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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm considering the various options for converting my 1800ES to electronic ignition. I have listed links to the Pertronix, Crane, and 123Ignition products below.

Do the Petronix and Crane systems retain the original mechanical advance? The web-site descriptions only say the kits eliminate the points, much like a Dyna-III ignition system for motorcycles.

I would appreciate hearing comments about the pros and cons of these systems.

Pertronix

Pertronix lists the Ignitor (PN 1847V) and and Ignitor II (PN 91847V) for Volvo 1800 1969-73 applications. Both of these are available for about $100 or less.

http://www.pertronix.com

http://www.pertronix.com/prod/ig/ignitor/default.aspx

http://www.pertronix.com/prod/ig/ignitor2/default.aspx


Crane

Searching the archives it appears that the CraneFireball XR700 (PN 700-0231) is applicable for my application. The kit is available for less than $110.

http://www.cranecams.com/

http://www.cranecams.com/402-407.pdf


123Ignition

123Ignition lists the 123\B18-B20-R-V for my 1800ES application, which is a complete new distributor system as opposed to the Pertronix and Crane kits which are only points replacement systems. The 123\B18-B20-R-V is priced at $415 on the Vintage Performance Developments web-site.

http://www.123ignition.nl/brand/Volvo.html[/FONT]

http://www.123ignitionusa.com/

http://www.v-performance.com/products/ignition.html

http://www.123ignition.nl/id/13.html
 

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Yes, the Crane and Pertronix both use the original advance mechanism.

I recommend the Crane kit. I've been using one for near 20 years on our 122S, and I've but them on any number of customer cars. The timing stays rock solid and I've had zero failures. It's a bit picky to install, but once you have it set up it's terrific.

The Pertronix is very easy to set up, but I've seen various problems with it. The most common is that the magnet collar does not fit the distributor shaft snugly enough, so the timing can drift. The second is that if you leave the ignition on for 30 seconds without cranking the engine, it fries the Pertronix. The third is that under sustained high RPM conditions -- racing, not street use -- the magnets eject from the collar.

I've seen / know of multiple failures with the 123 on my customers' cars, some right out of the box, some after a few months of use. Many people swear by this system, but I don't trust it to hold up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, the Crane and Pertronix both use the original advance mechanism.

The Pertronix is very easy to set up, but I've seen various problems with it. The most common is that the magnet collar does not fit the distributor shaft snugly enough, so the timing can drift. The second is that if you leave the ignition on for 30 seconds without cranking the engine, it fries the Pertronix. The third is that under sustained high RPM conditions -- racing, not street use -- the magnets eject from the collar.
Good feedback as to specifically why the Crane is preferred over the Pertronix. I've seen similar issues with Dyna-III kits on motorcycles where the set screw on the magnet collar works its way loose. Loctite generally prevents that, but it's not an ideal design. The 30 second ignition on = dead problem is enough to steer me away though.

I've seen / know of multiple failures with the 123 on my customers' cars, some right out of the box, some after a few months of use. Many people swear by this system, but I don't trust it to hold up.
That's too bad about the 123 unit. A plug-and-play distributor with electronic pickup and advance curves is very appealing, but not at the expense of being stranded.
 

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Share the complete distributor number on your ES and we will link you to the CHEAPEST Crane system online in the CORRECT application.

Once you are ready to install post up and we will offer ideas on how to get it done painlessly.

Do you have good manual dexterity finger-wise? 20-20 up-close vision? Tremble-free hands?

None of these are needed to install the Crane - just a calm and patient approach.

George Dill

http://www.cranecams.com/uploads/catalog/cranecamsignitioncatalog09.pdf
 

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I am a little concerned about this myself. The more I look into what the PO of my 73 ES has had done I get more concerned (see Gauge question thread) about his choices. Regarding this thread, my ES has its ignition replaced with a Hot Spark unit. Given other questionable rigs I've found I wonder if this ignition has a short life expectancy...
 

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I am a little concerned about this myself. The more I look into what the PO of my 73 ES has had done I get more concerned (see Gauge question thread) about his choices. Regarding this thread, my ES has its ignition replaced with a Hot Spark unit. Given other questionable rigs I've found I wonder if this ignition has a short life expectancy...
Post up some "Hot Spark" info (name, company, model, etc.) on your thread...

http://forums.swedespeed.com/showthread.php?179290-Gauge-panel-and-Gauge-question-73-ES

...and I'll chase the www for any problems.

Thanks.

George Dill
 

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I don't see the 30 second ignition thing as a negative, only because on any points system car, there is always the risk of burning either the points or the coil if you leave the key on as well. It's just something you need to learn not to do. ACC position only if you're parked and want to listen to the radio, etc.

That said, nothing wrong with the crane system, the only downside I see to it is the ugly external box. That problem is solved by mounting it under the dash.
 

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George, I'm due to overhaul my ignition system and this thread has steered me toward the Crane. What's the correct Crane XR700 kit for the 009 cast iron mechanical advance distributor in a B18D?
 

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I'm considering the various options for converting my 1800ES to electronic ignition...the Crane XR700 (PN 700-0231) is applicable for my Volvo...
That is the correct Crane application...

http://www.amazon.com/Crane-Cams-70...ersion/dp/B000CIRZLM/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Install instructions...

http://www.cranecams.com/uploads/instructions/9000-0700_.pdf

...and Phil's words of wisdom...

http://www.vclassics.com/archive/cranprn.htm

Be sure the coil and all associated ignition components are in good order before installing the Crane.

George Dill
 
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