Electronic Ignitions? Opinions....

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Sarahj
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Electronic Ignitions? Opinions....

Post by Sarahj »

I am thinking of changing from mags to an electronic system. I have an 0-320 and have become frustrated with the gremlins that seem to live in mags. I have a set of mags that is only two years old and they are already becoming a headache :banghead: . I have a friend who has a 0-720 running a pacemaker ignition system and it has been trouble free for several years now. I was wondering is anyone else has experience with pacemaker or any other systems that they would recommend. I just don't want to jump into something without hearing some opinions. Any input would be helpful to debate the pro's and cons and weed out the bad systems or simple mistakes made early on.
Old School 10ft Taylor 0-320 63" Sensenich :florida:

JD
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Re: Electronic Ignitions? Opinions....

Post by JD »

I'll be watching this post too! Might do the 180 Lycoming.

bbstimey
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Re: Electronic Ignitions? Opinions....

Post by bbstimey »

recently installed it on my 0-320. have been running it on my GO-480 about 5 years with no issues at all.
i use the xdi system from abner , he has a great plug and play system.
14'x8' JB hull w/Stingered GO-480 w/ electronic ignition and 3 blade 80" R

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Planeguy
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Re: Electronic Ignitions? Opinions....

Post by Planeguy »

Are you considering some kind of adaptation of an automotive system or converting to an aviation system? I am not familiar with the Pacemaker name.

I haven't encountered one yet but they are becoming more common in the aviation community which, in my opinion, says the aviation units are pretty reliable. I don't think I have read a negative comment in the aviation forums I haunt. It seems most aircraft owners are keeping one mag and replacing the other to keep some redundancy. I am kind of a pessimist so I prefer mags just because a person doesn't need electrical power source to start an engine equipped with them or to keep the engine running. But then, the biggest engine I have hand propped is an O-320 (it had a dead battery).

As far as gremlins in the mags. I see mags run for well past 1000 hours and only need points changed at that point. 1300 hours seems to be about all I can get out of a set of points in an IO-520. That would be 78,000 miles in a car traveling 60 mph. Mags are replaced or overhauled with the engine in aviation so I doubt I have ever seen a mag with more than 2,000 hours on it that hasn't been overhauled but many make it that far without issues. If you have gremlins then I have to say your mags are not being maintained as intended by the manufacturer.

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gblack15
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Re: Electronic Ignitions? Opinions....

Post by gblack15 »

I had Abner install an XDI on my 180 to replace the problem Siamese mags. I love the system it starts reliably ans runs great. I did not see a performance improvement that has been mentioned in other posts. Abner is great, very honest and really goes out of his way to help you. His system is a lot more weatherproof and rugged that the other systems out there; not a plastic box like some of the others. Keep in mind that XDI has had thousands of systems in the field for years and their products are designed to be airworthy. I spent almost two years researching and making up my mind on who/how to do the conversion and for me it is XDI all the way.

Kevin

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Sarahj
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Re: Electronic Ignitions? Opinions....

Post by Sarahj »

Planeguy wrote:Are you considering some kind of adaptation of an automotive system or converting to an aviation system? I am not familiar with the Pacemaker name.

As far as gremlins in the mags. If you have gremlins then I have to say your mags are not being maintained as intended by the manufacturer.
I was considering an automotive adaptation. Pacemaker uses GM coils but as far as the computer or brain unit I am not sure how it came about or if it was manufactured for aircraft, airboats, or the automotive industry.

As for gremlins my biggest issue is moisture inside the mags I believe. Since in an aircraft application they are at the back of the engine and protected from the elements by the baffel system they stay dry for the majority of their life. On the other hand in an airboat application they are exposed to the elements 90% of the time unless the boat is more of a static display that collects dust. A small dream of mine is to be able to hook a laptop up to my airboat ignition system and see which cylinders are performing at their peak and which ones may have a bad spark plug wire or fouled plug. This would make diagnosing issues so much simpler.
Old School 10ft Taylor 0-320 63" Sensenich :florida:

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Sarahj
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Re: Electronic Ignitions? Opinions....

Post by Sarahj »

bbstimey wrote:recently installed it on my 0-320. have been running it on my GO-480 about 5 years with no issues at all.
i use the xdi system from abner , he has a great plug and play system.

I will have to check into that system it looks like a nice setup from what images I have found. The xdi system looks like it uses similar coils to the pacemaker system. Not to get too personal but what did the 0-320 system cost and did your do the install yourself or did the seller install it?
Old School 10ft Taylor 0-320 63" Sensenich :florida:

kfowler
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Re: Electronic Ignitions? Opinions....

Post by kfowler »

Abner, Elite Airboats just put electronic ignition on my lycoming 200. Starts and runs great with no complaints. I think throttle response is quicker and may climb RPM's faster. Its worth the money to me. Ready for their injection system now

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Re: Electronic Ignitions? Opinions....

Post by bbstimey »

i installed myself, he has it setup to be very easy. was $1300.
14'x8' JB hull w/Stingered GO-480 w/ electronic ignition and 3 blade 80" R

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Sarahj
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Re: Electronic Ignitions? Opinions....

Post by Sarahj »

bbstimey wrote:i installed myself, he has it setup to be very easy. was $1300.
Ok thanks for the info that is a good price as well.
Old School 10ft Taylor 0-320 63" Sensenich :florida:

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Planeguy
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Re: Electronic Ignitions? Opinions....

Post by Planeguy »

Is the moisture coming from water intrusion or condensation? If a person uses any kind of a solvent to remove the water they risk stripping away some of the coating and allowing some electrical leakage too. Moisture isn't mag specific though, I have fought moisture in the distributor in cars and tractors over the years so I have to assume this is a problem for any points based ignition system. Possibly any system containing a rotor and distributor cap.

I wonder if the vents in a mag could be sealed without tearing something up or affecting the performance on a boat. :scratch:

SkinnerBack
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Re: Electronic Ignitions? Opinions....

Post by SkinnerBack »

PaceMaker Performance has the best & nicest ignition!! I love on my boat, very smooth easy to start & you can deff tell a big difference from mags to the ignition & the way it works!!

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Sarahj
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Re: Electronic Ignitions? Opinions....

Post by Sarahj »

Planeguy wrote:
I wonder if the vents in a mag could be sealed without tearing something up or affecting the performance on a boat. :scratch:

When I exchanged my old mags I noticed the vents on the new ones had been sealed with epoxy resin. I went ahead and sealed all the other casing breaks with silicone so they are 99% sealed. My guess is condensation would have to be the source of the water inside the casing.
Old School 10ft Taylor 0-320 63" Sensenich :florida:

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Sarahj
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Re: Electronic Ignitions? Opinions....

Post by Sarahj »

SkinnerBack wrote:PaceMaker Performance has the best & nicest ignition!! I love on my boat, very smooth easy to start & you can deff tell a big difference from mags to the ignition & the way it works!!
How long have you been running the pacemaker system and on what engine?
Old School 10ft Taylor 0-320 63" Sensenich :florida:

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Sarahj
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Re: Electronic Ignitions? Opinions....

Post by Sarahj »

Does anyone have an electronic ignition system that allows half of the coils to be shut down similar to turning one mag off to reduce power? That is one feature that would be nice to keep once the switch is made.
Old School 10ft Taylor 0-320 63" Sensenich :florida:

boatair
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Re: Electronic Ignitions? Opinions....

Post by boatair »

Sarahj wrote:Does anyone have an electronic ignition system that allows half of the coils to be shut down similar to turning one mag off to reduce power? That is one feature that would be nice to keep once the switch is made.
Why ?

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Re: Electronic Ignitions? Opinions....

Post by terrible ted »

boatair wrote:
Sarahj wrote:Does anyone have an electronic ignition system that allows half of the coils to be shut down similar to turning one mag off to reduce power? That is one feature that would be nice to keep once the switch is made.
Why ?

I could see a back up system like the mags but why would you want to run on half power.

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Re: Electronic Ignitions? Opinions....

Post by terrible ted »

Well here the thing my boat starts on a half rotation. Never had a problem with the mags. I don't have a standard 540 i have a VO without the gear box on it. I do think about converting it back but that need a new crank gear and prop- cheaper to buy a new hull.

How do the hook up to the motor how would they mount a crank sensor. Just curious

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Re: Electronic Ignitions? Opinions....

Post by SkinnerBack »

Sarahj wrote:
SkinnerBack wrote:PaceMaker Performance has the best & nicest ignition!! I love on my boat, very smooth easy to start & you can deff tell a big difference from mags to the ignition & the way it works!!
How long have you been running the pacemaker system and on what engine?
I have had it on my new motor which is a spacer jug 540 with continental injection, iv had it on for 40hrs now..... I wouldn't ever go back to mags I'll just put it that way!!!

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Re: Electronic Ignitions? Opinions....

Post by HAMMERHEAD »

Pacemaker is the electronic ignition of my choice! They are great to deal with and you have all the tech help you need close by. If you have a problem with the electro- air system good luck getting tech support from them! Take it from someone with first hand experience!

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Sarahj
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Re: Electronic Ignitions? Opinions....

Post by Sarahj »

BoatAir,

We have a pond camp and its nice to be able to slow the boat down by cutting off one mag as you come into the dock. It also comes in handy in the canal when the wind is blowing or there is limited parking due to large groups of boats.
Old School 10ft Taylor 0-320 63" Sensenich :florida:

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Sarahj
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Re: Electronic Ignitions? Opinions....

Post by Sarahj »

terrible ted wrote:
boatair wrote:Why?
I like to cut one mag to slow down in certain situations to prevent bumping into people with fancy paint jobs or coming in too hot to the dock. Its nice to be able to give some added courtesy to people who own show boats or anyone who has some money in their paint job. I have a 70's 10 ft taylor hull with about a $25 paint job on it courtesy of rustoleum. If I bump into something or someone bumps into me I really don't care. It would also come in handy if your engine starts running rough to be able to isolate one side at a time to diagnose a fouled plug or a cylinder that may be on its way out.

boatair
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Re: Electronic Ignitions? Opinions....

Post by boatair »

:thumbleft:
Sarahj wrote:
terrible ted wrote:
boatair wrote:Why?
I like to cut one mag to slow down in certain situations to prevent bumping into people with fancy paint jobs or coming in too hot to the dock. Its nice to be able to give some added courtesy to people who own show boats or anyone who has some money in their paint job. I have a 70's 10 ft taylor hull with about a $25 paint job on it courtesy of rustoleum. If I bump into something or someone bumps into me I really don't care. It would also come in handy if your engine starts running rough to be able to isolate one side at a time to diagnose a fouled plug or a cylinder that may be on its way out.

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Planeguy
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Re: Electronic Ignitions? Opinions....

Post by Planeguy »

Being able to cut one side for diagnostics is good but running on just one side is a good way to need to diagnose a rough engine for fouled plugs.

What if you install 2 units (one for each mag) and put them on separate switches?

If there is not an easy way to do what you want with automotive offerings you may be forced to look at the aviation products. Prices for the experimental (home built) market are considerably lower than the "certified" market and are usually just as good. Maybe even as good as what is available in the automotive market.

Anything is possible. All it takes is money.

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