Spark­ing up the Davrian

Classics Monthly - - Driver's Diary -

Be­cause I’ve been en­joy­ing us­ing the Porsche, I’ve not done any­thing on the Davrian for quite some time. Well, I’ve re­dressed now that sit­u­a­tion as I no­ticed that the Davrian’s off­side front tyre was look rather de­flated. For­tu­nately, I have a com­pres­sor ...which should have made in­flat­ing the tyre a breeze. Un­for­tu­nately, not only is the com­pres­sor seem­ingly feel­ing its age, my air­line in­fla­tor didn’t ap­pear to be work­ing that well. So I bought a bet­ter qual­ity one. It works well, but is stymied by the com­pres­sor’s lack of puff. I might have to start sav­ing for a new com­pres­sor!

As I men­tioned re­cently, I haven’t been able to get the Davrian’s en­gine to fire. I think the prob­lem lies with the elec­tronic ig­ni­tion. But rather than mess around with the old sys­tem, I de­cided to in­vest in a new, dis­trib­u­tor from H&H Ig­ni­tion So­lu­tions. The orig­i­nal dis­trib­u­tor, which I bought

Sub­se­quent own­ers have al­tered and messed around with the Davrian’s loom and it was in a bit of a pickle

sec­ond-hand and sub­se­quently mod­i­fied, had never been quite right and I had the feel­ing that the ad­vance curve wasn’t quite cor­rect for my en­gine spec.

But H&H have oo­dles of ig­ni­tion ex­pe­ri­ence with all kinds of en­gines, in­clud­ing Imps, and they tai­lored the new dis­trib­u­tor’s ad­vance curve to suit my en­gine. It’s in­cluded in the price. All H&H dis­trib­u­tors are in fact cus­tom-built. The dis­trib­u­tor base is ac­tu­ally a very high qual­ity re­pro­duc­tion of the Lu­cas 45D.

I also asked them to sup­ply the dis­trib­u­tor with their built-in, high-per­for­mance, elec­tronic ig­ni­tion. The elec­tronic con­ver­sion is very neat, uses top qual­ity com­po­nents, is ro­bust, and sits nicely within the con­fines of the dis­trib­u­tor cap. As well as be­ing ex­cep­tion­ally ef­fec­tive, it’s hid­den from view. Per­fect for those look­ing to keep the dis­trib­u­tor look­ing orig­i­nal, yet up­ping its per­for­mance con­sid­er­ably.

Swap­ping dis­trib­u­tors is very straight­for­ward, al­though it’s im­por­tant to en­sure that the dis­trib­u­tor’s drive (off­set for Imp en­gines) is in the right po­si­tion and matches the off­set drive in the oil pump gear. Oth­er­wise, the tim­ing will be 180 de­grees out (not to men­tion other po­ten­tial prob­lems). I was hop­ing to use the top en­try cap that came with it, but when I tried it out it was ob­vi­ous that the HT lead would be touch­ing the en­gine A frame ...with the po­ten­tial for short­ing. I have or­dered a side en­try cap. Of course, un­til this ar­rives, and I mod­ify the ig­ni­tion leads, I won’t be able to start the en­gine.

Talk­ing of start­ing the en­gine, the high power dis­trib­u­tor is sup­plied as kit, com­plete with a dry cell coil. This is filled with epoxy resin mak­ing it more re­sis­tant to heat. I was able to mount the new coil in al­most the same po­si­tion as the orig­i­nal, but an­gled it slightly so that it runs par­al­lel to the A frame and has bet­ter clear­ance.

An­other job I’ve tack­led on the Davrian is to tidy the wiring in the en­gine com­part­ment. Sub­se­quent own­ers have al­tered and messed around with the loom and it was in a bit of a pickle. I spent a cou­ple of hours re­do­ing the earth and other con­nec­tions and rerout­ing wires. Funny enough, in do­ing so, I did no­tice that one of the wires had a small break in its in­su­la­tion. I’ve sorted this. And I must say that I’m very pleased with my wiring hand­i­work ...the en­gine com­part­ment is look­ing much less clut­tered. Roll on the ar­rival of the new cap and the en­gine start-up!

After talk­ing to H & H Ig­ni­tions So­lu­tions, I in­vested in one of their ex­cel­lent high per­for­mance elec­tronic per­for­mance dis­trib­u­tors and ‘dry’ coil pack kits. I have since or­dered a side en­try cap. I can’t use my ex­ist­ing cap as it’s a slightly dif­fer­ent de­sign.

Left: This is the H&H coil pack ‘in situ’. It’s a very po­tent de­vice. I’ve an­gled it so that it runs par­al­lel to the A frame. This means that the var­i­ous leads fit neatly and are not bunched up as they were be­fore. The tank tape is a tem­po­rary fit­ment to en­sure I fit­ted the cor­rect wires to the cor­rect ter­mi­nal! Right: Pre­vi­ously there were wires ev­ery­where and some didn’t ap­pear to be do­ing any­thing. They are now sorted and or­gan­ised.

If you look care­fully, you should be able to see the oil pump drive. The gear is bronze and the slot is slightly off­set.

Note the off­set drive. It’s im­por­tant that when the dis­trib­u­tor is fit­ted this matches the off­set slot in the oil pump drive.

My new Sealey tyre in­fla­tor works very well ...but the age­ing com­pres­sor is strug­gling!

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