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Thread: Pinto Electronic Ignition

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  1. #1 Pinto Electronic Ignition 
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    Nov 2011
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    About 20 years ago, on one of my many visits to the local scrap yard, I acquired a bosch distributor, 2 control modules and most of the associated wiring loom form a Sierra.
    These have been languishing at the back of the garage ever since, even surviving a house move and clear out.
    After seeing 'Twinstacks' post on pedal rubbers and remembering the ones I had bought and never fitted, a search discovered the rubbers and the ignition parts.
    Being in lock down I decided to have a go at fitting this system, but keep the option of returning to the reliable working points system.
    Main problem is the wiring loom. As I had a loom the wiring between the control module, coil and distributor where obvious, although there appeared to be different diagrams posted on line.
    (moral : don't trust everything you see on line)

    Diagram 1
    From a kit car site (distributor and coil wiring reversed)


    Diagram 2
    Diagram by Stephen Middleton, was amongst some paperwork I have kept for reference.
    This appears to be as my loom but the wire colours differ.
    The module is also viewed from the underside.

    I'm sure somebody out in the club must have carried out this conversion, I have one out standing question
    Why are there two feeds to the module (from diagram 2) Black/green to the starter motor and black to the coil / ignition switch?
    I would be grateful for any advise before I continue.
    Please don't advise fitted a after market power spark system, half of the enjoyment of owning the Berlinetta is resolving issues as above.

    Dave H
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    Last edited by daveghunt; 19-05-2020 at 09:45 AM.
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  2. #2 Re: Pinto Electronic Ignition 
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    Hi Dave
    With regard to the following question:

    "Why are there two feeds to the module (from diagram 2) Black/green to the starter motor and black to the coil / ignition switch?"

    When you are cranking the engine using the starter motor the voltage decreases to the coil from 12v down to eg 8v .
    On conventional systems the ballast resistor system would allow a higher coil voltage during cranking .
    I would therefore assume that with this system to maintain the 12v to the coil while cranking the output from the ignition amplier module feeds the coil at 12v.

    I recall on the Sierra that there was a braided earth wire on the distributor that fitted on the tag. That is important as I attended a breakdown in the late 80's and that wire was broken and did cause loss of spark until I replaced it.

    Iirc the Amplifier was in the Sierra's engine bay and that was earthed through the fixing screws/bolts. Therefore you might(not certain) also need to run an additional earth wire to the casing of this module to the fixing screw/bolt.
    Last edited by Ye Ol Ripper; 19-05-2020 at 12:26 PM.
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  3. #3 Re: Pinto Electronic Ignition 
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    Thank you for your information.
    I had noticed two earths on the distributor one through the loom plug (position A on attached photo)
    and a separate tag (position B on attached photo). to me this seems belt and braces, but I'll bear in mine your experience.
    As to the module earth, the brown wire does earth to the module body (checked with meter) I am going to mount it to the engine mount bracket as suggested, this is the most convenient position relative to the other components, so it should earth through its self.
    I also note that this is an important heatsink, so I am investigating possibly using some thermal transfer paste.

    I do not consider my self a electronic expert, being able to follow a wiring diagram without understanding the operation of transistors or microchips. I learnt that all wires contain smoke, if you put the wrong two together the smoke escapes!
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  4. #4 Re: Pinto Electronic Ignition 
    frequent forum contributor Club Member andyf's Avatar
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    To be honest if you have a standard Pinto distributer it is easy enough to get an accuspark module and fit it. I have one and it works really well and does not need anything other than the module that fits in the distributor.
    Mk2 SWB Marina Roadster with a 2.0L Pinto built in 1986
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  5. #5 Re: Pinto Electronic Ignition 
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    If I recall correctly the Sierras had a metal shroud around the distributor cap with the Bosch distributors.
    The earlier Pinto's on Points didn't have this.
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  6. #6 Re: Pinto Electronic Ignition 
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    Nothing wrong with your memory, a shield to stop interference with the Hall Effect electronic ignition .
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