Senior Tech Team
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Yerington, Nevada
Re: Dwell Question
Forget using the points to trigger an extra unit, just isn't needed.
Dwell time is the time in crankshaft degrees of rotation that the coil has to absorb current to make the next spark. This is measured in degrees of dwell of crankshaft rotation.
Altered dwell changes the current the coil and ignition system has to make a spark, and out of specification both directions does adversely effect current to the coil, and in some instances, performance, as you found with the hesitation.
What a lot of people either do not understand, or, refuse to accept is that most drop in replacement ignition systems are NOT stronger than the original points systems, they do not have the "driver" electronics to increase the dwell time the coil has to saturate, no matter the voltage inpot of the system, spark plug gap, nor coil used. Simply stated, they are NOT an "HEI', they are a simp0le saturation system, period.
Now, what many people say those systems are, the real HEI (High Energy Ignition), DOES increase coil current saturation between sparks, which does make a significant difference in voltages and currents at the spark plugs, a stronger system.
Even more different is the MSD type CD systems. CD is "Capacitor Discharge", and functions very differently than both points, and their replacement systems, AND the HEI, In a CD system capacitors are used to charge and store current for spark production, and the coil stays "cold", no current input between spark events. Capacitors can charge infinitely faster than dwell systems, and that is why the MSD can produce multiple sparks for a single cylinder firing event. The capacitors charge, then discharge into a voltate free coil, making higher current and voltage output.
These electronic ignition systems fair better with a properly applied magnetic pickup in place of the points. With the MSD, yes, points do wear a lot slower, but, they still need replacing when they wear away the rubbing block against the points cam. Opinions vary, but that is the way they work best.