More Trouble with the Coil/Ignition Module/Whatever (Post #586) 9/14/2019


Ever jumped in your Land Rover and gotten this prediction?

Such a classic picture from  Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (1985).  Before Pee-wee took his bike out for a ride, he checked his fortune. You know the rest of the story….there’s no basement in the Alamo, Pee-wee’s prophetic words (YouTube), “There are things you wouldn’t understand, things you couldn’t understand, things…you shouldn’t understand.”

As Dottie (played by 80s icon Elizabeth Daily) replies “I don’t understand.” I know EXACTLY what you mean Dottie, I don’t understand. I don’t understand what’s going on with my ignition system. I’ve tried many…many solutions to solve this problem.

The problem, when the engine gets warmed up the ignition module does something that causes the coil to overheat. And when the coil overheats, the engine stops getting spark and the engine dies, leaves you stranded, and frustrates you to no end.

At the time of this video I jumped on forum and saw several posts of guys dealing with very similar issues. Some of them have gone to replacing the distributor and dealing with all those issues. I’m not afraid to swap to a new replacement distributor.

Atlantic British lists the Pertronix Flame Thrower for 459.95$(US). Summit offers a Davis Unified Ignition 96920 in four colors. I’ve never even heard of this company, or anyone ever using their distributor. At 575.99$(US) I’m not sure about that.

I installed the relocation kit about 15 years ago when these issues raised their ugly heads the first time. I ran that setup until about 3 years ago when we tried the GM replacement experiment and the Lucas Ignition module Part Duex experiment (both failed). Three years before that, I replaced the stock coils with PerTronix Flame-Thrower Ignition Coils. I got good service out of those but ultimately they failed. I damaged the distributor so much sorting this out I had to have it replaced. A used distributor was installed. Mostly due to cost right at the same time I was trying to close a house and move back to my hometown.

I was chastised in some forum posts when I posted I’d just chuck the whole thing and replace it with a motor from a LR3 (Discovery 3, elsewhere in the world). There are thousands of Range Rover Classics motoring about on original ignition systems. So why am I getting these failures?

I’ve consulted people WAY, WAY smarter than me and we can’t come up with a reason for the failures. The frustration of not being able to take my Range Rover more than 2 miles from Okierover Base Camp is super frustrating.

I’m going to try a coil with high resistance next. I understand the coil for a 1971 Ford Mustang 351 Boss. 25$(US) at O’Reilly’s Auto has a high resistance. The 351 is a points ignition. And it’s a cheap test. If that fails…I’m looking at a Pertronix swap, or perhaps a diesel engine swap…I’m pretty sure either of them will be equally frustrating to get in place.

Maybe one of the sexiest cars I’ve ever seen

As always your comments are very much appreciated.

Thanks for reading, and Happy Rovering.

Goodbye Lucas Ignition (Post #566) 1/22/2017

Lucas ignition module, coil, and relocation kit.

This week was the last week I will use Lucas Ignition parts. If you are a regular reader of my blog you will remember that I recently updated all my ignition parts to correct some poor performance and rough running. I’ve had a few run-ins with Lucas the Prince of Darkness…

Ignition Coil Strikes Again
Bad Fuel? Nope…

I’d forgotten how many times my ignition either through a bad coil or ignition module or both had left me stranded. Last week it did it again. The symptoms are all to obvious now.

  • The engine seems to misfire at speed.
  • The idle is rough. Frequent misfires.
  • Engine cranks but does not fire.

As I was lamenting this with JagGuy he said, “Why don’t you swap it for a basic General Motors (GM) EMI ignition. That’s what’s in all the Jaguars. It would be simple.” Simple for him for sure. And in the end not terrible at all.

JagGuy said it would be easy and it was. I called him on Wednesday night when Mr. Fisher and I were swapping ignition bits to try and find the issue. On Thursday afternoon he told me to come by after work and there it was a new module.

The fun part was how he sourced the parts. The ignition module is from a 1978 Chevy Silverado, the coil comes from a 1988 Chevy, and the bracket comes from a 1998 Chevy Caprice.

The actual part numbers from O’Reilly’s

  • BWD – CBE4P – 26.99$(US)
  • MPI – 2-5198 – 22.99$(US)

For that price…a lifetime warranty. Where is Lucas’s lifetime warranty? LIFETIME WARRANTY. And even better they are available at any O’Reilly’s or AutoZone in America. Probably in-stock, in the store.

The wiring is pretty simple.

Here it is mounted in the engine bay.

You can find a diagram pretty much anywhere on line. The only tricky part was getting the two wires that go to the distributor correct. Initially we had them switched. If you happen to do this you may notice the idle RPM to be somewhere around 1200.

I need to zip tie the leads down a bit more. I don’t like them wiggling around. We shortened the pink wire that goes to the wire coming off the clear-ish octopus like plug just below the air filter.
When we had it installed initially the idle was terrible and it caused several Code 44’s. I got those cleared by disconnecting the battery for a minute or so. They say you can disconnect the serial cable to the display, but I’ve never had any luck with that.

After I drove her to Edmond for the new tires and up to JagGuy’s shoppe for him to go over her to find the issue with the idling. When I pulled up she was running like a top. Apparently the computer starts learning after you clear the codes and run a fun cycle without any codes. By the time I drove her home she was running like a top.

On the Difficulty Scale this is a two. The assembly is easy, getting the wires hooked up is a bit of fun but not ridiculous.

Thanks goes out to JagGuy. I really appreciate your expertise and your amazing abilities.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

The Millennium Falcon made by Land Rover (Post #458) 3/5/2014

Millennium FalconI was grounded this weekend with what is probably bronchial pneumonia. Lots of coughing, a very high heart rate from the medications, and an overall very tired feeling. Being relegated to the couch and bed all weekend, I watched a lot of television. I watched an entire afternoon of Star Wars movies. Episode 4 and Episode 5 mostly. I’m not a fan of The Muppet Show Episode 6 due to the ridiculous effort to cutesy-fy the franchise and merchandise the crap out of it. Okay back to the main point I came here to write.

The Millennium Falcon is obviously a Land Rover.

By now you must be saying “What.the.hell?” So hear me out…. Continue reading “The Millennium Falcon made by Land Rover (Post #458) 3/5/2014”

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 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. (

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Holy Crap the Classic is Running (Post #276) 12/12/2011

I’ve had to take a few weeks off to finish the semester. I should have an “A” in Motivation in Learning & Leadership LSTD 3673. During that time I ordered a coil and a cap and rotor. Its been killing me not to go out and install it. I ordered the parts from Atlantic British. I was absolutely surprised how much a coil costs. My local O’Reilly Auto Parts had one for 134($US). Rovers North had a coil for 180+($US). What on earth? This thing is a Buick. Read that as its basically a fancy Chevy. A replacement coil pack for a 1993 Chevy Blazer is 19($US). NINETEEN DOLLARS! What is so special about a coil that makes it cost 180 dollars? Some one please tell me. I realllllly want to know. In any event I finished my final paper, Motivational Strategies of United States Marine Corps Recruiting Posters (link provided by request, enjoy), and braved the rainy 40 F degree weather to install the new coil. It wasn’t all that cold and I got the new coil installed and got the rotor and cap installed. I went into the cab inserted the key and the Range Rover roared to life. ROARED to life. The radiator fan was tapping the shroud again so I shut her down. I got two larger screws and adjusted the shroud so it was not making contact with the fan. I started her back up and let her run…and run…and run. I closed the bonnet and and let her heat up. She ran flawlessly. I need to take her out for a test drive and make sure she is running right. Maybe I’ll drive her to work on Friday. So was my problem all along a bad coil? I bought that coil only a few years ago. I’m not exactly sure what year it was, but I remember installing it. And I remember the Range Rover was sitting in the driveway of this house. So am I to guess that coils only last a couple of years? Why did my first coil last 7 years? Why did the coil in my Ford Maverick Grabber NEVER have to be replaced? What’s up with that? So I’m guessing I will have to learn some things about coils. I am almost sure this coil died from heat. Its just a guess, but its dead now and a new one is installed. Thanks for following the saga and sorry it took so long to solve it. Now we are on to repairing the brake light switch which hangs on and the windshield seal replacement in an attempt to eliminate a leak. Once that is done I can reinstall the floor insulation and carpets. Then its on to finding a new sound system, air conditioning, and new shocks and springs. After that I will attempt to sort out the central locking system. Wait, this seems like I have a bigger list than I did when she was up on jack stands all summer. How did that happen? Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Bad Fuel? Nope… (Post #273) 11/23/2011

Here’s a quick follow-up.

It probably isn’t bad fuel.
I have come to the conclusion that once the engine is hot she stops running. I’ve had a few suggestions, bad coil was a good one from ini88.

[ini88] I had something similar with mine after working on it. I hard spark*, fuel, air, etc. Everything was set to go. Then a swapped coil with my Defender because I suspected the coil was weak. yup, that was it. You can have spark, but if its yellow or orange its too weak. You need that white, blue spark to set it running. Maybe check your spark again?

Complete thread here.
Indeed ini88, I will be sourcing a new coil and possibly look at swapping some sensors. I found a derelict 1994 Range Rover in the local breakers yard. I pulled a bunch of stuff off of her. More on that in a later blog post.