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electronic distributors - any further feedback?
Following the excellent thread on the old forum around the new and presently discounted Austin 7 distributor, are there any relatively new purchasers who can add evidence... to that already given?
Hello Jon - I bought one back at the beginning of July and as others have reported, it transformed the performance of the Ruby with smoother running, slightly higher top speed and marginally better fuel consumption.
BUT - I realised a week or so ago that the timing was slowly retarding itself. My initial thought was that the pin attaching the drive gear had sheared (which I've had happen on a standard distributor) and that it was tight enough on the shaft to allow it to rotate slowly, causing the gradual retardation.
Yesterday (at the side of the road) I dismantled the whole unit and discovered that it was in fact the crimping which holds the shaft on which the cam is mounted to its base plate, which had begun to fail. The shaft was still fairly tight on the plate, but allowed the rotor to slowly turn independent of the rest of the mechanism. I hope I've explained it - I meant to take a photo of the offending item but forgot...
Fortunately, inspired by some of the comments on the previous thread, the old Lucas unit was under the seat and is now back where it belongs.
I spoke to Accuspark this morning and all they said was 'send it back' which I've done. I'll update when I hear back from them!

Sorry to read that Alastair - it was running so well in the summer! Ian Mason-Smith is collecting feedback on these and I have pointed him at your post.

I have fitted just over 20 of these now but have had a couple of the triggers fail (these have been replaced by Accuspark and those units are now performing properly again), despite this I am still firmly in the boat of persevering as the difference in performance is unquestionably fantastic and in a couple of cases staggering.

I just spoke with JonE and he is keen to see what is inside the units, I will post a couple of pictures later on for him and others of you who are curious.
Here they are...








My first multiple photo upload, thank Timothy P!
And just for the hell of it, here is a picture of Alastair and me looking really smug about our distributors back in the summer! Tongue

Well, it seems from other forum posters that the company are always sorting things out when things occasionally go wrong, so have purchased one tonight and will add to the list of people trialling them! I'll get my engine fired first with the Lucas and then I can do some comparisons.

I've paid my extra 1.50 for the rotor arm upgrade too... and the discount code still worked!

Thanks R for the lovely photos.
I have one of the Accuspark distributors supplied by Ruairidh which was fitted at the Scottish A7 Club rally at Guildtown. Initially it worked well but quickly developed a misfire. On the way home I reverted to the DK4A  that had been fitted before.
Ruairidh supplied a replacement trigger unit and with that fitted all is well.
My car is a 1929 Fabric Saloon which I use extensively. It does go surprisingly well though I don't know quite why as the engine is almost standard. Bronze updraught carburetor and low compression head, though it is the later version and I believe it has been skimmed slightly before I got it. I have the higher ratio 'Andes' 2nd gear allowing 40+mph in 2nd gear.
Typically the car would cruise between 40 and 50 mph on normal roads. Slower up hills and quicker down. With the new distributor the performance is improved in all respects. It runs more smoothly, picks up better from tickover, pulls better at all speeds and is faster.
I have manual advance/retard and the correct timing point is now very easy to establish. Retarding the ignition slightly the engine goes 'flat', advancing it and it goes harsh. This is now clearly defined whereas before the range was much wider. I put this down to reduced timing 'scatter'.
I have several test runs to establish performance. Long fairly steep hills that mean a change down part way up. The point at which I am reduced to 30 mph and change down shows how well the car is pulling.
One of these hills climbs up from Darnick to Melrose and runs into a 30 limit at the top. I used to change down before reaching the 30 limit. Now I don't need to and I carry on to the top still pulling top gear comfortably at 20mph.
The other test is going South on the A68 towards Edinburgh, the long climb up Soutra Brae. It's about 3 miles climbing up to 1200ft. I used to have to change down on the steepest section getting towards the top. Now it clears it dropping to about 35mph on the steep section. Over the other side it then went down faster than the car has been before. Previous highest speed downhill was 57/8 on the speedo (which agrees with my Sat-Nav within 1mph). This time the needle went past 60 into uncharted areas. Probably 63/4.
Overall the improvement is very significant in all areas.
My electronic distributor continues to perform well and reliably. One of the HA7C members tells me how delighted he is with his installation. Particularly ascending hills without the need to change down. It is possible that his previous distributor was particularly worn....

1931 RN, 1933 RP
ooh... mine's got an oiler port!

90 degree alloy tube with a rubber cap.

Is that a new update? I can't quite see from your pics, R.
Yes - the newer ones come with these - just a press fit though.

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