Tech Help


If you have already purchased our Breakerless SE and have installation questions, this page is for you. We have listed some of the common installation questions asked by our customers and provided answers for you. 

Important Note: If you have a question that you don't see listed, please call our Technical Department at (562) 926-9552 between the hours of 7:00AM to 3:00PM Monday thru Friday for an answer to your question.

 

I need a copy of the instruction sheets?
What is the most common problem I may encounter when installing the Breakerless SE?
After installing the Breakerless SE, my engine won't start?
After installing the Breakerless SE, my engine fires, but runs rough?
My ignition coil has a what appears to be a condenser attached to it. Should I leave it installed?
Will the Breakerless SE module trigger an MSD 6AL, Crane HI-6 or other CDI ignition boxes?
Should I remove the condenser when I install the Breakerless SE module?
After installing the Breakerless SE, my dwell meter does not read the same as when the points were installed. What’s going on - and can the dwell be adjusted?
Why doesn’t the Breakerless SE have the same oscilloscope pattern as when the points were installed?

 

 

 

 



What is the most common problem I may encounter when installing the Breakerless SE?

A bad or marginal ground connection to the breaker plate is by far the most common. Every time the vacuum advance moves the point plate, the ground wire is flexed. This will eventually cause fatigue cracks inside the wire insulation or near the terminals. This is also true for the point wire, since it also flexes when the plate moves. 

If the wiring is several years old, it should be replaced using a high flexibility (high strand-count) conductor with high temperature insulation. Quality Replacements are available by calling M&H Electric Fabricators, Inc. at (562) 926-9552.


I need a copy of the instruction sheets?

No problem, click here for a viewable and printable copy.


After installing the Breakerless SE, my engine won't start?

Was the car running before installation of the ignition? If not, first check fuel, compression, and wiring according to the procedures outlined in your vehicle’s shop manual. 

If the car started with the points, but not after installation of the module, check that the rotor was modified per the installation instructions, re-installed and indexed correctly and that the battery ground cable was re-attached. If the distributor was moved, the timing may be too far advanced or retarded. Set the timing statically, as described in the instruction sheets.

If this looks OK, use a test light to verify there is voltage present between the coil (+) terminal and ground, with the key in both the start and run positions. Loss of voltage may be due to blown fuse, faulty ballast resistor or improper wiring. With the key in the run position and the engine stopped, check that voltage is also present where the point wire connects to the module. This will verify continuity though the coil primary and the point wire. 

Last, connect one lead of the test light to battery (+), and touch the other end to the point plate to verify continuity to ground. Note! Before beginning any tests, always first check that your test light works by connecting it across the battery.

If all this checks out, the coil or module may be suspect. To test the module, remove the point wire from the coil (-) and attach it to the test light. Connect the other end of the test light to +12 volts. The light should blink rapidly while the engine is being cranked, and go out when the engine stops. If the light does not come on, or stays on when the engine is stopped, the module should be sent in for further testing. Note! This test must be performed with a test light; a voltmeter will not provide correct results.

If a bad coil is suspected, it should be replaced or a live spark test can be performed.

WARNING! The coil generates extremely high voltage, which can be lethal. For safety and convenience, use the test procedure outlined below, or as described in your shop manual. Do not perform this test if fuel vapors or any combustible materials are present.

You will need to purchase a calibrated standard ignition test plug to perform this test. These are manufactured by the K-D Tools company (K-D part# 2757) and are available at most auto parts stores for under $10. This plug forces the coil to generate a known voltage, providing an accurate pass/fail evaluation.

Turn off the ignition switch. Remove the high voltage wire from the coil. Remove one spark plug wire from the car and attach it to the test plug. Insert the other end into the coil. Clip the test plug to the hood hinge on the driver’s side. 

Crank the engine over. The spark should easily jump the gap and will vary in color from blue (strong) to yellow (weak) depending on the output of the battery during cranking, as well as several other factors (you may need to do this test in a darkened area). 


After installing the Breakerless SE, my engine fires, but runs rough?

Possible causes: plug wire was left off or swapped with another cylinder, timing is too far advanced or retarded, coil or plug wires are arcing to ground, broken plug wire, loose coil or module connection, low battery voltage, weak coil, coil polarity reversed. 

If the distributor appears damaged or near the end of its useful life, it should be taken to a competent rebuilder to restore its original performance. Service providers are listed below:

T.I. Specialty
1631 Pheasant Run
Richmond, IN 47374
(765) 962-4265


My ignition coil has a what appears to be a condenser attached to it. Should I leave it installed?

This is a noise filter for the radio and should remain connected to the coil (+) terminal. It should not be connected to the coil (-) terminal as it may interfere with operation of the Breakerless SE. 


Will the Breakerless SE module trigger an MSD 6AL, Crane HI-6 or other CDI ignition boxes?

No, the Breakerless SE will not work for triggering aftermarket CD ignition boxes such as the MSD 6AL, Crane HI-6 etc. Connection to the ignition coil is required for proper operation.


Should I remove the condenser (that is mounted to the point plate) when installing the Breakerless SE module?

Yes.


After installing the Breakerless SE, my dwell meter does not read the same as when the points were installed. What’s going on - and can the dwell be adjusted?

Breaker-point systems operate by keeping the points closed (i.e., dwell time) for a fixed number of engine degrees of rotation regardless of rpm. As rpm increases, it takes less time for the engine to rotate through this fixed number of degrees, which means the points stay closed for a progressively shorter period of time. This results in the coil receiving less of a charge at high rpm. Increasing the dwell would solve this problem, but cause overheating of the coil at low rpm when it takes a much longer period for the engine to rotate though this same number of degrees.

The Breakerless SE approaches this problem by more closely maintaining the time required to charge the coil. Think of the coil as a bucket being filled from a constant stream of water. It requires the same amount of time to fill whether you want it to fill quickly or slowly. Keeping the charge time constant ensures the coil will be more fully charged at high rpm without overheating at low rpm.

Since this fixed time may be equivalent to only a small number of engine degrees at low rpm (and a much larger number at high rpm), it’s easy to see how a dwell meter calibrated for point systems will give an inaccurate reading. Dwell time for the Breakerless SE is non-adjustable.

 


Why doesn’t the Breakerless SE have the same oscilloscope pattern as when the points were installed?

Breaker points require a large condenser, which coupled with the inductance of the ignition coil, form a resonant circuit (i.e., an oscillator). When the points open, current flows back and forth between the coil and condenser creating a distinctive “ringing” pattern on the scope.

Since the Breakerless SE does not use a condenser, this “ringing” occurs at a much higher frequency and may not be apparent on standard shop test equipment. The Breakerless SE also does not allow the waveform to ring below ground (negative), giving the appearance of the oscillations being clipped off on the bottom.

 

Legal for use on emission controlled vehicles per CARB EO D-275-1

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