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Electronic ignition conversion anyone?

I would love to know how many of you would consider the electronic ignition in the auto Atlanta cataloge page 131? Any opinions I would love to hear.
Old 10-06-2019, 03:14 PM
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dr914 ***********
 
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the pertronix causes the 914 to start easier, to idle more smoothly, keeps the dwell and timing steady and is easy to install. The DOWNSIDE, is that since the air cooled engine runs a lot hotter at times than its water cooled equivalent, the unit has failed at times. When it first came out we thought it the answer to the points condenser. Now we carry an extra set of points condenser in the car when we go somewhere! Too bad, really works well until it fails! (LOL)
Old 10-07-2019, 10:13 AM
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Thanks again Dr. 914, I usually use my 914 in the spring, fall, winter in S. AZ because of the heat, no summer driving. Any opinions on the electronic Ignition with my use schedule? Also when it fails how long would it fail for, does it start right up when the engine has cooled some?
Old 10-07-2019, 11:23 AM
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dr914 ***********
 
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chances are it may never fail with the limited use, so as long as you have points and condenser in the glove box you are fine.
Old 10-09-2019, 09:32 AM
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To further muddy the waters, there are other pointless conversion kits out there, including those offered by Crane and MSD, among others. FWIW, I ran Crane’s pointless module and spark box in my 2.7 for 10+ years w/o issues.

I recall Pertronix did have a run of short-life units awhile back, but i’ve not read of any current issues. Anecdotally, a friend uses MSD’s distributor w/an integral MSD pointless module in a V8 ponycar with mixed results (must have a backup unit when the first one dies), FWIW.

Sherwood

Last edited by 911pcars; 10-12-2019 at 08:49 AM.. Reason: typo
Old 10-10-2019, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr914 View Post
chances are it may never fail with the limited use, so as long as you have points and condenser in the glove box you are fine.
I am still learning all about this stuff so If I ask dumb questions it is because I am ignorant of a lot of the mechanics. Do I need to get a special distributor 123 so I can use the electronic ignition?
Old 10-10-2019, 04:25 PM
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No, you do not.

There are several different types of electronic ignition. The simplest is what I refer to as a points-replacement device. Pertronix, Compufire, Crane, and others make those. They get installed into your existing distributor in place of the points and trigger the ignition system to make sparks. They use solid-state devices to make and break the connection to ground instead of a spring-loaded switch.

Another type is a Capacitive Discharge Ignition, or CDI. This is a device that more or less sits between your distributor and your coil, and takes over handling most of the current that goes to the coil. It reduces the current flowing through the points by a lot and helps them last much longer. It also can produce a more consistent spark, especially at high RPMs, though that's very rarely needed for our engines. Some versions of this produce multiple sparks over a short period of time, which can in theory help promote more complete combustion or help clean off the spark plugs.

The 123 distributor is a brand-new distributor with an electronic points-replacement already installed. Some versions also have electronic replacements for the FI trigger points used by the 1.7 and 2.0 engines' D-jetronic FI. They have a variety of spark advance curves built in, and you can easily select which one you use. And it's new, so the parts haven't spent 50 years wearing against each other.

Finally, you can go with a distributorless setup. This is often called crank-triggered ignition, because there is a sensor on the crankshaft pulley (or flywheel, or on some other cars on the cam pulley) that a computer uses to figure out when to trigger the spark. This pretty much eliminates any mechanical slop or wear, which produces a more consistent spark. It can also, depending on how many sensors are used and how much dyno time you want to use, trigger the spark optimally based on a whole ton of different factors instead of just on RPM and/or vacuum signal.

--DD
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Old 10-12-2019, 12:06 AM
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Thanks Dave this seems like such valuable information, will refer back to it often
Old 10-12-2019, 06:06 AM
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