View Full Version : Sprite ignition 101

09-17-2010, 12:21 AM
This 58 Sprite running me through ignition recertification
I replace the original point distributor with a new pertronic electronic distributor about 2 years ago and all has worked fine till a month ago. I no longer have any timing marks and it was running just a tad too advanced. Will last month It was running just fine and in 30 seconds I had no spark
Replaced the coil, distributor cap , rotor, spark plugs and plug leads.
It ran just fine again lots of power and all but still a tad too advanced.
On a 3rd run of the day it started just fine and I moved it out on to the road and then a couple hard cough and it was dead again.
Pulled it back into the yard and tried to restart. Was too advanced and was getting backfire out the carbs. The starter got jammed and had to free it with a wrench on back shaft. started testing ignition. Not much coming out of the coil. When I put on the new spark plug wires I did not change the wire from the coil to Distributor. So I did this. Pulled all plugs out to make it easy to turn over by hand. Found TDC on one and then did a static time to this spot. It started but I have not moved it out the yard. Need to just turn the Dist back a bit to advance the timing.
I thought I may have jumped a tooth on the cam but it did not look that way with rotor and piston at TDC.
I do have good voltage to the primary winding to the coil however the spark does not look that great at the end of the spark plug wire. I would like to see it jump an inch.
The MSD system we have on the 66 mustang is out of this world. Can pull the wire off the coil and when you crank it over there are many 3 inch sparks jumping out the coil trying to find ground.
Is there an MSD system that will work the Pertronic?

09-17-2010, 08:17 AM
Bite the bullet and install a Crane. ....From what I've heard, read and experienced, MOST, not all, but MOST Pertronix units fail, eventually, but I've NEVER heard of a Crane unit failing.

I thought I had one going bad once, having replaced nearly every other ignition part (except the coil) and a racer friend of mine said "Whatever it is, it's NOT the Crane." I got one of the brass dizzy caps from Advance Distributor and a red rotor from same and all has been well.

Crane units are a pain to get set up, as opposed to the simplicity of the Pertronix, but you only ever have to do it ONCE. Then you shouldn't have to touch your dizzy again for 10s of 1000s of miles. ..

Oh, plus you can leave your ignition on while trouble shooting which burns up a Pertronix.

09-17-2010, 04:51 PM
What is the part number to this item?

Is it a complete distributor or something else
The electronic ignition and distributor seem to be working just fine. the 12v test light is bright when one and dark when off. Just what the primary winding to make a large magnetic field before the power is interrupted. which now causes this Magnetic field to collapse and induce high voltage in the 2nd windings to make the spark.
12 V always 12 v By all reason it should work.
I now have a post it stuck to the windscreen which Reads" Will stall at at any time give more room"
I still have not did a drive test

09-17-2010, 06:44 PM
Crane XR 700. It's a replacement for points and condensor, or for a Pertronix unit.

09-18-2010, 01:29 AM
Does this also work with + Ground?
Thanks for the help

09-18-2010, 09:48 AM
The older ones were specifically made, one for positive, one for negative, but I believe that the new ones don't care. I have a positive ground one and it's that fact that keeps me from converting. Here are the instructions. There are specific ones for positive ground now so the module doesn't care. Also, like your Pertronix, you need to have a 3 ohm coil or use a ballast resistor. As I mentioned a real PITA to set up. We even had to cut the points locating post off the dizzy action plate to get the trigger to fit. And it's so much easier to pull the dizzy than to even think about doing the installation while leaning over. .. But once it's done, it's DONE.


09-18-2010, 06:32 PM
You should get perfectly good performance with a Pertronix. Don't expect a 1" spark when you test it. You don't want that much voltage, even if it could generate it. You'd have arcing everywhere, all over the inside of the distributor, for one thing.

I think you need to do a correct timing and make sure the plugs and wiring are OK. If you still have problems after that, it's not the ignition.

09-18-2010, 06:46 PM
Thanks I do believe the pertronix is working just fine. I did start it today with out any problems. Moved it to the drive way and moved the Distributor just about 3/16 of an inch clock wise to advance it just a bit. Did a restart and it was running in an instant. Now the next step is a short test drive.
The only other problem is oil leaking from valve cover and tappet covers. Made these tighter and then sprayed simple green on head and block. used a pressure washer to clean it off. So next test drive I will know if it is still leaking.
The engine does have good power and is smooth. Not hard to spin the wheels in 1st

09-22-2010, 01:00 AM
Ok couple test drives and all seem to be working fine.
I do have to have a little choke for about a mile more at these settings.
I think the problem was timing advanced due to some hard take off and hard corning. Timing chain stretched a bit or the distributor moved.
thanks for the help

09-22-2010, 11:15 AM
Way cool that you got it working. Be sure to carry points and condensor or another Pertronix in your spares kit for when it fails.

09-22-2010, 11:44 AM
Never had a dought that I would get it running again. It is only a machine.
Just could not understand why everything related it ignition went bad at the same time with out showing any pre symptoms on a smooth running engine. All with in a very short time.

09-22-2010, 02:59 PM
Some folks are just lucky I supose.