<VV> Petronix Improvements

Rad Davis rad.davis at mindspring.com
Thu Oct 27 21:56:16 EDT 2005

Completely true.  The only difference of any importance between the Spyder 
and Corsa tachs is the 90 degree versus 120 degree sweep meter 
movements.  The movements are, however, electrically identical.  So there 
was a fully solid-state electronic component available as an option 
starting in '61.

Interestingly, the radios didn't go fully solid-state until some time 
later, although the oldest Corvair radios I have seen already had 
transistor output amplifiers.

My dog in the ignition fight is that electronic ignition, while 
theoretically more complex than points, is in practice much simpler:  You 
put it in and set it up and then it works until you have worn the engine 
out or (if you weren't attentive to temperatures and voltages) the ignition 
conks out and you put another in.

I'll also agree with Seth that I have yet to get a Corvair distributor with 
points to go past about 4800 RPM (crank) on the bench without getting point 
bounce (I was using a points distributor base as a signal source for tach 
calibration before I got a square wave generator).  And the cruddy point 
plate design definitely doesn't help with durability or with timing 
precision - who ever decided that dwell change with vacuum advance change 
was OK?  Was it the same person who decided that a steel-on-steel pivot 
bushing was OK?  Both were bad decisions.  And while we're at it, why do 
the V8 guys get a cute little window for adjusting point gap/dwell with the 
engine running and we have to take the cap off and diddle with screws and 
feeler gauges?

To heck with it all - make mine electronic, please.  I'll keep a point 
plate with points and a matchbook in the glovebox, just in case.

-Rad Davis

At 02:14 PM 10/27/2005 -0700, Tony Underwood wrote:
>At 06:51 hours 10/27/2005, Padgett wrote:
>>>I have been very vocal in the past about denying the "need"
>>>for electronic points replacements.  People come to me at shows etc and
>>>say" how come you don't like them"?  Heck I don't dislike them.  I just
>>>think people put them in for the wrong reasons some times.
>>Funny, my 63 Corvette definitely benefited from the Delcotronic 
>>electronic ignition. Coupled with the FI it would start instantly in any 
>>weather and was extremely reliable. It also was supposed to be used with 
>>a "hotter" coil.
>>One odd thing about the Corvair is that the Corsa tachometer is a 
>>transistor unit. In the mid-60s GM commonly used a passive tachometer 
>>circuit with points ignitions and only used a transistor circuit with the 
>>Delcotronic ignition which leads to the question of whether the Corsa was 
>>originally supposed to have received the Delcotronic ignition.
>The Corsa tach is, component for component, pretty much the same thing as 
>the Spyder tach, which chases its legacy back to 1961, IIRC.
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