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Do we really need a modern ignition?

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Charlie Cheap
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Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #1 by Charlie Cheap » Wed May 08, 2019 10:09 am

I have spent the last 2 years doing research on the subject of modern electronic ignitions, specifically for older Ford 6-cylinder and 4-cylinder motors. My findings go against what is the accepted norm, but I have proof to back up my thinking. First, higher voltage is good but it must ignite the fuel/air mixture. Electronic triggered systems do have higher voltage but the spark is much shorter than our points system. As a reference, MSD (Multiple Spark Discharge) was invented to try to duplicate the longer spark of points. Think about a fuel/air mixture swirling around the chamber but not being ignited by the hotter-shorter spark. By making several sparks with MSD there is a better chance to ignite the mixture...much like the points longer spark. Below about 5,000 RPM points make as much HP as modern ignitions according to Hot Rod magazine. Above that RPM electronics are the better choice. Six and 4-cylinder ignitions have more time to build spark in a coil due to fewer lobes on the dizzy cam. The test I saw was a SBC V8 testing points vs electronics. The reason for using electronics is NOT for better ignition but less maintenance and the ability to trigger the spark with a computer. Because cars are now Fuel Injected and computer-timed electronic ignitions are used, but because they can be computer-controlled...not because they are better. Even if we can make a billion volts, the spark needed to arc across the plugs is all we need to fire the mixture. Above what is needed is excess that is not used. With a hotter coil, the best points, plugs, rotor, condenser, wires, and cap, we can increase spark with our basic points system. The Load-O-Matic can be helped with a Pertronix modification, but even better would be a later points dizzy using manifold vacuum and blocking the Dizzy spark control. Always use the best available parts (points, cond., rotor, cap, wires, and plugs) and keep the wires as short as possible. Upgrade to a hotter coil and use an ignition resistor with as low-resistance as possible to operate the ignition without heating the coil. During starting NO resistor is in the system, but once it starts the resistor drops voltage to the coil to keep it from burning the points/heating the coil. Higher input to the coil can mean higher output to the plugs. Just don't go crazy! I have an ACCEL #8140 coil with a MSD .8/1.0 ohm ignition resistor, BWD Select parts because they use the best available materials. Do NOT believe those who talk about constantly having to change/adjust points. Every 5,000 miles is usually fine...which is coast-to-coast driving. I understand many will disagree, but physics is on my side, and my little degree is in electronics.

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StarDiero75
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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #2 by StarDiero75 » Wed May 08, 2019 1:09 pm

Sounds logical to me. The real reason to go to electronic ignition is convenience. Thats it. I had points in my car for a short time (dizzy bearing was failing), but i never had issues with it.

Let me ask though, why is it with the HEI i use, can I have a larger gap in my plugs?
--1965 Ranchero w/1966 200, dual friction diaphram 9" Modern Driveline clutch and billet flywheel all balanced, 1985 SVO WC T5 with front shift, 1966 2.8 Ford 8", Weber 32/26 with VI adapter, CRT Performance HEI.
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wsa111
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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #3 by wsa111 » Wed May 08, 2019 1:24 pm

Modern electronics are far superior to points.
Higher voltage coils allow plug gaps in the .045"-.048" range that is the ideal gap.
MSD & the new Pertronix ignition boxes with the right coil produce several sparks each time. This prevents any misfires.
67 mustang,C-4, with mod. 80 hd, custom 500 cfm carb with annular boosters, hooker headers, dual exh.-X pipe, flowmaster mufflers, DSII dist. MSD-6al & MSD-Blaster 8252 Coil. Engine 205" .030" over with offset ground crank & 1.65 roller rockers. 9.5 comp., Isky 262 cam.
2003 Ford Lightning daily driver. Recurving Distributors. billythedistributorman@live.com
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woodbutcher
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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #4 by woodbutcher » Thu May 09, 2019 9:32 am

:hmmm: Also,you have to consider that a large amount of points and condensers are being made in China,and are for the largest part pure junk.Example.About two weeks ago a friend went to purchase new points for his Falcon and Camero.The first three sets that he looked at before leaving the NAPA store had NO contact on the arms :shock: .The next ones looked ok bought them and went home and installed them.The Falcon set lasted about 20 minutes.And the arm broke off.The Camero set lasted one day.It also had the arm break.He finally went to Knoxville to a friends store and purchased 6 sets each of points and condensers the were NOS items.
IF you can find NOS OEM parts good.If not forget points and condenser ignition.
Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
Leo
"People never lie so much as after a hunt,during a war,or before an election".
Otto von Bismarck

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chad
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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #5 by chad » Thu May 09, 2019 10:03 am

good luck here w/Elgin company, Leo...
"Big thing is only make one change at a time. Change 2 or more things at a time it becomes difficult to figure which change helped or hurt" turbo2256b » 1/16/2017
Chad - '70 LUEB on '77 frame (i.e. PS, D44, trapezoidal BB 9", 4.11), 250, NV 3550 & DSII to B transplanted, "T" D20/PTO, 2" SL, 1" BL, 4 discs, 33"X15", tool boxes, etc. Seeking: Hydraulic gear motor for Koenig pto. chrlsful@aol.com (413) 259-1749

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woodbutcher
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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #6 by woodbutcher » Fri May 10, 2019 9:25 am

:D Yep.Eichlin is still a good product.Although the older stuff is much better quality than the current production.I think Elgin is a watch and clock company :wink: .
Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
Leo
"People never lie so much as after a hunt,during a war,or before an election".

Otto von Bismarck

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chad
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Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #7 by chad » Fri May 10, 2019 9:52 am

There's all sorta "Elgin" I assume,
elgin machine wrks is the one I'm interested in

http://www.elginind.com

Unfortunately when a prts man my big box store had only duralast.

For OP: better is better. Match components as much as possible.
( for me? I'm kinda wishin I hada efi as its less maintenance, durable, improved performance ).

Sequential MPFi to the bosses on the VI alu intake seem just abt right...
I like the 6 Keihins but don't relish the linkages, throttle set-up, etc.
Each one has a set of probs to over come...
"Big thing is only make one change at a time. Change 2 or more things at a time it becomes difficult to figure which change helped or hurt" turbo2256b » 1/16/2017
Chad - '70 LUEB on '77 frame (i.e. PS, D44, trapezoidal BB 9", 4.11), 250, NV 3550 & DSII to B transplanted, "T" D20/PTO, 2" SL, 1" BL, 4 discs, 33"X15", tool boxes, etc. Seeking: Hydraulic gear motor for Koenig pto. chrlsful@aol.com (413) 259-1749

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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #8 by rbohm » Fri May 10, 2019 11:34 am

charlie, no we do not need modern electronic ignition systems, however they do have several advantages over the weak sauce points controlled systems, those being;

1: stronger spark output
2: more consistent spark output
3: more consistent dwell
4: more consistent spark timing, IE much less spark scatter
5: no point bounce
6: with the stronger spark the ability to use large plug gaps
7: with the stronger spark the ability to run leaner fuel mixtures
8: deposits on plugs burns off easier
9: the ability to set up a waste spark system to improve emissions and fuel economy
10: the ability to use a coil on plug system if you so desire
11: the ability for the computer to tune the spark output for the needs of each individual cylinder, including adjusting the timing for each cylinder individually.

modern ignitions are far more versatile than point controlled ignitions.
64 falcon
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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #9 by JackFish » Sat May 11, 2019 9:28 pm

Very happy here with a DS2 and a MSD Blaster2 coil.
Quite reliable. 45,000 volts.

What might be interesting is a coil per plug scenario like on the LS engines.
1978 Ford Fairmont station wagon
1978 Ford Fairmont station wagon
Yup, I bought another one.
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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #10 by xctasy » Sat May 11, 2019 11:25 pm

Never liked multiple coil ignition, but love reduced spark saturation, waste spark, multiple spark burst.

I like Vertex Magnetos and aircraft ignition systems, and Argentinas wild belt driven magnetos with triggers.

I like the Duraspark III crank triggered system, the whole thing was the birth of TFi; I enjoy the versitility of EDIS 6.

Progress is for me not going backwards on service. The amount of cars driving around with lights that don't work, and the amount of waste spsrk cars dead at intersections show civilization its servicability has failed.

Last drag meet I went to had a stone age 327 Chev powered Vauxhall Viva based Holden dropping 11 second standing quarters while turboed Nissans with RB25DET's were missfiring there ways to 13.9s, slower than factory GTRs.
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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #11 by rbohm » Sun May 12, 2019 10:08 am

X makes some good points. technology for technologies sake is not necessarily the way to go. i prefer using factory systems as much as possible.
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chad
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Do we really need a modern ignition

Post #12 by chad » Sun May 19, 2019 9:08 am

some detail? - I like this one frm my bronk buddies referral:

https://www.fordmuscle.com/archives/200 ... /index.php
"Big thing is only make one change at a time. Change 2 or more things at a time it becomes difficult to figure which change helped or hurt" turbo2256b » 1/16/2017
Chad - '70 LUEB on '77 frame (i.e. PS, D44, trapezoidal BB 9", 4.11), 250, NV 3550 & DSII to B transplanted, "T" D20/PTO, 2" SL, 1" BL, 4 discs, 33"X15", tool boxes, etc. Seeking: Hydraulic gear motor for Koenig pto. chrlsful@aol.com (413) 259-1749

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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #13 by bmbm40 » Mon May 20, 2019 8:40 pm

That is a good article.
66 Bronco-1970 250, NV3550, DSII, 4 turn ps, uncut, 1" bl, 2.5" sl, front disc, twin stick D 20, 30 x 9.50
NEXT- direct mount 1.08 on D8 head, power brakes, rear limited slip, 3G, electric fan, electric upgrades, custom curved DSII, header, 31" tires

New guy? Get the Falcon Performance Handbook and Ford six high performance parts from https://vintageinlines.com

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chad
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Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #14 by chad » Mon May 20, 2019 10:24 pm

Last edited by chad on Fri May 24, 2019 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Big thing is only make one change at a time. Change 2 or more things at a time it becomes difficult to figure which change helped or hurt" turbo2256b » 1/16/2017
Chad - '70 LUEB on '77 frame (i.e. PS, D44, trapezoidal BB 9", 4.11), 250, NV 3550 & DSII to B transplanted, "T" D20/PTO, 2" SL, 1" BL, 4 discs, 33"X15", tool boxes, etc. Seeking: Hydraulic gear motor for Koenig pto. chrlsful@aol.com (413) 259-1749

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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #15 by JackFish » Fri May 24, 2019 2:28 pm

link seems to be broken
1978 Ford Fairmont station wagon
1978 Ford Fairmont station wagon
Yup, I bought another one.
1996 Chevy Caprice 9C1 (3)
1999 Dodge Ram 2500

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chad
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brother site w/good detail on mechanical (& initial) advance

Post #16 by chad » Fri May 24, 2019 4:15 pm

JackFish wrote:link seems to be broken

I got that frm the CB site. Some1 on "4eyed" linked to a detailed on-line muscle ford specific 'magazine'.
I can not get it to open either. It did wrk the day I cut'n past the link. Will post on there for assistance. Unfortunately it's such
a long add.s I can't C the actual listing (damn automatic s4!+ on these modern puters)...much wuz the same as the other link posted earlier but w/additions, shucks...
"Big thing is only make one change at a time. Change 2 or more things at a time it becomes difficult to figure which change helped or hurt" turbo2256b » 1/16/2017
Chad - '70 LUEB on '77 frame (i.e. PS, D44, trapezoidal BB 9", 4.11), 250, NV 3550 & DSII to B transplanted, "T" D20/PTO, 2" SL, 1" BL, 4 discs, 33"X15", tool boxes, etc. Seeking: Hydraulic gear motor for Koenig pto. chrlsful@aol.com (413) 259-1749

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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #17 by pmuller9 » Thu May 30, 2019 9:37 am

Looking at the spark waveform shows a high voltage spike that initially jumps the plug gap.
Once the air between the gap is ionized by the initial spark the gap resistance goes very low which drops the voltage to a low value and raises the current significantly.
It is the current that ignites the fuel and starts the flame front not the voltage and the more current the wider the spark and the more fuel molecules get targeted.
This is important to those that want to run a lean mixture at cruise to maximize fuel economy.

As the engine load and cylinder pressure increases the resistance between the plug gap increases which requires a higher voltage to initially jump the gap.
The ignition system needs to supply enough voltage to jump the gap at the engines highest cylinder pressure.
This also includes the gap between the distributor rotor and the cap which can be as high as 5Kv.
If the rotor phasing is off the voltage needed will be much higher.

In the case of the MSD, a capacitive discharge to the coil may be shorter than an inductive discharge but the current at the plug gap is much higher by several times in comparison to the standard street inductive system.

In all the cases so far the 300 six shows improvement in both low end power and fuel economy using the MSD ignition.

Do you need an electronic ignition on a street performance Ford six?
Surely it is not an absolute necessity. It depends on the person's goals.

If there is a nuclear EMP the vehicles with points will be running around the dead electronic ignition vehicles.

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chad
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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #18 by chad » Thu May 30, 2019 10:13 am

:!:
So, "No" Mr. CC...
4 me? I'm not sure...its a race
between the end of the world and end of me (I'm 67 y/o) !!!
"Big thing is only make one change at a time. Change 2 or more things at a time it becomes difficult to figure which change helped or hurt" turbo2256b » 1/16/2017
Chad - '70 LUEB on '77 frame (i.e. PS, D44, trapezoidal BB 9", 4.11), 250, NV 3550 & DSII to B transplanted, "T" D20/PTO, 2" SL, 1" BL, 4 discs, 33"X15", tool boxes, etc. Seeking: Hydraulic gear motor for Koenig pto. chrlsful@aol.com (413) 259-1749

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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #19 by wsa111 » Thu May 30, 2019 5:40 pm

I like the MSD box & their high end cost coils. If you can keep heat away from any coil its an improvement. The Ford TCI coil also has low primary resistance which is a plus.
Distributor advance curve is the key to improved idle, power, drive ability & economy.
67 mustang,C-4, with mod. 80 hd, custom 500 cfm carb with annular boosters, hooker headers, dual exh.-X pipe, flowmaster mufflers, DSII dist. MSD-6al & MSD-Blaster 8252 Coil. Engine 205" .030" over with offset ground crank & 1.65 roller rockers. 9.5 comp., Isky 262 cam.
2003 Ford Lightning daily driver. Recurving Distributors. billythedistributorman@live.com
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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #20 by pmuller9 » Thu May 30, 2019 9:44 pm

wsa111 wrote:Distributor advance curve is the key to improved idle, power, drive ability & economy.

Absolutely.
This includes actual ignition timing.
There are a lot of engine builds presently going on and how many take the time to verify that the timing mark TDC is really piston TDC before installing the head.
The same with checking cam timing during installation.

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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #21 by Econoline » Thu May 30, 2019 11:33 pm

yes

Do we need modern technology? No, but nature being as it is and our desire for perfection, what we want requires it. It's like asking if we need telephones b/c you could just run down the road or yell to the neighbors. Or who needs them anyway? But two wrongs will never make right. I'm a seeker in a world of liars and this question smacks of bullshit. 2 years into looking at points from an engineering angle and you don't see the benefits of the digital age?
Last edited by Econoline on Thu May 30, 2019 11:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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chad
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need 4 a modern ignition

Post #22 by chad » Thu May 30, 2019 11:46 pm

well said mah bruddah - performance (MPGs'n pep).
Is that not the restomod mantra?
EDIT:
Somehow my browser pointed me back here...

I don't like the look of the MSD box. Reminds me - we use our own senses on that balance (resto v mod)
to produce our end product. Take what U want Charlie, leave the rest. Difference makes my world go round.
A bigger distributor cap (than my '69 would have had) looks OK 2 me (DSII) but not a DUI or HEI top & so on...
"Big thing is only make one change at a time. Change 2 or more things at a time it becomes difficult to figure which change helped or hurt" turbo2256b » 1/16/2017
Chad - '70 LUEB on '77 frame (i.e. PS, D44, trapezoidal BB 9", 4.11), 250, NV 3550 & DSII to B transplanted, "T" D20/PTO, 2" SL, 1" BL, 4 discs, 33"X15", tool boxes, etc. Seeking: Hydraulic gear motor for Koenig pto. chrlsful@aol.com (413) 259-1749

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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #23 by wsa111 » Fri May 31, 2019 8:04 pm

You want the best for your six go electronic.
Allows wider plug gap & multiple sparks to eliminate misfires.
67 mustang,C-4, with mod. 80 hd, custom 500 cfm carb with annular boosters, hooker headers, dual exh.-X pipe, flowmaster mufflers, DSII dist. MSD-6al & MSD-Blaster 8252 Coil. Engine 205" .030" over with offset ground crank & 1.65 roller rockers. 9.5 comp., Isky 262 cam.
2003 Ford Lightning daily driver. Recurving Distributors. billythedistributorman@live.com
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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #24 by pmuller9 » Fri May 31, 2019 9:10 pm

Charlie Cheap wrote: I run a Pertronix but keep the points-cond. in the glove box just in case.

Why?
What happen to " Do NOT believe those who talk about constantly having to change/adjust points. Every 5,000 miles is usually fine...which is coast-to-coast driving. I understand many will disagree, but physics is on my side, and my little degree is in electronics."
Last edited by pmuller9 on Fri May 31, 2019 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #25 by wsa111 » Fri May 31, 2019 9:37 pm

You can run what you want. I run the best of the best.
Performance, drivability & economy.
Apparently a lot of you need to get your wallet out & step up to the elite.
67 mustang,C-4, with mod. 80 hd, custom 500 cfm carb with annular boosters, hooker headers, dual exh.-X pipe, flowmaster mufflers, DSII dist. MSD-6al & MSD-Blaster 8252 Coil. Engine 205" .030" over with offset ground crank & 1.65 roller rockers. 9.5 comp., Isky 262 cam.
2003 Ford Lightning daily driver. Recurving Distributors. billythedistributorman@live.com
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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #26 by 65coupei6 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:29 pm

Doesn't everyone with a vintage car keep points in the glove box in case a nuclear bomb or EMP goes off. :thumbup:
...Marco

'65 Mustang Inline 200. VI (CI) Aluminum Head, Holley 350, Schneider 264/274 cam,
Headers, DSII, MSD 6A, and a whole lotta other stuff!

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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #27 by wsa111 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:22 pm

65coupei6 wrote:Doesn't everyone with a vintage car keep points in the glove box in case a nuclear bomb or EMP goes off. :thumbup:

No, cause points & condenser will not go in a DS11.
However i do carry a spare pick-up plate.
67 mustang,C-4, with mod. 80 hd, custom 500 cfm carb with annular boosters, hooker headers, dual exh.-X pipe, flowmaster mufflers, DSII dist. MSD-6al & MSD-Blaster 8252 Coil. Engine 205" .030" over with offset ground crank & 1.65 roller rockers. 9.5 comp., Isky 262 cam.
2003 Ford Lightning daily driver. Recurving Distributors. billythedistributorman@live.com
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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #28 by Econoline » Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:12 pm

But all you need is a matchbook and screwdriver, it must be the best that man can get.
It ain't gonna fix itself

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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #29 by lavron » Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:31 pm

I just want to ask a related question here, I don't mean to hijack the thread. With my 250 build project I am/was intending to install some kind of electronic ignition but I was going through the paperwork on my 170 build and I have a Mallory dual point, mechanical advance distributor in it and it is listed for '64-'78 (I think) My car is a mid year '64 car so that makes sense.

Should I pull the Mallory and stick it in my 250? Or would electronic be a better option?

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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #30 by chad » Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:40 pm

lotta talk abt remmin out the dizzy hole 4 a DSII dizzy or
lathe dwn the bottom of it (the dizzy) either to use in a pre '66 block.
Upgrade to the HEI 4 pin or DSII box...
So no, only 1/2 a jacked thread.
"Big thing is only make one change at a time. Change 2 or more things at a time it becomes difficult to figure which change helped or hurt" turbo2256b » 1/16/2017
Chad - '70 LUEB on '77 frame (i.e. PS, D44, trapezoidal BB 9", 4.11), 250, NV 3550 & DSII to B transplanted, "T" D20/PTO, 2" SL, 1" BL, 4 discs, 33"X15", tool boxes, etc. Seeking: Hydraulic gear motor for Koenig pto. chrlsful@aol.com (413) 259-1749

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Econoline
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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #31 by Econoline » Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:39 am

I wouldn't run it. Setting up 2 sets of points has got to be a pita for 1. I don't think you are going to spin your 250 fast enough to need any rpm range that electronic can't cover if that's the supposed advantage. And finally it looks like there's no vac advance on that distributor. You're going to want vacuum advance on a street car.
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bubba22349
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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #32 by bubba22349 » Sun Jun 02, 2019 2:29 pm

lavron wrote:I just want to ask a related question here, I don't mean to hijack the thread. With my 250 build project I am/was intending to install some kind of electronic ignition but I was going through the paperwork on my 170 build and I have a Mallory dual point, mechanical advance distributor in it and it is listed for '64-'78 (I think) My car is a mid year '64 car so that makes sense.

Should I pull the Mallory and stick it in my 250? Or would electronic be a better option?

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The distrbitor may fit the 250 block if the 170 is a late production 1964 or an early 1965 engine block check the block date code. The 250 as well as all other small six's from 1965 up have a 5/16 oil pump drive, were the 1960 to 1964 engines had 1/4 inch oil pump drives. To find out more info look into my sticky on Distribitor options for the early six'es.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=79622

Good luck :thumbup: :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #33 by lavron » Sun Jun 02, 2019 4:30 pm

Econoline wrote:I wouldn't run it. Setting up 2 sets of points has got to be a pita for 1. I don't think you are going to spin your 250 fast enough to need any rpm range that electronic can't cover if that's the supposed advantage. And finally it looks like there's no vac advance on that distributor. You're going to want vacuum advance on a street car.


I set it up the first time with no issue, that was a long time ago however :roll: It is a purely mechanical advance distributor, Clifford spec out most of the work I did on the engine 30 years ago and bought what they recommended including the Mallory. The 170 has always run fine with multiple Autolite carbs and 2 sets of points.

Correct me if I am wrong (likely) but isn't the purpose of the dual point longer dwell, so hotter spark?

bubba22349 wrote:The 250 as well as all other small six's from 1965 up have a 5/16 oil pump drive, were the 1960 to 1964 engines had 1/4 inch oil pump drives.


It has a 5/16" pump rod almost positive but will check my date code on the motor or pull the distributor out and confirm.
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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #34 by bubba22349 » Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:01 pm

Yes duel points were the state of the art for a battery powered ignistion system in the 1960's up through the early to mid 1970's. And yes the duel point allowed more dwell time and togeather with a better coil a hotter spark. :cool: looks like the old 170 engine also has the 3.03 trans and bigger flywheel 9 inch clutch combo too nice. :thumbup: :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #35 by chad » Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:09 pm

luv the VC fasteners, fuel pump, draft tube, Offie intake (is it?) and all the red !
If that's a 4 Speed I'm jealous ! (I guess they're only 'top loaded'?).
"Big thing is only make one change at a time. Change 2 or more things at a time it becomes difficult to figure which change helped or hurt" turbo2256b » 1/16/2017
Chad - '70 LUEB on '77 frame (i.e. PS, D44, trapezoidal BB 9", 4.11), 250, NV 3550 & DSII to B transplanted, "T" D20/PTO, 2" SL, 1" BL, 4 discs, 33"X15", tool boxes, etc. Seeking: Hydraulic gear motor for Koenig pto. chrlsful@aol.com (413) 259-1749

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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #36 by Econoline » Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:20 pm

As I understand it, I could be wrong, dwell times are adequate under 4k with single points. Dual points can run much higher rpms and have a much more stable dwell. Dual points definitely have the advantage of less point wear and if a set goes bad you can run a single in there I think. The lack of a vacuum advance system is a big problem with that unit for the street imo. It's going to cost you mileage and may complicate tuning for mid throttle performance or pep. I'd sell it and use the money for something else, like an msd 6al or street fire box.
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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #37 by lavron » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:29 am

bubba22349 wrote:looks like the old 170 engine also has the 3.03 trans and bigger flywheel 9 inch clutch combo too nice. :thumbup: :nod:


Yes I think it is a pretty nice motor really does not have that many miles on the rebuild (even though I did the rebuild 30 years ago so it will need some freshening up) but got bit by the 250 bug, and will probably find it's way into a different project one day, not sure what yet but have my eye on a 1960 Comet I would like to have.

chad wrote:If that's a 4 Speed I'm jealous ! (I guess they're only 'top loaded'?).


No it is a 3.03 top loader 3 speed out of an Econoline van with the tail shaft swapped in from a car.

chad wrote: Offie intake (is it?)


Yes and I still have the carbs and header to go back on it. 8)

Econoline wrote:The lack of a vacuum advance system is a big problem with that unit for the street imo. It's going to cost you mileage and may complicate tuning for mid throttle performance or pep. I'd sell it and use the money for something else, like an msd 6al or street fire box.


I will leave it in the 170 for now and go ahead and plan on electronic of some sort, it might not work anyway I checked the casting number on the block today and it is a C4DE 6015-A which according to the handbook is a 1/4" drive distributor if I read it right.

See Ya,
Mike
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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #38 by Charlie Cheap » Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:24 am

To the modern ignition guys...YES they are better...in computer-controlled engines where timing, emissions, transmission shifting are computer-controlled. However, in our street driven SIX we have only 6 lobes on the dizzy cam, so more time to charge the coil primary. Don't forget, if 15,000 volts ignites the mixture, 50 bazillion volts is not needed. Checking with engineers, the main reason for electronics is LESS maintenance and better control of emissions. The better control of timing is mostly due to HIGH RPM where electronics works better...but up to about 5,500 RPM points work fine. Today's points are much better than 1960's and car-people usually check points just to keep things working well. Points go about 6,000 miles between adjusting or changing, and that is twice across the United States. With a good condenser, points, hotter coil, slightly lower resistance ignition resistor, solid copper wires (not recommended for computers) that have virtually zero resistance, platinum plugs, and all in good tune, I see no advantage in adding complication to our SIX. I now have a Pertronix in place of points but keep points, condenser in the glove box...just in case. My set-up is hotter than stock, has no computer box, runs great, and starts just as quickly as any computer system. With 2.83 gears and 26.3" tall tires 5,000 RPM puts me well over 100 MPH. Even with my modified suspension/brakes/tires, 100 MPH is probably not in my near future...even on long trips.

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Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #39 by chad » Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:32 am

what kinda gap is achievable on the plugs?
(zero maintenence & clean burn R my nxt concerns)
"Big thing is only make one change at a time. Change 2 or more things at a time it becomes difficult to figure which change helped or hurt" turbo2256b » 1/16/2017
Chad - '70 LUEB on '77 frame (i.e. PS, D44, trapezoidal BB 9", 4.11), 250, NV 3550 & DSII to B transplanted, "T" D20/PTO, 2" SL, 1" BL, 4 discs, 33"X15", tool boxes, etc. Seeking: Hydraulic gear motor for Koenig pto. chrlsful@aol.com (413) 259-1749

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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #40 by pmuller9 » Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:56 am

Charlie Cheap wrote:Don't forget, if 15,000 volts ignites the mixture, 50 bazillion volts is not needed.

This is a not the total picture and leads to misconceptions.

Looking at the spark waveform on a scope shows a high voltage spike that initially jumps the plug gap.
Once the air between the gap is ionized by the initial spark, the gap resistance goes very low which drops the voltage to a low value and raises the current significantly.
It is the current that ignites the fuel and starts the flame front Not the Voltage
The more current the wider the spark and the more fuel molecules get targeted.
This is especially important to those that want to run a lean mixture at cruise to maximize fuel economy.

As the engine load and cylinder pressure increases the resistance between the plug gap increases which requires a higher voltage to initially jump the gap.
The ignition system needs to supply enough voltage to jump the gap at the engines highest cylinder pressure.
This also includes the gap between the distributor rotor and the cap which can be as high as 5Kv.
If the rotor phasing is off the voltage needed will be much higher.

In the case of the MSD, a capacitive discharge to the coil may be shorter than an inductive discharge but the current at the plug gap is much higher by several times in comparison to the standard street inductive system.

Another consideration is that the coil discharge time or spark duration decreases as output voltage increases so going to a system without a distributor cap and rotor eliminates the rotor gap which decreases total output voltage from the coil and increases spark duration and spark current.
This is a short pitch for coil near or coil on distributorless ignition systems.

In all the cases so far the 300 six shows improvement in both low end power and fuel economy using the MSD ignition.
Again we are talking about improvements below 2500 rpm.

The use of solid copper wires can cause a crossover spark to another cylinder if the wires are parallel and close to each other.
Been there with resulting piston and valve damage.
Better to use a low resistance spiral wound wire.

If a person wants their Ford six to have better torque throughout the power band with better fuel mileage and less carbon deposits then Yes, a modern ignition system that provides much higher spark current is needed.

The fact that the points are in the glove box kinda negates part of the argument.

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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #41 by Charlie Cheap » Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:44 pm

pmuller9, my statement about points is NOT that it is the best overall, but on the street we do not need a 100K volts to light the mixture. No doubt the electronics are better in modern computer-controlled engines, but the spark from points is inherently longer...up to about 4K rpm. MSD stands for Multiple Spark Discharge to duplicate the longer points spark. Even in their own testing for HP and Torque the difference is negligible. Points vs HEI at street RPM's = points Torque @ 3500 - 241 HP / HEI - 238 HP, 4000 - 370.9 / HEI - 370.5, 4500 - 384.9 / HEI - 379.0. With the Mustang 3.0 to 2.79 rear gears 4500 RPM equals way over 110 MPH. Even hot rodders seldom venture there on the street. I use Torque because it translates more directly to ECONOMY. Please, I HAVE STATED MANY TIMES, IF YOU HAVE A COMPUTER CONTROLLED ENGINE DO NOT GO BACK TO POINTS. I like them because there is no computer needed on my old 6-cylinder driver, and installing a computer ignition did me ZERO good...though I did not test it above 75 MPH.

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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #42 by Charlie Cheap » Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:24 pm

In my previous post the first MSD number listed was HP (points vs HEI), but the other two were Torque (points vs factory HEI). The numbers are MSD numbers taken off the Hot Rod network on line. Remember, I am not making a case to move backward from a computer-controlled system to points, but showing points are fine for street driving my modified 6-cylinder.

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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #43 by pmuller9 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:56 pm

That's fine Charlie.
My last post was not intended as a counter point concerning electronic versus points ignition.
I was simply explaining the separate rolls that spark voltage and spark current play during ignition in an effort to dispel some misconceptions.
It was good of you to share your thoughts on the subject knowing you would get some controversy.
Last edited by pmuller9 on Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #44 by wsa111 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:18 pm

Charlie, unless you have new points & tight bushings in the distributor, after a couple of days all that will end.
This is not the stone age.
Modern electronics kick ass.
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Re: Do we really need a modern ignition?

Post #45 by Charlie Cheap » Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:19 pm

Billy, many tests have been done in real world situations, and with a points dizzy in proper tune, electronics does nothing for street driving at street RPM. That is not my old school thinking but actual testing. Distributors do NOT go bad after a few miles if they are good ones, and points go thousands of miles between adjusting. Most drivers are not...and before electronics...were not mechanics, but they drove their cars to work daily with little trouble. Maintenance is the real reason for electronics, plus the ability to work with a computer that controls timing, injection, and shifting. Re-curving a modified dizzy is a great idea to get the most out of an old points system. I love electronics and went to the same electronics school as Rush Limbaugh. I went to learn how to fix stuff and he went to be a DJ. Last I heard he is worth about $400,000,000.00 and me...I have a few thou $$ in the bank. We can hash this points/electronics thing to death and get no where. I like my wife's electronics fired Ford Edge with a turbo, and it gets 175 HP from 96 cubic inches. A points dizzy would not work in her car, and I DO NOT recommend anyone with a DSII or any other electronics ignition to go back to points. My only point...pun intended...is that points work fine...up to a POINT!

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