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Series Land Rover: Summary of Ignition System Articles on

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The main control item in the Series Land Rover ignition system is the distributor. The distributor design causes the ignition timing to be advanced (i.e. the spark occurs earlier) as the engine speed increases. This is to allow the fuel sufficient time to burn fully. So the faster the engine revs the more advanced the timing of the spark becomes.
As with many classic vehicles, the timing on a Series Land Rover can also be advanced by a vacuum pipe connection to the inlet manifold - the higher the vacuum in the inlet manifold then the more the timing is advanced. Opening the throttle allows air into the inlet manifold and so lowers the vacuum. This reduction in vacuum causes less fuel to be 'pulled' through the carburettor and into the engine. So the reduced volume of fuel/air mixture is less compressed in the cylinders and burns more slowly. Hence the need to advance the spark timing.
At any particular engine speed there may be a combination of timing advance effects:
no throttle - high vacuum advance but low mechanical advance
full throttle - low vacuum advance but high mechanical advance

The March 2007 UK homepage focussed on the fault diagnosis of the Series Land Rover electrical system It includes advice upon how to set about tracing the cause of an electrical fault and lists some examples of problems that can be attributed to the ignition system.
The July 2010 UK homepage was about the Series Land Rover distributor and describes its operation, maintenance and repair.

In August 2010 the UK homepage was devoted to the ignition coil. It describes the operation of the ignition coil, what problems it can cause if it has a problem and how the problem can be dealt with.

In September 2012 the UK homepage dealt with how to carry out a detailed examination of the Series distributor from a Series Land Rover.

The July 2013 UK homepage focussed upon the situation when there is no spark observed at the spark plug. Reasons for why there may be no spark are discussed and tests described to identify the cause of the problem.

In February 2014 the UK homepage discussed spark plugs. Various characteristics of spark plugs are described, such as temperature range and thread reach. Other topics include removing/re-fitting, examination, cleaning and gap setting.

Archived Ignition System Articles From Foreign Homepages
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1. The March 2010 Australian homepage focuses on the properties and characteristics of spark plugs. Includes details regarding of their safe removal and replacement, together with advice on what to inspect.

2. The Dec2010/Jan 2011 Australian homepage describes what to do if the ignition light fails to light up when the ignition key is turned. A systematic diagnosis process is given as an aid to solving the problem.

3. The July 2010 Australian homepage discussed the connection between the operation of the contact points and the condenser in the distributor. The operation of each is described and how they work together to produce a smooth ignition system. Potential problems are also outlined.

4. In February 2011 the Australian homepage addressed the issue of why the contact points need changing frequently. Possible causes and remedies are listed and a temporary solution suggested.

5. The June 2013 Australian homepage discussed a range of possible problems that may occur with regarding the contact points. A remedy is suggested for each problem.

6. In July 2013 the Australian homepage describes the process required for setting the ignition timing on a Series Land Rover. Each type of ignition timing markings are covered and typical timings figures are given for a variety of Series Land Rover engines.

7. The Dec 2006/Jan 2007 USA homepage gives a diagrammatic representation of the ignition system and a brief outline of its function. It also discusses possible faults, symptoms and their repair.

8. The July 2010 USA homepage describes the importance of the distributor cap and rotor arm to the ignition system

9. In Dec2010/Jan2011 the USA homepage focussed on positive verses negative ignition systems.

10. The August 2011 USA homepage looked at the distributor as a cause for ignition system breakdowns and how best to avoid them.

11. The September 2011 USA dealt with spark plugs and what can affect their operation and how to diagnose what the problem is from their appearance.


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