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Spitfire 1500 - Thinking of upgrading to electronic ignition.

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Brad.Cogan Avatar
Brad.Cogan Bradley Cogan
RAF Cosford, Shropshire, UK   GBR
1977 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Wray"
2007 Fiat Grande Punto "Pepper"
I'm looking to upgrade to electronic ignition but I don't want to shell out for a 123 or megajolt system and I'm also not very electrically minded.

What would you guys suggest as a good mid range electronic ignition system?

I've heard bad things about Accuspark stealth distributors.



Brad Cogan

1977 Triumph Spitfire 1500 'Wray'
2007 Fiat Grande Punto Active 1.2 'Pepper'

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Brad.Cogan Avatar
Brad.Cogan Bradley Cogan
RAF Cosford, Shropshire, UK   GBR
1977 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Wray"
2007 Fiat Grande Punto "Pepper"
P. S How on earth do I figure out if I have a ballast in my car? Were they made with a ballast? And if it does have a ballast what type of coil should I go for?



Brad Cogan

1977 Triumph Spitfire 1500 'Wray'
2007 Fiat Grande Punto Active 1.2 'Pepper'

lef2wander Avatar
lef2wander Gold Member James Thomas
hatfield, ma, USA   USA
In reply to # 1484769 by Brad.Cogan P. S How on earth do I figure out if I have a ballast in my car? Were they made with a ballast? And if it does have a ballast what type of coil should I go for?

I have a crane xr700.
Measure voltage going to coil.

6volt coil= 6volts going to the coil when engine is running. 12volts when the starter is engaged. If this is your measured voltages then you have a ballasted in.

12volts= 12 volts to the coil no matter what your doing.

Ballast is either a ballast wire in the wire harness or a large resistor. Mounted on or near the dizzy. Let's say ruffly 1/2" x 1/2" x 3".
http://www.cranecams.com/view.php?s_id=17



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-09-13 11:42 AM by lef2wander.

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spitfire50 Avatar
spitfire50 Paul Mugford
Rochester, N.H., USA   USA
Brad,
It was built with a ballast. Look at the starter relay (solenoid) for a white/yellow wire sharing a terminal with a pink/white wire. That connection is the ballast connecting to the coil starting supply. Sometimes the connection is at the coil positive terminal instead.
You can use any coil that works with a ballast, or with some re-wiring you can use coils that work without a ballast. Either way you will have to do some wiring, because the electronic ignition system won't work reliably with a ballast ahead of it in the circuit. So you either wire a 12 V feed for the ignition "box" or bypass the ballast to use an un-ballasted coil.
Your car may have an abandoned connector near the distributor left over from an earlier electronic ignition system. If it does you can use the white wire to supply the electronic ignition system you install.
All the best,
Paul

Doug in Vegas Avatar
Doug in Vegas Douglas D
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA   USA
The stock Lucas AB-14 was actually a readily available GM module in disguise if you want to go that way.

Costs about $30 and it's really reliable.

Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, British Columbia, Canada   CAN
What have you heard about Accuspark or others?

As you suggest it seems a lot of the problems involve owners not knowing if their car has resistors or not, or what voltage their coil is designed to work on.

To me, the simple solution would be to KNOW what coil you have, and what voltage you are supplying to it.
Most (if not all) EI systems require a full 12v supply without any bloody resistors in line to cause havoc.

IMHO EI is the best bang for the $ you can give to your car, I have posted here several times of a test I was involved in back in the 70's, compareing the then new EI systems v the points and condensor set up. Staying with points 9 times out of 10 is giving away hp and efficency!

EI has been standard on every 'modern' car for over 30 years! Most of us no longer give a thought to the ignition on our daily drivers.

But, the problem with most of OUR EI kits (as I see it ) is, they are designed for easy installation and at low cost. Components tend to be tinny and not robust.

Doug suggests the GM module as a cheap reliable option. I use a Nippondenso coil, ignitor, Hall effect sensor from an 80's Toyota (I have personally put 1/2 million miles on similar components without issue or adjustment) in my car.


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spitfire50 Avatar
spitfire50 Paul Mugford
Rochester, N.H., USA   USA
Tony,
The GM module isn't just a cheap reliable option. It was what Lucas installed when their homegrown system failed under warranty. Lucas CEI ignition hides the GM HEI module with a few other components inside the Lucas "black box." This swap is the source of the extra abandoned wires near the dizzy on some later Spitfires. It also is the source of their "drive resistor" which occasionally gets confused with a ballast resistor.
All the best,
Paul

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Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, British Columbia, Canada   CAN
In reply to # 1485164 by spitfire50 Tony,
The GM module isn't just a cheap reliable option. It was what Lucas installed when their homegrown system failed under warranty. Lucas CEI ignition hides the GM HEI module with a few other components inside the Lucas "black box." This swap is the source of the extra abandoned wires near the dizzy on some later Spitfires. It also is the source of their "drive resistor" which occasionally gets confused with a ballast resistor.
All the best,
Paul

Sowhat would Bradley do to convert his points distributor to the GM HEI module?

spitfire50 Avatar
spitfire50 Paul Mugford
Rochester, N.H., USA   USA
In reply to # 1485166 by Tonyfixit Sowhat would Bradley do to convert his points distributor to the GM HEI module?
Tony,
If that is the route he wants to take his simplest path is to find the Lucas dizzy that has the pick-up for the CEI ignition and install that one.
The simple way to convert a points distributor is to install the Pertronix Ignitor (Aldon in the UK), since that is essentially a drop in unit.
All the best,
Paul

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