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Thread: ds23 auto with 123 ignition stalls

  1. #26
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    Chris,

    Those instructions are based on a carb that is at normal adjustments to start with. The manual is assuming that as you open up the idle mixture screw the engine speed will increase beyond 900 rpm or so. This assumption is based on a known volume of air flowing into the engine from the primary throttle - which in your case is now unknown .

    First off - the purpose of setting the primary throttle plate at a nominal clearance is to position the plate so that its bottom edge (base side of the carb) has just covered the first of the progression holes drilled in the primary venturi. The progression holes are a series of little holes that are supplied by the low speed jet. The purpose of setting the throttle plate at this position is so that 1) Excess air and or fuel is not introduced into the engine at idle and 2) that you don't have a 'dead spot' coming off idle on very light use of the accelerator pedal. It really is a quite touchy adjustment.

    If you have the engine idling normally at this point I would suggest you try the following (should prevent you from having to remove the carb and setting that throttle plate visually with the aid of a magnifier). Get engine to operating temperature. Slacken the primary throttle plate adjustment screw so that it is just touching the stop. Reset idle speed using only the the idle mixture screw and secondary throttle plate. Once that is done slowly open up the primary throttle plate to the point where the engine speed has increase around 50 to 75 rpm. Then readjust the speed using only the secondary throttle plate. At this point turn the idle mixture screw CW a bit at a time until the rpm just starts to drop. Then move it back to its position just before the rpm decreased.

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    This should get you very close to the proper clearance for the primary throttle plate.

    Setting the throttle plate clearance with a feeler gauge is a bit tricky as one has to press fairly hard on the plate to get an accurate measurement.

    Steve

  2. #27
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    Default still stalling...

    Steve, Thank you for the detailed instructions on the Weber carby setup. It's great to have this information.

    Using your suggested method to adjust the idle speed - and resetting the primary butterfly opening from the two and half turn setting of the stop screw which I used - I think 'one and one quarter turns' wouldn't be far from the mark on my carby. With the idle speed set using the secondary throat butterfly and the mixture screw (as defined in Manual 814 v1 Op. Dbw. 142-0), it took only a small opening of the primary throat butterfly to increase the idle speed - as you described above.

    But, as indicated by the title to this thread, the car now stalls on every shift from P or N into R or 3.

    I have adjusted the advance from 6 to 16 degrees (as indicated on the plate) and it seems to make no difference. Any higher than 16 degrees and the motor won't idle. I haven't tried a setting less than 6 degrees.

    My next step will be to switch back to the Ducellier distributor and see what happens.

    However, as I understand it, the distributor only acts as a "post office" for the high tension current running from the coil to each spark plug.

    I have no idea how old my (Ducellier) coil is, but is there any way to check its performance? Could it be that the coil is below par and I was lucky not to have experienced stalling problems with the old setup?

    A colleague suggested recently that I should consider fitting a Bosch GT40 coil in its place, but the 123 ignition instruction booklet warns that "a 'High Energy' coil may destroy it" (the 123 ignition, I presume). I assume the Bosch GT40 unit fits this description.

    Any further suggestions most welcome.

    Chris

  3. #28
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    Hi Chris,
    Sometimes an old coil will not be up to handling the 123 spark.

    I think your idea of using a GT 40 is sound.

    Failing this I agree to go back to points to isolate where the problem lies.

    I will replace the 123 as another option but the 123 will either work or not work so I really doubt that the 123 is the culprit.

    cheers
    Ted ( Hawk )

  4. #29
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    Chris,

    It sounds as though you might be running a bit lean at this point. The B/W puts a lot more 'drag' on the engine at idle than you would have with a BVM or BVH system - main reason the base idle is higher than it normally would be otherwise. You could try opening up the mixture screw a bit to the point where the idle speed increases to the upper end of the idle speed settings. The other thing to check and it might be a good idea before getting to carried away is to, with the engine running, gently spray a fine stream of either carb or brake cleaner around the base of the carb and see if engine speed increases. If so, then you have air leaking into the intake manifold from the base of the carb. That needs to be corrected before anything else is done.

    123/conventional distributor.

    Because of the use of an electronic trigger the 123 needs at least 1 ohm resistance in the coil. Some "high energy" coils have less than this and will 'fry' the internal electronics of the 123 - or a Pertronix unit. The reason a 123 provides a stronger spark is because there is no 'point bounce' or intermittent discharge from the coil between triggers to each of the cylinders. Typically if one puts a mechanical distributor on a tester you will get 4 main discharges (with a 4 cylinder engine) plus a bunch of partials from the coil due to the points bouncing a bit as they close. This lowers the coils ability to provide a max release of energy where it should. A 123 does not suffer from this. An old or weak coil can work better with a 123 or similar system because of the lack of partial current discharges between the main firings.

    As to timing - not sure what you mean by advancing to the point where the engine would not idle. Normally as you advance the engine the idle speed increases to the point where it cannot be adjusted back into a normal range. CCW advances the timing, CW retards timing. I would suggest that you go back and recheck the TDC position of the car. Using the 'stick in the cylinder' method will work but you have to very careful as missing the upper most movement by as little as 1mm equates to 4 or 5 degrees of actual crank rotation.

    Steve
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  5. #30
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    Thank you for your responses, Steve and Ted. I respond to your comments and suggestions as follows, Steve.

    (Please excuse my lack of technical expertise to use the quote function on this Forum.)


    Steve: "It sounds as though you might be running a bit lean at this point."

    Interesting: I had no trouble selecting a gear from about half way through the engine warm up, with a bit of choke and about 750 rpm. I went for a drive - up the same road as reported in my earlier post at 7.16 pm on the 18th September - and whilst I wouldn't call the car lively, it was far less sluggish than on that occasion and I was just able to induce detonation on a wide open throttle just short of kickdown. (Timing by my timing plate measurement: 8 degrees at idle. Although I'm still on 95 octane PULP, the slight detonation under load might indicate that my TDC point is in fact a few degrees BTDC.)

    When I returned from the drive and tried to manoeuvre the car into the garage (a couple of changes from 3 to R, etc), it stalled. But with a bit of extra richness from the choke, no problem.

    The above was after having 'opened up the mixture screw a bit'; however, with the settings I have for the primary butterfly and secondary butterfly, there isn't a lot of scope to adjust the mixture screw: either turning it CW or CCW, there's a small lift in engine speed, then it drops away and becomes lumpy. Does this indicate that my primary butterfly setting isn't quite correct, as the secondary butterfly setting is giving approx 800-850rpm in P, depending on the subsequent setting of the mixture screw?

    There was no sign of any change in engine rpm as a result of spraying the base of the carby with brake cleaner.

    I've left the coil alone for now.

    Steve: "As to timing - not sure what you mean by advancing to the point where the engine would not idle. Normally as you advance the engine the idle speed increases to the point where it cannot be adjusted back into a normal range."

    I haven't experienced this.


    Steve: "I would suggest that you go back and recheck the TDC position of the car. Using the 'stick in the cylinder' method will work but you have to very careful as missing the upper most movement by as little as 1mm equates to 4 or 5 degrees of actual crank rotation."

    Still to be rechecked - note my comment re slight detonation at an indicated 8 degrees BTDC at idle.


    Chris

  6. #31
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    Chris,

    At this point it sounds like a few things are still a bit out of whack. First off give the primary throttle stop screw an additional 1/4 turn and then readjust the idle. If things improve, but are still not quite right to an additional 1/4 turn. The BW's may require just an extra bit of fuel/air mixture at idle coming from the primary throttle to prevent stalling when the tranny is engaged compared to BVM/BVH cars.

    Timing. You should really time the car at 2000 rpm. However before that you need to know exactly where TDC is. On your car with #1 at TDC the mark on the camshaft pulley should be at "0" degrees on the scale. Once you have verified TDC the engine advance is set using a timing light to 7 degrees on the scale at 2000 rpm (C12 advance curve). If you consult the advance curves in 814 keep in mind that the rpm axis is camshaft speed which is 1/2 of actual crankshaft speed. You need to use an accurate external tachometer to set engine advance.

    I would also suggest that you beg/barrow/steal a compression checker and verify compression in each one of the cylinders. When checking compression keep in mind that you need to do so with the accelerator pedal to the floor - IOW both barrels in the carb need to wide open when cranking over the engine. It is also quite helpful to remove all the spark plugs so that the starter motor is not overly stressed and cranking speed is increased.

    Steve

  7. #32
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    Follow Steve's advice and you will be OK. My experience with my CX points to a lean mixture and from what you describe getting detonation in this weather means the ignition is tad over advanced.

    In my case I was pretty sure I had no air leaks in the intake system and it used to stall when pulling it into gear when hot particularly if it had been idling for a while. I recently fitted a new flexible intake hose and the stalling problem has gone away so I must have had a small air leak which had led to a leaner mixture on the L-Jetronic system. It must have been a small leak as I have gone over the old flexi and can see no signs of one.

    Therefore do as Steve has suggested and richen the mixture a little bit. I am sure this is the problem.

    Greg
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  8. #33
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    Default some joy

    (Noting Greg's endorsement) Steve, I'm pleased to say I'm starting to make some progress.

    Firstly, timing:
    • I rechecked TDC with the dial gauge and my mark on the camshaft pulley was maybe one degree out: TDC on No 1 cylinder adjacent to one degree of advance on the water pump timing plate.
    • Today I tried a different shaped pin in the Borg Warner "timing hole" and found the notch in the drive plate/ring gear for the first time - but not at TDC on No 1 cylinder. This tends to confirm my suspicion that when the previous owner had work done on the auto trans, the drive plate was refitted out of position.
    • I adjusted the dynamic timing to 8 degrees BTDC @ 2,000 engine rpm (one degree more to account for the slight misalignment of the TDC mark on the camshaft pulley).
    • At idle, strobe timing is now 1-2 degrees BTDC, whereas before making the adjustment it was about 10 degrees. No wonder I was getting some detonation under load.
    Carburettor:
    • I adjusted the primary butterfly plate screw CW (inwards) by half a turn
    • Adjusting the mixture screw still only alters the engine rpm a relatively small amount, but I reset the idle speed at 800 rpm (using the secondary butterfly and the mixture screw).
    Result:
    • Having done quite a few gear changes from P or N to R or 3, the car hasn't stalled once since completing the above.
    • I've been for a drive and I'd say the performance is poorer than with the more advanced timing setting, but I couldn't induce any detonation. Perhaps I can advance the timing a bit.
    I dug out a Repco compression gauge I've had for years. The results: 160, 170, 170, 150 psi on cylinders 1-4, respectively. The adapter I made up to test cylinder 4 wasn't ideal so, although that cylinder might be down a bit on compression, I would like to check it again with a better adapter.

    I'm not yet at the point of swapping the Xantia for the D as a daily driver, but this is a great improvement from the start of this thread.

    Thanks to everyone - especially Steve - for the suggestions.

    Chris

  9. #34
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    Hi Chris,

    That is good to hear - at least it seems that the carburetor settings are getting close to where they should be for the idle problem.

    Timing - One thing to keep in mind is that as the engines accumulate mileage the lobes on the cam and contact face of the lifters wear. Over time this changes the profile of the cam. Typically older engines that utilized solid lifters (D and CX engines) require a bit of advance from the stated value as that wear retards timing in the mid rpm range. It can become a bit tricky as you have to balance power in the 2000 to 35000 rpm range with pre-ignition problems at higher speeds. Over the years the max advance recommended by the factory was around 15-16 degrees camshaft, regardless of model. If one looks at the curves in 814 this may not be evident as for some time the cars were static timed only and the 'setting pin' on the flywheel actually corresponded to 12 degrees BTDC starting, IIRC, with the first of the 5 main cars.

    Adam Reif of the Sacramento Valley Citroen Club (California) borrowed some different camshafts from Miles Potter at Western Hemispheres (Watsonville, CA) some years ago. He took them to a cam shop in Sacramento and had them measured. The profile shape was the same regardless of the engine they were suppose to go into (DV/DX/DX2). The only thing that was different was the position of the drive gear for the distributor.

    I suspect that the main problem you encountered after the 123 was installed is/was caused by two problems. The first is that the timing had actually advanced a bit with the mechanical distributor. As the points wear timing advances. The second is that the primary and secondary springs in the unit had lost strength (a typical condition) which allows a quicker advance from idle to the max rotation of the unit which is limited by a mechanical stop.

    Carburetor - If you have had the unit completely apart and cleaned then I doubt there is any problem with the jets or passage ways. OTOH if not it might be a good idea to check the amount of "crud" in the fuel bowl and the clean the carb if there is more than a 'film' of stuff in the bowl. Also check and clean the fine mesh filter in the top of the unit that filters the gas coming in. A partially clogged main jet on the secondary will allow the car to idle and run normally until you put your foot to the floor .

    Steve

  10. #35
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    Steve, Thank you for this extra detail about timing and valve train issues - very interesting.

    I did clean the carby out whilst I had it off the manifold and the float bowl was reasonably clean.

    Your reference to carby cleanliness has reminded me that I meant to change the after-market in-line filter I have installed in the suction line - both to renew the filter itself and to fit the new one in the line between the fuel pump and the carby. I understand the conventional wisdom is to fit these filters in a pressurised location, not on the suction side.

    I think I now have a workable base point and will keep fine tuning from here.

    Chris

  11. #36
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    Default return of the stalling ds23 auto

    For those who have followed my attempt to replace the factory mechanical cooling fan and water pump with a Davies Craig electronically controlled EWP80 and 14" high performance electric fan, you will be aware that I've reverted to the standard factory setup, with reasonable success, having also had my radiator recored.

    But my attempts to fine tune the ignition timing and carburettor are not fully resolved. Steve (Citroenfan) provided some excellent advice above, which I've attempted to follow in my effort to get this sorted.



    To summarise, with the carby I've:
    • gently seated auxiliary air bleed screw (on primary barrel, facing air cleaner)
    • backed off adjusting screw on primary throttle until it just touches the throttle stop
    • adjusted the idle speed to 825 rpm by:
      • adjusting the screw on the secondary throttle to achieve 750 rpm; and
      • adjusting the mixture screw to "just on the rich side" of the highest idle point.
      • screwed in (CW - about 3/4 turn) the primary throttle screw until it increased rpm by 75rpm.
      • adjusting the screw on the secondary throttle to achieve 825 rpm; and
      • adjusting the mixture screw to "just on the rich side" of the highest idle point.
    The 123 igniton is a bit more problematic, because for automatic Ds, there's an unsatisfactory variation on the 'hole in the block' method of setting the static timing, which relies on a rebuilt torque converter driveplate being correctly aligned when it's reinstalled. My trans has been rebuilt (years before I acquired the car) and it wasn't correctly aligned when it was reinstalled - so I've tried to statically time the ignition using a metal pin on No 1 piston and a dial gauge. As Steve pointed out above, "missing" TDC by a small amount leads to errors. I've done my best to "nail" TDC, but I think even so, I'm out by at least 1 degree on the camshaft timing plate - possibly more.

    Based on curve C12 in the 814 manual, at 413 camshaft rpm (825 engine rpm), there should be 0 deg advance. At idle my strobe shows about 8 deg advance on the timing plate, so I figure that maybe the indicated 8 deg is my TDC point, even though by the dial gauge my 'dot' on the camshaft pulley was at 1 deg BTDC (piston No 1 at TDC).

    The uncertainty of this base point bothers me.

    However, be that as it may, I then advaced the distributor to an indicated 15 deg BTDC @ 2,000 engine rpm (1,000 distributor rpm): 7 deg advance on the base point.

    At this setting, the car runs reasonably well and I can't induce detonation (on 98 octane PULP).

    I then thought I'd try to advance the timing to the point where I CAN induce detonation. I've failed! I advanced the timing about another 2 degrees and couldn't get it to ping. I advanced the timing to an indicated 20 deg BTDC on my timing plate and the engine started but soon stalled - repeatedly.

    The weather being a bit hot by then, I didn't try any carburettor adjustments to see whether I could somehow keep the engine running at the more advanced timing point (to get a 'pinging reference point'), so the success of retuning the carby and trying to induce pinging remain unknowns.

    At an indicated 17 deg advanced (@ 2,000 engine rpm), the engine would run OK in neutral, but as soon as I tried to engage R or D it would stall. With a bit of choke, I could keep the engine running while I engaged a gear. This enabled me to do the 'ping test @ 17 deg indicated advance'.

    I then reverted to an indicated 15 deg advance, but engaging gear from N is still a bit of a hit and miss event. Remedy: pull out the choke a very short distance (not enough to noticeably increase engine revs).

    Having done this trial and error with timing, I then rechecked the carby settings. All went according to Hoyle, as outlined in the dot points above, but I found that when I adjusted the mixture screw to "the rich side of the highest idle point", I could keep turning anti-clockwise (CCW) and the revs initially dropped a bit, but it didn't stall - even with several complete turns CCW. I've always found in the past that if you keep enrichening the mixture, the engine will stall.

    Any thoughts on my timing issue and the carby adjustment issues would be much appreciated.

    Maybe with these things sorted I could also achieve slightly better cooling performance (see descaling ds cooling system)?

    Chris

  12. #37
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    My DS23 auto (the subject of this thread) has effectively spent the past 5-6 years in mothballs, as my 'day job' hasn't permitted time for indulgences such as pursuing my classic Citroen hobby.

    A few weeks ago, I took the plunge and reacquainted myself with this car and its idiosyncrasies. This thread - and others in the Citroen Forum - have been helpful in at last making the car driveable.

    To cut a long story short, Steve's suggestion on 24 September 2011 - that I check the carby for air leaks - has proven a valuable tip. After a number of frustrating attempts to get the car to idle reliably while engaging D or R, I finally bit the bullet and had a close look at the base of the carby. I found the (apparently) typical Weber warping issue: between 0.016" and 0.020" as measured along each side of the base.

    I followed the suggestions in the thread warped carburetor base and made a new insulator (between carby and inlet manifold) out of a phenolic electrical board material obtained from a local electrical wholesaler and made a 'mastic sandwich seal' as described in this thread.

    I am now able to adjust the carby such that the car happily transitions to D or R and idles in gear at traffic lights without stalling. I am still working through the process of finding the optimum distributor and carby adjustments, but on reflection, the warped carby base significantly contributed to my frustration outlined in the above thread. Hopefully, my repair stands the test of time, as the D is such an enjoyable drive - even in Borg Warner auto form.

    Thank you to all the Aussiefrogs Citroen Forum contributors for helping me work through this issue. Chris
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  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citquery View Post
    The 123 igniton is a bit more problematic, because for automatic Ds, there's an unsatisfactory variation on the 'hole in the block' method of setting the static timing, which relies on a rebuilt torque converter driveplate being correctly aligned when it's reinstalled. My trans has been rebuilt (years before I acquired the car) and it wasn't correctly aligned when it was reinstalled - so I've tried to statically time the ignition using a metal pin on No 1 piston and a dial gauge. As Steve pointed out above, "missing" TDC by a small amount leads to errors. I've done my best to "nail" TDC, but I think even so, I'm out by at least 1 degree on the camshaft timing plate - possibly more.
    Chris
    Although my post immediately above reports positively on my repair to the warped carburettor base, fine tuning the engine to my satisfaction is still proving problematic.

    I thought I would check the accuracy of my No. 1 cylinder 'TDC' mark on the camshaft pulley, so I went through the whole pin (actually a uPVC rod) on the piston / dial gauge process (see quote) and found nothing new, except...

    While working through this process, I put a suitable rod in the 'bellhousing' hole on the Borg Warner transmission and levered the crankshaft until it came to a sudden stop. I marked the camshaft (sheave nearest radiator) adjacent to the 0 degree mark on the scale - and resumed the levering until the same thing happened again. This time I marked the 2 sheaves nearest the radiator.

    I then checked the new marks with my strobe and found that when connected to the spark plug leads for cylinders 2 and 3, respectively, they aligned with the scale in almost the same position as my No. 1 cylinder mark.

    Am I correct in deducing that all is not lost on a D auto if the Borg Warner drive plate isn't reassembled in the original factory position? On my observation it appears that with the auto the TDC pin location method simply relates to another cylinder - and the timing settings can be determined using that cylinder accordingly.

    I haven't seen any commentary on this elsewhere.

    I'd be interested in the opinion of the many D experts out there. Chris

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