Electronic Distributor
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Thread: Electronic Distributor

  1. #1
    3000 Post Club blancojp (R.I.P.)'s Avatar
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    Electronic Distributor

    After several weeks trying to get a distributor, I opted to purchase a couple from Ebay and Rockauto. Both distributors were disassembled, media blasted and internal components cleaned.

    To start off, lets take a look at what is inside a Pertronix module. This is the module everyone is using to convert their system to electronic ignition. Pictures are of the module without the external epoxy coating.

    The module consists of 5 parts:
    1) A A3144 Hall effect switch for high temperature, automotive operations.
    2) A BU941 High voltage ignition coil driver NPN Power Darlington.
    3) One (1) diode and two (2) resistors.
    4) Pre-formed aluminum mounting bracket.

    There is also a plastic sleeve, that serves as a rotor, which carries four (4) 3.5x3.5x2.0 square magnets. This is the total complement of parts which comprise the Pertronix igniter.

    The Bosch 009 type distributor is our target, the Opel distributor we have are both 012, which include vacuum advance/retard. We will only be using the mechanical advance for two versions and no advance for the third version.

    We have three different versions of the distributor electronics:
    1) The SS-2 - This configuration is set for wasted spark using our igniter, dual modular and COP type coils. It can fire 12Vdc coils directly as well as logic level coils.
    2) The SS-4 - This configuration fires 4 individual coils using our igniter and individual COP type coils. It can fire 12Vdc coils directly as well as logic level coils.
    3) The SD-1 - This is the fully PC programmable version of the SS-4, fires 4 individual coils using our igniter and individual COP type coils. It can fire 12Vdc coils directly as well as logic level coils.

    The SD-1 can be programmed using Tuner Studio or our proprietary SDI software. Our igniter module is made in China for us and has 4 individual BU941 circuits. It is similar to the Bosch 211 module but we added additional internal protection to firewall other electronics from damage.

    Prototypes tested were stable up to 8100 Rpms maintaining good spark. So in the next week or so, we will build all four distributor systems, install them and see how they work.

    All data will be posted here and videos will be available on the YouTube site under user EDC_ATL.
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    7,000 Post Club My location wrench459's Avatar
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    My random thoughts
    yeah the dizzy is a pretty good place for the TDC signal for each firing event.
    I would have thought that a crank trigger might be a bitter choice with a fully adjustable system.
    guyopel likes this.

    Si vis pacem, para bellum "If you want peace, prepare for war"

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrench459 View Post
    My random thoughts
    yeah the dizzy is a pretty good place for the TDC signal for each firing event.
    I would have thought that a crank trigger might be a bitter choice with a fully adjustable system.
    You are quite correct but this is more like an entry level type system with added toys for the mind.

    The SS series is comparable to the Compufire with the exception that, it is engineered specially for an Opel engine, therefore plug and play.

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    I have been a bit busy with medical stuff, but I should be back in action in the next few days.

    All of the parts we were expecting are in, boards are being assembled, a lot of activity going on so our project is going steadily forward. We will start building all 4 versions of the distributor next week.
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    Time to start

    We will start building the SS4-2 distributor by just cleaning and assembling one of the units we received. This will be #1 of 3 units that we will assemble and test on a 1.9L engine.

    1) SS4-2 is a dual channel / wasted spark electronic unit.
    2) SS4-3 is a four channel COP type electronic unit.
    3) SS4-4 is a four channel / fully programmable advance electronic unit.

    This particular distributor had the shaft locked, so we had to dip it in liquid wrench for a few days, cleaned it and now it is ready to go. Rally Bob has posted several papers on distributor rebuilding and performance augmentation, therefore we are just going to follow his guidelines and add a bit more.

    SS4-2 Assembly

    1) The floating shaft is normally held in place on the main shaft by an o-ring. This is no problem when you have a stock rotor pushing down, but we don't have a rotor to work with. We also have noticed that it will start to separate at high Rpms therefore, we cut the small tip off the main shaft, drilled and tapped the shaft and secured the floating shaft with a screw.

    2) We also modified the top of the floating shaft by cutting down the area where the stock rotor sits. We don't need it so it's gone.

    3) We cleaned and re-assembled the rest of the advance mechanical's with a matched set of MSD springs. Now the mechanical advance comes fully in at 2600 Rpms. I have three other sets of springs I want to try so a back up is available if we need to change the advance curve.

    4) We will not be installing the top plate with the vacuum advance plate. Instead, we will be installing a replacement custom stainless steel plate; that will serve as a heat sink for the Mosfets and house the new electronics board. It is a drop in replacement therefore no additional holes on the distributor are required.

    Here are a few pictures of the unit and electronics. More to follow in the next few days, I am waiting on gaskets to come in.

    Just as a fun fact, all three of our distributors will drive coils using an IRF640 power mosfet. The continuous rating on this unit is 18A, with a pulsed rating of 72A at 300us.

    Just perfect for racing applications!
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    The Scifi Guy and nickincrete like this.

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    Brief Update

    With my time starting to become less and less, due to the fuel injection project, I started checking the boards and components but found a snag. It seems the PC board manufacturer did not follow the drill plate as closely as he should.

    End result, I will be receiving replacement boards on Friday and will continue this build on the weekend.

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    Progress continues...

    The new PCBs got in late today and we shall start to assemble the test unit in the morning. We have alot going on with both projects so there might be a lapse in posting. We also decided to use the same type coil for both systems, except for the COP unit. Eventually we will get rid of the distributor portion and control everything from a newly design ignition controller.

    We were asked by one of our customers to build a racing distributor unit. This unit will have new 30A drivers with individual heat sinks. The individual magnets on the trigger sleeve were increased in size and strength and the clamping circuit was also increased from 400V to 600V. The unit is a little taller than the standard but you can still put the distributor cap back on with plenty of spare space. We will have a new aluminum cap made but it will be the last thing done prior to releasing the parts for sale.

    More to follow..

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    Progress continues...

    Distributor #1 is complete now and we are starting our initial test prior to installing the unit on the Opel engine. We had a couple of problems, mainly due to lower clearance with the mechanical advance, but we were able to sort them out and move forward.

    The bottom distributor mounting plate, were the electronics are mounted, was increase in thickness to 3mm. This allowed us to remove the lower individual heat sinks and use the plate as the heat sink. This step resolved the clearance problem and provided better heat dissipation for the drivers mounted below.

    The racing distributor however has 4 individual heat sinks and that will remain as designed. This unit requires a bit more since the 30A drivers will dissipate more heat.

    The rest of our testing will be done on a small 24Vdc motor driven jig. We are adding a 12Vdc power supply for the distributor electronics, a PWM circuit to vary the motor speed and a tachometer. We should have this test jig done sometime today.
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    Progress continues

    I was out for a few days taking care of meetings and so on, so my progress has been limited.

    We got in several coils and there was one coil that fits the build perfectly. On most systems, dwell time is set to about 53 degrees and increases slightly when RPM increases. I believe Pertronix had advertized the dwell increases to 83 degrees when high RPMs are reached. Well, don't know about them but our dwell remains at 60 degrees from 500-6500 Rpms. We are adding a routine on the programmable unit, borrowed from the fuel injection controller, that will allow dwell time mapping. This feature was added to the SS4-4 unit and will be shown using TunerStudio. For this initial system, we will add a 1.5 Ohm/100W resistor in series with the coil which will bring the low impedance coil up to par.

    The coil I want to use is from a 2005 Dodge Neon, it mounts a little different than what has been experienced here with the DIS system, but the wire routing is perfect and the unit is not expensive.

    You can see it at:
    New Premium Ignition Coil UF189 C1136 for Various Vehicles uf 183 uf 189 uf 403 | eBay

    I should have a few pictures of the coil mounting and wire routing on the weekend.

    Next post will have the trigger system and coil running on our test jig after that, it is Opel time.

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    An additional fact I forgot to mention previously which are mainly for comparison.

    The picture shows the underside of a coil pack, which is the one used by the Compufire DIS-X system. It has two individual 1.5 ohm ballast resistors which in essence you are supplying 6Vdc to the individual coils. Ballast resistors are a necessity when you have either no control over dwell time (fixed dwell on distributor based systems), or you are using a low impedance coil which charges at a faster rate.
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    Progress continues

    We are currently testing the racing version of the distributor electronics on a 1.9L engine. Since I have been swamped with work on the Fuel injection project, progress on this unit is not moving as fast as we wanted. It seems that I'm the only C++ programmer employed at EDC, I know it is my own bloody fault and I should write a strong complaint letter to myself, but good people are sometimes hard to find.

    We made a few changes to allow the unit to work better at higher Rpms, we over sized the heatsinks on each of the MOSFETS and increased reverse bias protection. This modification allowed better cooling and now can dissipate the extra heat, allowing us to hit a whopping 68A maximum load switching at a rate of 4ms. The end result is, you can race all day long and the electronics will not even develop a sweat.

    Since this project is running parallel to the FI unit, we needed to sort out which ignition coil to use on both. I wanted something that looked like it was made for the 1.9L engine, that was a bigger task than I thought, but it got done after spending close to $300 on different coils. We have settled on wasted spark for both systems and the target coil is from a 2005 Dodge Neon. It mounts directly to the side cover between plugs #2 and#3 on the 1.9L with longer bolts. It is a little different than what has been experienced here with the DIS system, but no brackets to be made and the spark plug wire routing is perfect. We are also using the stock Neon wires which don't look that bad, but the section could be made to look a bit better.

    Here is a few pics of the unit mounted on a 1.9L engine. It looks good as it was made to be there.

    Any racers out there want to try one? I will modify one distributor for some one who will report all findings after a strong run down!
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    Warp speed....

    The racing version of the distributor just pass the 500 hour test. For about 20 days or so, the in-house test jig has made the distributor electronics fire a coil constantly at 3500 Rpms with a distributor cap installed. Two openings to the outside world existed, one from the vacuum advance and the other from the lower cover. Very little external air entering the inside of the distributor which is what we wanted.

    The last portion of the test, which is running now, is to alternate different Rpms from 500 up to 7500 and back down to 500, in 50 Rpm intervals updated every 30 seconds. The results so far, after a 37 hour run time, is a constant 107 degree temperature on the drivers at an average 4.3 amps. This test will continue to run until Friday and all data will be examined then.

    All our efforts to overheat the drivers so far have failed, a maximum temperature of 117 degrees was measured at 800 Rpms after a 90 minute run time. At 350 Rpms, no engine will ever see this, temperature measured was 122 degrees after a 90 minute run time.

    In conclusion, the SS4-2R is close to final testing and ready to be installed on a vehicle. We will continue by getting the spark plug cables as tidy as possible and the rest of the required wiring done.

    It is funny though, we are getting the distributor electronics done and tested, then we delete the distributor for the Fuel injection project.

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    Done testing

    All our efforts to destroy the SS4-2R have completely failed. I even had the unit running at 100 Rpms all morning and did not even develop a sweat.

    I believe this unit is good to go, next step is to install it on the engine and see how it performs.

    I will also do 2 distributors for selected members to test on their vehicle free of charge. So if you have a spare unit, you might want to consider contacting me on this!
    Last edited by blancojp (R.I.P.); 05-07-2015 at 03:50 PM.

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    Two victims have been selected

    We got two members to commit and send in their distributors for modification. Between all of the different forums, my company is going to provide 24 sample units free of charge to different consumers for evaluation. We will rebuild the units, install the 2R electronics and test prior to sending them back. The ignition coil, wiring pigtail, ballast resistor and plug wires (about $30.00) will be up to the participant to supply.

    We do not however have the magnet sleeves done yet, we had a sample run but they are all gone. If you have an extra Pertronix magnet sleeves that can be donated or shared with our two trials please let us know. Extras are always welcomed and we have no problems in purchasing them if the situation arose.

    My only request would be that your experience, with the Installation of the new distributor and peripherals be posted here so all documentation will be available to all. I will post a full install on this site in the next few days.
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    2000 Post Club GeorgeOpel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blancojp View Post
    We are currently testing the racing version of the distributor electronics on a 1.9L engine. Since I have been swamped with work on the Fuel injection project, progress on this unit is not moving as fast as we wanted. It seems that I'm the only C++ programmer employed at EDC, I know it is my own bloody fault and I should write a strong complaint letter to myself, but good people are sometimes hard to find.

    We made a few changes to allow the unit to work better at higher Rpms, we over sized the heatsinks on each of the MOSFETS and increased reverse bias protection. This modification allowed better cooling and now can dissipate the extra heat, allowing us to hit a whopping 68A maximum load switching at a rate of 4ms. The end result is, you can race all day long and the electronics will not even develop a sweat.

    Since this project is running parallel to the FI unit, we needed to sort out which ignition coil to use on both. I wanted something that looked like it was made for the 1.9L engine, that was a bigger task than I thought, but it got done after spending close to $300 on different coils. We have settled on wasted spark for both systems and the target coil is from a 2005 Dodge Neon. It mounts directly to the side cover between plugs #2 and#3 on the 1.9L with longer bolts. It is a little different than what has been experienced here with the DIS system, but no brackets to be made and the spark plug wire routing is perfect. We are also using the stock Neon wires which don't look that bad, but the section could be made to look a bit better.

    Here is a few pics of the unit mounted on a 1.9L engine. It looks good as it was made to be there.

    Any racers out there want to try one? I will modify one distributor for some one who will report all findings after a strong run down!
    This coil/wire setup looks awesome. Can you use it separately? ( without FI) Thanks.

  18. #16
    Can Opeler Knorm65's Avatar
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    I have an extra distributor I'd be willing to send in. I would make a full review on it.
    "Mira," 1970 Opel GT ARA AC, European 2.0L and Weber DGAS
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    3000 Post Club blancojp (R.I.P.)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeOpel View Post
    This coil/wire setup looks awesome. Can you use it separately? ( without FI) Thanks.
    You can use it with or without the FI system, it was mostly developed for the distributor unit but works well with FI also!

    Quote Originally Posted by Knorm65 View Post
    I have an extra distributor I'd be willing to send in. I would make a full review on it.
    I still have one opening available...

  20. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by blancojp View Post

    We do not however have the magnet sleeves done yet, we had a sample run but they are all gone. If you have an extra Pertronix magnet sleeves that can be donated or shared with our two trials please let us know. Extras are always welcomed and we have no problems in purchasing them if the situation arose.
    Are you coming to the Opel meeting tomorrow? I may have some Pertronix sleeves laying around. I can bring them to the lunch.
    Lifes too short to drive boring cars or drink boring beers. Just don't do them at the same time.

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    Can Opeler Knorm65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blancojp View Post



    I still have one opening available...
    PM sent.
    "Mira," 1970 Opel GT ARA AC, European 2.0L and Weber DGAS
    "Kara," 1972 Opel GT Targa "Fancy Rat Rod"

  22. #20
    2000 Post Club GeorgeOpel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blancojp View Post
    You can use it with or without the FI system, it was mostly developed for the distributor unit but works well with FI also!



    I still have one opening available...
    Do you sell the coil and wires shown separately? How much are they? Thanks.

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