The electronic ignition in older cars was there to reduce
current over the points thus giving longer life to the points. The
reduced current over the points also increased the ability to have a
stronger coil, without burning the points.
The electronic ignition in newer cars has eliminated the need for points,
and uses other triggering techniques. This is an advanced electronic
circuit with most using the computer to control the timing according
to speed and load.
The new kits available for older distributors are based on "new" car
systems. No needs for points, but they are stand-alone systems without the need for a computer.
The conversions style setups, such as the Pertronix Ignitor, eliminate the points and the condenser, and are contained within the distributor in one small package. These are ideal for our older cars because they eliminate points and need no maintenance.
- INSTALLATION (Refer to the diagram above)
- Read the manufacturer's data that came with your unit. There may be changes or items not covered in this article that you must know.
- Disconnect battery.
- Remove the distributor cap, rotor; dust shield, points, and condenser. (Keep the points, condenser, and screws as a back up).
- Check side play in the top distributor bearing. Excessive play will cause erratic performance and must be corrected.
- Install the adapter plate in the same holes that secured the points with flat head screws. Be sure the "dimple" in the adapter plate is located in the recess that was for the point set pivot. Make sure the adapter plate is flat on the breaker plate.
- Install the magnetic sleeve over the distributor shaft cam. Rotate the sleeve until you feel it line up with the lobes on the cam before pressing it into place. Be sure it is firmly seated. (The sleeve fits tightly, so you may need to use your rotor to help push it down).
- Place the module on the adapter plate. The bottom of the module should line up as close as possible with the bottom of the magnetic sleeve. If the module is to low, use the spacer plate to raise it. Secure the module with lock washers and nuts. Do not tighten completely at this time.
- Install the grommet in the hole or slot in the side of the distributor housing. Pull the black and red wires through the grommet. Gaz of "BugBits" (see our links page) has had better success pulling the wires through the hole, sliding the grommet up the wires, and then installing the grommet.
- Using a feeler gauge set the air gap between the module and the magnetic sleeve at 0.030". (The holes in the adapter plate are slotted to allow for adjustment of the module). It is important that the module does not rub against the magnetic sleeve, and that the breaker plate mounting screw does not come in contact with the backside of the module. If the correct air gap cannot be maintained, adjustments to the distributor will be necessary. The breaker plate screw can be changed or shortened by extra washers, and some filing can be done. From posts on the RAMVA newsgroup, it appears that clearance for the module is a problem in the original distributors, but not in the 009 distributor. Joe Cali of "Next Generation" (see our links page) had problems installing the module with the 0.030" gap and offers the following (edited):
I filed the rotor and used a spacer to back off the screw and now have made the correct adjustments to a .030 gap. I believe this should solve my problem. The problem was that at low speeds in bumper to bumper traffic, my car had to be revved or put in a lower gear to run slow. A symptom similar to points that have a gap too small.
More info-- I am a design engineer for an elevator control company and we use Hall Effect sensors in our equipment. So I brought my Pertronix Ignitor in and had the electronic guys look it over. The wider the gap the shorter the duration of spark, and the smaller the gap the larger duration of spark which can cause incorrect firing and some problems may show up at lower speeds. The magnet's fields are in contact longer with a smaller gap.
We put it on a scope to see the best gap. We found out you can fine-tune an
Ignitor by playing with the gap just like points. It is just that
Pertronix didn't tell us. If the module is too close it will retard and
hold the spark longer, which will lessen the charge to the plugs. The best
was between the .030 they recommended and .045. No smaller then .030, so don't worry about being off, actually .040 worked very sharp, giving the
most spark at the correct time. Nice to be able to find something new to play with to get better performance and an all around fine ride.
- Install the original rotor, and make sure the wires do not interfere with any moving parts in the distributor, and replace the distributor cap making sure the plug wires & the coil wire are securely seated.
- Connect the wires to the coil as follows while being absolutely sure you do not reverse the wires (If the wires are reversed the unit may be destroyed). Connect the black wire to the negative (-) terminal of the coil (Terminal #1), and the red wire to the positive (+) terminal of the coil (Terminal #15).
TYPICAL COIL (BOSCH BLACK COIL PICTURED)
- The engine can now be started. Let the engine run for a few minutes and then set (or reset) the timing.