Spark plug gap & Pertronix Ignitor - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 22nd, 19, 5:10 PM Thread Starter
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Spark plug gap & Pertronix Ignitor

I have the Pertronix Ignitor in my 66 283. When gaping the spark plugs should I keep the OE gap of .035 or should it be increased now that it is no longer points?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 22nd, 19, 5:23 PM
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Re: Spark plug gap & Pertronix Ignitor

Pertronics advises.005 over stock gap. If you're running a high out put coil that's probably good. If you're still running a stock coil I personally would run the stock gap.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 22nd, 19, 5:42 PM
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Re: Spark plug gap & Pertronix Ignitor

I've been running a slightly tighter .040 gap w/the Pertronix LS and a voltage reduced coil VS the MSD box and straight 12 V hi po coil. 0.35 may have been better.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 22nd, 19, 8:00 PM
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Re: Spark plug gap & Pertronix Ignitor

Pertronix points replacement is just that. It is not a performance upgrade it just replaces the stock points with an electronic trigger. Leave the spark plug gap as stock.

Your just jealous because you can't hear the voices!

1967 Olds Cutlass 468 BBC/T400
1963 Plymouth Fury 440/Torqueflite
2007 Ford Mustang GT (momma's car)
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 22nd, 19, 8:44 PM
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Re: Spark plug gap & Pertronix Ignitor

.035 maximum, Ignitors are NOT an HEI< they are electronic points, and feeding them more volts, special coils, whatever, WILL NOT INCREASE THEIR VOLTAGE OUTPUT.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 19, 12:05 AM
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Re: Spark plug gap & Pertronix Ignitor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Ray View Post
.035 maximum, Ignitors are NOT an HEI< they are electronic points, and feeding them more volts, special coils, whatever, WILL NOT INCREASE THEIR VOLTAGE OUTPUT.
This is the man I want to hear from when these questions arise.

Question, the points just trigger the collapse of the primary winding that triggers the secondary winding to release its charge. So isn't it the coil and not the points that determine the voltage of the spark?
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 19, 7:27 AM
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Re: Spark plug gap & Pertronix Ignitor

I ran a surprising 13. SLOW at the NOCC show last year. The plugs didnt look bad, but when I got home and swapped them, it gained a HUGE amount of power. Which is why I said 40 may have been too wide w/o the MSD box. 035

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 19, 8:41 AM
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Re: Spark plug gap & Pertronix Ignitor

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Originally Posted by 427L88 View Post
I ran a surprising 13. SLOW at the NOCC show last year. The plugs didnt look bad, but when I got home and swapped them, it gained a HUGE amount of power. Which is why I said 40 may have been too wide w/o the MSD box. 035
The butt dyno is a precision measuring device.

Your just jealous because you can't hear the voices!

1967 Olds Cutlass 468 BBC/T400
1963 Plymouth Fury 440/Torqueflite
2007 Ford Mustang GT (momma's car)
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 19, 10:46 AM
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Re: Spark plug gap & Pertronix Ignitor

Oh, it was friggin night and day Eric. Like I hooked up the 3rd carb. WHen you have the same engine in the car for near 20 years, my azz is like a princess and the pea. ET, how about 108 vs 115mph. Theres the data.

My point was that I SPACED OUT and left the plugs in at .043 when I removed the MSD ( it lost a cap) and replaced with Petronix LS and a resistor coil, my backup. I ought have closed them up 7 thou. Dave Ray and Al, are, as usual, spot friggin' on.

Gene
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 19, 12:18 PM
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Re: Spark plug gap & Pertronix Ignitor

"Seat of the Pants" dyno is the ONLY tuning device I ever use.

With any inductive ignition sysem, it is coil saturation dwell for storage of the volts into the cpil that makes the spark level. The ONLY differences are, HEI electronically increases the dwell time, which is coil saturation, to make more volts, and MSD type Capacitor Discharge systems that charge not the coil, but the capacitor, which then tells the coil to "make 40K volts" spark.

One thing I always thought was very interesting about PerTronix coils (the oil filled round ones are fantastic good, the epoxy, pure junk) is that on the box, it states "40,000 Volts". Then the words, in (...), (AVAILABLE). That does not mean the coil will make 40K volts on any and all ignition systems, all it means is that IF there are electronic drivers, such as capacitor discharge, to charge the coil to that level, the coil is ready to make that voltage. On average, for a coil in cap HEI that runs 60 or so deg/F HOTTER than a remote coil ignition, the coil n cap HEI's only make about 14K to 16 K volts, when they get up to operating temperatures.

Coils run off the cap make about 28K to 32K on average, this is why both Mallory and MSD made/make coil adapters for the large coil in cap HEI, TO MOVE THE COIL OUT OF THE CAP, AND USE A NICE, COOL OIL FILLED COIL, LIKE THE OIL FILLED ROUND PerTronix COIL.

Using PerTronix think, adding .005 to a stock plug gap, which is usually an .032 setting, we would get .037. Close to Gene's settings.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 19, 3:33 PM
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Re: Spark plug gap & Pertronix Ignitor

There's a few bits of misinformation being bantered about here. A few corrections are below:

1) The coil does NOT determine the plug voltage. The plug gap does, as it's the item with the gap under high pressure. The coil just supplies electrical energy at the voltage level that will cause the plug to arc. Think of the plug gap as a pressure relief valve.

2) The big kV numbers mentioned by coil advertisers is the dielectric/insulation capability of the coil's mechanical construction. It tells you nothing about what voltage levels the secondary winding is going to output at any time or condition.

3) The HEI is a high energy system, not to be confused with a high voltage system. As mentioned above, it's the plug gap that determines what the secondary voltage levels end up being.

4) Most aftermarket electronic conversions are just a change in the switching method (a transistor instead of a set of points). However, theoretically, these conversions are capable of firing slightly wider plug gaps simply due to the faster shutoff of the primary current (I won't bore anyone with the physics formula, unless asked for).

5) There's no free lunch. Regardless of what ignition system you have, if you increase the plug gap width, you shorten the arc "burn" time. A coil is like a bucket of water. You can empty out the contents fast, or slow, but it's the same amount of contents either way.

6) Like I said in #5 above, a coil is like a bucket filled with water. A points type system is the equivalent of a small bucket of water. An electronic conversion can be the same size bucket, or slightly bigger, just depending on the sophistication of the electronics. An HEI system is the equivalent of a noticeably bigger bucket (more energy than the other systems).

7) Opening the plug gap increases the voltage requirement to ionize/breakdown that gap. Make sure your aftermarket module (internal transistor) can operate at these higher voltages, because if the secondary voltage increases, it gets "reflected" back as higher primary winding voltages that the transistor has to contend with.

That's the highlights at the moment.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 19, 4:44 PM
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Re: Spark plug gap & Pertronix Ignitor

Quote:
Originally Posted by 427L88 View Post
Oh, it was friggin night and day Eric. Like I hooked up the 3rd carb. WHen you have the same engine in the car for near 20 years, my azz is like a princess and the pea. ET, how about 108 vs 115mph. Theres the data.

My point was that I SPACED OUT and left the plugs in at .043 when I removed the MSD ( it lost a cap) and replaced with Petronix LS and a resistor coil, my backup. I ought have closed them up 7 thou. Dave Ray and Al, are, as usual, spot friggin' on.
I was just giving you a hard time Gene. Back in the 70's I quit running Champion plugs because they had so many manufacturing defects. One day at Englishtown I could not get my car dialed in no how. I changed to Autolites and the car took off like a rocket. I know about the night and day thing.

Your just jealous because you can't hear the voices!

1967 Olds Cutlass 468 BBC/T400
1963 Plymouth Fury 440/Torqueflite
2007 Ford Mustang GT (momma's car)
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old Aug 5th, 19, 12:41 AM
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I put the Ignitor III module 2 years ago on my points Delco distributor, ‘66 283. Run the coil recommended by Pertronix, 0.045 gap. Haven’t had issues in 2 years and 13K miles. Haven’t opened the distributor cap since then so it works for me&#x1f44d;
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