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CDI changed to CLASSIC RETROFIT CDI+

Just finished installing my newly purchased, from PELICAN PARTS, Classic Retrofit CDI+.
My original CDI was working fine but after trying to find a correct rev limiting rotor for my 1979 911 SC (ROW) that I Autocross all summer long ( and I really need the rev limit protection!) decided to go this upgrade route.
The benefits of the CDI+ should help to bring my ignition into the 21st century and reduce my worries of the 40 year old unit failing or losing performance.

The installation was very easy and the instructions are detailed and easy to follow. I just did the plug and play option and did not do any software mapping. I did adjust and calibrate my tach and set the hard and soft rev limit to my desired numbers.

The car started right up and runs great. I will have the AFR adjusted to reap some additional power as suggested in the instructions.

Did additional replacing of a new ďblack CDI coilĒ, new Beru shielded wires, and new spark plugs as was suggested by CLASSIC RETROFIT.

Anyone hesitant about the cost should know this is a high quality product with 21st century engineering with substantial benefits as compared to buying a original CDI box.

Old 02-03-2020, 09:43 AM
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Sweet! I ordered the last one Pelican had in stock. Should be here tomorrow.

I’m also searching for the elusive black coil although Jonny responded to my PM saying the silver Bosch has the same specs just not the reliability of the original.

I plan to switch from CIS to carbs in the not too distant future so the cost of the CDI+ vs having my existing distributor recurved wasn’t all that much. Having the advantage of the multi spark in the meantime is a plus.
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Old 02-03-2020, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QueWhy View Post
Sweet! I ordered the last one Pelican had in stock. Should be here tomorrow.

Iím also searching for the elusive black coil although Jonny responded to my PM saying the silver Bosch has the same specs just not the reliability of the original.

I plan to switch from CIS to carbs in the not too distant future so the cost of the CDI+ vs having my existing distributor recurved wasnít all that much. Having the advantage of the multi spark in the meantime is a plus.

I had bad experience with Bosch silver coils. I have barn find 76S with 3.0 liter PO haphazardly installed, had things together with bailing wire. Replaced silver Bosch coils three times before discovering on this forum that theyíre no good. I only put 200-400 miles on the coil each time and left me stranded. I thought it was engine related and discovered the silver coils canít withstand the engine heat. Buy the MSD coils and remove the sticker. Donít buy Bosch silver coils unless you like riding in tow trucks.
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Old 02-03-2020, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frog76S View Post
I had bad experience with Bosch silver coils. I have barn find 76S with 3.0 liter PO haphazardly installed, had things together with bailing wire. Replaced silver Bosch coils three times before discovering on this forum that theyíre no good. I only put 200-400 miles on the coil each time and left me stranded. I thought it was engine related and discovered the silver coils canít withstand the engine heat. Buy the MSD coils and remove the sticker. Donít buy Bosch silver coils unless you like riding in tow trucks.
Iíve read plenty of accounts just like yours about the silver coil. The one I have has been in the car since I bought it ~4yrs ago. Unfortunately until I can find a black one itís what Iíve got to work with. The MSD is a no-go unfortunately. Below is info I received from Jonny H in a PM.

Quote:
The Bosch silver is the right spec but also has some manufacturing issues.

Most other coils in the market are too slow (eg MSD). You can use them with CDI+ but you would have to make the spark interval longer (700us) or it will run like crap.
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Old 02-03-2020, 02:57 PM
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Finally got a chance to install the CDI+ after checking the timing and making a small adjustment I swapped my rebuilt and by all accounts perfectly functional Bosch unit for the CDI+. Checked timing again, it was bang on so I took it for a quick spin in the neighborhood.

I don’t know if it’s a placebo effect or what but it seems WAY smoother at low RPM and low speeds. It was always a little jerky in 1st gear parking lot situations and I just chalked it up to the nature i
of the car, but it’s completely gone now.

I’m excited to see how it fairs on a longer test drive and to delve into some of the more advanced features.
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Old 02-24-2020, 01:28 PM
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yes, that was also my experience and many others with me. Much smoother low rpm running.
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Old 02-25-2020, 05:22 AM
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^ Combustion analyser says better burn, dyno says more power. Around 800 cars running CDI+ now. That’s enough of a sample size to quash any notion of placebo. To think I had to fight it out with some on here a while back - so over that now!

We’re currently testing on historic F1 Cosworth DFV V8 at 10000 RPM.
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Old 02-25-2020, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny H View Post
^ Combustion analyser says better burn, dyno says more power. Around 800 cars running CDI+ now. Thatís enough of a sample size to quash any notion of placebo. To think I had to fight it out with some on here a while back - so over that now!

Weíre currently testing on historic F1 Cosworth DFV V8 at 10000 RPM.
I got about 80miles in today. Definitely smoother, car ran great the whole time. Next step is to map out the timing and order the distributor lock.
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Old 02-25-2020, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny H View Post
^ Combustion analyser says better burn, dyno says more power. Around 800 cars running CDI+ now. That’s enough of a sample size to quash any notion of placebo. To think I had to fight it out with some on here a while back - so over that now!

We’re currently testing on historic F1 Cosworth DFV V8 at 10000 RPM.
What is the official Classic Retrofit recommendation for an ignition coil when used with a CDI+? I have a "replica" black coil purchased from another vendor..... thoughts on that? It does look like the one you used to sell but no idea what the internal specs might be.
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Old 02-25-2020, 01:39 PM
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^. Yes we used to sell a replica coil but we had failure issues and also with the orange plastic being too brittle. This led to cracking around the terminals and the ‘nose’ of the coil.

It is a shame because the specification and performance of that coil matched the Bosch unit pretty well.

Essentially, a large proportion of canister style coils are made in China to a price. That includes all the common US brands.

We are now working to produce a high quality canister coil in the U.K. having found a partner with the proper old school winding equipment. Everything including the wire will be quality focussed. It will take us a few months to get going.
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Last edited by Jonny H; 02-25-2020 at 01:53 PM..
Old 02-25-2020, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny H View Post
^. Yes we used to sell a replica coil but we had failure issues and also with the orange plastic being too brittle. This led to cracking around the terminals and the ‘nose’ of the coil.

It is a shame because the specification and performance of that coil matched the Bosch unit pretty well.

Essentially, a large proportion of canister style coils are made in China to a price. That includes all the common US brands.

We are now working to produce a high quality canister coil in the U.K. having found a partner with the proper old school winding equipment. Everything including the wire will be quality focussed. It will take us a few months to get going.
I guess I'll be careful with mine then..... at least for a few months! Should have the 3.2SS with the MFI fired up sometime soon.

(EDIT - PS - Thanks for the reply! - And for continuing your efforts!!)
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Old 02-25-2020, 02:01 PM
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I feel my foot approaching the slippery slope.

I've been looking at 123 Ignition and it seems like the 123 ignition + the Classic Retrofit CDI might be a good marriage.

Do you think there's benefit to be had from this combination to (self) justify the $1,500 investment?
Old 02-26-2020, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Quickstep192 View Post
I feel my foot approaching the slippery slope.

I've been looking at 123 Ignition and it seems like the 123 ignition + the Classic Retrofit CDI might be a good marriage.

Do you think there's benefit to be had from this combination to (self) justify the $1,500 investment?
Not sure that combination is compatible, or necessary. IMO the CDI+ is the easiest/best choice over the 123ignition. Lock your distributor advance and use the CDI+ to control the curve, rev limits, etc.
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Old 02-26-2020, 10:00 AM
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It depends on the condition of the old distributor. One one of my other vintage cars experienced low RPM running issues that were never solved until switching to the 1-2-3 Ignition distributor. Even after tests said it was "within spec" the 50+ year old distributor was just not working as it should. Things wear out eventually.

In a 911 with a good distributor Classic Retrofit CDI may be all you need. That said, I can see certain scenarios on older 911's where the 1-2-3 Ignition distributor + Classic Retrofit CDI might be a very good combination.
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Old 02-26-2020, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny H View Post
^ Combustion analyser says better burn, dyno says more power. Around 800 cars running CDI+ now. Thatís enough of a sample size to quash any notion of placebo. To think I had to fight it out with some on here a while back - so over that now!
Most can achieve the same results by just increasing the timing 3-5 degrees over stock!
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Old 02-27-2020, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by mysocal911 View Post
Most can achieve the same results by just increasing the timing 3-5 degrees over stock!
A 13mm wrench isnít going to give you the same results.
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Old 02-27-2020, 11:34 AM
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I installed a 123ignition. At first the performance was great. In then started to deteriorate. I notice the advance exceeded to config. I took it apart and saw evidence of arcing on the leading edge of the rotor and cap. I contacted 123 they were no help at all. The US distributer defaulted to the overly simple manual and wouldn’t contact 123 in Holland on my behalf. I restored my Bosch distributor and reinstalled it. The car runs again.
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Old 02-27-2020, 12:55 PM
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Hey, nice marmot.
 
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Originally Posted by Jonny H View Post
To think I had to fight it out with some on here a while back - so over that now!
If you throw a rock at a pack of dogs, the guilty one barks every time!
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Old 02-27-2020, 01:18 PM
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Interesting, because it's been my experience that with a good CDI you can generally increase power by retarding the timing a few degrees over stock. And it's because the initial flame kernel is larger so combustion proceeds at a faster rate initially. That's with standard to lean mixtures. Overly rich and one would likely need to advance the timing over stock regardless of the ignition system, but less with a decent CDI. Fred

Quote:
Originally Posted by mysocal911 View Post
Most can achieve the same results by just increasing the timing 3-5 degrees over stock!
Old 02-27-2020, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QueWhy View Post
A 13mm wrench isnít going to give you the same results.
Please explain.

You are aware of performance "tuning", right? Well, for a stock engine with the AFRs set properly, advancing the timing is all that's done.
Just some very basic knowledge, a PC, and a tuning app is all that's necessary. A HS auto shop student is more than capable of "tuning".
Some have indicated that for every degree of timing increase, about four ft-lbs of torque results.

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Old 02-27-2020, 03:21 PM
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