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Ignition lead lengths for xflow


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Just tried to fit some 8mm Magnecor leads from Burtons and No 1 and 2 are too short (41cm excl boots) ☹️. Has anyone else come up against this?


Burtons have said my dizzie (side entry Lucas) is locked in the wrong position and have advised I twist it round 90 deg. This will surely disturb timing though? *confused*


Their demonstrator dizzie is positioned so all leads exit forwards and parallel to block, mine is oriented so they exit downwards at 45 deg to the block.


What do other xflow folk have - any cars near Winchester *wavey* I could compare against?

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Mine exit to the rear and pretty well parallel to the floor. I've got silicon leads and they are only just long enough, coming up between the inlet manifold gaps. I've seen leads too, coming up at the rear end of the manifold to the plugs, so they must be really long!



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Dizzy is facing back same as Dee, if you rotate the dizzy, you need to change the lead locations to the firing order is correct again....


I am in mid upgrade to a Megajolt and this removes the Dizzy totally.





Ital or Ford... the choice is yours....


Hmmm, I'll have the ford please Bob.

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Burtons have said my dizzie (side entry Lucas) is locked in the wrong position and have advised I twist it round 90 deg. This will surely disturb timing though? confused smiley

It doesn't matter what position the dizzy is in (in quarters), as long as the firing order and timing is maintained. So if you rotate the dizzy head clockwise, say by 90 degrees to the right, then you need to move each lead to the left by one, hence undoing the 90 degrees right and retaining the right timing.


BIG BUT ONLY IF; but only if you can turn it multiples of 90 degrees exactly. You'll need to lock the engine in position (by putting it in gear for instance) to make sure the rotor arm doesn't move, and a strobe to make 100% sure.


Alex McDonald


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Correction - it's an Aldon Automotive dizzie that looks like a Lucas side exit job. Would this make any difference?


Leads currently coming up through inlet manifold between both carbs. No strobe plus I've never understood what to do anyway so this means borrowing/paying someone to check position. To be honest though I can't see rotating it will alleviate length. Probably cheaper (sadly) buying another set of leads to use the longer Nos 3 and 4. *mad*

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I was told many years ago, and I can't remember who by or the reason for it, that the leads should exit directly forwards. Mine is set up like that but I have also seen many cars where the leads exit directly rearwards.


Changing the orientation is not as daunting as it sounds, and a lot cheaper than buying another set of Magnecor leads. All you need to do is:


1. Accurately mark (tape or tippex) the position of the rotor arm against the nearest part of the distributor body with No.1 cylinder at firing point. For Supersprint spec Caterham crossflows this is 10 degrees before TDC static/idle* so line up your pulley notch with the timing marks cast into the timing case and the rotor arm pointing to the number one contact in the cap. Double check by ensuring that both valves are closed on No. 1 cylinder. If both valves are not closed you're 180 degrees out and on the exhaust stroke so need to give the engine another turn.

2. Mark the side of the distributor that corresponds to the lead entry points.

3. Loosen the distributor clamp bolt, which allows the distributor body to move relative to the shaft.

4. Undo the bolt holding the distributor into the block.

5. Withdraw the distributor, noting that the shaft turns relative to the body as the skew gear comes out of engagement.

6. Turn the distributor body to where you want it to be for your chosen lead entry position.

7. Turn the shaft so that your rotor arm lines up with your marks, allowing for the reverse of the previously noted turn as the skew gears re-engage. You probably won't get your marks lined up first time but a little trial and error will get you there.

8. Resecure distributor to block and retighten clamp bolt.

9. Recheck marks, adjust as necessary. Your timing should now be exactly where it was before you started, give or take.

10. Refit cap.

11. Refit leads (unless you left them on that is) to 1,2,4,3 firing order.

12. Start engine, or alternatively flatten battery trying to start car amid loud pops and bangs and call Crudders a twunt *redface* (well, hopefully not).


It would be wise to set the timing with a strobe gun when you're done - it may not be bang on as it is.






* Some cars had an 'unleaded distributor' fitted with different advance mechanism and ignition timing setting, but I can't recall the figure at the mo.


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I think it's a question of a/. remove cap, b/. remove distributor.

If you have a standard Caterham manifold then it will come out.


Now back to initial question - I have the megnecor leads, standard from Burtons. Cap faces to rear of car, No's 1&2 leads head up between inlet manifold No's 1&2 inlets and for plugs 3&4 they go thru the gap in the inlet manifiold between cylinders 3&4.


Can't be simpler - unless your dizzy head (the cars that is) is pointing another way?


Crudders explanation looks a bit long and complicated - but it's not really.



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I have just gone for the same leads on my XFlow, although I can't remember whether I bought 8mm or 10mm, and they fit fine with plenty of slack (rear facing exit on the cap)


I know you have to specify the length of the lead from the coil to the dizzy, but not the others.


If it helps I can measure mine over the weekend and let you know




1700XF - Team Lotus with flares.

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Glad I wasn't dreaming - not this time anyway *wink*


My description is rather heavy going, I agree. I didn't really know how much prior knowledge to assume, so thought I'd chuck everything in! It is quite straightforward though.


I'm sure the shortest lead route would be with the cap pointing directly rearwards and the leads going up through the manifold gaps as Dave describes. I might even invest in some Magnecor leads and do that myself *thumbup*


Edited to add - static/idle timing for engines with 'unleaded' distributors is 14 degrees BTDC.




Edited by - Crudders on 16 May 2008 14:29:18

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Oh bother, I have spent a fortune setting up dizzie timing on RR, is this sthg I can go back to RR for and get them to twist so it faces rearwards as I am very reluctant to do myself?


I have the side entry type leads - one end is straight the other is at 90deg so presume these work OK?

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