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I screwed up and left my ignition switch on for a week. I think I damaged my PerTronix Ignitor. I was working on lights and accidentally left the keys in the run position for a week. The battery was completely dead. After charging the battery back up it fired right up! I was relieved but then I took it for a drive and it falls on its face on anything other than light throttle. Really bad hesitation, like someone turned off the spark. It was running very well before I left that ignition on. I called PerTronix and they said that if I had damaged the Ignitor then it probably wouldn’t run at all. The engine is a healthy 302 with Edelbrock 1406 carb, was running very well before I left that dang ignition on. ☹
 

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Put the points and condenser back in the distributor and see what happens. Leaving the ignition On won't affect the carb.
 

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Points and condenser are cheap enough, so this would be an easy way to check for a bad pertronix unit. If you confirm and have to buy another pertronix unit, you’ll then have a points and condenser set to carry in the car in case of a failure. Pertronix units typically just die when they go bad and usually at the most inconvenient time. Many of us carry around points and condenser for this very reason.
 

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I screwed up and left my ignition switch on for a week. I think I damaged my PerTronix Ignitor. I was working on lights and accidentally left the keys in the run position for a week. The battery was completely dead. After charging the battery back up it fired right up! I was relieved but then I took it for a drive and it falls on its face on anything other than light throttle. Really bad hesitation, like someone turned off the spark. It was running very well before I left that ignition on. I called PerTronix and they said that if I had damaged the Ignitor then it probably wouldn’t run at all. The engine is a healthy 302 with Edelbrock 1406 carb, was running very well before I left that dang ignition on. ☹
The pertronix folks answering their phone don't know squat if that's what they said. I've got over 20 years experience dealing with P1 nonsense.
(I ceased using them because in MY opinion they're not reliable)
There's more than one failure mode for that unit. Here's the troubleshooting guide they don't give out any more.....



757158
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The pertronix folks answering their phone don't know squat if that's what they said. I've got over 20 years experience dealing with P1 nonsense.
(I ceased using them because in MY opinion they're not reliable)
There's more than one failure mode for that unit. Here's the troubleshooting guide they don't give out any more.....



View attachment 757158
Thank you, this is exactly what I need. Going to go test it now.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The pertronix folks answering their phone don't know squat if that's what they said. I've got over 20 years experience dealing with P1 nonsense.
(I ceased using them because in MY opinion they're not reliable)
There's more than one failure mode for that unit. Here's the troubleshooting guide they don't give out any more.....



View attachment 757158
So the Ignitor is bad. Now I need to decide if I want to go back to points, get another Ignitor or replace the 52 year old distributor all together.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Update, I found the original Pertonix Ignitor 1 to be bad thanks to GT289’s diagram test. So I bought a new Ignitor 2 and put it in. The engine did not want to run at all with the new ignitor 2! Called Pertronix several times, ran many tests and finally figured out that the new Ignitor 2 did not like my older Pertronix coil. I bought a new “Flame Thrower 2” (lower resistance) coil from Pertronix and now it runs great again. Thanks for everyone’s help!
 

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Probably the biggest "killer" of Pertronix I Ignitor's.... leaving the key "On". There are ways to help eliminate this issue relatively simply, and cheaply. A "buzzer" that sounds when the ignition is "On" and the engine isn't running could be one. A "timer-relay" that will kill power to the ignition system if the engine is off for more than a certain time is another.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Probably the biggest "killer" of Pertronix I Ignitor's.... leaving the key "On". There are ways to help eliminate this issue relatively simply, and cheaply. A "buzzer" that sounds when the ignition is "On" and the engine isn't running could be one. A "timer-relay" that will kill power to the ignition system if the engine is off for more than a certain time is another.
This is why I went with the Ignitor 2 this time. They don’t go bad if the ignition is left on.
 

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My 1st Ignitor was about 6 years old when it failed while I was on a trip. Turned it off for dinner and half hour later it wouldn't start. I put in the points and condenser to get where I was going, ordered another Ignitor (can't remember if I or II) and installed that like 22 years ago and I've had no problems. But I still have that points plate just in case.
 
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