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Thread: Very Cool Ignition Upgrade

  1. #1
    Registered User Mike W's Avatar
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    Red face Very Cool Ignition Upgrade

    So a little background on my ignition system before I get into this post.

    I changed my OEM ignition system about 2 years ago and decided to go with the Mallory Unilite distributor (mechanical advance only), as well as an MSD 6AL system. Despite the many reports of the robustness of the Mallory electronic unit, I have never had an issue with mine, although I also installed the recommended "power supply filter" from Mallory as well. Despite that I always did carry a spare electronic unit. I also had to utilize Mallory's Active Tach adapter to get my OEM tach to work correctly over the RPM range.

    All in all I was pretty happy with this setup, and my car ran very well, but one of the primary reasons I purchased the Unilite was the ability to change timing advance curves. Getting timing optimized on our cars, especially with triple Webers, was very fundamental, and so I wanted the ability to try and fine tune my ignition timing and optimize it for my car / setup.

    As a result I also purchased the Advance Timing Curve Kit from Mallory, which was essentially a set of springs and clips that could be used to adjust the overall advance curve of the dizzy. However the task to changes these springs turned out to be pretty involved and so I never took the time to do the fine tuning and just accepted the performance of the car with the stock Unilite springs, which was actually quite good.

    Fast forward to last weekend when I attended a local car gathering. Met a guy who had just purchased a Triumph TR6. He saw my Weber setup and asked if I could help him tune his car, so we went over to check out his car. In the course of discussion he tells me about a number of upgrades the PO has completed including a 123 Ignition. So I ask "what is a 123 Ignition"? He tells me that "it is this totally electronic distributor where you can tune any advance curve desired through USB. There are no weights, springs, etc and the unit can control both centrifugal as well as vacuum advance. You can even adjust timing dynamically as you are diving the car by using their PC application. It was developed in Europe primarily for European cars. Not likely you will find one for the Z."

    Sounded pretty cool so I checked them out when I returned home. Turns the out unit was developed in the Netherlands by a company called 123 Ignition and they also have a US distributor of the product. Their European site had no mention of Datsun or Nissan, but when I checked out the US site, lo and behold there was a link for Datsun. The link showed one of their dizzys as well as a billet locking plate and adapter necessary to mate to the top of the Datsun oil pump shaft.

    Called them the next morning and talked to the owner of the US operation named Ed. Was very informative on the ignition product and in fact uses one on his own classic. Turns out it was Ed who developed the version for the Datsun Z cars. Apparently he had received sufficient interest to get a Datsun version in the market. I believe that he used an existing 123 dizzy and adapted it to fit the Z cars. Also needed to have a mounting bracket that would wok as well.

    Ed informed me about a lot of the capability of the 123 Ignition and some of his own personal experiences. Everything was sounding great until he mentioned that he was not sure if the 123 would work with an MSD 6AL. He told me to contact their chief engineer in the Netherlands and he could confirm, one way or another.

    I sent a mail with the MSD question as well as a few others, and received a response the next morning. Turns out MSD is not a problem at all and he gave me the correct hook up directions. Also answered my other questions, so I pulled the trigger and purchased one.

    Received it on Thursday and took the day off on Friday to complete the install.

    Install was very straight forward, but I left the existing Unilite wiring in place until I was able to start and run my car with the 123 dizzy. I downloaded and installed the 123 Tune application and started it up. I loaded a curve into the new dizzy that was based on a reference to the "2 orange spring" curve for the Mallory dizzy which I believed to be closest to my existing setup. Completed the wiring and it started right up. Drove very well but this was with a curve that I believed to be very close to my existing setup. So I really wanted to see what tuning my timing could do.

    So over the course of the next few hours, I tried out about 4 different curves. Each was a modification of the last, based on RPM areas where I thought additional advance would result in performance gains, or alternatively too much advance was resulting in ping. Also the software is very intuitive and easy to use. Very simple to make changes.

    The tune that I am running now definitely seems to pull harder in the mid RPM's and gives better overall drivability. Admittedly this is only with a butt dyno, but I've spent enough time in the car where I think I can tell a difference. I also had the opportunity to take the car out on a 150 miles drive yesterday for our local Z club monthly drive, and can definitely feel more pull and generally just more power. I still have more tweaking to do, but this really seems to provide the capability to zero in on an optimal timing curve specific to the setup of your car. Dyno sessions now seem to make more sense to me as making these changes is very very easy.

    The car ran well enough where I completed the install by removing the old ballast resistor as well as the Mallory power supply filter. This had the side benefit of cleaning up my engine bay further and the wiring to the new dizzy was very straight forward. Worked perfectly with the MSD 6AL and my tach did not have issues. About the only issue I had with the install was mechanically mating the 123 dizzy to the Z mount / oil spindle key. Turns out that I had to do some dremeling to slightly enlarge the hole that would allow the top of the spindle to fit properly. I have informed Ed at the USA 123 distributor of this issue and has already made the appropriate changes to his engineering diagrams to reflect this.

    It's only been a few days since this install, but so far I am very happy. I still have more tweaking to do, but it is so easy I feel a lot more motivation to zero in on the most optimal curve for my car. Still have a put a lot more miles on this to build confidence on the reliability of the unit, but this company has apparently been in business for quite some time so perhaps that is a reflection of their quality.

    Finally, the unit was a little on the expensive side, but not a lot different from a new Unilite in addition to the power supply filter. If all goes well, I will have my old Unilite up for sale soon, so let me know if you might be interested!

    If you are looking for more information on this product you can check out the following sites:

    Datsun Conversion | 123IgnitionUSA.com What is 123Ignition about? - Perfect Timing - w/ "Formula" Technology | Ed
    123ignition electronic ignition systems for classic cars

    I've included a few pictures of my install. The 123 dizzy is about 1/2 the size of the Unilite and smaller than the Datsun OEM one as well.

    If anyone has any additional questions just let me know. I'll try to keep you posted on my ongoing tuning sessions.

    Mike.

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    Many people don't like this guy, with his personality problems, but credit must be given. "123 Ignition" Distributor Replacement for Nissan L4/L6 - Nissan L6 Forum - HybridZ

    The activity on the thread drove the US distributor (of these distributors) to source a manufacturer for the adapters. Credit also to 280zex in that thread since he's the guy that really wanted one for his blow-through turbo engine. He apologized for his early misunderstanding and might be the first Z guy to buy one. The thread really made the US rep realize what he needed to do to get them to the market.

    They've been around since at least 2004, I've seen Alfa Romeo threads out there, but the emphasis has been on the Euro cars. It's weird that they've been invisible to the Datsun world for so long. It's a great idea and adds easy timing tuning for the carb guys.

    Edit - I'm not trying to downplay the significance of trying something totally new. Just thought people would be interested in how things developed. The US rep didn't even plan to produce an adapter for the L engine. Parallel paths, weird coincidence, the other guy has his engine running too - http://forums.hybridz.org/topic/1169.../#entry1096684
    Last edited by Zed Head; 02-23-2014 at 04:31 PM.
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    Nova Scotia,Canada,Earth Blue's Avatar
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    Mike, you are a true pioneer...many thanks for this great discovery!
    There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.
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    Registered User Mike W's Avatar
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    I have read all of the posts that ZedHead references and still decided to pull the trigger. I full agree that the folks on HybridZ were the ones that likely drove the development of this. Thanks to them as I believe they helped to develop a very modern upgrade to our 40+ year old classics.

    Very interested to hear feedback from any other users.

    Mike.

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    1978 280Z (stock) TomoHawk's Avatar
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    MSD already has a thing called the E-Curve distributor.... But they make stuff for American engines mostly.

    http://www.msdperformance.com/produc...&terms=E-Curve
    Drive Responsibly.
    enjoy classic Rock music.

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    1978 280Z (stock) TomoHawk's Avatar
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    I think I will keep using the electronic ignition on my L28E engine. Spending $600 to "upgrade" what is already there with what is just a fancier version doesn't sound like much of an advantage. On a 240Z with the points ignition, this looks like it might be a useful upgrade.
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    You're missing the point TH. It's a new distributor with tunable advance curves, bolt-in. Anyone who's tried to fine-tune the advance curves on their mechanical distributor for better performance, both driveability and power, would know how difficult that is. It's not about fancy. You can't tune an L28E's ignition curve either.
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    1978 280Z (stock) TomoHawk's Avatar
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    Exactly as I said, there's no reason to fool with something that works fine, or "isn't broke." I would rather spend time in the driver's seat than looking at a computer screen, and fooling with "curves."

    If it was $89, then I might consider trying it.
    Drive Responsibly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomoHawk View Post
    Exactly as I said, there's no reason to fool with something that works fine, or "isn't broke." I would rather spend time in the driver's seat than looking at a computer screen, and fooling with "curves."

    If it was $89, then I might consider trying it.
    The point has flown completely above your head. Sure, a stock distributor should work just fine on a completely stock engine, given it's in good order which many of these aging Nissan distributors are not. Add in triple carbs, a header, mixing-and-matching heads and blocks, and the stock distributor just don't cut it.

    I plan on getting one of these the minute my budget allows. This is one step below a crank-triggered ignition and is great for those wanting to keep a period correct look, but have brand-new AND discretely tunable ignition. Thanks for the feedback Mike!
    2/74 260Z

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomoHawk View Post
    Exactly as I said, there's no reason to fool with something that works fine, or "isn't broke." I would rather spend time in the driver's seat than looking at a computer screen, and fooling with "curves."

    If it was $89, then I might consider trying it.
    Wow- what can I add to that
    Steve
    71 240z,bw-5sp 2.4-40 over,balanced,e-88,big valves,ported&polished, stage2,header, triple Mikuni's 40's
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    Mike, or anyone want to comment on the Switched 123 dizzy? It has less options for fine tuning I understand but could it also be a good choice for an engine running triples?
    1970 240Z HLS30 01955 March/70

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    I can think of much better things to spend $1200 on than new distributor.
    Last edited by TomoHawk; 02-24-2014 at 06:51 AM.
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    Grannyknot,

    The issue I see with the switched version is that I do not know what curves will be pre-loaded. As I mentioned earlier, the Datsun version was created by the USA distributor and as far as I can tell, the work that he did was purely mechanical to ensure that the 123 dizzy would mate with our car. Not sure exactly what curves they are planning to use in the switched version. In the end there is only about $35 difference between the full tune model and the swithed version, and so from my perspective it was worth the extra to get all of the flexibility of the Tune model. If you are still interested in the switched I'm sure Ed over at 123 will provide you with the pre-progarmmed curves so you can get some idea on how they will work in your car.

    Lastly, not sure where the $1200 came from. The whole setup costs about $550, which I admit is not in-expensive, but when it was all said and done, it was not a whole lot more that what the original Mallory set up cost me and I believe that I got a lot more for the $$ with the 123 dizzy. In the limit people make personal decisions about what is important to them in their vehicle and what is not and based on those priorities they choose to spend $$ in specific areas. For me, having this capability has always ranked pretty high and so my choice was to spend the $$$ even if it came at the expense of something else I wanted to do to my car.

    Enough said.

    Happy to provide any more detail to anyone that might be interested.

    Mike.

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    How about more pictures
    I wanna see under that cap.
    1973 240Z w/ roundtop carbs, 280zx e12-80 distributor, 280zx alternator, late model Altima junkyard electric fans. 115 Blue Metallic & white side stripes.

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    1978 280Z (stock) TomoHawk's Avatar
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    There's a neat video on YouTube about a distributor with a clear cap. It shows you the arcing while it spins. I would like to see a similar one showing the mechanicals moving with changes in RPM and vacuum.
    Drive Responsibly.
    enjoy classic Rock music.

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    Registered User Mike W's Avatar
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    Not much to see under the cap really. There are no weights, no springs, nothing but essentially the electronics. I've included a few pictures so you can see what I mean. I've also included a comparison shot of the 123 cap versus the Unilite cap. You can see how much larger the Unilte is than the 123.

    Mike.

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    There are many pictures on the web of 123ignitions. Basically it is a pc board.
    These truly have been around for some time and I have considered doing something for the 240 for about a year and just finished it up. prior to this I have been referring interested parties to the Dac House in Japan. Mike W is truly the Pioneer here for the Z owners and a great guy to work with. Great looking car Mike.
    Ed
    Last edited by 123ignitionusa; 02-24-2014 at 03:29 PM.

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    Ed, since you are on this thread now could you elaborate a bit on the Switched 123 distributor? What kind of curves it has...
    Thanks,
    Chris
    1970 240Z HLS30 01955 March/70

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    No more body roll! SteveJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 123ignitionusa View Post
    There are many pictures on the web of 123ignitions. Basically it is a pc board.
    These truly have been around for some time and I have considered doing something for the 240 for about a year and just finished it up. prior to this I have been referring interested parties to the Dac House in Japan. Mike W is truly the Pioneer here for the Z owners and a great guy to work with. Great looking car Mike.
    Ed
    Thanks for joining, Ed. I'm interested in hearing more, too.
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    Gentlemen
    I am not a techie but will do my best to answer your questions. I like you am a hobbyist looking to maximize the power from a classic car. So with that being said here is what I bring to the table. I have personally used both the switched and the "TUNE" so can give you what knowledge I have. My intention is not to debate the propiety of changing over to electronic ignition. I know that there are sound arguments for all the aftermarket ignitions out there, and to each his own.
    Attached is the instruction booklet that comes with the Switched 6
    You will be interested in page 26 which list the GB6 curves. Note there are 4 sets of maximum advance numbers. Each will have varying midrange curve numbers which is where most of your power comes from. The curves are fairly generic and so you will want to pick what is closest to what the motor manual calls for. Unlike the "TUNE" the switched has to be worked much like a conventional distributor once installed to fine tune it. As in rotating it cw or ccw to advance and retard the whole curve. So if you have picked something in the max 26 degree range and you really need 32 advance your distributor 6 degrees. Really pretty easy. It is important to not get carried away and add too much advance. Listen for ping and back it down if you must. If you feel you need more advance to work with the Jag 6 curves have higher max advance numbers and can be substituted on request.
    Hope this helps
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 123SWITCH6.pdf  
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by 123ignitionusa; 02-24-2014 at 06:47 PM. Reason: Add picture

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    The switchable curves were discussed somewhat in the Hybridz thread - 123ignition - Nissan L6 Forum - HybridZ

    They're not typical L6 engine curves. Many peak at very high RPM, compared to where the typical L6 Nissan curves peak. Open this link (the manual for the switchable dist.) and go to the bottom and you'll see the options. They appear to be shown in crankshaft RPM (unless they're set up for 9,000 RPM engines). http://www.123ignitionusa.com/123gb6rv.pdf

    Looks like they're shown for 10 degrees starting point (idle advance).
    Last edited by Zed Head; 02-24-2014 at 06:53 PM.
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    Mike this thread is epic, you KNOW I am about to buy this right. I love being able to switch out my curves and maximize my ignition advance where possible without having to pull the dizzy time and time again.

    I will PM you with more details. YOu are right, 550 is chump change for a great working dizzy.
    1971 240Z HLS30-38691
    93.9% done and getting better every day
    Now with 100% more DATSUN SPIRIT L28 Power
    1968 Datsun 2000 SRL311-03416

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    I wonder - how many guys/gals here have actually re-worked the timing curves on a stock, points type distributor.

    For several years, I tried to find a shop that still actually had a Sun Distributor Machine {SDM}. The first step in the process.. finding and documenting the baseline curve. NO LUCK around here - no one even has a Sun Distributor Machine even sitting in storage.

    I'm sure everyone is aware that the L24's/L26's and L28's all run quite different distributor timing advance curves when stock. So even when swapping a more modern "electronic" distributor from a newer L28 into an L24 stock or modd'ed - it can easily result in a loss of performance because of the mis-matched timing advance curve..

    Next - I watched EBay for years.. A few SDM's showed up - but in very poor condition and thousands of miles away. Bummer… So even with various springs of differing rates in hand, or modifications to the advance weights - and given the work of taking the dizzy apart etc - you just can't dial the optimum advance curve in.

    A programable distributor is a brilliant solution - and at $550.00 it is far less expensive than owning your own SDM or paying a performance shop to do the work {if you could find a performance shop that still deals with mechanical distributors - }.

    thanks to Mike W for bringing this to our attention..
    Carl B.
    Last edited by Carl Beck; 02-25-2014 at 02:02 PM.

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    All righty then, I just placed my order, looking forward to this. I love the feature of being able to switch to a different curve while you are driving, that sounds perfect for a performance choice and maybe a gas saving choice for the highway.
    Chris
    1970 240Z HLS30 01955 March/70

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    Chris,

    I really think you will like this and I look forward to sharing some of our tuning stories. The people at the company have been great to deal with as well. This is a new market for them and so they seem to be doing all the right things to succeed.

    Not sure what the rest of your ignition system entails, but if you control / drive your coil directly from your distributor (ie no MSD or equivalent) , you will need to make sure that the primary resistance of the coil you are using is greater than 1 ohm. The folks at 123 were pretty explicit about that and the instructions point it out as well.

    Let me know if you have any questions during the install.

    Mike.

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    Thanks Mike, I am using a 3ohm coil.
    Found an interesting video made by 123 comparing Pertronix, points and the 123 system.
    Interesting, but do yourself a favour and watch it without the sound track.
    123 Ignition - YouTube
    1970 240Z HLS30 01955 March/70

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    Mike, I will be ordering one of these was well. It is just too sweet not to try.
    1971 240Z HLS30-38691
    93.9% done and getting better every day
    Now with 100% more DATSUN SPIRIT L28 Power
    1968 Datsun 2000 SRL311-03416

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    I saw that video. Note that it's really a comparison of distributors AND their ignition systems. Maybe old worn distributors using the Pertronix and points systems too (as noted in the comments). If they had installed the Pertronix and points in place of the 123 ignition system, in the 123 distributor, that would be meaningful, comparing ignition systems. It doesn't tell how a new distributor with points or Pertronix would perform.

    Again, not trying to be a downer, but sales is sales.
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    Registered User ZCurves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomoHawk View Post
    .... I would rather spend time in the driver's seat than looking at a computer screen, and fooling with "curves."
    Hey! What do you mean...
    Andrew (ZCurves)
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    I have a question. Mike W what coil are you currently running and what kind of spark strength is it putting out? When I saw the smaller distributor cap, I was wondering how large of a coil could be run before cross firing became a problem? Many times the caps are larger to allow running stronger coils...
    Charles

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    Charles,

    I use the Mallory Promaster #29440. The specs are as follows although I don't see any specific spec about spark strength. The max spark output is rated at 55kv.


    Coil Wire Attachment:
    Male/HEI

    Coil Style:
    Canister

    Primary Resistance:
    0.600 ohms

    Coil Internal Construction:
    Oil-filled

    Coil Color:
    Black

    Maximum Voltage:
    55,000 V

    Turns Ratio:
    105:1

    Secondary Resistance:
    12.3K ohms

    Inductance:
    7.3 mH

    Peak Current:
    100 mA

    Spark Duration:
    500 uS

    Mounting Bracket Included:
    Yes

    Coil Wire Included:
    No

    Ballast Resistor Included:
    Yes

    Coil Shape:
    Square

    Height (in):
    5.297 in.

    Length (in):
    3.706 in.

    Width (in):
    3.846 in.

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    That's a good sized coil, I did some looking around at Summit Racing to see what else Mallory had listed. Thanks for the response. I have found this whole thread very interesting and much easier than trying to go trigger wheel and Megajolt. Would Megajolt be superior in any way? Just wondering out loud...
    Charles

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    Charles,
    at the $ we are talking I might consider MS2. Then you have versitilty with FI also. Granted, the install will be more work. I'm not real familiar with Megajolt, so I don't have a direct answer for you.
    Steve
    71 240z,bw-5sp 2.4-40 over,balanced,e-88,big valves,ported&polished, stage2,header, triple Mikuni's 40's
    3.90 Subaru STI LSD

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    Going Megajolt/EDIS bypasses any possible slop in the distributor/crank gear as well as distributor bushing wear. Since EDIS6 has 3 coil packs instead of one, each coil can have 3x longer dwell time and maintain spark at higher rpm.

    I already have a Z running Megajolt and another one running a ZX dizzy. I'm elated that this option has presented itself, as I wanted to keep the other Z a bit more period-looking! Now I can have the look of a distributor along with a fully and easily customized timing map, just waiting for that pesky budget to build itself up...

    If there's one thing I would want, it would be for the 123Tune interface to be the more typical 3D spark map instead of virtual centrifugal and vacuum advance curves. Splitting up the curves like that in a digital, programmable distributor doesn't make much sense to me.
    2/74 260Z

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    Steve & Leon,
    Thanks for the responses. I love the idea of a period correct looking install with the custom programability... Now to just get one of my Z's running
    C

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    I received my 123Tune distributor a few weeks ago and with the kind help of Mike W I have programmed it, installed it and the engine is running well. I modified one of Mikes curves to a curve I think is conservative, 8* static at idle up to 29* total advance at 3200 rpm. That will allow me to toodle around town for now and make sure all of the other changes I made to the car this winter are working before I start the final tuning of the carbs and timing.
    The instructions were translated from Dutch to English so there are a few awkward sentences and some missed steps.
    The most important being, after you have installed the unit and powered it up you are turning the dizzy clockwise just until
    the green LED lights up (putting the Hall effect sensor in the perfect spot for TDC), this is where you HAVE to tighten the screw and lock down the unit so it won't move again but there is no mention of that. But now you know or you have figured it out soon enough. Here are few pics, the unit is quite small, smaller even then the original 240Z dizzy but very well made.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    The only real problem I ran into is my sparkplug wires from DatsunSpirt are measured and cut so that the #1 distributor posistion has to be about at 7-8 o'clock.
    This is my stock dizzy,
    Click image for larger version. 

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    This where the 123Tune unit sat at TDC,
    Click image for larger version. 

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    So after rotating the oil pump driveshaft 90* I ended up with #1 TDC back in the old posistion and all of my wires fit perfectly.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by grannyknot; 04-13-2014 at 03:55 PM.
    1970 240Z HLS30 01955 March/70

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    Registered User 123ignitionusa's Avatar
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    Default GB6 Switched Curves

    Some are interested in the pre mapped version. Here is a pdf of the curves.
    There are four ranges of max advance with four curves in each giving a total of 16 available curves.
    27, 30, 33 and 36 degrees. In addition these are made to be set at TDC. Then you can rotate the distributor for fine tuning. Very much like old school.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 123GB6RV[1] Copy.pdf  
    Last edited by 123ignitionusa; 05-03-2014 at 05:31 PM.

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    Ed, you say pre-mapped version, is that also called the Switched version?
    1970 240Z HLS30 01955 March/70

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    Yes, correct, 16 different curves selectable using a switch.
    Hope that helps

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    Can you tell me what you typically run for all in advance as well as what rpm and what your idle advance is?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 123ignitionusa View Post
    Can you tell me what you typically run for all in advance as well as what rpm and what your idle advance is?
    Ed, if you asking in general for L24-L28 engines then the open form should get you the best response, Open S30 Z Discussions
    1970 240Z HLS30 01955 March/70

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    Well, I know for the L28e, the idle is 700 RPM (in drive, on an automatic) and the advance is 10 degrees. The manual cars are 10 deg. at 700RPM.

    Did you want to know the total advance at, say 5,000 RPM? I think it's about 37 degrees.
    Last edited by TomoHawk; 05-06-2014 at 06:20 PM.
    Drive Responsibly.
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    Those numbers vary with model, but are all shown in the FSM's, Engine Electrical chapter, Distributor section.

    Here's an easy link also, where they've been compiled. You'll need Excel or an Excel viewer.

    http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/e...reference.html
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    subscribed/liked/awesomeness
    Early 1974 260z
    https://sites.google.com/a/thecomputerrehab.com/260z/

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    I've seen Leon's Megajolt/EDIS L2X motor running. I've never seen a steadier idle in a carburated Z and I've been around them for 35 years. Dead on accurate. I understand the argument for a stock look however...

    Quote Originally Posted by LeonV View Post
    Going Megajolt/EDIS bypasses any possible slop in the distributor/crank gear as well as distributor bushing wear. Since EDIS6 has 3 coil packs instead of one, each coil can have 3x longer dwell time and maintain spark at higher rpm.

    I already have a Z running Megajolt and another one running a ZX dizzy. I'm elated that this option has presented itself, as I wanted to keep the other Z a bit more period-looking! Now I can have the look of a distributor along with a fully and easily customized timing map, just waiting for that pesky budget to build itself up...

    If there's one thing I would want, it would be for the 123Tune interface to be the more typical 3D spark map instead of virtual centrifugal and vacuum advance curves. Splitting up the curves like that in a digital, programmable distributor doesn't make much sense to me.
    Rob
    2000 BMW R1100 RT-SE (for sale)
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    1975 Porsche 914 stroker motor autoX car
    1973 Datsun 240Z Restoration project. New paint in original white. E31 head on 2.4 block. Nissan Motorsports header. R200 with Nissan motorsports LSD.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomoHawk View Post
    Well, I know for the L28e, the idle is 700 RPM (in drive, on an automatic) and the advance is 10 degrees. The manual cars are 10 deg. at 700RPM.

    Did you want to know the total advance at, say 5,000 RPM? I think it's about 37 degrees.
    Yes, I was just curious to see where the switched version lined up. Of course the Tune is not effected as you index what you require.
    Thanks to you and Zed

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    Ed - to try & help you some more with your question. The typical upgraded Z (such as mine) with the L28 Carb fed engine, mild cam/compression (~10:1) manifold, 2.5" exhaust etc can suffer from pinging using oem type Distributers & will therefore be prime candidates for the 123ignition. 36 total advance seems to be the limit for these cars - in my case I am using manifold vacuum with ~ 18 deg idle (~1krpm), 34/36(~3.3krpm) Total. With your Dizzy I plan to increase the advance at lower rpm & back it off at higher rpm (as that's were I get the pinging). I will let u know how I get on next week.

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    Finally got the car back from the shop, they did some tweaking of the carbs and installed this curve into the 123tune distributor.
    I am just loving it! The car is running better then it ever has.
    I'm thinking about adding a vacuum log so I can make use of the MAP function.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    1970 240Z HLS30 01955 March/70

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    Chris-
    Did Whitehead dyno it?
    Life's a journey; enjoy the ride!

    Mitchell
    L28 - N42 Block w/Flat tops - N42 Rebello Head & Cam - Triple 40 PHH Mikuni's - Headers - Recaro Seats -
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    1972 Datsun 240z
    HLS30-75040


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    That's interesting, that you can record data about the vacuum.

    Next time, you just use Alt-Prtscrn to get only the active window.
    Last edited by TomoHawk; 05-10-2014 at 05:40 PM.
    Drive Responsibly.
    enjoy classic Rock music.

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    Thanks Tomo, that's much better.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Haven't dynoed yet, hoping to in the next few weeks.
    1970 240Z HLS30 01955 March/70

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    Grannyknot,

    Thanks for supplying this data. That advanced curve looks very similar to what I am currently running (am going to confirm today). Any reason why you zero'd out the stock 123 vacuum curve?. What type Dizzy & idle/total #'s were you running with your old setup ? What improvements have you seen with this setup?

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    Granny Knot
    Can you do a screen shot of the Data input view for the benefit of your compadres? Are these your Numbers?Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by 123ignitionusa; 05-11-2014 at 08:47 AM. Reason: Changed Screen shot

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    Cool. This one device can give you data on RPM, timing advance, and MAP. Can it tell you the air-fuel ratio too?
    Drive Responsibly.
    enjoy classic Rock music.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mdec View Post
    Grannyknot,

    Thanks for supplying this data. That advanced curve looks very similar to what I am currently running (am going to confirm today). Any reason why you zero'd out the stock 123 vacuum curve?. What type Dizzy & idle/total #'s were you running with your old setup ? What improvements have you seen with this setup?
    There are no vacuum numbers because I have no vacuum ports.(working on that)
    The old set up was the original distributor from the 03/70 2.4L engine with a Pertronix ignition module. It worked okay but the compression was 10:1 and I was chasing engine ping that would not allow me to use total advance.
    This winter I installed a 1.5mm steel head gasket and lowered the compression to 9.5:1 and the ping is gone and the advance numbers are up.
    I'm pretty sure the output numbers are also up but we'll see when it's dyno'ed.

    Here is the code with the actual numbers for the advance curve I'm running right now, this is a curve that Whitehead uses a lot for the engines they build.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by 123ignitionusa View Post
    Granny Knot
    Can you do a screen shot of the Data input view for the benefit of your compadres? Are these your Numbers?Click image for larger version. 

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    Ed, no those aren't my numbers, the screen grab above has what I am running.

    Just saw what I posted, lets try that again, that's better.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by grannyknot; 05-11-2014 at 04:59 PM.
    1970 240Z HLS30 01955 March/70

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    I plan to install my 123dizzy sometime next week. Have already loaded the mech curve ..something similar to the whitehead curve (above), but plan to run vacuum advance also as from experience this seems to provide the most responsiveness. Not sure where to start as far as the curve goes though - any ideas from anyone ? I was running a reconditioned 280zx dizzy before.

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    Chris, looking at your curve numbers seem conservative to what I run on my MS. At WOT or full loading I am at 37 degrees by 3000.
    No dyno to say whether I am where I should be, but the butt dyno says -close
    Steve
    71 240z,bw-5sp 2.4-40 over,balanced,e-88,big valves,ported&polished, stage2,header, triple Mikuni's 40's
    3.90 Subaru STI LSD

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    And get your MAP SENSOR going to look at those numbers.
    Steve
    71 240z,bw-5sp 2.4-40 over,balanced,e-88,big valves,ported&polished, stage2,header, triple Mikuni's 40's
    3.90 Subaru STI LSD

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    Hey gang, this weekend it was my turn to put in my fresh and purdy 123 Ignition dizzy. Few details to share.

    Generally the install went as described above. Schlik. Love having only a few degrees advance for starting, and full MAP compensated control.

    But there was one gotcha. Read on.

    My issue is with the fit between the end of the drive spindle in the front cover and the base of the new dizzy. Its WAY too tight. When I first put the thing in, I had trouble getting the rotor to lock into the drive spindle. I really had to reef downwards while twisting the rotor to get it lock into the slot. Even then when it finally did catch, it felt like it just barely engaged. I went around to the passenger side and looked to see if the dizzy was all the way down. Nope. Its up about 1 to 1.5 thicknesses of their nifty little lock plate too high. Sorry no pics but its clearly not even close to all the way down.

    I removed it and grabbed a spare spindle I have laying around and sure enough, I could only get the thing all the way engaged by tapping it in with a hammer, (which I only did about 0.05) as I would likely not have been able to remove it with more force than I wanted to use. I measured the end tang, and its mating slot in the dizzy, they can fit okay, but the outer diameter of the shaft and ID of the dizzy are very tight tight interface fit. Now I appreciate a tight joint for this application, but I can't seat the dizzy without rubber hammering the body down (didn't do that, but would have to), and then I am sure it would be a royal bi$!)h to remove it.

    At the moment, I have not resolved this, but it seems like a little reaming/Dremel drum sanding of the ID of the dizzy to make more room for the shaft is the easist solution. I'd rather not remove the spindle and reduce its OD. It also possible that the location of the slot in the end of the dizzy is slightly "off-center" (I know its not in the center) so that as the tang begins to engage, it is pulled sideways and locks the OD against the side. Doesn't feel like this is the case when I play with the spare shaft on the bench, its just crazy tight going in.

    So what say you other users? I want to hear from Mike W, Granny and mDec and tell me your situation. Did you have similar problems, or did yours schlip right in like nothing? Maybe you should go out and check if yours are really seated ALL the way down! The base of the dizzy plate and their new lock plate below that, should be totally flat to the front cover mounting surface. No gaps allowed. If your dizzy body is slightly wobbly when you push it side to side, then its not all the way down.

    Since Mr. 123IgnUSA is watching/listening to this thread, any similar reports from other users?


    Jim
    -----------------------------------------
    Jim
    73 240Z HLS30 149331
    69 510 PL510 77603

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    Jim,

    Actually, I had the exact same issue with mine. I also reported it to Ed at 123 and he was quite surprised to hear of the tight fit. He claimed that he had the exact measurements from the end of the spindle, but I also provided him measurements from mine, which turned out to be a little different. He indicated to me at the time that he was going to check his existing inventory and make sure that they conformed to the updated measurements that I provided to him.

    In my case, I used a dremel tool to enlarge the ID of the 123 dizzy as well as the slot itself. I was fortunate enough to have a spare spindle laying around, so I used it to make sure that the fit was correct. It was still rather tight when I was done, but it fit nicely without any undue pressure (or hammer) being applied. Probably took me about 30 minutes to get it correct but after that it was smooth sailing.

    Hope that helps. As I said, Ed at 123 is aware of this from my own experience and I was told that he was going to make sure any subsequent units that were shipped conformed to the updated measurements that I provided to him. Sounds like that might not have happened or you received a unit before I provided him the updated numbers.

    Mike.

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    Nothing better than knowing you're not alone! Thanks for the quick response, Mike. I'll let Ed know directly so he keeps on top of the problem. I'm sure he'd like to know why the drive end is all ground up if I ever return it for waranty work!

    Mine was purchased in the last 3-4 weeks.
    -----------------------------------------
    Jim
    73 240Z HLS30 149331
    69 510 PL510 77603

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    Jim, now that you mention it I do remember having to force the distributor in somewhat using the bolts. I then removed the 123unit and did some measuring and found that the oil pump drive tang(male) was not seating to the top of the slot on the distributor, but enough to make me comfortable. It is working fine with no problems but now it occurs to me that the sealed bearings inside the 123unit will be stressed as they are being forced up from the friction fit.

    The anal retentive in me says "I should pull it now and fix it", the realist says "It might prove to be a problem a 100,000 miles from now".

    Ed, I would say you just have to skim a bit more out on the sides of the slot and chamfer the edge on the entry a little more.
    Great product though, I love it.
    Chris
    1970 240Z HLS30 01955 March/70

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    That mount or adapter is the piece that 123 USA (probably ED0 had designed and manufactured to make the 123 distributor a bolt-in piece. Prior to that, not too long ago, they suggested that people build their own.

    Ed probably got a minus tolerance, or worn, shaft to use for his dimensioning and they made a bunch of minus tolerance pieces.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    Thanks Guys I will go 12.5 to 12.6 mm with each one before it goes out. Previously I was at 12.46 to 12.48. You have a great group of hobbyist, it's a pleasure working with you.

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    Ed and everyone.I just got in from the shop. I know what the problem is, and its NOT too small an ID!!! The rectangular slot in center is TAPERED narrower as it goes deeper in the body of the dizzy. The tang on the spindle that engages it is NOT tapered, so depending on how much your particular tang is tapered from wear, it may or may not fit in.

    I have 7 spindles here and NONE expect one fit. I measured and measured sizes and all were identical. But two of them fit better than the rest. Once I saw what the difference was, ie one had a very worn (and hence tapered) tang, the pieces fell into place. I ground one tang down to taper it toward the tip on both edges and it slipped right in to complete engagement depth.

    Ed you have to re-machine that tang slot so it stays at the same width the whole way down.

    Those of us with dizzies have to pull the drive spindle and taper the tang. Reducing the width by .05 at the end compared to where it end being cylindrical is all it will take.

    BTW every one of the 7 spindles had an identical .4885 OD to the cylindrical section. The dizzy was already .4950 or better ID, so it was never the problem.

    Here is the picture of what I had to do the tang. I'm pretty sure t'is more of a taper than I needed to create.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is the best spindle I have for comparison (center). Note how straight the sides are.

    The one on the left has a badly worn left side taper. I just about went all the way in with no pressure. The straight sided one would not engage the slot AT ALL.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by zKars; 06-10-2014 at 07:16 AM.
    -----------------------------------------
    Jim
    73 240Z HLS30 149331
    69 510 PL510 77603

    www.zKars.com
    www.calgaryzclub.ca
    Reference materials
    www.xenonS30.com

  66. #66
    Registered User grannyknot's Avatar
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    Jim, well that is an easy fix, a 10 min. job.
    Thanks for sorting that out.
    1970 240Z HLS30 01955 March/70

  67. #67
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    It was almost imperceptible until I took the calipers to it. Jim nailed it. 0.018 difference from top to bottom. Easiest fix for now is slight taper of 0.010 per side. To put it in perspective that is about the thickness of a business card. Thanks Jim
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    zKars - thanks for the feedback. I got lucky & did not have any fit issues with the Dizzy. However...since installing the 123 my motor has been plagued by a really annoying 'miss' issue. The 'miss' seems to occur totally at random, perhaps 1-3x every 30 mins & does not appear to be dependent on engine load or temp. Have checked the dizzy hook-up, replaced the coil, plugs & leads & no improvement. Am running a MSD6AL with Accel 1.4ohm coil. I now have a new dizzy from 123ignition & will be trying it out in the next few days. My sense is that it may be something funky going on with the msd/dizzy combo, but I believe MikeW is running a similar setup & he had no issues. I will be interested in finding out how close a match you guy's had with your timing lights once you had completed your setup. I was way off at idle. ~ 15 deg programmed v ~ 7 deg measured. Rotating the dizzy a tad fixed the error, but I was surprised how far it was off. My timing light is pretty accurate. Any thought/help on this one will be appreciated !. Finally, I would like to mention that Customer support from Ed on this one has been exemplary - he supplied the replacement Dizzy with a minimum of fuss & I feel no pressure from him to return the original until I

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    am ready !

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    You guys are awesome


    By the time I get around to spending more money on the Z this will be an old and well understood mod. My Z's mallory is running so well, I will have a hard time pulling it.

    Any chance 123 makes this ignition for the 2000 roadster?
    1971 240Z HLS30-38691
    93.9% done and getting better every day
    Now with 100% more DATSUN SPIRIT L28 Power
    1968 Datsun 2000 SRL311-03416

  71. #71
    Registered User 123ignitionusa's Avatar
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    What does the business end of the 2000 dizzy look like. The end that goes in the block.

  72. #72
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    Additional machining is being done to correct the problems. Jim I thought you would like to know I appreciate your detective work. All tolerances are being re worked.

    Quote Originally Posted by 123ignitionusa View Post
    It was almost imperceptible until I took the calipers to it. Jim nailed it. 0.018 difference from top to bottom. Easiest fix for now is slight taper of 0.010 per side. To put it in perspective that is about the thickness of a business card. Thanks Jim

  73. #73
    Rust Free'ish zKars's Avatar
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    Ed, glad to be of service. I love a good mechanical mystery. Having a bunch of spare parts has come in very handy in many such instances. Let me know if I can be of any further assistance.

    The only other suggestion to make the install process easier for customers might be to clock the drive adapter differently so that it matches the stock position of the drive spindle. Plug #1 is now 60 or 70 degrees clockwise of where it sits "Stock". This forces the user to reposition plug wires which may leave some too long or too short and since the cap is so much smaller, there is less room for plug wire weaving games. I did mine like Grannyknot in post #36. You could also choose to laboriously move the drive spindle which means dropping the front sway bar also and dropping the oil pump. Messy and not for everyone. Move it one plug position CCW (looking from the top) and it would be just fine. Next batch, eh?

    There are also no less than at least three different distributor bases on various s30 engines, each with their own position of the hold down bolt. This in turn affects where the new clamp plate is located, which could bring up access problems to get the allan wrench on that clamp bolt. I have the zx E12-80 base on my engine, and position and access were good. Don't forget you can flip that new clamp plate over and point the bolt a different direction if you need to.

    Since you'd probably like to plug in the USB cable at some point to play with maps, think about where that port is located when you're done and how you'll access it. Remember too if you're driving and tuning with the cable in, there is no moisture seal around the plug. Don't tune in the rain or pack some chewing gum around the plug Hmmm, Juicy Fruit...

    Reading back to comment from mDec about actual verses map timing mismatch, I found that I have a near perfect match between the advance map and what my timing light shows on the damper. I did set mechanical TDC very carefully and set the little green light to "just" come on with CW torque on the rotor as suggested, during initial dizzy positioning. I suspect small errors here translate in larger problems with the real verses map.
    -----------------------------------------
    Jim
    73 240Z HLS30 149331
    69 510 PL510 77603

    www.zKars.com
    www.calgaryzclub.ca
    Reference materials
    www.xenonS30.com

  74. #74
    Registered User 123ignitionusa's Avatar
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    Here are a couple of videos from DAC House in Japan of the "Z" at the drags. They use the 123ignition and no doubt a few other tricks. enjoy...?????in ????2013??2? 47 - YouTube?????in ????2013??2? 10 - YouTube
    Last edited by 123ignitionusa; 06-23-2014 at 10:07 AM.

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    Can anyone describe/post (.jpg ?) a typical oem Z vacuum advance curve. I have heard that high compression L6 engines typically run better with lower initial mech advance with much higher (than stock) vacuum adv ?

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