My DS23 has an electrical problem, well I think it is electrical
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! Dave Rogers's Avatar
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    Default My DS23 has an electrical problem, well I think it is electrical

    Hi, I call on the collected wisdom to once more help me out and point in the right direction.

    My car, a '74 DS23 BVM carby is my daily driver and for the past 5 years has started each time effortlessly and without fail. Yesterday had me driving a beautiful coastal drive in the sunshine down to Mt Martha, to come home turn it off and leave it for the night as every other night. This morning though I jumped in pulled out the choke, turned it over, and over and over and over and over etc (most unusual) and eventually it fired but ran lumpily on 3 cylinders for a while, briefly ran on 4 then quickly dropped back to 2 and grumbled to a stall.

    I have good fuel delivery, checked; no blown fuses; no obvious leads unattached (I have a 123 electronic ignition fitted), checked the distributor cap, all good. So I next checked the spark by earthing the No. 4 cylinder plug lead and I have no spark. Battery earth connection is fine also. Electrical things are beyond me (I'm still amazed by a light turning on when I flick a light switch) so any help with trouble shooting would be appreciated. What else should I look towards, are there any known weaknesses in 123's that can case my problems. How do I check my coil?

    Any help gratefully accepted.

    Cheers,
    Dave

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    74/75 DS23 Pallas 5 Speed Carby

    83 2CV Charleston

    79 GSA
    03 Peugeot 406 Hdi
    01 Renault Scenic

  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! badabec's Avatar
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    Hello, No 4 plug has me confused. I pull the lead off and attach it to a spare plug and lay that on the engine so I can see if there is a spark. Is the spring loaded button in the dizzy cap all present and correct? Easiest way with the coil is substitution. Will it run with a bit of petrol poured into the carb mouth? Usually, 90% of ignition problems are actually fuel related and vise versa....

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts daffyduck's Avatar
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    You say you drove the car a lot.
    Did it run out of gasoline?

  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger! ntr1972's Avatar
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    Maybe the water return hose from your radiator reservoir above the cylinder head is leaking and water has entered the deep recess in the rocker cover that houses the spark plugs. If you can get to a air compressor (say at a petrol station) and blow air into the recess see if any water comes out. Happened to me. True story.

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger! ntr1972's Avatar
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    Or it could be a spark plug lead. Try swapping them around.

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger! Dave Rogers's Avatar
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    Well, I've tried a replacement coil today that is known to be good, still no go. Yes badabec that exactly the way I checked for spark, tried it on No. 1 cylinder today after coil change and still no spark. Fuel tank is 3/4 full and I've disconnected the supply hose at the carby and petrol gushes out like a veritable fountain. Tried petrol straight down the throttle body, (yesterday before I discovered no spark). No water in the plug tubes either, new plug leads only a couple of months ago. All connections are sound and clean with no corrosion and all appear to be accounted for. Battery earth appears to be good as I have all other electrical functions, headlights burn brightly, wipers, indicators horn wipers etc all function normally. So, I'm art a loss, the only thing that I can think of doing next is replace the 123 with the old mechanical distributor. I'll try giving that a go tomorrow. Thanks for all your input to date.
    74/75 DS23 Pallas 5 Speed Carby

    83 2CV Charleston

    79 GSA
    03 Peugeot 406 Hdi
    01 Renault Scenic

  7. #7
    Fellow Frogger! ntr1972's Avatar
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    How old is your battery?

  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger! ntr1972's Avatar
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    How about a blocked air filter?

  9. #9
    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Dave possible cause given your description/ symptoms is a hairline crack in the distributor cap.

    You say the car was running fine, parked overnight and now fires intermittently when you try to start. If you have a spare cap try swapping and see how you go

    Cheers
    Chris
    74 D(very Special) >>Rejuvenation Thread<<
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    "Déesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

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  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger! Dave Rogers's Avatar
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    Yes Greenblood I tried fitting a spare known to be good distributor cap, good suggestion though. But, the problem is now solved, and it certainly wasn't the 123, which I re-installed and followed my suppliers instructions to prove that it was OK and yes it was. It turned out to be a fault somewhere in the circuit from the ignition switch to the coil. This was proved by attaching a fly lead directly from the positive side of the battery to the positive side of the coil and presto she started straight away. When I removed the fly lead, while the car was still running, it tried to stall but then roared back into life. Turned it on and off via the ignition key and all seemed to be OK. I've cleaned the ignition switch out with compressed air and re-lubricated it with graphite powder and everything is honkey-doorey. To get me out of problem should this happen again and I not be in the convenience of my own driveway I've made up a fly lead with the correct ends to run from the side-light connections at the top of the front mud guard to the coil. I then have a temporary ignition switch courtesy of the side light switch. ( Not my idea, but suggested by Peter Dekker, and bloody crafty it is too.) Thanks to all who contributed.
    74/75 DS23 Pallas 5 Speed Carby

    83 2CV Charleston

    79 GSA
    03 Peugeot 406 Hdi
    01 Renault Scenic

  11. #11
    1000+ Posts michaelr's Avatar
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    ummm... you have lubricated the ignition switch with graphite? Perhaps not an entirely good idea if it can find it's way into the contact area. Graphite works well on keys and locks but not for electrical parts.
    Michael
    Member, Citroen Car Club NSW

    DS23 Pallas 5 sp. "Francoise" , BX19TRi Auto "Jacques Dutronc" , Teardrop Trailer "The Toad", BMW R65 "Rosamund"
    In the past: Renault 750, Dauphine, R4, R8, R10, Peugeot 504 Familiale, ID 19 (x2), Safari (x2)

  12. #12
    UFO
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    Citroën Tragic UFO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelr View Post
    ummm... you have lubricated the ignition switch with graphite? Perhaps not an entirely good idea if it can find it's way into the contact area. Graphite works well on keys and locks but not for electrical parts.
    That's entirely dependent on the desired outcome
    Craig K
    2009 C5 HDi Exclusive

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