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post #1 of 32 Old 08-17-2013, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Electronic ignition

Any of you classic Ferrari owners out there ever considered the instalation of Electronic ignition ?
If yes or no: why ?
To the experts: pro and cons of it ?

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post #2 of 32 Old 08-17-2013, 01:36 PM
 
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I don't have a "Classic" Ferrari, but if I had a classic 12cylinder dual distributor I would definately install a single distributor electronic ignition system like the MSD, for everyday use as a daily driver. Modern type spark plug wires too.

For display or concours, it could quickly converted back to original equipment
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post #3 of 32 Old 08-17-2013, 02:31 PM
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Dear 212Export,

As you probably have surmised, I continue to run the old fashioned coil-distributor-points system that the car came with. Since the car was designed with a dual ignition system including two plugs per cylinder, two distributors two coils etc, the chances of the car stopping for an electrical ignition system failure are remote. However when cold it is still easy to fuel foul a pair of plugs if not careful with the throttle.

By the way, to complicate timing, the distributors rotate in opposite directions.

Besides, what could go wrong with Magneti Marellis?

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post #4 of 32 Old 08-17-2013, 04:53 PM
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212- One thing I would definitely consider doing is replacing the Dinoplexes with Dinoplex boxes with MSD or equivalent guts inside. Undetectable from the outside and much more reliable. Since she is already running CD ignition, which uses the points only as a timing signal for the CD unit so no high point current load, the points will last quite a while as long as the rubbing block is kept well lubricated. Especially since there is no really steep cam ramp for the dual points in each distributor.

You could put in two 6 cylinder electronic units if you wanted to, but not sure how realistic that would look. At the far end would be one of Mark's distributorless systems with crank and cam sensors and coil on plug ignition, but that would definitely look like a different engine.

Taz
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post #5 of 32 Old 08-17-2013, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to all of you for the interesting comments.....and what a beautiful view of that 4 cylinder engine.....my kitchen looks not nearly as clean....!

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post #6 of 32 Old 08-19-2013, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tazandjan View Post
212- One thing I would definitely consider doing is replacing the Dinoplexes with Dinoplex boxes with MSD or equivalent guts inside. Undetectable from the outside and much more reliable. Since she is already running CD ignition, which uses the points only as a timing signal for the CD unit so no high point current load, the points will last quite a while as long as the rubbing block is kept well lubricated. Especially since there is no really steep cam ramp for the dual points in each distributor.

You could put in two 6 cylinder electronic units if you wanted to, but not sure how realistic that would look. At the far end would be one of Mark's distributorless systems with crank and cam sensors and coil on plug ignition, but that would definitely look like a different engine.

CD just isn't a good way to go.
The whole problem with that system is the points and advance mechanisms and you left all that junk there.
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post #7 of 32 Old 08-19-2013, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by 212Export View Post
Any of you classic Ferrari owners out there ever considered the instalation of Electronic ignition ?
If yes or no: why ?
To the experts: pro and cons of it ?



I can't conceive of not doing it. Many have been changed including show cars. It can be done invisibly.

I would either go with an optical system internal to the distributors or a discretely located crank timed system at the flywheel. All the components and wires can be hidden so no one will know without close examination.
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post #8 of 32 Old 08-19-2013, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Brian. Very insightful for me. The issue was brought up by my Specialist who found my ignition internal parts on "D" partially used/worn out or almost destroyed. He told me that to enable almost always perfect timing, these parts Need to be replaced about every App. 3000-5000 Miles of driving, hence the thinking about a replacement by a electronic one for a driver like myself using "D" for about 5-10' Miles per year?!

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post #9 of 32 Old 08-19-2013, 12:45 PM
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Thanks Brian. Very insightful for me. The issue was brought up by my Specialist who found my ignition internal parts on "D" partially used/worn out or almost destroyed. He told me that to enable almost always perfect timing, these parts Need to be replaced about every App. 3000-5000 Miles of driving, hence the thinking about a replacement by a electronic one for a driver like myself using "D" for about 5-10' Miles per year?!


Whatever way you decide to go be sure it eliminates the points and the advance mechanism.

Any other method is a waste of time/money.
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post #10 of 32 Old 08-19-2013, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Whatever way you decide to go be sure it eliminates the points and the advance mechanism.

Any other method is a waste of time/money.
Absolutely agree!

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post #11 of 32 Old 08-19-2013, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Admiral Goodwrench View Post
Dear 212Export,

As you probably have surmised, I continue to run the old fashioned coil-distributor-points system that the car came with. Since the car was designed with a dual ignition system including two plugs per cylinder, two distributors two coils etc, the chances of the car stopping for an electrical ignition system failure are remote. However when cold it is still easy to fuel foul a pair of plugs if not careful with the throttle.

By the way, to complicate timing, the distributors rotate in opposite directions.

Besides, what could go wrong with Magneti Marellis?

Best regards,


Saw one of those motors at the Embassy Suites Seaside out in the parking lot. It had a Lampredi V12 keeping it company. Both just tied down with nylon straps in the back of a pickup truck last week.

I saw the owner inside and told him it was going to take $100,000 to get them back.


He told me I was selling way too cheap.
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post #12 of 32 Old 08-19-2013, 01:45 PM
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Brian- My thought was to keep it as original as possible. I know you do not enjoy working on the older cars now. Are the distributor parts that hard to find? Distributor overhauls were usually pretty easy to do.

Taz
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post #13 of 32 Old 08-19-2013, 01:52 PM
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Brian- My thought was to keep it as original as possible. I know you do not enjoy working on the older cars now. Are the distributor parts that hard to find? Distributor overhauls were usually pretty easy to do.


Easy, if you don't mind buying junk the Chinese would be ashamed of making.


It ain't 1975 anymore.

The quality of distributor parts and my inability to warranty any work on them was the straw that broke the camels back.


In reality, with a very few exceptions like The Admirals car, originality only counts if you can see it. Even his car has Carrillo rods and aftermarket pistons. Original is great as long as it doesn't threaten to saw the motor in two.

Little difference really.

Besides I like reliable cars. No room in my life for something I can't drive to New York tomorrow.


There are a lot of Italian parts that need to go in the dumpster when doing these cars. Internal distributor parts are without doubt on the list.

Distributors themselves are a very Victorian solution to ignition. The further I get from them the better I like it.


It's not that I don't enjoy working on them. As a business model it is stupid. Most of the people you count on in the vintage cars are hobbiests. Trying to run a business counting on them is infuriating. How many times can you say "Can I get it tomorrow" and be told "I may not get out to the barn to find it until next Wednesday" before you begin to question working on them?

I will say Tom Shaughnessey is a real exception. He gets it.

I broke an axle on a test drive on a 212 4 days before it was supposed to line up for the start of the California Mille. I called Tom and Tom called a friend. The next day I had 6 axles to see if one of them matched up. It was the oldest finisher of the Mille that year.

If they were all like Tom that business would be easy.



BTW
It was Toms truck at the Embassy Suites with the 2 motors.

Last edited by Brian; 08-19-2013 at 02:12 PM.
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post #14 of 32 Old 08-19-2013, 02:46 PM
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Brian- I understand and guess I am still stuck in the 70s since that is the last time I had a Ferrari with points. Even my 308 GTS had the electronic single distributor.

Probably not too many of the really early Ferraris left with mousetrap valve springs, either, so I guess improvements are inevitable.

Taz
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post #15 of 32 Old 08-19-2013, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Easy, if you don't mind buying junk the Chinese would be ashamed of making.


It ain't 1975 anymore.

The quality of distributor parts and my inability to warranty any work on them was the straw that broke the camels back.


In reality, with a very few exceptions like The Admirals car, originality only counts if you can see it. Even his car has Carrillo rods and aftermarket pistons. Original is great as long as it doesn't threaten to saw the motor in two.

Little difference really.

Besides I like reliable cars. No room in my life for something I can't drive to New York tomorrow.


There are a lot of Italian parts that need to go in the dumpster when doing these cars. Internal distributor parts are without doubt on the list.

Distributors themselves are a very Victorian solution to ignition. The further I get from them the better I like it.


It's not that I don't enjoy working on them. As a business model it is stupid. Most of the people you count on in the vintage cars are hobbiests. Trying to run a business counting on them is infuriating. How many times can you say "Can I get it tomorrow" and be told "I may not get out to the barn to find it until next Wednesday" before you begin to question working on them?

I will say Tom Shaughnessey is a real exception. He gets it.

I broke an axle on a test drive on a 212 4 days before it was supposed to line up for the start of the California Mille. I called Tom and Tom called a friend. The next day I had 6 axles to see if one of them matched up. It was the oldest finisher of the Mille that year.

If they were all like Tom that business would be easy.



BTW
It was Toms truck at the Embassy Suites with the 2 motors.

What you're saying is the exact repetition of what my mechanic says to me. If I want to use the car as I used it (often and long driving) the internal distributor parts materials normally delivered these days are rubish to say the least, hence the often need to rechange them again, in my case almost every half year. If you do not do this parts change often enough in time, the whole engine could get hurt.

I'm a great advocate of originality and want to keep that flag straight up no question about. However as perfect material is more difficult to get and since I'm a real "user" of "D" I start to lean toward a long term more reliable, no headache solution. Especially since that solution would be completely invisible from the outside (same distributer body and head) and is easily to be brought back to the normal, previous state again (it was showed to me with all different parts). For this time, we decided to stay in original style.

Brian's explanation with the 212 axle problem brings memories back to me of "D" not running on all 12 cylinders at 3 am in the morning before rushing out for a FLED gathering at noon in London, 1000km's away. You dont' really want that, except if you don't mind in a quick decision process to let the vintage car stay in the garage and take the modern one as an excuse. Not me. Where would that end.....

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post #16 of 32 Old 08-19-2013, 11:45 PM
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Hello Guys,
my opinion is like Taz, i think is the cars must have been built as originally, for a real taste of the time, also to maintain value over time....
Then ... if in that time led to frequent replacement of distributor contacts or other similar adjustments you can not do anything ... otherwise we have a car today .... and we buy a car of today ...
I think the changes that can be do are the same that were in the period of built car ...
I not have a old car now, but a few years ago in my family we had a Autobianchi A 112 abarth 70 hp , Alfa Romeo giulia super 1300, Alfa Romeo alfetta all with platinum contacts inside the distributor and with a 10/12K km for year we not had lot of problems, if i remember correct max one time per year we replaced contacts ...
I understand that in a car with double contacts the regulation is delicate but not too complicated.
This is only my personal thinking, not the law .....

However, my advice is to try to adapt the internal components of a magnetic distributor (marelli or bosch) in the original distributor removing the contacts, maybe you need to make some new parts but with the machine tools of today is not a problem.
In the picture can see a car built by myself on 1998, engine is maserati 4p 4.2 litres 1968, i found engine on demolition, without distributor, water pump, carburetor cover exc.
My brother is specialist electronic then we have made by us a complete static ignition system with one ignition coil for cylinder.
In the place of original distributor i put a magnetic sensors (marelli) for the engine phase and on front crankshaft pulley i put 4 teeths and an other magnetic sensor for the phase on single cylinders.
I made two alluminium fusions one for new distributor (with internal shaft of bosch distributo alfa romeo and tooth by myself) and one for electronic ignition components.
I made one box for contain ignition coils and my brothe have made all ignition ECU by yourself software included, using a 6502 cpu processor.
For the ignition diagram we have replicated the original diagram that I saw on workshop manual for engine.
Now i not have detailed pictures with me but among few days I will post those.
in a following video can see the results ...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvlBzgxN8j0

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post #17 of 32 Old 08-20-2013, 05:55 AM Thread Starter
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Interesting insights ! Thanks Fabio.

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post #18 of 32 Old 08-22-2013, 01:23 AM
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HI 212,
as anticipated, following you can see some pictures of ignition system for maserati 4 porte 4200 1968 engine nr 2222 that made by me (for casting and machining) and my brother for software and electronics components.
This is all made by ourself.
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post #19 of 32 Old 08-22-2013, 07:16 AM Thread Starter
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Wow, congratulations Fabio. That needs deep insights to do something like this. You should come to Switzerland with your abilities and open a shop and do what you are able to do. There is huge demand for that as the density of oldtimer holders is about the highest ratio on population anywhere. Where do you live in Italy ?

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post #20 of 32 Old 08-22-2013, 07:44 AM
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212,
thanks of congratulations ....
You must know that I have worked in the workshop of my dad (mechanic) ever since I went to school, but I have not found an outlet for a good gainful employment in the cars, after mechanical engineer graduation ...

Car shop in Switzerland ..? ahaha too nice for be real ...
I went in Ginevra (hotel Bristol) on april 2012 with my wife for a four days of holiday, very nice place ....
Until two years ago I was living near Ravenna where is the workshop of my father, now i live in Cesena (married ...) but in the week end i go on workshop for my hobbies ....

Fabio

PRESENT: 575 F1 HGTC ROSSO CORSA 2004' - MB CLS 350 CGI 2007'
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