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Petronix II Problems #1316015 Sat Jun 29 2019 03:20 PM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 81
T
ThreeSixHundred Offline OP
Shop Shark
Just thought it was worth leaving a mark in the sand on the furum. I have just replaced my Petronix I igniter that came installed with the truck with a new Petronix II igniter module. I have done this as the pertronix I has known issues with burning out if the ignition is left on and I wanted to have a spare unit incase it ever failed.

I had also had problems with the truck breaking down. I traced this to a faulty flame thrower igition coils and if anyone is interrested there is a video of me sectioning the old coil in the build diar section of this forum. Link here: https://youtu.be/cCW_WZbr4ZY

The new Petronix igniter looks to be an identical form factor to the previous version but I decided to replace the rotor arm. The new rotor arm wont seat it hits the top of the igniter. On closer examination of the old rotor arm I see that the skirt had been cut down by tne previous own by 6.5mm.

Anyone had simiar issues ? or any thoughts ?

I will upload a video later to show in more detail perhaps this will help other etc. Video Here: https://youtu.be/DvLZdTNQk2I

My truck is 1953 3600 with the 216 engine and delco distributor. Im actually thinking about just fitting points!

Chris


Last edited by ThreeSixHundred; Sat Jun 29 2019 09:47 PM.
Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: ThreeSixHundred] #1316019 Sat Jun 29 2019 04:13 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 581
D
Dragsix Offline
Shop Shark
I am in the stick with the points crowd. Points are reliable as heck, require just a little maintenance, uses a standard coil, proven, and easy to replace. The key though, at least in my view, is to have the distributor rebuilt, or get a spare unit and have it rebuilt. You can’t believe what a difference it makes to have the mechanical advance working properly, the vacuum advance working properly, and the distributor working exactly as it should. A good set of heavy duty Echlin points, or blue streak lubripoints, will go to 6,000 rpm, no problem, so they will definitely get the job done at much lower rpms.


Mike
Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: ThreeSixHundred] #1316028 Sat Jun 29 2019 06:45 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 19,281
H
Hotrod Lincoln Offline
Boltergeist
If you want electronic ignition, the best bet is to use the General Motors HEI unit designed for the 250 and 292 inline sixes. Other than a little bit of machining on the housing to get the proper depth of engagement of the oil pump drive, it's a virtual drop-in fit. You will need a heavier gauge power wire from the ignition switch to the distributor due to the current draw of the HEI unit.
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: ThreeSixHundred] #1316030 Sat Jun 29 2019 07:49 PM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 81
T
ThreeSixHundred Offline OP
Shop Shark
Well I have to say I have a preference for electronic points. However think it’s fair to say that I have had nothing but trouble with the Petronix model 1 and 2 now. I know a lot of people are very happy with them but the fact I have had to cut the rotor arm down isn’t good. I think I will see how far I get on the next test drive and i do have a spare unit if this one pops. But I may have a ago at installing mechanical points again.

Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: ThreeSixHundred] #1316043 Sat Jun 29 2019 10:04 PM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 166
Q
Quindel54 Offline
Shop Shark
I'll second the gm hei swap. That's what I've gone too. No issues at all.havent had much success with pertronics . I did a swap to pertronics on a friends 52 GMC with a 261. Lasted a 100 miles.

Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: ThreeSixHundred] #1316088 Sun Jun 30 2019 01:36 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,087
J
Jon G Offline
Shop Shark
I've had good luck with Langdon's mini-hei distributor. It is a drop-in and looks about the same as the original one. I'm not a fan of anything with Pertronix on it. Failure rate is high and I think they're overpriced.


Jon

1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: ThreeSixHundred] #1316181 Mon Jul 01 2019 03:34 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,358
C
coilover Offline
Shop Shark
I like the later coil in cap 250 I6 HEI distributor but one can use the early HEI with a remote mounted coil which looks less modified. If one clamps the bottom of the distributor in the lathe chuck and have the top centered on the tail stock it takes less than five minutes to turn of the factory hold down flange. Next step is use the Speedway hold down clamp #91044030 ($9) and adjust shaft into oil pump depth AND MARK. With the GM HEI the parts stores will have or can get by the next day any part you need and much cheaper than ones you have to wait a week for. Don't worry about the GM HEI needing any parts for at least 100k miles.


Evan
Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: ThreeSixHundred] #1316724 Sat Jul 06 2019 09:20 AM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 81
T
ThreeSixHundred Offline OP
Shop Shark
I think I would go the Langdons route long term as it’s such a easy job. Any modifications work here in the UK is so much harder as we don’t have the car parts shops here like you guys do. This forum is a god send as again not growing up with this metal over here , there is no local knowledge. Although saying that I am off to an America car show in Manchester Tatton Park today so hope to make some new friends


Link to previous show video https://youtu.be/CFb9STPCHtc

I also have a thread going on my 235 engine so depending on what I find during the rebuild I may wait on buying the Langdons as don’t want to buy two off them.

Need a new fuel tank next and probably sort out the black smoke and over fueling problems.

Chris

Last edited by ThreeSixHundred; Sat Jul 06 2019 09:25 AM.
Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: ThreeSixHundred] #1320851 Wed Aug 07 2019 12:15 PM
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 159
D
DaveV Offline
Shop Shark
I had another Pertronix Ignitor II fail on me last week which was only 3 months old. Warranty says that they will replace it but no way will I ever use one again. Purchased a Summit mini HEI which uses an external coil but I'm having a problem figuring out the wiring. Directions supplied are a joke. I've been trying to get ahold of their tech dept but no luck and they havn't replied to my email yet. The distributor has a 3 prong plug hanging out of it along with a separate single wire which I think is for a tach. Has anyone else used one of these? Is this 3 prong plug suppose to plug into an ICM and what kind of coil can be used? Thanks Dave

Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: DaveV] #1320876 Wed Aug 07 2019 03:28 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 121
S
Shakey61 Offline
Shop Shark
Which model of HEI did you buy?

-Kevin


This is what happens when you live with a house-full of women, the wife and daughters name all the cars:
1960 Impala - "Frankie" (Frank Sinatra)
1961 Apache - " 'Mater Jr." (wrecker)
1972 SuperBeetle Convertible - "Juliet"
1976 SuperBeetle Convertible - "Olaf"
1988 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce - "Romeo"
Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: ThreeSixHundred] #1320892 Wed Aug 07 2019 05:05 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 700
T
TrknGMC Online
Bondo Artiste
Over 10k miles on my 45 GMC with the Petronix unit. No issues. I keep points and rotor in the glove box. This truck is 6 volt positive ground.

I just added Pertonix to my 49 Suburban, this truck is 12 volt negative ground. Huge improvement over the stock points system . I'll keep you all posted.


Phillip
1927 Chevy Capital 1 Ton truck - basket case
1941 Chevy Suburban - Parts only
1949 GMC Suburban - 10 year project
1945 GMC half ton truck - Driver
1946 Chevy COE - Might restore one day...

https://photos.google.com/u/1/albums
Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: ThreeSixHundred] #1320896 Wed Aug 07 2019 05:36 PM
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 159
D
DaveV Offline
Shop Shark
The model # is SUM-850042

Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: TrknGMC] #1320962 Thu Aug 08 2019 01:51 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 8,647
5
52Carl Offline
Master Gabster
Originally Posted by TrknGMC
Over 10k miles on my 45 GMC with the Petronix unit. No issues. I keep points and rotor in the glove box. This truck is 6 volt positive ground.

I just added Pertonix to my 49 Suburban, this truck is 12 volt negative ground. Huge improvement over the stock points system . I'll keep you all posted.

In your glove box, do you also have?
A condenser.
The screws to hold the condenser and the points in place.
The Bakelite insulator for the distributor wire.
The special tool for the special screw on the Bakelite insulator.
A wire to go from coil to distributor.
The correct coil for points.
I used to run a Pertonix in my '50 235. It worked as good as a new set of points, but no better. It is just an electronic switch which does the same thing as points do.
The good thing about them is, that electronic switch does not degrade from use as time goes by like points do.
My Pertronix unit failed on me and left me in a bad spot. I am lucky that my truck did not burn to the ground. If the key is left on, the unit will cause the coil to get so hot that the plastic end of the coil will melt. So I was out over $200.00 and dead in the water. You can't buy Pertronix units on every street corner. You can buy points, condenser, and a coil on most street corners.
Don't get me wrong. I am happy for your success with your Pertonix.
Carl

Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: ThreeSixHundred] #1320986 Thu Aug 08 2019 10:42 AM
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 159
D
DaveV Offline
Shop Shark
Nobody running a Summit mini HEI on their 235/261?

Last edited by DaveV; Thu Aug 08 2019 11:53 AM.
Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: ThreeSixHundred] #1321001 Thu Aug 08 2019 12:38 PM
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 159
D
DaveV Offline
Shop Shark
Disregard my concerns on the Summit mini HEI. I just discovered that the distributor that came in the box is not the correct part. Not the same as what they show on their site.

Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: ThreeSixHundred] #1321004 Thu Aug 08 2019 12:41 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 28,911
tclederman Offline
Boltergeist
Whether I use/used an Pertronix unit, or use/used points, or if I used an electronic ignition (if a 6-volt is available): I would/do carry (in my "trip kit") an adjusted/tested complete distributor and "ignition-assembly-parts". including tested ignition-wires and tested/set points.

This is cheap "insurance/assurance".
No sense wasting time when far away from home (and, maybe in the rain/snow/cold/etc).

I never had a Pertronix unit fail (235/261 6v/12v), but I have had condensers go bad, and points go weird).
I think that I am now running with points in my Suburban.


Tim
1954Advance-Design.com
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban - part of the family for 48 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic - part of the family for 14 years
Z-series (54/55) GMC 350 (2-ton) COE - now part of Dave's family
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engine are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler.
Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: ThreeSixHundred] #1321008 Thu Aug 08 2019 01:13 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,358
C
coilover Offline
Shop Shark
I'm with you Tim. I have an Oldsmobile V8 HEI in my 37 Buick straight eight (lots of machine work) but note in the photo the points coil is still mounted and there is a fresh points distributor in the trunk.

[img]https://i.postimg.cc/Pp75xBL6/Dar-Dog-HEI-003.jpg[/img]


Evan
Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: ThreeSixHundred] #1321010 Thu Aug 08 2019 01:24 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 700
T
TrknGMC Online
Bondo Artiste
Carl, I had forgot to load all the rest of those parts. Thanks for reminding me!

"You can buy points, condenser, and a coil on most street corners." Not where I live, LOL!


Phillip
1927 Chevy Capital 1 Ton truck - basket case
1941 Chevy Suburban - Parts only
1949 GMC Suburban - 10 year project
1945 GMC half ton truck - Driver
1946 Chevy COE - Might restore one day...

https://photos.google.com/u/1/albums
Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: TrknGMC] #1321039 Thu Aug 08 2019 04:20 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 8,647
5
52Carl Offline
Master Gabster
Originally Posted by TrknGMC
Carl, I had forgot to load all the rest of those parts. Thanks for reminding me!

"You can buy points, condenser, and a coil on most street corners." Not where I live, LOL!

Literally in the Boonies? smile
Do you even have street corners?

Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: ThreeSixHundred] #1321448 Sun Aug 11 2019 05:47 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 144
1
1Ton_tommy Online
Shop Shark
I have used the MSD capacitive discharge (model 6A p/n 6200) for 15 years now and maybe 60,000 miles. The unit is intended to be triggered by a hall-effect or whatever inside the distributor of a modern car. However, it is perfectly happy being triggered by a set of points and it has a tachometer output. I left the condenser in the distributor but disconnected with the wire tucked out of the way. I also have a coil-to-distributor wire tucked away, just in case. I have yet to use them except for troubleshooting which had nothing to do with the MSD. The ballast resistor is still there but unused.

There are two problems with this, however; one is that when the truck sits for months over the winter, enough oxide builds up on the points that they don't make contact, so I keep a point file in the glove box. You also have to clean the points once in a while as there is not enough current to keep them clean.

The other problem is that when you don't have to change the points for years, you forget to lube the rubbing block and it wears down, the points close up and the timing retards. Then the exhaust manifolds overheat and burn the gaskets out of the exhaust pipe flanges and you break the studs because you didn't have alloy nuts last time you had it apart.

I had the stock coil for years but swapped it out fro the MSD coil when looking for an ignition problem that turned out to be spark plug wires. The higher voltage of the CD ignition takes a toll on spark plug wires. BTW if you use one of these, DO NOT grab ahold of a spark plug wire for any reason with the engine running. The voltage and current level produced by these units can be lethal. Also AM radio reception is terrible but that may be the radio's fault.


51 3800 PU, 55 235 (w/cam, headers, 2 carbs, MSD ign.), SM420 & Brown-Lipe 6231A 3spd aux. trans, stock axles & brakes. Owned since 1971.
Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: ThreeSixHundred] #1321471 Sun Aug 11 2019 08:43 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,839
B
brokenhead Offline
Shop Shark
I have had my truck for 35 years, and it only failed to get home one time, that was when I UPGRADED my ignition to pertronix, I have since found a whole box of NOS points, I can work on points for the rest of my life and still not equal the misery of that day. I put one in my Mustang as well, that quit too, I posed a question on this and one other site, as to what experience others have had. On this site I got 11 replies, 5 of the negative variety, and 6 of the positive variety, nearly 50% is not a very good percentage. I don't recall the exact numbers but the replies on the other site was similar.


Last edited by brokenhead; Sun Aug 11 2019 08:46 PM.
Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: ThreeSixHundred] #1321560 Mon Aug 12 2019 02:26 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,523
S
sstock Offline
Shop Shark
Whether you have a pertronix or not, it is always a good idea to carry another set of points, a condensor and rotor in the glove box, 3 small little boxes= good insurance.


1953 Chevrolet 3100
261 cu inch, sm420, 3.55 rear, omaha orange, still 6 volt, RPO green glass, side carrier spare, all done
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bli...n05i04t1aokgm4p04jiwgffwhyyih5xbk0h00410
1964 GMC 1000
305 Big Block V6, sm420, the next cab off restoration
Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: sstock] #1321635 Mon Aug 12 2019 11:58 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 8,647
5
52Carl Offline
Master Gabster
Originally Posted by sstock
Whether you have a pertronix or not, it is always a good idea to carry another set of points, a condensor and rotor in the glove box, 3 small little boxes= good insurance.

And:
The screws to hold the condenser and the points in place.
The Bakelite insulator for the distributor wire.
The special tool for the special screw on the Bakelite insulator.
A wire to go from coil to distributor.
The correct coil for points.
(as posted earlier).
Without all of these items, you would still be dead in the water.

Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: 52Carl] #1334228 Mon Nov 18 2019 05:52 PM
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 4
O
Oldtruckspapa Offline
New Guy
This article has been so helpful! Recently had issues with my 1959, 235 and never thought to even check the new Pertronix ignition since it was "new". But will check now. thanks so much to everyone who commented. For beginners like me, every experience is helpful!!

Many Blessings,

Jerry


Blessings,
Oldtruckspapa
Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: ThreeSixHundred] #1334922 Sat Nov 23 2019 03:45 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 219
G
Green_98 Offline
Shop Shark
I was fortunate enough to have a fellow stovebolter modify a 250 OEM HEI distributor for my 261; works pretty nice!


-Patrick
1953 Chevrolet 3100
261 / 4-speed / 4:11 / Commercial Red

Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: ThreeSixHundred] #1335214 Mon Nov 25 2019 03:27 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,839
B
brokenhead Offline
Shop Shark
this is not even really related, but for a time there was some fella on ebay had a magneto for these engines, some old performance part from the actual 50's , I wanted it so bad, but he wanted a lot of money.....

Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: ThreeSixHundred] #1335224 Mon Nov 25 2019 04:23 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 675
T
tom moore Offline
Shop Shark
I am sad to say that I had a bad experience with the owner of the company a few years ago. I was installing one in a tractor and was having difficulties after installation with timing and fit. I thought I had a posted a respectful summary of the issues and what I did to resolve them, and after some time and effort making adjustments it finally worked fine. I received an email from the owner and was asked to call the owner/ inventor and he lambasted me over the phone being concerned that my issues were now on the internet for everyone to see. I was shocked to say the least (pun intended). However, I did install the ignitor and coil in a 51 GMC a couple years later and it worked fine. And to this day, the same Pertronix is still on the old tractor about 18 years later, after several ignition-on brain cramps (some left on overnight). I haven't received a call from him since then, but I often wonder, and stay awake late at night, why I even bothered to buy another one after that. Karen will roll over and ask if I am still thinking about the Pertronix igniter guy. Seems like the results are a mixed bag. Nonetheless, carrying a spare distributor and a toolbox of small parts isn't a bad idea.


Last edited by tom moore; Mon Nov 25 2019 05:51 PM.
Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: ThreeSixHundred] #1335268 Tue Nov 26 2019 12:23 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 19,281
H
Hotrod Lincoln Offline
Boltergeist
You're a lot more tolerant of rude behavior than me. He would have been treated to a You Tube video of me massaging his product with a 3 lb. hammer on my anvil, with a long monologue about why it was happening!
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: Petronix II Problems [Re: ThreeSixHundred] #1335366 Tue Nov 26 2019 08:23 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 1,580
K
klhansen Offline
Shop Shark
So "minor adjustments" will make them work, eh, Jerry? grin


Kevin
First car '29 Ford Special Coupe
#2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up.
Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos
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