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Thread: Pertronix

  1. #1
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    Default Pertronix

    Hey guys I have an absolute inability to start. After checking for gas I think its spark. The problem occured overnight. My truck is a 345 witha prestolite type distributor. I have no gold box. I only have one wire coming from my ditributor. I know there is a Pertronix out there that fits this description. I have also read there are issues with running a stock coil with the Pertronix module. I also have no ballast resistor in line with the coil. Does any one know the part number of the one wire pertronix ignition module for my truck. I really am at a loss. I need to know what it is and how to verify it works. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jtl1100 View Post
    Hey guys I have an absolute inability to start. After checking for gas I think its spark. The problem occured overnight. My truck is a 345 witha prestolite type distributor. I have no gold box. I only have one wire coming from my ditributor. I know there is a Pertronix out there that fits this description. I have also read there are issues with running a stock coil with the Pertronix module. I also have no ballast resistor in line with the coil. Does any one know the part number of the one wire pertronix ignition module for my truck. I really am at a loss. I need to know what it is and how to verify it works. Thanks in advance.
    The ballast resistor on a scout (1 wire means points, goes right to the coil (-) terminal) is built in to the wire that feeds the coil (+) during RUN. That means 74 or earlier setup. If you're getting voltage to the (+) side of the coil, it means no pulses. Easy to troubleshoot, it means you have points.

    When the points open, the voltage dumps through the condensor (in parallel with the points). The points are closed 2/3 of the time and open 1/3 of the time.

    If the points are not opening, no spark.
    If the condensor fails, no spark.
    If the coil is bad, no spark.
    If there is no voltage to the coil, no spark.

    Very easy to test a coil. You use a condensor and a two shorting jumpers. 1. Hook one end of the condensor (the lead) to the (-) and the casing to ground with one of the jumpers.
    2. Hook the other jumper up to the same terminal (-) on the coil.
    3. Turn the key on.
    4. Touch the second jumper to ground momentarily. As you release it from ground, the coil should fire.

    Don't do this with raw gas present. You'll blow yourself up and be unable to tell us what happened.

    If you use a pertronix module, the number for the prestolite distributor is 1483A... I think. Don't take my word for it, because I get details like part numbers mixed up when they are not fresh in my mind. SSS or other light line dealers can tell you the right one.

    You will need to do some re-wiring if you buy a pertronix module. Nothing hard, it's probably in the instructions.

    The resistance for the coil needs to be 1.5 ohms or more. The stock IH coil will work just fine.
    Allan E.
    Curmudgeon Extraordinaire
    Charter Member, Old Hippie IH Club
    Old fashioned binder freak

  3. #3
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    Default

    Really?!!! I thought the absence of a gold box and male ends on the distributor meant prestolite. I spoke to pertronix and they said the same about the one wire thing. I also think the cap fits terribly maybe because it should be a holly type not presto? I also assumed it was presto because of the year 79. Is it also possible I have the wrong cap on in it? Wow I bought a hodge podge I guess. And it's been running so well all jacked up until now.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtl1100 View Post
    Really?!!! I thought the absence of a gold box and male ends on the distributor meant prestolite. I spoke to pertronix and they said the same about the one wire thing. I also think the cap fits terribly maybe because it should be a holly type not presto? I also assumed it was presto because of the year 79. Is it also possible I have the wrong cap on in it? Wow I bought a hodge podge I guess. And it's been running so well all jacked up until now.
    Pop the cap and look. The prestolite has three wires, a red, a brown, and a white. The Holley gold box has two wires, but they are encased in a sleeve and go to a connector, so it looks like one wire with a polarized connector on the end.

    I'm guessing you have points, because one single wire means points. Otherwise, how do you get power to the module and trigger the coil at the same time? It's easy to swap distributors in a scout. Maybe somebody converted yours to points. It's a pretty easy thing to do, and a great trail fix. I'm lazy and always think it's going to be dark and cold, so I just keep a whole spare distributor.
    Allan E.
    Curmudgeon Extraordinaire
    Charter Member, Old Hippie IH Club
    Old fashioned binder freak

  5. #5
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    Default its points

    Quote Originally Posted by Allan E. View Post
    Pop the cap and look. The prestolite has three wires, a red, a brown, and a white. The Holley gold box has two wires, but they are encased in a sleeve and go to a connector, so it looks like one wire with a polarized connector on the end.

    I'm guessing you have points, because one single wire means points. Otherwise, how do you get power to the module and trigger the coil at the same time? It's easy to swap distributors in a scout. Maybe somebody converted yours to points. It's a pretty easy thing to do, and a great trail fix. I'm lazy and always think it's going to be dark and cold, so I just keep a whole spare distributor.
    Its is definately points and they are ugly. The Cam is touching the arm at a plastic sheath around it. looks melted. I tried sanding and regapping by guess but no luck. Do I buy new points and condenser? Or do I buy the whole distributor from Autozone for 189 which included electronic igntion module?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtl1100 View Post
    Its is definately points and they are ugly. The Cam is touching the arm at a plastic sheath around it. looks melted. I tried sanding and regapping by guess but no luck. Do I buy new points and condenser? Or do I buy the whole distributor from Autozone for 189 which included electronic igntion module?
    I strongly suggest you replace the points and condensor first. I bought some at Shucks, but there is a guy on e-bay that will send you the right ones if you give him the number off the distributor, too. I think the part number for the one I bought last was IH5 or 6 or something like that. The points will look just like the set that is in there. One distributor uses a C shaped set, and the other one uses a straight looking set. They do not interchange.

    Once you get it running, buy a spare set. You will still be 150 dollars ahead.

    Timing is off the number 8 cylinder, not number 1.

    Adjust dwell for 30 degrees, +/- 2 degrees. THEN adjust the timing. It's a back and forth thing at first, but changing the dwell changes the timing, changing the timing does not affect dwell.

    After it's running, there are voltage checks you will need to make. It is very likely that the conversion was not done properly, and you will burn out the next set of points in a few hundred miles if you don't have the run voltage correct. It's nothing to panic over, and the parts to fix it will run less than 10 bucks, but you need to be sure it's right.

    After that, you can find used distributors much cheaper on e-bay or the classifieds. Lots of junk engines have good distributors on them, too.
    Allan E.
    Curmudgeon Extraordinaire
    Charter Member, Old Hippie IH Club
    Old fashioned binder freak

  7. #7
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    Default gap and dwell

    Quote Originally Posted by Allan E. View Post
    I strongly suggest you replace the points and condensor first. I bought some at Shucks, but there is a guy on e-bay that will send you the right ones if you give him the number off the distributor, too. I think the part number for the one I bought last was IH5 or 6 or something like that. The points will look just like the set that is in there. One distributor uses a C shaped set, and the other one uses a straight looking set. They do not interchange.

    Once you get it running, buy a spare set. You will still be 150 dollars ahead.

    Timing is off the number 8 cylinder, not number 1.

    Adjust dwell for 30 degrees, +/- 2 degrees. THEN adjust the timing. It's a back and forth thing at first, but changing the dwell changes the timing, changing the timing does not affect dwell.

    After it's running, there are voltage checks you will need to make. It is very likely that the conversion was not done properly, and you will burn out the next set of points in a few hundred miles if you don't have the run voltage correct. It's nothing to panic over, and the parts to fix it will run less than 10 bucks, but you need to be sure it's right.

    After that, you can find used distributors much cheaper on e-bay or the classifieds. Lots of junk engines have good distributors on them, too.
    Ok I will remove and bring to the parts store to compare the points and make them correct. I am going to get both the points and the condensor. I theorize the old points are so bad because there is no ballast resistor in line with the coil hot side. Really difficult finding one of those for some reason.
    Do you know what I need to set the gap at? Dwell etc. Thanks a million I could have dropped it off at a shop paid mucho and still had the original problem. Your advise has been invaluable for me.

  8. #8
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jtl1100 View Post
    Ok I will remove and bring to the parts store to compare the points and make them correct. I am going to get both the points and the condensor. I theorize the old points are so bad because there is no ballast resistor in line with the coil hot side. Really difficult finding one of those for some reason.
    Do you know what I need to set the gap at? Dwell etc. Thanks a million I could have dropped it off at a shop paid mucho and still had the original problem. Your advise has been invaluable for me.
    You're welcome. Gap is .016-.019 to get you in the ball park. Dwell spec is in my post above.
    Allan E.
    Curmudgeon Extraordinaire
    Charter Member, Old Hippie IH Club
    Old fashioned binder freak

  9. #9
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    Default got it runing

    Ok so after 60 bucks worth of parts i didnt need the points did the trick. I brought the fried and mangled old set to the parts place. just going by the shape of the previous points it looks like the distributor is a Prestolite. There were three choices, Holley, Delco and Presto. I also found a ignitor ballast or ballast resistor depending on who you speak to. It is in line with the positive of the MSD coil. It is 0.85 and so is the coil so that should be fine. I set the gap at .019 to get the biggest dwell angle I could which is 25. Any more and the engine wouldn't start. No doubt this is because this is my first encounter with points in my life. I am 30 and till now i have only dealt with electronics. So end result is new cap, new rotor, new condensor, new points, new ballast resistor, new fuel filters in both the line and carb. But hey I learned something. Thanks

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