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E12-80 Module on a 280z Distributor?


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Hi guys,

I got my 240z about a year ago and I've been cruising this site ever since then. It's taken me a year but I think I'm getting my head around the mechanicle side of things... Having no mechanicle experience at all :squareeye

I want to know if I can put an E12-80 Ignition module out of a 280zx on a 280z electronic distributor? As far as I know the 280zx ignition module mounts directly onto the side of the distributor, where as the 280z distributor has no area to mount the ignition module on it. I was just going to fabricate a plate that I can mount on the side of the 280z distributor and then screw the ignition module onto that.

Any input would ne great.


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No it will not work . The 280 has it's equivalent module mounted , I believe , under the dash . Two completely different distributors .

Hmm... well, maybe it ONLY worked for 240zwinter. Or did you not read the whole thread? Here it is again: http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19098 Regardless, it did work for him despite your saying that it wouldn't work back then. I'm not a betting man, but I'd put $50 on it working a second time. Care to take me up on that beandip?

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JM, I believe in the end, 240zwinter picked up an 81' dizzy and used the E12-80 with that rather than the older dizzy. It might be difficult to get a good ground mounting the E12-80 on a dizzy not designed for it. The materials I have read seem to stress making sure of good contact between the rear of the module and the dizzy itself. But in the end, I can't say for sure. I'll defer to you "experts". :)

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I read it again, and you are correct. He did pick up a ZX distributor. BUT, it is well proven that you can run HEI on a Datsun distributor. There is an article about it on www.zhome.com in the Index of Technical Articles. And that's made by GM! There is no way to stamp the voltage signal needed to trigger their module as "GM only". I've got friends who have run Chrysler modules for the last 15 years on their Datsuns. Sorry, but the reality is manufacturers do not have some proprietary control over inductive voltage, and they can't make some voltage work differently than others so that modules work with one distributor and not another.

Here's an article that may shed some light on why these things work: http://www.kemparts.com/TechTalk/tt10.asp

It may also shed some light on why they AREN'T manufacturer specific. The article does talk about some that run a lower voltage, and I haven't tried every module in the world so I don't know if that is a problem or not. What I can tell you is that the HEI and Chrysler work, so that should mean according to the article that most Ford modules work too (since it says they run 12V as well) although they're notoriously failure prone so why bother. It also leaves open the probability that just about any module from any car triggered by a Hall sensor will work, as long as it runs on 12V.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I installed the 280z distributor with the E12-80 Ignition module over the weekend and it works just fine. I just fabricated an aluminum bracket and mounted the module on it. Then I bolted it on where the resistor used to be under the coil.

Even with the mild cam it's idling a lot smoother now, although it's running a bit hot so I'll probably need to adjust the timing a little.

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Does anyone know what happened to Kyle's (haglemen?) tech tip on using the GM module for the 78 style dizzys went to? It wasn't on this site. They're more plentyfull and cheaper than the Nissan module. I was thinking, it might even work in a pinch for the 79 "matchbook" dizzy as well.

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