Hodgepodge

Distributor/Electronic ignition options...

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Once again I am out a little in front of my project, but I thought I would toss this question out.  There is already a 22 page discussion on this topic, but after 22 pages, it has been so diluted that there is not a clear answer to the question below.    My 2002 has a stock distributor that worked OK except all of the vacuum hoses were dryrotted so the engine sometimes popped a little when shifting. It is pretty much the only thing on the car that I haven't touched or developed a proper replacement/upgrade plan for and I have not yet inspected it.   I am pretty much in full blown restoration mode now that the engine is coming out of the car.  I've got some ideas, but would like your input.   I'll frame the question like this.  Which of these options is the most cost effective in terms of overall maintenance and reliability?  I have a great timing gun and know how to use it, but I don't necessarily want to.  

 

Here are the options:

 

1. Keep current distributor, just replace internals.   Yes, this is simplest and cheapest, but the idea is to make the car a highly reliable, worry free driver without having to keep a bunch of spares in the trunk.    

2. Go with pertronix.  OK, this is a great option and a lot of people are happy with it.  Issues?  Concerns?  Reliability?

3. Go with 123Tune.   3 times the money but supposedly maintenance free and stupid-easy to tweak.  (This is what 16 of the 22 pages in the other thread was about)   For those who have one, haw has consistency and reliability been? 

4. Something else? 

 

Looking forward to hearing from you!   

 

Thanks,


Scott

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Hodgepodge

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Pertronix, best bang for buck and they have been proven reliable for me, as long as your dizzy is not worn....
And making sure it has the correct voltage and installation...
IMHO
Matt


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Having distributor rebuilt and installing Hotspark.

Best

Glen

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+1 for a tight distributor and a PerTronix or similar.

The perTronix is known to be pretty reliable, and

I've used them in street and race cars.

And you can carry a spare, or a spare set of points.

 

Anything more involved, and you might as well go

crank- triggered- but that's overkill.

 

But that's an opinion.

 

t

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I asked around a bit, and not wanting to deal with too many variables at once while trying to get the tii running, I just bought the 123.  Installed it, adjusted it, timed it and have not looked back.  I just got the regular one, no blue tooth or anything.  For me, it was also the quickest, easiest solution.

 

So far just looks like this thread is turning into the last thread...

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I bought the IE tii mechanical distributor with ignitor, currently having issues getting spark, not sure if its the coil or the dizzy just yet but I ordered a hot spark to go into it just in case I fried something, IE ignitors seem to be known to be garbage, so its seems to be more likely that it died while I was trying to crank it over. 

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I am prepping to pull the engine and finally took a good look at the distributor before and after pulling it.  Lots of play in it, probably 5-10 degrees.  That explains a lot.  I didn't have a lot of time to look at it as I have a different priority right now (i.e. pulling the engine/transmission.)     

 

OK, I'm hearing folks when they say rebuild and/or use Pertronix.   Interesting that there aren't any 123tune responses yet.   

 

Thanks Halboyles for the link.   3 week lead time. OK.   Definitely not critical path on this project!  

 

Anyone have a ballpark price for a distributor rebuild?   

 

Thanks,

 

Scott

 

Edited by Hodgepodge

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I bought a 123Tune as, in Australia, it was going to cost the same to get mine rebuilt.    Apart from that, I am actually a big fan of the simplicity of points. Wired it all so that I can revert to points and then even revert to points and a condenser very quickly at the side of the road. Been very happy with it (it’s been installed for about 2 years) and I use it to fire a ‘MSD like’ Summit CDI ignition box. The ability to tune the curves is awesome but like most things, once you are happy you leave it alone. When I get around to a few more performance mods, I will get the car dyno tuned and have another play. 

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The 008 Distributor on my Tii (no vac) became highly unstable, lots of play.  I sent it to 123ignition - they replaced the bushings and the internals with their electronics.  Looks period correct, and it runs great.  As Simeon says, once you experiment a bit to get the curve the way you like it, it just works great.

Pretty funny though... 

As you can see from the photo, they popped a 6-cylinder cap on it when they shipped it.  No prob, the internals were set up properly.  They sent me two replacement 4-cylinder caps.

 

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I’ll add another thumbs up for Pertronix plus a good working distributor.  It’s a cheap, easy, and reliable option.  I run points In a couple of other cars, but I have a Pertroonix setup in my 02.    And I have to admit I hate setting points gap/dwell. 

 

The 123 option isn’t bad either.  It’s expensive though.  For that money, and since you have the engine out anyway, I’d consider going EDIS using a micro-squirt.  You might decide to go full on EFI one day.  You’d be well on your way! 

Edited by Tdh

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6 hours ago, Swiss 2002Tii said:

The 008 Distributor on my Tii (no vac) became highly unstable, lots of play.  I sent it to 123ignition - they replaced the bushings and the internals with their electronics.  Looks period correct, and it runs great.  As Simeon says, once you experiment a bit to get the curve the way you like it, it just works great.

Pretty funny though... 

As you can see from the photo, they popped a 6-cylinder cap on it when they shipped it.  No prob, the internals were set up properly.  They sent me two replacement 4-cylinder caps.

 

 

That's a neat idea.  Thank you.

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They are two completely different options. You have to understand that on a stock 2002 ignition system, both the spark triggering and the spark advance are mechanical. That is, the spark is triggered by the points physically opening and closing, and the advance is governed by little weights on little springs. The problems with points pitting, closing over time, and suddenly losing the little nylon block that rides on the distributor cam are well known. The problems with the mechanical advance are 1) It often doesn't work at all due to things being gummed up (connect a timing light and see if any timing mark moves when the engine is revved), 2) It's often jittery (put a timing light on any timing mark and watch it move around at constant RPM), and 3) it's often not optimally calibrated for your car and modern pump gas.

 

That having been said:

 

--If your distributor basically works okay (advances with increasing RPM and doesn't jitter unacceptably at constant RPM), and if you're not trying to wring maximum performance out of a stock engine, simply changing the points and condenser to a Pertronix is a nice mod, in that it makes it so the points won't magically close up or lose the nylon block at the worst possible moment. It also makes it so that you never need to check and reset the dwell. I've found Pertronix to be very reliable AS LONG AS THERE IS AT LEAST 3 OHMS OF SERIES RESISTANCE FROM THE COIL TO THE BALLAST RESISTOR. The Pertronix documentation states this very clearly. I blew one up due to improperly low resistance.

 

--But if your distributor isn't working well, and/or if you have an engine whose performance you're trying to maximize, teh 123 distributor has both electronic triggering AND electronic spark advance (no more little weights and springs). AND, depending which one you buy, it's programmable.

 

So that's the difference. The Pertronix is only electronic triggering. The 123 is electronic triggering AND electronic spark advance.

 

To be clear, I haven't bought a 123 yet because I had Kugel's dizzy rebuilt by Jeff at Advance Distributors years back, it works fine, and I keep finding so many other things that need my five hundred bucks. But I'm sure that eventually I will.

 

--Rob

 

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All great answers.   I do have a couple of other cars with points and I really hate dealing with them when they go.  Couple that with a significant amount of play in my current distributor and that really limits my options to rebuilding, rebuilding with Pertronix or going with 123.  Given that rebuilding plus pertronix gets me well over half way to 123, and that 123 means never having to fiddle with anything again, I am seriously considering that option. (I particularly love the idea of sending my distributor to 123 and having them install teir internals into it.  Very cool idea!)  First I have to see what else the engine needs.  I have not yet started to spend the 25% reserve for this restoration, but I can certainly see that I will be into it.  

 

Thanks everyone for your responses!  

Edited by Hodgepodge

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123 gives you the best of everything and allows you to change your timing based on engine changes. 

Pertronix if you want to go cheap, but in the big picture, you gotta rebuild the dizzy or there is really no point (no pun intended).

 

123 DIZZY!

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