Rill Cosby

Do NOT buy a 123ignition distributor.

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Fighting the world's irrationality, one simple internet post at a time...

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How do we tell who wins this conversation?   I win if you find a problem that is not timing related.  You win if nobody ever buys a 123 distributor again.  I'm rooting for me.

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4 minutes ago, Zed Head said:

How do we tell who wins this conversation?   I win if you find a problem that is not timing related.  You win if nobody ever buys a 123 distributor again.  I'm rooting for me.

What do you mean? I've already won. It would help if you knew what we were competing for.

You made a dead topic "popular" and go from like 50 views to almost 200 views. One of the first things to pop up when researching this product. That could have made one person not buy this product, into possibly two, Hell, maybe three. I should be thanking you!

Edited by Rill Cosby

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You're welcome, as is 123.  They make a good product, and, obliviously, by your firsthand account, stand behind it no matter how much abuse they take from customers.  That's a pretty good recommendation.  They should thank you.

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Hmm, I don't think that's the vibe people are getting from this thread. Proven by almost everyone else who posted prior to you made a comment about that's how they shouldn't be running the show. If you stand behind them, without even reading the emails, how can you sit here and say they are a good company? You're part of the problem, my guy. 

The email is still there to view. I will mention again that in those emails before an argument even began and I quote "Also just to clarify, I'm not looking to get anything out of this. It puts me in a horrible situation being my daily driver, but it is what it is. I'm just explaining my experience and I would hope at the minimum I could at least return the thing and get my money back."

In which the director sidestepped that and instigated. Why should that even happen?

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I suspect there are lots of people like me that haven't gotten involved but still have a high opinion of 123 because I know people who have run them and like them.  It is unfortunate you have had a problem and others for that matter. The main take away I have so far is their supplied caps are suspect.

As for your engine damage, I would want alot more info before I blamed the distributor! Lots of other possibilities there before I would suspect timing. Now on a turbo application timing is more crucial but NA and strret compressions not so much. 

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1 hour ago, Patcon said:

I suspect there are lots of people like me that haven't gotten involved but still have a high opinion of 123 because I know people who have run them and like them.  It is unfortunate you have had a problem and others for that matter. The main take away I have so far is their supplied caps are suspect.

As for your engine damage, I would want alot more info before I blamed the distributor! Lots of other possibilities there before I would suspect timing. Now on a turbo application timing is more crucial but NA and strret compressions not so much. 

I agree. I know the majority have good experiences. There does seem to be a small trend among bluetooth models having more issues than the other programmable models, outside of the caps. But yes, the distributor cap seems to be the same in all setups and should be addressed.

I'm genuinely curious on to what other information you would like? I'm being serious because I would like to know as well to help pinpoint the issue, if even possible. It's a little different as I know the history of the vehicle so I'd be willing to share and that is why my mind is focused primarily on the timing being at fault. Because of one, the compression (before and after). Two, valve lash is correct. Three, no issues prior. I'd have to check the mileage but I'd say 15,000 miles ago this engine went through an entire rebuild. Only a little bit of head work but the bottom end was completely redone, timing kit as well. I'd like to think if it would have went bad, it would have went bad already. That's not necessarily true but man, what a terrible coincidence if it decided to now.

I will get to it soon to do a leak down test and at some point get inside to confirm or deny valves.

Edited by Rill Cosby

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4 minutes ago, Rill Cosby said:

Because of one, the compression (before and after). 

Numbers are always good.  Report the numbers, then do the standard practice of adding oil to the cylinders to see if they help seal the rings.  If the oil helps you have a ring problem, if it doesn't you might have a valve problem.

And don't forget to open the throttle before cranking.  And remove all of the plugs so that you get some good engine speed.

Edited by Zed Head

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I will double check soon. Numbers if I remember correctly were in the range of 170-180 before compression. I'd have to find the piece of cardboard if we are looking for exact. The lowest cylinder, that was not this one, I believe was roughly 168. 

The cylinder afterwards is 130-ish.

Edited by Rill Cosby

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Zed's post on numbers, dry and wet is a good place to start.

What was the static compression on the rebuild? Peanut head or open head? Cast pistons? Detonation issues? Premium fuel?

I would pull the head and make pictures. Could be a burnt valve, broken rings, holed piston, bent valve. A number of things really...

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Well, to not keep you guys waiting I went out and decided to do a dry and wet test.

Piston number 4 being the culprit in bold.

Dry - 173 - 175 -178 - 137 - 178 - 178

Wet - 182 - 185 - 187 - 166 - 185 - 185 

As far as tearing down the head that will be a little ways from now. If ever.

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28 minutes ago, Rill Cosby said:

Well, to not keep you guys waiting I went out and decided to do a dry and wet test.

Piston number 4 being the culprit in bold.

Dry - 173 - 175 -178 - 137 - 178 - 178

Wet - 182 - 185 - 187 - 166 - 185 - 185 

As far as tearing down the head that will be a little ways from now. If ever.

The wet number is much better (all with in 10%). That would suggest a ring issue

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Could be from detonation.  Detonation breaks rings and ring lands. 

Any chance you could describe or show the advance curve that you were using?  And the details of the engine?  Is it stock compression ratio?  Could be the problem wasn't losing advance but having too much. 

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4 minutes ago, Patcon said:

The wet number is much better (all with in 10%). That would suggest a ring issue

That was my theory since the beginning. The problem was that there wasn't enough evidence to back that up, although that wasn't the purpose of this thread. I'm just going by the history of the engine, the few things I did look at and also, to be honest, the smell.

It's a ring issue like I expected and now we are right back to the beginning. What caused it? I'm still keeping my eye on detonation issues. Surprisingly enough it just so happens I installed a part that controls detonation greatly, that also shows signs of faults. Not only externally but showed malfunction internally. But the latter is my word against nobody elses. That is until Ed of 123ignition tests it, after he has to replace the cap.

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3 minutes ago, Zed Head said:

Could be from detonation.  Detonation breaks rings and ring lands. 

Any chance you could describe or show the advance curve that you were using?  And the details of the engine?  Is it stock compression ratio?  Could be the problem wasn't losing advance but having too much. 

Screenshot_20190523-201757.jpg

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3 minutes ago, grannyknot said:

That is a mild advance curve,  usually that would be up at 34-37 by 3000 rpm.

That is their factory installed curve for their distributor for our vehicles. I didn't even get to play with all the fun stuff.

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That's what is on top of initial.   If initial was set to 10 then it's 39 at 8000 RPM.  Plus there's the MAP curve underneath.  

Ideally the timing would have been verified by a timing light.

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2 minutes ago, Zed Head said:

That's what is on top of initial.   If initial was set to 10 then it's 39 at 8000 RPM.  Plus there's the MAP curve underneath.  

Ideally the timing would have been verified by a timing light.

Verified by timing light. Mentioned in emails and my original post as well.

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21 hours ago, Rill Cosby said:

I have one and used one but the instructions state you rotate the distributor according to the direction your rotor within the cap rotates and stop once a light illuminates within the distributor. There is a small window you'd get this correct without a timing light. Other customers had this problem.

After installation is complete the car starts up no problem once timing is set.

This isn't enough.  The initial timing advance number needs to be verified with a light, at least.  Ideally, the person doing the install would then verify both MAP and centrifugal advance by revving the engine with and without the vacuum hose attached.  If you just go through their procedure and end up at 15 degrees initial you'll be over advanced when the engine is running.

Actually, I'm pretty sure that there is a post out there somewhere about the install procedure not working right and having to go back to basics.  Trust but verify.

Without the numbers there's not much to go on.

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58 minutes ago, Zed Head said:

If you just go through their procedure and end up at 15 degrees initial you'll be over advanced when the engine is running.

That sure seems like that would be a fault of theirs. Your engine is too advanced because of their procedure. But that is not my case. Their instructions do not state to double check with a timing light, though I did. And I believe they don't say that for a reason which will be explained below. I had to use one to get it running. That seems to be the case for multiple people and also for me. This is where the timing light comes in to play. Why would you have a timing light available and set static timing at say 15? I wouldn't. I know static timing varies from vehicle to vehicle when using this ignition but static timing of 0 - 10 should not cause any issues here. I say that because

"Static timing is set at TDC. When you crank the engine, the 123 fires at 0 degrees advance until the engine starts and achieves 500rpm. Then the programming comes into play, activating the chosen curve and setting the idle advance at 10 degrees. It provides 10 degrees between 500 and 1000 rpm. Beyond that the selected curve takes over." 

Example

Following instructions gives you 10 degrees at 0 to 1000 rpm. Above 1000 rpm timing is according to the curve selected. 

Using a timing light setting 10 degrees up to 1000 rpm is exactly the same timing as above. 

Setting the timing to other than 10 degrees "shifts" the curve higher or lower by the difference from 10 degrees. So, if timing is set to 15 degrees at idle (under 1000 rpm) then the maximum advance will be 5 degrees higher than specified by your chosen curve. 

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Looks like they have updated the instructions with more cap options, so maybe your feedback hasn't fallen on deaf ears.

 

http://www.123ignition.nl/files/manuals/123manual_TUNEPLUS.pdf

 

Buddy I'm genuinely gutted to hear your woes on this and do hope you save the engine. At least it affords you the possibility to build it into something meaner!

 

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It's sounding like it might be a detonation problem, from too much advance.  Still haven't seen the initial timing, just the instructions for installing the distributor. 

Seems like a 50:50 fault.  123's instructions aren't clear, but, on the other hand. verifying timing is a basic automotive skill.  And the L series engines are known to be detonation prone, so knowing your timing is even more important.  One of those live and learn things.

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