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Spark Box or Not?

Aggiesrok

New Member
67 289, 302 heads, mild cam, Pertronix HEI dist, tri Y, 3:50 9in rear, Edelbrock Performer, Holley 570. Upgraded C4
Will I benefit from a spark box? Or is that a waste of $$?


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Horseplay

I Don't Care. Do you?
You've already got an electronic dizzy (not clear on what exact piece) so I would say not worth exploring. Seems like a fairly mild engine from the parts listed so I can't see any performance need.
 

Aggiesrok

New Member
Thanks for the input and article. The problem is that I don’t know what cam is in it. So when I do a rebuild I can bump that up and match the whole system better. I just didn’t want to miss any opportunity for improvement. The previous owner had a Pertronix box, but a points distributor. The box was messed up and not functioning.


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Horseplay

I Don't Care. Do you?
When the time comes you can also upgrade to a Pertronix Ignitor III dizzy. All in one that works very well. It has multi-spark discharge as well as user set rev limitation. I really like them.

When and if you tear into the engine you'll surely find numbers on the cam to tell you what it is. Using stock heads is really limiting in terms of flow possibilities (performance), among other things. Be smart if you build a new engine and take an honest look at how your car will actually be driven. Building it for low rpm torque will make it so much more enjoyable and fun on the street.
 

Midlife

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
I've read terrible reviews of the Pertronix III dizzy used in Mustangs. Can't keep timing, sloppy distributor, etc. Just a warning.
 

Horseplay

I Don't Care. Do you?
I've read terrible reviews of the Pertronix III dizzy used in Mustangs. Can't keep timing, sloppy distributor, etc. Just a warning.
Like I said, I've actually USED multiple complete billet units and can attest to the performance. Both with a carb and EFI. I have one in my car now that has been there since day one and never given me an issue. I routinely wind the hell out of my engine, shifting at 6K ALL THE TIME and have NEVER had even the hint of a miss, etc. I can also vouch for the rev limiting function too. :p
There is a reason so many people use Pertronix stuff across lots of brands/makes of classic cars. A bazillion years ago when the first electronic conversion stuff first came out there were some issues with electronic failures but not the actual performance when operating. That's old news these days. Nothing is perfect but as far as quality goes I'd rank them among the top.
Another thing I like is that you can buy just the module itself that goes in the distributor for about $100 (maybe less) that takes literally a couple minutes to swap out if it should ever fail. I've got one collecting dust in a kit I used to carry in the car when I first started driving it, in case of issue. That was three years ago.
Internet reviews are usually about as valuable as my mother-in-laws advice, if you ask me. For example, you can find hundreds of guys bashing 6AL boxes if you want to look. Doesn't matter that there are likely a million guys out there swearing by them too. Like any hobby there are plenty of idiots out there without a clue of what they are doing that install parts wrong or mismatch crap and then run to their computers to tell everyone how much shit some companies part happens to be.
 
I've read terrible reviews of the Pertronix III dizzy used in Mustangs. Can't keep timing, sloppy distributor, etc. Just a warning.
Midlife maybe correct on the PIII. We installed one on a 1972 351C. I will need to contact with my friend to see how it is running.
 
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Like I said, I've actually USED multiple complete billet units and can attest to the performance. Both with a carb and EFI. I have one in my car now that has been there since day one and never given me an issue. I routinely wind the hell out of my engine, shifting at 6K ALL THE TIME and have NEVER had even the hint of a miss, etc. I can also vouch for the rev limiting function too. :p
There is a reason so many people use Pertronix stuff across lots of brands/makes of classic cars. A bazillion years ago when the first electronic conversion stuff first came out there were some issues with electronic failures but not the actual performance when operating. That's old news these days. Nothing is perfect but as far as quality goes I'd rank them among the top.
Another thing I like is that you can buy just the module itself that goes in the distributor for about $100 (maybe less) that takes literally a couple minutes to swap out if it should ever fail. I've got one collecting dust in a kit I used to carry in the car when I first started driving it, in case of issue. That was three years ago.
Internet reviews are usually about as valuable as my mother-in-laws advice, if you ask me. For example, you can find hundreds of guys bashing 6AL boxes if you want to look. Doesn't matter that there are likely a million guys out there swearing by them too. Like any hobby there are plenty of idiots out there without a clue of what they are doing that install parts wrong or mismatch crap and then run to their computers to tell everyone how much shit some companies part happens to be.
Horseplay,

I have the 351C Mallory Unilte with the older Mallory CDI and it makes my Cleveland jump for joy! Never had a moments problem. The 1973 coupe with the 302 Roller motor has the Mallory Unilte along with the Intellitronix Multi Spark CD Ignition System.


I did have the older Intellitronix CDI when I installed the FiTech 400 system. It caused some running issues. After following the troubleshoot process, I discovered it was the Older CDI box. I contacted their customer service and they sent me a new Intellitronix CDI works with points, OEM, aftermarket electronic or magnetic crank systems. Works very well.

I believe it is all on what you want to do. I like them due to the multi spark that provide in the combustion cycle.
 

Horseplay

I Don't Care. Do you?
While all this is anecdotal lets at least compare apples to apples. My suggestion was to install a complete Pertronix billet distributor with the Ignitor III technology. The link you originally posted was for an Ignitor II conversion module. All things are not equal. Installed into an old distributor provides all kinds of opportunities for problems. I spent a good hour I will never get back conducting a search for internet complaints about the Pertronix stuff and the vast majority was all about the older stuff I eluded to earlier. The few things I did find about the latest version were all shade tree types who slapped a module into their existing dizzy. Reading their posts also made me question just how bright a few might actually be to be quite honest.

A couple key points to bring up here though is the importance of using a complete system of compatible components. Electronics much more sensitive than say points to incorrect voltages, resistances, etc. The use of incorrect pieces like the coil or sparkplug wires (yes, they matter) can really screw with the Pertronix. Lots of those "complaints" showed guys simply doing piss poor installations and/or using incompatible components.

Again, I've yet to find a part or manufacturer that doesn't have a target painted on their back by someone. Sometimes deserved but I honestly don't feel it's rightfully placed here. I've never had an issue nor has anyone I know with this stuff. Of course now that I've invested all this effort in defending them watch my system melt down today!
 
Horseplay,

I got it wrong here the Pertonix III. My apologies here. I went back to re-read the thread. With the PIII, you are correct, there is no need for the CDI box.

I agree with you on the reviews of products. They are all over the place. Hopefully, with members who have the experience can give an honest opinion.

No melt downs on your system! You got this!
 

Horseplay

I Don't Care. Do you?
One thing I really appreciate about our little site here is the longevity of so many members. It makes it possible to feel like we can trust advice/opinions much more than just some random internet source. We also seem to attract a somewhat older crowd which results in guys with much more experience and tenure at working on our smelly old gas powered rigs. With the exception of one member we also tend to seem to know how to build things that don't blow up. I am so tempting fate now...
 

Horseplay

I Don't Care. Do you?
I should also add that we can actually discuss and diagnose issues here too. Think something is a crappy part, for example, we can all look at the situation together and see how the dots line up. SO MUCH BETTER than some random internet review taken as valid.
 

Aggiesrok

New Member
All the new info got we wondering about exactly what I had. It’s a Pertronix Flamethrower II with vacuum advance.


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All,

So, I called my friend who we installed PerTronix III on his 1972 Convertible with 351C. He reminded me that we also installed the PerTronix 2001 Ignition Power Relay Kit in conjunction due to the resistor wire. He states that it actually runs very well. Just FYI!

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Horseplay

I Don't Care. Do you?
Thanks for that follow up info. That's the kind of stuff you rarely, if ever, get off most "review" threads. Score another one for the good guys at The Fix!
 
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