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Old 07-15-2019, 01:50 PM   #1
randy993
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Default options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

Hello all,
I'm seriously considering going to electronic ignition on my '41 PU. I'm sitting here now with a no start, no fire situation. The truck has the helmet style distributor with the coil adapter kit added at some point. I don't know any of the history about the truck except it sat for close to 30 years prior to me getting it last year. It's been running and drivable. It's been converted to a 12v system. I've replaced the coil with bosch blue coil shortly after getting the truck and also replaced the plug wires. I wanted to stay with the stock system and at some point in time pull it and send it to Bubbas for refresh, but I wasn't ready to quite yet. I have been trying to track down what my current issue is. I'm getting voltage to the coil, but no spark.
I've did a search on the electronic coversions and they seem to be pretty popular. I guess I'm confused on what you do about timing advance and so on with the electronic systems and also recommendations on what brand.
Thanks in advance,
Randy
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Old 07-15-2019, 03:24 PM   #2
Phil Gillespie
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

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Originally Posted by randy993 View Post
Hello all,
I'm seriously considering going to electronic ignition on my '41 PU. I'm sitting here now with a no start, no fire situation. The truck has the helmet style distributor with the coil adapter kit added at some point. I don't know any of the history about the truck except it sat for close to 30 years prior to me getting it last year. It's been running and drivable. It's been converted to a 12v system. I've replaced the coil with bosch blue coil shortly after getting the truck and also replaced the plug wires. I wanted to stay with the stock system and at some point in time pull it and send it to Bubbas for refresh, but I wasn't ready to quite yet. I have been trying to track down what my current issue is. I'm getting voltage to the coil, but no spark.
I've did a search on the electronic coversions and they seem to be pretty popular. I guess I'm confused on what you do about timing advance and so on with the electronic systems and also recommendations on what brand.
Thanks in advance,
Randy
How about first try a condenser replacement? Have you checked for a spark at a spark plug with wire removed and held close to plug when cranking?
Phil NZ
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Old 07-15-2019, 03:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

I'd try to get the stock system working first, since there's no guarantee that converting to electronic will fix the problem(s). JMTCW.
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Old 07-15-2019, 03:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

Remove it and look for any issues Clean and reset the points gap
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Old 07-15-2019, 04:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

I have a crab with electronic on both my 36 and 41. Can't beat it.
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Old 07-15-2019, 05:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

Running crab with Pertronix ignition and Flamethrower coil on the 59A/B in my '41 coupe for five years. That is pretty much the only thing on the car that has not given me any trouble. That said, I carry a spare distributor (with points) in the trunk, because when the electronic gadget fails, there is no roadside fix.
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Old 07-15-2019, 05:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

It was the condenser. Had to drive into town to get one. My original question still stands about the electronic conversion.
My plans for the truck are to drive it around town 10-20 miles at a time, 300 to 400 miles a year.
The info I read on the stock distributor was kinda scary. Takes a special machine to set it up and so on. Although once set up correctly gives good service. I've invested in a new coil and wires already and would like to stay with the stock set up.
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

You're already most of the way home. With the way you are planning on using the truck, the stock ignition will probably last longer than you will. Millions of backyard mechanics had no problems getting these distributors to work over the last 80 years. I'm an "8BA guy", so I'm no expert, but I think there is a way to set these distributors correctly with two rulers. I'm sure somebody will jump in.
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:56 PM   #9
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

put a crab on it forget that electronic stuff you will always get home with points
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Old 07-15-2019, 08:50 PM   #10
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

No one makes a good kit for the 41 Helmet..............Crabs yes but helmets no. The condensors on those coil adapters are the worlds worse !!!!!!!!!
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:15 PM   #11
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

I use a napa ih200 on my helmet. Went through a couple to get a good one out of the box. okay so far. Not the best "maybe" but it's easy to get. No issues so far 2 yrs of easy starts and top speed of 75 with the Mitchell. No complaints. I know there are better and maybe someone will add. FA something????


Rebuilt helmet dizzy. Skip coil. Solid


Points don't just quit.




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Old 07-15-2019, 11:44 PM   #12
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

My '47 uses a crab with points and Bosch blue coil. Previously had several Pentroniz units burn out ($$$$) and could not find out why - apparently voltage sensitivity - they didn't "get me home". Had it converted it back to points and all good now. I also carry a spare in trunk .... easy two-bolt replacement.
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Old 07-16-2019, 04:10 AM   #13
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

Buy another condenser now, make sure it and the one you have just bought both work, and put one in the glove box as a spare. also carry the tools required to change it.

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Old 07-16-2019, 10:15 AM   #14
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

I have used a pertronix module in both my flatheads for years. They are crab type dist. Not helmet style. Do not think it is made for the helmet. Be sure and use their coil with the conversion, and remove the ignition resister. Good Luck
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Old 07-16-2019, 11:45 AM   #15
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

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I have used a pertronix module in both my flatheads for years. They are crab type dist. Not helmet style. Do not think it is made for the helmet. Be sure and use their coil with the conversion, and remove the ignition resister. Good Luck
How much of a difference is there when you use another coil?
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Old 07-16-2019, 01:17 PM   #16
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

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How much of a difference is there when you use another coil?
Probably not any if you use a coil with 1.5 ohm built in resistance, like the Bosch blue coil. But with electronic ignition, why use anything other than exactly the unit recommended by the ignition manufacturer?
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Old 07-16-2019, 01:25 PM   #17
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

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Probably not any if you use a coil with 1.5 ohm built in resistance, like the Bosch blue coil. But with electronic ignition, why use anything other than exactly the unit recommended by the ignition manufacturer?
I thought the Bosch blue coil was 3.0 ohms? OK, think I may have misread your post!! Your saying 1.5 ohm primary winding resistance + 1.5 ohm built in additional resistance. Technically there is not an internal added 1.5 ohms of resistance, it's just the windings are such that the primary resistance ends up being 3.0 ohms. But doesn't really matter in this context.

Last edited by JSeery; 07-16-2019 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 07-16-2019, 05:39 PM   #18
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

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I thought the Bosch blue coil was 3.0 ohms? OK, think I may have misread your post!! Your saying 1.5 ohm primary winding resistance + 1.5 ohm built in additional resistance. Technically there is not an internal added 1.5 ohms of resistance, it's just the windings are such that the primary resistance ends up being 3.0 ohms. But doesn't really matter in this context.
I think I meant what you thought I meant. In summary, the Bosch blue coil has 1.5 ohms of additional resistance over the resistance of the windings, so an external resistor is not needed.
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Old 07-17-2019, 06:37 AM   #19
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

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i use a napa ih200 on my helmet. Went through a couple to get a good one out of the box. Okay so far. Not the best "maybe" but it's easy to get. No issues so far 2 yrs of easy starts and top speed of 75 with the mitchell. no complaints. I know there are better and maybe someone will add. Fa something????


Rebuilt helmet dizzy. Skip coil. Solid


points don't just quit.




.
fa54
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Old 07-17-2019, 07:10 AM   #20
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

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How much of a difference is there when you use another coil?
I for one do not recommend the Pertronix coil . Prefer a German made Bosch Blue coil or a 2.2 ohm Beru German coil.....
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Old 07-17-2019, 07:15 AM   #21
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

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I think I meant what you thought I meant. In summary, the Bosch blue coil has 1.5 ohms of additional resistance over the resistance of the windings, so an external resistor is not needed.
The primary winding of the Bosch Blue coil is wound so it has approx 3.0 ohms of resistance from end to end,there is no resistor etc in the coil.

Coil winding wire sizes changes with needs and output requirements. Center steel laminets wire size ( as well as position some put primary windings in the center and other makers put it on the outside) . Each coil has a inductor rating for the job. The low compression of the flatheads make this a easy job for most coils....
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Old 07-17-2019, 07:32 AM   #22
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

Guys, it seems like the preference for electronic vs. stock ignition is highly personal, with undying fans on each side......a little like the 6 volts vs. 12 volts conversion pros and cons.



I have both electronic and "conventional" or stock ignitions on my cars. When the electronic (Pertronix) failed, my solution was AAA with the roll back to get back to my house where I could fix it. Carrying a spare distributor etc. and changing it roadside isn't my idea of a good time, but I could do it and admire those who do.


I love the electronic ignition that the PO put on the car that has it.....12 volts and instant starts etc. I also love the 6 volt conventional...Bubba crab and Skip coil... that's on the the car set up that way.


So, to each his own...and I am thankful we have the options and the tech support to keep each one going!!
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:38 AM   #23
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

I want to thank everyone for the replies and suggestions. I beleive for now I'm going to stay with the stock set up. I've ordered a service manual and hope I can get educated on how to service it.
Thanks again,
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:32 AM   #24
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

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Originally Posted by randy993 View Post
I want to thank everyone for the replies and suggestions. I beleive for now I'm going to stay with the stock set up. I've ordered a service manual and hope I can get educated on how to service it.
Thanks again,
A good plan that's not dependent on the type of ignition you choose.
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:46 AM   #25
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

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I want to thank everyone for the replies and suggestions. I beleive for now I'm going to stay with the stock set up. I've ordered a service manual and hope I can get educated on how to service it.
Thanks again,

Despite my natural resistance and lack of talent, the "learning and getting educated" is my number one source of happiness with this hobby!



Tubman nailed it in his post above!!!
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Old 07-17-2019, 10:00 AM   #26
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

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Guys, it seems like the preference for electronic vs. stock ignition is highly personal, with undying fans on each side......a little like the 6 volts vs. 12 volts conversion pros and cons.
Or which oil to use in a flathead.
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Old 07-17-2019, 07:34 PM   #27
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

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Originally Posted by marko39 View Post
fa54

Thanks Marko. I might order a few from napa and mess around changing them out to see if I feel a difference.


I might also buy tubmans version too. Seems like a very good one. Pre-tested anyways.
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Old 07-18-2019, 10:22 AM   #28
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

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How much of a difference is there when you use another coil?
The resistance needs to be correct for the module requirements. I think 1.5
All the failures I have seen were using the wrong coil.
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Old 07-21-2019, 12:14 PM   #29
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Default Re: options for electronic ignition conversion on my '41

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The resistance needs to be correct for the module requirements. I think 1.5
All the failures I have seen were using the wrong coil.
Yep every time.......
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