Electronic ignition for 1978 1300 4 speed


True Classic
What distributor is fitted to your car…options are to fit a Yugo style all in one distributor a Bosch distributor as used on the US cars, fit a points replacement system Pertronix or an optical Lumenition system….

Kevin Cozzo

True Classic
or you can use a 1500 EI, and substitute the GM electronic chip in the stock electronic box, very reliable, and cheaply available...maybe someone here has a link to this?


True Classic
Have a Bosch electronic Distributor (spares bin) and one of those little Yugo units (Ebay for $20) on my '78. Started up first pull after swapping out the stock stuff (which hadn't been started but once in the past 10 years). No dick'n around with points. No brainer.


Low Mileage
I also have a 78 1300 model. I installed a 1500 model distributor and module that I bought from Midwest. I mounted the box in the spare tire compartment. I have had this on for more than 10 yrs with no issues.....


Low Mileage
I can personally vouch for the Ignitor from Pertronix. I've had one in my '65 Mustang for 30+ years and it just works. No points, no problems.
If you are going for the Bosch distributor from an X, the FI version has a more "performance oriented" advance curve than the ones used on the carbed 1500s which were optimized for emissions.


Steve Cecchele
Looking for some advice on options to upgrade from points to electronic ignition.

What to buy how to install?
Seeing as you're in New Zealand, and a Bosch EI unit will need to be imported from the USA ...and then dealing with vacuum advance and different ignition timing advance curves, there may be a better option for you than going this route.

Lumenition replaces the points trigger with an optical trigger, kits are readily available from the UK and I would be surprised if there is not a Lumeniton agent somewhere in NZ

Pertronix from the USA is basically the same as the lumenition, using an optical trigger, but one system triggers when the beam makes, the other when the beam breaks (it was a patent thing apparently and lumenition had the idea first from what I understand)

The other difference in the two brands are the mounting method for the trigger and the chopper, my vote goes to lumenition for having the better components and bracketing.... but probably not the marketing clout and fancy names like "flamethrower" which makes people think they are getting something extra.

the biggest benefit of either system is that it doesn't matter if there is the usual wear between the body and shaft of the dizzy, the dwell is constant, so things like 'spark scatter" and dwell variation which a worn distributor with points would have simply dont happen with an optical trigger...then there is the added benefit of never needing o replace points and set dwell/ timing ever again.

The added bonus is that you retain everything else, the mechanical advance etc and the advance curve it provides will remain unchanged, you just get rid of the points and don't introduce any other variable.

If you want the most cost efficient option, then plenty of NZ delivered models from the 1980's and 1990's that used the SOHC which were sold new in NZ will have a marelli electronic distributor, look at regata / ritmo / uno / early punto ... of these models most of the USA guys wouldn't even know what they looked like as they were never sold in the USA, which is why they don't mention them as an option.



Glutton for punishment
Most Pertronix units use a magnetic sensor. The Crane Fireball units use an LED with a slotted chopper to break the beam.

There are Pertronix units that work with a most all the distributors used in Fiats of all types. For US cars which used a Ducelier distributor it uses a sensor and a magnet ring. For Marelli distributors that have the weights below the points platorm it is similar to the Ducelier set up. For Marelli distributors with the advance weights above the points mounting surface they use a sensor that senses the lobes on the distributor shaft, this unit requires the distributor to be in good condition with minimal runout as the air gap is very important to the sensing function.


True Classic
I've found that most of the points replacement modules (as described in recent posts) are not particularly reliable. Perhaps some are better than others, and I'm sure plenty of people have used them for years without issues. But that hasn't been my experience across a number of old cars with various distributors. And I've read a LOT of the same experiences as mine, so I don't think it was coincidence. But I will agree it can be an affordable option if your choices are limited. Just keep a set of points and the needed tools with you so you can swap it back when it does fail. I sent you a message, check your "in box".