Series Land Rover (U.S.A./Canada)
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August 2011 Homepage
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Series Land Rover Ignition Breakdowns


 Vehicle breakdowns, when they occur, are frequently caused by a fault in the ignition system. So checking the condition of this system on a regular basis may have a positive outcome.

A Series Land Rover has a basic low tech ignition system by modern standards and this, surprisingly, has a disadvantage in that few, recently trained mechanics, are familiar with its operation. It is therefore beneficial to be able to check and maintain the system yourself.

Moving parts, such as the distributor shaft, rotor arm and contact points develop wear over time and can provide sufficient cause for a breakdown when the ignition system is already under stress due to weather conditions and/or engine workload. So check for lateral movement of the distributor shaft and renew the distributor when this becomes sufficient to affect the points gap. Check the rotor arm for pitting and erosion on its conducting edge and renew it if found worn. Check the red heel on the contact points as well as the points surfaces themselves for wear. Lightly greasing the distributor cam will reduce wear on the points heel.

Distributor condensers are not expensive, so renew it every few years rather than wait for it to stop your vehicle. Condenser problems are not easy to diagnose other than by substituting with a replacement. So it is actually useful to carry a spare at all times.

All electrical contacts in the system should be good tight connections so no space is available for corrosion and dirt to introduce resistance into the circuit.

Unfortunately, many low quality ignition parts are becoming available for Series Land Rovers and these tend to be offered mainly at reduced prices. There is no substitute for a good part from the original manufacturer even if it is old 'new' stock. If a careful visual inspection of a replacement part reveals lower quality construction then be very wary and do not trust it.

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Fascinating facts
(No.107)

The power sockets in the dash were originally suggested for battery charging.


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