Electronic Ignitions


These are not REALLY electronic ignition systems, they are points replacement units.


Why change from "points" to electronic ignition?

Points have a number of downsides, these primarily being that the points act as a mechanical and electrical switch which over a period of time need re-setting as the electrical spark erodes the contact surface. Also, the plastic heel strip wears in contact with the distributor cam making the gap close up. When the points begin to wear, the efficiency of the system is thrown out and the engine begins to misfire, usually at the lower end of the rev' range. The only solution is to remove, clean and reset or change the points which on a VW air cooled engine is not very easy to complete. The second problem associated with points is "bounce", which usually occurs at high engine speeds were the points cannot physically remain in contact with the distributor cam and "bounce", meaning that the points gap is not constant. This is not usually a problem on VW engines due to the slow speed.

Benefits of Electronic ignition


Electronic or transistorized ignition removes the need for the points to act as an electrical switch. The transistor within the circuit acts as a high speed switch. This means that apart from mechanical wear, there is no reduction in efficiency due to erosion of the contact surfaces.

Different electronic ignition kits use different methods to mechanically switch the system. Many systems use a light emitting diode, with a segmented divider positioned on the distributor. As the divider passes over the diode, the circuit is switched. On the system I have used (because it was the cheapest!!!!) the points remain, but instead of transmitting a voltage, the points only act as a mechanical switch. This means that mechanical wear will still take place but at a much reduced rate. Typically, the points will need to be changed every 50,000 miles instead of every 3000.

  • Never change points again -  Increased horsepower - improved fuel economy - Fits entirely inside the distributor, with no "black box" to clutter engine compartment - Easy installation, no complicated wiring - Test results show the igniter delivers twice the voltage to the spark plugs - No limits to coil and spark energy - 1 2:1 improvement over "point type" systems in current fall time -  Stable timing with no need for periodic adjustments - Increase spark plug life by 2 to 3 times - No contacts to burn, pit and corrode - No moving and rubbing parts to wear out - better foul weather performance