1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Mel's electronic ignition

Discussion in '40- & 55-Series Tech' started by bigbri, Jan 22, 2004.

  1. bigbri

    bigbri

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    ok a little history
    1975 (month 02) fj40 semi-transistorized system,
    everything working fine with point system then I got greedy (by spending $300) wanting to add some extra miles to gallon then everything went bad.

    Here is what was done:
    -removed points, ballast resistor, igniter and stock coil
    Replaced with:
    -new Mel's ignition from JT Outfitters (finding out later it is just a repackaged Pertronix, man I hate misrepresentation)
    -new MSD Blaster SS coil
    -new plugs
    -new cap/rotor

    Has been running fine now for exactly 6 days, then after coming back from the longest trip yet since changeover (approx 30miles) I was sitting idling then stopped, nothing, dead, toast.

    discovered on the roadside test I have no spark? du

    other things noticed:
    -cap contacts look like they had 3 years on them
    -the magnet sleeve had a slight film of black gunk

    Unknowns during changeover:
    -the mel's kit said it was plug & play well not quite.
    the magnet sleeve was to just push down over the point cam so the top is in line with the top of the cam except it did not drop down inside the breaker plate. So a little grinding to the top and bottem of the magnet sleeve and bottom of rotor then voila everything fit.
    -the points cover was removed 'cause igniter module sat to high
    -removed the lead from the starter to the coil +
    -old book calls for NGK BP5EZ plugs, asked partsguy to hook me up with one hotter plug sold me NGK BPR4ES
    -plug gap called for .039in (1.0mm) set them to 0.047in (1.2mm)

    Checked fuses, yelled at sister, kicked tire and still won't start. Where did I go wrong ?
     
  2. Landpimp

    Landpimp

    Messages:
    15,805
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1,774
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Location:
    Gig Harbor WA
    I'm not sure but shouldn't the ignitor have been left in and used even with the Mels/Pertronics kit?
     
  3. Pin_Head

    Pin_Head

    Messages:
    14,318
    Likes Received:
    1,912
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Location:
    OC, CA
    "Where did I go wrong ? "

    Maybe replacing the Toyota ignition?

    It could be anything, but you won't know without testing it.

    Do you have 12V on the + side of the coil?
    Does the coil spark when you momentarily ground the - side of the coil (after removing the ignitor wire)?

    If the coil is good, then it has to be a problem with the pickup or ignitor and these are usually very reliable. The only easy way to test them is to swap in new ones.

    If the new coil requires a ballast, you might have burned it out by running it w/o one. the 0.047 spark gap seems a little wide too and will increase the voltage necessary to jump across it.
     
  4. xumFJ40

    xumFJ40

    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Location:
    Tex..as...Ohhhh...Texas!!!
    BigBri,

    Not sure what the issue is, but from what I have read, the pertronix system will not work in a '75 dizzy. If the Mel's system is realy a pertronix setup, the fact that you had to modify the mag sleeve may have something to do with it. I am pretty sure that the pertronix unit utilizes the hall effect. If the magnetic sleeve is not in the correct position it may mess up the actual unit....just a guess though.
     
  5. Poser

    Poser Oh...Durka Durka Durka. s-Moderator Supporting Vendor

    Messages:
    20,231
    Media:
    17
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    507
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2003
    Location:
    MN
    Um...

    Have you called Mel?
     
  6. bigbri

    bigbri

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    I see from reading original message, I forgot manners so..hello board anyone got any ideas ??
    the basics I could not check, it was night and all I had was a bic lighter, but plot thickens
    today before tow truck loaded up, we tried one last time and inadvertantly left key in "on" position.
    well 20 minutes later smoke poured out of dizzy, caught things before everything burnt up, anyone want to buy a half melted electronic igition!!!
    now I am a computer guy not a mechanic, obviously more balls than brains so before I unravel this mess "what goes into a vehical which protects things from heating up when one leaves their key in the on possition when motor is not running"?
     
  7. Poser

    Poser Oh...Durka Durka Durka. s-Moderator Supporting Vendor

    Messages:
    20,231
    Media:
    17
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    507
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2003
    Location:
    MN
    Hello bigbri-


    Don't feel bad, you are not the only one that has left thier key in the 'on' position..

    Lemon out here did that years ago, boiled the oil in the coil to the point that it blew up, coating the pass side windshield, cowl, and inside of engine bay with effectivly black jack roofing tar...I would bet that he could even post a picture of it...Not funny, but had the points not been in the closed position, there would not have been an issue..

    I guess that you are in need of a distributor, I can look around Friday at the shop and see what I come up with. I have parted out a few '75's...


    Oh, and to answer your question, as far as I know, Toyota does not have any 'saftey', other than a fuse in the circut. I have left the key on while working on many Toyotas, and the coil and igniter assembly all get warm, which means they are pulling power to me...

    Good luck!

    -Steve
     
  8. Pin_Head

    Pin_Head

    Messages:
    14,318
    Likes Received:
    1,912
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Location:
    OC, CA
    [quote author=bigbri link=board=1;threadid=10482;start=msg94373#msg94373 date=1074840783]
    we tried one last time and inadvertantly left key in "on" position.
    well 20 minutes later smoke poured out of dizzy, caught things before everything burnt up, anyone want to buy a half melted electronic igition!!!

    "what goes into a vehical which protects things from heating up when one leaves their key in the on possition when motor is not running"?
    [/quote]


    It sounds like you have an impressive short. If it just your coil that is a smoking mess, then it is your lucky day: just get a new one, run the ballast resistor and adjust your gap to specs.

    If your ingitor smoked, better talk to Mel.

    It is probably wired incorrectly if things smoked. The coil must be in the fused ignition circuit, where it is protected by the fuse.
     
  9. xumFJ40

    xumFJ40

    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Location:
    Tex..as...Ohhhh...Texas!!!
    BigBri,

    I think that my first post was pretty close. I am beting that the pertronix unit went bad.

    I haven't read anything that will stop the "key left on" deal other than the pertronix II unit will sence when the ignition is on and shut off.
     
  10. Poser

    Poser Oh...Durka Durka Durka. s-Moderator Supporting Vendor

    Messages:
    20,231
    Media:
    17
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    507
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2003
    Location:
    MN
    xumFJ40-

    If what you say is true, how does the system get power and operate?

    "I haven't read anything that will stop the "key left on" deal other than the pertronix II unit will sence when the ignition is on and shut off. "

    Does not make sense to me how something could sense when the ignition is on, and shut off, but yet still work?

    Confused...
     
  11. folsom50

    folsom50

    Messages:
    640
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Location:
    Nowhere Nebraska
    I'm not a wiring guru, but on all the pretronix ignitions that I've installed had to have a resistor, 12v would ruin the unit. Now maybe it's different in this case, but I'd look into that also.
     
  12. xumFJ40

    xumFJ40

    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Location:
    Tex..as...Ohhhh...Texas!!!
    Poser,

    I have a pertronix unit in the garage waiting on a dizzy to go into, so I will be able to tell you more after actually looking at the manual, but here is a start.

    On the Pertronix I unit which I have, there are two wires(+ and -), I believe that the + goes to the coil and that the - goes to the starter(not sure). When you turn the key to on, it powers the coil thus giving power to the pertronix unit.

    I believe on the Pertoronix II unit, if there is a significant peroid of time(key left on) w/o the starter turning, or maybe it is w/o the dizzy turning then the unit shuts off. I would imagine the way it is reset is the key being turned off again before the next start, dropping power to the unit and reseting it. However, this is just a guess, I don't have one of the pertronix II units I just remember reading that it has "key left on" sensing/shut-off capability.

    Folsom, I think you only have to have the resistor if your system alread needed one. I remember reading that some guys had to leave them in to get theirs to work and other did not. It has something to do w/voltage I think. I bought the 40K coil from pertornix, suposedly I will not need to use my old resistor....will let you know when I actually install it.

    BigBri, I would call JT Outfitters and check on the compatibility w/the 75 year model. Like I said, on Pertronix web site, it only lists '74 and older. Do a search on this site, I remember some one saying that they couldn't use it in their '75. On mine I am swapping out the dizzy to a vac. advance unit from '68 so that I can use the pertronix.
     
  13. Pin_Head

    Pin_Head

    Messages:
    14,318
    Likes Received:
    1,912
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Location:
    OC, CA
    Generally, it is not a problem to leave the key on with any electronic ignition. The ignitor only triggers off the leading edge of the magnetic or optical transition, so there won't be any current running through the coil until the rotor is moving.

    It sounds like either the coil (more likely w/o the ballast resistor) or ignitor smoked. It should still have blown the ignition fuse, which is only about 10-15 A.
     
  14. mustardfj40

    mustardfj40

    Messages:
    907
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    I have both Pertronix Ignitor and Mel's ignitor, the magnetic sleeves and the sensors are the same but the brackets are different.

    This might be late for you now, but I aslo repalced all my ignition systems with new Pertronic, framethrower coil, MSD offroad ignition, wires, plugs,...you can see that there are too many variables to check, so I replaced one component at time and make sure it worked before I moved on to the next one.

    The pertronic wasn't an exact fit in my non-usa distribtor, and it moved around a bit which caused the truck to die and blocked up the advance mechanism, so I got the Mel's stuff which turned out to be a perfect fit.

    If you run out of option, I would try to put it back to the state you know it works, then start from there.

    /td
     
  15. Landpimp

    Landpimp

    Messages:
    15,805
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1,774
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Location:
    Gig Harbor WA
    I was just reading(about something else) in the FSM for late 40, fj60 and it mentioned "don't leave key in on postion for more than 10 min" without motor running. so there must be some issue even wtih the stock electroic set up.

    [quote author=Pin_Head link=board=1;threadid=10482;start=msg94609#msg94609 date=1074891410]

    Generally, it is not a problem to leave the key on with any electronic ignition. The ignitor only triggers off the leading edge of the magnetic or optical transition, so there won't be any current running through the coil until the rotor is moving.

    It sounds like either the coil (more likely w/o the ballast resistor) or ignitor smoked. It should still have blown the ignition fuse, which is only about 10-15 A.
    [/quote]
     
  16. Poser

    Poser Oh...Durka Durka Durka. s-Moderator Supporting Vendor

    Messages:
    20,231
    Media:
    17
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    507
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2003
    Location:
    MN
    Thank you John.
     
  17. Landpimp

    Landpimp

    Messages:
    15,805
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1,774
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Location:
    Gig Harbor WA
    FWIW its in the FSM for 1980-87 2F, section 8-5, it mentions it only as a caution on US spec 40's...so I assume its not an issue with points systems(with non US are)

    [quote author=Poser link=board=1;threadid=10482;start=msg94696#msg94696 date=1074903011]
    Thank you John.
    [/quote]
     
  18. Poser

    Poser Oh...Durka Durka Durka. s-Moderator Supporting Vendor

    Messages:
    20,231
    Media:
    17
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    507
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2003
    Location:
    MN
    FWIW-

    If the key is in the 'on' position, and the points are closed, it will pull current through the coils low voltage field, as the points are the 'switch' to ground in the circut.(when the points are opened, the low voltage field colapses, inducing the high voltage coil to spark.
    So, with 7.5 or 8 volts going through the coil, or 12 in the case when you take the ballast resistor out of the circut because it is bad, you can see where the electricity would create heat in the coil windings, could boil the oil in the coil, and cause it to 'pop'...

    And,

    In vehicles with semi-electronic, and electronic ignition with the Toyota igniter, if you leave the key in the 'on' position, the igniter will get warm to the touch, as there is power going through it.

    Good luck!

    -Steve
     
  19. Landpimp

    Landpimp

    Messages:
    15,805
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1,774
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Location:
    Gig Harbor WA
    looks like you did some experimenting. Good info for sure. I'm pretty sure I toasted a set of points on the 45 before when I checked the gap wtih the key on.

    [quote author=Poser link=board=1;threadid=10482;start=msg96609#msg96609 date=1075350914]

    FWIW-

    If the key is in the 'on' position, and the points are closed, it will pull current through the coils low voltage field, as the points are the 'switch' to ground in the circut.(when the points are opened, the low voltage field colapses, inducing the high voltage coil to spark.
    So, with 7.5 or 8 volts going through the coil, or 12 in the case when you take the ballast resistor out of the circut because it is bad, you can see where the electricity would create heat in the coil windings, could boil the oil in the coil, and cause it to 'pop'...

    And,

    In vehicles with semi-electronic, and electronic ignition with the Toyota igniter, if you leave the key in the 'on' position, the igniter will get warm to the touch, as there is power going through it.

    Good luck!

    -Steve
    [/quote]
     
  20. Poser

    Poser Oh...Durka Durka Durka. s-Moderator Supporting Vendor

    Messages:
    20,231
    Media:
    17
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    507
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2003
    Location:
    MN
    "experimenting".....

    Hopefully Lemon will find the pics of his coil blown up...becasue the key was left in the 'on' position, and the points were closed...


    -Steve