ballast resistors get bypassed during starting
anyway. They are added to give longer point life by
reducing the voltage across the points. But you need the
full 12 volts for a nice fat spark while starting. If you
have electronic ignition, you don’t need the ballast
resistor at all because the ignition amplifier performs the
same function.–
The original message included these comments:

I installed a ground strap between the coil mounting screw and the
starter relay mounting screw near, thinking it couldn’t hurt. No
change. The engine starts strong but stumbles after about 20 min.
The tach works. I don’t know how old the ballast resistor is.
What other componebts would be affected by the temp rise? The


Pete Peterson 70E(193K) 88XJ40s(270K & 256K) 94XJ40 (122K)
Severna Park, Maryland, United States
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In reply to a message from Jaguarpete sent Sat 17 Mar 2012:

Any chance it is the spark tester itself i.e. is the tester
in series with your ignition secondary or parallel? If it’s
in series and it fails open, will that cause a loss of all
spark? Might be worth a try to bypass or remove it.

Rick OBrien
65 FHC in CT–


Oxford CT, United States
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In reply to a message from Jaguarpete sent Sat 17 Mar 2012:

Thanks, everyone.

I don’t think it is a fuel starvation issue: good running fuel
pump, new fuel & vacuum lines, flushing entire fuel line with
compressed air from trunk. good fuel pressure during stumble. I
even opened the fuel tank cap during stumble but it did not make
difference. No wooshing sound. I have done vacuum measure and
reading was very steady. And then the carb guy plugged the gulp
valve.
I am going to check the coil temp during stumble, bypass the
resistor, and trace wires.
If anyone has any other suggestions, I’d welcome them. Thanks.–
The original message included these comments:

You can bypass the ballast resistor to eliminate it as the
cause. Ballast resistors get bypassed during starting


Drew, 74 OTS
sacramento/ca, United States
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Drew,
You’ve done all the right stuff. Drop the fuel and vacuum diagnosis
you know its electrical. I’m not an S3 guy but a few years back
another lister had a similar problem with a friend’s car, it turned
out to be the distributor cap. It looked good but there was something
not visible wrong with it. I might be able to dig up that post if
necessary but it was a mystery to a lot of smart folks as one doesn’t
think of the dizzy cap being temperature sensitive.
pauls 67ots

This problem has been absolutely driving me crazy for the last 2
years ( I’ve owned the car for the past 2 ½ years and driven
whopping 750 miles! And it was stored in my garage for 20 months
due to this problem) . My car stumbles after fully warm up,
stalls at the lights, and eventually would not restart. I have one
of those inline spark testers which light up at every spark. I can
see there is no spark when the engine stumbles and dies.
These are what I or jag mechanics have done relating fuel/ignition
systems before the problem:

  1.  Spark plugs and wires replaced
    
  2.  Minor tune up done
    
  3.  After market Coil installed
    
  4.  Carb adjusted
    
  5.  Vacuum retard plugged
    

These are what I or jag mechanics have done relating fuel/ignition
systems after the problem:

  1.  Replaced the original OPUS board with ReOPUS.  It didn’t
    

fix it.
2. Installed an Optima battery.
3. Took out fuel tank to coat the inside for possible
rust/crud. It was clean.
4. Stored the car for 20 months. Got tired of it.
5. Replaced all fuel hoses. Blew out the fuel line with
compressed air.
6. Replaced fuel pump with an electronic SU pump . I guess
20 month storage dried up the diaphragm.
7. Installed an aftermarket see-thru fuel filter.
8. Replaced all vacuum hose or plugged.
9. Had 4 carbs rebuilt.
10. Checked for vacuum build up in the tank. None
11. Replaced the coil with Lucas coil. Still same problem!
12. Had ReOPUS replaced with Crane XR700 by a different Jag
mechanic( He had an old model in stock).
13. Replaced the ignition lock/switch assembly because the
lock tumbler was messed up.
14. Few days later no spark during warm up. Told the optical
sensor was bad and he replaced the amp and sensor with new ones.
He also found and replaced bad fuses. I installed an additional
grounding cable for the new amp.
15. Next day I drove 20 minutes and filled up the almost
empty tank. Within few minutes the engine stumbled. The mechanic
thought it may be bad fuel. I drained 20 gal fuel from the tank.
No fun! Added new fuel.
I still have an exactly same problem. Now the mechanic who
installed XR700 thinks the ballast resistor may be the cause
because that is the only thing left. Can it be? I am about to
toss in a towel. The car has spent almost as much time on flat bed
trucks as on the road. I feel AAA is going to drop me at any
moment. I need your help, gentlemen!
<<<<<<<<<<From: “drew95829” gilpend@hotmail.com
Subject: [E-Type] Ignition Problem Driving me nuts!


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I am going to check the coil temp during stumble, bypass the
resistor, and trace wires.
If anyone has any other suggestions, I’d welcome them. Thanks.

Just to reiterate, check that the ignition switch isn’t getting
hot…if so this might be a good indication of a faulty
switch/wiring…could lead to failure of supply to the ignition.On Sat, Mar 17, 2012 at 10:26 AM, drew95829 gilpend@hotmail.com wrote:


Les…'68 S1.5 2+2


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In reply to a message from Les Halls sent Sat 17 Mar 2012:

Not being familiar with the v12, I would still say:

1- Ground strap
2- Condensor
3- Cap/rotor/Main HT lead
4- coil
5- Ignition switch
6- Fuse Block

my bet is #5 or #6
Andrew–
The original message included these comments:

If anyone has any other suggestions, �I’d welcome them. �Thanks.
Just to reiterate, check that the ignition switch isn’t getting
hot…if so this might be a good indication of a faulty
switch/wiring…could lead to failure of supply to the ignition.


1968 3.8S
Zurich, Switzerland
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In reply to a message from JagWaugh sent Sat 17 Mar 2012:

I have a generic process for cars ,of any specie exhibiting no run
when hot symptoms.

When the fault arises, jump + battery to + coil. Nany times, the
critter will fire up.

Then we know it is in the wires to and from the ignition switch or
the switch itself.

Electronic systems do not need the ballast resistor. it reduxes
voltage to extend point life.

Resistors reduce voltage to heat, what a waste???

I used to jump the resistors on my junk racers and just chjange
and/or clean points more often. Nicer hot spark mat the plugs for
an afternoons racing was all I asked. I usually had a fresh
didtributor to change out if needed. The A’s were easy, the V8’s a
bit more complex. But most of us were quite adept at a fast change,
even on a hot engine!! No Nomex gloves then, just bare skin.
Leather gloves OK for the wheel, but too clumsy to wrench with them
on.

Carl–
The original message included these comments:

If anyone has any other suggestions, �I’d welcome them. �Thanks.
Just to reiterate, check that the ignition switch isn’t getting
hot…if so this might be a good indication of a faulty
switch/wiring…could lead to failure of supply to the ignition.


Carl Hutchins 1983 Jaguar XJ6 with LT1 and 1994 Jeep Grand
Walnut Creek, California, United States
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In reply to a message from cadjag sent Sat 17 Mar 2012:

Not really true… The whole reason for using a ballasted
ignition is to make it possible to provide a hotter spark
during cranking, to overcome the reduced battery voltage
caused by the very high current load of the starter motor.
This is done by bypassing the ballast during cranking, and
briefly running the coil above it’s rated voltage.

Many electronic ignitions will be destroyed if a low-
resistance coil is used with no ballast resistor - Petronix
is one. A Gee-Whiz coil and no ballast will destroy a
Pertronix in very short order by exceeding the current
and/or thermal limit of the pass transistor driving the coil
primary. Simply removing the ballast resistor from a
ballasted system, electronic or not, will almost certainly
result very shortly in a failed coil, as ballasted systems
ALWAYS use a reduced-voltage coil, typically 6V. They could
not perform their function otherwise. Removing the ballast
will feed the coil 12V at all times, doubling the current,
hence quadrupling the power dissipation of the coil. The
extra heat this generates will ‘‘cook’’ the coil in no time.–
The original message included these comments:

Electronic systems do not need the ballast resistor. it reduxes
voltage to extend point life.

Carl Hutchins 1983 Jaguar XJ6 with LT1 and 1994 Jeep Grand


Ray Livingston - '64 OTS Santa Cruz, CA
Santa Cruz, CA, United States
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–


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