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Which Electronic Ignition for Vitesse


Peter Charlton
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Hello, just sold my Stag which for 25 years went quite happily with the Luminition it came with. I have just bought a 1967 MK1 Vitesse with points and wonder what you guys think is the best ignition system?

I dont mind spending a little money, obviously my main criteria is long term reliability but I know a good advance curve can make so much difference.

What about this systems that are triggered from the crankshaft and dont use the distributor at all?, would I be able to leave the old dizzy with points in place but electrically disconnected to use as a back up if the crank triggered system ever failed?

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I know nothing about crankshaft jobbies, but not sure leaving the points in place is a good idea, what state will they be in 2 or 3 years hence? Although without spark they will still be tapping away at each other and at best will need adjustment. Take them off, put in a plastic bag with the condenser and fixing screws and keep in the glove compartment. Ensuring a working part.

I have an Aldon from the club shop, expensive but reliable.  (Until you accidently wrench the wires off the sensor and have to send to the USA for a spare part! :angry: Don't ask.)

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Welcome Peter.

The type of system you refer to is possibly megajolt or nodiz?

As they are jyst triggered off a toothed wheel attached to the front of the crank, and use a totally separate set of components, I can see no reason why you would need to remove the distributor. Just keep the leads in the boot, and label the connectors on the distributor cap.

 

But in all honesty, the megajolt (I have experience on a couple of cars) is just about bombproof once set up and working. No idea about nodiz, though many seem happy with it.

Of course, just replacing the points with an electronic module (again, very happy with pertronix, and aldon are re-badged pertronix) is a much simpler solution, and if concerned about the advance curve, send it off to the distributor doctor who will cure all ills.

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Peter.

I have been using Simon BBC electronic ignition fitted within the dizzy and to date it has performed faultlessly with just under 10K miles covered since installation. It is simple, efficient and gives no clue as to it being an electronic set-up.

If you do go this route, it is important to ensure that there is no or only minimal wear on the dizzy shaft  - anything more will effect the dwell.

Should the dizzy be worn then it may be cost effective to purchase a converted electronic dizzy which is purpose built and of course no wear.

Clive and Doug have given additional choices and as such you now have a broad spectrum of options.

As you have already experienced electronic ignition, there is little point highlighting its advantages.

Good luck.

Richard.

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Sorry Peter, no I have not.

If the companies wish to pay me for carrying out such research I will be happy to oblige, but until then...............................

The only positive I can add is that I run S-BBC on the Vitesse and a fully converted Accuspark dizzy in the Alpine, again with excellent results.

One point worth noting is that for electronic ignition I upgraded to a Lucas Sports Coil for the Vitesse and used Accuspark's red coil.

Everyone will have their own war story, you just have to decide what suits you, your car and ultimately your pocket.

Regards.

Richard.

 

 

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I have had 3 cars fitted with lumenition optronic, all of which unfortunately failed (others may have different experiences)

on the first 2 occasions I replaced the failed lumenition with a Pertronix (Aldon) Ignitor, was great, no problems at all. (I brought from retrorockets.com when the $/£ exchange rate was very favourable, shipped in the uk so no chance of import duty)

on The second occasion I brought a simonbbc powermax one as mentioned earlier. That has been been fine as well, however it was soooo cheap I was uncertain of the quality - so I brought two, one fitted and one as a spare in the glovebox, and still saved £'s.

 

no hesitation in recommending either product

...... Andy 

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Cheers Andy, so you felt the performance with the Pertronix was just as good as the Luminition?

My reasons for being a little determined to find the best ignition is due to my experience with classic English motorcycle electronic ignitions where the most popular ignition is actually quite disappointing performance wise when compared to an early Lucas product that had such a perfect advance curve.

 

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Nor I.

I had pertronix in my vitesse for 12 years, faultless. Herald, 8 years, and I believe it is still in service 4 years on.

In my slant 4 dolomite I have the cheap accuspark, whoever designed that delco distributor ought to be hung/drawn and quartered. A change to leccy ignition was a no brainer.

 

I set up megajolt on a zetec engine, pretty easy as it already had timing sorted via factory flywheel. My wife's spitfire came with megajolt, so has a timing wheel attached to the crank pulley. The vitesse is easier to set up I believe as it has a useful bolt on the crank pulley to attach the timing disc.

I really would not entertain anything that uses the distributor as part of a mapable ignition, too much of a compromise.

 

But Peter, you say that on motorbikes the electronic ignition altered the advance curves?The Pertronix etc stuff we are discussing here is just points replacement, nothing more, and still relies on the distributor for the advance curve. There are some versions that can be mapped, but don't use vacuum advance so you will loose economy and torque at cruise.

 

 

 

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Ive used aldon on the Vit6  (delco) for 12 years and lumeniton on the 2000 (lucas) for 3yrs with  never a problem

Have found on a accuspark and a H &H where at idle the strobe showed the marks leaping around with around 12 deg variations

Not sure why but begin to wonder if its lack of  drag from the points , allows the low speed lack of centrifrugal to give some bounce of the dizzy cam spindle ???

There used to be reports of some early lecy  not having accurately magnets

Pete

 

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2 hours ago, clive said:

Nor I.

I had pertronix in my vitesse for 12 years, faultless. Herald, 8 years, and I believe it is still in service 4 years on.

In my slant 4 dolomite I have the cheap accuspark, whoever designed that delco distributor ought to be hung/drawn and quartered. A change to leccy ignition was a no brainer.

 

I set up megajolt on a zetec engine, pretty easy as it already had timing sorted via factory flywheel. My wife's spitfire came with megajolt, so has a timing wheel attached to the crank pulley. The vitesse is easier to set up I believe as it has a useful bolt on the crank pulley to attach the timing disc.

I really would not entertain anything that uses the distributor as part of a mapable ignition, too much of a compromise.

 

But Peter, you say that on motorbikes the electronic ignition altered the advance curves?The Pertronix etc stuff we are discussing here is just points replacement, nothing more, and still relies on the distributor for the advance curve. There are some versions that can be mapped, but don't use vacuum advance so you will loose economy and torque at cruise.

 

 

 

So any ignition system that still uses the dizzy will still use springs and bobweights to advance the timing but also have the advantage of vacuum advance? What about an elecrtronic dizzy  like the following link, would this use an electronic advance but still use the vacuum advance?  http://www.simonbbc.com/distributors/6cyl-standard-electronic/45d6-triumph-electronic-distributor

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Nope, they all rely on the conventional distributor for advance.

And those do not have the cable drive for your rev-counter.

 

The is a 1-2-3 distributor available, that is more what you are after? have a look http://www.123ignition.nl/products.phtml?brand=Triumph

If you want a fully programmable ignition, best bet is megajolt if you don't like the idea of the 123

But one of these get over the loss ofcablefor the rev counter.

Simplist solution is just fit a pertrix etc, and get the dizzy overhauled if required.

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21 minutes ago, clive said:

Nope, they all rely on the conventional distributor for advance.

And those do not have the cable drive for your rev-counter.

 

The is a 1-2-3 distributor available, that is more what you are after? have a look http://www.123ignition.nl/products.phtml?brand=Triumph

If you want a fully programmable ignition, best bet is megajolt if you don't like the idea of the 123

But one of these get over the loss ofcablefor the rev counter.

Simplist solution is just fit a pertrix etc, and get the dizzy overhauled if required.

That 123 looks exactly what I am after except for the lack of rev counter drive. Anybody able to report on the reliability of the 123?

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you say youre after long term reliability,

we take it the cars not seriously modified  ???

so stick to basics

the old points and condensers have got it over the last 40 + years ok,  

youre not specifically after mapable advance curves , so save the money and hassle of getting that set up .............buy fuel !!!!

clives right fit a electronic kit to save setting points and get the base dizzy checked over 

and  keep the old points in the boot.

its worth analysing the cost per mile of any upgrade to see if its really viable or fool hardy or just fun .

Pete

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I know several people with 13 distributors fitted, not heard a bad thing. But have a google, they are extensively used in many classics.

You can get your rev counter converted to electronic operation. 

But I, like Pete suggests, would use a std dizzy with a pertronix. Actually, I did! 

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Indeed Pete has made a good point.

High energy/sports coils all use larger currents, as would a 6v coil. This can overload an electronic unit, or indeed cause points to wear faster. 

A std DECENT quality coil will be perfectly adequate. I like to use original coils, yes they are old, but I would put good money that a brand new one will fail before the 50 year old one will. Even he "Lucas" stuff, as Lucas as a company no longer exists, it is just a label stuck on stuff to fool buyers. (tin hat on, but really, that sort of thing is everywhere)

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I've gone Megajolt for my Spitfire and wouldn't go back.  The engine's 'tweaked' and no-one could get it to run well across the rev. range as it wanted a "U" shaped advance curve, with lots at low RPM, then less, then more again as you went up.  I took the easy/sightly more expensive route of a conversion kit from Trigger Wheels (http://trigger-wheels.com/store/contents/en-uk/d46.html) and after a rolling road session have a solid, sensible tickover, and don't need 3,000RPM to pull away.  Even John from JY Classics commented on how well it pulled for a 1300.

I've left the dizzy in place (disconnected with the points/condenser/coil in the boot) as if you remove it you need to fabricate a blanking plate to cover the hole - and it's good for confusing people when the bonnet's up.

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11 hours ago, Mjit said:

I've gone Megajolt for my Spitfire and wouldn't go back.  The engine's 'tweaked' and no-one could get it to run well across the rev. range as it wanted a "U" shaped advance curve, with lots at low RPM, then less, then more again as you went up.  I took the easy/sightly more expensive route of a conversion kit from Trigger Wheels (http://trigger-wheels.com/store/contents/en-uk/d46.html) and after a rolling road session have a solid, sensible tickover, and don't need 3,000RPM to pull away.  Even John from JY Classics commented on how well it pulled for a 1300.

I've left the dizzy in place (disconnected with the points/condenser/coil in the boot) as if you remove it you need to fabricate a blanking plate to cover the hole - and it's good for confusing people when the bonnet's up.

Maybe you have swayed me back to the Megajolt. Now, If I leave the old dizzy in place, will the rev counter still work from it?

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8 hours ago, Peter Charlton said:

Maybe you have swayed me back to the Megajolt. Now, If I leave the old dizzy in place, will the rev counter still work from it?

Go Megasquirt or Microsquirt, can do just ignition but if you ever feel the need to go EFI it's already there. Have used both MJ & MS, MS is a better package in my opinion and better supported.

Darren

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