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Geoff Wootton
Grand Master
Username: dounraey

Post Number: 1985
Registered: 5-2012
Posted on Wednesday, 04 July, 2018 - 12:01 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I've recently been thinking of fitting electronic ignition to my 74 SY1 (SRX18501). I did fit a Powerspark unit about 3 years ago but it failed after a couple of months. I speculated this was due to high engine bay temperatures, exacerbated by high ambient temperatures common here in summer (+100F).

Yesterday I took a temperature reading of my distributor after a short drive. The ambient temperature was 91F. The reading was 165F on the casing of the distributor, taken with an IR gun. I would guess the temperature inside the distributor would be higher, maybe 180F.

Here's the thing. I could not find the operating temperature spec for the Powerspark unit despite a long search of their website. Pertronix however spec their unit as good for -50F to 300F.

I emailed Powerspark and got the following reply:

"I don't have the exact spec to hand, but normal engine bay temperatures are no problem"

I guess the answer is to go Pertronix however I do have a Powerspark unit in my desk drawer that I could fit, if I could get a guarantee that it will not fail as the first one did.

The reason I have put this entry up is for general information but also to see if anyone on the forum knows the spec for the Powerspark unit.
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richard george yeaman
Grand Master
Username: richyrich

Post Number: 982
Registered: 4-2012
Posted on Wednesday, 04 July, 2018 - 01:02 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Geoff I have fitted several Powerspark units to several cars including my own 74 Shadow, I had trouble with some of them mainly because some models of them required drilling a hole to facilitate a screw this was a hit or miss exercise, I then seen a post by Brian Vogel, and the model he had was far easier to fit it required taking everything out, points, base plate, all you are left with are the two holes that the plate was screwed into and that is where the power spark unit is screwed into, Perhaps Brian might be able to put a picture of his up so you can see it.


Richard.
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Geoff Wootton
Grand Master
Username: dounraey

Post Number: 1986
Registered: 5-2012
Posted on Wednesday, 04 July, 2018 - 02:19 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Richard

I had no problems fitting the original Powerspark unit. It worked well for a couple of months and then failed. I'm wondering if the heat was the problem. I know Hubert runs a Powerspark with no problems, but since he is in Ireland the ambient temperatures will be lower.

I'm surprised Powerspark do not give the operating temperature range spec. Maybe it's because they are in England and high temperatures (100F +) are never an issue.

Here's a pic of my original installation:

di
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Geoff Wootton
Grand Master
Username: dounraey

Post Number: 1987
Registered: 5-2012
Posted on Wednesday, 04 July, 2018 - 02:37 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I've just had a follow up email from Powerspark (Simonbbc) and they give the upper temperature as 230F. Here's the text:

"We can advise that the heat management feature in the module will deal with temperatures up to 230F. I would recommend that the heat transfer paste is evenly spread on the base plate of the kit.

We sell our ignition kits to hundreds of clients based in "hot" climates such as, Australia, South Africa and other US states and have not heard of any previous issues with excessive heat."


when it gets really hot here I'll take more measurements and decide whether to fit my spare unit.
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Patrick Lockyer.
Grand Master
Username: pat_lockyer

Post Number: 1904
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Wednesday, 04 July, 2018 - 03:29 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Geoff, brave man using the after market RED rotor arm.
I have fitted these in the past with most failing.
I now use the original types for most.
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Patrick Francis
Prolific User
Username: jackpot

Post Number: 235
Registered: 11-2016
Posted on Thursday, 05 July, 2018 - 07:11 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I am sure it would help the engine bay ancillaries such as the electronic ignition, fuel vaporisation and aircon if the underbonnet temperatures could be reduced somehow. Maybe a high powered computer server fan in the right place?
Anybody tried anything like that?
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ross kowalski
Grand Master
Username: cdfpw

Post Number: 839
Registered: 11-2015
Posted on Thursday, 05 July, 2018 - 08:23 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Geoff,

There is this new electronic ignition designed by Kettering that is totally heat proof reliable, and best of all cheap. Heres a link

Seriously though, why not just run points?
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ross kowalski
Grand Master
Username: cdfpw

Post Number: 845
Registered: 11-2015
Posted on Monday, 09 July, 2018 - 11:42 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Geoff, how did you make out?
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Geoff Wootton
Grand Master
Username: dounraey

Post Number: 1991
Registered: 5-2012
Posted on Tuesday, 10 July, 2018 - 01:23 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Ross

I finally got the figure for the Powerspark operating upper temperature - 230F. Pertronix state theirs as -50F to 300F.

I did have an email advising me that the correct Pertronix unit is the LU-183 and not the LU-181 as their early documentation specifies. This was very interesting to me as, at the time, I bought and returned the LU-181 as it would have required modifying to get it to fit. Apparently the LU-183 is plug and play.

I am still using points but may well go for the Pertronix unit in the future. This is not a priority issue for me as the car is running so well on points.

Thinking about it, pulling the distributor once a year and replacing the points is not a big deal so I will probably stay with points.
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ross kowalski
Grand Master
Username: cdfpw

Post Number: 846
Registered: 11-2015
Posted on Tuesday, 10 July, 2018 - 09:43 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Geoff,

I had to install a pertronix clone in my Lotus to keep up with a serious coil in it but later decided to go to a regular low test coil and points for reliability sake.

Knock on wood, no FTPs on that car.

Glad you are able to enjoy and share the car in the hot weather too!
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Geoff Wootton
Grand Master
Username: dounraey

Post Number: 1992
Registered: 5-2012
Posted on Wednesday, 11 July, 2018 - 03:25 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

A couple of final points (excuse the pun):

Patrick L - I have read in a few places that the red rotor arm is the best one to use. Also to avoid any that have rivets (not sure if the OEM one does).

Patrick F. It's a good point you make about under bonnet temperatures. I found that when I replaced the viscous coupling the increased air flow from the fan made a noticeable improvement to the fuel vaporization problem I was having at the time. Now, I occasionally get slight lumpy running when starting off after the car has been parked for a while on a hot engine. I may fit the isolation kit from Introcar to get rid of this minor annoyance. A computer server fan, for me, is probably a step too far.

Ross - I liked the reference to Charles Kettering's system but could not think of anything witty to say at the time.
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Patrick Lockyer.
Grand Master
Username: pat_lockyer

Post Number: 1923
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Friday, 13 July, 2018 - 05:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

And a good write up on new type condensers [capacitors] that fail after a short period with those that run the reliable contact set ups.


http://www.nonlintec.com/sprite/cap_failure/
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ross kowalski
Grand Master
Username: cdfpw

Post Number: 847
Registered: 11-2015
Posted on Friday, 13 July, 2018 - 07:42 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Patrick L,

These are a good alternative as well

http://www.brightsparkmagnetos.com/easycap/index.htm
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Patrick Lockyer.
Grand Master
Username: pat_lockyer

Post Number: 1924
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Saturday, 14 July, 2018 - 04:42 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Ross, yes the way forward for long term reliability for cars m/c etc even magnetos on planes maybe once approved.

Geoff, pix, no rivets on the OME Lucas rotor arm and long lasting.



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Trevor Pickering
Frequent User
Username: commander1

Post Number: 51
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Saturday, 14 July, 2018 - 05:26 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Just had a Powerspark fail on me after only 3 months
fitted to the Lucas 20D in my Silver Cloud 3!!!!!!

I am going back to far more reliable points.

I ran a Pertronix unit in my 47 Silver Wraith during several very hot summers in WA with no problems and its still going after 5 years.

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