Pertronix testing - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Pertronix testing

Hey guys,

I have three Pertronix units I'm testing for pass/fail. Based on what I've learned from Pertronix, during the test the voltage should fluctuate between "0"(?) and 12V+. Which, as I see it, taken as open/closed or on/off, similar points opening and closing.
However, what I'm getting using a VOM set to DC 12Vs, is a fluctuation of 6.4 to 12Vs+. Now, I'm not sure if it's a case of the VOM not reactingto the "open" (thus the low voltage reading) cycle quick enough or this indicates something else?

Anyone ?

KenA..
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 03:47 PM
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You really need a scope. VOM's are not nearly quick enough to read that IMO. Especially a digital one. With an analog unit you have a chance of seeing the needle move quickly. Having said that I have never tested a pertronix with a volt ohm meter.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 03:49 PM
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Where are you taking the voltage measurements and what are the test conditions? Coil + and gnd, ignition to ON ??
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cruising68 View Post
You really need a scope. VOM's are not nearly quick enough to read that IMO. Especially a digital one. With an analog unit you have a chance of seeing the needle move quickly. Having said that I have never tested a pertronix with a volt ohm meter.
Thanks for your input. Yeah, I'm kinda thinking the digital is not a good indicator. I was thinking of connecting a test light light, so as, to see if it shows up as an "on/off"? I may have an analog VOM somewhere.

KenA..
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 04:32 PM
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You're talking about the Pertronix 1, I assume?
They used to recommend using a Simpson 260 meter.
I have their original troubleshooting directions somewhere..... I'll look around for it if you need.

Here's the meter..... I used to do a lot of this "troubleshooting" BS
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GT289 View Post
You're talking about the Pertronix 1, I assume?
They used to recommend using a Simpson 260 meter.
I have their original troubleshooting directions somewhere..... I'll look around for it if you need.

Here's the meter..... I used to do a lot of this "troubleshooting" BS
Yes the three I have are all Ignitor 1s. I have an original I installed many years ago. The second one is a backup, I had to the glove box. The third, I'm thinking, is one I installed then removed from my '67 E-Type.
But, I get the same readings from all three.

BTW, I sent a request to Pertronix Tech for an explanation. Maybe(?) I'll get a reply.

Thanks for your input.

KenA..
64 1/2 Poppy Red Cvt. Resto-Mod
333 Cu.in. T5z, 3:55, Dual 40 mm DCOE Webers
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Last edited by kenash; 08-12-2019 at 04:41 PM.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SteveO_71 View Post
Where are you taking the voltage measurements and what are the test conditions? Coil + and gnd, ignition to ON ??
The test conditions:
Pertronix installed as instructed
1. Red lead from Ignitor "coupled" with Pos (red) lead from VOM to 12Vs
2. Black lead from Ignitor plate to BAT --
3. Black lead from Ignitor to Neg (black) lead from VOM

Install the magnetic sleeve, connect the Ignitor and VOM leads to 12Vs and rotate manually(?) the "sleeve" to simulate rotation. In my case I used a remote starter switch and cranked the engine.

KenA..
64 1/2 Poppy Red Cvt. Resto-Mod
333 Cu.in. T5z, 3:55, Dual 40 mm DCOE Webers
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Last edited by kenash; 08-12-2019 at 05:07 PM.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 05:36 PM
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Here's the original testing sheet for the Ignitor..........
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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I'm adding this as a separate comment. We all know leaving the Ignition "ON" will burn up the Ignitor 1s. How long is unknown, at least by me. Perhaps Pertronix Tech will answer?
In the meantime, I think, I know why I can't get a good tune on my old junk. It's because I'm not using my "old" tuneup Tools.....LOL!
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KenA..
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GT289 View Post
You're talking about the Pertronix 1, I assume?
They used to recommend using a Simpson 260 meter.
I have their original troubleshooting directions somewhere..... I'll look around for it if you need.

Here's the meter..... I used to do a lot of this "troubleshooting" BS
Man-O-man I haven't personally seen anyone using a 260 since 82'. I used one working as s flight deck Troubleshooter on A-6's. Thanks for sharing GT289! That meter really brings back positive memories. In general If one doesn't have the use of an O-scope (preferred) then try a meter with a min-max feature as looking at a display is a mess and cant keep up. A bar graph function on a bottom of a display is much faster than a regular display though. In some situations Use of A test light is really tough on weak spark or no spark diag as well. It can flash but still not have spark. Weak or no spark can be as simple to recognize as a ground switching circuit in an ignition module not going all the way to ground. Basically 2 volts from 0 volts ground on the primary switching circuit will not fire off a coil. But before condemning a module or points the dizzy grounding circuits have to be tested out as the module is case grounded.

1969 Mach 1 S code...2nd owner
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gordonr View Post
Man-O-man I haven't personally seen anyone using a 260 since 82'. I used one working as s flight deck Troubleshooter on A-6's. Thanks for sharing GT289! That meter really brings back positive memories. In general If one doesn't have the use of an O-scope (preferred) then try a meter with a min-max feature as looking at a display is a mess and cant keep up. A bar graph function on a bottom of a display is much faster than a regular display though. In some situations Use of A test light is really tough on weak spark or no spark diag as well. It can flash but still not have spark. Weak or no spark can be as simple to recognize as a ground switching circuit in an ignition module not going all the way to ground. Basically 2 volts from 0 volts ground on the primary switching circuit will not fire off a coil. But before condemning a module or points the dizzy grounding circuits have to be tested out as the module is case grounded.


GordonR, what you just stated was above my pay grade. LOL I can perform a few sundry basic tests, but, for $89, I'll buy a new Ignitor set. That is, If I get tired of adjusting points once or twice a year.
Thanks for your input and you guys who have the "ON HAND " experience. I remember the Simpson meters, just not that one.
My point (no pun) is to find, at least, challenge if it died and perform a basic autopsy.

KenA..
64 1/2 Poppy Red Cvt. Resto-Mod
333 Cu.in. T5z, 3:55, Dual 40 mm DCOE Webers
Performer RPM, CI cam, TFS/TWs, Tri-Ys, Discs w/Shelby Drums
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 07:23 PM
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You can bench test each module in a test dizzy. Mounted in a vise with external power/ground and a coil is my preference. Coil wire connected to spark tester tool. Just manually rotate the dizzy and watch for the possible spark show indicating a decent module.

1969 Mach 1 S code...2nd owner
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gordonr View Post
Man-O-man I haven't personally seen anyone using a 260 since 82'. I used one working as s flight deck Troubleshooter on A-6's. Thanks for sharing GT289! That meter really brings back positive memories. In general If one doesn't have the use of an O-scope (preferred) then try a meter with a min-max feature as looking at a display is a mess and cant keep up. A bar graph function on a bottom of a display is much faster than a regular display though. In some situations Use of A test light is really tough on weak spark or no spark diag as well. It can flash but still not have spark. Weak or no spark can be as simple to recognize as a ground switching circuit in an ignition module not going all the way to ground. Basically 2 volts from 0 volts ground on the primary switching circuit will not fire off a coil. But before condemning a module or points the dizzy grounding circuits have to be tested out as the module is case grounded.
Just had mine recalibrated. You don't see them too often, that's for sure. Spent my active duty days on carriers,
my favorite job was being in charge of E-division......

As the drill sergeant said, "I taught you everything you know. I didn't teach you everything I know."

"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so."
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 01:08 AM
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I test my iginitor by putting the sleeve with the magnets upside down on the rotor shaft. It can easily spin now and the magnets are strong enough to trigger the pertronix. With a voltmeter connected to the "Dist" side of the coil and earth you see the voltage fluctuate from about 6 to 12 volts (with a pink wire resistor wire installed) when spinning the magnet sleeve.
With a grounded spark plug connected to the coil you can also test if it is sparking......

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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 07:32 AM
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Just had mine recalibrated. You don't see them too often, that's for sure. Spent my active duty days on carriers,
my favorite job was being in charge of E-division......
I really enjoyed my navy experience too and the excitement of being an AE troubershooter. That experience shaped my professional life and I also always had a sense of urgency for completing goals.

I tossed a couple 260's I had early on as space available in my tool box became a commodity.

From a professional stand point I started using digital meters early on and never looked back. The first meter I bought had slide switches on the side, no rotary. 2 amps max lol. Had to to use a 1 ohm 10 watt resistor in series while reading mVDC across it for the amp conversion testing for battery drains as meter fuses wouldn't last that long.

1969 Mach 1 S code...2nd owner
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