Author Topic: Electronic ignition options  (Read 282 times)

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Offline Gmg31

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Electronic ignition options
« on: Saturday,December 02, 2017, 02:51:25 AM »
When I spoke to Richard at Banks about this subject he recommended the Pertronix Ignitor system which I subsequently fitted.  But having recently picked my car up from a specialist tuning centre he said the unit was rubbish and wasn’t producing a good enough output. He said if I re fitted points I would get better performance.  He recommended luminition. Anyone got some views please.

Offline EuropaTC

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Re: Electronic ignition options
« Reply #1 on: Saturday,December 02, 2017, 04:09:29 AM »
Hmm, I don't know where your guy gets his information from because all I've read indicates the Pertronix units to be one of the better ones on the market.  There are threads on this forum about electronic ignition and it's been debated heavily on LotusElan.net.  The biggest detractor I can see is the potential for upsetting your rev counter but even then there are ways around it.  I don't get why it's not producing enough output, it's either on or off as the distributor rotates and the coil is doing the spark plug bit. 

So. CB points vs Electronic units ?  Your points will be perfect when you fit them and perform just as well as any electronic ignition although I'd struggle to see how they could be better, it's only switching a circuit when all said & done. Electronic units like Pertronix come into their own because once fitted they stay exactly the same ad infinitum whereas with CB points you get wear on the heel or build-up on the points themselves reducing the gap & marginally altering your ignition for the worse. Hence the need to inspect/adjust every now and then.  So it's less maintenance and after all you don't find many modern cars running with CB points, do you ?

Pertronix reliability. There are 2 types, Ignitor #1 & Ignitor #2 (maybe more now, don't know).  The first version is the simplest and has been known to fail if the ignition is left on without the engine running, they overheat & burn out.  The second version overcomes this problem and IIRC has a few other improvements.  I've had #1 fitted to the Elan for a very long time now and to the Europa from 2011 onwards; I won't be going back to CB points but if I was buying now I'd go for the Ignitor #2 just because it's a more modern development.

Lumenition ? Can't comment on modern units although I did have one on a TR7 at one point but it packed in & I went back to CB points.  That was most probably because it was early days, I tried Piranha & Mobelec as well but none of them seemed to last for very long.  But I'd expect modern units of any quality manufacturer to be reliable now so it's just a "pays your money....." thing.

Brian

Offline Roger

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Re: Electronic ignition options
« Reply #2 on: Saturday,December 02, 2017, 05:34:03 AM »
I have Pertronix 1 on both Elan and Europa, and would not revert to points. Such an easy modification, and Spiyda's kit can fix your rev-counter easily.

Offline GavinT

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Re: Electronic ignition options
« Reply #3 on: Saturday,December 02, 2017, 06:05:44 AM »
I used the Lumenition optical ignition with no problems. The tach also worked without any modification. I’m in Oz and and at the time I don’t think the Pertronix was readily available here.

I have no personal experience with Pertronix, but by all accounts plenty of people seem to make them work just fine.

I reckon it’s well to remember that if any one has a problem with any particular system, the interwebs will find out about it.
Those who have no trouble often don’t post just to say so, either.

I’d be inclined to ask your specialist tuning centre to define precisely what he means by “rubbish”.

Online BDA

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Re: Electronic ignition options
« Reply #4 on: Saturday,December 02, 2017, 06:09:23 AM »
My engine builder installed a light triggering ignition (not luminitio and this was back in the late 70s). It played hell with my stock tach and gave out while was in the inside lane on the highway. I replaced it with a Pertronix. I must have the Ignitor #2 (they now have an Ignitor #3) because I remember reading that it wasn't sensitive to leaving the ignition on. Then one day I proved it by forgetting to turn off the ignition for probably thirty minutes with no effect. I've never had a moments problem with it and my tach now works correctly (I don't know why that is because I've read accounts of just the opposite - the tach goes screwy when installing the Pertronix. At the same time I installed a Pertronix Flamethrower coil. I've heard of paranoid people who keep a set of points in case their Pertronix goes ouy but not needing to use them. If I were less trusting, I'd buy a spare module instead. They say you must run resistance plug wires or it can harm your unit. I used to solid plug wires that came with my motor with no apparent harm. When I found out that resistance wires were called for, I made them up from a set of Pertronix wires.

I have heard of people who have had bad experiences with Pertronix systems and refuse to use them. One guy in particular has a long history with Loti and I'm sure I would trust any advice about them he might give, but so far my experience with Pertronix differs with his.

I would take Richard's advice and get a Pertronix and relish never worrying about points, gaps, or files again.

Offline GavinT

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Re: Electronic ignition options
« Reply #5 on: Saturday,December 02, 2017, 06:42:42 AM »
Yeah . . as I say, you’ll always here the horror stories but seldom the successes.

Lumenition was all the rage when I got mine back in the late 70’s. The features seemed to make sense.
The Lumenition system uses a simple segmented chopper wheel installed under the rotor. All that happens is that the chopper wheel interrupts a beam of light and thus triggers the coil. Because of this, it’s quite tolerant of dizzy shaft slop/wobble.

I don’t recall any specifics about coils or leads but I do remember using solid leads for a while. When I pulled into the driveway at home it would set off the alarm on the Mazda across the road.

The owner would come rushing out to see who was stealing his car.
I never did fess up but I did change the leads. I’m just soooo neighbourly . . .  :FUNNY:

Here’s the troubleshooting guide from Pertronix:

http://www.pertronix.com.au/troubleshooting.html

Offline jbcollier

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Re: Electronic ignition options
« Reply #6 on: Saturday,December 02, 2017, 07:53:57 AM »
Pertronix needs to be paired with a coil having 3 ohms primary resistance.

Offline Gmg31

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Re: Electronic ignition options
« Reply #7 on: Saturday,December 02, 2017, 09:25:37 AM »
Some interesting advice gents, thank you. The facegroup group suggests the 123 Ignition electronic distributor. I’ve looked it up and it’s very expensive. I think I’ll stick with the pertronics for now.

Offline buzzer

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Re: Electronic ignition options
« Reply #8 on: Saturday,December 02, 2017, 12:59:47 PM »
I used Aldon Ignitor unit. I have 2 one fitted in my Westfield the other on the lotus. The rev counters works fine. I think these are either very similar to the petronix or maybe even rebadge units.
Dave,

Other cars. Westfield SEiW. BMW E90 Alpina D3. BMW 325 E30 convertible and Range Rover CSK

Offline EuropaTC

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Re: Electronic ignition options
« Reply #9 on: Saturday,December 02, 2017, 11:01:47 PM »
I used Aldon Ignitor unit. I have 2 one fitted in my Westfield the other on the lotus. The rev counters works fine. I think these are either very similar to the petronix or maybe even rebadge units.
I think you're right on that Dave, when I was looking to buy the Europa system I'm sure I read somewhere that Aldon==Pertronix.  I only went Pertronix again on the slimmest of margins, just because I was familiar with the name/system.

There are/were a lot of cheaper Ebay units which look similar but reading the forums they had a poor reputation and seemed to fail around 1-2 years in. Or at least that was the position back then, it might be different now. Having said that, I did buy a cheapie unit purely to have as a spare in the car toolbox, "just in case"   ;)

Offline jbcollier

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Re: Electronic ignition options
« Reply #10 on: Sunday,December 03, 2017, 07:04:34 AM »
I have installed dozens and dozens of Pertronix systems.  The only issues we have are with loose nuts behind the steering wheel.  They hook it up backwards and it stops working.  Other than that, nothing.  We usually install it with a new 3 ohm coil and open the plugs up to a 30 thou gap.

Offline EuropaTC

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Re: Electronic ignition options
« Reply #11 on: Sunday,December 03, 2017, 09:02:57 AM »
The only issues we have are with loose nuts behind the steering wheel. 

 :)   


Offline EuropatcSPECIAL

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Re: Electronic ignition options
« Reply #12 on: Sunday,December 03, 2017, 06:25:08 PM »
i have fitted Aldon to both my cars with great results

Offline TCS4605R

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Re: Electronic ignition options
« Reply #13 on: Sunday,December 03, 2017, 07:18:05 PM »
I have a Luminition system on my 74 TCS and no tach problems.  Setting the timing is very accurate - the timing light mark on the flywheel is very sharp as opposed to the blur with the stock points/condenser system.

Tom