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Permatune fried?

I have an 1987 930 with a permatune ignition. It stopped running the other day while driving. Heard a loud back fire then would turn over but wouldn't start. Pulled a spark plug and no spark. Searched pelican parts and found this link:

Another won't start thread


I unplugged the permatune box and tested the resistance between the pins. Pin 2 to pin 5 had a resistance of >1 ohms. *The other pins tested okay. * "if >1 ohm resistance suggests Defective tach and/or speed relay with fusible damage inside the box". In all honesty I'm kinda new to this but probably haven't tested everything else. (distributor, coil, wires etc...) I just went right to the permatune and it seems to be testing abnormal. Right?

Can anybody explain this to me and more importantly what do I need to do to get my car running? I'm tempted to run out a put a new msd and new coil in there....

Old 07-04-2012, 12:24 PM
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Panzer, don't automatically assume it is the Permatune unit.
That was my initial reaction as well, but the problem was a combination of two intermittent problems - one with the dreaded green wire, the other with the speed relay under driver's seat.
Permatune have a test procedure on their website. Work through that first.
I swapped CDIs and coils to no effect. I worked through the wiring diagram and the speed relay looked like a likely suspect so I took it apart and cleaned up its dirty terminals. That got me running, but only intermittently.
Playing with the wiring harness uncovered a problem with the dizzy coax wire so I made up a separate new harness for the CDI/coil/dizzy wires and all is good now.
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1988 Carrera - 3.6 engine (with ITBs, COPs, MS3X) and a whole set of turbo body panels waiting in the attic.
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Memories: '68 912, '72 911T, '80 911SC, '84 911, '85 930, '86 930, '87 911

Last edited by billjam; 07-05-2012 at 04:44 AM..
Old 07-05-2012, 04:38 AM
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ok billjam thanks for the response. I read your post from january about the speed relay. So what do you need to do to test it? It sounds like you just cleaned it? Also what did you do to fix your green wire?

Also, am I correct in thinking my permatune is fried based on my Bad readings between pin 2 and pin 5?

The website says, "Pin 2 to Pin 5 = Zero Ohms is normal. More than 1-Ohm resistance indicates a defective tachometer and/or speed relay (if so equipped) damage to the fusible link inside the box."

This last bit "damage to the fusible link inside the box.." is unclear but doesn't sound good.

Ive tried looking at the permatune website but can't get the support pages to work... Ill probably just call them. AARRGH..
Old 07-05-2012, 05:30 AM
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As far as speed relay is concerned, I don't recall the details of what led me to it, but I just opened it up and cleaned the relay contacts which were a bit dirty.

This diagram is from Permatune website ...
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1988 Carrera - 3.6 engine (with ITBs, COPs, MS3X) and a whole set of turbo body panels waiting in the attic.
Day job ... www.sspowdercoat.com.au
Memories: '68 912, '72 911T, '80 911SC, '84 911, '85 930, '86 930, '87 911
Old 07-05-2012, 03:35 PM
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Ok update here...pulled the permatune connector apart to test on the car side of the plug for voltage.( already checked on the permatune side, see above ) i checked the wires and pushed it back together. Started right up. WTF?!? I guess it was brand the brand new msd 6al-2 programmable ingnition and msd blaster coil that I ordered that fixed it...

So what do I do now, obviously it was some short in the wires? I'm half afraid to drive it.

Last edited by Panzer Slayer; 07-07-2012 at 02:54 PM.. Reason: Typo
Old 07-07-2012, 02:53 PM
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I would test drive it for about an hour.
Old 07-07-2012, 02:55 PM
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When we spoke on the phone last week I think we talked about the wiring being suspect. The wiring on these cars can be problematic. Heat, the killer of many things automotive, is to blame.

Most times the problems can be cured by simply re wiring a few connections. I have done this many times and it is really easy to do. Simply use 16 gauge hook up wire and go point to point. The distributor wire can be replaced with hook up wire too, there is no need to shield the signal wire when using a Perma-Tune. The power and tachometer wires can be left in place since these wires come from the front of the car and are less susceptible to heat damage. The crimp connectors that plug into the car harness connector shell are available at most auto parts stores. Doing this also circumvents the 14 pin connector that is prone to corrosion shorts.


As always, you can send us the box to check it out for you, a FREE service we provide.

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Old 07-08-2012, 09:01 AM
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