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opinions on electronic ignition conversion

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good morning everybody, I finally have my Erskine engine done, and up and running.  I have a ton of pictures to post on here, when I have some spare time.

what I was looking at is the pertronix electronic ignition conversion kits.  there is a part number available for the small delco distributors, and I can order it in 6-volt, negative ground, so I don't have to change anything electrically.

I use lots of these kits on old tractors, and some on newer cars (50s, 60s).

because stronger spark means leaner mixture is possible, cleaner running, more accurate timing, it should be better all around.

has anyone tried/is using the conversion, and what are the experiences?

thanks - terry

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I'm not really a fan of electronic ignition conversions in 6V cars. I've had several and they were very sensitive to voltage levels. I suspect that it's simply the usual 12V unit that just happens to also work on 6V. However, if your voltage is low during cranking or your battery is soft or anything other than ideal conditions, it can have problems making a spark.


For example, I doubt it would fire an engine with a near dead battery using a push start or a hand crank. Not that you'll be doing either thing, but I have had cars that have just enough juice in the battery to turn over once or twice, and with points ignition they will fire. The Pertronix unit will not fire in those situations even if the starter can turn it. If your battery is never a little low (or dead), then you may not ever have any problems. But if it drops below a certain voltage level, the electronic ignition won't fire anymore and you're stuck, even if the starter can turn the engine.


For that reason, I won't use them in my personal cars and remove them from most 6V cars that come into the shop (I keep them only if the original parts are really hard to find).


Hope this helps.

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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Matt, thanks, that is very interesting and I understand electronics like very stable voltages,  I don't know if even the off and on from the generator cutout is pushing the line.  most people that use the electronic have converted to an alternator, which isn't happening on my cars.  those are the type of answers I may not get when I phone pertronix's tech-line.  I do prefer my points, for reliability, and roadside serviceability.  not to mention originality.  the only reason I wanted to try them was to see if I could lean my carburetor due to the stronger spark.  its the type of thing where curiosity may kill the cat.


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I have owned a 5 cars from the 20's and would choose ole points and condenser for spark as well as vacuum tank for gas supply any time.  have witnessed near disaster with electric fuel pump and always enjoyed jumping out of the car and crank starting in front of astonished people.

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