Dauphine Electronic Distributor.
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Thread: Dauphine Electronic Distributor.

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! geodon's Avatar
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    Default Dauphine Electronic Distributor.

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    I'm a fan of electronic ignition.

    Let's face it: how many new cars are released with a points distributor?

    I have it on all my classics bar the MGA which has Bosch unit so I'm not at the mercy of The Prince of Darkness.

    Now 123 Systems lists a unit for the Ventoux motor but it has a fatal flaw: the depth/reach of the dog that engages the distributor drive is only about 30mm & it needs to be about 40mm *thinks of the Scotsman with deep pockets & short arms*

    The agent suggested contacting the manufacturer in Holland to have one custom made but the cost was prohibitive.

    I obtained a reco'd orig distributor with an electronic insert from:

    https://renaultdauphinerestorationshopusa.co/

    The proprietor is Lawrence Dooley. I've sourced quite a bit of stuff from there. Not cheap but he's never let me down & is generous with good advice.

    Fitting the Unit

    The 1st thing I noticed was that the rotor pointed away from the block when no.1 was ready to fire. This is the opposite to what it was so I'm guessing the dog was installed 180 degrees out? No big deal: I just re-routed the HT leads which are the hi-performance silicone ones. I used the standard coil.

    Timing

    The 123 units have a built in indicator light that tells you when the unit fires. This one doesn't & so one has to use the traditional method to set static ignition timing.

    However, when I installed a 6V pilot light across the LT to earth, I noticed it was always on. Rotating the distributor I saw that it went out momentarily at various points so I suspected that was when it went bang. After confirming that with Lawrence, I wired up & started the motor

    Results/Observations.

    It used to be a cow to start: no pedal, start on idle, don't rev till it warms up. Now it starts 1st hit & revs freely from cold. Previously, when searching for the "sweet spot" by rotating the distributor whilst the engine was running, I could go about 30 degrees from too advanced to too retarded. Now I find the tolerance is minimal. I only need to go a couple of degrees in either direction before it starts to run rough.

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    Last edited by geodon; 14th February 2020 at 10:27 AM.
    "Pauses for audience applause......not a sausage!"....Bluebottle

    1949 Citroen Big 6
    1955 MGA1500
    1970 Peugeot 404 Utility
    1962 Renault Dauphine Gordini
    1950 Grey Fergie Tractor (Pending Resto Project)

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    Fellow Frogger! geodon's Avatar
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    Attention admin!

    My attachments won't open
    "Pauses for audience applause......not a sausage!"....Bluebottle

    1949 Citroen Big 6
    1955 MGA1500
    1970 Peugeot 404 Utility
    1962 Renault Dauphine Gordini
    1950 Grey Fergie Tractor (Pending Resto Project)

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    Fellow Frogger! geodon's Avatar
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    Last edited by geodon; 14th February 2020 at 10:36 AM.
    "Pauses for audience applause......not a sausage!"....Bluebottle

    1949 Citroen Big 6
    1955 MGA1500
    1970 Peugeot 404 Utility
    1962 Renault Dauphine Gordini
    1950 Grey Fergie Tractor (Pending Resto Project)

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    Fellow Frogger! nauli's Avatar
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    Nice work there.
    For further info for anybody who may require non-standard 123 Ignition distributors, try these guys in Germany: www.123ignition.de ....the contact is Eric Frenken. They do custom builds of 123 Ignition distributors....that's where I got my unit to suit the R5 Alpine engine.
    Shoji likes this.
    1969 Alpine A110

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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Isn't that all interesting! Two suppliers I'd never heard of!!

    It sounds (Geodon) as if your original distributor was pretty bad in the internals. They work much better than that in correct condition.

    However, I totally agree regarding electronic distributors and have used Hebels in Holland: https://www.123ignition-conversions.nl/ with perfect results.

    They fit a 123 unit into any of the large body Ducellier distributors - did one for my Citroen CX and I have one for the R8 in the mail. I'm using a Hot Spark unit in the R8 at present but of course that still requires the centrifugal and vacuum systems to be working properly.

    The later Ventoux engines have the larger size Ducellier distributor, so a 123 unit can be fitted if you find such a distributor (I have one as a spare) and the 123 unit will run on 6V I believe.

    Later Ventoux engines have a separate short distributor drive that sits in the camshaft gear. For those short 123 distributors that don't fit some Ventoux engines, you need to get an old oil pump with a good spline on the driveshaft and just cut it to length and slot it to match the distributor dog's position. Problem solved. As it would be by sending the distributor body to Hebels or elsewhere.

    You can't get a 123 into the original 4CV distributors (too small) - mine has a reconditioned distributor and an off the shelf transistorised ignition unit so that the points switch only a tiny current. It's fine.
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1950 (R1062)
    Renault R8 1965 (R1130)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2005 (wife's)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2006 (daughter's)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2007 (mine)

    CitroŽn CX Pallas 1980 (moved on to new custodian)

    National Co-ordinator, Renault 4CV Register of Australia

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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    I went to https://renaultdauphinerestorationshopusa.co/ Geodon - very interesting and he's running a very rare automatic Dauphine it seems. There wouldn't be many of them actually working.

    Is your new distributor fully electronic or a module like a Hot Spark kit in a properly reconditioned distributor? I've found that Hot Spark kit approach perfect if the distributor is good.

    Thanks for sharing the information.
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1950 (R1062)
    Renault R8 1965 (R1130)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2005 (wife's)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2006 (daughter's)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2007 (mine)

    CitroŽn CX Pallas 1980 (moved on to new custodian)

    National Co-ordinator, Renault 4CV Register of Australia

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    Fellow Frogger! geodon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    I went to https://renaultdauphinerestorationshopusa.co/ Geodon - very interesting and he's running a very rare automatic Dauphine it seems. There wouldn't be many of them actually working.

    Is your new distributor fully electronic or a module like a Hot Spark kit in a properly reconditioned distributor? I've found that Hot Spark kit approach perfect if the distributor is good.

    Thanks for sharing the information.
    I suspect it's the latter John

    I've got stuff from Lawrence that beggars belief! e.g. those radiator shroud panels that make it air tight, a full set of aluminium strips for the belt line etc. The only time I got into trouble was with a set of belly pans. We BOTH forgot that they are different for LHD vs RHD!
    "Pauses for audience applause......not a sausage!"....Bluebottle

    1949 Citroen Big 6
    1955 MGA1500
    1970 Peugeot 404 Utility
    1962 Renault Dauphine Gordini
    1950 Grey Fergie Tractor (Pending Resto Project)

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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geodon View Post
    I suspect it's the latter John

    I've got stuff from Lawrence that beggars belief! e.g. those radiator shroud panels that make it air tight, a full set of aluminium strips for the belt line etc. The only time I got into trouble was with a set of belly pans. We BOTH forgot that they are different for LHD vs RHD!
    That was my suspicion but if the distributor is good, getting rid of points and capacitor certainly does it for me! I have a box of spares for long distance travel in the boots of both R8 and 4CV, which always includes a spare distributor. The only things I've needed in the last 30 years have been spark plugs, one 12V globe and a short length of soft wire for a windscreen wiper blade holder repair. That's why I carry the rest of the stuff!!

    You'd both have smiled about the belly pans!
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1950 (R1062)
    Renault R8 1965 (R1130)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2005 (wife's)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2006 (daughter's)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2007 (mine)

    CitroŽn CX Pallas 1980 (moved on to new custodian)

    National Co-ordinator, Renault 4CV Register of Australia

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