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Electronic Ignitions

bri66bri66 Posts: 220
edited March 2014 in Ford
I need some advice for my 1966 Mustang 289 2v. After driving my restored Mustang for 6 months I had completely forgotten how horrible points are. I have had to readjust my timing, dwell, and points three times this summer to keep it running smoothly. Everyone I've talked to reccommends losing the points and changing it over to an electronic set-up. Question, has anyone with a vintage car changed over and to what. The Mustang after market stores offer the ignitor and the ignitor II by Pertronix. Any advice?


  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,586
    There are many electronic ignition set ups.
    I've used several in marine applications with Ford V-8s.
    I generally use the Crane XR-I - Points to Electronic Ignition for $69.99 from Northern Auto Parts
    It is an easy install and works great.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,360
    They ARE great. The only downside I can think of is if they modify the distributor to the point (no pun intended) where you cannot slap a set of ignition points back in there if you are stuck in the middle of nowhere.

    I'm surprised you had to adjust your points so often. This suggests to me that you need to rebuild your distributor.

    Given how easy they are to replace, what I would do, if you don't want to go EI, is to buy a second distributor already set up with new points, rotor, cap, etc. and just slap that in at tune up time. Then renew your old distributor parts at your leisure.

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  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,586
    The crane units require no mods, that is one reason I like them so well.
  • bri66bri66 Posts: 220
    Thanks to all for your responses. Mr. Shiftright you think it might be my distributor causing so many needed adjustments? I thought it might have been all the different variables. I had the motor rebuilt and only have 3,500 miles on it since. When I had the motor rebuilt I purchased a rebuilt distributor from a local parts store. Mustangs Unlimited supplied all the rest including original style cap and wires. I guess I could have a bad rebuilt distributor, I will check on that. With the 289 engine now bored to about 302 cube inch, new hardened valve seats, unleaded gas, I thought all those were probably playing a part on the timing, but I will check on the distributor. Thanks again.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,586
    First eliminate other problems. Check for vacuum leaks. Who set up the valves?
    Who set up the cam timing?
    Is the dwell & points actually going out of adjustment?
    If it is, then you need to make sure dist plate or the shaft isn't moving around.
    Is the screw staying tight for the points?
    If it is only the timing that is going out of adjusment, then check the distributer drive gear pin and make sure it isn't sheared and letting the gear move on the shaft. I have also seen where the cam pin shears and allows the cam gear to move.
    Start from scratch, set the engine to TDC and see exactly where the rotor points. Then crank the engine 2 full revolutions and recheck. If it doesn't end up in the same place, then there is a problem somewhere allowing either the dist gear or cam gear to move.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,360
    i wouldn't mess with rebuilt distributors. I'd buy a brand new one.

    Since your engine is rebuilt, that eliminates the prime suspect on any 289/302, which is the timing chain. Notorious "stretchers".

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