I would like to fit some sort of electronic ignition to my 4.2. Any suggestions? They seem to start around $70 and go to $450? I am tempted on the $79 unit avail from Melbourne, Australia. Looks easy to fit. Geoff
I am using this one…
Was $39 when I got it last year, now $59. I had always used points but thought for 40 bucks I’d give it a try. Put it in to test it and never got around to taking it out. About 9,000 miles since.
It works just fine and my tach also worked with it w/o any modification. It’s (I think) just a Pertronix knock-off.
What is best for you probably depends on your objective, why you are moving away from points and how you drive. Anyway, that gadget worked for me.
P.S. Welcome to the J-L Forum.
I had no problem with the standard points setup for 20 years! Then a friend gave me a spare Pertronix. So I installed it and it works fine. There has been no problem with the tachometer working. So I will leave it installed!
Dennis 69 OTS
Welcome to the forum Geoff. It would help us answer your question if you explained what you are trying to achieve. There are multiple categories of “electronic ignition”, ranging from:
Electronic replacements for your distributor points/condenser. With this you retain your Lucas distributor with mechanical advance (and possibly vacuum advance/retard depending on distributor model), and just replace the points/condenser with an electronic pickup. Advantage - no more periodic points adjustment, and possibly more reliable.
Replacement electronic distributor. With this you discard your Lucas distributor, and replace it with an electronic version which uses electronics to control the advance curve. The unit may offer multiple advance curve selections, or may be fully programmable. Advantage - your Lucas distributor may be worn out, and need a rebuild anyway, so why not go for something more flexible and reliable?
Distributorless ignition. With this you have no distributor at all. Separate coil packs are used for each spark plug, and the timing of the spark is controlled by an electronics module which is fully programmable. Advantage - no modern car uses a distributor. Time to get into the 21st century…
Several to choose from in each category…
My distributer is fine and all going well. I am trying not to spend to much money on my car at the moment. But have heard electronics aide starting and can slightly improve performance and reduce maintenance ( eg cleaning points). Possibly the $80 dollars is all I need to spend. I do not intend to do many km in it and it is still 12months off being finished.
There is a lot of both hype and truth on this subject, but if you just want to replace the points with an electronic trigger you might consider just using the points initially and see how it goes.
I don’t think there is any performance gain to be had from the Pertronix type though if the distributor is worn to the point where it is wobbly a replacement of points with electronic may give a steadier idle.
As for maintenance, the routine stuff like filing the points and adjusting the gap may be at most an annual exercise on a lightly used car. That said, on the last Oil Leak I probably would have had to at least examine the points once or twice over the course of 4000+ miles whereas with the electronic I didn’t give it a thought.
The main downside to the Pertronix style is that they work well until they don’t… then there isn’t much you can do about it but install another Pertronix or revert to the points. Points OTOH are easily serviced and cheap to replace.
Bottom line, you may find it easier to initially set up the engine with points and get it running well that way… then try the electronic if it still has appeal.
Pertronix all the way, not had a problem in 4 years and 5000 miles