Dual 50K volt test ignition


NOTE, Dan Sheradin put a link in the comments to a working 30 second video. I have issues with getting videos from my iPhone to directly work with the blog software.



Not all tests are directly aimed at making a product next month, some are pure R&D to test ideas which may or may not be integrated into later products. Either way, the understanding which comes from afternoons like this is part of what makes my experience valuable to traditional homebuilders.


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Above: On Sunday I let this test ignition run on my 1947 sun distributor machine for several hours. Get a look at that spark, it is arcing over a 3/4″ air gap. It performed flawlessly, but is it something useful? In spite of working great for hours, it would still have to pass three critical tests: Power consumption, elevated heat tolerance and low voltage ability.  My current E/P and E/P-X ignitions do, and they do it affordably.  Looking at a system like the one above, it has advantages, but they come with questions and a different price tag. These are the the things you consider while this hums away in the shop for several hours.


The Details:

Body: Corvair dual bushing

Cap adaptor: Ford V-6

Pickups : Chrysler slant 6

Reluctor: Hand made

Module A : Chevy V-6

Module B: 1981 Pontiac 301 turbo.

Coil : Echlin 1990s GM E style, ultra low resistance.


The wiring is spread out a lot to make it more accessible for testing, it facilitates putting the heat gun and thermal camera on individual elements to see how the perform under duress.  Yes, Vice grips have a place in the world of tests and evaluations.




9 Replies to “Dual 50K volt test ignition”

    1. Ah, the mighty HEI module and nippondenso pickup combo. Might be a recipe for success!

      1. My mistake. It is constructed similarly to the ND units i salvaged from an rx-7 for similar purpose.

      2. Haven’t seen ND stuff, but one of the goals with this stuff is to use super common and available units for multi year US vehicles to keep the selection of parts good.

  1. I would really be interested in installing one of these! While I religiously check and set timing at WOT, it does make me more than a little nervous! While a prop at 1000 rpm is just as deadly as one at 2900 rpm, the prop blast is a little more manageable at idle.

    Any thoughts when you might have this distributor available?


  2. nice spark..!!..I worked for a fellow who would pull a wire off one plug at a time and then draw the spark to his thumb, to make sure it was long fat, and blue. another guy told me he had been twice struck by lightning…interesting crew

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