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flatter4

'standard' electronic ignition

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I know.... the correct answer is to fit a megajolt system.

...but, if I insist on keeping some of the car old(ish) school, what is the best electronic ignition system - at a sensible price.  I've used in the past (20 years ago) a Lumention Newtronic (Piranha) system, which seemed reliable (infrared light source and 'chopper', with an external box about the size of 2 cigarette boxes).

Now there are plenty of units that fit entirely inside the distributor cap - which appeals to me for the simplicity and OE look.
  -  Is it worth paying the extra (3x) of the Lumention or similar?
  -  Is the Accuspark thing any good? - Ebay retailers and http://accuspark.co.uk/car_search.html
  -  Searching on here, "Simon's BBC" unit is referred to.  What is this?

Cheers all.

 

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I have anaccuspark one on my Toledo, seems fine. Probably the same as the Simon BBC one. A few years ago I stumbled on a link to the company that actually makes them. Under $1 each at the time if you bought a lot (500?? Can't remember now and never found the link again, but it crossed my mind to buy some and flog them at a tenner each!)

 

Anyway, also ran 3 Aldon/pertronix in a few cars for a total of 25 years ish, Never a problem, but about double the price of the cheap type.

 

All thses fit under the dizzy cap, super neat and tidy.

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I know plenty have used the Accuspark units and found them ok, however my experience with anything Accuspark is that it's cheap rubbish and best avoided, I was told that some of the early 4 cylinder units were tested and the pick-up weren't at 90°. I used an Aldon Ignitor for over 10 years and that done a good job, have fitted Lumenition kits to friends cars and these have worked well too. These guys are also worth a try: http://www.h-h-ignitionsolutions.co.uk/

Darren

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I run the Simon BBC system in my Mk1 2000, never had any issues with it. It was fitted by the PO, so can't say for installation.

Edit: Forgot to say, you can purchase either through eBay or Google for his website.

Cheers

Phil

Edited by thebrookster

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Hi Flatter 4

May I sort of hijack your thread which hopefully won't take it off at a tangent, but I'm pondering the same question.

As for 2018 changes in the TR Sprint Hill Climb Championship mean that the Vitesse will never meet the Roadgoing regs, it means it will have to run in modified, so it means I can play with mapped ignition systems. To be honest I have always stuck to distributor and points (fortunate in having a couple of NOS distributors) and its simple to maintain, set up, and repair in a rush.

But thinking about trying something different for next season, but am in a quandary about which direction to take.

Now I could just try a simple electronic points conversion and retain mechanical advance for say £50-120, but assuming that I'm almost certainly going to wan to play, then fully programmable seems to be the way to go.

Three obvious choices come to mind 

There is the Aldon system

http://www.aldonamethyst.co.uk

Which at around £200 plus £100 for the optional Ignitor Electronic points replacement    Total £300

There is the 123 Tune 

http://www.123ignition.nl/product.phtml?id=195

Probably around £400

Both the above have the advantage that switching between that system and back to conventional distributor/points is only a few mins work.

Or we could go the Megajolt Bundle

http://www.trigger-wheels.com/store/contents/en-uk/p169.html

For around £350

More installation work, and not a quick swap back to conventional if there are problems.

So really all the options seem to fall into the £3-400 range, so anyone any experience of any of the above, Pro's/Con's, thoughts etc.   NB I do already have TPS installed so can use that or MAP for the Aldon or Megajolt options.

 

Alan

 

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Hello Alan

                  I ran Megajolt on my Spitfire 1500 for about 5years with no trouble at all and it is very tune able and no slack in the timing(ie chain, sprockets,distributor )

I used a map sensor 

I also fitted it to my brother in laws TR6 on SU,s and the change was noticeable! (easier starting and better tick over) it was running a Chris Witor cam and about 9 to 1 comp and 6 branch exhaust.

I have photos of both some where if you want them?

https://www.chriswitor.com/proddetail.php?prod=CW3021OT

Pity I did not know earlier in the year as I sold all the Megajolt kit

Roger

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Megajolt shouldn't be difficult to swap back. You could leave the dizzy in place, and the coil etc. The only real things you need to do to the engine is fit a trigger wheel and pickup. And I suspect it will be the most flexible installation. (I set one up about 10 years ago, and there is one fitted to one of my spitfires)

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I always thought that the Simon BBC & Accuspark were the same thing. Though checking just now I see that Simon BBC call theirs "Powerspark" and Accuspark appear to be an entirely separate thing.......

Anyway, I once had an Aldon Ignitor bought as part of an expensive "corrected to my engine spec" distributor for my Herald 1300. It worked fine. I've just bought a Simon BBC unit (powerspark) to go in the clockwork Delco dizzy fitted to the Spit. Not installed it yet as neither of the two crappy Lucas ACR 16 alternators we've tried so far seem to understand the concept of "regulate" and I want to stick a decent alternator in before fitting the EI so we don't just melt it.

The Aldon ignitor is AFAIK exactly the same thing as the Pertronix and they can be bought for MUCH less than the £ 100 or so Aldon charge. I would say these are the pick of the "under-cap" bunch.

Beyond that, my own view is that if you want a mapped / mappable system then you should use a trigger wheel based one and eliminate the effects of timing chain and gear-drive slack/backlash from the equation. You can always run a distributor as well and just swap leads if you are that paranoid about reliability. Mine (Ford EDIS-6 based with MS2 ECU) has been working for approx. 12 years/50k miles starting with ex-scrapyard components and the only mishaps have related to a certain red monkey failing to clip the coil-pack connector down properly. I'll just complicate matters and add to the list by saying why not use the Megasquirt ECU rather than Megajolt. Even MS1 ver 2.2 can control spark on the same basis as MJL (via EDIS-6) and MS2 on ver 3 hardware (with a couple of extra coil drivers added) can do the job direct without EDIS. Then you will be FI ready too and can use the logging functions available via MS and Tuner Studio.

Nick

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4 hours ago, Nick Jones said:

Not installed it yet as neither of the two crappy Lucas ACR 16 alternators we've tried so far seem to understand the concept of "regulate" and I want to stick a decent alternator in before fitting the EI so we don't just melt it.

Beyond that, my own view is that if you want a mapped / mappable system then you should use a trigger wheel based one and eliminate the effects of timing chain and gear-drive slack/backlash from the equation. You can always run a distributor as well and just swap leads if you are that paranoid about reliability. Mine (Ford EDIS-6 based with MS2 ECU) has been working for approx. 12 years/50k miles starting with ex-scrapyard components and the only mishaps have related to a certain red monkey failing to clip the coil-pack connector down properly. I'll just complicate matters and add to the list by saying why not use the Megasquirt ECU rather than Megajolt. Even MS1 ver 2.2 can control spark on the same basis as MJL (via EDIS-6) and MS2 on ver 3 hardware (with a couple of extra coil drivers added) can do the job direct without EDIS. Then you will be FI ready too and can use the logging functions available via MS and Tuner Studio.

Nick

As usual some good inputs.

Hm, seeing your comment about Alternators, wonder what they would all make of my Dynamo and Regulator, haven't had any problems with the Innovate Data Logger and Wideband controller, but that is only logging. Suppose if I ask someone like Trigger Wheels they will just laugh!

Take the point about using a Trigger Wheel.

Interesting your comment about using Mega/MicroSquirt ECU, instead of Jolt.  A quick investigation on Trigger Wheels seems that buying the Complete Microsquirt Kit or Buying the ECU plus just the bits to just do the Ignition Stuff both work out around £600 mark, although its very unclear if it will support my wideband sensors without an additional £100 module.  If the Microsquirt had decent data logging to something like a USB stick, then it would be the way to go as I could remove my installed Innovate data logger, but as far as I can see it will only log to an attached PC (too bulky for competition use) or to an additional £300 data logger.

I suppose one of the ways to go could be install Megajolt Kit £350, and then if I wan't  to go EFI I would only have to stump up for the Microsquirt ECU £350 more expensive in the long run but only if I want EFI and as they have just excluded that from Modified (unless originally fitted) its not really an option. 

NB Anyone reading, This is only my understanding of the Mega/MicroSquirt options from a first read, I have no experience of it! 

OK some stuff to ponder

Alan

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5 hours ago, rogerguzzi said:

I also fitted it to my brother in laws TR6 on SU,s and the change was noticeable! (easier starting and better tick over) it was running a Chris Witor cam and about 9 to 1 comp and 6 branch exhaust.

 

 

Hi Roger

That's the same Cam that I'm using with around 9.3:1 compression and it will pull nicely up to 7K.  Don't need easier starting or better tickover as mine does that already, his problem must have been those crappy SU's instead of decent Stromberg's :biggrin:

Might pick your brains on the installation though as it should be almost identical to the Vitesse.

Alan

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Trigger Wheels aren't such good value as they once were.......

https://www.diyautotune.com/shop/megasquirt-kits-components/megasquirt-1/

Take a look at DIY autotune.  MS1 kit on version 2.2 hardware under $ 180.  Pretty quick and easy to build if you can solder - enjoyable too.  You will need EDIS with this.

MS2 kit on version 3 hardware, just under $ 300.  That can be made to drive the coils directly with minor additions or you can use EDIS.  Version 3 hardware is a bit more involved to build but still perfectly possible (I've done several).  This one is also upgradeable to MS3 where things like fully sequential injection and  SD card data logging come in.  That does start to to add up though.

Pretty sure there are other ways of interfacing with the ECU now too (involving 3rd party devices) giving possibilities of logging to android phones and clever stuff like that.  Pure witchcraft to me but another fairly local Vitesse owner (who used to post on here from time to time) has started to do things like that - I can probably hunt him down if you'd like to know more.

Just struck me that the MJL system is fairly limited for what it costs in terms of expandability whereas the MS stuff could keep you (and therefore us) amused for years!

Dynamo and regulator probably do a better job than an elderly Lucas ACR or new fake built from PRC knock-off bits......  I've seen regular spikes of 22v and the occasional 40v on my datalogs in the early days.  Used to cause ECU resets but didn't melt anything luckily.

 

Nick

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One argument for trigger wheel based systems I've heard is that the distributors are never truly square (or hexagonal?) therefore you are only ever setting the spark advance by the worst case cylinder.  Trigger wheels allow you to set up properly equalised advance.

 

Now I'm not certain how much these are likely to be out or how much that slight difference makes, but it seems like a sensible argument.

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43 minutes ago, egret said:

One argument for trigger wheel based systems I've heard is that the distributors are never truly square (or hexagonal?) therefore you are only ever setting the spark advance by the worst case cylinder.  Trigger wheels allow you to set up properly equalised advance.

 

Now I'm not certain how much these are likely to be out or how much that slight difference makes, but it seems like a sensible argument.

Systems triggered from toothed wheels directly attached to the crank are always going to be the most accurate as they eliminate any flex, backlash, chatter, flutter etc.  This is why they have been used on nearly all engines produced in the last 15 - 20 years.  Though some may appear to have a distributor by having a rotor arm and cap to point the spark from a single coil to the right cylinder.

The 36-1 trigger wheel used by EDIS only gives 10º resolution (+ interpolation) and there are others out there that give tighter resolution. 60-2 is a common one.  Pretty much anything made in the last 15 years will also have a cam position sensor to allow positioning for sequential injection - needed to meet emissions standards.

I still remember how impressed I was with the difference made by the distributorless system (I'd already run a year with FI and a points distributor) right from the first fire-up.  Rock steady idle, sharp strobe line, dead-on 10º.........

Worth the effort IMO.

Nick

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