Electronic Ignition Conversion?

My question is purely motivated by curiousity-I've not owned a car with 'points' in decades. (I don't even think our old '87 Panda had them but
perhaps it did.)
Are there still 'conversion' kits around to convert old fashioned distributors to 'pointless' ones. I appreciate these aren't perhaps the fully modern electronic ignitions, which may dispense with a conventional coil.
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On 02/02/2018 20:48, Brian Reay wrote:

Yes.
http://www.simonbbc.com/electronic-ignition-kits?zenid <3a6cfbfa53b8380748d8d296b457e3
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On 02/02/2018 21:20, Steve Walker wrote:

Thank you.
A comprehensive list of vehicles / distributor types. I'm a little surprised there is the market to support it. However, clearly there is.
I suppose some of the parts are common- eg some of the sensor parts. Whereas the fitting plate will be more specialised.
As I said in the original post, I was just curious but I do appreciate your response.
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No experience of their points conversions, but lots of reports of their imitation Lucas distributors being rubbish.
If you really want to improve a distributor system, get rid of it and go wasted spark with a crank trigger wheel and MegaJolt, etc. Allows you to map the curve for modern fuels too.
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On 03/02/2018 00:22, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Purely out of curiosity I was wondering if "wasted spark" had any impact on plug life for the older type of plugs?
Or are those "older" plugs now much better than they used to be?
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I've got wasted spark on the SD1. Simply used the plugs specified for later Range Rovers which have wasted spark. One thing it does demand is resistor plugs - possibly due to the shorter plug leads (I'm using EDIS coils - COP isn't really much use on the Rover due to the exhaust manifold heat.)
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Resistor plugs limit the peak energy of the spark thereby reducing the interference on your car radio (and others nearby).
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Rather more to it than that. The design of coil and the dwell figure determines the spark. Altering the resistance of the combined lead and plug may cause it not to function properly.
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On 03/02/2018 14:46, Lee wrote:

Others may disagree but, in my experience with MODERN electronic ignitions, plugs just don't wear. That is across 2 Hondas, a Kia, a Mazda, Renault, and Smart over 20+ years.
I always remove plugs every year or equivalent service, inspect, clean (inc the treads), check gap*, refit. I didn't replace plugs for years/many miles. If there was no noticeable loss of electrode etc, they were good.
*changed to, I think 'iridium' plugs several years back (I may have the name wrong). These have a set of 4 earth electrodes and you don't gap them. I don't pretend to have notice a particular change in performance, maybe the plugs are a little cleaner when checked each service.
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Many have a service life of about 100,000 miles. Not sure how much it is down to the plugs themselves or ignition system.
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On 04-Feb-18 12:34 AM, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

It's mainly down to the electrode material.
Iridium and platinum don't wear like conventional plugs. Iridium are cheaper than platinum and last just as long. 30-50 years ago the material for high spec plugs was gold-palladium and they cost more than a set of 8 copper plugs. That meant they were only used by F1 and 2 stroke race bikes.
30+ years ago I learnt that a "dud" NGK copper plug was better than a new plug of any other make (Bosch or Champion).
There is a small wear effect from spark polarity. One plug of a pair on a wasted spark system has reverse polarity, the spark goes from the ground to the plug tip. This can wear the earth electrode so some fine wire tip plugs (NGK "laser" platinum) have an earth pad made from the same stuff as the electrode. Iridium single earth electrode plugs don't have this "target" on the earth and it's over 30 years since I had a gold-palladium plug.
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On 04/02/2018 07:54, Peter Hill wrote:

I had platinum plugs in a motorcycle years ago but have never seen them readily available for the various cars I've owned. I think I used copper plugs in one of our cars but I think it was with an 'old fashioned' ignition.
The motorcycle I fitted them in, a Yamaha, had the most critical timing I have even seen. Plus it needed checking and adjusting about every 500miles. There was a strobe mark but the only way to really do it was with a dial gauge.
Conversely, another motorbike I had- Eastern European 350- used a simple plunger tool, although I suspect you could have used a pencil it was so uncritical. Once set, it was good for 1000s of miles although I checked it.

I'm glad you mentioned spark polarity in relation to plug wear. I have a vague memory this being mentioned in various articles etc. I don't recall the detail but I think the polarity of the EHV at the instant of sparking could vary (the secondary of the EHT is grounded but the other 'end' can go +ve or -ve), depending on the drive electronics.
Electrically it makes sense, whether it contributes to reduced plug wear I'm not sure.
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on 04/02/2018, Dave Plowman (News) supposed :

I transferred my Piranha system, bought for a 4pot, over to my 6pot. It used a slotted disc/ photo-coupler which slid over the distributer cam, to time it. I was not able to buy a suitable slotted disc to fit the 6pot, so I after several attempts due to lack of proper tools, I managed to botch an accurate enough disc.
I agree about the much reduced plug wear, but why that should be I cannot even guess.
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On Fri, 2 Feb 2018 20:48:12 +0000

These people advertise in the Austin-Healey Club Magazine every month:
https://www.scparts.co.uk/sc_en/ignition-system-569786.html
I have no idea how good they are.
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You still have the problem of the dizzy drive - backlash in chains and gears. And a rotor arm and cap - both of which don't last that well.
There's a very good reason modern cars don't have dizzies.
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still quite a few types available try google LUMENITION are one, I have had one a 1967 V4 transit for a quite few years the AccuSpark/Powerspark dont seem to have a great reliability record
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On 03/02/2018 17:22, Mark wrote:

Thank you- I'm not looking for one I was simply curious.
I'm a bit surprised there is enough demand but equally pleased for those who run 'older vehicles' such parts are available. While I don't run an older car, I do appreciate them.
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<snip> >still quite a few types available try google

We put a 4cl optical chopper - Lumenition jobby in the Kitcar when we built it ~30 years ago and it's still running. ;-)
Cheers, T i m
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I had a Luminition set I transferred to a few cars over about 15 years. Very well built.
But that's not to say it still is.
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On 04-Feb-18 12:32 AM, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

It seems quite good quality. Bit bulky by modern standards and it's dependent on the mech/vac advance system.
The "Bantam racing manual" says you will spend your life chasing elusive earth faults.
Mate ran a Royal Enfield GP5 in the Manx GP, I was "spanners". We had ignition trouble. In the morning it would go north and west but not south or east. In the afternoon it wouldn't go south and west but was crisp going north and east. Took a long time before someone figured out that the optical chopper didn't like being exposed and had to be in the shade.
Not something you would find on a car with the chopper and optics under a dizzy cap. But if you ever put a plug straight on the coil lead and spun the dizzy to "test" it with an exposed optic, then it would likely fail.
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