Jump to content

Powerspark ignition


Recommended Posts

suggest a quick read through   




there are many good and poor results from the units at the cheaper end of the available makes out there with quite differing results

some love them  and some ....dont 


not the cheapest  unit but club shop has a no quibble warranty and Aldon has a good track record



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Darren

I have just spent six weeks trying to get my herald running right, changed averything I could think off then the Saturday just gone my wife was out so I had a tinker with my car removed the cheap electronic ignition replaced the points and condenser thought this won't now start and fired up first time ran like a dream idled at the correct speed no misfire more power and even my wife when she came back could tell the whole thing was sweeter. So the answer to your question I will never look at an electronic version again let's face it these cars were designed for points and that is the way mine will stay. Hope that help you.



Link to comment
Share on other sites



You had a problem because you fitted one of the cheap units, had you bought an Aldon or Lumenition kit it would have been fine and you'd be singing the praises of electronic ignition I'm sure. Lots of posts on forums about poor quality condensers & rotor arms too, so regardless of whether you have electronic or conventional ignition fitting cheap inferior products will likely cause problems.


I had well over 10 years of faultless service from my Aldon Ignitor and would recommend them. I went a step further and fitted Megajolt a couple of years ago, timed off the crank, no distributor to worry about and if I want to adjust the timing I plug my laptop into the ECU.....


If you're happy with points etc. and it sorted your problem, that's great, personally I'd have sent the cheap unit back and got a refund then fitted something decent, but each to their own.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I had previously used an Accuspark unit on a modified Rover P6 with a Lucas 25D4 with great results, so I bought one for the Vitesse.


I can't comment on this unit as it never worked as such. The pick up is positioned about 40 to 50 degrees in advance of the original points firing point


I could retard the distributor enough to get the motor to fire up but it had no power and pinked viciously. Problem was that the tachometer drive prevented me from getting any more retard.


I gave up and sent it back, I know I could have taken the distributor out and re-set the drive gear but I think things should work properly.


Lumenition Optronic or MSD CDi seem like the way to go, not cheap but for a reason.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Decided I would put my money where my mouth is and bought an MSD 6A CDI unit and matching "Blaster" coil off ebay.


I fitted it last weekend, about a three hour job if you want to run all the cables neatly in the factory cable clips. MSD 6 series boxes are quite big and the only place with room on the Vitesse is between the battery and the A post support, the good news about this is that it is close to the fuse box and the earth strap location so the permanent power and earth wires can be kept short and run in a single loom.


The unit also requires an ignition switched positive supply to arm and disarm it, I could have split this wire out of the units loom  and run it to the switched terminals on the fuse box but it comes fitted with a male spade connector to connect to the original coil supply wire and I chose to use this and run this lead and the coil feed and negative wires together up to the coil. The coil wires are attached to the coil posts with self locking nuts but have a double snap connector at the coil end and by fitting the original spade terminals to the coil reverting to standard ignition is achieved in a matter of seconds.


The signal input wire simply runs to the points spade terminal on the distributor and again can have a male spade terminal to attach to the original wire at the coil end for ease of restoration. I chose to split this wire out of the loom and run it to the distributor by the shortest route. I also used a female connector and removed the original lead for safe keeping in the tool kit in case I ever need to revert.


MSD units can be triggered by conventional contact breaker points, OE electronic ignition and after market electronic ignitions mostly without any additional parts and also has a tachometer output for coil pulse reading tachs.


If as I did you chose to use your points as a trigger you can remove the condenser as the voltage across the points is in micro volts but MSD recommend retaining it just in case you need to change back on the roadside. Points gap of 0.015" and static timing of 13 degrees BTDC are retained but spark plug gap is suggested to be 0.050" to 0.060" on compression ratios below 10.5 to 1. I set mine at 0.050.


One essential alteration is that plug leads must be two or three core design for the system to work without the EMP stopping the unit and your ICE from working.


So what does it do? Well several things, firstly it delivers a much (+80%) more powerful spark at all engine speeds and loads but also below 3000 RPM it will deliver a series of multiple sparks at each plug across a 20 degree arc of distributor rotation. Obviously the number of sparks decreases with RPM as the time for the dizzy to turn through that arc gets shorter. The unit also varies dwell angle and switches on with the first points signal to protect the coil from over heating.


The reality of this system is that what it effectively delivers is not a number of individual sparks ie. #  #  #  #  # but one long powerful spark as in ###### at a time, at low engine speeds and or small throttle openings, when combustion may not be optimum due to weak or rich mixtures. It is therefore particularly suited to tuned multiple carb set ups.


Does it work? Well my Strombergs need a rebuild and with new points and condenser and Powerspark leads would idle, roughly, at 800 RPM. First shot with the MSD and tick over rose to 1200, I turned the throttle stops  back and she now idles at  750 RPM as smooth as silk. No flat spots through the range, no hesitations and nice brown plugs.


Yes I think it works and it looks nice under the bonnet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Strange that they suggest you keep points!


The whole point (!) of electronic ignition is that it does away with the Kettering system, almost as old as the internal combustion engine, and substitutes a sensor that is non-wearing and not subject to dwell variation.

No maintenance, and optimal performance.   Why stay with points?


I've long had electronic ignition on my VItesses, and appreciate its benefits.   But those are all inductive - they switch battery voltage or less on and off through the coil so that the collapsing magnetic field in the coil induces the High Voltage for the spark.    MSD uses a capacitor to store energy and then release it through the coil for the same purpose, so that it is described as a "capacitive discharge" system.  This type was developed for high revving engines, and the 'advantages' listed are features of that type of ignition.   If you want to rev the nuts off your Vitesse, fine, I might even consider it for the new high-speed engine in SofS if the old inductive system isn't good.     And that 20 degrees of spark duration, which is 40 on the crank, is just unnecessary at low speeds.   The piston will be a quarter of the way down the bore before it ends!   At very high speeds the actual duration will be much shorter, which is why CD ignition works on high revving engines.


Horses for courses.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi sorry to jump on this thread but I'm trying to confirm what distributorI have in my Vitesse. It's a mk1 with a 2.5 MG engine and runs a Lumination electronic ignition. I just need to know what the distributor is so I can buy spares etc


Many thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Where to look on your Lucas dizzie: http://www.jcna.com/library/tech/tech0015.html


and Delco use an alloy plate riveted on.  http://www.delcoremyhistory.com/Museums/reoldsmuseum.htm


NB "DELCO" stands for Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company, founded by Charles Kettering to manufacture and promote the Kettering ignition system and electric starters, in 1909.    It later became a subsiduarty of General Motors, and supplied components to them and many other manufacturers.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

To answer John D's posting regarding the MSD fitting.


MSD do not recommend retaining points, nor do they recommend  after market electronic ignition systems (even their own) as requirements for the fitting of the CDI system, They recommend retaining the condenser, which the MSD unit actually renders obsolete, if using a contact breaker distributor.


Like John I favour using an electronic ignition and these are compatible with the MSD and once I have rebuilt my carbs and am satisfied I have everything set up properly I shall be fitting Lumenition Optronic.


I don't intend to argue here about the technical issues of multispark systems, my experience with MSD systems both here and in the USA is that they work and provide several benefits to carburettor fed engines. I'd also point out that they have been fitted to NASCAR cars for decades and those Good Ole Boys do not waste a cent.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Pete,


Ive tried to up load a photo but having problems. The distributor says Lucas on the vacuum/diaphram pipe and i cant see any other numbers apart from the A R on the right hand side opposite the vac/diaphram.


Ill try and put a photo in later.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...