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Performance Review: Pertronix Ignitor III Electronic Ignition Conversion Kit Install

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  • Ignition: Performance Review: Pertronix Ignitor III Electronic Ignition Conversion Kit Install

    Review of installation procedures and performance review of Pertronix III electronic ignition conversion kit.



    My friend Pat Skelly finally had enough of the points issues with his '62 GT Hawk.
    The new Echlin points he put in a month ago 'broke' while down in Daytona Beach over Thanksgiving weekend.
    After getting the GT Hawk home, Pat ordered a standard Pertronix kit for his Prestolite distributor.
    Turns out the kit sent was not correct for his particular Prestolite.
    (Note: Always get the Prestolite distributor tag number before doing anything)
    When we determined that the standard Ignitor kit as a no-go, we did the homework.
    Turns out Pertronix does not make a standard Ignitor kit for Pat's distributor.
    However.... While on that page it was noticed that Pertronix does make an Ignitor III kit for Pat's distributor.
    When looking at the spec sheet, it was noted that this kit also fits a stock Chyrsler Hemi V8 distributor with dual points.
    A call to Pertronix confirmed that Pat's distributor number uses that kit, so Pat ordered it (along with the matching coil).

    This morning we put it in. Here's the skinny....
    This kit consists of the pickup module already mounted to the upper distributor plate, and that plate is mounted on a swivel bearing to the lower plate.
    Remove the vacuum advance.
    Remove both the points mounting plate and the plate under it (attached together).

    Cleaned and lubed the mechanical advance mechanism underneath.
    The new Ignitor III assy slipped in and was mounted using the existing screw (the distributor cap clip mount screws also mount the plate assy).
    The new wires were pulled through the body hole, and the length of the red/black wires were adjusted in the grommet to allow the advance plate to move without binding the wires up.
    There was a little braided wire ground strap that needed mounting to the lower plate.
    Simple screw deal, but I did put a drop of Loc-tite on it...just to be sure.
    Vacuum can reattached onto the new plate pivot pin and the microscopic danged clip (that has a mind of its own) gets reinstalled.

    Installation of the distributor is straight forward (especially if you have marked the distributor body position, and the rotor position.
    Slipped right back in...
    Put hook ends on the red/black wires (rather than the ring ends)...
    I'm sick of dropping little things under a car in the driveway with leaves underneath...

    Mounted the new coil. Checked the wiring.
    The Ignitor III takes a full 12v wire from the run terminal on the ign switch to the + side of the coil (instead of the pink resistor wire).
    Double checked the wires were installed per the instruction sheet.
    Snugged the distributor mount bolt and then loosened it just enough for me to be able to push the distrubutor around by hand.
    Put the air cleaner back on...
    Had Pat hit the key.
    Engine immediately started and purred... SMOOTH.
    Blipped the throttle a few times and listened to it.
    Readjusted the idle mixture scres a bit (mostly just to feel where they were at).
    Hard blipped the throttle to feel the timing adjustment and played with the base timing just a little bit.
    Liked the way it felt and locked 'er down.
    Did one more idle screw adjustment (just to make it look like I was needed)....
    Buttoned 'er up and sent Pat out for a test drive.

    I could hear Pat's engine from a couple blocks away when he 'got on it'.. You could hear the AFB secondaries..
    His 1-2 shift brought an audible chirp.
    Pat came back with this huge grin on his face...
    'Nuff said.

    Conclusion: Kit is real nice.

    Even has an adjustable rev limiter built in (factory pre-set is 5500 rpm, so we left it alone).
    Made the engine noticeably smoother and a mid range spark scatter issue disappeared.
    IMOHO... This kit is worth the money.
    So... If your listing offers both the Pertronix Ignitor base kit AND the Ignitor III kit.... I'd look real hard at the Ignitor III kit.

    Took a couple of videos of the drive by, and of the ride along... Will try to post them later.

    (ad copy)




    • Adaptive dwell maintains peak energy throughout the entire RPM range, reducing misfires while improving engine performance
    • Peak current level is reached just prior to spark for maximum energy without the heat build-up, increasing coil performance and module reliability
    • Adjusts spark timing at higher RPMs to compensate for the inherent electronic delay
    • Senses startup and develops more energy for quicker, easier starting
    • Senses crank orientation from either the distributor cam lobe or a PerTronix magnet sleeve
    • Thermal clad surface mount construction for high performance reliability
    • Memory safe function for user settings
    • LED user feedback for rev limit confirmation
    • Built-in reverse polarity and over current protection shuts down the system, preventing component damage
    • Legal in all 50 states and Canada (C.A.R.B. E.O. #D-57-8)

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Pat's dist'r tag # is IBP4108 which shows no Ignitor kit, but does show an Ignitor III kit (see pic)



    And... Here's the Chrysler listing in the app guide (for IPB tag's)



    Now, Pat's is a single point dist, so perhaps this fills a hole in the Studebaker world...Maybe?

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Here's a mediocre video of the first drive after install....

    Last edited by DEEPNHOCK; 12-14-2015, 11:09 AM.
    HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

    Jeff


    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



    Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

  • #2
    Every Pertronix Unit I've ever installed on any engine has operated beautifully...

    Comment


    • #3
      To simplify this Jeff, Prestolite only made 2 Distributors for Studebaker V8's, so instead of all the Mystery about Model Numbers just tell us was Pat's Dist. a Single or Dual Point Unit, when you order from Phil Harris at Fairborn Studebaker, that is the ONLY question you will be asked.

      The Pertronix unit for Single Point Dist.'s. has been NLA ever since Crane who modified and sold the Pertronix I units for these Distributors quit making them.

      So if Igniter III Units are available for SINGLE Point Prestolites, that is New and good News!
      StudeRich
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

      Comment


      • #4
        The single or dual part is still not clear to me. The kit was the same as a Chrysler dual point distributor. Would that not make it the same as a Studebaker DUAL point distributor?

        Does that mean there is still none for a Stude SINGLE point distributor?
        RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

        17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
        10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
        10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
        4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
        5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
        56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
        60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

        Comment


        • #5
          Guys.... Good questions.
          No mystery... But I wrote this at my house later that evening and I was separated from the notes that are at Pats house,
          so I wasn't going to swag part and tag numbers with this crowd.
          I'll get the tag number and the kit number and update this thread for you.
          My point was that there should be a Pertronix Ignitor III kit available where the regular Pertronix kit was not.
          (At least for the Prestolite that Pat has, which is a bone stock OE distributor)...
          Give me a bit to gather better info...
          HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

          Jeff


          Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



          Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

          Comment


          • #6
            Any good reason why the kit for the dual-point distributor cannot be mounted in the body of a single-point distributor? Would the clocking between firing event and the rotor-to-cap position be wrong?
            Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

            Comment


            • #7
              That is a good question.
              Mind you, the 'dual point Hemi' comment is just based on their catalog listings.
              There might be other applications, too.
              I was a little unsure, based on the catalog, so I called them to confirm...Which they did.
              As far as the tech reason... It should not matter, except for exactly where the pickup to magnet ring point is in relation to the distributor cap #1 terminal is.
              And even if that differed, rotating the dist'r should bring it into alignment.
              But, on Pat's engine, I had marked the dist'r body position and the shaft/rotor position.
              Dropped it in, hit the key...and it purred...
              So, if one were to take the extra time to put the enine on TDC and them mark the body and the rotor...
              Then the same thing should ring true.
              But that is just conjecture.

              BTW..
              The kit Pat bought (that did NOT fit) was a Pertronix 1584.
              The Pertronix Ignitor III kit he purchased was a 71385

              (update) Pat called me with his Presolite/Autolite distributor tag number. IBP4108



              Originally posted by gordr View Post
              Any good reason why the kit for the dual-point distributor cannot be mounted in the body of a single-point distributor? Would the clocking between firing event and the rotor-to-cap position be wrong?
              Last edited by DEEPNHOCK; 12-14-2015, 11:13 AM.
              HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

              Jeff


              Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



              Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes, Pat's is a single point distributor.
                And the Ignitor III fit it perfectly...
                Sorry for the incomplete info..
                Have since filled in the gaps...


                Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
                To simplify this Jeff, Prestolite only made 2 Distributors for Studebaker V8's, so instead of all the Mystery about Model Numbers just tell us was Pat's Dist. a Single or Dual Point Unit, when you order from Phil Harris at Fairborn Studebaker, that is the ONLY question you will be asked.

                The Pertronix unit for Single Point Dist.'s. has been NLA ever since Crane who modified and sold the Pertronix I units for these Distributors quit making them.

                So if Igniter III Units are available for SINGLE Point Prestolites, that is New and good News!
                HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

                Jeff


                Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



                Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

                Comment


                • #9
                  One of the Ignitor III items in ad copy that Jeff posted is this: Built-in reverse polarity and over current protection shuts down the system, preventing component damage

                  Hopefully this means they finally took care of the issue of leaving the key in the run position without the engine running.......

                  All in all, it does sound like an improved version, and good that they have one for the single point Prestolite. Now if they would make one that will integrate with the new fuel injection systems that have the capability to control the timing.
                  Paul
                  Winston-Salem, NC
                  Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    THAT'S what I'm waiting for^^^^^^^^

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have modified a 4108 and installed the pertronix that is not supposed to fit. It involved making a new plate to replace the internal plate that the points were originally mounted on. It would be cost prohibitive to try and make it for resale.
                      Looks like now we no longer need it since the Pertronix III will bolt in.
                      The new plate had to be fab'd to sync the triggering of the switching function of the points on the distributor cam (magnetic inductor on the Pertronix) to the physical position of the rotor within the cap. Cut view ports in a distributor cap so we could see inside while on a distributor machine and position the inductor to sync with the rotor passing by a post inside the distributor.

                      It worked and I drove it thousands of miles.

                      Have installed several in dual point distributors and am really happy to hear that the Pertronix III will bolt into a 4108 single point unit. HOORAY!!!

                      Ken Michael

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The possible burn out of the Pertronix Unit was only on the Igniter, the Igniter II had the NEW failsafe circuit preventing damage when a careless person leaves the key on for an extended time.

                        So most likely the III would follow the lead of the II.

                        The Original Igniter ** also sometimes needed a slight pause after turning on ignition before cranking otherwise it would not quickly fire.

                        You do have to understand though that each of the three available units varied in type depending on which Distributor you had.

                        Dual Point Prestolite
                        Early Delco **
                        or Late Delco '60-'61 Lark with Window as many common later Chev's. used.

                        Some had the Plastic Ring on the Dist. Cam others (this one **) did not.
                        StudeRich
                        Second Generation Stude Driver,
                        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I just picked up a new Igniter for my '56 289 Delco (no window) distributor. I hope I don't have any "burn out" problems...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 345 DeSoto View Post
                            I just picked up a new Igniter for my '56 289 Delco (no window) distributor. I hope I don't have any "burn out" problems...
                            Don't turn the key to the "on" position without cranking the engine. If you want to listen to the radio, use the "ACC" position.
                            RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                            17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
                            10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                            10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
                            4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                            5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
                            56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
                            60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              In conclusion the best choice for my '56 Golden Hawk and my '60 Hawk would be the Pertronix Ignitor III kit 71385 (for Chrysler 8 Cylinder engine)?

                              I have to look for it in Germany

                              Thanks
                              Last edited by Santosh; 12-16-2015, 02:40 AM.
                              Walter

                              80 Fiat Spider
                              63 Lark Regal 4 Dr. sold 2015
                              60 Hawk sold 2017 in England
                              56 Golden Hawk
                              56 Corvette (John Cougar Mellencamp's C1)
                              68 Volvo P1800S
                              56 Jaguar XK 140 DHC

                              http://www.speak-to-doc.de/oldi/

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