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"New Pertronix Ignitor III Done"

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TorqueyAMX View Drop Down
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    Posted: May/03/2009 at 1:08am

“NEW” Pertronix Ignitor III Electronic Ignition Conversion is now available for AMC'sClap.

 

Pertronix now has their new Ignitor III module available for AMC/Delco Distributors. The new module has 5 times the available energy as compared to a points system and has a built in Rev Limiter on the module. Pertronix has 3 levels of electronic ignition conversions so it is important to chose the right unit based on your needs and application. Recently, I took my distributor over to Pertronix so they could design a proper module mount for the new Ignitor III unit to work with the unique AMC/Delco distributor breaker plate. It took a little R & D to sort it out but it is set to go and will cover the installation here. I will also cover the Ignitor and Ignitor II units as an aid to help you chose which one will work best for you. 

 

INSTALLATION:

 

The new Ignitor III module works off the points cam so there is no need for a magnetic ring under the rotor like the Ignitor and Ignitor II system. With regard to the resistance wire built into the AMC wiring harness, it is important to know, Pertronix says BOTH the Ignitor II and Ignitor III systems want a full 12 volts to operate at their maximum potential. At the same time, I will tell you I have run the Ignitor II system in my car for several years now with 10 volts at the coil with the factory resistance wire in place and have had no problems with a 400 plus HP 360 that revs freely beyond 6000 RPM. However, the Ignitor III unit is another matter. IMPORTANT: The New Ignitor III ABSOLUTELY REQUIRES A FULL 12 VOLTS TO THE COIL, PERIOD!  In other words, if you want more juice, you gotta cut it loose! You should make sure and check the voltage to the coil on your car before you make a choice on a system. As resistance wires age, their resistance can increase over time. Resistance wires or ballast resistors were installed to reduce the voltage to the points to keep them from burning up.  

 

Below explains the three levels of Pertronix Electronic Ignition conversions (Ignitor, Ignitor II and Ignitor III) and show what might be best for your car. I will also provide installation instructions especially for the NEW Ignitor III system and offer suggestions as to how to deal with wiring for a full 12 volts for the Ignitor II and III systems if that’s what you feel you need. I also recommend you get a matching coil for the system you choose especially for the Ignitor and Ignitor II. They are available in black or chrome.

 

 

Ignitor:  Part No. 1181 This is the basic points replacement unit and has 2 times the energy of points and the resistance wire is not an issue whatsoever. They can be run with a stock points type coil or a Flamethrower 40,000 volt Coils available in 1.5 or 3.0 resistance values and available in chrome or stock looking black. This unit works fine with a stock engine. Ignitor units operate off of a magnetic wheel that mounts underneath the rotor. You will have to make sure to take any end play out of your distributor to maintain the proper gap.

 

 

Ignitor II: Part No. 91181 The next level has 4 times the energy of points between 3000 and 5000 RPM operating at it’s full potential working with 12 Volts and features Adaptive Dwell. My experience is that the Ignitor II will work fine without bypassing resistance wire for stock and mildly tweaked pump gas engines up to 400 HP, just not at full potential. I would recommend however you check the available voltage at the coil with the ignition on to check the health of your resistance wire before making a choice. If you have about 10 volts, you should be good to go. I had originally tested my Ignitor II at both 10 and 12 volts and didn't notice any difference. An Ignitor II low resistance coil is recommended. Ignitor II 45,000 Volt coils are .6 ohms resistance and available in chrome or stock looking black. The Ignitor II units also operate off of a magnetic wheel that mounts underneath the rotor. You will have to make sure to take any end play out of your distributor to maintain the proper gap.

 

Ignitor III: Part No. 71181  (Summit Racing Part No. PNX-71181) 5 times the energy of points between 3000 and 5000 RPM operating at it’s full potential and has a built in Rev Limiter. It also features Adaptive Dwell and Multispark. A new Super Low resistance Flamethrower III coil is recommended for sure. The Flamethrower III 45,000 volt coils are low .32 ohm resistance, quick charge, and available in chrome or stock black. The Ignitor III units operate off the points cam. With it’s additional features including Multi-Spark, the Ignitor III must have a full 12 volts to the coil to operate properly, period. The unit also senses startup increasing voltage and adjusts the timing which can come in handy on an engine with a lot of initial timing in it. (The matching Flamethrower III Coil is under Summit Racing Part No. PNX-44011 for Black, and PNX-44010 for Chrome).

 
Now: What is Adaptive Dwell?
 
 Ignitor II and Ignitor III ignitions utilize adaptive dwell. These micro controlled ignition systems maximize spark energy a different way than the HEI's. The newer Ignitors samples coil current levels just prior to spark, and uses that information to make adjustments to the dwell time in order to reach peak current levels.  At low rpm when the actual time between sparks is greater, the dwell is started much later in the cycle to reduce system heat. At higher RPM's when the time between spark is short, the dwell is started earlier.  The Ignitor II and III systems adapt to most any coil and attempt to reach maximum current by adjusting the dwell angle. HEI ignition systems use a current clamping method to make sure that maximum energy is reached for high RPM's. The module charges the coil and clamps the current at the level designated in the module design. The module holds that charge until the time of spark. At low rpm when the time between sparks is longer, this can result in significant heat buildup in both the module and the coil. Duraspark systems are similar to HEI in that they have a maximum current that is clamped.
 

What is Multi-Spark?

Ignitor III multi-spark  - The Ignitor III system uses 60-70 % of the spark energy created to produce the primary spark and immediately follows that with the remainder of what is in the coil. It's not the same thing as a CD multi-spark system which stores the energy in capacitors.

 

INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS FOR IGNITOR III:

 

Below shows the installation of the new Ignitor III unit in place of the Ignitor II system I currently have on my car.

 

 

This photo shows the NEW Ignitor III unit with a mounting plate that will work with both GM/Delco and AMC/Delco distributors. NOTE: If your kit does not look exactly like this one with the extra plate, you have the wrong kit. You may want to remove the distributor to make the job easier but it can be done on the car. I suggest you use a magnetic screwdriver to lessen the chance of loosing a screw.

 

Below is the Ignitor II system currently in the car. The base Ignitor unit is the same style using a magnetic wheel under the rotor. As I mentioned earlier, if you use one of these two systems, make sure you take any end play out of the distributor. You can check it by twisting the rotor and pulling up slightly. To solve the problem you can pick up a Delco distributor shim kit at most any parts store and place the shims between the bottom of the distributor housing and the distributor gear.

 
Below is the Ignitor II module and the magnetic wheel with the rotor removed. If you decide on the this style Ignitor or Ignitor II and installing the unit, slide the magnetic wheel through the holes as show first, then install the module.

Now with old points/condenser or other equipment removed, attach the Ignitor III mounting plate on the side opposite the vacuum advance with the two supplied Phillips screws. It will line up with the original holes and the dimple on the plate. This should be where the points used to be.

 

Attach the Ignitor III module to the plate with the two supplied small screws. While you're at it, double check your ground wire seen here attached to the vac advance bracket to make sure it's a good connection.

 

Route the wires under the breaker plate and through the hole in the base of the distributor.

 

Slip the wires through the rubber grommet and install the grommet in the hole in the base of the distributor. This is easier with the distributor out. If you install it with the distributor in the car, you may want to take a side cutters and make a slice in the grommet to aid in installation.

 

Route the red and black wires to your coil and cut them to the length you like. Crimp the supplied terminals to the wires and attach the red wire to the + terminal and the black wire to the – terminal of the coil along with your wire from power to the + terminal on the coil and tach wire if you have it.

 

REV LIMITER ADJUSTMENT

 

The Rev Limiter is factory set at 5500 RPM. It can be adjusted anywhere from 4000 RPM to 9000 RPM. To adjust it to your liking:

 

1. Turn the ignition key to the “ON” position without trying to start the engine.

 

2. Turn the Rev Limiter screw “Clockwise” until it stops. THEN, turn the screw “Counter Clockwise” until it stops. A slow blinking LED light will tell you it is ready to set.

3. Start turning the screw “Clockwise” then stop and observe the LED light. The LED will blink slow flashes for each 1000 RPM and quick flashes for each 100 RPM. (EXAMPLE: 5 slow flashes and 8 quick flashes = 5800 RPM). If you haven’t reached your limit, turn the screw “Clockwise” just a bit more and count again. If you go too far, turn the screw back just a hair and count. Once your reach your Rev Limit, allow the LED to cycle through the flashes at least 3 times to verify the correct setting. Once complete, TURN THE IGNITION OFF! This tells the unit the adjustment is complete. The engine will NOT start if you don’t turn the key off to set the unit. To disable the Rev Limiter, simply turn the screw to the fully “Counter Clockwise” position.

 

Install your cap and rotor, start the car and set your timing as per proper instructions. Since this unit reads off the points cam, no magnetic trigger wheel is needed under the rotor.

 

RUNNING A FULL 12 VOLTS:

 

Ballast Resistors and Resistance Wires were installed in old points systems to reduce the voltage to the points and keep them from burning up. Electronic or high energy ignitions do want a full 12 volts. It’s up to you with regard to how you install either the Ignitor II or Ignitor III systems. Again. The Ignitor III system requires a full 12 volts to operate. My experience with the Ignitor II is that it will run fine on 10 volts to the coil with a healthy resistance wire. If you have a stock engine or a mildly modified pump gas engine (less than 10:1 compression) and are a street cruiser, you can leave it alone. You would probably not notice any difference in bypassing the resistance wire. If you are a serious racer maximizing your horsepower, you most likely will want the Ignitor III unit and change to a full 12 volts along with the new coil. Pertronix also has high energy “Stock Looking” 7 mm wires for AMC’s They look just like the original factory wire sets. The plug boots are even the same.

 

There are two ways to do it.

 

One would be to trace your coil wire back to the fuse block and tie into that IGN terminal a new separate 12 gauge copper stranded wire bypassing the resistance wire. You don’t want to remove the old wire from the connector at the fuse panel since I believe that wire also ties into the voltage regulator and alternator. You have to tie into IGN ON Only, not ACC.

 

The other way is to intall a Power Relay System as shown below. This would give you a full 12 volts to the coil without messing with the fuse panel or resistance wire. It uses a relay from Radio Shack Part # 275-226. I would suggest you make the break at the coil wire running from your harness to the coil. If you still have your insulator tube that the coil wire runs through, you can hide the cut within the tube, then save the other half of your original coil wire if you ever want to put it back. You could mount the power relay under starter relay. Making the cut at the coil wire after the harness should also insure you will have no effect on the voltage regulator and alternator.

 
For additional information, you can go to www.pertronix.com
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Edited by TorqueyAMX - May/27/2009 at 10:09am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PHAT69AMX Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/03/2009 at 6:19am
Great Info - Thanks.
 
May I ask, how does one make an "informed decision" selecting between
the (3) or (4) Pertronix Coils, not counting black or chrome, oil or epoxy filled,
meaning selecting between 0.3 Ohm, 0.6 Ohm, 1.5 Ohm, or 3.0 Ohm ?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote poormansMACHINE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/03/2009 at 8:40am
There's a coil application guide at the bottom of the coil section in their catalog.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TorqueyAMX Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/03/2009 at 9:17am
Originally posted by PHAT69AMX PHAT69AMX wrote:

Great Info - Thanks.
 
May I ask, how does one make an "informed decision" selecting between
the (3) or (4) Pertronix Coils, not counting black or chrome, oil or epoxy filled,
meaning selecting between 0.3 Ohm, 0.6 Ohm, 1.5 Ohm, or 3.0 Ohm ?
 
It's best to pick the coil designed for the particular unit especially concerning the new Ignitor III module. The new Flamethrower III coil was designed specifically for the new module. As an example: let's say you decide on an Ignitor II system and run it without changing to a full 12 volts and you install the 0.3 Ohm Flamethrower III coil, the new 0.3 Ohm Coil doesn't like it! It also wants a full 12 volts. The Flamethrower II coil works perfectly with the Ignitor II at any voltage. The Flamethrower III coil is compatible with the Ignitor II module run at a full 12 volts.
 
So:
 
Ignitor plus   Flamethrower or Flamethrower II coil.
Ignitor II  plus Flamethrower II coil. (OR Flamethrower III coil if you run the Ignitor II at a full 12 Volts.)
Ignitor III  Plus Flamethrower II BUT Flamethrower III recommended.
 
These will make the most of your system.


Edited by TorqueyAMX - May/03/2009 at 12:28pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote billd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/03/2009 at 10:00am
Anything special needed like a good heat sink grease, etc.?
Does it ground through the distributor plate?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TorqueyAMX Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/03/2009 at 10:15am
Originally posted by billd billd wrote:

Anything special needed like a good heat sink grease, etc.?
Does it ground through the distributor plate?
 
Yes Bill it grounds through the distributor plate. I added that it's a good idea to check the ground wire attached to the vac advance for a good ground. No grease should be needed.
 
I guess I was the "Test Dummy"LOL for this unit. Every time Pertronix comes out with something for AMC's, a box shows up at my doorTongue.
 
More stuff coming this summer in a month or two.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bigbad69 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/03/2009 at 11:07am
Torquey,

Could you explain what you mean by "2/4/5 times the energy of points"?

Since points (or modules) are essentially switches, there is no energy in them. You can't get an energy increase by changing a switch. I'm assuming the energy gains you quote are in the coil. So it's not the conversion kit used, but the coil selected that dictates the energy gain. Could you, for example, use a Flamethrower III coil on an 1181 ignitor kit?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TorqueyAMX Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/03/2009 at 11:46am
Originally posted by bigbad69 bigbad69 wrote:

Torquey,

Could you explain what you mean by "2/4/5 times the energy of points"?

Since points (or modules) are essentially switches, there is no energy in them. You can't get an energy increase by changing a switch. I'm assuming the energy gains you quote are in the coil. So it's not the conversion kit used, but the coil selected that dictates the energy gain. Could you, for example, use a Flamethrower III coil on an 1181 ignitor kit?
 
You are right to a certain extent. It is a combination of both and how much energy (Voltage) is delivered to the system and how well the unit be it points or electronic controls the coil operation at various RPMs. Of course points were limited by voltage, floating at high rpm along with precise dwell control. And yes, say an Ignitor or Ignitor II will operate with an OEM coil but it will work better with a lower resistance performance coil. As for the super low resistance (0.32 Ohm)45,000 Volt Flamethrower III coil, it was designed to work with the Ignitor III module and I did do some testing with it combined with the Ignitor II module operating at 10 Volts with the resistance wire in place and it DID NOT work. If you operate the Ignitor II and the Ignitor III at 12 Volts, the Flamethrower III coil will work fine. The 45,000 Volt Flamethrower II (0.6 Ohm) coil seems to work either way at 10 or 12 volts and with either the Ignitor II or III. When I tried the III coil on the Ignitor II coil at 10 volts, the car ran very rich and as soon as I put it in gear, it would die every time. Changed it back to the II coil and everything was Hunky Dory again. I'm not sure why that is but am certainly going to find out. When you have a fixed level of energy to work with, you can only take it so far. After that, you need more to take it to the next level. I think it has more to do with a system that operates at peak efficiency and maximizes the energy available and is able to deliver it precisely. Just as an out of tune engine does not put out the peak power it is capable of.
 
Below are a couple of graphs that may help especially regarding "Adaptive Dwell" and how it affects coil performance. It even shows how different the module works with an OEM coil and a Flamethrower coil. The graph deals with the Ignitor II system. The III unit is a brand new system
 
 
 


Edited by TorqueyAMX - May/03/2009 at 12:24pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TorqueyAMX Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/03/2009 at 12:08pm
I will be updating this thread early next week with additional information on how the new Ignitor III system works. From what I understand from a brief conversation with the Pertronix engineering guru, it has some unique elements to it especially in comparison to an HEI system and how it energizes the coil. He is going to email some new information on Monday.
 
When the Ignitor III was ready, I received one of the very first Delco units since the head Pertronix guy knew I also had an AMC. He wanted to know if it would work. The breaker plate is unique to AMC with the exception of an older Buick V6 distributor. So that's why I sent him my distributor so they could redesign the system to work with everything. He has been making efforts to make stuff for AMC's.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote billd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/03/2009 at 1:04pm
I will toss this out..... The coil needs to be fully saturated to be effective. That means the magnetic lines of force ALL the way through the entire coil - all windings, and a stronger magnetic field depends on the electrical power as well. Points can limit that power due to their limitation on current handling (ever seen blue points?)
Even the best coil isn't the best if the coil isn't fully saturated with magnetic energy. That takes TIME.
 The switch as far as points can only handle so much current AND there's time limit because they have to be open so long to come far enough apart - because of mechanical limitations. A good coil is going to be able to product peak spark only at lower speeds due to the dwell situation. At higher speeds, there's not enough time for the coil to be fully saturated. The magnetic lines of force haven't made their way through the full coil windings, and will start to collapse too soon.
At lower speeds, no real problem - you also don't really NEED the higher energy because it's easier to fully and properly ignite the charge at lower speeds.
Conditions are nearly perfect - there's time, full saturation, and low load so the charge takes less energy to fire.
Of course there's some marketing involved here, too. If the engine is properly tuned, mixture right, etc - you'll never need all that coil energy. Just because it can put out 75KV doesn't mean it ever will.
Once the plug gap is overcome, the voltage STOPs building. But if the coil is fully saturated with a big field, it will take time for that field to collapse, and it contains more energy so the spark duration can be longer.
It takes time to build the field, and it takes time for it to fully collapse. You may never use the voltage, but a fully saturated coil means more energy for a longer spark duration.
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