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ideola  



Joined: 01 Oct 2004
Posts: 15505
Location: Woodstock IL

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:27 pm    Post subject: modern ignition Reply with quote

While I'm pondering the problems with my 81 NA, I've been researching alternative ignition systems. These appear to be the options:
- Distributorless (a.k.a. Digital Ignition System, or DIS)
- Crane XR700-0292 (optical ignition sensor)
- MSD6A
- Petronix (???)

Distributorless would be the most modern and probably ultimately the most desirable. But it also seems to be the most expensive approach, and the least straight-forward. The appropriate Ford EDIS setups routinely go for $70 on eBay (trigger wheel, coil packs, EDIS unit, wiring); an assembled MegaJolt Lite Jr setup is ~$150; factor in some cost to have a welder fab up the crank pulley and sensor bracket (~$60-$75/hr seems to be local rate for welders); and then you have to figure out the wiring and get it all to work (read: lots of hours of troubleshooting for a first time installer).

Of course, the long-term advantage to this approach is that one would have solved what is arguably the toughest problem toward installing an EFI setup (the crank trigger). In addition, one could use MSII to do the digital ignition, rather than the MJLJ (but MSII is more costly than MJLJ). While doable, this option is a little costly both in terms of time and the learning curve.

So, after doing a bit of reading this past week, I've been looking more closely at the Crane setup, and boy does it look attractive. The Crane XR700-0292 eliminates the use of the Hall effect sender on the late model distributors or it replaces points on the earlier distributors, by providing an optical sensor replacement that bolts into the distributor. It even replaces the stock ignition unit. Pretty much bolt-in for about $100. Here are the installation instructions, if anyone is interested.

Over on Pelican, some of the 911 guys are using both the XR700 and an MSD6A setup. I'm not sure I understand why??? The MSD seems superfluous to me, but perhaps I'm missing something???

Also, Pertronix appears to have a potential solution, but haven't found enough info on it, or examples of people who are actually using them as a replacement for a similar Bosch ignition system to feel real comfortable with it as an alternative. More research is warranted...

I'd be interested in comments, and particularly if anyone has used a Crane setup (regardless if it was installed on a 924), as well as the notion of using the MSD6A and the Crane XR700.
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Lizard  



Joined: 03 Nov 2002
Posts: 9364
Location: Abbotsford BC. Canada

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Dan, I actually have an MSD6A ign box that I am looking to get rid of as I will never use it on the 928s, fire me off a pm with how much it is worth to you shipped with your address and I will probably send it off to you.
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Paul  



Joined: 02 Nov 2002
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Location: Southeast Wisconsin

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Optical setups have never worked well for me, I've had to remove everyone of them.
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ideola  



Joined: 01 Oct 2004
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Location: Woodstock IL

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Optical setups have never worked well for me, I've had to remove everyone of them.

Paul, care to elaborate? What sort of problems? What brand/systems did you use?

The reason I ask is two-fold:
- Some of my research indicated that the LED-based systems were no good, but I don't believe that is how the Crane system works. Wonder if that's what you encountered?
- Our very own CBass indicates in this post that he liked the Crane setup.
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pocketscience  



Joined: 23 Apr 2006
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Location: Sydney, Australia... mate!

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My MSD6A arrived today - it's sitting here in front of me. Had planned to get it installed over the weekend, but I now have to go to Dublin for work! Will post experiences once I'm done.

EDIT: Just opened the box - it's a big sucker... I thought for some reason it would be about the size of a mobile phone roughly, but this things monsterous... hmm, where to mount it...


Gavin.
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Last edited by pocketscience on Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Paul  



Joined: 02 Nov 2002
Posts: 9435
Location: Southeast Wisconsin

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The last Crane I looked at was LED based.

Most of my experience with these systems were in the 70s and 80s and were an attempt to replace points that needed to be changed every 12,000 miles.

Maybe they have gotten better, but the Crane system sure looks the same.
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ideola  



Joined: 01 Oct 2004
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Location: Woodstock IL

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a bit of an update:
According to The PerTronix website, the Ignitor system is a Hall-effect setup. Furthermore, they do not list an application for the 924 for anything other than the 1976-77 model years. Their website indicates:
PerTronix.com wrote:
the Ignitor electronic ignition is far from being universal. Each kit is designed specifically for the distributor type. However, our kits will often fit many distributors from the same manufacturer. A kit that has been designed for a particular distributor type may also fit other distributors that use the same point set, cap and rotor."

So while it might be possible to adapt the PerTronix Ignitor 1847V, it would hardly seem worth the effort...
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ideola  



Joined: 01 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another update, the Crane system is indeed an LED optical sensor. Still, aside from Paul's comments, I have read a number of posts on some of the other German car discussion boards, and have yet to find any negative comments about the XR700...
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Paul  



Joined: 02 Nov 2002
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.924board.org/viewtopic.php?t=21705&highlight=optical+ignition
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ideola  



Joined: 01 Oct 2004
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Location: Woodstock IL

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More on the topic...
Regarding reliability...
So far, I have found several posts regarding the Crane XR700 on BMW, Porsche, Jaguar, Alfa, and Austin Healey, and Mini sites. So far, I have yet to find a SINGLE post that disparages the reliability of the Crane optical ignition setup. The grain of salt is that almost all of these cars had points-based ignition (vs. the hall-effect setup in my car).

Regarding the ignition box...
The XR700 ignition box is a single spark ignition unit. So, in principle, another ignition box is technically superfluous. Ahhh...but not so fast...the Crane Hi6 and the MSD6A (and others like them) are multi-spark ignition boxes. Consequently, the combination of the optical sensor plus the multi-spark ignition box could be very interesting.

Bear in mind, the objective here is to get rid of the aging hall effect sensor in the 81-82 NA ign dizzy. Of course, I could just get the dizzy rebuilt, but we all know how well that strategy worked last time around...still, it might be worthwhile to look for a local Bosch rebuilder. If the dizzy can be rebuilt for <$150, then going that route and adding an MSD6A might make sense, since the new hall effect sender would prob'ly outlive the remaining life of the car.

On the other hand, for roughly the same price, one could convert to optical sensor, stick with the single spark ignition box that comes with it, and replace the single-spark ignition box a multi-spark box later on. Decisions, decisions...
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Min  



Joined: 04 Nov 2002
Posts: 2368
Location: Vernon, British Columbia, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ideola wrote:
Bear in mind, the objective here is to get rid of the aging hall effect sensor in the 81-82 NA ign dizzy. Of course, I could just get the dizzy rebuilt, but we all know how well that strategy worked last time around...still, it might be worthwhile to look for a local Bosch rebuilder. If the dizzy can be rebuilt for <$150, then going that route and adding an MSD6A might make sense, since the new hall effect sender would prob'ly outlive the remaining life of the car.

On the other hand, for roughly the same price, one could convert to optical sensor, stick with the single spark ignition box that comes with it, and replace the single-spark ignition box a multi-spark box later on. Decisions, decisions...


I ran a MSD 6al on my 924 for quite a few years before swapping over to EDIS ..... I can give you a detailed description of the problems you will encounter with this setup. Such as exploding rotors and distributor caps regularly ... (think every 3 months or so of daily driving), think crossfiring inside the distributor, think regular carbon tracing inside the distributor cap. The only times my car has ever stranded in 8 years ... was becuase of exploding rotors and distributor caps. And only twice. I found I had to drill holes in the new distributor caps to allow the ionized air out(this helped the cross firing problems, but the rotors would still explode every 3 months). On that note, anyone wanna buy a 6al? ......

Couple of other notes, EFI can be done without a trigger wheel on the crank. You can trigger megasquirt off the negative side of the coil if you want. Or off the distributor, or ... or ... its got tons of ways of doing things. Doing a 36-1 trigger wheel just lets you run EDIS, which I love.

EDIS, I installed it on my admittedly bad running CIS system, and I noticed a immediate difference over the 6AL, most EDIS modules support multispark as well, I tried to tune my ignition curve to the same as the stock distributor, don't know how close I got it, but wow, it made a huge difference, I ran with EDIS and CIS on my car for 2 months before doing the full EFI conversion, and the EDIS alone made the costs well worth it. My total costs for installing the trigger wheel was .... 3 dollars (the cost of 4 bolts and nuts) ... I just bolted the trigger wheel to a stock pully(same way macbdog did it). The biggest cost is ms2, if you plan on going with EFI, eventually, I'd suggest just getting a ms2, I can easily tell anyone how to setup the EDIS portion of it, and I can provide a ignition table that works. Just need a inductive timing light a laptop or computer close to your car, and some patience. Anyone who wants immediate assistance with anything EFI/EDIS related, feel free to message me on msn or email, or pm, or whatever.

Min
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ideola  



Joined: 01 Oct 2004
Posts: 15505
Location: Woodstock IL

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Min, I'd like more details on how the EDIS wheel bolts onto the crank. Is it really just as simple as pulling off the main crank pulley, drilling holes in the EDIS wheel and mounting it up with bolts???

Also, details on how you fabbed the bracket for your VR sensor would be nice too. I looked at some of your other posts on the subject, but didn't see specific details on the actual installation of these components, just after-the-fact photos.

Thanks in advance...
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ideola  



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yeah, one more thing...how did you fab up the ign dizzy block off plate?

Thx again...
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Min  



Joined: 04 Nov 2002
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ideola wrote:
Min, I'd like more details on how the EDIS wheel bolts onto the crank. Is it really just as simple as pulling off the main crank pulley, drilling holes in the EDIS wheel and mounting it up with bolts???


Yes, thats how simple it is. The real trick is getting it perfectly centered. This is were I screwed up, Mine is not perfect, and I don't have a big enough lathe to spin the pulley in to skim the outter edge off the teeth. However, it works just fine, and has been working just fine for over a year now. But I'm a perfectionist, which is why I'm going to be changing it. Its less than a 1/16th of an inch off though ...

ideola wrote:
Also, details on how you fabbed the bracket for your VR sensor would be nice too. I looked at some of your other posts on the subject, but didn't see specific details on the actual installation of these components, just after-the-fact photos.


I used a small block of aluminum scrap, and the tip of a old aluminum square(like a carpenters square) that was about 1/8 inch thick. I drilled holes through the scrap, and used it to space the aluminum square out far enoug that it was within tolerance to the trigger wheel. I bolted these items to the old ac mounting point on the block. I wanted to use thick aluminum so that the VR mount didn't 'resonate' which has been known to happen when people build flimsy brackets. I'd get better pictures, but to be honest the whole setup is kinda embarrassing. It was a late sunday night everythings closed project. On another note, it has been working flawlessly for over a year. Its just a testiment to how good EDIS is.

This whole cars setup was really a 'prototype' I didn't know how well it would work, so we threw together everything as inexpensively as possible. I'm going to be spending alot of time and effort to 'upgrade' everything.

The distributor blockoff plate is a bit of a sore spot for me, I had problems with it leaking with just a distributor in it, and really had no real luck stopping it from leaking no matter what sort of 'plate' I used, or how much silicon/other sealers I used ..... At one point I just jbwelded a aluminum plug in the hole, and it -still- leaks. I've got an extra, I'm going to have it welded shut and then swap it on. I don't want to have to deal with it ever again.

Min
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Lizard  



Joined: 03 Nov 2002
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey min no offence there mate, but I had run the MSD 6A for awhile on my car, I had NO issues with it, I did however have 1 time when the dizzy cap did break apart on me and that was because the PO had installed the dizzy housing in incorrectly and the hood hitting it was the problem!
I never did get any cross firing or carbon trails on the inside either.
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