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Does anyone have a recommendation for an electronic ignition system for a '74 Spider?

I looked at IAP but I'm not sure I want to sink in +$500. Anything more affordable for street use?

Thanks
 

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I'm on the fence about getting the electronic distributor from Highwood Motors for my '74:

Alfa Romeo Parts and Spares www.highwoodalfa.com

I've got a Crane XR3000 system in the car now, but it has an intermittent fault - I only get spark for a few minutes, then it dies. Called Crane, and they basically told me to go screw myself and offered no help in troubleshooting. It could be the trigger, spark box, or coil (all their parts), but they want me just to buy a whole new system. I did buy a trigger, as it was <$30, and I'll install that in a few days. Even though the system has worked great for ~5 years, on the basis of their poor customer service, I'm a lost customer, and if it's not the trigger, the system will be in the trash.

So, anyone used the Highwood disty? BTW, looks like IAP sells the same item, but I'm not an IAP customer, and the RML stuff IAP sells is sourced from Crane parts.
 

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If you are not bound for the racing'track, check the other ignition device Alfa Romeo Parts and Spares www.highwoodalfa.com has. In Europe many Duettos use this outfit. It's basically a replacement for the breakers, you just pull the ring over the distr. shaft and connect the wires.

Then, the ignition gets the impulse from the ring and the other stuff. You keep the advance curve etc you have originally and you won't have to open the distributor any more. Don't ask me how it works, I only know that the spark is ecxcellent and you can't tell from the outside what kind of breakers you have. I think it is only for the Bosch distributors. There are some pics to the right at this site: Alfa Romeo Parts and Spares www.highwoodalfa.com

A friend of mine, Kenneth W. has this installed on his Duetto 1966 and he is utterly pleased with it. Oh, it's not loads of dollars either.

 

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.. if you have a 'bosch' dizzy, just hop in to your local performance vw shop,, you know the air cool type..they have a kit for about 65.00 i. i put it in my late 78 spider.. worked for 2 years.. then the car was slained..still have it..putting it in my freinds 68 gt..
 

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I've got a few Bosch disty's - an 041 and 045, with the 041 already having the Crane optical trigger installed. I'm going to put my extra trigger in the 045 and see if that fixes my problem. If not, I really like the idea of the disty from Highwood because of the adjustable advance curves. I'd rather not spend the $ if I don't have to, but if it works well it's certainly a good investment. Thanks for the pointer to the other option from Highwood, and I'll keep that in mind, too.
 

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Put a Crane in the '78 Spider.

Starts every time, no points to diddle with, and setting static timing is dead simple.
 

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I installed a 123ignition distributor on my 79 Spider a few weeks ago. It was $399 + shipping from IAP. I had previously been running a Shankle modified Marelliplex, The new distributor appears to be well made. It has a large selection of advance curves to choose from, but only 4 of them are suitable for a 2L engine. I am running the conservative Bosch 006 curve and the engine idles well and is generally well behaved. My biggest concern is what happens if it craps out? You can buy a new pickup or trigger module for a plex. This distributor either works or it is toast. I have put together an old points system to keep as an emergency spare.
Ed Prytherch
 

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Serviceability is my concern with that all-in-one distributor, too. Does it look as though it easily comes apart to access whatever circuitry is inside? Also, can you easily change the advance curves with the distributor in situ, or do you have to pull it each time? Are you using a Bosch Blue coil, or something else?

I just finished installing a new Crane trigger in a spare Bosch 045, but I probably won't drop it into my '74 Spider until middle of the week. If it turns out that something else is wrong with my XR3000 system, looks like I'll be ordering the new distributor from Highwood.
 

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Art:
I am using a Marelli coil with a 1.5 ohm primary.
You have to pull the dizzy to switch curves.
I doubt that the ability to open up the dizzy for troubleshooting would be of value. Would you try to do component level troubleshooting of a Bosch FI computer? I hope that the factory has a repair service if I need it.
Ed
 

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This one ain't bad either. I am using it in a 1967 Duetto. It was £179 + shipping, I think it is approx. $357 according to the currency converter.

if I can't get the Crane system back to a reliable state this week, that's what I'll install in its place. Looks to be the same piece IAP is selling, but I'd rather order it from Highwood. Chris deserves the business and support, but IAP, well . . .
 

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This one ain't bad either. I am using it in a 1967 Duetto. It was £179 + shipping, I think it is approx. $357 according to the currency converter.

if I can't get the Crane system back to a reliable state this week, that's what I'll install in its place. Looks to be the same piece IAP is selling, but I'd rather order it from Highwood. Chris deserves the business and support, but IAP, well . . .
Just my opinion too. It's amazing how fast and reliable they are. Chris is always with the computer.
 
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