Conversion to Electronic Ignition

#1
After a second complete ignition failure in 15 months – and consequent recovery and so on – I have decided to convert to fully electronic ignition. My car is a 1973 (May)P6B V8 Auto

I know that there are a number of options, so can someone point me in the direction of the most used? Also, where do most members buy them? I want to ensure that the the rev counter still works!

Would be grateful for any guidance; I have arranged for an auto-electrician to fit.
 

GRTV8

Well-Known Member
#2
I went to my local Landrover repair man and he swapped an electronic unit over from an early V8 disco. Just had to use my dizzy drive out of the P6b. Never had a failure starting yet [5yrs]. Quick fire up too. No more grinding aay on the starter motor.. Idles away with less choke. VAAROOOM
 
#3
I bought a Powerspark and this worked well for 1,5 years and then starting causing problems. I replaced it for a Range Rover dizzy. I fitted an uprated oil pump so could fit the female dizzy from the Range Rover. Normally P5 and P6 V8's have a male connection on the dizzy which differs from the SD1, and Land/Range Rover dizzy's

Peter
 

rockdemon

Administrator
Staff member
#4
I have a powerspark dizzy - you need to keep a spare ignition amp though as these are prone to failure (same as on the sd1 dizzy they're based on from what i understand).

If you have a dizzy with a decent shaft there's a lot to be said for lumenition, or if you want the best 123 ignition is very good (You can even set it so you have to use a phone to unimmobilise and start the car).

There are some other add on electronic systems you can get - in this case you should probably ignore powerspark due to reliability issues - pertronix is a favourite although i have no personal experience with it! These just replace the points rather than the whole dizzy like lumenition.
 

clive P62

Active Member
#5
Yes plenty of choices on electric ignition systems, have used the factory later sd1 on my injection p6 when I had it with no problems.
The lumenition on my dad's p6 been on there 40 + years.
Have fitted many since then without any issues.
Problems can arise with aftermarket ignition systems by poor wiring / fitting.
Clive.
 
#6
I have a powerspark dizzy - you need to keep a spare ignition amp though as these are prone to failure (same as on the sd1 dizzy they're based on from what i understand).

If you have a dizzy with a decent shaft there's a lot to be said for lumenition, or if you want the best 123 ignition is very good (You can even set it so you have to use a phone to unimmobilise and start the car).

There are some other add on electronic systems you can get - in this case you should probably ignore powerspark due to reliability issues - pertronix is a favourite although i have no personal experience with it! These just replace the points rather than the whole dizzy like lumenition.
I don't think the Powerspark are based on the SD1 unit. The Powerspark looks identical to the Range Rover dizzy but parts are not interchangeable as i found out although Powerspark says they use original BL parts. The SD1 unit doesn't have the black amplifier. The SD1 unit looks rather flimsy but i have this system on my MGB V8 already working very good for 10 years (but have a spare dizzy in the boot)

When i installed the RR dizzy in my P5B, i removed the amplifier from the dizzy and fitted it on the inner wing on a piece of aluminum to avoid higher temperatures. It seems this was done on later cars (Discovery's?). This makes adjustment of the ignition easier (larger range) as the amplifier could touch the engine or coolant hoses



Like you, i have heard positive feedback about the 123 systems but these are very expensive

Peter
 

arthuy

Well-Known Member
#7
I have an aldon unit in place of points and it has ran well for 8 - 10 years.

I suggest contacting H&H ignition solutions. They are very good and can supply a ready to go electronic distributor for you. I have used them a few times to do refurbs and always been happy.
 

quattro

Administrator
Staff member
#8
I had an SD1 electronic dizzy on mine for years and it never missed a beat.

I have EDIS, run by the MS now but that's a different league and adds an amount of circuitry which can be complicated. A lot more programmable though.
 
#9
I used powerspark .was ok but despite new leads. plugs electronic ignition .. i still had what seems like a misfire .even checked each plug with a spark tester and color tune.
so took plunge when at NEC and bought a new dizzy complete with full electronics and a new sports coil. rev counter is slightly unstable at low rams such as idle but other than an annoying misfire? engine starts and runs ok.
probably best to go with best you can afford.
 
#10
I also fitted the complete Powerspark kit (dizzy, coil, leads etc). A good kit, although mine didn't work out of the box (turns out the trigger thing inside the distributor needed adjusting) and the supplied coil had to be replaced (under warranty) because the oil leaked out.

Despite the teething trouble I would still recommend them. They're great value and I've done a lot of miles without trouble. No rev-counter issues. I was also impressed with Powerspark's customer service.
 
#11
Thanks to all - helpful, as always! Lumenition now fitted (inc. coil) as supplied by Rimmer Bros and, so far, excellent results, with beautifully smooth V8 running resteord. Not the cheapest nor the most expensive, and, hopefully, "fit and forget".
 
#12
I wish to change Minstrel (2000SC) to electronic ignition. I am going seem really thick here and ask do I buy a conversion kit to convert the existing dizzy to electronic? This is the kit I have been viewing: Rover P6 2000/2200 AccuSpark Electronic Ignition Performance kit Neg Earth | eBay (Rover P6 2000/2200 AccuSpark Electronic Ignition Performance kit Neg Earth.) I really just need someone to confirm I am thinking in the right direction and getting the right kit, please?
 
#13
You are on the right track. The unit you describe will fit. I fitted a Powerspark kit to my 2200SC, same company as Accuspark. It worked well initially, but cold starting became more reluctant, then a misfire at low revs and eventually complete failure. I have now changed it for an Aldon unit, a lot more expensive, but so far it is performing well. Keep a set of points and condenser in the car.
 
#14
You are on the right track. The unit you describe will fit. I fitted a Powerspark kit to my 2200SC, same company as Accuspark. It worked well initially, but cold starting became more reluctant, then a misfire at low revs and eventually complete failure. I have now changed it for an Aldon unit, a lot more expensive, but so far it is performing well. Keep a set of points and condenser in the car.
Many thanks for the sound advice, Pete. I will make sure I do that. Will update you when I have fitted it.
 

keynsham1

Active Member
#15
After a second complete ignition failure in 15 months
Why did that happen? It shouldn't have. A good standard set up should run without trouble for years! Be very wary of electronic ignition kits too. I know a lot fo people who have tried various kits and have had failures. It just shifts the problem in my view to something you can't mend when it fails! The car should start stop and run without issue with points and a condenser and if the worst happens, it is an east roadside fix if you carry spares!!!
 

Tor

Well-Known Member
#16
I’ve tried the Accuspark and it failed once at running temperature. It would fire up again every day only to die when warm. I eventually fitted a Pertronix Ignitor module with FlameThrower coil (to two V8s) and they just work, 10 years hence. I’m assuming they’re available for 4-cyl cars.
 

sdibbers

Well-Known Member
#17
I got a Magnetronic unit from the same company that makes Lumenition about 5 years ago. Its still running very reliably. One reason Ithink that's so is they have an aluminium housing for the hall sensor inside the dissy. This helps it dissipate heat a lot better than the plastic housings on cheaper setups. The switching happening inside the pickup tends to generate a lot of heat which can eventually fry the electronics. I've Pertronix systems die within a year before switching to this. The Pertronix has the same plastic housing arrangement as the AccuSpark.

Magnetronic Product Guide - AUTOCAR
 

PeterZRH

Well-Known Member
#18
I'm hoping to do a write up soon in what should be the "ultimate" ignition on a sane budget ~£50 if you already have an SD1 type distributor.

Can't claim it's my original work but it beats all commercial systems by using an 0.3ohm E-core coil without a ballast. Most of it is stolen from what the US old car scene does. That is regardless of whether it's a Ford, Chrysler or GM car, they all switch to the GM HEI module - because it is bulletproof and just better. But if you read up about it it's been done to everything from a Rolls Royce to a FIAT X1/9. Even a Yugo. It's so cheap and so flexible in application. Which is great as it is £20 and can easily be triggered from the SD1 dizzy. It's actually what Lucas stole and wrapped in an expensive aluminium case for the Jaguar V12 system and asked £400 for it... This type of system was common until the early 2010s when coil packs took over pretty much everywhere. Remember ignition systems HAD to get better in the catalyst era because misfiring or part burned fuel would contaminate it.

What makes it good is two things. The module isn't just a transistor switch as most modules you'll retrofit are, it has an active current control which eliminates the need for that fixed resistance to avoid cooking the coil - higher end systems will do this but cost £100s. Due to the characteristics of an inductive circuit, they initially present a high impedance when switched, the last thing you want a any more resistance, this costs at higher engine speeds as the coil simply can't charge fast enough between sparks. The second part is simply enabling the use of an E-core coil means ~1.5-2 times the energy transfer as the design is more efficient than a canister coil. And it is spark energy that is important. These sports coils which boost the voltage are only good to a certain point. As a bonus you also can't cook the coil by leaving the ignition on and the thing runs cooler because it is more efficient.

Here's one write up of another car but the principle is the same: HEI Ignition Upgrade

My system is part installed as I haven't yet fitted the e-core coil as it uses different ignition lead terminations.
BTW I generally recommend US made coils. These typically run V8s for decades. I have currently one from Taylor Cable.
 
#19
I bought my P5B in 1985 with Lumention fitted & it's always been fine. The Denovo 3500 has it too.

I like the idea of the phone-enabling feature. When we get stuck into the P5 l might have a look at something different.
 

MikeMelb

Active Member
#20
Had Lumenition installed in 1976 and its been fine ever since. Had to replace the chopper about 7 years ago cos I broke it when trying to remove it to clean the dizzy. (something which probably didn't need doing)
 
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