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240z ignition points problem


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Points are,well....completely point-less.Dinosaur technology that has no place on a street driven vehicle in 2008.Points(vs electronic)provide poor starts,poor fuel economy,dirtier idle and erratic timing.

Not knocking you but I get 28mpg highway and merely "bump" the starter and the singer sewing machine comes to life. I Imagine you are reffering to when the points aren't in adjustment in the above comment and you would be right. Perhaps with fuel injection one could get 30 mpg out of the 2.4L if they tried. The ignition aspect of mileage is very small.

Driving 80 miles a day round trip I tinker with my points about every 1-2 months.

The real issue is some people have distributors which are worn giving them erratic behavior. When they go to set their points the setting is off because the shaft may shift. A dwell meter helps.

In such cases a Pertronix or similar setup would compensate of course. This would be like buying a new dizzy cheap.

I agree that the cheapo points most commonly offered SUCK. One place in town offers premium points like Arne mentioned. Just holding them you can "feel" the quality.

2c

Jim

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So it is the wrong year then, I was told 79-80 distributor will work, so this is wrong year then,appreciate the infor. will keep looking

The distributor is right but the module is wrong. The module is for a later ZX like a '82 or 3. It has the later module that requires input from the computer , that you don't have . The 12 80 is a stand alone module. all the dist. from '79--'83 will work , its just the modules that are different. As was said before , the lower half of the dist shaft is missing on the eBay part. Gary

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has anyone ever tried to run that module?

Just wondering :paranoid:.

I bet there is a way to run it on Z cars. Maybe I can try it on my car.

I have 2 sitting around the shop just waiting to be used. I will research this wiring problem of the module and see if it can be done.

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Not knocking you but I get 28mpg highway and merely "bump" the starter and the singer sewing machine comes to life. I Imagine you are reffering to when the points aren't in adjustment in the above comment and you would be right. Perhaps with fuel injection one could get 30 mpg out of the 2.4L if they tried. The ignition aspect of mileage is very small.

Driving 80 miles a day round trip I tinker with my points about every 1-2 months.

The real issue is some people have distributors which are worn giving them erratic behavior. When they go to set their points the setting is off because the shaft may shift. A dwell meter helps.

In such cases a Pertronix or similar setup would compensate of course. This would be like buying a new dizzy cheap.

I agree that the cheapo points most commonly offered SUCK. One place in town offers premium points like Arne mentioned. Just holding them you can "feel" the quality.

2c

Jim

I was referring to points -period.No matter how well your car starts with points,it would start better with electronic ignition.As far as MPG goes-i agree who really gives a rats arse about milage.But to pick up fuel economy as colateral with no down-side?That's a no-brainer.

And no matter how good you are with a dwell meter,points float.Floating points causes the dwell to change.Changing dwell causes the timing to change.Not good.

No logical arguement can be made for the retention of points with the possible exception of a concourse car.

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has anyone ever tried to run that module?

Just wondering :paranoid:.

It will work, but retards the timing by about 8 degrees when it doesn't get a signal from the injection. There are workarounds, but using the E12-80 instead is much cleaner.
Arne: do you happen to know if a E12-80 module will fit on this distributor then? Thanks for the input
As I noted in your other post, yes, you can replace an E12-93 with an E12-80. The distributor itself is the same.
Where the hell is the edit feature?
The ability to edit a post times out after 5 minutes or so.
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I was referring to points -period.No matter how well your car starts with points,it would start better with electronic ignition.As far as MPG goes-i agree who really gives a rats arse about milage.But to pick up fuel economy as colateral with no down-side?That's a no-brainer.

And no matter how good you are with a dwell meter,points float.Floating points causes the dwell to change.Changing dwell causes the timing to change.Not good.

No logical arguement can be made for the retention of points with the possible exception of a concourse car.

Unless you're doing 7000+ RPM and/or a high CR and/or whacky/stupid advance does it matter?

Most of the systems for EI discussed here don't have a rev limiter. (You have to buy one separate) I can't tell you how many times I missed a gear and slammed my tach. (Actually I CAN say that it was 6 times/18 years) Thank God the "poor little" points were there to kill the engine. The thing just died. Hit the starter after collecting my nerves and vroom everything back to normal. No broom or bucket to collect engine parts required.

Like I said.. Bump the starter and it starts. I mean a quick bump at that... like as long as it takes to tap a piano key. Don't think it would start any faster with the EI... at least on mine.

Part of the allure of an older car is a melding with the machine. I like the idea of the engineer of old getting out every stop to lube the train. There have been times where I didn't pop the Z's hood for six months and I felt like I was neglecting a child.

If you want a no hassle car they still sell Hondas. :)

If someones tired of screwing with points then more power to them. I won't knock them, it's their car. There are circumstances which would make it a legitimate need.

To say points are crap is wrong. Although it's a different system (magneto) think about the "points are crap" mentality next time you visit the airport. Light aircraft (GA piston engined A/C) have points. I've never had a forced landing due to ignition problems and neither has anyone I've talked to. (2 mags help)

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Unless you're doing 7000+ RPM and/or a high CR and/or whacky/stupid advance does it matter?

It matters.Always has-always will.

_______________________________________________________________

Most of the systems for EI discussed here don't have a rev limiter. (You have to buy one separate) I can't tell you how many times I missed a gear and slammed my tach. (Actually I CAN say that it was 6 times/18 years) Thank God the "poor little" points were there to kill the engine. The thing just died. Hit the starter after collecting my nerves and vroom everything back to normal. No broom or bucket to collect engine parts required.

If you are using a points as a "Polish rev-limiter",i suggest you learn to drive.LOL

______________________________________________________________

Like I said.. Bump the starter and it starts. I mean a quick bump at that... like as long as it takes to tap a piano key. Don't think it would start any faster with the EI... at least on mine.

Wrong.Even on yours,it would start faster.And there is no Z-car on earth that starts with a "tap" when it's cold.

_________________________________________________________

Part of the allure of an older car is a melding with the machine. I like the idea of the engineer of old getting out every stop to lube the train. There have been times where I didn't pop the Z's hood for six months and I felt like I was neglecting a child.

If you want a no hassle car they still sell Hondas. :)

I never realized that a Datsun was a car/truck full of hassles.

_____________________________________________________________

If someones tired of screwing with points then more power to them. I won't knock them, it's their car. There are circumstances which would make it a legitimate need.

Legitimate need?!!You mean like easier starting,more power,more fuel economy and less emissions?

____________________________________________________________

To say points are crap is wrong. Although it's a different system (magneto) think about the "points are crap" mentality next time you visit the airport. Light aircraft (GA piston engined A/C) have points. I've never had a forced landing due to ignition problems and neither has anyone I've talked to. (2 mags help)

You are wrong again.Saying points are crap is not only right.It's completely,100% accurate.If points WEREN'T crap then they would still be in new cars.They're not.Take the hint.

And comparing aircraft magnetos to a 35 year old points distributor is so bizarre that i'll let it go.:tapemouth

One last thing-the Fireman lubed the locomotive.

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And comparing aircraft magnetos to a 35 year old points distributor is so bizarre that i'll let it go.:tapemouth

I hate to burst your bubble, but it is a valid comparison.

The real problem with point type ignition (other than the much lower voltages produced) is that the side load of the points wears out the both the point's cam follower, and the distributor bearings.

On vehicles that don't have that problem (like some tractors etc.) one set of breaker points can last for decades without adjustment.

Oh, and EScanlon, from what I recall reading years ago only semiconductors are sensitive to EMP damage. Which makes some sense since static electricity destroys transistors, but has no effect on capacitors.

But I DO NOT claim any expertize in the area of EMP research. I am just repeating what I read somewhere. As I said, it is not something that I worry about, only a funny memory.

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One last thing-the Fireman lubed the locomotive.

"Point" well taken. (Bad pun) I always thought it was the engineer. That's what I wanted to be at age 4. Thirty four years later I realized my dream of being a guy who likes to tinker.

Walter,

Interesting about the EMP and condenser. I've only cursory knowlege but it seems to me that the spike contained by the condenser each cycle would be much greater than a single EMP.?? I know a retired electrical engineer with friends at MIT. I'll pick his brain and see.

I've heard stories about how a 1kiloton nuke being detonated over Kansas would wipe out a fair portion of the countries computers. Can't imagine it but what do I know. Enrique was in the military. Perhaps he has something.

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I hate to burst your bubble, but it is a valid comparison.

The real problem with point type ignition (other than the much lower voltages produced) is that the side load of the points wears out the both the point's cam follower, and the distributor bearings.

On vehicles that don't have that problem (like some tractors etc.) one set of breaker points can last for decades without adjustment.

Oh, and EScanlon, from what I recall reading years ago only semiconductors are sensitive to EMP damage. Which makes some sense since static electricity destroys transistors, but has no effect on capacitors.

But I DO NOT claim any expertize in the area of EMP research. I am just repeating what I read somewhere. As I said, it is not something that I worry about, only a funny memory.

Hey,Walt...guess what?My "bubble" is bullet-proof.Aircraft magnetos use points in case of problems.So the engine stays running.So the aircraft doesn't fall out of the sky and land on someones head.(in some cases this would be a good thing)

The real problem with points is that they SUCK.

Check the following websites:

this one(duh)

Zcar.com

hybridZ

http://forum.ratsun.net

Tell us how many "Electronic Ignition to point conversion"topics there are.

First our Zs are being compared to aircraft and now tractors.:stupid:

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You are wrong again.Saying points are crap is not only right.It's completely,100% accurate.If points WEREN'T crap then they would still be in new cars.They're not.Take the hint.

Notice I'm not saying EI is crap? It has great merit and I have very little against it except what has already been discussed in previous posts. This is the last post on this thread I'll make for you Ztrain because it's pointless and wasteful to argue like this. My re-bushed distributor does just fine with points.Like I said.. "Singer sewing machine".

So what you're telling me is that the insertion of more electronics in modern cars is a better thing? That mechanical systems became obsolete because electronics were simply better???

My family had an IH diesel tractor with completely "0" electronics save the distributor for gas start. (1940's TD-6 crawler tractor) When sold a few years ago it had only needed routine fuel filter and oil changes over 60 years...Period. Great machine!

Fast forward to 2006. The company I work for purchased an International Harvester straight truck (w/DT466E) and had the thing in the shop at least once every two weeks. The newer trucks will have electronic valves... Yes electronically controlled valves! The IH shops are wringing their hands in delight thinking about the dough that will roll in. We average $1000-$2000 per shop visit which now only occurs once every 5-6 months. It's not uncommon for a brand new truck to get 80 miles and have trouble.

The Duraspark box and pickup coil on my Ford died eight years after the car was on the road. (At different times) Trust me, they cost more than a few sets of points. (Wasn't too bad though) GM's HEI is nice and cheap at least. Think I bought the power transistor/brain for 13.99. They have decent lifespans too.

THE TRUTH IS...

The electronics in vehicle powertrains exist primarily for compliance with rising government standards... The added price the consumer pays to put put around. Many have become so addicted to tech that cars are purchased for their bells, whistles, airbags, seat warmers, yada yada. Don't get me wrong some of it's very nice to have. It's a great selling feature in the age of the cupholder/throwaway car.

My point is that when you open the door on your 240 and look at the date stamp remember that for many of us points got us here in 2008.

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Re the comments about the potential for failure of the electronic module on the ZX distributor, and the relative reliability of a points system ...

In 1974 I was driving my Z in the desert - probably 30 miles in either direction to civilization. Suddenly - the engine dies. I look at the tach and its reading 0 so I figure that it's ignition related - not fuel or air. After coasting to a stop, I pop the hood and look around. Pulled the distributor cap and it took a while for me to notice that the follower on the points (that rides the distributor cam) had broken off ! Luckily, I had a habit of always saving my old ignition components after each tune-up and storing them in the compartments under the luggage deck. So, I had a spare set of points in the car ... and even had a dwell tach in the car as well ... so I was back on the road in short order.

Today - I run a ZX distributor with the 12-80 module. I have a spare module in the car.

I guess the "point" (pun intended) is that either system can fail ... and you might want to plan accordingly ...

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Whoa! Did this thing take on a life of it's own or what?

My point regarding changing from points to electronic wasn't to imply that one or the other was bad. Each has their valid characteristics and each has their vulnerabilities.

Can points leave you stranded suddenly? Yes, it happened to me in a 70 Chevy Nova. One of the point halves decided to fall off and the other half sparked against the other holder bad enough that it wore a hole in it. I had the fun of having it fuse itself together and then the car wouldn't run. A friend of mine helped me discover the cause.

Electronic modules can also leave you stranded. That's also happened to me, although not in a Z. It has happened to a friend of mine in his Z.

My point in recommending them is that there is little to no adjustment to be made to the electronic dizzy -- other than setting the timing -- for the average Z driver.

Now, before you guys pull out your slide rules, calculators etc. I'm referring to the basic adjustment. I'm sure some engineer someplace calculated the duration of the spark, some other one calculated when during the rotation of the rotor to release the spark etc, etc, etc. Those of you who disassemble engine's after a single day's run, or routinely swap transmissions between different cars just to check if one has less slop than the other are obviously NOT the regular run of the mill driver.

You have skills and experience that many of us simply do not. To you adjusting a set of points is so stupidly simple that it totally befuddles you when someone mentions not wanting to do it.

Some of us can read a wiring diagram and know what and why things are acting the way they are. I know friends who immediately toss in the towel over the simplest of bulb changes.

Some of us paint cars and think nothing of worrying about a dry-line, or how much to thin primer or how much peroxide to use in bondo and laugh at those that shudder at the thought of using the same.

To each of those "specialties" or fields of expertise if you will, there will undoubtedly be items that are ... to them ... considered so simple as to seem to be unexplainable...."What do you mean: 'How do you breathe?'" Yet, to those of the other fields, there are valid questions and valid reasons for the things you do ... "'Expand your chest to bring in air, then compress it to force it out! Don't do that underwater!"

I'm not trying to use individual items for each of the "fields" because...I'm not an expert in all of the Z's different items. I, like many of you, repeat what I've learned, here and other places, after having seeing it discussed and even argued by others more in the know.

There are items I posted, that may have been construed improperly. In refering to the tires, I was going by the data in the owner's manual I have. It references X style tire rotation (left rear to right front, etc.). Since I've only ever had Radial tires on my cars, and they always made it a point to tell me to NOT cross-rotate them, I made the inference to the steel belted or bias ply tires.

Batteries, yes their basic construction is as Carl mentioned. But when was the last time you checked the electrolyte? Or added distilled water to them? Bet you'd void a warranty if you did.

Sealed beam headlights are yet available, but many of us have switched to H4 lamps. Some have even made the effort to go with projector style units. The old 1157 and 1156 bulbs are still readily available yet folks are experimenting with LED replacement bulbs and LED boards. Newer cars routinely have an inverted function side marker / turn signal function, and Arne/Dave have recently produced one....not without some caution involved (grounding issues) but an "improvement" over the OEM/Stock configuration. That that improvement/change can be reversed, is desireable, yet to some of us it doesn't matter because we won't reverse it. Richard's upgrade to a fan motor....that's a no brainer, he's in Las Vegas. I would do it as well.

The basis for my mentioning the electronic ignition in a thread about points, is that new users...who routinely ignore the search function...might benefit from having that alternative posted.

That it ended up being a debate over new and improved, versus old and superseded was not my intent. Should we give up on old technology? Should we totally embrace the new? All valid questions, and both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Me? I'll give up my Z when I can get one of those Luke Skywalker zippy little jobbers in the original movie. Till then, I'll add those improvements that I feel will "improve" my Z to MY satisfaction and ignore those that I don't think will benefit .... ME.

2¢

E

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Whoa! Did this thing take on a life of it's own or what?
Yes, it did. ROFL ROFL

Gotta rank this discussion right up there with "which oil is best" and "should I remove my 280Z bumpers". LOL

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EScanlon: All I can say is you are exactly right on here, and I feel just like you do about my car. I know how my car ran with the points type dizzy and I also know that it runs alot better with the E1280 Module. It makes me happy and thats all that really matters is it not ? I"m with you all the way on this one.

Disclaimer: This is merely my own personal opinion. I too am a non expert. I usually get it right sooner or later. John

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Notice I'm not saying EI is crap? It has great merit and I have very little against it except what has already been discussed in previous posts. This is the last post on this thread I'll make for you Ztrain because it's pointless and wasteful to argue like this. My re-bushed distributor does just fine with points.Like I said.. "Singer sewing machine".

Again,if you up-graded to EI,you would see a difference.

___________________

So what you're telling me is that the insertion of more electronics in modern cars is a better thing? That mechanical systems became obsolete because electronics were simply better???

Yes.Sorta.I am saying that EI is far superior to points in every measurable way.

My family had an IH diesel tractor with completely "0" electronics save the distributor for gas start. (1940's TD-6 crawler tractor) When sold a few years ago it had only needed routine fuel filter and oil changes over 60 years...Period. Great machine!

No doubt great machine.But you are not traveling in it, hundreds of miles from home and winding the motor to 6 thousand RPM either.Invalid comparison.

____________________________________

Fast forward to 2006. The company I work for purchased an International Harvester straight truck (w/DT466E) and had the thing in the shop at least once every two weeks. The newer trucks will have electronic valves... Yes electronically controlled valves! The IH shops are wringing their hands in delight thinking about the dough that will roll in. We average $1000-$2000 per shop visit which now only occurs once every 5-6 months. It's not uncommon for a brand new truck to get 80 miles and have trouble.

I don't know what electronic solenoid operated valves have to do with bullet proof EI modules but...o.k.

____________________________________________________

The Duraspark box and pickup coil on my Ford died eight years after the car was on the road. (At different times) Trust me, they cost more than a few sets of points. (Wasn't too bad though) GM's HEI is nice and cheap at least. Think I bought the power transistor/brain for 13.99. They have decent lifespans too.

THE TRUTH IS...

The electronics in vehicle powertrains exist primarily for compliance with rising government standards...

Correct!And in the process,we were given an ignition system that gives easier starts,burns cleaner,prevents timing(dewll) changes and increases milage.

Chrysler started it's"transistorized igniton"in 66(i believe)No governmental regs.They(Chrysler) just knew it was superior to points.

My point is that when you open the door on your 240 and look at the date stamp remember that for many of us points got us here in 2008.

If you want to keep your points-that's fine.I'm not telling you otherwise.Put don't post that they(points) are as good as EI-because they aren't.

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If you want to keep your points-that's fine.I'm not telling you otherwise.Put don't post that they(points) are as good as EI-because they aren't.

Sheesh, I sure hope your not telling a fellow member of a site dedicated to classic cars that are as much as 38 years old, he can't keep his points. The man is entitled to his opinion, just as you are. I think JimmyZ knows whats up on both sides of this coin and thankyou for your point of view also.

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Sheesh, I sure hope your not telling a fellow member of a site dedicated to classic cars that are as much as 38 years old, he can't keep his points. The man is entitled to his opinion, just as you are. I think JimmyZ knows whats up on both sides of this coin and thankyou for your point of view also.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion-true.But when an opinion flies in the face of reality,i draw the line.Meaning,if Jimmy and i were sitting in a bar and having this conversation,i would say to him"You're nuckin' futs and order another beer.

BUT....other people are watching/listening-trying to learn.Some might get the impression that EI & points are on equal "footing"-they are not.

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After thirty five years the points dizzy never left me stranded. I always had a set of points in the car. Changed to electronic e 12-80 because the point’s distributor was just plain wore out. Now I have a spare 12-80 in the car. Go figure. Hope I never need it either. I never played with the points all the time. Guess you can if you want but why? Do not see a big difference getting the car started either way. So, Arne which oil is the correct one?

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Meaning,if Jimmy and i were sitting in a bar and having this conversation,i would say to him"You're nuckin' futs and order another beer.

BUT....other people are watching/listening-trying to learn.Some might get the impression that EI & points are on equal "footing"-they are not.

I'm sure we would probably drink each other under the table and have to call some of you guys or get a cab. Didn't mean to take such a simple thread on such a tangent. Sorry guys.

In cases like this it is best to respectufully agree to diasgree. Not to open up another can O' worms but it seems many things work like this. There's a lady at work who is on a completely opposite end of the spectrum regarding politcal views. Sure, we tussle a bit but at the end of it all we are great friends and respect each other. Funny thing is that we have ended up shaping each others views a little as a result.

Regarding the original subject of the thread...In Florida, Central Auto Parts can get a set of premium points. Can't remember the name on the box but wow! Real quality still exists! I'll get another set and post the name. The body on this set was copper plated. The contact faces were doughnuts, not the typical chrome plated looking caps which cheapies use. These were a different material, possibly the coveted platinum/iridium material??

It would be a good idea for the sake of the board to make this thread a list of places and part#'s for good/real points.

Jim

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