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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so is it really worth it to have electronic ignition versus conventional points system ? I have a '72 Ply vintage ignition system with ECU box and pointless dist. Only three months old and already quit on me. It's very hard to find the problem, I think it's the dist, which is garranteed for life, but still takes 3 days to get a new one ! So I have to wait till Fri to get the dist, if that's the problem , need to be on the road tommorrow morning........ so why shouldn't I just go to junk yard and get regular old fashioned dist, clean up the points, and go ???????????
 

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if you don't mind keeping the points in adjustment, then go for it... but as for the chrysler electronic ignition.. it came out in '73, so if it's in a '72 it's a retrofit.. check to see that the ballast resistor is there and in good condition ( the stock mopar unit does run off points voltage ).. could have gotten cooked from low voltage... as for the distributor.. only problem in that could be the pickup but it's most likely the ignition box



also, a bad ballast resistor would cause no power to the box or coil, and is a common faliure.. $5 at most parts places.. change that and see what happens
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ok , it's maybe a '73.. I did change the control box, I had a spare, I tried another coil, only part I didn't have spare of was the dist pick-up thing. point is , if you need all these 'spare' parts, is it really worth it ?
 

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what about the ballast resistor? it's the likely cause

points or electronic ignition, you'll always need spare parts... I'v had condensers go bad from high humidity, and/ or sitting. they can work 1 day but not the next, and keeping the points clean is always a pain... not to mention points bounce
 

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knighthawk said:
is it really worth it ?
IMO- yes, it is.

The deal w/points is while they are dead simple, they do a poor job (compared to an electronic ignition) of getting a correctly timed, hot spark to the plugs.

Unless there's a flaw in the wiring of your ignition or some other abnormal situation- the MOPAR set-up will last for hundreds of thousands of miles.

If you want to see if the ballast resistor is the problem, bypass it for just long enough to confirm that the engine will run with it jumped. Don't drive your car like this- it's just a test.

IIRC, the ballast will be used in either points or electronic ignitions, so if you switch (back) to points, you'll still have a ballast.
 

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If electronic ignition wasn't "good" all of the new cars would still have points and a condenser. We would still be doing a tune up every 8-12,000 miles, including spark plugs, points, condenser, rotor, maybe even a cap and wires. With the exception of having to change oil and filters - there isn't much that has to be done or even can be done to a modern car. Plugs at 100,000 miles, and ........ heck, most new cars don't even have a distributor.

Even with an older electronic ignition - never points and condenser. Plugs, rotor and cap at 24-36,000 miles or more. Occasionally there are problems, and do cause some headaches, but never like the older stuff.
 

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I agree, go with an MSD. Points are the very first thing I get rid of on an old engine. There is no need to retrofit a factory electronic ignition onto a points type car, or vs versa. Its likely inferior to the MSD all the way around. Just get an MSD and call it good. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
changed the dist. and it fired right up ! The rebuilt dist appears to have some old looking wires on the pickup thingy inside, so does that mean it is 'good used' one ? I think next chance i get I'll pickup a new sensor ... Any thoughts on setting the 'airgap' if and when I get a new one ?..............so.... I'm off to a car show first thing in the morning (50 miles away )........
 

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Mopar came out with the electronic system in late 71 (for 72 models) for all high performance cars and then all the rest got it in 73. The reluctor gap is .008 to .018 using a brass feeler. DO NOT use a steel one. Points can be a decent system but electronic is better and is usually less hassle. Old timers 'over tune' a point system and it comes in over a period of time. Other words, you set your plugs a bit close and your points a pit wide. If you go with the point setup, use only good parts such as Blue Streak....anything else is junk and it won't last more than a couple of months at best.
 
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