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The best GT6 Ignition Distributor solution ?


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I was recently told (Dale @ Moordale Motors) that the 123 Ignition Distributor kit is the most reliable solution available. (He described it as an install and forget kit). The only downside was that the tachometer would need to be converted to a digital unit as it does not support mechanical tachs.

Wanted to ask for inputs from anyone who has installed a 123 kit or if another solution can compare, perhaps with an explanation why? Many thanks! 

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This is tricky stuff. Using an original distributer you are hindered by using springs,weights and a vacuum capsule for the advance curve, so you are looking for the best average and that means it is u

I have run 123 programable systems on my spitfire for the last 5 years and on an mgb gt v8 for 10 years. No failures, much better torque through the rev range if you understand how to optimise them. O

Good thread this one. Was thinking of electronic ignition for the 2500s. Had the aldon one in an old spit that kept it running even when the dissy got a good woble on. been looking on ebay and see the

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wow they do look a nice bit of kit but youre replacing the complete dizzy so not going to be cheap especially if you go for the programmable ones (really impress your mates adjusting it from your mobile👍). However yes they dont come with a mechanical tacho drive so if you want one it would have to be an electronic type.

If you dont want to spend that much or convert the tacho then theres a few types of retro fit electronic ignitions that offer many of the same benefits such as:

no maintenance, no deterioration from mechanical wear and possible better spark.

Of course as with any electronic equipment it can fail and which is the least likely to do so is difficult to ascertain... 

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Or the other side of the coin: waste of money.

They come with a huge range of programmable curves - amazing! - then you find that you only use one. I had one on my MK1, binned it as being a waste of money and just put good electronic ignition into an original dizzy which at least did, as Johny says, have a drive for the rev counter. 

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I run the cheapies from eBay have done over 10 years no issues, BUT I do carry a spare in each of the 2 cars just in case already fitted up ready for a quick roadside change over. I also carry the points set up just in  case, but that's just me belt and braces!

In the Dolly Sprint I had to use the Luminition Magnetronic due to space issues in the distributor same effect but a lot dearer, hence no spare, but I carry the old points & wiring!.

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Same as Peter.  I’ve got an Accuspark. - works a treat.  I fitted the same on my Tr4 and Spitfire and it’s been faultless for years. So cheap that you can buy two as a spare.  Works better than my recon  Delco and has tach drive.  I don’t think the 123 worth the money.  The tr4 was set up on a rolling road and goes like stink (Dennis Vessey did it  -a well known triumph tuner).  He didn’t seem to have a problem with my cheap distributor (said he could fiddle a bit with it, but gains marginal for a road car).  However, we all love spending money of shiny things and I can be as tempted as anyone else- although I’m a bit more circumspect these days!

Bob

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Used to be the thing but I think it’s expensive now.  Used to be recommended as optical trigger tolerated worn distributor shafts if you added it to an old distributor.  Can’t see the point of it now - especially given the price.  It’s not programmable is it? If so, you’d be better going for 123 if you want to spend that sort of money.  Also it doesn’t just fit inside the distributor so doesn’t look like standard - if that’s important.

Bob 

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I have run 123 programable systems on my spitfire for the last 5 years and on an mgb gt v8 for 10 years. No failures, much better torque through the rev range if you understand how to optimise them. Once set, they have been utterly reliable. Rebuilding my V8 as a ground up restoration at the moment, even the engine builder recommended a 123, that engine is being set up on a dyno before being installed. No comparison to mechanical dizzy, even with electronic/optical pick up, much smoother too. 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, John Harris said:

I have run 123 programable systems on my spitfire for the last 5 years and on an mgb gt v8 for 10 years. No failures, much better torque through the rev range if you understand how to optimise them. Once set, they have been utterly reliable. Rebuilding my V8 as a ground up restoration at the moment, even the engine builder recommended a 123, that engine is being set up on a dyno before being installed. No comparison to mechanical dizzy, even with electronic/optical pick up, much smoother too. 

 

 

Encouraging. What did you do to your tachometer?

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Re Luminition Optic I had one took it off for the self contained Accuspark unit, which is obviously neater. I gave it to a friend who’s Stag had one fitted and it had failed, then my old unit failed a year or so later he’s on his third unit now. OK it’s been over 20 years! But relatively their expensive.

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This is tricky stuff. Using an original distributer you are hindered by using springs,weights and a vacuum capsule for the advance curve, so you are looking for the best average and that means it is unlikely to be optimal throughout the rev range. Ignore anybody who says otherwise. Max power is unaffected, so some people will go on about how much power they get using a knackered old distributer. But max power will be at max advance, which is easy (and with a mechanical distributer the better way to set up timing, go for 34 degrees max, then adjust springs etc so you get the desired curve at lower revs)

You also need to contend with the worn nature of 50 year old parts. And new ones? a club shop supplied one was so horrendous the car would not run correctly, dealt with properly by the shop, but it shows how hopeless the situation is. 

If you want a excellent lucas distributer, go to the distributer doctor. Far more expensive than a new repro, far superior product. He sets up te curve to your specification. And will ONLY fit aldon/pertronix modules. (accuspark etc have a high failure rate, but are so cheap from china they just replace under warranty. I found them at $1 each, but had to buy minimum 1000. That was about 5 years ago)

Then you get to proper programmable ignition. It can transform the torque curve of a car, and give much better fuel consumption too. The best solution is to use a signal from the crankshaft, like all modern cars. However, the 123 option is almost as good, and I know many people using them in Triumphs to great effect. 

If you go down that route, you can have a rev counter converted to electronic. 

It all depends on what you want. Ultimate solution is megajolt (or squirt, and use just ignition)

Next best would be 123. Then aldon/pertronix in a properly reconditioned/set up distributer. These are the simple solutions.

After that, an ebay special module, and carry a spare. 

Of course, Dave Pearson who owns Canley Classics, owns a fleet of Triumphs including prototypes and competition cars, and has restored many (genuine) factory competition cars,  wont use any electronic ignition.  He uses points and condensers. Though I expect he has a stash of old stock, red box Lucas. Back to square one, where to find quality ignition parts (green box lucas=cheap'n'nasty) Shacktune sells a very high quality condenser, mounted outside the dizzy. About £20 I think, but you won't buy better anywhere.

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Good thread this one. Was thinking of electronic ignition for the 2500s. Had the aldon one in an old spit that kept it running even when the dissy got a good woble on. been looking on ebay and see the whole distributor with a coil for about eighty but should i look up aldon again?

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and do measure the costs miles and what you do with the car into the equation

there is no advantage in spending £££££ s   if  you only go to 6 picnics a season and poodle around to sainbury's  etc 

simple electronics give a service advantage in no points to set   not much else 

its the old utopia or compromise syndrome again  or the must haves you dont must !!

Pete 

 

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3 minutes ago, Pete Lewis said:

and do measure the costs miles and what you do with the car into the equation

I had my original Delco and Lucas distributors refurbished by H+H Ignition solutions; the Delco has gone well ever since so not yet needed the Lucas. I changed to electronic ignition (the SimonBBC version) simply to avoid problems with points adjustment and wear, and to aid starting rather than performance. As you say, Pete, we get cars modded almost to Rally spec that never go anywhere but the town centre... it's always exciting to mod your car, add racy bits in the name of uprated performance, then you get to an age where you take them all off again... :)

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15 minutes ago, Mathew said:

Good thread this one. Was thinking of electronic ignition for the 2500s. Had the aldon one in an old spit that kept it running even when the dissy got a good woble on. been looking on ebay and see the whole distributor with a coil for about eighty but should i look up aldon again?

If buying a brand new copy distributer, I would check the advance curve is correct.

If your dizzy is sound (I got a Sprint dizzy, really worn, but fitted a good bronze bearing from an old spit dizzy, now like new. Not difficult) you can have a go at setting the curve using a selection of springs. It will get it close to being new, and a safer option.

The last couple of EI units I have had came from Retrorockets. Pertronix stuff (Aldon are pertronix, but rebadged) Retrorockets are based in teh UK, but charge in $, and were a lot cheaper than aldo. Sadly not available for dolly 1850, or indeed sprint.

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1 minute ago, Colin Lindsay said:

 As you say, Pete, we get cars modded almost to Rally spec that never go anywhere but the town centre... it's always exciting to mod your car, add racy bits in the name of uprated performance, then you get to an age where you take them all off again... :)

Ha! my cars don't do rallies anymore, but do get properly used. Only one trackday booked so far, but 2 jaunts later in the year (fingers crossed) so expecting to do 8k miles this year in the spitfire, without going on a ferry. More if CLM happens.

Agreed, forums are full of people who modify their cars for power (often without significant gains except in the bling dept) to go to local shows and won't go far. And even then are afraid to let the rev counter even nudge the red line. Pointless.

BUT on a car that does mileage and gets used, getting teh advance curve right can make very helpful gains in economy and mid-range driving, the latter making a car feel hugely better to drive in the real world and more important (mostly) than the max power.

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54 minutes ago, Pete Lewis said:

and do measure the costs miles and what you do with the car into the equation

there is no advantage in spending £££££ s   if  you only go to 6 picnics a season and poodle around to sainbury's  etc 

simple electronics give a service advantage in no points to set   not much else 

its the old utopia or compromise syndrome again  or the must haves you dont must !!

Pete 

 

hey Pete this is a hobby so logic doesnt come into it🤗

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I have 123 Tune USB on my tuned Vitesse 2.5 and 1500 Herald,much easier to setup from a laptop or mobile if you have the bluetooth one.

I think it made the rolling road setup easier to change curves whenever you need,mine has 2 maps you can switch between if you want for different driving styles.

(economy or big right foot).

Vitesse has an electronic tacho and matching speedo from Speedy cables.

Herald, i just bought a small cheap rev counter off e bay that runs off the  coil,it sits in front of the original speaker on the tunnel. 

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52 minutes ago, Steve P said:

 

Herald, i just bought a small cheap rev counter off e bay that runs off the  coil,it sits in front of the original speaker on the tunnel. 

OOOOHHH, something for me to look up on the webby thingy when I have a gap between cups of tea 

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With regards to my earlier post, I have a 1500 standard spitfire. Used extensively, including trips to the south of France.

I have attached the 123 ignition curve I have programmed.  This was copied and adjusted from a Mega-jolt map posted on the web for a 1500 spitfire. 

I know lot's of you will look at it and say, "way too much advance" but it runs really sweetly. Lucas sports coil and 35 thou NGK plug gaps. Having installed the 123 I checked the timing at 2000 rpm and adjust to the ignition point I have for that in the curve. That process ensures greater accuracy. I have a programable strobe. 

You could experiment with weights and springs in a conventional dizzy to get a similar shape, but as said earlier it will be a best average. 

 

 

 

 

ED89F120-74C8-4971-B4CF-157C25746A5E_1_105_c.jpeg

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19 hours ago, clive said:

If you want a excellent lucas distributer, go to the distributer doctor. Far more expensive than a new repro, far superior product. He sets up te curve to your specification. And will ONLY fit aldon/pertronix modules. (accuspark etc have a high failure rate, but are so cheap from china they just replace under warranty. I found them at $1 each, but had to buy minimum 1000. That was about 5 years ago)

Then you get to proper programmable ignition. It can transform the torque curve of a car, and give much better fuel consumption too. The best solution is to use a signal from the crankshaft, like all modern cars. However, the 123 option is almost as good, and I know many people using them in Triumphs to great effect. 

If you go down that route, you can have a rev counter converted to electronic. 

It all depends on what you want. Ultimate solution is megajolt (or squirt, and use just ignition)

Next best would be 123. Then aldon/pertronix in a properly reconditioned/set up distributer. These are the simple solutions.

 

Thanks for this!

I'm torn between the 123 or getting the dizzy rebuilt by the distributor doctor. A basic calculation show that the 123 option will be over 2X costlier than the Doctor's rebuild, especially if the ~£200 conversion of the tachometer is factored in

Would the difference in mid range drivability/ efficiency be noticeable between these two options? I ask as reliability (install and forget), quality and drivability are far more important to me than cost. The car is driven 3K miles a year, so not a garage queen but also not a daily driver. 

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4 hours ago, avivalasvegas said:

Thanks for this!

I'm torn between the 123 or getting the dizzy rebuilt by the distributor doctor. A basic calculation show that the 123 option will be over 2X costlier than the Doctor's rebuild, especially if the ~£200 conversion of the tachometer is factored in

Would the difference in mid range drivability/ efficiency be noticeable between these two options? I ask as reliability (install and forget), quality and drivability are far more important to me than cost. The car is driven 3K miles a year, so not a garage queen but also not a daily driver. 

Gut feeling is that the 123 may be a little better, but probably not enough to justify the difference. Also remember te 123 will take some effort to tune, which requires either a rolling road or somebody(you?) who can tune "by the seat of their pants" and feel what is making improvements. The best place to start with such tuning is copying the factory advance curve, but with programmable you can give it more advance as the timing will be more accurate.

On the downside, DD only does Lucas I believe. If you car has the original Delco, try H+H who also have a good reputation. The other option is to get a Lucas unit from a mk2 vitesse, I expect DD and H+H can supply a new or recon one. It is a direct swap, though something tells me th edizzy pedestal is also different, but that should be easy to source and simple. 

In teh good old days I would pick up a mk2 vitesse dizzy at an autojumble, get a set of assorted springs from Triumphtune and fiddle on a saturday to get it sorted. Still possible, but good used stuff is so much harder to find now.

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I fitted "electronic" ignition to the Vittesse in the 1980`s. (so long back I cannot remember who`s) It did improve starting, and If I recall less ignition "drift" due to wear etc; (Mrs P was using it as her commuter). It became more reliable, definitely. I havent checked properly, but I think the 13/60 engine came with a unit fitted. something to look at later. For the type/volume of motoring I anticipate, I doubt if going too sophisticated (expensive) would be cost effective though. For some obscure reason I also recall that using a low voltage ballast resister Coil was Not advised?, but cannot think why offhand?.

Pete

 

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