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Old 08-03-2020, 12:10 PM   #1
Smooth_One
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Default Electronic ignition advise

Anyone running an electronic ignition on their car? Iím tired of messing with the points and sitting in the garage wanting to drive my car the same day and not being able to.
I do not see myself switching over to complete auto advanced ignition anytime soon or ever. Would just like to have a little more reliability. And someone mentioned to me already that a voltage spike kills the electronic ignition module pretty quickly. Has anyone ever had that happen?
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Old 08-03-2020, 12:17 PM   #2
Jack Shaft
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Default Re: Electronic ignition advise

Wire it in correctly with good connections and it should be trouble free.
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Old 08-03-2020, 12:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: Electronic ignition advise

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Originally Posted by Jack Shaft View Post
Wire it in correctly with good connections and it should be trouble free.
Sounds like a good idea. And Iíll keep a spare module with me at all times.
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Old 08-03-2020, 12:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: Electronic ignition advise

The way I connected mine was direct from battery post to fuse to ignition switch. The wire on the plate is a ground wire and connected to a good chassis ground.
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Old 08-03-2020, 02:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Electronic ignition advise

Before I spent that much money I'd fix what I had.


What problem(s) are you having with the original style. It's a fairly simple straight forward mechanism. JMO
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Old 08-03-2020, 02:16 PM   #6
BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Default Re: Electronic ignition advise

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Shaft View Post
Wire it in correctly with good connections and it should be trouble free.
'Should' is the operative word here. Perfect world scenarios often counter 'real world situations'.


To the original poster, I have warrantied about as many of these as I have installed. Not all were the fault of the electronics however they still failed and rendered the vehicle inoperable.

If you find yourself messing with a Kettering points system, you likely have an issue elsewhere (bad distributor cam, loose base plate, excessive humidity, weak/faulty points, etc.). These cars went many, many miles with a points ignition system without trouble. When trouble did arise, a quick wipe of the contacts, and a check of the gap was all that was needed. I can tell you first-hand, that if the module fails (-and they do) then you either need to have a spare module to get you home, or someone else to bring you home.


One other thing to realize, the electronic ignition does NOT give a hotter spark. That is related to your coil. Today, the quality of replacement parts for the original style ignition systems are of such that there is not any performance advantage with the electronic ignition these days.
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Old 08-03-2020, 02:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: Electronic ignition advise

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Originally Posted by BRENT in 10-uh-C View Post
'Should' is the operative word here. Perfect world scenarios often counter 'real world situations'.


To the original poster, I have warrantied about as many of these as I have installed. Not all were the fault of the electronics however they still failed and rendered the vehicle inoperable.

If you find yourself messing with a Kettering points system, you likely have an issue elsewhere (bad distributor cam, loose base plate, excessive humidity, weak/faulty points, etc.). These cars went many, many miles with a points ignition system without trouble. When trouble did arise, a quick wipe of the contacts, and a check of the gap was all that was needed. I can tell you first-hand, that if the module fails (-and they do) then you either need to have a spare module to get you home, or someone else to bring you home.


One other thing to realize, the electronic ignition does NOT give a hotter spark. That is related to your coil. Today, the quality of replacement parts for the original style ignition systems are of such that there is not any performance advantage with the electronic ignition these days.
Thank you for the wise words. And I did know that it would not produce a hotter spark just because I install this. They do make a hotter coil that go along with the modern distributor As you all know but I am definitely not looking for that.
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Old 08-03-2020, 03:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: Electronic ignition advise

The problem with these units is when they go bad you are screwed if you don't have a spare. And there is no telling when that might happen. Your distributor is at fault here: a proper rebuild will give years of low maintenance service. I rebuild distributors and advertise on here if you are ever interested.
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Old 08-03-2020, 03:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: Electronic ignition advise

On a recent tour one the cars with an electronic ignition broke down. It went home on a roll-back because no knew how to fix it.my truck quit on earlier tour. I had hardly gotten out of the truck before several had hood open and we’re changing the Chinese capacitor. I might have been down 10 minutes. This is the only problem I’ve had with Henry’s stock ignition in 5000 miles of touring. It has never failed to start immediately.
I like to keep things simple. Kettering ignitions are simple.

If it were my car I would be finding out why I had continuing problems. Modifying to get around a problem without really know what the problem is, is not a good idea in my opinion.
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Old 08-03-2020, 03:52 PM   #10
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Default Re: Electronic ignition advise

The key to the electronic ignition is good clean connections. I have 40,000 trouble free miles on mine. Yes I clean connections periodically. My friend had an erratic module out of the box that gave him fits until he replaced it this weekend.
One downside to consider, is you need 4.5-5 volts to fire. That means it won’t start on a low battery.
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Old 08-03-2020, 04:27 PM   #11
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Default Re: Electronic ignition advise

Funny thing is almost everyone here runs modern cars with electronic ignition and depend on it every time to start there vehicle.

I've had electronic ignition for 15yrs with no problems.Wire then correctly and they are trouble free. No muss no fuss just start and go.
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Old 08-03-2020, 04:41 PM   #12
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Smile Re: Electronic ignition advise

Had one installed for years. Worked perfectly. Doing Great Race Rally in Nebraska off in the boonies at a rural intersection, i.e. a mail box, a small Post Oak tree and a lane that looked like it went nowhere, the electronic ignition decided it did not want to rally any more.
Having one of those is like having a pet rattle snake.....one day...
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Old 08-03-2020, 04:50 PM   #13
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Default Re: Electronic ignition advise

I was the ad agency for Per-Lux that acquired the Ignitor electronic ignition system at least forty years ago. This unit was originally designed for stationary engines running 24/7, refrigeration units and fork lifts. I've used them in sail boat engines, classic Chris-Crafts, hot rods and collector cars, including five Model A's. The only failure I've experienced was 23 years ago when I did not properly ground a unit on an A speedster. If you use the proper coil, you will experience a hotter spark. Mickey Remund (Mickey Thompson's engine builder) perfected the Petronix for Model A's and early Ford V-8's before retiring and selling the program to F&S. Two things cause these units to fail; 1: improper grounding and 2: leaving the ignition on. The point (pun intended) of this post is to assure owners that electronic ignitions aren't all bad.
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Old 08-03-2020, 06:07 PM   #14
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Default Re: Electronic ignition advise

A friend of mine just took his Model A 4 door from NY to Florida. After the first couple of days of traveling, he was ready to replace the points with electronic ignition. After a couple more days he realized that after 5 or 6 hundred miles, he didn't have to adjust the points any more. It seems like the rubbing block wears to a certain point and then doesn't wear much after that. The last 600 miles he didn't have to adjust the point at all.
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Old 08-03-2020, 07:50 PM   #15
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Default Re: Electronic ignition advise

Wired right with good grounds they last almost forever. Most Model A’s have bad grounds.
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Old 08-04-2020, 07:56 AM   #16
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Default Re: Electronic ignition advise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Baskin III Pa. View Post
Funny thing is almost everyone here runs modern cars with electronic ignition and depend on it every time to start there vehicle.

I've had electronic ignition for 15yrs with no problems.Wire then correctly and they are trouble free. No muss no fuss just start and go.
The logic behind this is indeed great. Yes, electronic ignition systems are everywhere. So with that said, everyone always seems to use the word "should" stating that "if" you make sure you have good grounds, -and "if" you clean your connections as a part of your maintenance, --and "if" you don't forget to leave the switch on, ...and "if" the battery is.

Not to belabor the point, but so often we find these things failing at the most inopportune time. I think most of us here who have been around Model-As know of someone who has experienced a failure with a retrofitted electronic ignition on a Model-A. Sure, it is easy to put blame on that car owner suggesting they "should" have done this or that to prevent that failure, but none the less, it still failed. With the great quality of the Stipe cam, the modern lower plate, A&L points & condensers, ...in my view there is no real advantage of retrofitting an electronic triggering device over the Kettering system.

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Old 08-04-2020, 08:33 AM   #17
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Default Re: Electronic ignition advise

The same caveats apply to the kettering system,proper connections are critical to both,so is turning the key off.The problem with points is they degrade slowly,often unnoticed loss of power as dwell increases.Rubbing block failure and misalignment doesn't occur with the electronic system either. I prefer points as they require routine maintenance, something i enjoy as much as driving the car.
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:22 AM   #18
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Default Re: Electronic ignition advise

Some years ago when aftermarket electronic ignitions were the hot ticket, I tried a couple.
I was doing a lot of off road driving, chasing Baja races etc. I always carried a stock point plate and cap in the tool box just in case. Well, it was used more than once.

To my way of thinking, the point system is the basic system, if it doesn't work there is something else wrong (mechanical wear). At the age of these cars, it is not unreasonable.
But, in todays world, there are enough parts and people who can correct these worn out issues.

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Old 08-04-2020, 11:12 AM   #19
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Default Re: Electronic ignition advise

After a simple twelve volt conversion , using the Pertronix flame thrower coil , I can see no need to convert to electronic ignition . . As said, electronic ignition doesn't necessarily give hotter spark . The spark comes from the coil . I use the Pertronix forty thousand volt Flame thrower coil for hotter spark .

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Old 08-04-2020, 11:33 AM   #20
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Default Re: Electronic ignition advise

Do Pertronix Ignitor still have the issue of burning out if the key is left on? I remember that was the main issue with them.

I have a Pertronix Ignitor III in my '55 Ford that is awesome and have had no problems with. But it is an entirely different animal altogether; protection against leaving ignition on, adaptive dwell, multi-spark and an adjustable rev limiter.
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