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View Full Version : Do-it-yourself Electronic Ignition


BriEOD
06-23-2005, 02:09 PM
Disclaimer: I am not an expert on installing electronic ignition. I recommend you follow all instructions and warnings from the manufacturer. Use this link merely as an informative tutorial, not as actual installation instructions.


Step 1 find the distributor and coil.

BriEOD
06-23-2005, 02:09 PM
Step 2 remove the distribuor cap exposing the rotor and plate.

BriEOD
06-23-2005, 02:11 PM
Step 3 remove the wires off the negative terminal of the coil.

BriEOD
06-23-2005, 02:11 PM
Step 4 remove the wires and grommet exiting the distributor bowl.

BriEOD
06-23-2005, 02:12 PM
Step 5 remove the 2 screws holding the plate to the distributor bowl.

BriEOD
06-23-2005, 02:13 PM
Step 6 remove the plate.

BriEOD
06-23-2005, 02:14 PM
Step 7 remove the packing material from the shaft.

BriEOD
06-23-2005, 02:15 PM
Step 8 remove the set spring from the shaft.

BriEOD
06-23-2005, 02:16 PM
Step 9 remove the shaft.

BriEOD
06-23-2005, 02:17 PM
Step 10 check the springs and weights.

BriEOD
06-23-2005, 02:18 PM
Step 11 install the new shaft.

BriEOD
06-23-2005, 02:19 PM
Step 12 ensure the new shaft snaps down onto the dowels of the weights.

BriEOD
06-23-2005, 02:19 PM
Step 13 Install the new set spring.

BriEOD
06-23-2005, 02:20 PM
Step 14 apply oil to the new packing material and insert it into the shaft.

BriEOD
06-23-2005, 02:21 PM
Step 15 run wires through hole in distributor bowl and install grommet.

BriEOD
06-23-2005, 02:22 PM
Step 16 ensure gromment is fully seated.

BriEOD
06-23-2005, 02:23 PM
Step 17 check with the instructions for gapping, but utlizing the gapper provided set gap and tighten set screw.

BriEOD
06-23-2005, 02:24 PM
Step 18 install new rotor.

BriEOD
06-23-2005, 02:25 PM
Step 19 install new distributor cap and wires.

BriEOD
06-23-2005, 02:26 PM
Step 20 attach the purple wire to the positive terminal of the coil and the black wire to the negative terminal of the coil.

BriEOD
06-23-2005, 02:27 PM
This should take about 30 minutes in all. I hope this helps.

jimmer2880
06-24-2005, 06:39 AM
Thanks! Even though I'm already EI, this will absolutely help the rest of the folks.:toast:

dchatagnon
10-04-2006, 06:12 PM
hi.
great pictures. this helps a lot when you are installing an EI module.
but I have one question:
What is the distribution LH or RH? because I think it affects the position of the springs, as the two springs are differents.
thanks.

BriEOD
10-04-2006, 09:54 PM
I'm not sure what the answer is to your question. It has been a few years since I did that installation/tutorial, but I do not recall having to do anything with the springs.

Maybe someone else on here knows. I am sorry I cannot be of further assistance.

MarkP
10-04-2006, 10:00 PM
I didn’t do anything to change or adjust the springs when I added the EI to my 86 Nautique.

dchatagnon
10-07-2006, 02:47 PM
I have checked today the advance moving when accelerating.
Looks like the max I could get was 20 24 degrees. engine was not under load. Can you please confirm me if this is correct ?
Timing has been set to 10° BTDC.
Thanks.

TMCNo1
10-07-2006, 03:31 PM
The kit I got from SKIDIM came with a new set of springs calibrated for the E.I.

83MC
10-10-2006, 11:51 PM
Fantastic post! I did the exact install on my 83' earlier this year...my boat has never run better.

PapaJoe
10-11-2006, 12:35 AM
Awesome... Thanks... That must have taken awhile...

JOE

workless
04-10-2007, 08:41 PM
Can anybody help? Ya' know that's ba'-jesus packing material under that rotor - cause when I pulled my rotor off....ba'-jesus where'd that packing material go!!?? What exactly is this packing material under the rotor that is oiled - same as the packing on the drive shaft! duh?

TMCNo1
04-10-2007, 09:20 PM
Are you sure yours had any in it. What the purpose of the wad of oiled material is for is beyond me. It's not wax impregnated rope, but a thick piece of felt with oil in in. Probably just disperses a lite amount of oil over time to keep the rotor shaft from corroding to the distributor shaft in case of any moisture and is held in by the clip that holds the rotor shaft to the dist. shaft. IIBW

Prostar Rich
04-30-2007, 12:58 PM
Even though this thread is some what old the write up is exactly what I was looking for. I will be installing a EI kit om 90' prostar this weekend.
Great write up.

Thanks,
Prostar Rich

Bongo
05-05-2007, 07:26 PM
Excellent instructions. Just made the change this afternoon. Easy to do. While BriEOD suggests it'll take 30 minutes, by my count it was two Miller Lite's.

Rough idle gone. Hole shot seems a little better, but that was without a skier and might be my imagination.

Bongo

TMCNo1
05-05-2007, 07:53 PM
Excellent instructions. Just made the change this afternoon. Easy to do. While BriEOD suggests it'll take 30 minutes, by my count it was two Miller Lite's.

Rough idle gone. Hole shot seems a little better, but that was without a skier and might be my imagination.

Bongo
Good to hear it, you won't regret the changeover.:)

trunderw
03-11-2008, 09:07 PM
Holy crap I can't wait to do this to mine :) How much is an EI kit?

Slinkyredfoot
03-11-2008, 09:33 PM
How did I miss this post...8p

What a great pictorial and "How To" on electronic ignition conversion BriEOD.

Step by step instructions with pictures, can't get much easier than this...we need more of this kind of info and documentation here on TT

Looks like some much fun I am gonna redo mine tomorrow....;)
Thanks

JLeuck64
03-11-2008, 09:57 PM
Can anybody help? Ya' know that's ba'-jesus packing material under that rotor - cause when I pulled my rotor off....ba'-jesus where'd that packing material go!!?? What exactly is this packing material under the rotor that is oiled - same as the packing on the drive shaft! duh?

That little piece of felt is supposed to act like a wick. It holds oil, which lubricates the breaker plate. The breaker plate needs to pivot on the distributor shaft. Lubing that area is often overlooked during routine maintanence. I've seen some cars with this type dist. ignition have the breaker plate sieze and then the advance no longer works. It usually siezes with to much advance, so when you re-set base timing engine operation becomes all messed up. Tough one to diagnose if your not familiar with the inner workings of the distributor...

TMCNo1
03-11-2008, 10:07 PM
Holy crap I can't wait to do this to mine :) How much is an EI kit?


Here is an example, http://www.skidim.com/products.asp?dept=1113

Jerseydave
03-11-2008, 10:35 PM
I'm going back a few years, but don't most EI ignitions use higher voltage coils? (EI Ford and Mopar) Can't count GM HEI, that's got 40K volts.
I would think performance would be better with that "EI" coil that skidim sells.

BriEOD
04-18-2008, 04:43 AM
No problem gents, I'm happy to help. I'm glad I could provide something useful to the board. I'm waiting for Eastie to provide his step-by-step instructions, with photos, of how to barefoot long line. :D

slushpup
05-22-2008, 10:32 PM
I'm going back a few years, but don't most EI ignitions use higher voltage coils? (EI Ford and Mopar) Can't count GM HEI, that's got 40K volts.
I would think performance would be better with that "EI" coil that skidim sells.
Best money I ever spent........no more green crappy points to deal with.great start and idle. Indmar reccomends using standard coil/not a high volt "street permormer" style.

Willski
05-22-2008, 10:56 PM
I didn the same. No new coil. I did it about 7 years ago. No problems.

BriEOD
01-08-2010, 09:04 AM
I guess this thread is still hanging around. I don't miss dealing with this. Love EFI!

laker
08-04-2010, 02:29 PM
Can anyone post the timing numbers 10 btdc? Also the gap no. that he talked about. Thanks

TLR67
08-04-2010, 03:11 PM
I didn the same. No new coil. I did it about 7 years ago. No problems.


I did the same only 19 Years ago.... Still running strong!!:D

johny123
05-31-2011, 12:39 PM
Is EI not standard?
Trying to figure out if my 2000 PS195 would have it...

liledgy
06-01-2011, 10:54 AM
I just installed a petronox conversion. I don't recall anything in the directions about changing the timing. The tachometer is bouncing around all over the place. Time to call vince?

BriEOD
06-01-2011, 04:25 PM
Is EI not standard?
Trying to figure out if my 2000 PS195 would have it...

MasterCraft switched from a carburetor to electronic fuel injection in 1994. Your 2000 is good to go. Anything pre-1994 should investigate upgrading from points to the electronic ignition system.

east tx skier
06-02-2011, 12:21 PM
MasterCraft switched from a carburetor to electronic fuel injection in 1994. Your 2000 is good to go. Anything pre-1994 should investigate upgrading from points to the electronic ignition system.

By 92 or definitely by 93, the Carb motors had electronic ignition standard.

thatsmrmastercraft
06-02-2011, 12:39 PM
I just installed a petronox conversion. I don't recall anything in the directions about changing the timing. The tachometer is bouncing around all over the place. Time to call vince?

Have you double checked that the Pertronix unit is secured properly in the Dist? Only time I have encountered a problem that solved it. If not, call Pertronix Tech Support

PerTronix, Inc.
440 East Arrow Highway
San Dimas, CA 91773
Phone: (909) 547-9058
Fax: (909) 599-6424

liledgy
06-02-2011, 05:24 PM
Thanks for the reply. I'll double check put I'm pretty sure it's screwed down tight. I call petronix and they said I may need to add a resister between the negative terminal on the coil and the ignition?. He also said to check all the connections.

JMann
07-02-2011, 07:16 PM
I have a 91 ps 190 with the 240 hp engine and mallory distributor. Can anyone recommend an IE and coil? What brands have you heard work the best?

03geetee
07-04-2011, 11:09 AM
Have had great luck this weekend with my new petronix flame thrower II coil. I believe I have the standard pertronix E/I and with a dialed in holley 600 the boat runs like a dream.

Not saying the other brands arent just as good, but for what I have used it does the job perfectly. Also note worthy is that the boat really doesnt suck gas like you would think a 28 year old boat would.

JTR

ctjahn
08-10-2011, 10:41 PM
This is on my winter project list... (A proactive change before we NEED to do it) So, I guess I need a conversion kit for a 78 S&S with a 351W to electronic, and while I am at it I will do the wires, and a coil with ballest resistor. I want to buy from FORUM SUPPORTERS. Can we get a quick list of sources?

Thx
Cj

Lumbergh
01-06-2012, 05:55 PM
I want to do this upgrade and it is on my list for the next couple of months. I am a little hesitant to jump into it and am not sure about the ballast resister part of the install.

I realize this is an old thread, and and intend to buy the kit from skidim.

But before I plunge into it and mess up my running boat I was wondering if there is anything else I need.

The pics look like a slightly older distributor setup.

Is there any added difficulty with the "ballast resistor". I don't even know what that is, and I consider myself fairly technically competent. Part of the coil system?

Boat is a 1991 Prostar with standard 351w / carb motor.

TIA!

thatsmrmastercraft
01-06-2012, 07:56 PM
It depends upon which electronic ignition system you use. Pertronix is a great system and have outstanding customer service. their techs will answer any questions and it is an easy installation (as any of them are).

Cloaked
01-06-2012, 08:07 PM
I want to do this upgrade and it is on my list for the next couple of months. I am a little hesitant to jump into it and am not sure about the ballast resister part of the install.

I realize this is an old thread, and and intend to buy the kit from skidim.

But before I plunge into it and mess up my running boat I was wondering if there is anything else I need.

The pics look like a slightly older distributor setup.

Is there any added difficulty with the "ballast resistor". I don't even know what that is, and I consider myself fairly technically competent. Part of the coil system?

Boat is a 1991 Prostar with standard 351w / carb motor.

TIA!Ugrades are fine. I am all about upgrades, etc... For your application, keep it simple. Replace it with a like-for-like coil. Talk to Vince and ask him his opinion of the hotter coils. It's each to their own..

1redTA
01-06-2012, 09:12 PM
I used the igniter II and the .06 petronix coil with no ballast resistor. The boat ran 4550 rpm with the 14x18 and powerslot at sea level no other upgrades... Yet

ctjahn
01-06-2012, 09:18 PM
Trailer first (Paint, bearings, wheels) then fuel vent, then plugs, wires, cap, rotor, petron (Use one in the racecar)

cj

liledgy
01-06-2012, 10:58 PM
I've installed 2 conversions over the years, both prestolite. The first was from prestolite, which is no longer available. Ran it 5,6 years never had a problem. My next boat, I bought the petronix igniter 2 conversion with the hotter coil. Test drove it a couple of times over different days. On the 3rd day, I shut it off and it wouldn't re start. Called the seller, said they haven't had any problems with them. Called petronix, left message on their tech line, got ack to me 4,5 days later saying the same thing, never had problems with them. Well mine must've been the first, LOL as it was bad!! I then googled petronix igniter and read of numerous failures like mine with no warning!
All I can say is ALWAYS have your original points ignition in your boat! And don't cut your ballist resister out, just move one wire over to the other terminal and bypass it. It will allow you to put it back to stock if (when) you have to re install your points.
I was a big believer in the conversion until it failed with no warning. If I decide to upgrade another ignition, I will replace my distributer.

ctjahn
05-26-2012, 05:03 PM
Well, I did it (Petron and igniter2 coil) but the boat runs like crap. Hoping it is just the battery (low?)

Does the distrib run CC? Or Clockwise. I didnt change timing yet but it seems like it is out. Never needed to adjust timing when I have done this in the past.

cj
78 MC S&S w/ 351

Cloaked
05-26-2012, 05:19 PM
Well, I did it (Petron and igniter2 coil) but the boat runs like crap. Hoping it is just the battery (low?)

Does the distrib run CC? Or Clockwise. I didnt change timing yet but it seems like it is out. Never needed to adjust timing when I have done this in the past.

cj
78 MC S&S w/ 351Dist should be CCW. Make double / triple darn sure that all of your plug wires are in their proper and perspective order. One swapped or misplaced wire with another will cause problems. Otherwise, you should check the timing regardless. Ten degrees. If you pulled the distributor (which I understand you did a swap), you will need to set the timing.

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
05-26-2012, 05:21 PM
Counter clockwise, did it run fine before? when I did my conversion it also ran poor mostly because the timing was wayyy off, set it to 10° & you should be good.

ctjahn
05-26-2012, 06:53 PM
Thats why this board is great. Great people trying to help with great suggestions.

OK, thats what I thought but I wanted to make sure (CCW). Thats the setting I used. I didnt replace the cap yet (next project is cap and wires). Where are the timing marks to measure the timing? Got it 10 degrees. Cool. Got an OLD....OLD... timing gun, never checked timing before because it ran ok before the conversion. It does fart out the carb like its out of time. But I did just run it for a couple seconds. (in the garage)....


Didnt warm it up or etc. But It ran great when fired up before (Cold or hot).

Please let me know
Thx!
Cj

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
05-26-2012, 08:23 PM
The timing marks will be on the harmonic balancer behind the belt pulley and there should be an indicator looks like a pointer on the timing cover below the water pump. You will need to figure out which mark is 0, 10 etc. you will probably need to clean off the balancer to find the marks. Also check the timing with the engine warmed up at operating temperature and in neutral.

ctjahn
05-27-2012, 02:24 PM
Awesome!

I adjusted the timing (about 10 degrees off) and now it sounds great (at least in the driveway on the fake lake). Idles well now, doesnt fart out the carb, and hums nicely....(actually sounds better than it ever did)

I ASSumed that if it ran ok on points I shouldnt have to adjust the timing and figured I screwed something up on the install....

Thanks everyone for the help.
Cj

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
05-27-2012, 09:28 PM
Awesome!

I adjusted the timing (about 10 degrees off) and now it sounds great (at least in the driveway on the fake lake). Idles well now, doesnt fart out the carb, and hums nicely....(actually sounds better than it ever did)

I ASSumed that if it ran ok on points I shouldnt have to adjust the timing and figured I screwed something up on the install....

Thanks everyone for the help.
Cj

Good to hear :D

Dino Don
05-30-2012, 05:53 PM
No problem gents, I'm happy to help. I'm glad I could provide something useful to the board. I'm waiting for Eastie to provide his step-by-step instructions, with photos, of how to barefoot long line. :D

That's easy--just more beer---:D

Also change over EI 10 degrees runs good just having issue with running rich but after changing intake. Working on that--did not bypass balast at first but have now.

mart_it
05-31-2012, 01:18 AM
I'll be attempting this conversion over the next weeks also.
I'm shopping around for the kit right now.
Can any of you tell me if this will do, I have a 351 with a Prestolite:http://www.ebay.com/itm/Electronic-Ignition-Conversion-Kit-Prestolite-8-Cyl-Marine-Distributors-/320914118749?hash=item4ab7f8d85d&item=320914118749&pt=Boat_Parts_Accessories_Gear&vxp=mtr

ctjahn
05-31-2012, 06:15 AM
I would just pay the extra couple bucks and get the known one from Skidim... (or a forum supporter)

I am/have run the pertonix in multiple cars without issue. (Until now when I had to adjust the timing) but it is a known solution that works and it pretty reliable. Why take a chance on somthing that can wreck your day... It is really easy to install and takes less than 15 minutes depending on your ability (they make it super easy - does this brand?)

The only issue I have had is a magnet that went bad when the I left the ign on in the racecar and it wiped out a magnet that only showed up only when the car was HOT. (that was a pia to find but I was able to buy a replacement and now carry a spare)

Just my opinion
cj

mart_it
05-31-2012, 08:21 AM
I would just pay the extra couple bucks and get the known one from Skidim... (or a forum supporter)

I am/have run the pertonix in multiple cars without issue. (Until now when I had to adjust the timing) but it is a known solution that works and it pretty reliable. Why take a chance on somthing that can wreck your day... It is really easy to install and takes less than 15 minutes depending on your ability (they make it super easy - does this brand?)

The only issue I have had is a magnet that went bad when the I left the ign on in the racecar and it wiped out a magnet that only showed up only when the car was HOT. (that was a pia to find but I was able to buy a replacement and now carry a spare)

Just my opinion
cj

I agree with you on this one. Sometimes trying to save a few bucks brings other problems.
I like to order specific things on SkiDim like the damper plate I just ordered. I know their parts are sometimes more expensive than anywhere else though.

They sell the EI conversion 158$: http://www.skidim.com/prodinfo.asp?number=RP173072

I guess I'll order the SkiDim one then even though it's 60$ more expensive than anywhere else.

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
05-31-2012, 09:02 AM
I agree with you on this one. Sometimes trying to save a few bucks brings other problems.
I like to order specific things on SkiDim like the damper plate I just ordered. I know their parts are sometimes more expensive than anywhere else though.

They sell the EI conversion 158$: http://www.skidim.com/prodinfo.asp?number=RP173072

I guess I'll order the SkiDim one then even though it's 60$ more expensive than anywhere else.

If your going with the mallory version check out amazon or jegs or summitracing... Mallory Marine 9-26902

mart_it
05-31-2012, 10:47 AM
If your going with the mallory version check out amazon or jegs or summitracing... Mallory Marine 9-26902

I have a Prestolite distributor, Do I need to order a new coil also if I purchase the EI kit?

thatsmrmastercraft
05-31-2012, 11:04 AM
There are two different Prestolite distributors used and they use different EI kits. To determine which style you have, simply look at how the cap is secured to the distributor. The "screw down" dist cap has holes in it that the hold down screws pass through to secure the cap to the dist. The "clamp down" cap has metal arms that secure the cap to the dist.

These two distributors have different size shafts, and use different rotors, caps, and EI kits.

The simple way to ensure you get the correct EI is to go to the Pertronix site and enter your dist info. They will then provide you with the correct kit. http://www.pertronix.com/support/ignitor-kit/default.aspx

If you buy from Advance Auto Parts, they have free shipping on orders over $75, 15% off orders over $100 plus a $50 credit for your next purchase.http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/content_sitewide-15-percent-off-100-120529___