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Buck Willis

Why Electronic Ignition?

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Mates,
My TR4 was my first love (lost virginity in her....) and I have her back again!  While I am prioritizing restoration needs, Why should I go to electronic ignition?  The generator is dying and I want to convert to Alternator ... I will appreciate your insight and advise!   (The power train and carbs are good.)
Thanks, Buck
DocWillis.org

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Stick with points, provided the distributor has been properly rebuilt they just do it, I always have all my distributors rebuilt as part of any resto work .

Stuart.

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Wow I never new you could get your virginity back. :ph34r: 

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I am very happy with the Pertronix Ignitor kit fitted in my 4 cyl TR.  The tickover and pickup were a lot smoother even with a worn distributor. I fitted it before Martin Jay overhauled my TR Lucas distributor.  He supplied and fitted a new Pertronix kit for me in the overhauled distributor, and all is going well after 6 years of use.   That said I still keep a spare distributor baseplate with points and condenser in the spares kit of the car....just in case.

Peter W

Pertronix

https://pertronix.com/electronic-ignition-conversions?year=1964&make=Triumph&model=All&cylinder=4#auto

PS  If you go this way do not forget to tell the seller which battery earth arrangement you have and the make and model of your distributor. - ie positive or negative earth. Lucas 25D4

 

PPS  Replacing the dynamo with an alternator is worthwhile if you are running out of battery amps when lamps, wiper, heater are working.  The issue you will hit is the wide fan belt.  A lot of us use the wide belt with an alternator by fitting the old dynamo pulley to the replacement alternator. If using a Lucas alternator the positioning and alignment are pretty much OK. The Wiring  conversion is a simple connection job that is covered on this forum somewhere.  On sidescreen cars, due to a narrower engine bay the physically tiny 45amp Nippon Denso alternator from the Kubota garden tractor is often fitted. You do need to machine the mounting pedestal to get the belt to line up. and of course the thing has a metric mounting hole, whereas the Lucas unit is imperial sized.

Nippon Unit looks like this  https://www.gzmotorsports.com/A101-alternator.html

Edited by BlueTR3A-5EKT

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You will get many opinions on here about that one.

Here's mine:    Standard distributor but fitted with Accuspark (or PowerSpark as far as I can see they are the same) Hall effect pickup.

fitted in 2013, done lots of miles, & no problem.

They are cheap, & so I carry a spare, as it would be so much easier to change over than points if I did break down (which I haven't)

 

Bob.

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Hi,

I've got misfire from time to time with powerspark, no backfire.

This mostly only once after hundreds of kilometers, somethimes for a second "every" day.

It goes from twinkles of an eye up to minutes no ignition in all 4 cylinders.

By a current post at the www.tr-freun.de I know why and switched back to braker contacts until I have time to have a closer look on the problem.

Ciao, Marco

despite this electronic ignition is what I want and works lovely when it works

Edited by Z320

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I don’t think electronic ignition will bring back virginity to you, Buck:)

If it did, I had one:)

If I had no plans to convert to EFI, I would install a 123 ignition, and keep my original points distributor in the boot.

Cheers,

Waldi

 

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I’m with Lebro - electronic ignition units are cheap and essentially fit and forget.

If the dizzy is worn they reduce timing scatter compared to points.

They can fail but if you have a cheapo unit you can have a spare that can be swapped quickly.

Points wear, need adjusting and require a condenser which are blighted by the large percentage that are garbage and fail in no time.

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+ 1 for "BLUE TRA-5EKT" comments regarding the Pertronix conversion, + together with a 3 ohm Flamethrower coil, (remove the ballast resistor), as well as open up the plugs to 35/40 thou with NGK BP6ES. Running now for 4 years, so much smoother, hardly any changes year to year.

Best Tip - get parts from Distributor Doctor (Martin Jay) fully fitted after he has fully checked out your Dizzy. You will never look back !

Regards, Colin.

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Hi Buck, firstly can I say I admire you dexterity regarding your loss, or was it the young ladies?

Secondly I have been using the same Magnatronic ignition unit for over 8 years with no need for any readjustment. However I do carry a spare distributor top plate with points and condenser fitted in the spares box just in case.

Chris

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Hi Buck,

I have fitted CSI electronic ignition in april 2018, have traveled  more than 10k miles across Europe to now and i am very pleased. (fit and forget).

The CSI has the same look as the original distribution (Not the shiny 123 looks)

Also a Lucas Alternator and wide fan belt.  i used the pulley that came with the Alternator because it was a detachable/split one,edit a few shims to it for the right size of the fan belt.

It  also makes fitting a new fan belt easy. (just take the frontend of the pulley off)

 

Marcel.

alternator IMG_4531.JPG

alternator IMG_4530.JPG

alternator IMG_4532.JPG

distrbuter IMG_4533.JPG

Edited by Quicksilver

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+1 for 123 Ignition. I fitted an original type, not the 'tune' version, 12 years ago selecting curve 7.  Slow speed running smoother, pick up progressive without hesitation and pinking issue from stretched advance springs in 25D4 solved at a stroke. It has literally been fit and forget but, like Pete, I keep the original distributor with adjusted points, condenser and all leads in the    boot just in case. So far not needed by me but last year I lent it to a Dutch entrant on Club Triumph's Northern Tour when he had an issue with his TR4 and it saved his weekend. It came back by courier a few days later together with some chocolates for me and beer for the wife from the only Trappist brewery in Holland (Koningshoeven for the aficionados).

If you struggle to hold a charge with lamps, wipers and heater in use don't junk the dynamo for an alternator - just fit LED bulbs all round as I did and save 6 amps or so at a stroke!

Tim

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Newtronic/Piranha fitted 26 years ago, along with conversion to alternator (initially on wide belt, then narrow belt when water pump died).

Not often I disagree with Stuart, but for me there's no contest - with electronic ignition it is fit and forget as the only adjustment I've needed has been to timing when leaded petrol disappeared, then as more methanol put in petrol.

Ian Cornish

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I did operate contact breaker points for many years (on a TR6), and with a decent/unworn distributor, and good quality points, they are no hassle at all. I have driven my cars thousands of miles around the UK, abroad, track days and sprints.

I then changed to a 123 tune, and that was a great piece of kit. Fine tuned with a lap top on the RR. I never carried the original dizzy, just had the 123 tune installed, and ran like this for thousands of miles, without a single issue.

 

I am now distributorless. but that is another story, and have a coil pack installed.

 

Horses for courses, etc.

 

Cheers.

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I have a Lumenition Optronic EK150 unit and coil on my 4A and no problems for 3 years.  However yesterday car 'died' then picked up then 'died' again then was fine all the way home about 4 miles. I know it may not be the problem but my suspicion is ignition unit? Any thoughts from the more knowledgeable.

Sorry if a bit off topic

 

Thanks

Ian

 

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Like TRTOM I have a 123 ignition unit installed. This was put in at the time of the restoration and has been reliable ever since - no changes made. the car was set up on a rolling road and the advance set using the adjustment on the unit - it isn't a fancy "tune" version.

Very happy user here.

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I too have a 123ignition system, in my case the tune+ with bluetooth, rev limiter and immobiliser.

it’s worked Faultlessly for a couple of years, as did the previous lumenition kit.

you pays yer money and takes yer choice!

steve

 

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I told you there would be lots of different answers !!

Bob.

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For me your fixing something that, aint broke,

Points are fine and simple, carry a spare baseplate with points and a condensor, and its a two minute job to swop

if ever needed.

John.

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On another post I explained why an electronic contact braker can cause misfire.

But no one wants to believe. I guess that needs some time until others also realize this.

And my Powerspark is no 1:1 swap, it needs a different adjustment of the distributor.

And this brings the pick up pins in a unlucky position to the rotor arm.

This is it in short words.

Macht was draus.

Edited by Z320

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Points are fine on the day they are set, but from then on, they wear on both heel and contacts, so the gap changes and the timing is affected. 

If left too long, the engine may suffer power loss or may fail to start - ask members of the North London Group, who had to push a Triumph 2000 off a cross-channel ferry!  Once ashore in England, they re-set the points and were on their way, but the car's performance must have been deteriorating all the way to the Channel port - and that means that both power and fuel consumption would have been affected.

Ian Cornish

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1 hour ago, ianc said:

Points are fine on the day they are set, but from then on, they wear on both heel and contacts, so the gap changes and the timing is affected. 

I'm not so sure that is really a problem Ian.

Looking at the mechanics of the thing, wear on the points heel will lengthen the dwell time and retard the spark, while wear on the contacts will shorten dwell time and advance the spark.  The two effects may just about even out and in any case given all the other variables in the system the small degree of change from either is unlikely to be noticeable in normal driving unless the adjustment is way off to begin with.

In my experience it takes thousands of miles for changes in the gap to be measurable so either the chap in your case was guilty of gross negligence in servicing his car, or he had a duff set of points. 

Edited by RobH

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So am I the only one who thinks, servicing the TR is part of its  character,

'Doing the plugs and points' dropping the oil, changing the filter, greasing the front end, adjusting the handbrake,

topping up, gearbox and back axle, for me it all adds to having my TR,

maybe I'm in a minority?

Discuss,

John.

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I also like the 'fit and forget' nature of electronic ignition.

The only problem I ever had was an optical trigger breaking down on my GT6, which is known for high under bonnet temperatures. I replaced it with an Aldon Ignitor magnetic Hall effect setup more than 15 years ago and have covered  over 30,000 miles since without a problem. I have a Piranha optical trigger on my TR6 (already fitted when I bought the car) and that's been fine for 14 years of ownership. I fitted the Scimitar GTE with Accuspark 4 years ago and it's done 20,000 trouble free miles.

However, I still carry the points as backup!

Nigel

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