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  • electronic igniters

    Recently I read in Hemmings Sport and Exotic, August issue, about replacing distributer points with Pertronix electronic ignitor system. Can anyone tell me about this?

    Many thanx

  • #2

    Unfortunately not many crossflow owners on here, but I'll give it my best.

    I can't quote on the petronix ignition as I've never tried it, but the electronic ignitions just tend to be more reliable, accurate and performance oriented. It should cure a lot of the issues most of us crossflow owners deal with (hesitation, fuel consumption etc).

    Do you have the aldon distributor? If you're going to put an electronic ignition in a crossflow, you may as well buy a 2D or 3D system to really get everything out of it. You'll need a computer (megajolt for instance), EDIS, Coil, Leads, Trigger Wheel, TPS, Crank Sensor (TPS and Crank Sensor on 3D only) and don't forget a trip to the dyno to tune it. It can all be done for significantly less than $500 if you do it yourself and source used parts.

    Once you have the electronic ignition, it is relatively easy to tune when you want to upgrade the cam or up the compression.


    • #3
      electronic igniters


      My engine is the big valve twin cam (1975). According to the owner's manual the distributor is a (Lucas ?) 23 D. 4. Your explanation of the installation suggests it is much more complicated than the Pertronix website presents it.

      Many thanks for your help,


      • #4
        A 3D system like GWise describes is great and will make a noticeable difference to drivability and fuel economy, but sticking with your 2D system and adding a Pertronix Ignitor or something similar will still make a difference. No points to wear out or go out of adjustment, and they reportedly result in a better more consistent spark. Installation is easy (should be online installation manuals on the Pertronix site) and they are inexpensive.

        Westfield SEiW
        2.0L Duratec
        Throttle Steer


        • #5
          Good Points John.

          Sorry to assume you had a crossflow. I guess most of the 7's running around now do. (I sure wish I had a Twin Cam) Anyway, I would definitely consider a petronix or even a 3D if you have the extra money (I think you're probably only looking at a couple hundred bucks more). The advance on the old distributors is not exactly optimized and a electronic ignition makes this easy to adjust.


          • #6
            electronic igniters

            Many thanks to Gwise and John for the info,
            I will probably go with the simpler Pertronix conversion for a start. What got me thinking about this was an increasing misfire and a drop in oil pressure to 20 from 40 even when the engine seems to be running normally. Could there be something wrong with the oil pressure sensor?
            I bought my Seven in England from Graham Nearn the year after he bought
            Caterham Cars from Colin Chapman. Unfortunately I can only drive the car during the summer and all the down time is not good for the car.



            • #7
              I think you may have to be a little bit more descriptive about the loss in oil pressure and the missfire. Are the you suspecting the two are related?

              Is your car a S3 with the twincam or an s4?! If it's a S3 with the OE twin cam, those cars are VERY highly sought after. You have a true gem right there!

              Are here in california?


              • #8
                Since the ignition system and the oil pump/pressure system is about as far apart from each other as they can be from a functional standpoint, you probably have an issue with the only common denominator, which is the electrical system (that drives the oil pressure gauge).

                Check for loose cables starting at the battery and gradually working your way toward the ignition and/or oil system. Start the engine and shake the harness while listening for idle issues.

                /Magnus F.


                • #9
                  I was curious if the misfire was just simply causing a drop in RPM which would cause the oil pressure to drop.


                  • #10
                    That is another probable cause, which I missed completely.

                    /Magnus F.


                    • #11
                      The 20 reading on the oil pressure gauge remains constant despite RPMs which I guess means it is the sensor.
                      The misfire is limited to the second cylinder back from the radiator. It is almost as if the spark cables were switched, though I can't imagine that happening. Spark is arriving at the plug so it must be a point problem? Looks like I finally have some time free to follow your advice.
                      My Seven is a series 3 and I love it, but since moving to the smallest town in the smallest state in the union, I have only driven the car a few miles in the summer. One of the reasons for this is the rough dirt road I have to traverse before arriving at the 20 miles of paved road available to me on this island.
                      My thirteen inch wheels carry the car just too low. If anyone has a set of 15" wheels for sale for the 4x4.25 hub I am in the market.
                      Thanks again for the advice,



                      • #12
                        Check your spark plugs for the miss first. Sometimes it's the simple things.

                        On the newer Caterhams the oil sender is reliably unreliable. I don't know about the older versions.

                        If you worry about oil pressure, get a mechanical gauge, they have some nice ones with a braided stainless steel covered hose.



                        • #13
                          Regarding mechanical oil pressure gauges, here's a link that might be of interest:

                          2013 Boss 302 Mustang
                          2005 SV Roadsport (gone but not forgotten)