Electronic Ignition Conversion
By Phil Peters
In the past, I have always converted my older cars to the factory electronic ignition systems as they were easy to do, the cars started easier and seemed to run much better under cold as well as hot conditions. Based upon these successful conversions, I decided to have our Durant (1929 Continental 14L) converted also. Since Pertronix kits seemed to be the most popular and have the widest application, I contacted the local Pertronix distributor. He said that he had a kit that could be modified to fit the Autolite distributor, so I went ahead and gave the standard Autolite Distributor #1GB-4006B to him. Note that when removing your distributor, you should mark the position of the rotor and distributor to facilitate reinstallation.
The Pertronix kit P/N 1568N6 was selected (6 volt negative ground) and consisted of a module P/N 1568N60 and the ring P/N 15683. The ring just slides down over the shaft of the distributor shaft. The module is pop riveted to a new breaker plate that with minor modification can replace the existing breaker plate with points. The installer decided to separate the module from the new breaker plate and screw it to the existing breaker plate. A air gap of .030” is needed(be sure to use a plastic gauge). The two wires that come out of the module, go thru the same hole that the points connection used to use (see photo).The black wire goes to the negative side of the coil and red wire to the positive side of the coil.
A new 6 volt ignition coil was installed. I used a modified Mopar coil bracket to mount the new coil on the top side of the generator similar to the stock one. New Autolite 3076 spark plugs set at 0.040” gap were installed. A universal set of Moroso Ignition Wire Cables P/N 9702M were used to complete the installation. The wires were cut to the same length as the old wires and the 90 degree caps were used on both ends. Note that the special Moroso crimping tool is required but I was able to borrow it from a racer friend of mine. Also, since the distributor cap is very small, the straight cap from the old wire that connected the coil to the distributor was employed.
Since this conversion last year, the engine definitely runs smoother and is able to idle at a much lower RPM then before the conversion.
Last month at the Spring Fling in California, we put 115 miles on the car with no problems and were happy with the performance of the engine.