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View Full Version : Why go breakerless?



Laemmle
01-14-2006, 11:22 AM
In an era of everything faux, with individuals such as Paris Hilton, Ashley Simpson, and their ilk being paid sums of money we here can not imagine .....especially when these individuals have zero talent...there is this thought.

Seems the thing to do today is convert out Studes to breakerless ignition....I say why bother? The Stude that is asked to render service as a weekend driver, parade-head turner, or zone meet attendee can and does just fine with what South Bend gave her....."breaker-points". Yes, I hear the great outcry that electronic is far more reliable, gives better performance, and on and on....but consider...any Stude that is well maintained and pampered as most are will do just fine with "points"....There are those that say points yes, but transistor-ized.....these folks miss the most basic "point"....the weakest part of points is not the point surface....even if the surface lasted for 50K miles....the problem is in the block that rides the cam....it wears...and cam angle then changes....and re-adustment becomes necessary...you get the point. This is the only real minus....consider that if you go breakerless, or put in the now popular Pertronix retro-fit...if that goes down while you are driving, the only thing you will do is call for the "hook" of a AAA wreaker...but if you carry a spare set of "points" you will be able to be on you way in under 30 minutes.
The points ignition is so simple, a child can be taught how to check and install.
Just some thoughts to ponder as the northeast braces for a nor-easter bearing down on us....as I listen to 50's doo-wop...ah, the 50s...sounds, baseball at the Polo Grounds and Ebbets Field, six cent cherry and vanilla cokes, and 15 cent malteds....beam me back Scotty...............................

55Commander
01-14-2006, 11:57 AM
I put a Pertronix in my Hot Rod motor and have been 100% satisfied.
35,000 miles and it has never missed a beat. No adjusting, no worn blocks, no worries.
TZ

Chicken Hawk
01-14-2006, 04:37 PM
Pertronix instructions tell you to put the points and condensor in the glove box and you can change them back anytime you want or need to.

Ted

Laemmle
01-14-2006, 06:41 PM
As menttioned here by Ted, Pertronix says to keep "the old system" available in the glove box...just in case....and that is the POINT.....all these systems are great.....till they crap out....and anything made by man can and will crap out.............eventually....Having pulled the stock dist. from my car and replaced it with a breakerless variety....and being stranded when the control box "craped out".....had to be towed....a memory not well remembered..(later put back the "old points" dist)...guess this analog devotee will stay in the ancient automotive universe of breaker point ignition.

DEEPNHOCK
01-14-2006, 07:40 PM
Interesting commentary...

We live in a technological treadmill that just keeps speeding up.
Some things we assume we have to have are just marketing hype.
Personally, I like electronic ignition.
I have been stranded by both types.
I have had rotors fail on both types.
But I have to admit... I like not having to set the dwell and re-set the timing a couple times a year.
But the older I get, the more I wish my radio had a dial knob on it.
If the station gets weak, you are toast with a digital radio..
The old type I could tweak it a bit and still hear it...
But, ohhhhhh, the wait to the tubes to warm up!
Who has time for that anymore;)
Jeff[8D]

Laemmle
01-14-2006, 08:14 PM
Jeff,
Picture this scene:

It is the middle of January, it it 15 degrees outside, inside beside your barco chair sits your stereo, it glows warm with the ranks of 6550 output tubes, a Johnny Mathis Lp is on the turntable, your wife pours you a little "adult" drink, she pours one for herself...she sits down beside you....the glow of the tubes washes over the two of you....and then the glass empties...the music continues till the side ends which signals a re-pour and enjoy side 2....life is good, is it not Jeff?
The joys of a non digital life style..........

DEEPNHOCK
01-14-2006, 08:18 PM
Well,
To be honest with you, it was the real fireplace, with real wood, with real (plush) carpeting...
An true analog experience;)
Jeff[8D]


quote:Originally posted by Laemmle

Jeff,
Picture this scene:

It is the middle of January, it it 15 degrees outside, inside beside your barco chair sits your stereo, it glows warm with the ranks of 6550 output tubes, a Johnny Mathis Lp is on the turntable, your wife pours you a little "adult" drink, she pours one for herself...she sits down beside you....the glow of the tubes washes over the two of you....and then the glass empties...the music continues till the side ends which signals a re-pour and enjoy side 2....life is good, is it not Jeff?
The joys of a non digital life style..........

Mike Van Veghten
01-14-2006, 08:52 PM
So what are you trying to say....stay on the dark ages if you like.

I prefer to equip my [u]daily driver</u> Stude to a pointless system so that there is one more thing I don't have to worry about....point adjustment, condenser failure...yes...I've had it happen. Not saying a Pertronix, Crane, Mallory, et al, can't fail, they do. But so far...one hasn't failed on me, many cars, many miles.
My weekend Conestoga will have a pointless ignition of some kind in it also when I get the 299 in it, also.

Thanks...I'm an old guy, but I'll take my shot at the current world once in a while.

Scott
01-14-2006, 09:17 PM
I've never had a breakerless system, but I've never really had problems with the old system either. The closest I came was on my 1966 Cruiser, which suddenly started giving me fits in the ignition department. After spending lots of time and money trying to diagnose the problem, I finally decided to spend $60 or so dollars more and put in a whole different, rebuilt distributor. That took care of 95% of the trouble. I almost went breakerless, but now I'm glad I didn't. It would have ended up being a waste of money because it would not have made the worn out distributor work as though it wasn't worn out, and I still would have had to replace it.

And who says you have to do a tune up every 6 months or so? I drove my Studebakers for years without a tune up. My father says that back in the 1950s and 1960s he'd just drive cars until they started to show they needed a tune up and then get it done. Usually that was 25,000 to 50,000 miles between tune-ups. Breakerless probably is better, but I think the disadvantages of the old system are being exaggerated, for sure.

55pres
01-14-2006, 09:54 PM
In reference to Scott. I think the disadvantages of the new systems are being exaggerated too. The first thing that goes with my Studebaker is going to be the points! To answer the thread question, "why go breakerless" because its better.

1955 President

Location: Central PA
Job: Student @ Penn State
Love of Studebakers?: High

Alan
01-14-2006, 09:54 PM
There are pluses for both but I myself think that the breakerless has more. back in the early 70's I bought a Chrysler electronic ignition. They were about $70 to retrofit the Chrysler point systems but I put one in my 53K's 232 since it had a Presto junk dist. Thing ran for a couple of months then died on the freeway, rolled off a ramp and and had it towed. The wire broke inside the pick up coil. Put another one in and went another 250,000 miles with only 1 cap and rotor change. Of course this is only my experence and I don't care what anyone else dose to their cars.

N8N
01-14-2006, 10:10 PM
I like the electronics simply because they appeal to my inner engineer. Points work, yes, but the electronics can use a hotter spark, and better yet, there's no 8-lobed cam to wear, the reluctor can't burn or stick, and there's no side load on the shaft bearings. Once I get it dialed in I plan on forgetting about it. If the module ever dies I can get another at my FLAPS and replace it quicker than a set of points, and no timing light required. If for whatever reason I can't get one, a HEI module will work fine with a few wiring changes. And if the pickup coil ever has an issue it's exactly the same as replacing the points, job-wise. I'd just rather spend my quality car time driving, or fixing other stuff, when I don't have to worry about my ignition.

That said, if someone likes to keep a car all original, and chooses to keep their points... I can't really argue with that. As long as you're not racing and keep up with the maintenance, they work fine...

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

Laemmle
01-14-2006, 11:47 PM
Nate,
Breakerless was/is a great advance...no doubt...no carping here from me... I personally enjoy setting the dwell, timing etc...it's a form of therapy for me...like setting up a tonearm correctly to get the most from Lp playback...(vta,azimuth) as opposed to placing the silver disc in the motorized door maked compact disc/digital auto and then pressing play. Or utilizing my Techtronics scope to wring the optimum performance from my gear.
Speaking of those that hold an EE degree, my very dear friend recently passed away...that man had a golden set of hands and the skill to match.....since Betamax repair has become a nich market..those units arrived at his door from all over the country, he will be missed.

Commander51
01-15-2006, 04:35 AM
Are Pertronix-style ignitions as yet available for early 50's 232 V-8's?
If so, from whom? Thanks:)

51 Commander State Sedan

Kittanning, PA

Laemmle
01-15-2006, 04:51 AM
Call Pertronix directly....ask for a fellow by the name of Neil...he was the person I believe who agreed to have his company do Studebakers...I am certain that a kit exists for your car...but if not he is the go to guy there, at least when I was involved with my Stude.

Chicken Hawk
01-15-2006, 08:45 AM
Contact Phil Harris at Fairborn Studebaker in Ohio.

Ted

hank63
01-15-2006, 10:15 AM
For my money, there's only one piece of electronics worth having in a car - the breakerless dizzy. That was (and is) in my humble opinion a nice step forward. Don't forget, some models had the annoying habit of consuming points at a fairly rapid clip.
The rest of today's electronics is better suited to TV's and stereos.
/H

imported_n/a
01-15-2006, 11:21 PM
Tell you what, it doesn't take much for those points to fry--just leave the key on for a few minutes with the engine not running. The gizmo that should've been is a points protector, that would cut current to the coil after so long, if the engine wasn't started. Are there any performance advantages to a pertronix in the form of better fuel economy, easier starting? Who knows. If everything is equal performance wise, points would be the natural choice, since in the event of failure, they are less expensive to replace. As someone "pointed" out earlier, most collector cars are driven Less and cared for More. The reason Detroit went to electronic is that the cars could still meet the emisssions standards(by not burning up the cat con)after many miles, when a neglectful owner never bothered with periodic tuneups, and to eliminate the previously-stated problem of people leaving the key on, burning their points. Given that, it's your call. Now, You could also be a fashion plate, and buy everything MSD makes, and bolt all of the colorful anodized aluminum finned boxes and wiring right out there where everyone can see it! I'm sure it would help---help make the owners of MSD richer! [}:)]

JDP
01-16-2006, 12:03 AM
Actually you can cook the Pertronic module faster then a set of points. (Don't ask how I know):)

Studebaker On The Net http://stude.com
64 GT Hawk
64 R2 4 speed Challenger
63 R2 4 speed GT Hawk
53 Street rod

60Lark
01-16-2006, 02:48 PM
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Pertronix-electronic-ignition-STUDEBAKER_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ33691QQitemZ8030639773QQrdZ1

Studebaker Fever
60 Lark
51 Champion
Phil

CHAMP
01-16-2006, 04:06 PM
LOOKS LIKE THEY DON'T MAKE ONE FOR A CHAMPION-6VOLT! CHAMP:)

60Lark
01-16-2006, 04:40 PM
CHAMP - Yes they do make one for Champion 6-Volt you can either call Pertronix direct or log onto Pertronix.com and get more info, I think the 6-Volt set-up is about $125.00

Studebaker Fever
60 Lark
51 Champion
Phil

N8N
01-16-2006, 07:19 PM
The ballast resistor is "supposed to" protect the coil from overheating with a key on engine off situation but it doesn't always work out that way, and points do stick.

I think that both the MoPar and HEI modules are fairly resistant to this kind of abuse. Either will work with a MoPar style pickup, making a MoPar conversion in a Prestolite the way to go IMHO. (just have the Prestolite rebuilt with good bushings, or you'll still have all kinds of scatter.)

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

Chicken Hawk
01-16-2006, 08:56 PM
quote:Originally posted by CHAMP

LOOKS LIKE THEY DON'T MAKE ONE FOR A CHAMPION-6VOLT! CHAMP:)


Again, contact Phil Harris at Fairborn Studebaker.

Ted

big jim
01-18-2006, 02:59 PM
maybe this whole discussion is pointless!!!!sry couldnt pass it up.

curt
01-18-2006, 08:09 PM
What makes this question go so far left to right? It is about imposible to read when each line has to be moved a page left and then right as the question and then the answer ia read.. Can I do something here to change the situation?

55pres
01-18-2006, 11:02 PM
curt, the reason why is because 60lark posted that really long link. I'm not sure why that happened, but whenever someone posts a link, that what it does.

1955 President

Location: Central PA
Job: Student @ Penn State
Love of Studebakers?: High