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  #1   IP: 67.189.233.197
Old 06-19-2019, 09:39 PM
JimHo JimHo is offline
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Newbie on distributor

I went to start the engine today before Friday's launch. No start, and after cleaning the carburetor I looked for different issues.

I removed the distributor and noticed an electrical fire type smell. There was burning stains on the rotor, and pieces of what I now think to be the igniter at the base of the distributor.

Before I jump out and replace the parts, I thought it best to ask what the cause could be, and of course, the best way to fix this one.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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  #2   IP: 32.211.28.40
Old 06-19-2019, 09:53 PM
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Al Schober Al Schober is offline
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Wow! I've never seen a EI unit do that! You wouldn't happen to have a backup set of points/condenser?
Closest I came to that was a trawler I bought with a dead Onan gen set. Opened the control box and started tracing out the black and white wires, trying to figure out how it worked. After a while it dawned on me that ALL the wires were white at one time!
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  #3   IP: 72.69.36.126
Old 06-19-2019, 10:45 PM
tenders tenders is offline
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Another “wow.” I didn’t know EI even COULD fail that way. Which EI was it, and how did it happen?
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  #4   IP: 24.152.132.140
Old 06-19-2019, 11:01 PM
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Something interesting in one of the pictures (see arrow below) and I suspect the ignition was not fused.
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Neil
1977 Catalina 30
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prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
Had my hands in a few others
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  #5   IP: 67.189.233.197
Old 06-20-2019, 08:19 AM
JimHo JimHo is offline
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I'm pretty sure I fried it when I hit the ignition switch with my shoulder while climbing out of the locker. That was a month or so ago, and I didn't notice it was on for a few minutes.

I think that would have allowed the heat to build up and melt the thing. However it looks like it blew apart as there are small pieces sitting on the lower plate.

Either way - there's some money, time, probably a few temper tantrums, and another delayed launching involved.
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  #6   IP: 24.152.132.140
Old 06-20-2019, 08:31 AM
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The coil is done too.
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Neil
1977 Catalina 30
San Pedro, California
prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
Had my hands in a few others
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  #7   IP: 99.30.185.198
Old 06-20-2019, 09:32 AM
thatch thatch is offline
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Knowing what caused that carnage is probably the most important part of this thread. When something fails out of the blue, I have trouble sleeping until I have an acceptable answer. I'd look into putting a shield on that switch.
Tom
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  #8   IP: 97.93.70.7
Old 06-20-2019, 10:14 AM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is offline
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I agree with Tom. Something catastrophic for the EI happened. I have R&R'd many a failed units of various EI's over the years and the worst I have seen was an external scorch on the unit a few times. I have never seen a complete melt down so I would suspect a direct short and a failure to protect the unit with a fuse. It would take a lot of energy to cook a unit like that and frankly from the looks of it I say your lucky there was no fire.

I would check any and all of the low voltage wiring connected to the ignition circuit for damage too!!!

Dave Neptune
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