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Petronix II Problems
#1316015 Sat Jun 29 2019 03:20 PM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 81
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:

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:

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


Last edited by ThreeSixHundred; Sat Jun 29 2019 09:47 PM.
Re: Petronix II Problems
ThreeSixHundred #1316019 Sat Jun 29 2019 04:13 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 738
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.

Re: Petronix II Problems
ThreeSixHundred #1316028 Sat Jun 29 2019 06:45 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 20,344
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.

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

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Re: Petronix II Problems
ThreeSixHundred #1316030 Sat Jun 29 2019 07:49 PM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 81
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
ThreeSixHundred #1316043 Sat Jun 29 2019 10:04 PM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 176
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
ThreeSixHundred #1316088 Sun Jun 30 2019 01:36 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,395
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.


1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
Re: Petronix II Problems
ThreeSixHundred #1316181 Mon Jul 01 2019 03:34 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,526
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.

Re: Petronix II Problems
ThreeSixHundred #1316724 Sat Jul 06 2019 09:20 AM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 81
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

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.


Last edited by ThreeSixHundred; Sat Jul 06 2019 09:25 AM.
Re: Petronix II Problems
ThreeSixHundred #1320851 Wed Aug 07 2019 12:15 PM
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 184
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
DaveV #1320876 Wed Aug 07 2019 03:28 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 133
Shop Shark
Which model of HEI did you buy?


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"
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