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Electronic Igniton no spark!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Grease53Monkey, Aug 23, 2017.

  1. Grease53Monkey
    Joined: Mar 25, 2016
    Posts: 33

    Grease53Monkey

    I have a 53 Cadillac stock motor and last year I switched it to a Pertronix Electronic ignition.. Ran great for 2 seasons but about a week ago I fired it up and within a few seconds it cut out like I hit a kill switch. Definitely no spark and the coil is putting out voltage when reading off the positive terminal. So that's telling me from the ignition switch to the coil I'm good.. anybody have any issues with these ignition module just crapping out? That's what I'm leaning towards. Any engine cranking tests are tough because I don't have extra hands to help me out... Any input/advice is greatly appreciated!

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  2. I got a Petronix when they first came out about 25 years ago......the module crapped out immediately. I called them for help and they sent me a new module free. It's been working fine since then. Also have a Petronix II on a SBC.....working well for 15 years. I suggest you call Petronix directly for advice....good guys to work with.
     
  3. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,573

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    ELECTRONIC IGNITION NO SPARK!

    No surprise.
     
    TagMan and Budget36 like this.
  4. Grease53Monkey
    Joined: Mar 25, 2016
    Posts: 33

    Grease53Monkey

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  5. Grease53Monkey
    Joined: Mar 25, 2016
    Posts: 33

    Grease53Monkey

    Thanks man

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  6. nunattax
    Joined: Jan 10, 2011
    Posts: 1,949

    nunattax
    Member

    THATS BULLSHIT
     
  7. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,994

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    This used to happen a lot. When they first came out they weren't too reliable but in recent years they seem to be better. I never used one, this is all based on what I read on forums like this one.

    If it was my car I would put the points back in and use them to trigger a Ford thick film electronic ignition, or an MSD module, or even an old Chrysler module. If you have points you can go back to straight points ignition by disconnecting a few wires. If you use points with electronic ignition they never wear out.
     
  8. Grease53Monkey
    Joined: Mar 25, 2016
    Posts: 33

    Grease53Monkey

    Thanks for the input. I'm going to try the points. If it works than back to original it is.

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  9. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,994

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    If you already have the Pertronix see if you can get a new one under warranty. It may be better than the last one. You never know your luck.
     
  10. Always check to see if you have power and a good ground before considering it dead. I can't tell you how many times an electrical problem has been solved this way.
    I run 4 older CD ignition systems, and a sure way to check if they were functioning, was to listen to hear if there was a humming sound with the ignition on and the engine not running. I am not familiar with the Pertronix unit, but if it is a CD based system, the problem is almost certainly the SCR, which is easily replaced.
    Bob
     
  11. Sheep Dip
    Joined: Dec 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,572

    Sheep Dip
    Member
    from Central Ca

    I use and love Pertronix Ignition Systems with absolutely no issues.
     
  12. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 6,185

    blowby
    Member
    from Nicasio Ca

    I believe they specify resistance wires and a range of coil primary resistance.

    Check for spark at the coil wire, bypassing cap and rotor.
     
  13. I have had excellent luck with the Pertronix Electronic ignition on two different cars....Until today,the electronic ignition on the Ranch Wagon crapped out today in one of the busiest intersections in town.

    I just got home from having it towed to my pal Earls shop and came to the conclusion I am replacing the distributor with a points type ignition,this won't happen again. HRP
     
  14. doug warren
    Joined: Apr 3, 2017
    Posts: 37

    doug warren

    I had a pertronix dist in my big block and had trouble firing up the motor. called thier customer tech line and the walked me through a check list and we found the problem. fixed over the phone. just my 2 cents worth.
     
    firstinsteele and Grease53Monkey like this.
  15. gregsmy
    Joined: Feb 11, 2011
    Posts: 31

    gregsmy
    Member
    from Florida

    I have a Pertronix in an older boat with a 160hp mercruiser 6 cylinder. Its been in there for over 10 years and never had a problem with it. I dont use the boat that much, but about a 2 years ago I started having some intermittent running issues. It never left me, but we did have to limp home at about 5 mph the last trip out. I went thru all the diagnostics with Pertronix and they decided to warranty the module and sent me a new one and I returned the old one back. Later, I received a letter from them with the test results indicating the old module was good. Again I don't use the boat that much but I started having the same problem again. Then finally as bad as it sounds it died and would not restart and had to have a friend tow us home. After testing everything again and and examining every part closely under magnification I found the problem. The ignition rotor had failed and was allowing the center coil contact to short to the distributor shaft. It took some looking to find the track but appeared where the spring tang is riveted to the part that fires to the plug terminal. I believe the issue was with the material the rotor was made of. It was an original delco-remy part and appeared to be made from a Bakelite material and I think it wasn't compatible with the high energy spark that the new module and coil provides. I replaced it with a new one made from the black plastic that the later model cars use and it runs better than it has in years.
     
  16. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,277

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    The idea that points style ignition never crap out is wrong. Pertronix system is actually very similar to points style, it just doe3s the same job without the mechanical contacts opening and closing, so there are no contacts to wear out, no condensor to fail, no rubbing block to wear out, and no periodic adjustment required. If the module fails, it can be replaced the same as a set of points is replaced. Really, you're not improving reliability by going backwards in technology.
     
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  17. Grease53Monkey
    Joined: Mar 25, 2016
    Posts: 33

    Grease53Monkey

    I understand that that's why I originally went with electronic. But if it gets me on the road for now I'm going to do that. Going to call Pertronix and see if they can help me out with a module. Thanks all for the input

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  18. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,502

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    TOTAL BULLSHIT, indeed.

    I have installed more Pertronix units than I can count. The only issues that I ever had were directly my fault.

    Roughly 70,000,000 cars were sold in the US in the last decade. Every single one of them had electronic ignition.

    If electronic ignition was a big issue, it would be in the nightly news.
     
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  19. Deadbird
    Joined: Jul 28, 2005
    Posts: 1,107

    Deadbird
    Member

    The Pertronix in my C10 crapped out like that earlier this summer. I replaced the module and everything seems to be fine now.
     
  20. Grease53Monkey
    Joined: Mar 25, 2016
    Posts: 33

    Grease53Monkey

    Nice thanks for your input. Glad it's running better for you. My brother just picked up a 71 C10. Not perfect but a good New Mexico truck with some old scalloped paint job. Love them trucks

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  21. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,502

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    Since points disappeared from new cars and light trucks in the US, until the end of 2016,
    618,505,860 were sold.

    Six hundred eighteen million, five hundred five thousand, eight hundred sixty examples of electronic ignition (less the tiny percentage that are diesel).

    If you line of reasoning were sound, the sides of every road would be solidly lined with dead cars.
     
  22. Terrible80
    Joined: Oct 1, 2010
    Posts: 722

    Terrible80
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Installed a Pertronixs in my o/t slant six 5 years ago, threw a ready to run points distributor behind the seat 'cause I didn't trust the electronic. Still working.
     
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  23. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,573

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    "gimpyshotrods" - Sorry, it should have been "AFTERMARKET ELECTRONIC IGNITION NO SPARK - NO SURPRISE. Since this is a forum dedicated to modified vehicles manufactured before 1965 (when there was NO production electronic ignition ), I thought you would have realized that. There; I cleared it up for you. What has happened with production vehicles since points ignitions were discontinued is of no relevance here. I have read enough horror stories about problems with electronics ignitions (sorry, aftermarket electronic ignitions) that I would never consider running one on a "H.A.M.B. friendly" vehicle.
     
    TagMan likes this.
  24. Holy cow, did tubman really say that ??? "Hamb friendly"?
     
  25. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,277

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    So how many Pertronix systems have been installed in pre-65 cars, vs how many have failed? I would venture the percentage of failed units is extremely low. Now, how many pre-65 cars have been left dead on the side of the road because their points triggered ignition system failed? LOL, I would venture again that the percentage is far, far higher.
     
  26. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,573

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Boy, that's not what I've been seeing on the boards I frequent. Even so, the number of failures isn't what's the problem, it's the way they fail (see "HRP's" recent post). An aftermarket electronic ignition usually gives you no indication it is going to go; it just fails, leaving you stranded. A points ignition usually gives you plenty of indication that things are going wrong, giving you enough time to limp some place to remedy the problem. That is, if the driver is at all sensitive about how their vehicle is running. Today, most people have NO clue what is going on with their vehicle. We are not those people.
     
  27. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 6,185

    blowby
    Member
    from Nicasio Ca

    If you leave the key on with a Pertronix Ignitor I (and the module is in 'on' position, charging the coil, I presume), you will overheat and damage it, according to Pertronix. I wonder if it can cause damage that kills it at a later time?

    The Pertronix II has circuitry to protect it from leaving the key on, for the dumb shits.

    I have the Pertronix II.
     
  28. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 2,708

    Budget36
    Member


    Well by definition.....;)
     
  29. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 5,950

    TagMan
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    How many threads has there been on this board or any other car related board, that are titled "My points distributor quit and left me by the side of the road" ?? Just saying .........
     
  30. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,573

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yeah, they usually go : "It started running a little rough so I drove back to my garage and found ......."
     

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