Pertronix Ignition: Help Me with Advice or sh*t on the product instead, both are welcome

Discussion in 'Wrenchin' Secrets' started by johnriv67, Feb 27, 2018.

  1. johnriv67

    johnriv67 Well-Known Member

    I'm installing the 1181 Pertronix Ignition into my 67 Riviera 430 and I've had a lot of problems. Is there anyone who has done this before? Is there a ballast resistor I need to bypass? Any advice is welcome, and please speak your mind on Pertronix in case I should return to points or go another route entirely.
  2. buick64203

    buick64203 Right wing conservative Staff Member

    I installed the Pertronix in a couple of cars. In fact my beater has a Pertronix in it at the moment. Its basically plug and play. What problem are you having exactly?
  3. johnriv67

    johnriv67 Well-Known Member

    I ran a new 12v wire without a resistor to the coil from the key. I was told that would bypass the resistor built into the 10 gauge wire and give full 12v to the coil. If that's not necessary, should I reconnect the wire I snipped with a butt connector and then call it a day and hope it starts after following all other instructions?
  4. buick64203

    buick64203 Right wing conservative Staff Member

    When I installed it, I ran the two wires to the original coil and called it a day.
    Nailhead Ronnie and johnriv67 like this.
  5. johnriv67

    johnriv67 Well-Known Member

    Well it appears I may be a fool. I will try that first thing on Thursday when I get home. Thanks Jason
  6. buick64203

    buick64203 Right wing conservative Staff Member

    Remember, its meant to just eliminate the points, nothing more. Make sure you adjust the timing afterwards. A change in dwell will effect timing

    Good luck John, we're all counting on you! (no pressure) :D
    BadBrad likes this.
  7. 71GS455

    71GS455 Best Package Wins!

    I had one in my 71 GS455 many years ago. I think it would have been around 2000 or so. It worked great for me, with the one problem being that the coil tower ended up leaking oil. It was replaced with the upgraded (at the time, at least) chrome coil. Didn't have a problem after that. Although I haven't owned the car in 15 years, I wouldn't be surprised if it wouldn't start the car still today.
  8. johnriv67

    johnriv67 Well-Known Member

    Ok its now time to figure this crap out. I'd seriously appreciate a ton of help because I have only days to get it running. Here are several pictures. The car runs with points in very similar wire configuration, let me explain. It currently doesn't matter which terminal the pink wire from the body harness is connected to, it wont fire. The little black ground wire inside the distributor doesn't affect it, connected to the vacuum diaphragm or not. (Should i connect it to the one of the base plate screws holding down the Ignitor?) Tell me what you guys see and where I may be going wrong.

    I even threw in a hotwire switch to the battery to the coil and either didnt do it right or it was correct, but I still got nothin.
    I am also installing a tach at the same moment, green wire to negative coil, red and white to the ignition switch in that picture, and a black ground to the firewall.

    The full engine picture is the car with points before the tach and pertronix install.

    EDIT: The right terminal in all the pictures is the POSITIVE, left NEGATIVE. All manuals depict it backwards, so dont be confused.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  9. BuickV8Mike

    BuickV8Mike SD Buick Fan

    Was the distributor removed? Is it turning over properly with no attempt to start at ALL? If so, you could be 180* out on your timing.
  10. johnriv67

    johnriv67 Well-Known Member

    Distributor removed, turning over properly, no intention to start. Ill try that immediately thanks Mike.
  11. johnriv67

    johnriv67 Well-Known Member

    No change at all, watched the valves on cylinder 1. I'm almost certain im not getting spark.
  12. TrunkMonkey

    TrunkMonkey Well-Known Member

    Remove the "little ground wire" to the vacuum can and from the coil with the Pertronix connected. (if I am reading your information correctly)
    johnriv67 likes this.
  13. johnriv67

    johnriv67 Well-Known Member

    Removed both and still no firing.
  14. roadrunnernz

    roadrunnernz Gold Level Contributor

    When I had some issues with my Pertronix I found this test sequence ... and from there found the fault.

    1. Connect a jumper wire from the Ignitor Plate to battery ground.
    2. Connect the Red wire from the Ignitor to the battery positive terminal along with the red lead from a volt meter.
    3. Attach the Black wire form the Ignitor to the black lead of the voltmeter.
    4. Move or rotate the magnet sleeve in front of the Ignitor Module, the voltmeter should vary from battery voltage to 0 volts and back.
    5. If it does not, then you possibly have a burned out Power Transistor or a failed Hall cell.
  15. buick64203

    buick64203 Right wing conservative Staff Member

    Exactly. On a oscilloscope it would be a square wave form. Basically and on/off pattern

    So are we sure the distributor isn't in 180 out? You could take the #1 plug out (drivers side front) and install a wine cork in its place. Bump the engine over till the cork pops- your at approx. TDC. The line on the balancer should be fairly close to the timing tab. Look at the rotor and see if its pointing to the #1 terminal.

    If you want to go a step further you can reinstall the points and see if the car start. Essentially go back to square 1. That way you can verify that all the components in the car are working
    magic marouke likes this.
  16. Daves69

    Daves69 Too many cars too work on

    What coil are you using? The reason I ask is some coils have a built in resistor.
    The vehicle's ballast resistor is built into the harness
    First check voltage at the "+" side of the coil.
    Make sure the ground wire is connected inside the distributor.

    Pertronix requires a specific resistance range for the coil or it will blow the igniter.
    Read more here for troubleshooting.

    I generally don't try any electrical troubleshooting without a volt meter.
  17. 70skylark350

    70skylark350 Well-Known Member

    did you try putting the points back in to see if it fires?
  18. johnriv67

    johnriv67 Well-Known Member

    I couldn't get it to fire with the points. I'm feeling pretty bad about this. The "If it aint broke then dont fix it" should have applied here. I might actually take it a shop unless I figure it out soon.
  19. BuickV8Mike

    BuickV8Mike SD Buick Fan

    Do you understand what 180 degrees out on the timing is? Did the motor turn over or crank at all without the distributor in? Do you have a voltmeter or timing light?
  20. johnriv67

    johnriv67 Well-Known Member

    Yes I understand what 180 out is, Cylinder 1 fires at the beginning of the intake stroke because the rotor is pointing towards the wrong cylinder on the power stroke. I haven't cranked it over with the starter when the distributor is out because no oil pressure, but when the distributor is in it cranks over very healthily. I have only a timing light. Are you saying I should crank it over with the timing light on to see if im getting spark to the plugs?

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