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Electronic ignition
#1
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RICZ1953
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Has anyone installed an electronic ignition in a 1953 Mayfair with a Delco Remy Distributor

Posted on: 2023/9/9 21:17
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Re: Electronic ignition
#2
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BigKev
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Avoid using the Petronix on 6v. Works great on 12v, but 6v is on the edge. Lots of folks have tried and ended up stranded and switched back to reliable points.

Posted on: 2023/9/9 21:22
-BigKev


1954 Packard Clipper Deluxe Touring Sedan -> Registry | Project Blog

1937 Packard 115-C Convertible Coupe -> Registry | Project Blog
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Re: Electronic ignition
#3
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Ozstatman
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G'day RICZ1953,
to PackardInfo.

I invite you to include your '53 Mayfair in PackardInfo's Packard Vehicle Registry.

Posted on: 2023/9/9 21:52
Mal
/o[]o\
====

Bowral, Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia
"Out of chaos comes order" - Nietzsche.

1938 Eight Touring Sedan - SOLD

1941 One-Twenty Club Coupe - SOLD

1948 Super Eight Limo, chassis RHD - SOLD

1950 Eight Touring Sedan - SOLD

What's this?
Put your Packard in the Packard Vehicle Registry!
Here's how!
Any questions - PM or email me at ozstatman@gmail.com
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Re: Electronic ignition
#4
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DavidPackard
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RICZ1953

I use Pertronix ignition modules in my ’48, Autolite (7 years), and ’54 Delco (10 years) equipped Packards, both are 6+ systems. I think we have to go back to the recent discussion on the size of battery cables. Ultimately something will limit the ability to start an engine, and voltage drop becomes more important if Pertronix equipment is installed. My experience is; if the starting and charging portion of the electrical system is maintained, then the performance of the Pertronix equipment is acceptable. I also have a Pertronix ignition in my ’30 Model A (17 years), but that car has been converted to 12-, so other than system reliability no other comparisons can be made. Our local Model A expert will frequently add that if the car is equipped a Pertronix ignition and an alternator you better know that they isn’t a lot of AC ripple in the DC alternator output, although I have not independently confirmed that concern.

I’ve got 34 combined years of use with these ignition systems and have not had an occurrence to question their proper operation . . . but none of this experience is at an outside air temperature where the battery capacity would be in question. It’s a buy, install, and forget item . . . I wish I could say the same about carburetors. I also question whether the industry has a source of reliable condensers for the traditional ignition system.

dp

Posted on: 2023/9/10 15:09
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Re: Electronic ignition
#5
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HH56
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The big thing with 6v Pertronix units seems to be voltage drop. The electronic components in the unit need a specific and stable voltage at around 5v. Some solid state logic families can only tolerate as little as 1 or 2 tenths of a volt up or down from their design point before operation becomes erratic. Power supply chips in the units are present to keep operating voltage in the correct range and while 12v units can tolerate a lot of voltage loss because of bad conditions before the unit acts up, with a 6v supply there is not much extra to spare before even the power supply cannot regulate to spec.

As long as the battery has enough capacity and is in good conditon, cables are sized correctly, wires good, and terminal connections and switch contacts are clean all should be good. Let any of those conditions change and the available voltage to the unit drops enough that the electronic components become unstable.

Starters are another issue. A lot of complaints have to do with engines failing to start reliably with the Pertronix units. If something is wrong in the starter and it is working hard and needing to pull more current than normal the excess load has to come from somewhere. Not only will the starter affect voltage to the coil so it is putting out a weaker spark but so will voltage to the Pertronix be affected making what spark there is be erratic or maybe not at all.

Posted on: 2023/9/10 15:37
Howard
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Re: Electronic ignition
#6
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humanpotatohybrid
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I would suspect anything that is 6V compatible would use 3.3V for power and logic if the designers had any sense (and parts availability) but who knows.

A 6V car in good condition will drop to about 5V when cranking so I would hope the ignition could use 5V no problem.

One thing to try is to hook the ignition straight to the battery terminals to test. You will bypass any voltage drop. Ironically, for cars with undersized battery cables, the battery terminal voltage will actually be slightly higher than if the cables were correct, when cranking.

Posted on: 2023/9/10 16:50
'55 400. Needs aesthetic parts put back on, and electrical system sorted.
'55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: Electronic ignition
#7
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HH56
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Quote:
I would suspect anything that is 6V compatible would use 3.3V for power and logic if the designers had any sense (and parts availability) but who knows.

Maybe but as old and seemingly unchanged as the Pertronix is and the fact it wants to act up with almost any voltage drop I was thinking TTL at 5v is the likely family they chose even if it is very rigid as to needs. I think TTL is still less noise sensitive and can withstand rougher handling than some of the other and later families and that might be a factor too.

Posted on: 2023/9/10 17:22
Howard
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Re: Electronic ignition
#8
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DavidPackard
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Totally agree with comments made by HH56 and HPH. I know none of this was part of the original Packard design, and the cars worked just fine without electronic ignition, but if one wants to add such, then it should be with both eyes open.

I think the response to RICZ1953’s question should be “Yes, but the health/configuration of the rest of the starting system will determine your success rate. Experience suggests that the voltage available at the ignition module during cranking is the key characteristic of using a Pertronix module (note that ignition brand was not initial specified). An electronic ignition system will not likely cure existing starter system deficiencies, and the addition of an electronic ignition system may be detrimental to successful starting when paired with existing starter system deficiencies.”

I’m currently searching on whether a flooded cell battery would have more starting voltage droop when compared to an Optima AGM. So far I’ve found “AGM batteries also respond to loading better than flooded lead acid or gel batteries. They handle large power demands so well that they’re the go-to lead acid variety for start-stop vehicles.” I also found a site that explained a batteries’ aging process and a characteristic they called ‘voltage delay’, which results in less and delayed voltage at constant load. Still no hard numbers! With respect to the Pertronix question, if one battery design is better than another that information could be added to the collective tribal knowledge.

I’m thinking of running a test or two with an auxiliary battery powering the ignition only during starting. Right now, I have a pretty good idea on how my cars respond to being awoken from several weeks of rest. If adding 20 – 25% more spark energy makes any difference, I’ll report the findings. Remember during the transition from 6 to 12 volts the ballast resistor was not electrically in the starting circuit. . . that should tell us when it comes to starting ignition voltage ‘more is better’.

Dp

Posted on: 2023/9/10 19:42
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Re: Electronic ignition
#9
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TxGoat
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Starting issues with 6 volt systems are usually related to the starter or starter circuit, or a weak battery.

Starters in poor condition will draw excess current and deliver slower cranking. Weak batteries can't deliver full rated current or support system voltage during cranking and they are very hard on good starters.

The charging system needs to be in good order to keep the battery up and avoid overcharging.


I've never had issues with ignition points to the extent that I'd want to convert to some other system. Points last a long time in a proper installation, and in my experience, the stock, 6 volt point system will easily start the car under adverse conditions if the starter and charging system and battery are in good order.

Weak batteries, worn starters, and inadequate cables cause most starting issues.

Posted on: 2023/9/10 20:56
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Re: Electronic ignition
#10
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DrMorbius
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Maybe I was lucky but I had a 54 Caribbean for 24 years and it ran fine all those years with Pertronix 6 volt positive system, same with my Pacific for 18 years, and now it’s been over 9 years with my 1939 Super Eight with the Autolite system.

Steve

Posted on: 11/30 18:23
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