Summershandy

Electronic Distributor Conversion Kits

Recommended Posts

I was reading up on dual point conversions and came across electronic kits. Looks like they're available for 6 volt L8 engines. Anyone have any experience at these? They sound good and I like the way they're more or less hidden under the cap. Could they improve performance or just cause issues? What say you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Benefits of AACA Membership.

I switched my 52 268 over to Pertronix several years ago. Haven't regretted it but haven't tossed my point parts away either. 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 2/21/2020 at 6:55 AM, Summershandy said:

Could they improve performance or just cause issues? What say you?

 

I guess I'll be the one to open the can of worms LOL.

 

Electronic ignitions have 3 main advantages.

 

The first is that fact that rubbing block wear and points wear cause changes in the dwell and timing. This is one chief reason old cars needed "tuning" fairly often, and newer models can go for sometimes years with carburetor screws left alone, sometimes even sealed.

 

The second is that total spark energy is limited by the points. You can only put so much current through them before they burn quickly. If you replace the point contacts with a transistor, you can have more current through the coil (with a different coil), and charge it faster. This can matter quite a bit if the engine has 8 cylinders or more and spins really fast. It can also allow you to run a wider spark plug gap. The wider gap raises the spark voltage. The distributor rotor and other ignition parts would have to be able to deal with more voltage, but only if you widened the spark plug gap.

 

The third is "variable dwell". Points ignitions might like to run a narrower point gap at high RPM for more dwell (more coil charge time), as the ability to keep up charging the coil between firings is quickly falling off. The narrower point gap wouldn't work well at idle. Some electronic ignitions have current limiting built in for the same reason. This is pretty irrelevant for a 6 volt car, because even if the ignition included the feature, AFAIK coils don't exist to take advantage of it.

 

You should notice no difference on a car that has just been tuned. If you replace old used up points with electronic, then you probably will. As for me, I have heard more complaints about electronic ignition conversions on 6 volt cars than success stories, so I'll stick with points for now.

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Bloo....I'm kinda with ya on that one. I just appreciate the views and opinions and always love to learn a thing or two even if I don't understand it half the time :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Although I have no experience with electronic ignition in my vintage fleet (newest is 1948), I have seen many times in these forums that electronic ignition benefits greatly from (if not requires) an alternator rather than a generator.  I'm sure some have had satisfactory performance with generators, but there has been too much complaint otherwise that we should at least take that allegation into consideration.

Edited by Grimy
added missing word (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a checklist of questions we ask carburetor customers (or prospective carburetor customers) when they call us.

 

Once, the first question we asked those with idle issues was have you done a compression test.

 

Now, the first question asked those with idle issues is has someone installed an electronic conversion in the distributor. If yes, the second question is do you still have the points and condenser to reinstall, at least for testing purposes.

 

Jon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/20/2020 at 7:38 AM, SDLARS said:

I switched my 52 268 over to Pertronix several years ago. Haven't regretted it but haven't tossed my point parts away either. 

Are you still running a generator and 6V?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still all 6 volt and a generator.  No issues.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now