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Mounting a coil sideways?? Yes or not recommended

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by FoxSpeed, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Carnuba
    Joined: Mar 19, 2012
    Posts: 430


  2. Bad Daddy
    Joined: Nov 13, 2010
    Posts: 829

    Bad Daddy

    The Mallory coil in the coupe is mounted sideways and haven't had any problems.
  3. Sheep Dip
    Joined: Dec 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,572

    Sheep Dip
    from Central Ca

    Well said Bubba, I learned a while back that all coils are not created equal...the hard way!
  4. Yup, listen to GMC BUBBA, everyone has said the cars came with them sideways from the factory in the 60's/70's and run great still with the stock coil.......key word is STOCK as in made in the USA factory coil. Not so now, a lot of "good" coils are made overseas and cheap, GMC BUBBA sells good quality made in the USA coil and I won't buy a cheap one again.
  5. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,207

    from Sultan, WA

    That's what i'd say too, oil might seep out...
  6. Carnuba
    Joined: Mar 19, 2012
    Posts: 430


    It's not so much the oil leaking out as it is a bubble of air uncovering part of the coil, causing that portion of that coil to overheat and already mentioned by Don
  7. hillbilly4008
    Joined: Feb 13, 2009
    Posts: 2,918

    from Rome NY

    I always thought that coils absolutely had to be mounted straight up. I thought this because thats the way I've always seen them on my GMs, and was told that they are full of oil and if they are tilted something wouldn't cool properly and it would burn up.

    Flash forward to a time where I've learned not to believe everything I hear. My '53 Desoto came stock with the coil mounted upside down at a 45*, no problems so far.
  8. Yutan Flash
    Joined: Aug 6, 2008
    Posts: 733

    Yutan Flash
    from Gretna, NE

    I've had at least one, most likely two Pertronix Flamethrower coils crap out on my '63 T-bird mounting them in the OEM horizontal position on top of the A/C compressor. First time was going to Goodguys KC in '07 after having run it for almost 3 years including a cross-country trip from KC to Portland OR and back. Guts were liquified - could shake the coil can and hear sloshing inside. Second Flamethrower (purchased at same Goodguys KC event in '07) lasted until late last summer '11 in same horizontal position but with much fewer miles - gave out without warning on I-80 on way home from a cruise night. Sat for 45 minutes and started up again. Not sure if the Pertronix Ignitor I I've had in place of points asince '04 lso had a hand in car stalling out, but for now I have OEM-type repro FoMoCo coil back in OEM position.
  9. T.L.
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 207

    from Colorado

    I have never had a coil go bad, and the factory always mounted them sideways on every car I ever had that used an external ignition coil. I have one mounted vertically on a O.T. car of mine, but I have no idea if there is any advantage (other than appearance) to it...
  10. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,576


    Any 12 volt points ignition system should be using a resistor, unless the coil is built with an internal resistor. It has no relationship whatsoever to the coil orientation. The resistor is to reduce current in ignition system components, to increase their service life.

    You can usually tell if a coil is oil filled by shaking it. An oil filled one will usually make a sloshing noise, which also indicates that there is an air bubble in the coil. As pointed out by a number of posters, a lot of manufacturers mounted oil filled coils in other than straight up positions, and that worked well because the coils were built well, sealed well, and had enough oil in them to flood the windings no matter what position the coil was mounted in.

    Epoxy filled coils can be mounted in any position.

    Who knows what kind of shortcuts are taken in the construction of offshore coils? Inferior materials, not enough oil put in them, poor seals, etc. Your best bet would be to mount a cheap coil straight upright, and carry an extra one in the glove box.
  11. Been running a MSD Blaster 2 sideways for 7 years and no issues.....

  12. lawman
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,665


    Now,that is funny !!!!!!
  13. What coil do you have ? The coil came mounted horizontally on my '62 Galaxie and never had a minutes problem but the new MSD coils specifically tell you to mount them vertically since they contain oil to cool the windings.

    "It is recommended to mount the PN 8202 and 8223 coils in an upright position."

    "Blaster 2 Coil Hi-Performance
    Part number: 8202
    Make sure to mount these coils vertically, since they do contain oil in them to cool the windings."

  14. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 7,072


    I mount mine upside down... smoke rises so it's harder for it to come out if it's upside down. Also mount the coil higher then the distributor so gravity helps pull the electricity down to the coil tower. Hows that for jolting everyone awake and sparking the creative process?
  15. Tommy's Cycle
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 766

    Tommy's Cycle
    from So Cal

    Autolite coil, factory mounted:)

    Attached Files:

  16. The current owner _resists_ change. ;)
  17. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?

    Okay, there are some experts here who's opinion I respect, so I'm not going to try and call foul. However, I have spent most of a cold night, put out an engine fire with a 44 ounce drink and a leather jacket, and payed a 450.00 emergency tow bill from one of the most remote places in AZ because of a MSD oil filled coil calling it quits by the side of Hiway 8 near Dateland AZ. Twice actually. (the first time was not nearly as dramatic, and I thought I had just purchased a bum coil...) I switched to epoxy filled as per MSD's instructions, and for good measure moved the mounting posistion to vertical. 7 years later, no problems to report.

    Trust me, 65 miles from anywhere on a 30degree night in the darkest dark you can imagine is no time to find out something isn't happy... Epoxy filled for me please!
  18. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,576


    This sounds like a story we need to hear more details on. COILOIL leak onto a header or something fun like that? Give us a second-by-second rundown on the fire/drink/jacket deal, cause I could use some entertainment this afternoon.
  19. Well, There is some funny stuff, some correct stuff, some incorrect stuff and some outright old wives tales.
    Working for a company that makes coils, here is our stance. First, most canister style coils made today are still oil filled, they are the most common. A well made (ie full of oil and a good seal) oil filled coil can be mounted horizontally, but as some have suspected, there is always a little bit of an air bubble in the oil, so we recommend that if you are mounting it horizontally to do it with the terminals also horizontal, like this + O - when looking at the end. That keeps the bobbins most covered in oil so it will run coll and not overheat. If you are running an oil filled coil on it's side or upside down, it is a good idea to run your hand over the end every once in a while to make sure that it isn't leaking as all manufacturers have had occasional problems with leaks - easy safety check.
    Epoxy coils are very good for off road and marine applications where vibration is a problem. But epoxy is not a very good heat conductor, so they tend to run hot, especially in high resistance coils. In low resistance applications, like electronic ignitions they do very well.

    As for where coils are made, the majority are not made in the US any more. Some of ours are, and Bubba gets his from a US source, but the truth is they are the only US automotive coil manufacturer left and they can't (or won't) keep up with production demands of the big companies - so all the major players are forced to source coils from the Orient and Mexico as the main suppliers. This doesn't mean they aren't good quality, it just means that no US company is interested in the huge amount of business they are letting go overseas
  20. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,426

    Von Rigg Fink
    from Garage

    just look at any stock banger powered A

    coil is upside down and it didnt friken matter in 1928-9...etc
  21. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?

    Why I will NEVER run less than a high quality epoxy filled coil!

    No, Just me trying to sort out why the car decided to quit running by the light of my cell phone. I felt exactly like it ran out of gas or killed a fuel pump, so I disconnected the fuel line from the carb and draped it over the right fender so that I could crank it and see if I had fuel. I figured if I saw squirts in the dirt I would move on to my next guess... Only when I cranked it, it blew back into the engine compartment and doused the top of the engine. The last spark that defiant little coil put out caught the whole works on fire!

    Guess who hadn't had his extinguisher serviced in several years? Guess how he found out? I reached in, grabbed my 44 oz Coke (tm) and started dumping and beating back the flames with my brand new silly expensive leather jacket. (Still wearing it to this day!) I do have to disclose at this point that this is at aproximately 10:00 on a sunday night in November and I am on my way back home from a sales semminar I conducted in Yuma, so I am in a suit and tie too.

    As I'm beating out the flames, I notice a truck slow down in the right lane. Of course I'm thinking he's going to stop and pull out an extiguisher and help. Nope, he stops just off the left of my car and watches me battle the flames for about 10 seconds then drives away... Now being the calm cool collected guy I am, I'm killing the last bits of fire and trying to throw rocks at this F**k at the same time!

    With the fire out, I find the cell phone I knocked off the other fender when the flames erupted, find the battery, reassemble it, (did I mention you can't imagine how dark it is?) and call 911. I take a deep breath and tell the operator that I have had a car fire apriximately 3 miles east of Dateland AZ., the fire is out, but I will need a rollback car hauler because the car is very low to the ground. Oh, could you alert the Highway patrol too?... "Sir, I am showing no such place as Dateland, AZ, are you sure you know what state you are in?" "Trust me, it exists, it's on Highway 8 about 75 miles west of Gila Bend". "Have you tried to put the fire out yourself? I show a town named Dateland in Oregon, are you sure your in AZ." After several more minutes of this I convince her that yes, there is a town of Dateland, AZ, and yes I am stranded about three miles east of it.

    A full ten minutes later, the vollenteer fire department's siren rings in the "town" three miles back. See, Dateland consists of a restaurant and gas station, and about 6 or 7 houses in the literal middle of no where. An hour later, a "firetruck" arrives with four or five over eager vollenteers on board who explain "they usually don't bother to respond quickly to car fires 'cause there's usually not much left by the time we get here anyway, and hey, that's a really big Volkswagon!!!" About this time a AZ Highway patrolman shows and calms me down, and takes a long look at the car... "This thing has aluminum heads? How fast will it go? Ever run it at the drags? Aw come on, you can tell me, I promise it'll be off the record. Lets go hang out in the patrol car, it's cold out here."

    The officer and I sit in the patrol car and drink a cup of coffee and I later admit that I have had the car into the 145 mph range, but the aerodynamics die after about 135 or so. He laughs and says "So Theorectically, I'm not going to catch you..." "Theoretically, no." Laughs all around that become important in a later story that involves a MCSO officer... Different story. The tow truck shows.

    The scene is best set with the banjo duo from deliverence. The cop even asked if I would rather wait for something else. It's now almost 1:00 am and Gila Bend is calling me. Hell, anywhere not on the side of this road is calling me. The inbread bros. towing company loads the car, the cop departs, and the lead hill billy looks at me and says we need 467.23 before we move... An oddly specific number at best. I pull out my credit card, and laughter abounds. I remember that there is a cash machine in the gas station, and I hope my account is happy, 'cause I no longer care. The machine spits out 480.00, and I'm informed that change is not something I will get back, 'cause you were gonna tip us anyway, right? As we pull out, I notice a fellow traveler who was stuck on the side of the west bound lane for the entire time I was stuck. That's how black it was out there. An hour and a half later, the car is sitting at the Space Age Lodge in Gila Bend. Always wanted to stay there... ElPolacko came out the next morning and we put my car on his trailer for the second time in it's life.

    See, not a bad story!
  22. 48FordFanatic
    Joined: Feb 26, 2011
    Posts: 1,335

    from Maine

    Only if you pull out the coil wire.
  23. jack orchard
    Joined: Aug 20, 2011
    Posts: 238

    jack orchard

    why take a chance. mount it w/coil wire up...jack
  24. stuart13
    Joined: Feb 21, 2012
    Posts: 65


    I was going to make another smart-ass comment, but it looks like all of them have already been said. I am online with the epoxy/oil reasoning.
  25. I'm going to remount all mine @ 45% just to be safe.
  26. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    from Noo Yawk

    Just this past weekend my horizontally-mounted Accel oil-filled coil failed. Oil poured out the cap after I removed the coil wire. Bought a Mallory and mounted it vertically. Not taking a chance.
  27. onlychevrolets
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 2,307


    air cooled VW's mounted them upside don't matter
    Joined: Aug 10, 2008
    Posts: 2,597


    The one in my 67 Chevy truck is mounted sideways under my dash for 12 years + years. Its a MSD
  29. I Drag
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 884

    I Drag

    Oh bloody hell, I didn't know this made a difference. About 5 years ago I mounted mine horizontally since it fit better that way than vertically.

    I mounted mine "pointed" to the left. Should I flip it over to point to the right to even it out?
  30. Smokeybear
    Joined: Apr 20, 2011
    Posts: 325


    Both my coils are mounted straight up and down. If they were sideways, the suspension wouldn't work.

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