Coil Packet Systems

Discussion in 'Discussion Forum' started by Tavalin, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. Tavalin

    Tavalin Michael Motorcycle

    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    Hello everybody,
    A friend of mine with an 1992 MR2 just upgraded his engine to a coil pack system.
    That got rid of his distributor and spark plugs.
    Is there such a system for the X1/9 that wouldn’t disconnect the tachometer?
    If so, is there an advantage to the coil pack system over the electronic distributor system I currently have?
    Mike
     
  2. ng_randolph

    ng_randolph Bjorn H

    Location:
    SF Bay area
    I am not aware of any kit for the X1/9, but people have cobbled together systems that work with our cars. It involves sourcing a few special parts along with some fabrication and improvisation. You need a trigger wheel mounted to the crank at the crank pulley end, some sort of bracket to hold a sensor that picks up signals from the trigger wheel, a dummy plug to go where the distributor was (some of our vendors sell this) and coil packs and control modules. Knowing that you have been at the end of your rope with this car recently, I would put this conversion off for later. Much later.
     
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  3. Integrale

    Integrale Daily Driver

    Location:
    Davenport, IA
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  4. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    I seem to recall Allison's had one for the X at one time??? Maybe Huss (looking for Joe) had it? I know Allison offered for the 124, so I might be mistaken. But at one time someone did make something like this for the SOHC. However I haven't seen anything about it in a long time so I doubt it is still available. Otherwise you would be looking at a fair amount of alteration/modifying things to make one. I really do not see much benefit to doing so unless the rest of the engine is very highly modified for maximum performance. Your existing electronic system is more than adequate if it is function correctly.
     
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  5. dragonsgate

    dragonsgate True Classic

    Location:
    arkansas
    Much much later.

    You will still have spark plugs just a different spark delivery system.

    Unless you are purely a hobbyist and enjoy causing yourself problems I would steer clear of this setup.

    I am sure it will give extra fire in the cylinders when it is working right but getting it to that point could be time consuming and expensive.

    Reliability is another consideration.

    Being an old off roader I have tended to avoid cool modifications that might give a bit of extra fuel economy or even power for the ability to do repairs in the outback.

    I ran points for years after electronic ignition was available and actually did have to repair the points along side the road one time.

    You can argue that if I had EI I wouldn't have had the problem but if it was EI that stopped working I would have been up the proverbial creek.

    One potential problem I see is the pick up on the crank.
    If it is not kept clean it could interfere with the signal to the controller.
     
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  6. Tavalin

    Tavalin Michael Motorcycle

    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    Yeah... you are right about being at the end of my rope but it really wasn’t the car. It was the commander and chief of the house. She is at the end of her rope with me and the car...lol
    We worked it out and now I know why guys golf and fish, because it is not in the garage. :D I am just thinking out of the box and thinking about down the road when Gary takes over the X1/9 I about 6 years. Something more reliable would be beneficial to him since I will be too old (and broken) to work it then.
    Mike
     
  7. Tavalin

    Tavalin Michael Motorcycle

    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    Dr. Jeff,
    Thank you... just thinking out of the box. My friend’s MR2 has just about every mod available (749 whp) and he is “advising” me but he doesn’t know this car. I stick to stock unless I finally get to my mid-life crisis phase in a few years. :cool:
    Mike
     
  8. Tavalin

    Tavalin Michael Motorcycle

    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    Thanks... I will tell my friend to stick to his Japanese cars and not to interfere with any Italian cars...
    He also wants me to turbo it and that is something not even considered.
    Mike
     
  9. Here you go:



    https://xwebforums.com/forum/index.php?threads/allison-automotive-ignition-system.9059/

    DIS systems are certainly a very good improvement from a reliability perspective (although coil packs do fail, suddenly). My concern with any distributor upgrade is the advance curve. Unless it is programmable or at least published, the increased reliability can be more than offset by the reduced performance due to a sub-optimal advance curve.

    Best regards,
    Dominic.
     
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  10. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    Why is reliability the issue here, the stock electronic ignition is about as reliable as any. The only issues I recall is when installing new caps or rotors that apparently are not correct and beat on each other.

    Getting advice from a friend who has that much horsepower in his MR2 is like asking a jet aircraft mechanic for tips on tuning your X.
     
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  11. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    There is no practical way to do a coil-on-plug on a 8v motor. COP is nice, because there are no coil or plug wires to wear out or cause interference, but totally impractical if the coil pack is hanging off the side of the motor. You can do "wasted spark", which is what the Allison system does, and what I had on my setup using Bosch/Volvo components. That has a 4-pack coil, so each plug gets a better spark than old fashioned single-coil setup, but... you still have plug wires to wear out. Given the complexity of adding any of these, it makes zero sense on your setup. The Allison system works, if you want something better that doesn't require a crank trigger.
     
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  12. dragonsgate

    dragonsgate True Classic

    Location:
    arkansas
    My wife talked me into selling a Renault I fixed up and says she has regretted making me do it ever since.
    Garage space wasn't the issue, it was the fact that every time I got in it, it was off to the races.
    She is the smart one in the group.
    I tried golf once and didn't enjoy it except the part where we stopped at the club house for some drinks.
    I only liked fishing when they are jumping in the boat.
    The beer drinking wasn't so bad though.
    In six years if the car hasn't completely rusted out you might not be able to even put it on the road because of the regulations imposed on ICE's because of the climate change thing.

    Now that looks neat.
     
  13. ghostdancing

    ghostdancing True Classic

    Location:
    italy
    actually late lancia dedra\fiat tempra 1600 sohc multi point EFI had this system, with the trigger wheel, and the central computer that manage fuel injection and spark advance, of course it's an improvement to have the correct advance in any running condition, implemented with fuel feed
     
  14. MikeHynes

    MikeHynes True Classic

    Location:
    Goodfield, IL.
    The Allison's ignition has 18' of advance? You want something around 32'-35' of total advance so you would have to set initial advance around 14'-17'. That's quite a bit and could make starting difficult.
     
  15. With a points + distributor system, you have 2 parts that need to be replaced at regular intervals: the points and the distributor cap.

    With an electronic ignition system, you only have the distributor cap (and high tension leads) to worry about.

    With a DIS system, in theory, everything is maintenance free. Although as per my previous remark, the coil packs can fail. I carry a spare coil pack in my Peugeot for that reason.

    Cheers,
    Dom.
     
  16. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    The DIS setups (like Allison's) are not COP and still have high tension wires, and the coils used (by some of those systems) are low quality items from cheap sources. Plus the level of engineering for them isn't necessarily high, for example some still have a distributor of sorts to trigger the system. Also, as mentioned, the advance curve may not be desirable for a given application (unless it can be programmed or selected from a choice of several maps). So in my opinion they very well may be much less reliable than the stock Bosch electronic system. The old mechanical distributor design is quite robust, and the electronics are simple and have an extremely long life. Hard to beat it for a normal street car. It would be different if you are running EFI with a aftermarket standalone (fully programmable) ECU, crank trigger, and all the related components of a modern electronic fuel/spark system. If your X is carbed then I certainly would not consider any ignition upgrade other than getting rid of the points in favor of one of the electronic triggers that fits inside the dizzy. If your X is factory FI then I would not consider any ignition upgrades at all - it already has the Bosch electronic system. Basically any stock level engine does not benefit from more ignition than a stock level ignition (other than eliminating points), in my opinion. They just aren't efficient enough to need a higher technology spark over what the original system offers, again in my opinion.
     
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  17. tonyism7

    tonyism7 Daily Driver

    Location:
    New Jersey
    For what it's worth, I'm using gsxr pencil coils and was able to eliminate my plug wires. They're controlled by megasquirt. I mostly did it just because I could. They run well, but, unless you're substantially modifying your motor, it's probably not worth the effort over the stock system in good condition.
     
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  18. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    Do you have pics? I'm curious how you handled anchoring the coil pack, given the angle the plugs sit in the head & clearance off rad hoses, PCV, dipstick access, etc.
     
  19. tonyism7

    tonyism7 Daily Driver

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures and I currently have everything disassembled to put a tipo head with larger valves on. However, I didn't have a problem with any clearances.

    The gsxr COPs are relatively short compared to some others, and, if I remember correctly, I was able to trim the boots on them to make them a little shorter. Additionally, I used brackets like those below to support them from the cambox cover studs. They were super cheap from home depot and easy to trim up and fit. They aren't the sturdiest brackets ever, but enough for the job.

    Visually, I think the COPs are smaller and cleaner looking than the plug wires and distributor. But they aren't as easily pushed aside if you need access to something below them like the starter, so it's a bit of a trade-off.

    super_zoom-1.jpg
     
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  20. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    I'm with Tony; if you have a modified engine and running a aftermarket standalone ECU (like the MegaSquirt he references) then adding a different style ignition system isn't too difficult. As for fitting COP coils I can see where the smaller (bike) ones would work well. And I believe (but not certain) there are some full size ones that have enough angle/flex between the plug and the actual coil that maybe they could clear everything (possibly some of the LS ones?). As noted you would have to make a support bracket.

    For the engine I'm (slowly) building I will be using a small standalone ECU with fuel and spark control, but it does not have the onboard coil drivers needed to run COP. So I'd need to add a driver module to use them, or I think(?) there are some COP's that are "smart" (internal drivers) - however I'm sure they would be rather large. Instead of making COP's work, I decided to use a smart coil pack from VW (below) that has everything in one decent sized package. I was able to mount it flat on the firewall directly across from the plugs, with the towers facing the engine. This allows me to use very short high tension wires from the four coil posts in a straight shot across to the plugs. In a way it's not too much different from COP, kind of. A crank trigger feeds the ECU and the ECU controls the coil so there is minimal wiring involved. I've mocked it up but didn't take pictures, I will once everything finally gets completed.

    LightFlywheel.jpg

    I really like the COP concept, they have their advantages. However if you are running the system in batch fire (wasted spark) mode then I don't think there's too much to be gained with COP over a coil pack system like this VW unit. Relatively short high tension wires should not pose any more reliability issues beyond that of the connectors used with COP (I've already had one COP connector fail on my late model Ford F150, not the coil just the connector to the plug). The COP's that I'm familiar with actually have the equivalent to a high tension lead in the form of a wire (looks like a spring) inside the connector boot.

    Speaking of batch fire/wasted spark ignitions. I've read a little about something referred to "semi-batch". Basically it is still batch in that all four individual cylinders are not completely independently timed like true sequential is. But it separates the firing into two groups of two cylinders; the paired cylinders that hit TDC and fire at the same time anyway are triggered together. So in essence it is like sequential. The benefits are similar to sequential in terms of reducing the coils' load (each fires half as often) and the timing of the paired cylinders can be adjusted, depending on the ECU's capabilities. It is available for both the spark and fuel systems in most MegaSquirt ECUs. Does anyone have more info or experience with this "semi-batch" mode? What are the true advantages/disadvantages of it?
     

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