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Hot Rods Anyone Know About Pertronix Ingnition?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Twisted_Fate, May 5, 2016.

  1. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,417

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    Going on maybe 18 years on my Y block with Ignitor and maybe 10 or so with Flamethrower coil, stock 30 amp generator. No problems. Does seem to idle better and start a little easier.

    They've sold millions so they are doing something right. It's very important to use a tight, serviceable distributor if points and condenser are to be used, the mechanical "switch" nature of contact points means any runout or "wobble" in the distributor shaft will cause the dwell time to be erratic. There used to be all sorts of arcane rituals associated with points and condensers - spring scales, bending and aligning contact arm, observing which side the point surface was "growing" and lengthening or shortening the condenser lead as necessary. Overseas points and condensers are junk and not to be trusted. Lots of good NOS still available.
     
  2. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,357

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    One thing I found out while perusing the Pertronix site, with the Ignitor II you cannot use solid core spark plug wires. I was just about to order a wire set, and since I have no radio I was just going to go with solid core wire, thankfully I saw that before I ordered. Apparently the EMF emitted from the solid cores wires can cause problems with the operation of the Ignitor II.
     
  3. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 8,536

    jimmy six
    Member

    Twisted. This my story. I don't mean to confuse In 55 and 56 my dad bought new fords. When I was 16 I drove them, as others know, they were dogs, cool lookin but dogs. I learned a lot on how to fix them but too young. In 2011 I bought a restored 56 Victoria. In the first week I found a 53 Cadillac small base WCFB and ordered a 57 -up dist from Rock Auto. All towering inferno BS and Loadmatic was gone. Turned the Ford stuff to GM in one day. (Something I understood). All engines are just air pumps to me. The new condenser went out in 3 months, second one 4 months later. Chinese junk I heard. I installed a Pertronics 1 and never looked back. Since I've added dual quads (both WCFB's I'm a fast learner) and zero ignition problems even when I let those dual quads sing. Yes I carry the points and new condenser and the few tools change out the electronic unit but the point/condenser left me stranded. Good luck
     
  4. Twisted_Fate
    Joined: Oct 25, 2011
    Posts: 20

    Twisted_Fate
    Member

    I'm still unclear with this 57 y distributor. I can get one off rockauto but I'll have to know which one to get... There are still seemingly early and late model distributors.... I'm sorry if I'm being really dense but I want to make sure I don't kcuf if up, and order the wrong stuff from 53 different places... here is a screen shot that shows the early and late deal.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,417

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    To be fair, ersatz parts left you stranded, not the real stuff.
     
    gimpyshotrods likes this.
  6. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,417

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    30-2808 is the magic number for a post 56 Y block distributor. It will have both mechanical and vacuum advance.
     
  7. Twisted_Fate
    Joined: Oct 25, 2011
    Posts: 20

    Twisted_Fate
    Member

    Truck64 you're a rockstar. I literally just ordered that part number from joblot going to pick it up from them Monday since I live 15 minutes away! Now I just gotta place the order for the pertronix kit which I assume is for a 57 y block... You guys on this forum are so damn helpful I'll tell you! I've tried on a few other forums for help and get nothing! Thank you so much!
     
  8. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,340

    blowby
    Member
    from Nicasio Ca

    Hmm, interesting. I bought an Igniter II to go on my flathead rebuild, solely for the feature it has of not frying itself if you leave the key on. My old flathead idled pretty slow, new one had a hotter cam so hopefully OK, manual trans. This info should be published in the catalog. Thanks.
     
  9. Danny G
    Joined: Aug 1, 2006
    Posts: 399

    Danny G
    Member

    Can you use the silicone resistor wires with points. I have them laying around
     
  10. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,417

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    It's been a while, but the Ignitor # was, or ended with 1281 for the 57-73 Ford distributor.

    Before installation, you would be ahead of the game to see what reluctor slot was included and/or being used. Since you're getting a remanufactured unit it is unlikely to have a curve setup for a Y block. In fact it could be something for a 70s smogger, that isn't "all in" till about 45,000 RPM. This will make the engine boggy and slow and feel "heavy". Also pick up a Mr. Gasket spring set, #925D, if you dig around you'll find other links on curving your distributor. If you happen to know someone with a Distributor machine, now is the time to send over a case of beer. A proper distributor advance curve is important, you'll thank yourself every time you drive it.

    http://m571.com/yblock/distributortuning.htm

    http://www.gofastforless.com/ignition/advance.htm
     
  11. 4 pedals
    Joined: Oct 8, 2009
    Posts: 758

    4 pedals
    Member
    from Nor Cal

    There has been debates about Pertronix units as long as they have existed. I've run several over the years in good distributors, tight, no slop bushings, never a bit of trouble. The one in my son's car frequently sees north of 6k. They're simply a trigger, On/Off. I like to run a fresh wire from the ignition switch to eliminate the resistor, providing a full 12 volts to the unit. I've not found the coil to make a difference as far as the Pertronix is concerned, yes it does affect total ignition and spark, but the Pertronix doesn't seem to care what it is triggering in my experience.

    Devin
     
  12. mikhett
    Joined: Jan 22, 2005
    Posts: 1,412

    mikhett
    Member
    from jackson nj

    I put one in my 62 galaxie 390.That was 9 yrs ago.Hasnt failed yet.
     
  13. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 8,536

    jimmy six
    Member

    Truck64.... I wonder how far off the dist advance could be with the last car y-block was 1962 and truck just a few years later. I plugged the vacuum advance and used a timing light and a tach wired with alligator clips to check the one I bought and it was all in around 32-3300. I use to put in weak springs in all my cars to have it all in by 2500 but wonder how much it really helped. With everything connected I don't get any pinging even with the liquid they call gasoline today. I run 8* initial.
     
  14. raprap
    Joined: Oct 8, 2009
    Posts: 768

    raprap
    Member
    from Ohio

    I originally put a Ignitor I in my Chevy in 1999. I accidently left the key on for about 1/2 hour and it burned out the system. I replaced it with an Ignitor II. It has a built in overload resistor in it so that will not happen again. It's been about 17 years since I did that and no problems.
     
  15. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,417

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    Well there's no telling because the remanned distributors could be used in so many applications. If an 18L slot was included that would be 36 crankshaft degrees, this is no good. A 10L slot would be close to ideal or would allow for a lot more lead timing. Usually around 12 initial or so is about right for a stock engine.
     
  16. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,856

    Mike51Merc
    Member


    I heard Joblot was closed? Please report status!
     
  17. Twisted_Fate
    Joined: Oct 25, 2011
    Posts: 20

    Twisted_Fate
    Member

    they're still very much open!
     
  18. Yes, that appears to be one of our Ignitor II units. You should be using a .6Ω coil. like our Flame Thrower II without a ballast resistor for best results.
    This is the replacement module by its self (without the magnet ring) http://www.summitracing.com/parts/pnx-911810
     
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  19. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,357

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    I think I've experienced this issue, having the idle speed too low when in gear. Engaging Reverse or Drive can cause a momentary drop in idle speed until the engine recovers, and sometimes results in a stall. Fine tuning the idle air screws and increasing the idle speed a little bit helped resolve it. Thanks for the info, it helps explain one of the things I was dealing with.
     
  20. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,918

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    550 RPM is too low an idle speed.
     
  21. deucendude
    Joined: Oct 31, 2008
    Posts: 593

    deucendude
    Member
    from norcal

    The first one I installed was on our406 chev. powered 48 Ford Woodie in 1993 and it's still in there working. over 45,000 miles.
     
  22. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,417

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    Guess haven't had one as long as I remembered, must have bought both the Ignitor and Flamethrower in late 2003 or early 2004. This means ran points for about 7 years, far longer than my recollection. Don't think I changed them out too often, if at all. Recall being a little frustrated when the dwell never seemed quite right no matter what the gap was set at. Distributor shaft bushings were probably lunched. New distributor itself cleaned up and smoothed idle and driveability even more.

    On a Y block the distributor is at the back of the engine, angled, almost at the firewall. I did not care for this for point adjustment as I am not a contortionist, and believe this was a key reason to purchase the Ignitor. Neither points not Pertronix has ever let me down though, it always started in the coldest weather.

    Still using a stock 30 amp generator incidentally. Some claim Pertronix modules need the "clean power of an alternator", at least in my application there has been no problem, must be an Old Wives tale.

    Good clean tight low resistance grounding of everything seems to work best, especially for anything solid state. Points don't care, transistors do!
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2016
  23. Timely discussion. I've been having low speed drive-ability issues with my Avatar that has a 69 327 with a Pertronics Flame Thrower II distributor and coil. It was getting progressively worse. I was blaming fuel because it sat for 6 months while we were in AZ for the Winter even though I treated it with Stabil and ran it for about 20 minutes before storing it.. It would smooth out above 2k RPM so was assuming problems in the idle circuit. Was planning to remove center carb and rebuild. Today backed out of the shop and had to use throttle to keep it running. It died at the end of the driveway and would not restart. Had fuel but no spark from coil wire. Coil and coil wire resistance checks good. Good power. Monitored ground side of coil to ground while cranking and saw no change in voltage. Not sure I would see the switching action on a DVM but it was the only way I could come up with to try to isolate the module without removing the distributor. The cap and rotor are new. The system is probably at least 5 years old with no previous problems on two different engines..I always assumed a module failure would be immediate and not gradual because that's the way electronic devices tend to work. Anyone have a way to verify the module is working without removing the distributor?
     
  24. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,417

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    I don't have it memorized or handy, but there is a method on the troubleshooting section of the Pertronix website, basically waving the magnet in front of the module. I think they sort of work/don't work. If you dig around their site they have some good tests and information. A lot of the problems seem to stem from either too much, or too little voltage or current flowing through the system. Points don't like excess current, the Ignitor is limited to about 8 amps.
     
    rramjet likes this.
  25. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy

    we used them on lift trucks ( yes they make some compatible units ) at a freight company with some failures and problems ( worn out distributors and killed units from jumpstarting and key on engine off ) , but the ammount of units we were servicing and the age ( some AC's from the 1970's) and abuse the lift trucks go thru they were a good investment .better than replacing points every 2 weeks . and they fire up propane quick too .
     
  26. PM me your email and I will send you a detailed instruction pdf for troubleshooting the module.
    Don
     
    rramjet likes this.
  27. I have the ignitor 3 its not that much more and you get a rev limiter and multi spark through the entire rev range. Make sure you have a full 12 volts getting to it , use the matching coil !Also don't put it in some old crappy dissy and then complain about the unit.. Get a remanufactured Cardone unit. while your at this stage you can modify the timing plate so that you get about 12 degrees initial timing , Y blocks like that and you can add a set of Mr Gasket 925 D springs your timing should be in by 2700 rpm [based on a stockish motor] .. You can set your sparkplugs slightly wider but not necessary.
     
    rramjet likes this.
  28. Crazyolman
    Joined: May 24, 2014
    Posts: 188

    Crazyolman

    I have replaced the points on everything I have built for years and the only problem I had was when I left the key on without the engine running and burnt out one unit. The best solution for the Olds was to replace the oversize original GM distributer, that looked out of place, with a brand new Pertronix distributer and it was very cost effective also.
     
  29. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 5,169

    sunbeam
    Member

    Load O matic points are straight same as a 6 cylinder 1957 and up the points have S curves where the screws are. I have a 67 ford pu with 352 and a ignitor I cense 91 no problems.
     
  30. Continuing my saga of trying to figure out what's going on with my Flame Thrower II system in my Avatar. Pulled the distributor and got a new module. Tested it with a DVM before putting back in car and it looked just like original one, no voltage change. Thought maybe the best way to check it was with a good analog meter. When I used one, both modules showed voltage flux when the distributor was turned so assumed the module was not bad. Began focusing on the coil. Disconnected everything and hot wired coil plus to bat terminal on alternator and negative to a wire unconnected on the other end. Connected a spark plug to the coil lead and grounded plug. When I touched ground with the neg wire got a very weak spark on the plug. Ordered a coil. The coil had checked good resistance wise but an ohmmeter will not necessarily show shorted windings. Need an inductance meter. I should have done a better job of eliminating the coil to began with but when I didn't see any module action with the DVM when the engine was motored I assumed module. Talking with Pertronix today, I was told there is no definitive way of checking an Ignitor II module other than verifying power and ground. I'm wondering if he was thinking Igniter III.
     

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