Electronic Ignition Question
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  1. #1
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    Electronic Ignition Question

    I just installed the Pertronix 1847V electronic ignition on a 1973 opel GT. I can't get over the difference and plan to replace the carburetor with a Weber 32/36 next. I noticed there is a tapping sound coming from the distributor and was wondering if this is normal or did I install it incorrectly. The car did not have any tapping sound before. When I race the engine (I haven't begun driving the car on a regular basis yet) the tapping sound increases a bit more.

    I appreciate all advice,

    Thank you,

    Kappy

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    101st Airborne 1/327 Inf Site Supporter My location MICAH1's Avatar
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    That sound might be the distributor button not pushed completely down...
    Thomas

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    Cunning Linguist Site Supporter My location tekenaar's Avatar
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    ExclamationMagnet unit pushed all the way down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kappy View Post
    I just installed the Pertronix 1847V electronic ignition on a 1973 opel GT. I can't get over the difference and plan to replace the carburetor with a Weber 32/36 next. I noticed there is a tapping sound coming from the distributor and was wondering if this is normal or did I install it incorrectly. The car did not have any tapping sound before. When I race the engine (I haven't begun driving the car on a regular basis yet) the tapping sound increases a bit more.

    I appreciate all advice,

    Thank you,

    Kappy
    . . . are you sure that the cylindrical trigger magnet piece is pushed down all the way on the cam? If not, you also can't push the rotor down properly and, being up too high in the cap will cause it to hit the tops of the secondary contacts inside the disti cap where they're NOT machined for rotor tip clearance! . . . tick, tick, tick, tick for every rotor revolution!


    1960: '61 Rekord PII 1.7 3S 3.9 '69 Kadett LS 'sprint' 1.9 3A 3.18
    1970: '70 GT 1.9 4S 3.44 '72 GT 2.2SSD 5S 3.44 '72 GT 2.4FI 5S 3.44P
    1970: '73 GT 1.9FI 4S 3.44 '75 1900 1.9FI 4S 3.44
    1980: '85 Bitter SC 3.9FI 5S 3.44P
    2000: '09 Solstice GXP Coupe 2.0 SIDI VVT "Stage 2" Turbo 5S 3.73P


    "De inimico non tantum loquaris male, sed cogites."

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    I had the pertronix on my car for a little over a month and was amazed at the difference it made over my points. Unfortunately, I just had to remove it and replace it with points once again. After the engine would warm up, it would miss and backfire-then die. After the engine would cool down, it would run fine again. I replaced the coil and plugs, checked my choke, and searched for vacuum leaks with no luck. I'd read in the forums how reliable the pertronix systems were-so that was the last thing I checked. Put the points back in and problems went away. I miss the electronic ignition, but having points beats pushing the car-even a lightweight GT. Does anyone know of a more reliable electric ignition?

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    Member My location West Coast GT's Avatar
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    I'm using the Crane Cams XR7000 Points-to-Electronic conversion kit from Summit Racing. I've also swapped to their coil as I like to keep components of the same brand together for compatibility sake.

    Rather than order from their catalog or online, I recommend calling their number and let them help choose the correct model. 800-230-3030.

    The only problem I had was a bad electrical connection (that I caused) during my 1700 mile trip to the Tacoma Gathering last month. BTW, I carry backup points, condenser, cap, rotor, spark plugs, and plug wires in my on-board backup stash.

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    Cunning Linguist Site Supporter My location tekenaar's Avatar
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    ExclamationRed wire connected where?

    Quote Originally Posted by dryandell View Post
    I had the pertronix on my car for a little over a month and was amazed at the difference it made over my points. Unfortunately, I just had to remove it and replace it with points once again. After the engine would warm up, it would miss and backfire-then die. After the engine would cool down, it would run fine again. I replaced the coil and plugs, checked my choke, and searched for vacuum leaks with no luck. I'd read in the forums how reliable the pertronix systems were-so that was the last thing I checked. Put the points back in and problems went away. I miss the electronic ignition, but having points beats pushing the car-even a lightweight GT. Does anyone know of a more reliable electric ignition?
    . . . the red (+) wire from the Pertronix is connected where?!! . . . to your coil + (15)? . . . if so, WRONG!! . . . only gets ~+9V there during run with stock coil wiring, two wires, clear and black/red, at coil + terminal . . . need separate wire connecting Pertronix red wire to sw. 12V (comes on with key) source!


    1960: '61 Rekord PII 1.7 3S 3.9 '69 Kadett LS 'sprint' 1.9 3A 3.18
    1970: '70 GT 1.9 4S 3.44 '72 GT 2.2SSD 5S 3.44 '72 GT 2.4FI 5S 3.44P
    1970: '73 GT 1.9FI 4S 3.44 '75 1900 1.9FI 4S 3.44
    1980: '85 Bitter SC 3.9FI 5S 3.44P
    2000: '09 Solstice GXP Coupe 2.0 SIDI VVT "Stage 2" Turbo 5S 3.73P


    "De inimico non tantum loquaris male, sed cogites."

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    Member My location Dennis Texas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dryandell View Post
    I had the pertronix on my car for a little over a month and was amazed at the difference it made over my points. Unfortunately, I just had to remove it and replace it with points once again. After the engine would warm up, it would miss and backfire-then die. After the engine would cool down, it would run fine again. I replaced the coil and plugs, checked my choke, and searched for vacuum leaks with no luck. I'd read in the forums how reliable the pertronix systems were-so that was the last thing I checked. Put the points back in and problems went away. I miss the electronic ignition, but having points beats pushing the car-even a lightweight GT. Does anyone know of a more reliable electric ignition?
    It's amazing, I just went through the same exact symptoms. My car runs great idles nice then after the module in dist warms up it misfires loses power and eventually dies. After it cools back down it runs good for a few minutes. I thought it was my coil even though brand new, I swapped that first then I was afraid it was carburetor problems they act very similar. After going backs to my original points all problems cleared up. I'm getting ready to send it back.



    If everything seems to be going well you have obviously overlooked something.:banghead:

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    Opeler jmbinjax's Avatar
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    Have you run a separate wire for 12v sw as stated in post #6? You have to eliminate the original resistor wire. I used a pertronix previously, installed per instructions, and had not one problem. I've since changed to a compu-fire. Not due to a problem with the pertronix but it seemed it might be more reliable as you eliminate the cap and rotor but it is also more expensive (~4x).
    Last edited by tekenaar; 09-14-2008 at 02:11 PM. Reason: seperate

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    Cunning Linguist Site Supporter My location tekenaar's Avatar
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    I don't get it . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Texas View Post
    It's amazing, I just went through the same exact symptoms. My car runs great idles nice then after the module in dist warms up it misfires loses power and eventually dies. After it cools back down it runs good for a few minutes. I thought it was my coil even though brand new, I swapped that first then I was afraid it was carburetor problems they act very similar. After going backs to my original points all problems cleared up. I'm getting ready to send it back.
    ????? . . . I own six of them installed in various Opel models with different distributors and have not had a single problem, ever, with any of them, my first since May 1978 . . . Perlux then! . . . I don't get it?


    1960: '61 Rekord PII 1.7 3S 3.9 '69 Kadett LS 'sprint' 1.9 3A 3.18
    1970: '70 GT 1.9 4S 3.44 '72 GT 2.2SSD 5S 3.44 '72 GT 2.4FI 5S 3.44P
    1970: '73 GT 1.9FI 4S 3.44 '75 1900 1.9FI 4S 3.44
    1980: '85 Bitter SC 3.9FI 5S 3.44P
    2000: '09 Solstice GXP Coupe 2.0 SIDI VVT "Stage 2" Turbo 5S 3.73P


    "De inimico non tantum loquaris male, sed cogites."

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    '72 Opel GT (Sara) My location newman27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tekenaar View Post
    ????? . . . I own six of them installed in various Opel models with different distributors and have not had a single problem, ever, with any of them, my first since May 1978 . . . Perlux then! . . . I don't get it?
    So, does anyone know if these electronic ignitions (Pertronix., Hot Spark, etc.) are in fact heat sensitive such that they can start to misfire or "shut down" after prolonged exposure to high under hood temperatures? I'm just curious if some presumed vapor lock / fuel delivery issues may actually be issues with the electronic ignition.
    '72 Opel GT (Fireglow Orange) "Sara"

    Major Mods: Weber Carb, High Compression Pistons, Electronic Ignition, Custom CAI, Sprint Manifold,
    Enhanced Suspension (Anti-Sway Bars / Koni Reds / Sport Springs), "Big" Brake Package with 22mm Booster / MC, 15x8" Wheels and Toyo RA-1 Tires, XM Radio

    Restoration Thread
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    Other Cars:
    '09 Pontiac G8 GT (Panther Black) "Jet"
    '06 Pontiac Solstice (Envious Green) "Mina"
    '99 Oldsmobile Intrigue GLS (Black Onyx) "Raven"

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    Member My location Dennis Texas's Avatar
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    mine is a hot spark not a pertronix brand name. Yes I have run with and without the additional resistor I had trouble in the beginning but I finally added the resistor back in and it worked great and still does when cold. It is after about 10 miles of driving temperature gauge in the middle of the range no over heating problems but the module fails. I never I had a problem after installation because I only cranked it up briefly and let idle in the yard or went around the block. When I got my car inspected and using it for the daily driver is when the problem appeared. It is not a fuel problem, changing back to mechanical points corrected everything and I drive it about 40 miles a day now. I wrote the manufacturer about the problem, I have 4 of these units and it's going to fail I need to send them all back or find another way to install them, waiting on the manufacturer to write back they are closed today.
    Last edited by tekenaar; 09-14-2008 at 03:09 PM. Reason: pack?



    If everything seems to be going well you have obviously overlooked something.:banghead:

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    former opel racer My location jeff denton's Avatar
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    I've mentioned before that my ignition unit is a Motorola, that's what it says on the ignition box which resembles a Ford unit. It was found on that cherry little '69 Kadet we "stole" and used for parts.
    I think it's an awesome setup. Puts out a fat blue spark that will jump all the way across my marine spark tester. Scary!
    I wish I knew more about it, and where to get more, all I know is that's what I would want on a street car. In the class I raced my GT in, full of Fords that have ignition trouble a LOT, mine just purred and never skipped a beat. Always fired up instantly, too!
    Has anyone else ever seen or used this ignition?

    I'm still toying with the thought of prepping the car to run in Spokane's Outlaw Compact races. They have invited me join the fun, know what my car is and will accept it for competition. So if I do build an engine for it again, it will have the crank triggered ignition for sure. I really think it's the way to go. Distributors are just... dinosaurs.
    Last edited by jeff denton; 09-14-2008 at 03:25 PM.

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    Member My location Dennis Texas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newman27 View Post
    I'm just curious if some presumed vapor lock / fuel delivery issues may actually be issues with the electronic ignition.
    That is exactly what it acted like I dismantled my weber on the side of the road to find nothing out of place or wrong with it by then it cooled off enough that I ran it back home to change the coil as it was hot. Older original coil did the same exact thing but it didn't even make it 2 miles.



    If everything seems to be going well you have obviously overlooked something.:banghead:

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    Have Opel, Will Travel oldopelguy's Avatar
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    Hot Spark

    For a little clarification, the Hot Spark units are far, far, far less reliable than the Pertronics units they copy. Most guys I know with VWs went through two or three until they got one that worked reliably, and then they still carry spare points and condensors just in case. Look around on any of the VW forums and you will find that almost no-one recommends them to anyone and that they usually don't work at all or have the same hot failure issue as Dennis Texas.

    Wired correctly a real Pertronics or Comp-u-fire points eliminator module has never once let me down. I like the magnet assembly on the Comp-u-fire units better myself, but both have always worked flawlessly for me.
    Lots of Opels, for a long time.

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    Southern Red Neck My location BQS4's Avatar
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    I was just about to say what Stephen just said, these Pertronix "knock-offs", and that's what they are, are not up to being actual Pertronix. They hit Ebay far cheaper than Pertronix, and it shows. I have one Pertronix I have moved between 3 cars and all have run without a problem. If you don't or can't afford a Pertronix or Comp-u-fire, then by all means stay with the points, as they are stll the most reliable things going.
    "Yes, I do have a rifle rack in my Sportwagon"

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    '72 Opel GT (Sara) My location newman27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Texas View Post
    mine is a hot spark not a pertronix brand name. Yes I have run with and without the additional resistor I had trouble in the beginning but I finally added the resistor back in and it worked great and still does when cold. It is after about 10 miles of driving temperature gauge in the middle of the range no over heating problems but the module fails. I never I had a problem after installation because I only cranked it up briefly and let idle in the yard or went around the block. When I got my car inspected and using it for the daily driver is when the problem appeared. It is not a fuel problem, changing back to mechanical points corrected everything and I drive it about 40 miles a day now. I wrote the manufacturer about the problem, I have 4 of these units and it's going to fail I need to send them all back or find another way to install them, waiting on the manufacturer to write back they are closed today.
    I have the Hot Spark too and I think I am having a similar issue. Car starts right up, idles great, and I can drive it like crazy all day long but once it heats up and I am forced to stop for a light, the tach starts to jump around while idling and then application of the accelerator results in a stall condition. I thought this was being caused entirely due to the screw coming out of my vacuum advance on the way to Charlotte but unfortunately the issue is still present even after securing the vacuum advance unit. In the interest of getting to the root of this issue, here are some other points related to my experience that I would be interested in hearing if they match your symptoms:

    • Tach jumps when the problem is about to occur while at idle
    • Turning the car off and then immediately back on with some extra RPMs corrects the issue until the next time I have to stop for a light
    • Keeping the RPMs up while stopped (i.e., not letting it fall back to idle but instead keep the RPMs up around 1,500 - 2,000) will enable the car to accelerate from a stop without stalling

    I'd be interested in more info on your symptoms and also what Hot Spark says in their response.

    Matt
    '72 Opel GT (Fireglow Orange) "Sara"

    Major Mods: Weber Carb, High Compression Pistons, Electronic Ignition, Custom CAI, Sprint Manifold,
    Enhanced Suspension (Anti-Sway Bars / Koni Reds / Sport Springs), "Big" Brake Package with 22mm Booster / MC, 15x8" Wheels and Toyo RA-1 Tires, XM Radio

    Restoration Thread
    Comments Thread

    Other Cars:
    '09 Pontiac G8 GT (Panther Black) "Jet"
    '06 Pontiac Solstice (Envious Green) "Mina"
    '99 Oldsmobile Intrigue GLS (Black Onyx) "Raven"

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    '72 Opel GT (Sara) My location newman27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldopelguy View Post
    For a little clarification, the Hot Spark units are far, far, far less reliable than the Pertronics units they copy. Most guys I know with VWs went through two or three until they got one that worked reliably, and then they still carry spare points and condensors just in case. Look around on any of the VW forums and you will find that almost no-one recommends them to anyone and that they usually don't work at all or have the same hot failure issue as Dennis Texas.

    Wired correctly a real Pertronics or Comp-u-fire points eliminator module has never once let me down. I like the magnet assembly on the Comp-u-fire units better myself, but both have always worked flawlessly for me.
    Quote Originally Posted by BQS4 View Post
    I was just about to say what Stephen just said, these Pertronix "knock-offs", and that's what they are, are not up to being actual Pertronix. They hit Ebay far cheaper than Pertronix, and it shows. I have one Pertronix I have moved between 3 cars and all have run without a problem. If you don't or can't afford a Pertronix or Comp-u-fire, then by all means stay with the points, as they are stll the most reliable things going.
    You guys posted while I was still typing my post above. Based on this info, it sounds like I need to upgrade to the Pertronix Ignitor and not even bother trying to debug the Hot Spark. The good news is that I can continue to commute in the GT with no issues until I get the Pertronix because that drive isn't long enough to trigger the problem.

    Thanks!

    Matt
    Last edited by newman27; 09-15-2008 at 12:09 PM. Reason: Link to correct 1847V unit...
    '72 Opel GT (Fireglow Orange) "Sara"

    Major Mods: Weber Carb, High Compression Pistons, Electronic Ignition, Custom CAI, Sprint Manifold,
    Enhanced Suspension (Anti-Sway Bars / Koni Reds / Sport Springs), "Big" Brake Package with 22mm Booster / MC, 15x8" Wheels and Toyo RA-1 Tires, XM Radio

    Restoration Thread
    Comments Thread

    Other Cars:
    '09 Pontiac G8 GT (Panther Black) "Jet"
    '06 Pontiac Solstice (Envious Green) "Mina"
    '99 Oldsmobile Intrigue GLS (Black Onyx) "Raven"

  20. #18
    Cunning Linguist Site Supporter My location tekenaar's Avatar
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    Exclamatione-trigger and coil wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Texas View Post
    mine is a hot spark not a pertronix brand name. Yes I have run with and without the additional resistor I had trouble in the beginning but I finally added the resistor back in and it worked great and still does when cold. It is after about 10 miles of driving temperature gauge in the middle of the range no over heating problems but the module fails. I never I had a problem after installation because I only cranked it up briefly and let idle in the yard or went around the block. When I got my car inspected and using it for the daily driver is when the problem appeared. It is not a fuel problem, changing back to mechanical points corrected everything and I drive it about 40 miles a day now. I wrote the manufacturer about the problem, I have 4 of these units and it's going to fail I need to send them all back or find another way to install them, waiting on the manufacturer to write back they are closed today.
    . . . let me ponder this for a moment and ask you some more questions about yours . . .

    Assumption - feel free to correct where wrong - you initially ran your Hot-Spark trigger with a non-internal-resistor coil and without any external resistor or stock resistor wire at the + terminal of the coil and probably hooked the Hot Spark + (red?) wire there too, correct? . . . after running the car on the road like this for a while, you then experienced your problem, right?

    . . . well, grasshopper, if so, you most likely fried your e-trigger module right there due to excessive current flow in the ignition coil and, hence, the e-trigger! :banghead: . . . your coil was probably really hot, too, after that run, right?

    Let me explain, basically any e-trigger is designed to replace the "points" - basically just an on/off switch - which alternately charges and discharges (dwell) the coil to provide a high voltage spark to the plugs.

    While points are the most basic way to accomplish this, they will begin to degrade from the point of installation onward . . . however, they are relatively robust, i.e. can handle varying currents of different coil types. They will degrade more quickly with high-performance coils (higher current/heat), of course, but they will work . . . and either with or without that external resistor, as in your case!

    That said, the e-trigger is designed to perform the same "coil switching" function, but electronically, and with no degradation of function over time! It IS designed to operate at a specific "current" switching level, however. This IS covered in the installation instructions by specifying specific internal coil resistance required, which limits the current that the e-trigger has to switch.

    The e-trigger is not as robust as a set of points when this current limit is exceeded by user's incorrect installation of coil and power source wiring. That's why they're so specific about powering both the e-trigger and coil . . . ~3.0Ω total resistance, done either internally in or externally by either a resistor or r-wire on the coil.

    OK, quick test of the above . . . with an external resistor wired between sw. +12V and the coil + terminal, connect one of your "never-used" Hot-Spark's + wire to the sw. 12V side of the coil's external resistor and H-S's trigger wire to the "minus" side of the coil and go for another "road test" . . .

    I'd bet this one won't fail you again . . . ever!
    Last edited by tekenaar; 09-14-2008 at 04:39 PM.


    1960: '61 Rekord PII 1.7 3S 3.9 '69 Kadett LS 'sprint' 1.9 3A 3.18
    1970: '70 GT 1.9 4S 3.44 '72 GT 2.2SSD 5S 3.44 '72 GT 2.4FI 5S 3.44P
    1970: '73 GT 1.9FI 4S 3.44 '75 1900 1.9FI 4S 3.44
    1980: '85 Bitter SC 3.9FI 5S 3.44P
    2000: '09 Solstice GXP Coupe 2.0 SIDI VVT "Stage 2" Turbo 5S 3.73P


    "De inimico non tantum loquaris male, sed cogites."

  21. #19
    '72 Opel GT (Sara) My location newman27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tekenaar View Post
    ...if so, you most likely fried your e-trigger module right there due to excessive current flow in the ignition coil and, hence, the e-trigger! :banghead: . . . your coil was probably really hot, too, after that run, right?...
    Would damaging the Hot Spark in this way enable it to continue to function properly but fail after exposure to heat or would it fail completely? I recall reading in another thread once that you should also not turn the ignition key to power on electrical equipment without actually starting the car (to say simulate an "accessory" key position) as that could also damage the electronic ignition. Do you think there is any validity in that warning? I know I was guilty of this while testing out my XM radio prior to reading that post. Maybe I damaged the Hot Spark myself.

    Thanks,

    Matt
    '72 Opel GT (Fireglow Orange) "Sara"

    Major Mods: Weber Carb, High Compression Pistons, Electronic Ignition, Custom CAI, Sprint Manifold,
    Enhanced Suspension (Anti-Sway Bars / Koni Reds / Sport Springs), "Big" Brake Package with 22mm Booster / MC, 15x8" Wheels and Toyo RA-1 Tires, XM Radio

    Restoration Thread
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    Other Cars:
    '09 Pontiac G8 GT (Panther Black) "Jet"
    '06 Pontiac Solstice (Envious Green) "Mina"
    '99 Oldsmobile Intrigue GLS (Black Onyx) "Raven"

  22. #20
    former opel racer My location jeff denton's Avatar
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    Well I know for a fact that if I accidentally leave the ignition switched ON with the engine not running, that within about fifteen minutes the MSD Blaster coil will explode and spray an icky brown stinky oil all over the place.
    A year later with a different engine, new Blaster coil and using the same distributor and ignition module all was fine. Won a race, even!

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