Ignition Coil Strikes Again (Post #324) 3/18/2013

It was a lovely day today. It was lovely right up to when the Range Rover decided I’d gone far enough with these ignition components. I stopped at the post office in Newcastle and when I came out lots of turning over, not so much spark.
I figured it was the coil. Interestingly enough there isn’t a compatible coil in Oklahoma. That’s right, not in the entire state. I called the big three, 
  • NAPA – who told me there was ONE in the entire United States. Highly unlikely, but that’s what he told me on the phone.
  • Autozone – who were more than willing to order me one and charge me to have it sent to the store.
  • O’Reilly’s – “I could maybe get you one by next Friday.” was not exactly what I wanted to hear.

As you can imagine, I’m pretty frustrated by this point. My awesome oldest daughter taxi’ed me all over. To O’Reilly’s, and over to Norman to get my spare, and then back to Norman to take me home when the spare was found to be failed as well. It cost me a tank of gas for her Ford Explorer and lunch at Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy. She had my three grand children in tow and we made the most of it.

I called Rick’s Auto for a tow truck. Matt told me it would “be a while” before he could get there. I was thinking 3 hours it is Saturday in small town Oklahoma.
He said, “I’ll be there in about 45 minutes.”
“No problem,” I replied.

While waiting for the tow truck I decided to take Grady and Cadence down to see the chickens who were making quite a fuss while being sold at the Fair Barn. I was stumbling for what to call the building thinking the Fair Barn wasn’t going to really describe it very well to a three and six year old, when Cadence blurted out from the back seat, “That’s the Fair Barn.”

Apparently she had gone to see some “livestock” the farmers brought for her Kindergarten class to see. They were instructed to write a “Thank You letter”. Most of the kids wrote Thank You and signed their name. Cadence wrote a letter which garnered praise from her teacher. It went more or less like this…

Thank you for bringing your livestock.
Thank you for letting us see them.
I don’t remember what you said you did with the pigs.
Do you walk them or just let them go free.
Love Cadence.

So Cadence knew all about the Fair Barn. We looked at what was a poultry show. Chickens, ducks, turkey’s, guinea hens, even some rabbits. Our visit killed a good 15 minutes.

Then nearly exactly when he said he would arrive, Matt from Rick’s Auto arrived with his flat bed. He got me up on the back and delivered me to my daughter’s house. Very efficient and very courteous. He even shared a picture of his Jeep which he was still tricking out. Bed-lined top and bottom, winch, bumpers, and a custom paint job that reminded me of an electric Tangier’s Orange from the G4 series.

A blurry picture of Matt the tow truck driver. He’s a Jeeper and showed me a pic of his pretty awesome rig.
The color he color he painted it reminded me of an electric Tangier’s Orange from the G4 series.
The results of a failed coil on a Land Rover in Oklahoma.
I must remember to have a “working” spare next time.

So with a quick call to JagGuy we came to the same conclusion I came to before the call, bad coil. Considering how it seems to be a frequently failing part you’d think I’d have an idea of a compatible part. I did not. So I quickly checked John Brabyn’s Rangerovers.net to see if his excellent site had mention of a spare coil. The ignition link 404’s me. I tried a couple other links and they 404’d me as well. Only when I got home did I remember how his site was constructed and if I’d just scrolled down I’d have found that he didn’t have any listed.

So a little coil education is warranted. Deciding to try a different source for the parts JagGuy suggested going to a beefier coil perhaps from Summit Racing. So off to their website. Basically there are about a trillion combinations of coils there. You can limit them to your specific vehicle. Important parameters for a novice like myself are

  • Coin Internal Construction: OIL or EPOXY
  • Maximum Voltage: 40,000V or 45,000V

JagGuy steered me away from 45,000V coils with the logic that with a little rain the arcing off to the surface of the distributor would be greater, OR that’s how I heard it. If anyone understands this and provide any comment I’m all ears.

The OIL or EPOXY filled is a give and take.
Oil is cooler. Heat kills coils.
Epoxy is used to reduce the damage of vibration. Vibration kills coils.

In the end I opted for OIL for the cooler operation. I might consider a swap to EPOXY when we go to vibrating the Range Rover over some rough country. I am definitely buying two coils.

I WILL HAVE AN ON-BOARD spare going forward. 

I can almost guarantee you that because I have a spare, the coil I will install will have a record 25 year live span. But only because I have a spare ready-at-hand.

I bought TWO PerTronix Flame-Thrower Ignition Coils. (Summit Racing)
(Flame-thrower has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?)
The rest of the stats for this coil are listed here from their site.

Coil Style: Canister
Primary Resistance: 1.500 ohms
Coil Internal Construction: Oil-filled
Coil Color: Black
Maximum Voltage: 40,000 V
Turns Ratio: 115:1
Secondary Resistance: 10.6K ohms
Inductance: 6.4 mH
Peak Current: 7.2 amps
Spark Duration: 1.5 mS
Mounting Bracket Included: No
Coil Wire Included: No
Ballast Resistor Included: No
Coil Shape: Round Diameter (in):2.125 in. Height (in):6.000 in.
Quantity: Sold individually. (DARN: A six pack might have been a better option.)—->
Notes: For use with the original Pertronix Ignitor ignition. Can also be used with other induction ignition systems.

I am hoping I slap this bad boy in and off I’m running. I will be exploring the rest of the ignition system when I get the Range Rover back to my house and my tools. It was not all that long ago that I upgraded and or replaced the cap and rotor and the ignition wires (2011) and put in a new coil.

Sal in New York chatted me up about heater core replacement and fan resistor placement. Hang in there Sal.
Chris in Denton is putting in a diesel conversion and was kind enough to let me know. I am very keen to follow his exploits on Texas Rovers Forum. (TexasRovers.org)

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.