ds23 auto with 123 ignition stalls
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Thread: ds23 auto with 123 ignition stalls

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    Default ds23 auto with 123 ignition stalls

    I have just replaced the Ducellier distributor on my DS23 auto (carby) with a new 123 (DS/A) ignition unit. I have selected curve 12 (mode C).

    The installation was simple enough. I reset the timing and idle speed, but immediately I put it in gear, it stalled. I did this a couple of times, with the same result, so I increased the revs slightly when I selected R and that overcame the immediate problem, but clearly it's not right. (The issue is the same irrespective of whether R or 3 is selected.)

    The engine seems to lack the torque to cope with a gear being selected.

    Has anyone had a similar issue with the 123 ignition fitted to a DS23 auto - and more particualrly, does anyone have a simple solution to get it operating properly?

    Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citquery View Post
    I have just replaced the Ducellier distributor on my DS23 auto (carby) with a new 123 (DS/A) ignition unit. I have selected curve 12 (mode C).

    The installation was simple enough. I reset the timing and idle speed, but immediately I put it in gear, it stalled. I did this a couple of times, with the same result, so I increased the revs slightly when I selected R and that overcame the immediate problem, but clearly it's not right. (The issue is the same irrespective of whether R or 3 is selected.)

    The engine seems to lack the torque to cope with a gear being selected.

    Has anyone had a similar issue with the 123 ignition fitted to a DS23 auto - and more particualrly, does anyone have a simple solution to get it operating properly?

    Chris
    Hi Chris,

    You seem to know what you are doing so I'll tread carefully...

    I've yet to fit mine so have just gone back over the fitting instructions. You were having trouble with static timing, I guess you have sorted that problem?

    Once you have marked the camshaft pulley the instructions are to turn the engine backwards 12 degrees from '0' which will show as 6 degrees on your timing scale. [camshaft is rotating at half the speed of the crankshaft - therefore 12 degrees equals 6 degrees on the camshaft]. You proably have this correct but worth checking?

    Curve C Mode 12 is correct for engines after 1972

    They do also say, a final adjustment using a stoboscope should be performed...

    New leads and coil are also recommended.

    Let us know how you go, sounds like the auto is more of a drama than the manual gearbox in all respects.

    Cheers
    Chris
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    I've recently installed a 123 on my '74 23 carby and I found that my idle speed increased by 100 -150rpm. Admittedly my car has a manual box so I don't suffer from any drag from an auto box. Similarly set Curve C. Mode 12 (needed to use magnifying glasses to see those tiny little numbers). I didn't have a strobe so just used the LED built into the 123 & couldn't get over the difference it made to the ease of start-up, smooth idling and instant foot-down, no pinking acceleration. 60kph
    in fourth up Oliver's Hill is now an effortless exercise as is 150kph (and still accelerating!) on an empty freeway late one night. Haven't checked fuel consumption yet but I suspect it will have improved quite some. A couple of weeks later I checked the timing with a strobe and I was only 1/2 degree out so either I was very lucky or that little LED light is pretty accurate. All in all I'm thrilled with the results.

    Chris, I hope you get your problem sorted quickly, as when you do I have no doubts you too will wonder how you lived without it (a bit like my iPad really).

    Dave
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    Default stalling ds23 auto with 123 ignition

    Chris and Dave, Thank you for your responses.

    I have a timing plate mounted on the water pump housing and established TDC on No 1 cylinder using the 'rod on top of the piston' method - in this case, with a dial gauge mounted on a magnetic base. So I think my starting point is OK and I've followed the instructions from there.

    I'm not keen on turning an engine backwards, so I set the static timing point by turning the engine over twice more in the correct direction to position the camshaft at 6 degrees BTDC. Lots of levering the ring gear with a screwdriver! Yes, autos are a bit of a pain!

    I've set the dynamic timing with a strobe light. The engine idles very smoothly (in P) - and noticeably faster than with the original distributor, so I've adjusted it to the correct speed.

    I didn't find the instruction booklet particularly helpful in choosing the correct advance curve. The illustration on page 27 confirmed my suspicion that the tapered end of the wider of the two slots was the pointer. Mine was set on '0', so I moved it a quarter of a turn to 'C'.

    I've been for a short drive and agree with most of your comments, Dave. It seems to keep going alright once you've selected the gear - and it idled alright while I waited (nervously) at the one set of traffic lights which interrupted my short run. If only I can get it to keep idling when I select a gear! The engine actually dies instantly a gear is selected - almost as if the inhibitor switch has cut the ignition, but as I say, with a few extra revs, it will survive the gear selection load.

    I'll double check everything again tomorrow; otherwise I hope someone has a practical solution.

    Chris

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    Default stalling DS23 auto

    Does anyone know if the auto engine/block has an ignition timing slot where you drop in the pin ?
    It sounds to me that the timing is not set properly - the timing marker on the block is generally not accurate enough.
    You could also try adding an earth wire from the 123 ( there is provision for a bolt on the underside of the 123.
    Hawk

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    Default stalling ds23 auto

    Hawk, The auto has a different setup to the manuals. The timing hole is at the top of the bellhousing, under the water pump and it's 8 or 10mm in diameter (see photo). To set the static timing correctly requires the drive plate and torque converter to be reaasembled correctly after a trans removal.

    My best efforts to use this method haven't been successful, so I suspect the bits weren't reassembled according to Hoyle following a trans re-build many years ago. Hence my use of the dial gauge and 'rod on top of the piston' method.

    I spotted the tapped hole for the earth wire, so I could try that, but wouldn't the various connections between the dizzy body and the housing and clamp plate provide an adequate earth?

    Chris
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails ds23 auto with 123 ignition stalls-ds23-bw-static-timing-2.jpg  
    Last edited by Citquery; 17th September 2011 at 11:56 PM. Reason: add photo

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    Why not try a little experimentation with the timing ? Advance 2* on your present setting to see what effect it has, if no improvement, try 2* retard. This amount of variation should not be harmful & could throw some light on the problem. Do listen for sounds of detonation on the advance setting.
    Keep having fun !

    Richard

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    Default stalling ds23 auto with 123 ignition

    Thank you to everyone who has put their mind to this.

    I think it's resolved, but having not applied proper scientific method, I'm not sure why the stalling now seems to have been overcome.

    I think it might have been a carburation issue, as I haven't touched anything electrical, other than re-connecting the tacho lead, which I inadvertently left off when connecting the new dizzy.

    The Weber 28 x 36 DMA5 carby fitted to the automatics has two "idle speed" adjustments on the primary throat - the throttle stop screw (31 in the Autobooks diagram of the DMA-2 carby) and the idle mixture control screw (item 34).

    When I adjusted the idle speed after fitting the 123 ignition I altered both 31 and 34 - as well as the volume control screw (52).

    The stalling seems to have been cured by adopting the technique I use to reset the throttle stop screw if I've disturbed it: that is to turn it in (once resting against the stop lug) one and a quarter turns (with the choke fully open - i.e. no choke). I adjusted the idle speed using the idle mixture control screw, with the volume control screw set to the point of the leaner end of the maximum idle speed.

    Not being a carburettor technician, I understand the broad logic of this remedy (that somehow I've relieved a fuel starvation issue), but someone with a better understanding of the workings of the Weber carby will explain specifically why I now seem to be able to select a gear without the engine stalling.

    Weber carbys are apparently considered easy to adjust, but as you'll gather from the underlying waffle in the above, I find it a bit of a mystery and would like to better understand how to do so properly.

    Chris

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    Chris,
    Thanks for the better explanation for determining the pointer position on the 123 ignition. It wasn't clear to me.

    Weber carbs, well, if they were only still new, which they aren't. They are forgiving of poor settings rather than being easy to set on the late DS23, or so has been my experience.

    Pleased to know your issues have been resolved.

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    Default stalling ds23 auto with 123 ignition

    Hi Chris,

    First off - all of the two barrel Webers used on the later D's (5 main engines) have their idle adjustments on the secondary barrel - not the primary. The only exception to this (not really an exception, but an addition) is that some models have an auxiliary air bleed screw for CO2 control that feeds a finely metered air flow to the primary barrel.

    I suspect what happened was that when you used the throttle plate adjustment screw to slow down the engine with out re-adjusting the idle mixture screw, you made the charge to rich. This can reduce the amount of power in the engine and could easily have been sufficient to kill the engine with the added drag when the BW engaged. The same thing can happen if the charge going into the engine is to lean.

    I recently acquired a 1970 wagon (Safari to you) that had had a 23 engine put in it some years ago. Though a BVM it suffered the same type of problem just as you let out the clutch - the engine would instantly die unless you timed pushing on the throttle perfectly. Though it had the proper "idle" jet (0.70mm) in the secondary barrel, someone had stuffed a 0.65mm secondary in the primary barrel. The result was that to much gas was getting into the intake via the first progression hole in the primary and the overall adjustment of the secondary barrel's throttle plate and the idle mixture screw had been use to try and compensate. After I switched out the 0.65 jet with the proper 0.50mm and then readjusted the idle mixture screw and the secondary's throttle plate, the problem disappeared.

    Steve

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    Well that all sounds like a logical conclusion.
    The 123 often gets blamed for a problem when fitted but it is often something unrelated ( like the carbi tune ) As a matter of interest the 123 will often work better with a wider plug gap than standard. The stronger spark with a bigger plug gap apparently.
    cheers
    Hawk

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    Default spoke too soon

    As suggested by the title to this post, I spoke too soon!

    Having set the idle speed at about 1100rpm in neutral (to temporarily overcome the gear selection stalling problem) and having checked and double-checked all of the electrical settings (including timing), I decided to try a hill test.

    Not a good idea, especially on a Sunday afternoon! I chose a supposedly quiet route to the hills nearby and once we started to climb, it didn't take long to accumulate a large procession of impatient Sunday afternoon day-trippers. I couldn't believe the lack of power. At one point I had to select first gear and was about to get out and push (well nearly). Thankfully, I found a turn-around spot and came home.

    Having parked the car at the end of a frustrating couple of days, I was pleased to discover some new posts above. Thank you all for your assistance and comments.

    Steve, your advice is timely.

    My carby looks similar to the one in the illustration in the attachment. Do those who have satisfactorily tuned this type of Weber carby use the technique suggested here, or is there a better way to do it? (I don't have an exhaust gas analyser.)

    Thanks also for your suggestion about plug gaps, Hawk.

    Chris
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Default spoke to soon

    Chris,

    The problem you are having now really sounds like it is related to timing and not to the carburetor. The Webers, while very nice units, are not smart enough to pick up on the fact that you changed out the distributor . Lack of power under load would indicate that the timing is retarded. Regardless of what your timing light/scale is showing you, I would advance the ignition timing about 6 degrees crankshaft (3 on you timing scale) and see if that improves matters. As D engines age, the camshaft lobes wear down causing the relationship between valve opening/max lift and firing point to change. Finding a balance between power and not pinking under load becomes more art than science.

    Keep in mind that the primary circuits in the carburetor (the ones controlled by the main jets for each barrel) really only come into operation with an engine speed above 2500 or so rpm - ,even with your foot to the floor, you will still be on the secondary circuits in the carburetor as there is insufficient air flow to bring the primary circuit(s) into play.

    The correct advance curve for your car is C12 - which on a 123 is position 'C' - which I think you mentioned that you had set.

    As to spark gap - that really has a lot more to do with the energy charge in the coil than the triggering mechanism. Unless you have put in a high energy coil, leave the point gap at the factory recommend figure.

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citroenfan View Post
    Chris,

    The problem you are having now really sounds like it is related to timing and not to the carburetor. The Webers, while very nice units, are not smart enough to pick up on the fact that you changed out the distributor . Lack of power under load would indicate that the timing is retarded. Regardless of what your timing light/scale is showing you, I would advance the ignition timing about 6 degrees crankshaft (3 on you timing scale) and see if that improves matters. As D engines age, the camshaft lobes wear down causing the relationship between valve opening/max lift and firing point to change. Finding a balance between power and not pinking under load becomes more art than science.

    Keep in mind that the primary circuits in the carburetor (the ones controlled by the main jets for each barrel) really only come into operation with an engine speed above 2500 or so rpm - ,even with your foot to the floor, you will still be on the secondary circuits in the carburetor as there is insufficient air flow to bring the primary circuit(s) into play.

    The correct advance curve for your car is C12 - which on a 123 is position 'C' - which I think you mentioned that you had set.

    As to spark gap - that really has a lot more to do with the energy charge in the coil than the triggering mechanism. Unless you have put in a high energy coil, leave the point gap at the factory recommend figure.

    Steve
    Stepping carefully here, knowing my own ignorance etc, I agree that this no longer sounds like a carbie matter. The idle speed and mixture adjustments are important in the idle area, and in how the thing behaves when you open the throttle from idle, but if you are driving and accelerate further and there is no power, I don't see that it would be anything to do with the idle circuit in the carburettor. Up Greenhill Road was it??

    Really interesting thread, and thanks for that, but hope it is not "interesting" for too long!

    Cheers
    JohnW

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    And if you fiddled with the carby too much and have adjusted it so the second throat doesnt ever open can also make a DS auto a big slug. Ask Boyracer about his one time carby twiddle!
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    All is well now though.

    Despite the general (mostly misguided) consensus on carby autos, mine is quite fleet of foot and has been for ages.

    I don't tweak carbys these days.
    Cheers,
    Michael

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    Stepping carefully here, knowing my own ignorance etc, I agree that this no longer sounds like a carbie matter. The idle speed and mixture adjustments are important in the idle area, and in how the thing behaves when you open the throttle from idle, but if you are driving and accelerate further and there is no power, I don't see that it would be anything to do with the idle circuit in the carburettor. Up Greenhill Road was it??

    Really interesting thread, and thanks for that, but hope it is not "interesting" for too long!

    Cheers
    If it dies off ... then comes back strongly .....um, you said ds auto right ... um, OK, rephrase, if it dies off, then ...um, "recovers" ... I'd be looking at the accellerator pump. Pump the accellerator with the engine switched off and watch down the throat of the carby. You should see petrol spray down there whenever you open the throttle. If you don't, a quick freshen up of the carby with a new carby kit should fix it (as the kit will have a new pump diaphram).

    seeya,
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    If it dies off ... then comes back strongly .....um, you said ds auto right ... um, OK, rephrase, if it dies off, then ...um, "recovers" ... I'd be looking at the accellerator pump. Pump the accellerator with the engine switched off and watch down the throat of the carby. You should see petrol spray down there whenever you open the throttle. If you don't, a quick freshen up of the carby with a new carby kit should fix it (as the kit will have a new pump diaphram).

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    The Weber in question (any fitted to any D from the factory) does not have a pump diaphragm. In this particular case the accelerator pump is a piston in a bore.

    http://www.agua.nu/ds-files/tony-jac...for%20DS23.pdf

    Thanks to Tony Jackson for providing the printed info, available to all.
    Last edited by richo; 19th September 2011 at 12:22 PM. Reason: link added

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    Default fleet of foot DS23 auto

    I've attached a new title to this post in the hope that I can find the right blend of adjustments to get a result similar to the one Michael describes.

    As to the present - and reality. I took a short break over lunch and reset the three carby adjustments - decribed in the attachment to my post above - to the specified settings. I then started the car and let it warm up.

    Part way through the warm-up I tried selecting P and 3 and was able to complete a P-R-N-3 sequence - and back to P again - without the car stalling. I thought I was on the right track.

    Then when I tried it again with the engine fully warm and having adjusted the idle in P to about 850 rpm (using the air adjustment screw and mixture adjustment screw): persitient stalling. It's THAT touchy.

    Referring to my run yesterday afternoon - it was to Belair, not Greenhill Road, John - I didn't mention that in trying to achieve a bit more speed, I tried to find the best compromise between: heavy right foot, backing off to avoid detonation (which I induced under heavy throttle) and using a lower gear. The main point of this extra commentary is that I doubt whether I can advance the timing any more (as suggested by those who think it's a timing issue). By the way, the fuel is reasonably fresh, but I was only able to buy 95 octane PULP last time I filled up.

    Further thoughts most welcome.

    Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by richo View Post
    The Weber in question (any fitted to any D from the factory) does not have a pump diaphragm. In this particular case the accelerator pump is a piston in a bore.

    http://www.agua.nu/ds-files/tony-jac...for%20DS23.pdf

    Thanks to Tony Jackson for providing the printed info, available to all.
    Nice! Thanks for the correction. It looks similar to the CX carby ( I was actually thinking the solex PCIB in the back of my head when I said diaphram ).

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    Default fleet of foot DS23 auto

    Hi Chris,

    First off - unless you have access to a CO2/CO meter do not fool around with the aux air bleed screw. Gently seat it and leave alone. That aux air bleed is only for adjusting the CO2/CO readings in the exhaust to meet local air pollution requirements. The idle adjustments are done using the idle mixture screw and the throttle plate set screw for the secondary barrel. The primary barrel throttle is left alone and its adjustment screw should have a lock nut on it. As a point of reference. The instructions that you posted mentioned how to set the primary throttle plate. It is a rather crude way of doing it, but is better than nothing especially if the primary plates position has been fooled with. The best method is to remove the carburetor from the intake manifold and using a feeler gauge set the primary throttle plate so that there is 0.005" (0.13mm) of clearance between the plate's edge and the venturi bore. This will set the throttle plates position such that the edge of the plate is just covering the first progression hole in the primary barrel with out allowing excessive air to enter the intake manifold.

    Ignition advance. If you are out of adjustment range using the tab attached to the clamping collar then you need to loosen the nut holding the distributor in its collar so that the distributor can be turned freely. Make some fine alignment marks on the collar and distributor body so you reset back to your starting place if you over do it. This is the same collar that you took off your old distributor and placed on the 123 prior to installing the 123 in the distributor tower.

    Steve

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    Steve, to quote: "First off - unless you have access to a CO2/CO meter do not fool around with the aux air bleed screw. Gently seat it and leave alone. That aux air bleed is only for adjusting the CO2/CO readings in the exhaust to meet local air pollution requirements."

    By the auxiliary air bleed screw, do you mean the "air adjustment screw" on the side of the carby facing the air cleaner (item 1 in the illustration in the attachment in my earlier post)?

    Chris

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    Hi Chris,

    Yes, that is the aux air bleed screw. The problem of using the aux air bleed with out access to a meter is that, typically, you wind up with a too lean mixture. Additionally the secondary throttle plate stop screw in most cases has been fooled with at some point in the carburetors life. The Webers with the additional air bleed passage (feeds air to a small drilling at the base of the primary venturi) are identical in other respects to the other 2 barrel Webers lacking that extra drilling. If the car does need to pass any local exhaust standards then you will need to 1) verify the throttle stop positions for both the primary and secondary venturi's and 2) Follow the instruction in either 814 Vol 1 Op. 142-0 for cars produced after 9/72 or on the sheet you posted. FYI - that sheet is just a recap of the procedures in 814 with the addition of the setting of the throttle stops. I would just add that it can be a bit difficult with the carb in the car to see when the adjustment screws are just touching the throttle stop taps. A better way is to put one's finger on the tap in question and then turn the screw inwards (CW) until you just feel the tap start to move. Turn the screw CCW 1/8 turn and start your adjustment from that point.

    My suggestion is to gently seat that air bleed and then just follow the instruction's for setting the idle in 814 Vol 1, Op. Dbw. 142-0.

    Carbs really are quite simple devices - regardless of much people would like to think otherwise . The only thing that, from a carburation standpoint, cause the lack of power problem is if the main jet for the secondary barrel was clogged, if the mechanical linkage between the primary and secondary is disconnected or something is interfering with the opening of the secondary throttle. As the car was running OK before the distributor change, and the carburetor has not been opened up, my bet is on timing. The problem of lack of power at idle (BW engaged/not engaged) and lack of power under way are, in your case, unrelated.

    Steve

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    Default DS23 auto stalling - 123 ign & carby

    Steve, Thank you for this extra detail. I will try your suggestion of effectively sidelining the auxiliary air bleed screw and seeing how I get on.

    I might also retard the ignition timing a little and advance it in small steps (assuming I can overcome the stalling issue).

    I will report progress in due course.

    Chris

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    Default DS23 auto carby adjustment

    Given time contraints and my focus on trying to overcome the stalling issue 'in the garage', I've focused on the carby, having removed it from the inlet manifold, blown out the jets and checked the float level before concentrating on the primary throat butterfly stop adjustment.

    I found that using the process described in the attachment to my post of 18 September - stop screw adjusted inwards by one and quarter turns - the butterfly remained effectively closed against the bore. I don't have a decent "pointy" 5 thou' feeler gauge, but I found that 'two and half turns in' equated to 4 thou' clearance and 'three turns' to 6 thou'. I set the stop screw at 'two and a half turns in', reckoning that with these measures, I can make any further adjustments with the carby 'in situ', if needs be.

    I've refitted the carby and adjusted the idle to about 825rpm in P, as per Manual 814 Vol 1 Op. Dbw. 142-0 - "sort of".

    With (a tight) 4 thou clearance on the primary butterfly, I couldn't achieve 550 rpm by winding the secondary throat stop screw right off (i.e. clear of its lug). The lowest rpm I could achieve was about 700. To lower the rpm further, I had to reduce the clearance on the primary butterly.

    But then I found Manual 814 illogical. It says once you've achieved 550 rpm (by adjusting the secondary butterfly stop screw and the mixture screw) "slowly slacken the [secondary butterfly] stop screw and bring the engine speed to between 800 and 850 rpm".

    Surely, slackening the stop screw will lower the engine speed? This is the part I find illogical.

    So much for all this waffle: is the stalling cured? The answer is 'yes' and 'no'. It's certainly better than before the carby work - but I haven't touched the timing yet; nor have I test driven the car on the road.

    One thing I did notice: the exhaust stench was far less sickly than before. (was probably too rich?)

    Any clarification of the issue highlighted in bold - and any other comments - would be welcome.

    Chris

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