Electronic ignition

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mowbotman
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Electronic ignition

Post by mowbotman »

1st time out this season and it’s missing and banging like a good en, so I thought i may fit electronic ignition, are they easy to fit do you have to do ignition timing after , should i change the coil at the same time and what electronic kits are good without breaking the bank
Thanks
les
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Re: Electronic ignition

Post by les »

Adjusted clean contact points, good condenser and rotor arm will give perfect results regarding most ignition side of things. Many fit electronic stuff, it’s optional but not necessarily the answer to your issues.

don58van
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Re: Electronic ignition

Post by don58van »

Hi mobotman
are they easy to fit
Yes. Although, getting the timing right after fitting might involve some fiddling.
do you have to do ignition timing after
Yes. There are reports on here that you will need to rotate the distributor quite a bit. That might depend on which system you choose.
should i change the coil at the same time
Some electronic ignition suppliers recommend a specific type of coil to go with their system. I don't know whether that is just so that they can sell you a coil.

Which system? There seem to be a surprising number of reports of failure of some of the popular systems. The Lumenition systems seem to be bulletproof.

These are my thoughts based on a lot of reading over more than a decade.

Others will be along soon with more thoughts.

Don
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mobylette
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Re: Electronic ignition

Post by mobylette »

Could well be the fuel has gone off.
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simmitc
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Re: Electronic ignition

Post by simmitc »

If you fit electronic ignition, then make sure that you carry a condenser and set of points so that you can fit them when the electronics one fails.

Joking apart, over the years I have used several different electronic units. They have all given better starting and reduced maintenance, but eventually all have died and I have refitted the points in order to continue the journey.

Before changing the ignition components, I would investigate other possible causes, or change just the condenser.
kevin s
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Re: Electronic ignition

Post by kevin s »

I've had lumentaion on one car for 27 years and it's still going strong, newer cheaper units don't seem so reliable. On our minor we have a distributorless system which is fantastic and uses oem ford parts so should hopefully be very reliable. (But it did cost £400).
myoldjalopy
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Re: Electronic ignition

Post by myoldjalopy »

Why bother? You'd be better off just getting good traditional ignition components from the Distributor Doctor and maintain/service regularly just like you have to with the rest of the car.........cheaper and just as reliable, if not more so.
oliver90owner
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Re: Electronic ignition

Post by oliver90owner »

As Les says “it is not necessarily the answer to your issues”

In fact, if the problem is due to HT leakage, it could make things worse.

Find your fault and fix it, is my advice. Guessing, what the symptoms may be caused by, is usually a waste of time, effort and money.

If I were to fit electronic ignition, I would rebuild my electronic ignition kit (from about 1973 as listed in ETI magazine). It worked very well up to nearly 6000rpm, with some minor mods, until I removed it from my ford Escort. It only needed two switches changing over, to re-select the Kettering system, as I recall.
Sleeper
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Re: Electronic ignition

Post by Sleeper »

The old sparkrite units were/are excellent , switchable and included a timing light , the new sparkrite units ( SX4000 ) are to be avoided...

Fourth post down...

https://autoshite.com/topic/30553-the-n ... page/1479/

John ;-)
mowbotman
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Re: Electronic ignition

Post by mowbotman »

After great thought i think i will keep it standard and fit new points/condenser/ coil / dist cap & rotor arm are these just standard issues ie lucas or are there better ones ?
Myrtles Man
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Re: Electronic ignition

Post by Myrtles Man »

Myoldjalopy pointed you in exactly the right direction; I suggest you re-read his post above.
ampwhu
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Re: Electronic ignition

Post by ampwhu »

thought this subject hadn't been discussed for a while. Same repiles as usual.

i fitted accuspark years ago and have never had a problem with it. i'd never go back to the old stuff of points etc. why would you?

do you still get up and go over to change the TV channel? are you currently using a nokia 3310 mobile phone? most will have a modern car with all the elctronics as well but conveniently forget that. I bet those types of people use an electric kettle instead of boiling a saucepan of water on the stove (with fire wood?).

you don't need to carry any spares around and roll around in the engine bay. If the worst was to happen (not yet for me in years) join a recovery service and get the car taken back to your garage where you can open a cold ale/cup of tea and address the problem in your own time instead of in the layby of the A303 somewhere in somerset where you may get covered in road mist in the middle of November.
les
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Re: Electronic ignition

Post by les »

I bet some people still drive an old Morris Minor as well :D

myoldjalopy
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Re: Electronic ignition

Post by myoldjalopy »

Beauty! :lol:
Wearytraveller
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Re: Electronic ignition

Post by Wearytraveller »

ampwhu wrote: Fri Apr 22, 2022 7:14 pm thought this subject hadn't been discussed for a while. Same repiles as usual.

i fitted accuspark years ago and have never had a problem with it. i'd never go back to the old stuff of points etc. why would you?

do you still get up and go over to change the TV channel? are you currently using a nokia 3310 mobile phone? most will have a modern car with all the elctronics as well but conveniently forget that. I bet those types of people use an electric kettle instead of boiling a saucepan of water on the stove (with fire wood?).
Just noticed this and can't resist a reply as it's a perfect description of us here! No television or radio, ancient computer hard wired to the router. Nokia 3310 which remains off unless needed in an emergency. Wood heating here with a copper kettle, or a paraffin Primus stove in summer. 1970s Jackson cooker in summer when it runs for free off the solar panels! My main transport since passing my test- MGB GT with over half a million miles on it, all on points/condenser. Never driven a modern car (I probably don't know what I'm missing. Ha!)

I will admit a decent mig welder and angle grinder have their uses though :lol: Otherwise progress just means bad things happen faster!

There has been a huge amount of trouble over the last 15 years caused by cheap, poor ignition components. This is well documented on hundreds or even thousands of web pages and forum posts over the years. Fortunately, for a bit more money, well made ignition components can now be sourced due to individuals actually doing something about the situation. As mentioned above, good quality points, condensers, rotor arms and distributor caps are available from Distributor Doctor. Plenty of good reading as to why they are superior to the cheap rubbish.
http://www.distributordoctor.com/
We as the classic car movement need to put our money where our mouth is and support those making quality products.

Why stick with points and condensor? While many have had long and reliable service from electronic systems, many have not, a quick browse of the internet prooves this. I do wonder what the failure rate is? Inspect and adust the points as per the manual and they very rarely give trouble. Carrying a spare set takes up little space and adds little weight. Condensers do fail, quality ones much more rarely. Again, carry a spare, it is one nut and one screw to replace at the roadside, and less of a faff if you undo the two bolts and take out the distributor for better access. Even easier, find a spare distributor for £1 at an autojumble, rebuild it and time it, stick it in a bag with some silica gel and leave in the boot. Any ignition problems in the rain in winter, and you are two bolts away from continuing your journey.

Also there is a lot of general ignorance about ignition systems. Inside a Lucas distributor are vacuum and centrifugal advance components, which rotate against each other in use and wear. There are springs which may have weakened or stretched, and grounding wires which may be wearing thin. These moving, wearing and aging components are essentially a mechanical computer finely controlling the ignition timing over a wide variety of driving situations and have generally done a huge amount of work- it is a wonder that they still even operate 50-70 years later. New parts are available, and stripping, assessing and rebuilding a distributor is not difficult if readily available instructions are followed, or specialists can do it for you. You may even find that parts (or the whole distributor) have been replaced from another model of car in the past during a dodgy service/rebuild, so check part numbers. When I bought my MG the centrifugal advance plate was from a Vanden Plas, a friend's 1098 had an entire 25D from a 2.25 Land Rover.... The correct internals certainly helped performance and fuel consumption in both cases!

As always, if in doubt, overhaul it to original spec and standard, then maintain it correctly. Don't be suprised if it no longer gives trouble, and lasts many of us out! None of this is tricky stuff, and there is plenty of reading material on the subject in manuals and online.

For relaibility, fuel economy, easy starting and fix-a-bility, buy quality components, maintain as per manual, and fit said components to a distributor which is NOT worn out internally. You can't buy a heap of rubbish then complain it's a heap of rubbish!

P.S. Mention was made of 'Lucas' components- Lucas made these components originally, and their spare parts were of good quality until recent years when I believe they have become a franchise i.e. any far eastern manufacturer with or without quality control can put their items in Lucas boxes for a fee. Tread carefully!

Kind regards, Chris.
myoldjalopy
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Re: Electronic ignition

Post by myoldjalopy »

A comprehensive and well-written explanation, Chris. In addition, some people enjoy maintaining the originality of their vehicles and get a satisfaction from undertaking the routine maintenance required. I might add that I don't run a 'modern' and have a whistling kettle, not an electric one! :wink:
Wearytraveller
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Re: Electronic ignition

Post by Wearytraveller »

myoldjalopy wrote: Mon Apr 25, 2022 4:30 pm get a satisfaction from undertaking the routine maintenance required
Agreed, and not only that, a routine maintenance session can be combined with a thorough check over to make sure nothing is working loose, or chafing... or catching that stone caught between brake pipe any body just before it wore through, on a single line braking system :o Glad I went out and crawled under the car for a checkover that winter night!

So often modern parts conversions are added as a knee'jerk reaction by folks who don't really want or need them and would be better off putting the money elsewhere, hence the often repeated but sound advice to bring things to factory fresh with quality parts, then decide if an 'upgrade' is needed. Of course disc brakes are going to do better than badly adjusted drums with cheap shoes, aged bulging hoses and a master cylinder with a worn bore. Similarly it's no wonder a suspension conversion transforms the handling when suspension bushes were failing, dampers unserviced for 30 years, poor springs fitted etc.

A worn out distributor with questionable service parts will naturally lead to frustration, but put this right and these (pretty amazing) mechanical devices will do many tens of thousands of miles of reliable service for us luddites :lol:

Kind regards, Chris.
oliver90owner
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Re: Electronic ignition

Post by oliver90owner »

Personally, I have no problem with electronics. I note that wearytraveller is using a modern electronic means of posting on the forum - not still using a smoky fire and blanket for communication!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with updating to better systems.

We recently (two or three years ago?) updated our tumble drier to a heat pump variant, which uses far less energy than the previous machines. The first was back when ‘terry’ nappies were still in use. Remember them?

A microwave has occupied space in the kitchen for over 40 years. The second one has been in residence for nearly 24 years, is still going strong and was already second hand, even before my (eventual) wife moved in.

The Kettering system had replaced the trembler coils of a previous generation of vehicles and diesels have replaced many petrol ICE over the years (I drive one). Now to be replaced by more efficient (and less polluting) EVs, of course.

It is called “progress”. Good electronic ignition systems work well for long periods of time with no maintenance whatsoever. Cheap electronic ignitions systems are just that - cheap. Buy cheap, buy twice is an age-old adage.

I like things that either do not fail or can be repaired. My metalwork machinery is all 60-70 years old. It works, so I will not change it - but I do have a 3-D printer for making some items.

Cheap electronic modules still rely on the advance curve provided by the mechanical systems (centripetal/spring) and pneumatic (vacuum advance, spring return). More modern comprehensive ignition systems can be far more economical by using other sensors and programmed timing advance curves.

Indeed, ‘true’ luddites would likely still be using the horse as a means of transport. So, let’s not get bogged down in too much detail. Get a life and do with it whatever you wish, I suppose - within certain acceptable limits.

I have no real preference for the ignition systems I have used over the last 50 years. Of those, the compression ignition system had least extra moving parts (for the actual ignition) - apart from the injection system, which might, or might not, be included in that consideration.
myoldjalopy
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Re: Electronic ignition

Post by myoldjalopy »

"I like things that either do not fail or can be repaired"...........words to live by, especially for Moris Minor owners! :wink:
kevin s
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Re: Electronic ignition

Post by kevin s »

If you carry spare points or a condenser you can just as easily carry a spare electronic module, I have a TR7v8 and a Range rover V8 both with the Lucas electronic distributor, I carry a spare amplifier which can be changed in a couple of minutes but have never needed it. From my childhood I remember virtually all the breakdowns in Dad's Ford classic were something to do with the ignition system. My son's minor with a distrbutor less system is amazing it starts instantly pulls like a train and is so much smoother, it sounds almost like a modern engine. (you don't want to get in the way of the spark though, it easily jumps 15mm!)
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