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Discussion Starter #1
I am toying with the notion of replacing the points in the distributor of my 73 GTV with an electronic ignition conversion...

Does anyone have experience with this? And what the members of this forum recommend by way of brand?

Jason
 

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I've done it with a Pertronix system with good results so far. But you need a Bosch distributor to do it.

One of my friends bought a system from RML recently, and he really likes it as well.

Eric
 

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I wanted to do this on my 1600. I unfortunately have a Magneti Marelli distributor and I haven't found anyone who supplies a kit for this unit. The Bosch distributor is well catered for. Lumenition are the brand I would go for if I had the option. The other alternative is to get a second hand Alfa 75 (not twin spark) ignition coil pack and distibutor which I believe can be fitted fairly easily.

So the answer to your question is (as so often is the way) another question: do you have a Bosch or MM distributor?
 

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Dave
It is possible to install a Crane optical pick up in the Marelli. One must disassemble the entire bottom 1/2 of the distributor to do it, though...

Not sure if they ship to Europe or not...

Eric
 

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Centerline sells a very nice electronic set up,
but costs over $450. You can get a Marelli
Plex system from many places for about $350.
I have used the Marelli, and it works great.

I also looked into the Petronix conversion,
and can be had at www.summitracing.com
for about $80.

If you want a really trick set up, and money
is no object, go for the Centerline product.
If you are on a budget, look on E-bay for
a used Bosch distributor, convert it to the
Petronix, and upgrade to a Bosch blue coil.

Just MHO.
 

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Hey Jase and Dave:

I have used both Crane and MSD with ease on Marelli points distributor without having to really modify the distributor. For around $300 you can get either a Crane Hi6 or MSD 6AL ignition box, a performance coil, and wires. Both of these systems are multispark at the low rpm end and have a more powerful spark throughout your rpm range. Again, MULTISPARK per compression. Kits that RML and IAP sell are Crane. They may have a different sticker....but they are all Crane. I prefer MSD as I had a Crane unit fail. AND the MSD 6AL or Crane Hi6 are equal to the best RML and IAP offer. I don't know what Centerline is offering.

Both of these ignitions come with adjustable rev limiters. Both have add ons for in ****pit retard/advance control, tach pickup, etc. These are the real deal IMO when it comes to ignition boxes.

Either of these boxes will utilize an old points distributor as a timing pickup. To work with the old points Marelli distributor, both MSD and Crane use a single pickup wire to hook into the points. Condensor is removed. And thats it for the distributor. No more adjusting points. No more fouling plugs. Easy starting. Tremendous difference in throttle response.

Only reason I see to swap out the old marelli distributor is if you are looking for a tuned bosch with a modified advance curve. Otherwise, leave it and use it. It works great in this application.

And if anyone is curious, yes they will also work with magnetic/optical pickups in a distributor as well as crank sensors. So either can be applied to any Alfa.

Best Regards,
John M
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the coments people.

Based on the responses, I surfed the net to try and figure out what was available and whow much it cost, for anyone else interested - this is what I found...

I found an interesting article that discusses the installation of the Crane XR700 into a Berlina: http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/Downs/3837/craneign.html

The Pertronix kit (thanks Eric) is magnetically triggered and seems to be very well priced, and doesn't seem to require an external control box. The model for the 2000 GTV I think (?) is the 1847V (although summit racing have only mentioned a SAAB and VW). As Keven mentioned it costs less than $80 USD.

The Crane XR700 (which I think is the same asd the Crane Hi6 that John mentioned??) costs about $110 from IAP and is optically triggered. As John discussed, there seems to be plenty of options for the Marelli as well as the Bosch :D

Jase
 

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Hey Jase:

Actually the XR700 is a much lower, less powerful, single spark model and comes with an optical trigger that you must modifiy the distributor. XR3000 is a little better than the XR700. And the 3000 also requires going to an optical trigger. Optical trigger is not a bad thing by any means, but again if I were going to modify my distributor I would go for a custom bosch. The Hi-6 and MSD 6AL really are much, much better than these systems. The big benefit of the Crane Hi-6 and the MSD 6AL is that both are multispark (up to 12 sparks) per compression. From idle to 3000 rpm the Hi-6 and 6AL put out multiple sparks per compression = 20 degs of crankshaft. Above 3000rpm they go to single spark with current 3x that of XR700. So the Hi-6 and 6AL really light the plug up compared to the other models. The other big benefit is that it will work with the distributor in its stock form. All you have to do is hook one wire to the points and remove the condensor. And installation is a breeze. Maybe 30 minutes tops.

Here are their specs:

Hi-6

XR700

MSD 6AL

If you are looking for something that will work, be really inexpensive, and not be seen you may want to go with the Petronix kit.

If you are focused on performance, then by all means get a Crane Hi-6 or MSD 6AL. Keep in mind with the performance ignitions, you will need a performance coil and wires. Expect total cost around $300 with using stock Marelli distributor. Here is a picture of my MSD in my Spider:



As you can see its not small, but small enough to mount easily out of the way.

Best Regards,
John M
 

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John M,

What coil and wires do you recommend with the MSD 6AL?

Also - how far can the 'brain' be installed from the distributor / coil
? (I'm wondering if it can be hidden on the inside of the wirewall or something)

Great thread - getting electronic ignition is on my 'to do' list for the winter.

Nikos F
 

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Hey NikosF:

I am currently using a Crane PS60 coil. MSD makes a Blaster 2 cannister coil as well. I would say they are equivalent. On both the crane and msd boxes there is excess wire to greatly extend the mounting distance. If you were really motivated you could mount under the dash and pass the wires through the firewall. On spark plug wires, both MSD and Crane make universal sets. I need to get a set of these as I am running normal wires, but the difference still shines through. I think I am going to go with the MSD universal set as it comes with the tools and crimpers necessary to cut the wires to length and apply appropriate terminals.

For people sitting on the fence on this conversion I can attest to this, since going electronic I have never fouled a plug.....never. I am sure those who have not yet gone electronic have a pile of spark plugs (as I did) accumulating. No more adjusting/swaping points and condensors. Really trouble free. The Crane Hi-6 and performance coil was the last thing I added to my car after the performance build. The difference in throttle response was unbelieveable from the stock system and sure to put a smile on your face. The difference in power is very noticeable. After a little over a year though the Crane failed. I went to Autozone and shucked over $200 for the MSD as that was what they had in stock. The MSD has been trouble free since. So I recommend MSD since I had the failure. The Crane Hi6 did work just as good and if you come across one on ebay, I would not hesitate to grab it either.

Jase, I don't know on the differences. I am just familiar with whats in my Spider.....Marelli. And I have been very pleased. I do know some of our aftermarket parts suppliers market a bosch distributor with custom advance curve. I am curious if anyone has got one of those and if they feel its worth the additional investment. It too may be worth the change if its a noticable difference in power.

Best Regards,
John M
 

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Hi Jase,
I replaced the points ignition in my Giulia with a system from Centerline. It works very well. I am pleased with it !

I have sold and installed Pertronix systems in a lot of cars including Model A Fords. Jup! 1929 Fords with electronic ignition out there on the roads of America. Pertronix work very nicely and they fit completely in the distributor. I probably sold 100 systems and had three failures. One I am convinced was hooked up with reverse polarity. The other two failed with a few miles of installing and were covered by warranty. Inconvenient as hell but costly.

Now for something of value, I have the Bosch distributor that was in my Giulia before I changed it to Centerline. If you need it to do a conversion, I can send it to you for cheap. I am only interested in sending it for a conversion because I really like to see our fun cars get rid of the make and break points type ignition invented before God had a car. Ten bucks to cover sending it.
 

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ooops I did not know you are down under Jase. It may cost more than 10 bucks to send the distributor.

By the way I also have a Marelli electronic ignition distributor and coil set up ! Don't know its value but someone should be able to help me figure that out if you want it or if anyone else wants it.
 

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MrC,

I am thinking of getting the Centerline system as well.

Could you comment a little on it, as far as ease of intallation,drivability, etc?

Also what brand is it? They dont really
tell you in the Centerline catalog.

Thanks
 

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Jase- It's not that hard to tell them apart-

Take off the cap and look:

If you see a very small rotor, and only the points- its a Bosch.

If you see a large rotor, all the advance mechanism (weights) and below that, the points- its a Marelli.

I'm probably one of the few people who have had bad luck with MSD- I installed a 6AL box on my GTV, and when it got warm, it stopped working. Thankfully, I was using the points as a trigger, so I could go back quite easily. After that, I went to the Pertonix.

I should contact MSD for a replacement, but don't have the receipt...

Eric
 

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Hi Keven,
Centerline sends a entire Distributor with the electronic ignition set up in it. Just crank the engine to punte mort tke the old distributor out and set the new one to point to its mark and slide it in !
My car starts immediately every time and performs better than before. The Centerline guys set the advance weights and I am not sure of their specs.
I also am not sure who makes the unit, I will look for the paper work and my notes for you.
 

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A little help please. If something like the Crane uses an optical trigger; why are the points still used?

I also am thinking of going to an upgrade to help plug fowling.

Thanks, Bill
 
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