There are some knock sensor based spark control systems out there for like 425.00 that are supposed to work on anything. Thats a little pricey for my 78 400. So...
I found an article that talks about a GM Electronic Spark Control (ESC) module that was used in the mid 80's that hooks to a HEI distributor and that regulates timing based on a knock sensor. This seems like it would yield an impovement over the stock system and could be done cheaply from junk yard parts. Does anyone know anything about the GM ESC or if this (knock based timing control) might be worth the trouble?
Post a link for the knock sensor based ingnitions that you are talking about. I would like to check them out. I can't imagine that a knock sensor would be any good for more than just advancing or retarding the timeing.
It look based on Mass Air Pressure (Pressure/Vaccuum in the intake).
In theory this is only a worry in a high performance application. I'm pretty sure most manufacturers of engines take into account the low octane of fuel these days, and factor it into compression ratios and engine operating temperature.
A standard Duraspark II system should be just fine for everyday driving, and the one I bought for my 82 F100 (all new) was around eighty bucks for a distributor and the control box. You still have vaccuum and mechanical advance, and setting the timing right is fairly easy.
Now, if you want to go seriously overboard you could try transplanting an EFI and EEC system from a newer machine into it. The most gains would be from the EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection) since it monitors and meters fuel usage near instantaneously according to sensor feedback.
It would be a BIG project though.
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Pretty interesting article, but I don't have the inclination to re-invent the wheel. I don't have a dyno or any real track area here for a lot of testing either. My purpose is hopefully to pick up some measurable mileage improvement by have the engine on the edge of knock all the time. The GM ESC system sounds like it did just this in the short era before full engine management systems became the standard.
I had a Pertronix Ignitor in my last car ('68 Mustang, 302 - I regret the h#ll outa selling her, but that's another story.), and it picked up a small amount of gas milage (maybe about 1mpg), but seemed to have noticeibly crisper throttle response and better all-around torque. The 50-75 passing blast especially seemed to benefit. Not bad for $75 and about 20 minutes to install into the stock dizzy. And they make them for just about any engine ever made with points and condenser.
James - Tyler, Tx.
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Real cars aren't made of plastic and computers. Unfortunately, mine is...
I'm trying to decide if its worth going to the library and getting the diagrams, and then finding a donor truck. It came and went pretty quick before the internet. I have only found one article about it but it said it worked and could be transplanted to anything. There must be some gain from knock adjusted spark curves, or they wouldn't be using them all over the place, I just have no idea how much.
Thanks for chiming in, I think the 350 chevy knock sensor should be resonant as the two engines share the same bore. I am still at a loss where/how to mount it. I have the same issue, can't hear a thing unless its a girl talking, then only half .
i always wanted to hook a knock sensor up to my old 302 so a red light on the dash would come on when it was knockin, that way id no cause i cant hear much over the turbo mufflers and the noise of the mud tires. it could save burning a piston, or worse.
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