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> 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible PerTronix Ignitor III Electronic Ignition Installation
post Aug 30 2010, 05:08 PM
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The Most Popular Mustang Aftermarket Modification Just Got Better
From the September, 2010 issue of Mustang Monthly
By Jim Smart
Photography by Jim Smart

When PerTronix introduced the Ignitor electronic ignition retrofit roughly two decades ago, we were skeptical, thinking "How can you fit an entire electronic ignition system in this tiny little thing?" But we were amazed when our 289 started and idled better than ever with the PerTronix Ignitor thanks to a hotter, more precise spark. The original Ignitor marked the end of point bounce, frequent point adjustments, and even point replacement. No more disappointing performance-just solid dependability from your classic Ford distributor. And that's the way it has been with every Ignitor and Ignitor II ignition retrofit we've ever installed.
PerTronix has always been about innovation, trying things no one else had the courage to try. With the new Ignitor III, which features multiple spark discharge, you get increased spark energy for more power and better fuel economy. It comes with a high-resolution rev-limiter, which can be set by the user. In addition to the Ford distributor retrofit shown here, it's also available in a PerTronix plug-and-play distributor

And like every Ignitor to date, the Ignitor III offers a simple two-wire installation. It can be installed in a vintage Ford distributor in about 30 minutes.

The PerTronix Ignitor III electronic ignition retrofit kit is an ignition hot box without the box. It does everything aftermarket ignition amplifiers do except take up unnecessary space. It sports a built-in rev-limiter, multiple spark discharge, and simple two-wire installation.

This '65 Mustang convertible is a daily driver with 289-2V power. As you can see, the engine compartment is rough-the victim of shoddy repairs through the years. We're going to improve things with the all-new Ignitor III and a fresh set of PerTronix ignition wires.

To set a benchmark, Steve Miko of Mustangs Etc. checks our Mustang's state of tune before installing the Ignitor III. He learned that performance suffered due to a faulty centrifugal advance and an incorrectly installed distributor.

Vacuum advance is removed first in order to remove the breaker plate.

Breaker plate screws are removed next.

The factory breaker plate is removed next as an assembly. Put this away for safe keeping in a dry place.

The Ignitor III assembly replaces the factory breaker plate and is secured with two screws provided in the kit.

The ground wire, which is mandatory for proper operation, is secured here.

Installed, the Ignitor III should look like this.

A special countersunk breaker plate screw is provided in the kit to clear the moving breaker plate.

The vacuum advance is installed next after being checked for proper operation. Rate of advance will have to be adjusted when the engine is started and timing is checked

Connections are crimped, then protected with heat shrink tubing.

Complete the Ignitor III installation by connecting the red wire to the coil. Also, it is mandatory you not use the factory's pink resistor power lead for the Ignitor III because your engine will not start. Bypass the factory resistor wire with 12-gauge wire because the Ignitor III requires a full 12-volts to function. Bypass the resistor wire by going behind your Mustang's instrument panel and going directly to the power source.

Keeping Track of the Small Stuff
Ever dropped a small screw, cotter pin, or other tiny item and became lost in the pursuit? Use the element of magnetism to help protect small items. Old speaker magnets make great hardware catchers and they are virtually free. Most of us have old car speakers stashed under the work bench. If not, you can purchase a magnetic hardware pan from your local auto parts store.

Flame Thrower Coil
PerTronix also offers a new Flame Thrower HC ignition coil with 60,000 volts of energy-inducing power, which will light the mixture regardless of boost or compression ratio. With its High Current E-Core construction, the HC is durable enough to tolerate off-road conditions. Due to its high-tech design, the HC coil is more suitable for shock tower, fender apron, or firewall installation.

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