Electronic Ignition Conversion

NOTE: It is critical that you take your time and follow the manufacturers directions to make this conversion successful. This is just an example of my conversion, and should not be subsituted for the directions.

Keep these points in mind before starting this conversion

I picked up my Pertronix kit from Eldon at Valley Automotive Specialties in Medical Lake Washington. He would have installed it for a very reasonable price, but I wanted to do this article, so I chose to install it myself.

Here is the parts I started with:

Safety first, disconnect the battery cable. Then, just to retain your sanity when reinstalling the disributor set the timing to top dead center cylinder 1 and note the position of the distributor body and rotor:

Remove the distributor, and move to a clean place to work. I chose the dining table, but my wife is very understanding of my disease. Any neat workbench will do, but the cleaner the better.

Remove the points and condenser. Keep them around in a baggie in the glove box. If this ignition should ever fail, you can reinstall them with minimal effort, and get yourself home.

Install the trigger ring and rotor. You will have to remove the captured screws from the rotor. Just push them up until they get a bite in the plastic, and unscrew them. The rotor will be held on by the studs of the trigger ring.

Install the pickup assembly. It will screw on in place of the points using the points screws. Now you will need to check all of the clearances. The instructions I have indicate a minimum of .010" and a maximum of .060" Also, I found that my pickup had some casting flash sticking up, so I carefully removed it to avoid erronious measurements. First measure with all of the slack down towards the gear. You may have to tweak the pickup bracket, or shim the trigger ring to get this measurement within specs. Then, push all of the slack up towards the rotor and check clearance there, you may have to shim the drive gear to limit gear climb as I did on mine. Make sure you keep rotating the assembly and checking clearance in the lowest/highest place as applicable

Thread the wires from the pickup down through the hole in the bottom of the distributor and install the grommett. Tighten down all of of the screws and nuts. Voila! You have a completed distributor. However, were not quite done yet.

Reinstall the distributor, this will probably take a few tries to get the distributor body, the rotor, and the oil pump shaft to line up correctly. Once installed wire it up per the directions. Mine was red wire to the ignition switch side of the ballast resistor, and black wire to the negative side of the coil. Make sure you check and see how it should be wired for your engine and coil. Static time the engine. Install the new distributor cap, and gap and install the new spark plugs. The pertronix website recommeded gapping the plugs .005" wider than stock for the electronic ignition. Reconnect the battery and double check everything. Start your engine.

After you start your engine, time it by ear enough to get it running and warm it up. After it is warm, time it to manufacturer specs and enjoy.