View Full Version : Pertronix...been there, done that...

01-31-2006, 06:48 PM
Well, I finally bit. I bought and installed a Pertronix electronic ignition on my car and I have to say....I didn't like it. Honestly, I think the car runs better with points! I took my distributor completely apart and found that I had let the darn thing go dry on me. My weights were not swinging out well, or back well for that matter. Cleaned it up, even though it was "new", lubed it really well with some white lube from a tube and, voila, runs like a charm. Anybody want a Pertronix setup cheap? (even their coil was made in China, felt like I was buying my parts from WalMart - yuk) I'll dump em on somebody at the BMCNO car show in March.


01-31-2006, 07:11 PM

Maybe the car was just "made" to run on points. I'm sure there a a lot of people who have made the switch to electronic ignitions, and that they're happy with how their cars run with it. I myself like to keep the car as original as possible.

01-31-2006, 07:16 PM

I need a spare hall sensor for a cam position pickup (using a spare distributor and some machine work). PM me with want you want for it. I have one already in my 'real' distributor, and it would be nice to keep it all intact as a spare if I ever went back to stock (ha ha), and while the engine is being run in.

01-31-2006, 07:17 PM
We installed a Pertronix system in my Volvo 1800ES and the darn thing flat out wouldn't start, even though we had triple checked that the wiring was correct. After some reading online we found that the coil (at least for the ES) has to have a resistance of 3 ohms. Anything less and the Pertronix won't work. My coil came in at 2.5 ohms. We bought their Flamethrower coil, popped it in, and sure enought the car started right up. I can't say that the car runs any better than it did on the points, but at least we won't have to worry about points wearing anymore. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

01-31-2006, 07:20 PM
Dang, Alan.
It's gone already. Sorry.


01-31-2006, 07:25 PM
No worries.

01-31-2006, 07:27 PM
I've installed the Pertronix on my TR4 and E-type and I'm quite happy with the set up. I wasn't looking for more performance, I was looking for ease of maintenance. One plus as opposed to other options is that one doesn't even know it's there, there are no outside units to hide if one wants to look somewhat original.

Geo Hahn
01-31-2006, 08:15 PM
There just seems to be some choices on which opinion will always be divided and most eventually figure out which they prefer: Pertonix/points, DOT4/DOT5, generator/alternator, dino/synthetic, steel/alloy/wires, toe-may-toe/toe-mah-toe.

At least we all (generally) seem to agree that there is no one absolute answer for all and realize that diversity keeps things interesting.

02-01-2006, 08:26 AM
Please don't take this as questioning your work. However, after you installed the Pertronix, did you re-time the ignition? I know the instructions imply it isn't necessary... but it really should be done. If you didn't, it's quite likely that the car ran like cr@p because it was not timed correctly. This could even explain Jersygirl's P1800 not starting.

As for the 2.5 Ohm coil, that is curious. The RED Pertronix wire MUST get a full +12V which means if you are running a ballast ignition coil you must tap into a source OTHER than the coil (+) terminal for the red wire connection. I have several acquaintances running Pertronix on coils under 2 Ohms and when the red wire is properly connected they have not had any problems.

Sorry Pertronix didn't work for you. It sounds like you've already found a home for it though. In your instance, there is a positive side to this in that troubleshooting the system prompted you to free up the bob weights and lube the dizzy assembly.

02-01-2006, 10:15 AM
Did you try the Pertronix after lubricating the distributor?
I am pleased with my Pertronix. I also installed their Flame Thrower coil. The car had a Lucas Gold Sport coil installed when I bought it. However that coil is not supposed to be used with a balast resistor. The later TR6's have a ballast resistor built into the harness. Perhaps your configuration includes some parts that are not compatible.
As for the pieces being built in China. What isn't built there? It's likely that the parts we buy for restoration or repairs are built in China or India. Your computer is also a product of China. I would rather buy American, but the American CEO's sent everything overseas.

02-01-2006, 12:28 PM
OT Response to Chinese manufacturing:

Don't blame offshore manufacturing on the CEOs. It's collectively our fault as consumers (all of us). We want the lowest price for everything we purchase and that drive's manufacturing. We are all to blame.

02-01-2006, 12:45 PM
Wow are we going off topic here!!! But---dklawson, I disagree the companys go overseas to compete with the imports and make a bigger profit (greed) not to provide us with cheaper prices. If everything was made here we would still shop for the lowest price. Ok back on topic---My Crane xr700 works perfect with no problems with great performance but the biggest plus is instant start up just like modern cars. I do carry points around just in case, but havent had to use them yet.

02-01-2006, 12:54 PM
I put a Pertronix system in my 71' TR6 last year. I also run the Lucas Sport Coil. No problems to report. I even went to the extent to buy a 2nd Pertronix setup to keep in the trunk as a spare,....instead of the old points plate that I had been carrying as a spare.

Before I installed the Pertronix I got out my timing light and checked the timing, so I could reset the timing to exactly where it was after the Pertronix was installed.

Have'nt had a hiccup yet.

02-01-2006, 01:07 PM
The only time I broke down in my '73 Land Rover was when my Pertronix crapped out. Pouring rain, good clothes. as unbelievable as it might sound I was able to coast into an ex MG dealers shop! Had the orig points in the car & we were on our way!

Something to be said about points & a matchbook! The only time I really needed elec Ign was my '68 Chevelle 327 where the shift points were 5-6 grand & the points would start to float. Put a Mallory with 50,000 volt coil & that did the trick!

02-01-2006, 07:57 PM
I run a capasitive discharge (CD) system, which still uses the points, works great but don't know where you would get one today. Still have to run some fine emory paper through the points if it sets a while to get the oxidation off the points. I run the Lucas Sport coil on the 6 and regular coil on the Roadster. Wayne

02-01-2006, 09:43 PM
You might try a can of Dioxin 5 for the corrosion on the points. I have used it on many many electric and electronic corrosion problems with near miraculous results. It is a little like TV tuner cleaner except it does remove corrosion. I think if you are in a humid climate, any time you take an electrical connection apart; a little (very little) spray will keep corrosion away.

02-01-2006, 09:49 PM
What am I missing , Isnt any ignition system with points-condeser and coil, a capasitive discharge system ?

02-01-2006, 09:56 PM
Not really - the condenser is only there to stop arcing, not for use as an energy store.

02-02-2006, 12:25 AM
I've never really been comfortable with the claims with/from Pertronix, specially the "hidden away" part. OK - I know the set's worked fine in many cases, but why are high performance boxes bigger than can be housed in a dist cap? A rant...
No sense going cheap and duplicate points - get a MSD or Crane 3000 box, open the plug gap to 0.043" and enjoy.

02-02-2006, 04:13 AM
Yep DK, that is curious. The Volvo P1800ES requires a 3 Ohm coil.With a 2.5 Ohm coil runing on points it should have been eating points alive. Either the coil was partially shorted or one of the older type Volvo Ballast coils had been mistakenly installed. The most popular coil for use in those cars is what is commonly called the "Bosh Blue Body" it is similar in performance to the "old" Lucas Sport coil.Further, lacking any sense of improved performance using the Pertronix unit was probably due to; 1] failing to retime the engine and 2] failing to increase the spark plug gap out to say 0.030".---Fwiw---Keoke

02-02-2006, 04:21 AM
I run a capasitive discharge (CD) system, which still uses the points, works great but don't know where you would get one today. Wayne

[/ QUOTE ]

Hi Wayne where Have you been?. With regards to the above all you need is somewhere between $200 and $500 and you can have a MSD.--- /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cheers.gif---Keoke- /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/yesnod.gif

02-02-2006, 09:10 AM
"but why are high performance boxes bigger "
The Pertronix unit eliminates points. A conversion from mechanical to electronic ingnition. The large high performance units perform a different function. Increased spark, multiple sparks, ignition cutoff... You can use the Pertronix to trigger the high performance units. Pertronix alse sells a high performance box.

02-02-2006, 02:31 PM
That sounds like the Boyer unit they sell for British motorcycles. It has the same problems with low voltage and no start. If you think British cars have marginal electrical systems, try a British bike. Just an absolute joke. Engine vibration and heat just kill them.

Being a glutton for punishment, my Bonneville has an "Energy Transfer" magneto. I need new coils, they're $150 to $200 each. But the newest ones are over 30 years old and the resin they encapsulated the windings will shrink just sitting on the shelf. No one will guarantee them to work. Looking at Japanese version.

Points and condensors forever!