Compu-Fire® Electronic Ignition Installation In An 009

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    I just upgraded my ignition to a Compu-Fire® ignition since it was high time I stepped up to the performance and reliability that only an electronic breaker-less ignition system can provide.  I purchased this unit (p/n 21100) from C.B. Performance in Farmersville, CA.  Installation couldn't be simpler so this could be accomplished by ANYONE in about 15 minutes.  The kit basically includes the ignition module, a magnetic rotor, a new set screw, an allen wrench, a wire grommet and a pair of spade connectors.  Below is a photo of all the parts included and the instruction sheet included:

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    I started the install by removing the distributor from the engine.  This is NOT a requirement, but it does make it easier to do it on a table rather than hunched over the engine.  Remove ONLY the 13mm nut which holds the distributor clamp TO THE ENGINE CASE.  Removing the distributor AND clamp as a unit will make installation a breeze.  Here's what the old points and condenser looked like:

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    Next I removed the points and condenser from the distributor body.

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    Now I slid the ends of the wires through the square hole on the side of the distributor and then mounted the ignition module to the advance plate inside the distributor where the points once were.  I used the new allen head screw and provided allen wrench to tighten it all down.  Be sure to engage the opposite end of the module into the round hole.  When finished the module should be seated flush to the advance plate.

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    Now I installed the rotor.  This slides over the shaft and fits just below the rotor which contacts the distributor cap contacts.  This must be installed with the raised lip UP.  It fits really snuggly.  If you try and push it on with your fingers you could break it, so use either the old rotor or a 15mm - 17mm socket (like I did) to seat it fully.  Spit the shaft to ensure you have it on straight.  You should have between .030" and .100" gap between the rotor and the module for it to work correctly.  .060" is optimal.

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    The next step was the most difficult: getting the wire grommet slipped over the wires.  I had to use a screw driver to gently bend the sections apart enough that the wire cover wouldn't catch on the grommet.  Once it was on the wire, it needs to be pushed into place in the square hole.  The grommet has one shoulder removed (so that the hole is off-center.  This part MUST be fitted UP so that the grommet doesn't interfere with the distributor cap once it's installed.

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    That's it!!  Here's what it looks like now with the Compu-Fire® system installed and ready to go:

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    Now it's time to re-install the distributor back into the engine.  This should be a snap if you removed it like I suggested.  Simply line up the case stud with the hole in the distributor clamp and turn the rotor until it falls into place and seats fully in the hole.  Re tighten the 13mm nut and it's in.  All that's left for the install is to crimp on the spade connectors and install the wires on the coil.  The RED wire goes on the POSITIVE (+ or "15") side.  The BLACK wire goes to the NEGATIVE (- or "1") side.

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    The only thing now that stands in your way of higher performance and reliability it to adjust the timing back to where it needs to be.  The installation of the Compu-Fire® ignition module moves your timing a few degrees since the module pick-ups are in slightly a different location from stock.  So, re-adjusting your timing is a MUST.  I found mine to be about 8 degrees RETARDED.  The engine was easily able to start, but required re-timing in order to run correctly.

NOTE - You will need to time your car with a timing light from now on since it is NOT possible to statically time a car fitted with an electronic ignition module.

Conclusion:

    I noticed right after re-timing my engine, that the exhaust was cleaner smelling.  My carb is slightly rich at idle and I could notice a more complete burn at idle.  The engine was also a little smoother and starts easier, no doubt a result of more precise timing and higher energy available for spark due to the module upgrade.  I'm happy with the result.  Money WELL spent!!


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Revised: August 24, 2003 .