Opinions on ignition for a big block chrysler

Discussion in 'Gas Engines' started by crankshaft, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. crankshaft
    Joined: Apr 2011
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    Location: Big Lake, Alaska

    crankshaft Junior Member

    i am going to pull my RH 318, trans, and fuel system and go brand new, with a rebuilt LH 413 chrysler. Starting to collect parts and opinions. I am looking for the most reliable ignition avail. Any recommendations would be great, I love to ask questions and hear answers.
     
  2. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: New York

    missinginaction Senior Member

    Carburetor or fuel injected? I'm going to assume it's a carb. I might be sticking my neck out here but for reliability I'll recommend what I use, a points and condenser system. Simple, effective and reliable. There are all kinds of electronic ignitions on the market and if you're fuel injected they're a must to work with your ECM but for a carbed boat I use point's. I carry a spare set of points, ballast resistor, cap, rotor and condenser in my emergency kit. If you're really prepared you could carry a spare coil. I've never had an issue with my simple set up though. Good Luck, MIA
     
  3. crankshaft
    Joined: Apr 2011
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    Location: Big Lake, Alaska

    crankshaft Junior Member

    I have a points ignition now, funny you say that, I ended up doing the points, condenser, cap, rotor, and coil on the water yesterday. It would die and restart. Ended up being a condenser I think, but, I did a “while I am here sweating over my engine in the sun”... I was considering using an updated electronic, and keeping a fully dressed points distributor in my parts and just change it out. I am almost wondering if the chrysler auto electronic would be fine. It’s pretty easy to deal with. Especially if you mount your extra ign box and resistor next to each other for a quick plug in.
     
  4. crankshaft
    Joined: Apr 2011
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    Location: Big Lake, Alaska

    crankshaft Junior Member

    Carburetor of course. Can’t go wrong with an edelbrock/afb.
     
  5. Barry
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Barry Senior Member

    No matter what you do,
    You need a spark arrested distributor, alternator and starter and a prop change.
    A marine fuel pump and carb
     
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  6. Yellowjacket
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: Landlocked...

    Yellowjacket Senior Member

    In cars, you had to do points, plugs and condenser every 3000 miles or about every 100 hours of operation. Today modern ignitions go over 100,000 miles (over 3,000 hours) without maintenance. A modern system that doesn't use a distributor, (one coil for each plug) is even more reliable and you don't need a marine distributor if you go that way. I'd look and see what the latest marine ignition systems on the market that are designed for marine use, but today's ignition systems are far more reliable than points and condensers. Moreover, a lot of points and condenser parts are now being made in China because the demand for replacement parts is falling off and the quality of a lot of the Chinese stuff is crap.
     
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  7. crankshaft
    Joined: Apr 2011
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    Location: Big Lake, Alaska

    crankshaft Junior Member

    This is a summary of my trip.

    Replaced old chrysler pn# with voltage regulator VR32 from NAPA. Died before it left the dock, installed EXTRA VR32 from NAPA, didn't work. Sent my buddy who was o his way to grab another, and got underway using shore charger and generator.... NAPA in wasilla gave him a VR38, so he noticed miles away, and stopped in Anchorage and got a VR32. Thank God that one worked.

    Developed a die/restart, and a rapidly burning set of points..... all new parts. Changed out, problem solved.

    New points on closer inspection, have a coating. Once they burn they are done...


    If I could buy quality parts, I wouldn’t change a thing, but, the quality is leaning me towards a new updated ignition, and one wire alternator..... also leaning towards a serpentine belt drive, if I can find a good raw water pump with a serp pulley.
     
  8. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    You can get a kit from Pertronix to replace the points and condenser. It is really easy to do and they give great results.
     
  9. crankshaft
    Joined: Apr 2011
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    Location: Big Lake, Alaska

    crankshaft Junior Member

    Is this the best way to go? I do not have the distributor for the new engine yet.
     
  10. Rumars
    Joined: Mar 2013
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    Location: Germany

    Rumars Senior Member

    IMHO the best way would be to go to a coil on plug distributorless ignition using a crankshaft sensor. If you want to use carburators look for one that supports it, a lot are designed for EFI and do not have the command module.
    But even the most basic electronic ignition is better then points.
     
  11. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: New York

    missinginaction Senior Member

    Looks like I'm outvoted here. I have to say though that in all of my years of boating (over 40) I've always used points and condenser systems and I've never had any issues. I was doing some work on my boat this spring and just launched her for the season yesterday. The points in that boat have just under 200 hours on them and look fine. She started right up.
    One of the reasons I like points is simplicity. If I'm ever struck by lightning I stand a much better chance of getting home without a tow of some kind with a simple system. I don't even need any tools to set up points save for a feeler gauge. You want a dwell meter, tach and a timing light but in a pinch a matchbook cover will get you going.
    The OP mentions a serpentine belt set up. Are they superior to v-belts? Absolutely. Do you need them? Probably not. I replaced the stock alternator on my little boat years ago with a "low RPM/high output" unit (100 Amps/12 volts) from ARCO Marine down in Pensacola. I'll give them a plug because they are very helpful. Anyway, I run air conditioning, refrigeration and a few other light loads off my main engine and have never had a belt issue. Again, if I bought a boat with a serpentine belt I'd be fine with it. Would I spend my money to change to one? Nah, if it isn't broke.....well you know the ending to that old saying.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
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  12. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell Ahhhhh...

    CrankyShaft
    If you are having trouble with points and condenser,
    then perhaps it's time to check out electronic components.
    I'm a fan of both.
    Your call.
     
  13. crankshaft
    Joined: Apr 2011
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    Location: Big Lake, Alaska

    crankshaft Junior Member

    I am starting with a bare auto engine. I do not have the pulleys, the distributor, nothing. I am wanting to marinize/modify my old school chrysler. My problem with V belts, is that the raw water pumps come with a single groove pulley. I would like to run two belts on the water pump. The bigger alternators have two grooves too. A SERP belt would make it easy, right? Because I am doing a complete update and rewire, I will be purchasing everything new. Where are you getting your ignition parts.
     
  14. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: New York

    missinginaction Senior Member

    I like Bluebells attitude. He could be a politician (no offense intended).

    Crrankshaft, maybe it's worth doing a cost/benefit analysis. Pick a couple of systems that you like and price out the various components. Then you can make a more reasoned decision about which way to go.
    I generally use Standard Motor Products ignition parts. Standard tells you on their website that some of their components are manufactured overseas. I've never had an issue with Standard Motor Products.
    As for the dual belts (or serpentine belts) for your alternator, again you might want to do a cost/benefit analysis. How much power do you intend to produce with your alternator? I use a 105 Amp unit with a single v-belt and have never had a problem. As for the raw water pump it would seem that dual pulleys are way over the top. I run a Sherwood e-35 on a Ford. I don't even tighten the belt to spec. I leave it a little on the loose side because I'm just pumping water. Even with a slightly loose belt there isn't any slippage. Just a few days ago I did a test run in the yard. We have pretty good water pressure but that pump was pulling so hard it was collapsing a good quality garden hose that was supplying water to the seacock even though the engine was just idling. Maybe instead of dual pulleys an investment in top quality wire reinforced water hose (Trident marine makes excellent products) would be worthwhile.
    How you spend your hard earned cash is your business so do some homework and get the best bang for your buck.

    http://arcomarine.com/xhtml/Page 40 Charging systems.pdf
    https://tridentmarine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/250-Specifications-Sheet.pdf


    MIA
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
    BlueBell likes this.

  15. crankshaft
    Joined: Apr 2011
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    Location: Big Lake, Alaska

    crankshaft Junior Member

    Thank you. It seems every time I look, my water pump belt is loose, and there is dust on my carb. Maybe it is over the top. As far as the alternator? I’m re doing the whole boat. So, fridge/freezer, inverter, washdown, pot puller, maybe even some jigging machines some day when I am old and sick of my semi truck. Along with all the normal boat things, like lights, wipers, heater in the fall/winter, etc. it would be super simple to plug a 70a alternator into the bracket, and call it good, but, I am thinking ahead. I do not want to regret something later, that I did not do.
     
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