Brief History of Ignition

Posted: September 1, 2015 by simonbbc in Reference
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A Brief History of Ignition

Even before our vehicles used batteries, Lucas fired up engines with magnetos. Relying on engine speed however to generate voltage, made starting notoriously difficult and so technology quickly moved on to ignition coils.

Again, the Lucas brand played a prominent role in the development of these early ignition coil systems using a single coil to generate voltage from the battery and a distributor to deliver the voltage to the individual spark plugs. These Lucas oil filled coils were commonplace on many vehicles, especially within the thriving UK automotive industry. They are still available today from Lucas and the popular DLB105 gold sports coil is one of the most loved amongst classic car enthusiasts. Lucas continued to heavily invest research and development into ignition and went on to develop world leading electronic ignition systems that helped win podiums across the motorsport arena including Formula One and Rally events amongst others.

In modern systems ignition is electronically controlled allowing for much smaller ignition coils in many cases. There are now several types of ignition coil systems in use. The first is the coil pack. This is a group of ignition coils, physically joined together. The ECU controls firing and the coil delivers an extremely large spark to each cylinder. The second and most popular commonly used system is the coil-on-plug style. This style uses pencil coils that sit directly on the spark plug, eliminating the need for long ignition leads.

A third style combines both concepts by joining together pencil coils into a rail system. This single piece system then sits directly on the spark plugs. Other hybrids such as semi direct ignition that use both direct coil on plug and leads have been developed but are less common.

The Lucas Electrical ignition range is one of the most comprehensive in the industry and includes both modern and traditional coils. All benefit from over 100 years of experience and expertise and have been designed to deliver the perfect balance of quality and value that is increasingly critical in the aftermarket.

The range now includes over 450 part numbers covering almost 30 million vehicles, all of which are 100% tested before being packed into the iconic green box to ensure the highest quality standards.

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