Re: Ignition quandary...TR? Points? Magneto?
These opinions are like, well, er, ... well, you get the idea. CJD and TR gave the answers I would expect. And, I would 'echo' their opinions, for everyday driving, and for 99.9 percent of us, and all within a phone-call of the AAA. But, you've mentioned something that really hits home, with me. That is the part about 'fix-it-with-a-screwdriver.....', cheap, trouble-free (in the short-term), reliable, blah, blah..... There is one application (at least for me) where points make a lot of sense. When I REALLY go off-road, and I'm talking 100's or 1000's of miles away from where AAA will service, I prefer points. I have wheeled in Baja, and lots of other areas south of the border, where it is a total pain to be dealing with electronics. I was with a friend one time, that had a near-new Blazer (HEI), and got broke-down about 70 miles off of the so-called 'main' (dirt) road that runs Baja. In total, it was about 425 miles, mostly dirt, to a 'near'-border-town, where there were parts. IMO, with electronics, there are way too many expensive parts that MIGHT give trouble. For many of us, it does not make a lot of sense to 'stock' one-each-of-everything, just in case we need a spare. For these applications, I still prefer points and a carburetor. A small investment for points, condenser, a fuel pump, some hose, along with spare (used, cheap, free) coil, couple plugs, and maybe some wire, and other odds-and-ends, and you can solve almost anything. And, you do not need any diagnostic equipment. If self-reliance is a factor, points and a carburetor still make sense to me. In fact, several years ago, when my wife and I had a modern car that was giving electronic 'fits', after getting towed four times on the same 4-day trip, we vowed that anytime we are going to be travelling 'off-hours', meaning overnight, weekends, holidays, we will take one of our older cars, with points and a carburetor. We have never been towed, in over 40 years of driving, with one of the older cars. We have been towed nine times with the same modern car, which has EFI and a computer, and electronic ignition. Never again, will I trust myself to a modern car, if I really have a schedule to keep.
On-the-other-hand, at least 99.9 percent of my driving is such that I use a modern car. And for this application, I feel that the modern electronics, while they work, are great.