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  #1  
Old 03-05-2012, 02:27 PM
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Pertronix or Duraspark....all input needed!

OK, getting ready to upgarde my points to some sort of elecronic system. I currrently have pertronix on 2 of my mustangs, but I think I want to try some other type of electronic ignition to get more spark with me having an cam installed. Ive heard good and bad things about Duraspark, but Im looking now for people who actually have them installed on their truck. Anything bad so far? What all would I need to do a complete switch to duraspark? What kind of box do you guys think gives the best results? Any other option out there to go with that is a good set up?

I am currently running a 360 with edelbrock intake with a holley 600 box electric choke......biggest cam I could put in it with out putting a stall in it. Runs good and sounds good, but has a slight hesitation when easing on the gas.....which I hope the electronic addon will help that. My timing is set close to 14 which is a little high for me, and I also hope going to electronic will help me ease back a little on the timing as well. All opinions welcome.
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:54 PM
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No secret, I'm partial to the Duraspark II. Recurving it to your engine. Your hesitation could be as simple as an accelerator pump adjustment. If I was running a high rpm race truck, I "may" consider something with an adjustable ignition control box, but I've never seen the need for anything else. But, just my opinion.
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:23 PM
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I'M not going to try to rate one as better than the other. To me it's personal prefference. I went with Duraspark because I could do the conversion dirt cheap using boneyard parts. I converted my Mopar project the same way using boneyard parts. I'm completely satisfied with both conversions. Both conversions cost me less than $35.00 each. With the factory electronic distributors you can use an aftermarket box like an MSD/Streetfire if you don't want/like the factory boxes. You can also use a wide variety of ignition coils, basically whatever you want. Pertronix can also be used with aftermarket boxes. The Pertronix allows for a cleaner looking installation. Unless they see the second wire people will think you still have points in there.
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:41 PM
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If I was starting from scratch, what all would I need to get to complete a duraspark unit conversion? I might also consider going with another box, but I dont want to break the bank. I already have a flame thrower coil that I used on one of my mustang projects with pertronix, but I went with a bigger unit on my mustang so I put it on my truck.

Any pros/cons between these 2 units?
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:08 PM
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Im not tryin to hijack, but i have the same question, and i converted my 360 to a 390 and am running a 268H cam from Comp. I have the stock dist in there right now and i need a relatively cheap but still good performance upgrade.. Also, part #'s if possible...
Edit: I also have the flamethrower coil..
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:29 PM
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Nevermind, got one of these: PerTronix D133700
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:31 PM
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lots and lots of options out there...
performance-wise, anything is better than straight points.
but nothing is cheaper.

personally, i wouldn't try to fix an off-idle bog by swapping ignitions- thats more likely carb related.

but- there's a lot to be gained by upgrading the ignition. you didn't mention anything other than Pertronix/Duraspark, but if you're going to get into it, you may as well get neck-deep.

capacitive discharge (MSD, etc)- multiple short-duration, high-power sparks. potentially better for engines that may be a little oily.

inductive discharge (Duraspark, TFI, others). single, longer-duration spark. potentially better in engines that don't need help igniting an oily cylinder.

i don't think there's anything wrong with any of them- its more a matter of what fits your application most.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:08 PM
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Points < Pertronix < Duraspark II

The advantage of the Pertornix is that it is a simple, one wire hook-up that looks like a factory points system from the outside, except for the extra wire. You can also use your existing parts like the distributor, coil, etc. The disadvantage is that it is an *aftermarket* ignition system. Reliability is spotty. Some have had theirs for years without any issues, others have had failures. Although they are quite common, not all parts stores are going to have a Pertronix ignition in stock if yours happens to fail.

The advantage of the Duraspark II ignition is that it has a slightly hotter spark than the Pertronix and has the "start-retard" function built into the ignition module. This feature will actually retard the ignition timing at startup for quicker starts and allow you to run a bit more timing. My own Duraspark II actually starts faster than any modern vehicle I have ever owned! The disadvantage is you are going to have to get more parts: distributor, coil, ignition module, and the wiring harness. The advantage is you can find these parts cheap at junkyards. If you buy new, I would strongly suggest you buy the distributor, coil, and ignition module from a reputable parts store like NAPA or CarQuest. The cheap Chinese knock-offs some of the other stores sell are not as reliable. You get what you pay for.

The main advantage for the Ford Duraspark II is parts availability. It is a stock Ford ignition system that was used on most Ford vehicles (and even AMC used it) for over 10 years. If you happen to have a problem with the stock Duraspark ignition, you can walk into any parts store in any town and they should have ALL of the parts you need in stock to get you back on the road.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:04 PM
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I put pertronix in my 360 a while ago it works great. Easy to install starts easier and runs a little better but I have read were some members are getting a short life from them. After i get some other issues cleared up with my truck I'm thinking about switching because of parts issue and I all ready have the correct dist. Was orginally going to with duraspark but got a good deal off ebay on a new pretronixs unit.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LARIAT 85 View Post
Points < Pertronix < Duraspark II
The advantage of the Duraspark II ignition is that it has a slightly hotter spark than the Pertronix
question- wouldn't the heat of the spark be directly related to the coil being used? meaning- you could put a hot coil in with a Pertronix, and get just as much spark as a Duraspark system?

my only beef with the Duraspark is all the extra stuff- new distributor, new wiring harness, etc.

i think noticeable gains could be made by switching over to a coil that can handle a full 12v, removing the resisitor wire, widening the point gap, and replacing the points with a Pertronix-type unit.

i absolutely agree with you on the need to consider parts availability. not such a big deal if you're only driving around home, but it can be a make-or-break situation if you get caught out on the road.

for what its worth- i'm running a hot coil, triggered by a remote-mounted TFI module out of a early 90's truck. i carry a spare module in the glovebox, and i can still convert back to straight points with a single wire in about 5 minutes on the side of the road.

i've got about $70 in the whole setup, including the spare.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:50 AM
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For reliability reasons, I would not mix and match parts from different ignition systems. If you are using a Pertornix ignition, use only the correct parts for that particular system. The same is true for the Duraspark ignition. The Duraspark was designed to use the full 12V to start the vehicle, and then drop down a bit for normal engine operation. A lot of people have tried to run the hotter coils with the Duraspark ignition and have gotten mixed results. Some people have gotten away with it, but more have fried their ignition module, including myself. My brand new ignition module lasted about 3 days when I tried to run a Ford TFI coil without the resistor wire. I went back to a stock Duraspark coil with the resistor wire in place and couldn't even tell the difference. The engineers who designed these ignition systems knew what they were doing.

When I converted my own 1985 F150 from the original TFI ignition (My truck came with a feedback carburetor and engine computer that controlled it and the ignition), I went with the Duraspark for parts availability and because I wanted a completely stock FORD ignition. Since I had a hotter cam and other engine modifications, I purchased a re-curved stock Duraspark distributor from Performance Ignitions. Using my engine specs, they designed a more performance-oriented timing curve (stock distributors have a slower "smog" curve) that also allowed me to run additional engine timing, and to use an even wider than stock spark plug gap. The stock coil and ignition module can handle all of this with no problem. The end result is a completely stock ignition system using all stock components that can be purchased anywhere but with better performance AND economy.
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*302: 0.060 over, CompCams 31-230-3, "Thumper" E7 heads, Edelbrock Performer intake, Autolite 4100-4V, Duraspark II, Thorley Tri-Y headers, Flowmaster 40 true duals
*AOD transmission
*2wd, 3.55 gears
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:11 AM
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i think we have the same views, actually-
i should have been more specific when i said "hot coil", i didn't mean to mix-and-match between ignition systems.

william- i feel like i've highjacked this thread, and i apologize...but Lariat is giving really good info here. (i hope this is helping you with your decisions?)

the Pertronix Ignitor II is designed for use with their Ignitor II coil.
that's 45k volts for roughly $150, but you can't get replacements from NAPA if you need them.

here's a webpage that compares Pertronix vs Duraspark, and lays out the pricing, options, etc. scroll down a bit until you get to the chart.
Classic Inlines - Which ignition system is better?
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:54 AM
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I've done several Duraspark conversions. I've always used scrounged or junkyard parts and always had good results. I've also converted points distributors to DS for applications where DS was never installed in a particular engine and DS distributors aren't available. At one point I had a fairly good stockpile of DS parts built up, but I haven't done one in a while and am running a bit low.

I converted my '68 F250/360FE to DS several years ago, using a TFI coil and have zero problems with it. I carry a spare module under the front seat just in case but have never needed it. I've also planned on swapping to a GM HEI module just to see how it works but never quite got around to it, it hasn't exactly been a priority.

Never run a Pertronix, heard good things about them, but also heard about a lot of failures. I prefer the reliability and cheap/easy parts availability for the DS, even if there is a bit more work involved with the initial installation.
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:58 AM
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That's a good article, but unless you have a GM vehicle, I wouldn't use a DUI ignition. The DUI is a GM designed HEI ignition , with the coil and ignition module all piled on top of the distributor. And that is why the DUI needs an upper and lower bushing, whereas the Ford distributors only need one. So the two bushings on the DUI unit is not really an "advantage." I also don't understand why they claim availability for Duraspark "may be difficult to locate" when it is in fact a stock ignition system that every parts store in America should have in stock.

The main beef I have with the DUI/GM HEI ignition is that is one of the most unattractive distributors ever made in my opinion. It is a good quality unit though, and I would consider one if I were driving a GM vehicle. At least on a GM it is located at the back of the engine. On a Ford it is going to be right up front and center. It is also very large, so that is going to be the focal point of your entire engine. And because of the larger size, f you use the DUI on a Ford, your stock air cleaner will NOT fit around it.
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*302: 0.060 over, CompCams 31-230-3, "Thumper" E7 heads, Edelbrock Performer intake, Autolite 4100-4V, Duraspark II, Thorley Tri-Y headers, Flowmaster 40 true duals
*AOD transmission
*2wd, 3.55 gears
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:16 PM
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I am not changing to electronic ignition because of the bog down..... I am just wanting to get away from points. So if I was to go into a parts store, what all do I need to ask for? I may go do some junk yard shopping but just in case I need to know what all I need. Also a good wiring diagram that will help me will be needed.
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