Teach me about Ignitions

Discussion in 'Technical' started by Elephant, Apr 28, 2020.

  1. Elephant

    Elephant Member

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    I haven't had the pleasure of having to deal with ignition systems very much. I know the basics (how distributor works, how points work, etc.). When looking into electronic ignitions (MSD, Mallory, etc.), what does the cam matter when choosing distributor gear type/material? When talking electronic ignition, are all 3 major components (distributor, coil, ignition control module) all replaced together?

    Thanks for the learning opportunity!
     
  2. RMiller

    RMiller My name is Rick

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    The material the flat tappet cam is made from is different that a roller cam. if your engine is original you will have a flat tappet cam and I believe you need an iron gear but do not take that for fact, I'm not 100% sure on that.
     
  3. Krazy Comet

    Krazy Comet Tom Supporting Member

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    Yes material of dist gear & cam must match. Flat tappet cams are cast iron, roller steel. A iron dist gear used with steel cam will be worn out in approx 10K mi.

    Generally modules and coils are replaced at same time. Points in orig dist can be replaced with a Pertronix module and one of their coils.. As long as you don't swap cam types, no hassle with gear material.
     
  4. Elephant

    Elephant Member

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    Cool that helps. If I go all in with an MSD system including module and distributor, can I swap distributor gears and use my current one until I change to a roller later?
     
  5. baddad457

    baddad457 Member

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    You can always change the gear. But as far as MSD goes, they're about the most pricey of ignitions and no better than a stock Ford Duraspark setup.
     
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  6. ike72com

    ike72com Member

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    You can limp around on bad points. I used to carry cheap spare in glove box. Never a big deal.

    When the electronic goes bad you,re stuck. Could be external coil, coil(thingy) inside distributor or module itself.
     
  7. bmcdaniel

    bmcdaniel Senile Member

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    LOL I couldn't do that.
    My car doesn't have a glove box...
    So I don't even have a distributor.
     
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  8. ike72com

    ike72com Member

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    LoL, okay g-box car was my 70stang.
     

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