Archive for the ‘How To Guides’ Category

Although we have plenty of our own ‘How To’ guides and instructions, we liked this one a lot because it was done by a customer without any input from ourselves. It shows just how easy it is to fit electronic ignition to your classic car.

This post was originally written by ‘KernowCooper’ from The Mini Forum… Also known as Dave:

I’m going to do a step by step guide in fitting a Electronic Ignition Kit to a Mini with a 45D Lucas Distributor as the example but the Lucas 25/59Ds are done in exactly the same way.

I’m using a Powersparks Kit Model No K4 in my own Distributor as a example.

Important points before we start is  Reversing the Red and Black ignition wires will destroy the ignition module and void the warranty. Using a coil with too little primary resistance can cause the ignition module to overheat and fail, thus voiding the warranty. This Will Be Covered In The Install Guide.

Included in the Kit is:

– The Ignition Module
– The Trigger Ring
– Small Cable tie
– Heat Transfer Paste.

1. Remove the Distributor Cap And Rotor Arm, Check inside the Distributor Cap for cracks and condition of the segments for corrosion
2. Remove the Points and Condenser and the LT lead through the Distributor body and disconnect the wire from the connector.
3. Be Careful of the earth wire between the Baseplate and Distributor body
4. Apply a covering of the Thermal Paste to the bottom of the Trigger unit and secure to the Baseplate (This gives heat transfer away from the module)
5. Install the module as shown in Picture 3 (I have removed the Baseplate only to show a better picture) You can do yours in place.
6. Once the Trigger Module is installed correctly and secured with the retaining screws, feed the wires and locate the cable grommet in the Distributor Body
7. Ensure the Red and Black cables have a run inline with the Distributor Body and are not pulled tight, this would not allow the Vacuum Advance to work if to tight. You can secure the 2 cables together with the small cable tie as required
8. Install the Trigger Ring onto the Distributor Shaft by locating the 4 cut outs correctly with the cam lobes and push down fully.
9. Install the supplied new Red Rotor Arm and replace the cap

Your now ready to connect the wiring. Negative Earth Vehicles

10.Connect the Black wire from the Module with the Male 6.3mm Spade Terminal into the wire you disconnected your points from.
11.Check the Vehicle Wiring on the Coil + (Positive) if you have one White Wire then your coil should be a 12v and connect it as per Picture 1
12. If you have a White/Pink and a White/ Yellow wire on the coil + (Positive) your car has a Ballasted Ignition System See below

Ballasted Ignition Wiring
13. Ballasted Ignition wiring is as follows. The Black wire from the Trigger Module remains the same on the Coil – (Negative) LT Wire
14. The Red Wire from the Trigger Module is Connected to a new 12v Ignition Feed from the Fuse Box.

Converting To A 12v Ignition System
15. You could if you bought a Kit convert the Ignition to a 12v System and then the White/Pink and White/Yellow wires are removed and the new 12v feed onto the + Terminal of the new coil.

Double Checking The Coil
16. How to test the Resistance of the coil, Place a Multimeter across the + and – of the Coil Terminals and a Ballasted Coil reads approx 1.5 Ohms and a standard Coil read approx 3 Ohms

I Recommend doing the conversion to a 12v Coil as the standard Ballast wiring the resistor has been known to overheat and damage the vehicles wiring loom

17. You are now ready to start the engine.

Start the engine and it is now time to check the Ignition Timing, This is because the Trigger Module and The Trigger Ring most likely has a different point in switching the Coil compared to the mechanical heal of the old Points.

Once you have set the timing in accordance with the Manufactures Specification its time to test the vehicle.


Can I increase my Plug Gaps? You can if you have a High Output Coil and the rest of your Ignition (Leads, Plugs, Cap) is in Good Condition Try 28/30thou as a starter and reduce if you get a misfire.

I have a Lucas 59D Distributor Does the small pin that moves the Blue Type points need to be removed? , Yes it does it prevents the Trigger Module From Locating Correctly See Picture 2 Below. I would remove the Baseplate and Cut the Post down, some have suggested bending it but I’d Nor Recommend That, as it could distort the Baseplate and prevent the Vacuum Advance from working.

If you require any more Information check out Powersparks website FAQs Here
Or Speak To Simon on 01527 889453 Which Is Always A Good Thing Being Able To Speak To A Supplier In The UK


If after fitting your engine refuses to fire bring the trigger ring up below the rotor arm, or buy the rotor arm with the trigger ring made on it.

It is important to have your voltage regulator working correctly, especially with electronic ignition because over voltage can shorten the life of many components on a classic car.

Our electronic distributors and electronic conversion kits operate between 6 & 16V. A faulty dynamo or voltage regulator/alternator can overcharge putting out voltages between 25 & 30V which is far too much for modern electronic ignition systems and other sensitive electronic components to cope with.

Alternators have their voltage regulators inbuilt as a complete unit and a simple voltage test at the battery terminals with the engine running should show between 13.7 and 14.5 v After testing if you do have a faulty dynamo or voltage regulator ask about the new Dynamator range which have original dynamo looks with the practicality and reliability of modern alternator electronics.

We can supply both negative and positive earth versions also available with the tachometer drive.


Two tests here.

  1. Test the point contacts first. Disconnect the battery GROUND cable. Using an ohm meter, test reading between terminals A & D (terminals electrically on opposite sides of the points) and you should have nothing as cutout points should be open. Now manually close the points by pushing on them (OK to do with battery disconnected). Good points should read near zero ohms. If not, try making connections closer to the actual points to narrow down where the resistance is. If you do not have a ohm meter connect a test lamp between D and the battery terminal you took the ground strap off. Lamp should not light with points open and should be bright when points are closed. Any excess ohms or dimness in bulb will indicate point corrosion or other problems.
  2. Next you need to test the coils. Reconnect battery and start the engine and idle. With volt meter between terminals D & E you should be getting 6-12 volts (lower at a low idle and higher at a high idle). Rev engine up to1500 RPM and you should get 13.2-15 plus volts (depending on state of battery charge (lower if battery is fully charged and higher if battery is low). Do the same test at terminals A & E. A is tied directly to the battery so you should never go below battery voltage. Once dynamo matches battery and points close then reading at A will go up from battery voltage and increase with dynamo output. If this is not the case then there may be a dynamo problem or a regulator problem.


Again there are two tests. To test the actual points you need to disconnect the wire leading to the F terminal. Then put an ohm meter between the terminals F & E. You should get near zero ohms with good points. If it is higher try connections as close to the points a possible to narrow down where the resistance is. Now open the points. It should increase to around 60 ohms as a resistor takes over the circuit.

To test the coils connect a volt meter between F & E and set the engine at idle. At idle you should be seeing the same voltage as at the D & E terminals (probably 6-12 volts). Increase the speed of the engine and voltage between F & E will rise as the dynamo feeds the battery. Increasing the RPMs further, you will see the voltage peek and then start to decline. At about 2500 RPM you may only be seeing 8 or less volts. What should be occurring is the regulator is regulating the dynamo field windings to prevent it from destroying itself. Dynamo output is related to how much voltage is being fed to the dynamo field windings and how fast it is spinning.

Put the same voltage to a slow spinning dynamo and a fast spinning one and you will get much greater output at the faster RPMs. So to keep control, and prevent dynamo burnout, the regulator senses output and drops voltage to save the dynamo at speed.

If voltage does not follow the above pattern then the regulator needs adjustment or you have a defective dynamo.