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Discussion Starter #1
i just picked a vertex magneto off my brother for 450$ can i run this thing on the street? what will i have to do to the ignition components if anything ? they are brand new like 6 or 7 hundred dollars i think ???? i figured it was a nice piece to have so i bought it
 

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I wouldn't attempt it. there is no advance, and there a headache anyway. sell it on Ebay, and get a Vertex Magneto lookalike electronic distributor, they do look cool.
 

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Depending on the magneto they do have advance curves. I ran a Joe Hunt Vertex on the street with no problems. I was the 3rd owner to use on the street and it is now with the 4th owner and he has used it in at least 3 vehicles I know of.

You do have to ground the magneto to kill it and you need magneto capable tach to monitor it.

Make sure your wires are compatable. I ran solid core and when I drove up all my friends new it was me cuz their tv's went haywire. Some suppression wires can handle a magneto.

Mine was great but it takes 20 HP to drive it. The spark gets hotter the faster you rev it. I took it out cuz the advance curve froze up. I had better low speed but it did not pull as well at 7K+. After I added the msd 6 then it pulled as well at 7k+.

It is definately a head turner when people see it and cannot figure out what it is.

BTW, be careful while holding it. If you turn it so the points open and one of the wires is close to your body, sparks will fly and it hurts like nothing you have ever felt.

Point contacts last a long time as the power is AC not DC like a conventional ignition.
 

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I would ground mine, crank the engine, get 20 psi oil pressure and unground it. It would fire right up. The procedure came from Joe Hunt.
 

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magnetos ither have no advance, or a specific amount of advance built into them, to change the advance, you would need to change the magneto. for a street car, there not very friendly. a Vertex Mag lookalike electronic distributor, hooked to a MSD box, would do the same thing, cheaper with less headaches.
 

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It doesn't get much more simple than a magneto. I am not sure why people would say they are a headache. Sure you "can" run them on the street. The problem is you will be at full advance at all times, not practical for street use. Some guys still like to run them with blowers but, they really aren't needed. I can't think of many places where you would really need or want to run one. The ignition systems these days are way surperior. I can see using one in a sprint car or a drag car that doesn't run an alternator not many other places I can see the use of one. As long as you have a battery and a charging system, no real advantage to running a mag.

You will need a kill/start switch and as mentioned above turn the engine over and then toggle the switch to start bam the car will fire up. The only way to kill it will be to toggle (ground) the switch to off.


Royce
 

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Save a horse, Ride a Cowboy.
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larryblack said:
. The spark gets hotter the faster you rev it. I took it out cuz the advance curve froze up. I had better low speed but it did not pull as well at 7K+. After I added the msd 6 then it pulled as well at 7k+.

.

You put an MSD-6 on a magneto....... well, ah, OK.
 

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johnsongrass1 said:
Everyone I know that still uses one carries a spare.

why not? I know people that carry around coils, modules and so forth for their distributors. A mag is self contained so it makes since to carry around the entire ignition system (another mag)as a spare if your going to carry spare parts.

I know many people around here including myself that use tractors on a daily or weekly basis that have magnetos, many push mowers and garden tractors use magnetos as well...

also practically all piston powered aircraft still use magnetos, they use them because its isolated from the aircrafts electrical system, which means the engine keeps running even when things go very wrong.

of course all of the above have some similarities, they all run at a more or less constant speed where advance is not as big of an issue, but my point is that they are reliable. actually many of my "toys" with mags were also made in the 50's or earlier, 50 years is proof enough to me.

also it shouldn't be hard to start an engine because it has a mag, the question is if the mag has an impulse coupling, I can easily hand start a 4 cyl engine with a mag if it has an impulse, it actually does not take much effort most of the time.

-Leo-
 

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Old School Nut said:
why not? I know people that carry around coils, modules and so forth for their distributors. A mag is self contained so it makes since to carry around the entire ignition system (another mag)as a spare if your going to carry spare parts.

I know many people around here including myself that use tractors on a daily or weekly basis that have magnetos, many push mowers and garden tractors use magnetos as well...

also practically all piston powered aircraft still use magnetos, they use them because its isolated from the aircrafts electrical system, which means the engine keeps running even when things go very wrong.

of course all of the above have some similarities, they all run at a more or less constant speed where advance is not as big of an issue, but my point is that they are reliable. actually many of my "toys" with mags were also made in the 50's or earlier, 50 years is proof enough to me.

also it shouldn't be hard to start an engine because it has a mag, the question is if the mag has an impulse coupling, I can easily hand start a 4 cyl engine with a mag if it has an impulse, it actually does not take much effort most of the time.

-Leo-
Not as reliable in my profession. We got way from them when we were buying two at a time. Cause when one failed, it might cost you a 10,000 race.
 

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Magneto ignition, old technology uses points and not as reliable as a modern electronic dist. They are still used on aircraft because the FAA (federal aviation adminastration) is still in the dark ages when it comes to technology. I'm an A&P also 30 years and have changed many magnetos. Thats why there are two of them on an aircraft engine. A/C engine also have a low RPM limit of 2500-2800-RPM the magneto would not wear as fast as one used on a 7000 RPM engine. A starter switch can be used but has to have the off position going to ground and the start run position open - (not grounding the mag) Personally i would rather use the look alike electronic dist: but if it makes you feel good do it.
 
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