Re: Questions about TR Ignition upgrade
*I have been wondering for a while exactly what the teamrush ignition consist of and why its good to upgrade to these components?*
Guess it's time to go through it again...
Enough new guys now that they missed the original debate.
First off, we'll start with the cap and rotor on the '78 to '90 Jeep vehicles...
Jeep started off with a very reliable Ford style Motorcraft distributor and DuraSpark Ignition module and ignition coil after four years of the Prestolite ('74 to '77) electronic ignition that was, (and still is) a total failure.
Where Jeep (AMC at the time) dropped the ball was in the details,.....
Cap, rotor, plug wires, ignition coil, ect., ALL of which are WW II technology.
The ROTOR is short. Too close to the distributor's internal metal components, so the coil energy can jump to ground instead of going to the spark plug where it belongs.
The DISTRIBUTOR CAP is short, small in diameter, has socket type terminals and not vented.
Smaller diameter means the high voltage towers are closer together, and that allows cross fire to the wrong plug, or firing to several plugs at once, depending on ignition coil output.
The socket type terminals hold moisture and 'crud', and the connectors have never worked very well.
With no vents in the distributor, Ionized air (Called Ozone) builds up quickly, and induces crossfire and fire to ground instead of the plug terminals. Ozone is also responsible for corroding the internal components at a greater rate.
The PLUG WIRES used by Jeep are the same type developed during WW II for piston driven aircraft. They bleed energy, have bad connectors on both ends, and have connector boots that let more of the spark energy escape than gets to the plugs. The connector boots also let a lot of moisture in.
Plug wire technology has come a long way sense 1945.
The IGNITION COIL is the same story.
The basic Canister (or Can Coil) ignition coil hasn't changed fundamentally sense WW I.
It's high drain, low output core, and antiquated oil filled cooling are a relic of the past, and really have no place on a modern, clean burning engine.
The 'TeamRush' upgrade, as it's come to be called here, just upgrades that WW I & WW II technology, and brings it into the 80's by using all off the shelf parts available at any parts store.
The availability problems you spoke of are a direct result of not asking for the correct parts, and not a supply problem, as all parts I used were produced by the millions by Ford, and every aftermarket supplier, and will be made long after the AMC original parts can no longer be found in the main stream automotive pipeline.
Sense you didn't list any specific engine type or size, I'm just going to cover the basics instead of giving specifics.
These basics are true for ANY ignition system....
The farther apart electrical current and the ground are, the better! This is true in all cases!
An electrical charge will seek the easiest path to ground.
If that path is to jump to ground inside the distributor, or to jump to a different plug terminal, it will do it.
Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to get the spark energy to the spark plug, without letting it go to ground....
By raising the rotor up off the distributor shaft, you get the high voltage circuit up and away from the ground plain inside of the distributor.
Motorcraft made a rotor that will work with your '78 to '90 Motorcraft distributor that effectively doubles the distance from the high voltage conductor to the internal parts of the distributor.
This is a direct replacement with no modification to any parts. It just pushes on with no tools.
By Raising the rotor, you have to raise the distributor cap also.
Ford did this by using a 'riser' or 'adaptor' between the distributor cap, and the distributor base.
Once acquired and installed, it seldom needs to be replaced.
This 'cap adaptor' raises the distributor cap up and away from the internal workings of the distributor, and is much wider than the original distributor cap.
The 'Adaptor' is a direct replacement part, and requires no modification of any parts. Depending on model, it may require a #2 phillips screw driver to change to the adaptor. Some Jeep caps are screwed on.
The distributor cap it's self is attached to the top of the 'adaptor', and is a 'tune up' part.
The Ford Cap is much wider than the original.
Being wider means the plug wire terminals are father apart keeping cross fires and multiple fires to a minimum.
The cap is much father away from the internal workings of the distributor, so ground fires are kept to a minimum.
The Ford cap has 'Post' style (look like spark plug tops) terminals instead of the 'Well' or 'Socket' type connectors.
These Post style connectors allow for positive connections, good boots to seal the moisture and grime out, and do not allow moisture or grime to accumulate on them.
The Ford style cap also has a vent in the top (on most caps) that allow for the venting of ozone build up, and in general use all the advancement made in distributor cap design in the past 50 years or so.
I always recommend using the premium distributor caps with BRASS terminals.
This part change requires no modification of any part. It is a snap on part that requires no tools.
Plug wires have come a long way from solid copper conductors!
Modern plug wires use a graphite/ fiber core that has a fine wire wound around it to kill the noise.
Trade names are 'Spiral Core, Helical Wound, ect.'.
These are just fine for the type of ignition we are talking about here. I would go as far as to say they are the best choice for the money.
Modern plug wires use spring steel connectors that stay connected, and don't distort with heat and electrical current. The boots made now are an excellent rubber and/or silicone material that is nearly water proof, heat proof and dielectric.
This upgrade requires no modification of any part, and requires no tools to install. It is a direct replacement.
NEVER USE SOLID CORE WIRES ON AN ELECTRONIC IGNITION.
Ignition coils may be the single biggest advancement in the late model ignition from WW II to now.
Gone are the oil filled coils that were low on voltage, amperage and duration output.
Todays E-core style ignition coils can produce ample voltage and amperage to get the cylinder lit, and have brought the spark duration problem to acceptable levels (just barely).
On average, the E-core coil will put out 2-1/2 times the spark energy over the 'Can' type ignition coil.
And on the Motorcraft/ DuraSpark ignition used by Jeep from '78 to '90, it's a direct bolt on with the only modification requirements being a different coil bracket and coil connector, both available, and used by Ford from '86 to Present.
By changing what is called in the industry 'Consumable Parts' (basic tune up parts), you can increase the accuracy of your ignition, the reliability of your ignition, and more than double the spark energy reaching the plugs.
You will immediately notice faster starts, smoother running, more power, more fuel milage, and higher RPM limits, and less emissions.
Long term effects will be extended longevity of the engine, less dry cranking to get it started, cleaner combustion, and smoother running.
If the parts are used from the correct manufacturer, the entire upgrade is 50 state emissions legal, and will SUBSTANTIALLY LOWER YOUR TAIL PIPE EMISSIONS....
Some have done the entire upgrade for as little as $50 using bargain brand economy parts, but I recommend using quality parts, so expect around $150 for the best of everything.
For the guys with older Jeeps (Beginning of time to '77), this upgrade can be done, but requires you replace your current distributor, and ignition module, or for the breaker points guys, adapt your distributor to electronic pickup (Cheap or easy, but very do-able!) and add an ignition module.
Add about another $100 to the price tag for the distributor and module.
Attached is a picture showing the difference between the stock cap and rotor, and the upgraded cap and rotor.
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