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 Simonbbc Ignition Solutions

Simonbbc Ignition Solutions

 Maintained by:
 Powerspark are leading UK stockists of electronic ignition, electronic distributors, ignition components, wheel spacers, wheel components, wheel adaptors and we also carry a wide range of fuel components

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General Interest
FAQ Quicklinks Page:

Frequently asked questions are covered on this page, if you feel that you need any other questions answered then please get in touch with directly on the phone at 01527 889 453 or by email using
sales@simonbbc.com and one of our sales team will be happy to assist.

Setting Up:

Negative Earth wiring - Kits and Distributors
No Spark when installing a Powerspark product
How to static time your ignition
Do you have detailed fitting instructions available?
Positive Earth wiring?
Step by Step converting from positive to negative earth
V8 Instructions
Copper Core Leads

Ignition Kits and Distributors:
There are so many different types where do I start?
Do I have an A series (45D) or A+ engine (59D/65D)?
Standard Electronic Distributor
High Energy Electronic Distributor
How does the Powerspark kit give benefits?
How does the kit perform in hot environments?
How can I tell which distributor is fitted to my vehicle?
Can I change my V8 points distributor to your V8 distributor with external module??
DM2
25D
23D
45D
59D
43D
Bosch distributors
35D V8 Ignition Kits - P5, P6
35D Silver Shadow single points
Rover V8 Distributor setups

Coil & Ballast:
Ballast Resistors
Can I measure the resistance of my coil?
How can I tell if I have a standard or ballast coil system?

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No Spark
If you do not have a spark when first installing our electronic solution then please contact us because there can be a number of reasons why initially there is "No Spark" There are a couple of things you can check before calling so if you can make sure there are no other wires on the negative side of the coil other than the Black wire, this will be the most common cause of no spark. Measure the voltage on each wire to be sure that the wires are on the correct terminals with the 6 or 12 volt wire going to the positive side of the coil +'ve only. Check the battery for a good voltage and ensure that the voltage is good when the vehicle is turning over by measuring the live side of the coil when the engine is being turned over. Once you have this information get in touch with us and we will be able to offer help from here, mention that you have been on the FAQ page so we do not repeat these steps.


No Spark NEGATIVE EARTH Checklist

Please run through our checklist if you install our system and have no spark, this list is 95% of the causes for "No Spark".
Just because it worked with points and condenser does not mean it will run with electronic ignition, we often see the wires are reversed on the coil and this for points will mean the spark will go the wrong way and will not be running at it's best because of this.

1) Check wires on the coil, measure the voltage on each lead at the coil ensuring the Live wire is on the positive (+'ve) side
2) Ensure that there is only the Black wire on the negative side of the coil (this wire can provide an unwanted earth for the electronic system and result in no spark, if this is your tachometer/rev counter then remove for testing)
3) Good coil mounting to give a good earth for the coil bracket
4) Measure the voltage at the coil positive with the ignition cranking to see the voltage being supplied to the Powerspark kit, this also can show if there is a ballast in the vehicles loom
5) Good Battery, not an old one because old ones will deteriorate
6) Ensure the black trigger ring is fully down in place and the cap & red rotor arm or the standard rotor arm is in place
7) Rotor arm & cap terminals/contacts checked for damage (especially the carbon pin in the cap)

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Why are there so many different distributors for my vehicle when I search in your shop?
When you search for your distributor you may see Standard electronic distributors and High Energy electronic distributors and of course the points distributors.
This gives you more options than any other company in the World, below are the logos to look for to help you see the different distributors at a glance

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Can you explain the POWERSPARK range of products?
At Powerspark Ignition we offer the widest range of electronic solutions, more than any other company that is what makes us the "Home of Electronic Ignition".
Here is our range of electronic ignition solutions explained:

POWERSPARK  electronic ignition conversion kits
to be used with a coil with more than 1.5 Ohms resistance this kit is negative earth only the kit replaces the points & condenser in your points distributor.
You can easily replace the points and condenser with our kit and also retro fit the points too should you need to.

POWERSPARK  PLUS positive earth electronic conversion kits
to be used with a coil with more than 1.5 Ohms resistance this is our positive earth solution that replaces the points & condenser in your points distributor.
You can easily replace the points and condenser with our kit and also retro fit the points too should you need to.

POWERSPARK  Standard electronic distributor
requires a coil with more than 1.5 Ohms resistance and negative earth only custom built and matched for the relevant engine/vehicle.

POWERSPARK  Performance electronic distributor
requires a coil with less than 1.5 Ohms resistance
(ideally less than 1.0 ohm) a negative earth only  custom built true hall effect system matched for the relevant engine/vehicle to give a spark three times more accurate and powerful than a standard unit or conversion kit.

***All of these products can be upgraded with our POWERMAX  red rotor arm for added durability and performance



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How do you wire the (Positive Earth) Powerspark  PLUS kit?
We have a simple two wire installation for the positive earth system with the white wire going directly to the ignition feed before the ignition feed gets to the coil.
Once this is done then put the Black wire to the CB side of the coil or the -'ve terminal and then connect the positive or SW side of the coil to ground (so directly to the nearest earth)





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This Powerspark logo indicates that this is fitted with a standard version of electronic ignition.

This is a points equivalent electronic solution but because it is more accurate the output is improved and as a result you certainly experience a smoother running system (resistance must be above 1.5 ohms)

 

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Copper Core Leads
Due to the lack of resistance in copper core leads the life of any electronic ignition kit can be shortened and we find that it is best not to upgrade the ignition coil to a sports type.
Also if possible we recommend fitting silicon HT leads due to the resistive nature of them, we can supply suitable HT leads for most vehicle so please contact us for help with this.

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This Powerspark High Energy logo indicates that it is the High Energy version of electronic ignition. This system gives you a spark three times more powerful and accurate than points or our standard solution and this signature module allows you to upgrade the ignition coil (resistance must be below 1.4 ohms, the lower the better)


At Powerspark Ignition we offer the widest range of electronic solutions, more than any other company that is what makes us the "Home of Electronic Ignition".


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Are there more detailed fitting instructions available to help me fit the electronic kits or a new distributor ???
We have a number of helper pages and here are the links below:

Powerspark kit helper page
Powerspark distributor helper page

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Can I change my V8 points distributor to your V8 distributor with external module ??
Yes, we can supply a new V8 distributor with the latest 3 pin module, you will need to change the coil from standard coil to electronic coil and provide the correct wiring from module to loom/coil. Early points V8 distributors used different oil pump drives and you will need to check the type of drive you have, our V8 distributor uses the later female pump drive (please see the images about this HERE).

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What is Dwell and what do I adjust on an electronic system ??
Dwell is measured as an angle, with contact points ignition the points gap determines the dwell angle. The definition of  contact points ignition dwell is ‘the number of degrees of distributor rotation with the contacts in the closed position’. As an example, a 4 cylinder engine will have a dwell of approximately 45 degrees. The time the points are closed is the time the coil can charge so the points gap needs adjusting as the points wear. Manufacturers state a contact points gap setting to maximise the dwell period.
The Powerspark  kit handles this dwell time with the coil meaning the spark is maximised throughout the rev range and along with the solid state nature and lack of wearing moving parts this means the ignition kit can continue to perform at it's peak for longer.

The dwell period on an engine with electronic ignition is controlled by the current limiting circuit within the Module.
Powerspark  modules sense the coil current level and use a powerful micro controller to adjust the dwell. This variable/adaptive dwell helps to maintain peak energy throughout the entire RPM range reducing misfires while improving engine performance and increasing coil and module life and providing stable timing with no need for any adjus ents.

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How does the Powerspark kit give benefits?
The POWERSPARK   electronic circuit senses startup and develops more energy for quicker, easier starting, which leads to better fuel economy and smoother running in general. It also has built in ‘over current protection’ that shuts down the system, preventing component damage if the ignition is left switched on and the engine not running.
Rotating cobalt magnets trigger a ‘Hall Effect’ integrated circuit ... no points to burn, no moving parts to wear out and no need for any adjus ents.
So you can't afford to not have a more reliable and efficient ignition system on your classic car.

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How does the kit operate in hot environments?
These early MK1 kits proved sometimes to be problematic and the red Powerspark MK2 module were quickly introduced giving vastly improved electronics and thermal qualities and once this kit proved to be a massive success we ensured that this technology was developed further and further and so now we are at a point where the module rarely suffers from failure and our failure rates are below 1%.
Mk6 kits are currently being tested and include improved base plate shape and hole tolerances giving improved heat dissipation that will take the Powerspark kit to another level.

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How can I tell which distributor is fitted to my vehicle?
There are many distributors fitted to the same vehicle over the years and even if the handbook/manual says it is one type this is not always the case. We are able to help you identify the installed distributor for you and we also help that our pictures will help you if oyu have taken a look. If not give us a call with all the numbers or visible markings from the side of the distributor and we will certainly identify this for you.

At the top of this page we have quicklinks to some distributors in order to help you so click back to the Top and locate the one you want or keep scrolling down to view them all.

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There are two DM2 distributors with the differences shown below:

Notice the posts on the exit of the distributor ( this differs from the later 25D distributor where these posts are not present ) and also the two screw fixings for the early DM2 distributor


There is also a spring clip that holds the vacuum onto the plate and this is only present on the early DM2 distributors, with the late DM2 distributor having the spring visible and this then drops onto a post for the vacuum.
The top red square outline shows the distributor pegs sticking up and this is a big difference with the DM2 distributors and the 25D, the 25D does not have these pegs as you can see below on the image for the 25D

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25D

With the Powerspark ignition kit fitted you can see that this is a very simple component and literally it does take minutes to fit, you can do away with your points and condenser and fit this simple conversion.

This image shows the upgraded red rotor arm too and this is sent with most of our Lucas ignition kits.

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23D

The Powerspark 25D ignition kit will drop directly into any 23D , 29D & 25D 4 cylinder distributor because the points are the same.

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45D


The Lucas 45D distributor has the points wire leaving through the side of the distributor and can be seen at the top of this image this is distinctly different from the Lucas 25D distributor that leaves through the side of the cut in the cap.

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59D


With the 59D the points have a self cleaning mechanism which the points sit over and when the distributor advances they rub a piece of felt on the cam to help prolong the life of the points (whether this works or not) this post needs to be removed to fit the Powerspark 45D/59D in place of these points.
For the those of you unsure on the engine in your Mini take a look at this page to help you identify further.

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43D




For the 43D (which is the 45D distributor without a vacuum unit) you can simply install the Powerspark 45D electronic ignition kit

For the 43D (which is the 45D distributor without a vacuum unit) you can simply install the Powerspark 45D electronic ignition kit

Topp Bosch Distributors

With the Bosch range of distributors there are a number of different models for each vehicle in some cases. If you are after an ignition kit for anything other than a Pinto or VW air-cooled then if you can supply the 0 231 xxx xxx numbers to us we can match the correct kit to your distributor for you.


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Rover V8 ignition kits
There are 2 Powerspark ignition kits for the Rover V8 distributor 35D8, you can have the early base plate fitted to the Rover P5, Rolls Silver Shadow and P6 with the smaller points and the smaller triangular base plate or the later type (usually after 1976) with the larger base plate and points.


Early triangular base plate


This above image is the smaller base plate for the Early V8 Powerspark ignition kit:
Powerspark ignition kit listings HERE


This image shows the larger fuller base plate (fitted with points) next to the early one.

Powerspark ignition kit listings HERE

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Rover V8 electronic distributor set ups:
There are a number of ignition systems and we shall update this section soon (todays date December 12th 2012)
Early points distributors before 1976 with female oil pump drive (male drive gear )
Later points V8 distributor with a male oil pump drive (female drive gear)
Opus early electronic ignition distributor 35DE
Remote electronic module fitted under the coil
Remote module mounted on a heat sink plate away from the distributor
Early two pin electronic ignition module distributor
Modern technology three pin ignition module distributor 35DLM8

You can upgrade all of the systems with the latest 3 pin ignition module distributor and for all but the 2 pin system you will need the linking lead to connect the new system to the loom easily.

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Rolls Royce Silver Shadow Single points Conversion Kit:
For the Rolls Royce Silver Shadow / Corniche we have a newly designed ignition kit that fits onto the base plate in a specific place as shown below.



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Static Timing
The first point is to understand the static method of setting the ignition see below….

Static timing is done with the ignition ON, the engine is turned by hand to the static setting using the timing pointer on the engine and a mark on the crankshaft pulley on most engines and stopped in this position. The marks are shown below “The timing Alignment pin” is the pointer on the engine and the white marks 5 TDC  5 10 15 etc are on the pulley.

So looking below at the photograph (remember the pulley rotates clockwise so it’s gone past the timing alignment pin 10 and 5 and you can see the setting is between 5 and TDC ) say 2 degrees. It’s a guess especially if you can’t get your head directly above the pointer, like below, to line them up accurately.

If the engine has been turned and is stationary at this position all you have to do is turn the distributor until the points just open, you can use a light or watch for the small spark at the contact points. The distributor will be set at say 2 degrees or so you think. However when you start it up and check with a strobe you may find its actually set at 4 degrees or anything +/- 2 or 3 degrees, because the mark alignment is a guess and the distributor when its turning gives a different setting at idle, when the engine is ticking over. Basically the static setting is inaccurate.

Anybody who uses a strobe and dyno knows that the static factory setting just a guide for the average engine, and since engines vary and wear, each engine must be optimized by dynamic setting. The electronic kit ignition timing setting needs adjusting using a strobe light.

It is always good practice before removing the old distributor from the engine or removing the points to fit the electronic kit to turn the engine to TDC No1 position and confirm the position of the rotor arm that should align with No1 plug lead.

The electronic ignition module has been designed and fitted to the base plate so it can be easily fitted in place of the points. However because each distributor is different due to manufacturing tolerances, the base plate with the module firing position set as near as possible to the same position as the points were, the distributor will possibly have to be turned +/- 5  degrees from where it was clamped with points. Setting the timing dynamically is recommended once you have fitted one of our electronic kits. We can offer strobe timing lights that are very easy to use.

There is no easy way to see or hear when the black trigger is in the firing position with the red module that compares with the contact points just opening.

A spare spark plug can be used fitted to the end of No1 lead, resting on the engine with a good earth, the static timing position can therefore be checked when the engine is turned over by hand. This is not a reliable method and can depend on the earth and type of plug.

Distributor in the engine.
If you are able to set the engine to its correct static advance position ( or you are sure it is running with this position currently ) you can simply fit the electronic kit to the distributor still in the engine and the timing will need very little adjus ent from this position to optimize the dynamic timing.

Distributor removed from the engine.
The Powerspark electronic kit can be fitted to the distributor on the bench the same way as if it was installed in the engine. Turn the engine to TDC No1 position and confirm the position of the rotor arm that should align with No1 plug lead before removing the distributor with the points.
The setting can be done by observing that the black trigger ring has individual magnets inserted in the plastic and one of these need to be aligned with a faint shadow that is present on the face of the Powerspark red module. The static firing position that corresponds with the rotor arm in No1 position can then be achieved by turning the distributor to this position before the distributor is clamped in position. We do recommend final ignition timing to set dynamic using a strobe.

New Electronic Distributor purchased red conversion kit installed.
Before removing the old distributor from the engine turn the engine to TDC No1 position and confirm the position of the rotor arm ( should align with No1 lead ). Fit the new distributor and confirm the rotor arm aligns with the No1 lead, leave the distributor clamp loose enough to turn the distributor once the engine has started and complete setting the timing dynamically and tighten the clamp.

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Ballast Resistor:
It is best to remove or bypass the ballast but if you are not able to do this or do not want to it is not essential and provided you do not experience any running or starting issues you will be able to leave the ignition system as it is.
If you have a ballast resistor or ballast wire then it is likely that you have a ballast coil because these two items work together. If you bypass the ballast then you need to swap the coil out too or if you have swapped the coil and not removed the ballast then we recommend that you have complete the transformation in order to get an issue free ignition system.

On some vehicles, MGB and Reliant for instance the ballast was seen in many forms from a visible block shaped ballast or a ballast wire hidden in the loom and so running a separate feed from the fuse box or a known 12 volt supply to the positive side of the coil is the only way to bypass this resistive component. Once this is done then you can run this system as a purely non ballast system and benefit from trouble free ignition.


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How can I tell if I have a standard or ballast coil system?
A Standard coil system will only have 1 wire on the +ve side of coil, and a Ballast coil system will have 2 feeds on the + side of coil. in most cases however there are systems that have one resistive wire only and if you are unsure please measure the voltage when the vehicle is cranking and if the voltage drops below 10 volts then there is likely to be a ballast in the system.

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Can I measure the resistance of my coil?
You can test the resistance of the coil using a vol eter and measure the Ohms across the +'ve and –'ve terminals. A standard coil should read around 3 Ohms and a ballast coil will read about 1.5 ohms.
We recommend you use a Standard coil because a Ballast coil tends to run hot and is less reliable. Some customers report that bypassing the ballast resistor by disconnecting the ballast feed wire ( from the starter solenoid or built into the loom ) and providing a direct feed from the starter solenoid/relay or ignition fuse to the coil has proved to be a success and has given good results..