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Thread: Electronic Ignition Help

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    Default Electronic Ignition Help

    Im looking to upgrade to an electrical ignition system on my 1973 240Z. I was thinking of going with an MSD ignition and coil. From what I have read on the forums im getting confused on what I have to do with regards to the distributor and what I need to do to have a successful setup. Can someone please explain everything I need to do to get this working properly and what parts I will need. OR if there is a link to a write up.

    Thanks for the help.

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    I did the same upgrade to my 73 240Z. I installed a 280ZX distributor along with the appropriate coil for electronic ignition and new plugs (BPR6ES NGK's). This writeup helped me quite a bit:

    http://www.atlanticz.ca/zclub/techti...tor/index.html

    It's for a 280Z but, can also be applied for the 240Z.

    This is, as you have probably discovered in your searches, not the only method for converting from points to electronic. If you do decide to go this route (ie. 280ZX dizzy) you will find a huge amount of info on this site outlining what parts you need as well as how to troubleshoot should things go awry. Just do a search on something like "280ZX distributor upgrade" and you will be inundated with information.

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    Hi wavemux

    How do you find the electronic ignition on your 240Z.
    Thanks to both for the info, it has pointed me in the right direction and helped me understand.
    Alot of people seem to run the 280ZX distributor but any opinions on the mallory unilite distributor?
    Is the 280ZX dizzy a strait swap for the 240Z dizzy? Sorry for the questions just trying to make things clear for myself.
    So to clear it up if i get an electronic dizzy, msd ignition, and proper coil, and then replace plugs and wires I should be good to go?

    Thanks

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    matt240zee:
    The 280ZX upgrade is pretty much a straight swap. You do need to insure you have the mounting base for the 280ZX dizzy. It is different than the stock 240Z base. I was able to get a rebuilt one from Autozone. You need to insure you specify which year 280ZX dizzy you want. It's important to be clear with them that you want a NON-turbo 1979-1980 dizzy. The re-manufactured units do NOT come with the mounting base. You will need to source this from a junk yard, eBay or your local Z-Car club (assuming you are a member of the Calgary club?). Also, I have heard mixed reports that re-manufactured dizzies did not come with the required E12-80 module (mine came with a new non-Nissan module which works just fine). Make sure you tell them you need this to come with the unit. I was able to get a ratty old dizzy from a parts car, stripped it of it's E12-80 module, base plate, E12-80 module connector and used that as a core at AdvanceAuto (they really don't look very closely at what you give them as a core, I think it just has to be generally "distributor" shaped and have the correct number of holes and they'll take it!)

    If you go the 280ZX dizzy route you do not need the MSD ignition. Just the appropriate coil for electronic ignition, plugs, follow the instructions in the links provided previously for wiring everything up (ie. bypass your balast resistor and all). Also, make sure you gap your plugs as per the specs for a 280ZX (.40-.45) and set your timing.

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    Thanks for the help.
    With further forum searching it seems some people are having troubles getting the timing right and the 280ZX dizzy upgrade either works or there is a problem, this has me worried, i dont want to run into trouble. I just want the car to run better.
    Any more input would help.

    Thanks

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    Sorry wavemux but how is the electronic ignition performing in your Z?

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    240 Z Owner/Nut Case dhoneycutt's Avatar
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    I installed the Crane XR3000 electronic ignition in my 72 a few years ago and did a write up on it, and still no issues after several years. Do a search for " Crane Ignition" and it should be there.
    Last edited by dhoneycutt; 09-11-2011 at 11:34 AM.
    David A. Honeycutt
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    240 Z Owner/Nut Case dhoneycutt's Avatar
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    I just tried to search for my write up and couldn't find it. Maybe it got lost when the site changed over... I don't know if I can find a backup of it on my computer some where. I'll see if I can.
    David A. Honeycutt
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    A Work in Progress

    2004 Mazda 6s
    2009 BMW 535xi

    The Only Difference Between Men & Boys... Is The Price Of Their Toys!

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    Thank You dhoneycutt

    how do you find the performance of the electric ignition?

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    Ive heard good and bad things about the 280ZX distributor swap so I have something tossing around in my mind that id like some opinions on.
    I was thinking Mallory Unilite Distributor, MSD 6A or 6AL ignition and an MSD coil. What do you guys think?

    Thanks

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    The main benefit to electronic over points is lower maintenance. What benefits are you looking for?

    Edit - took some vague comments out.
    Last edited by Zed Head; 09-11-2011 at 09:48 PM.

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    Basically wanting to have it running better, start better, perform better. Read that the electronic ignition is the way to go about it.

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    You could use the Pertronix ingition module. It fits into the original distributor (replacing the points) and will work with the MSD system.

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    240 Z Owner/Nut Case dhoneycutt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt240Zee View Post
    Thank You dhoneycutt

    how do you find the performance of the electric ignition?
    I couldn't be happier with performance. The car starts easier, virtually no maintenance. What more could you ask for? The XR3000 replaces the points in the stock distributor with an optical unit. If I had the money I would go with a Mallory Unilite distributor. Maybe when I do a rebuild of the motor somewhere down the road in the future? I've heard good things about the pertronix system also.
    David A. Honeycutt
    United States Air Force, Retired


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    A Work in Progress

    2004 Mazda 6s
    2009 BMW 535xi

    The Only Difference Between Men & Boys... Is The Price Of Their Toys!

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    I'm running at Mallory Unilite dizzy with Mallory Hyfire 6AL CDI box.
    It works well but it is known to be sensitive to high voltage but so far it works good.

    I would not recommand this setup if I had to do it again.

    Instead I would recommand either to convert your current dizzy to remove point with optical or hall sensor (pertronix unit seems to do that well), I would lock advance on dizzy and I'll get an MSD AL6-2 to manage the ignition. I don't know however how this setup can handle advance with vacuum (probably it does and you'lll lose torque & efficience at low/mid throttle)

    Next optimal option would be to go distributorless with XDI ($$$$) or Megajolt but it is more involving and you lose the classic look of a dizzy.

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    dhoneycutt

    Sorry but when you instealled the Crane XR3000 what else did you do?
    Would you mind doing a mini write up of what is needed for the conversion?

    Thanks

  18. #18
    240 Z Owner/Nut Case dhoneycutt's Avatar
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    All that I did was replace the points with the optical components included with the ignition system and replaced my stock coil with the Crane PS91 coil. Followed the instructions including the ones which said to place a jumper wire across the ballast resistor. I know this sounds very simple, but it really was! I have been real busy with work and church so I have not had the time to look to see if I have a saved copy of the write up I did. I will still look for it tho. I hear the Petronix conversion is just as easy or easier. Several people on this site have used or are using it. I am very happy with the crane system. Hope that this helps some.
    David A. Honeycutt
    United States Air Force, Retired


    1972 Datsun 240Z HLS3079961
    A Work in Progress

    2004 Mazda 6s
    2009 BMW 535xi

    The Only Difference Between Men & Boys... Is The Price Of Their Toys!

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