View original topic: Compu-Fire Electronic Ignition
John63RagTop Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:29 pm

I’ve got a 63 rag top with a 1600 single port and Bosch 009 distributor. I installed Compu-Fire electronic ignition however had to go back to points because I couldn’t get it to run right. It sounded like it was missing and I couldn’t seem to correct it so I went back to the points for now. The trouble shooting instructions say to check the air gap between the Compu-Fire Module and rotor. The gap should be apx. .060”. The gap must be between 0303” and .100”. What the hell does that mean? Anyone got a clue? Thanks John

mharney Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:47 pm

That's the space between the rotor and the electronic module on the plate that screws down to the points plate. Between 0.030" and 0.100" of space between them.. More would make the little magnets in the rotor too far away from the module to make it trigger correctly.

John63RagTop Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:57 pm

Thanks, but don't quite understand. There is the Compu-Fire that screws to the plate in place of the points, then there's a round thing with the magnets, then on top of that is the rotor. The distance between what part of the rotor (top) and the Compu-Fire module? Don't know how I would acheive that.

mharney Sat Jun 28, 2008 5:02 pm

They're talking about THEIR parts, not the normal rotor for the cap.

John63RagTop Sat Jun 28, 2008 5:10 pm

Ooooooh! If it needs to be adjusted, how would you do that? How would you increse or decrese the gap if needed? Do you think that's why I couldn't get it to run properly?

andk5591 Sat Jun 28, 2008 5:13 pm

You make sure that their collar is well seated on the distributor (is you have it on right, the rotor height will be the same as with points. You use the plastic feeler guage and set the gap between the module that replaces the points and the collar. I half suspect that you don't have it seated properly. Also MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT HAVE THE IGNITION ON WITHOUT THE ENGINE RUNNING. You can kill the unit.

John63RagTop Sat Jun 28, 2008 5:22 pm

The collar only goes on one way, and I had to sand the rotor down (per Compu-Fire Tech Support) to get the rotor cap to fit.
So...if I want to listen to the radio I can't because the ignition has to be no and it can't do that as it will kill the unit?

SRP1 Sat Jun 28, 2008 5:41 pm

John63RagTop wrote: The collar only goes on one way, and I had to sand the rotor down (per Compu-Fire Tech Support) to get the rotor cap to fit.
So...if I want to listen to the radio I can't because the ignition has to be no and it can't do that as it will kill the unit?

With the key on you will BBQ your points and coil too, no different on any other car VW, Toyota, Chevy, whatever, points or not you should never sit and listen to the radio with the key in the "on" position and the engine not running.
You need to rewire your radio.
For the rest of the problem, reinstall the unit and check the air gap between the compu-fire unit and the black disc. The black disc indexes to the point cam on the distributor shaft, it will only drop in place every 90*, once indexed you need to push down rather firmly to get it to seat.
One more thing, I assume you have a genuine compu-fire unit? There are some real cheap junk copies of there unit on the market that do not work.

John63RagTop Sat Jun 28, 2008 6:38 pm

Didn't know that for all these years, thanks. Guess I'm use to newer cars where you can go to accessory with the key. The Compu-Fire is the real deal, not a copy. The disk realy doesn't "seat", it does index every 90* but doesn't "seat". The rotor is what holds the disk in place. I'll give it another try and check the gap between the disk and the unit attached to where the points were. Thanks for your help!!!

luckystiff Sat Jun 28, 2008 9:26 pm

i fought that same problem this week. the 66 i traded for a coupla weeks ago had some missing problems since i got it. well last weekend it just stopped firing on #4. i checked all the usual suspects. thoguht it may be a bad plug wire. nope. bad plug. nope. valves way out on that cylinder. nope. bad post on the cap. nope. finally did a little digging and was told sometimes the "disc on the compufires has been known to "go bad". so since #4 wasn't firing i tried a little experiment and rotated the disc 90* so that the magnet that had been at #4 would now be in the #3 location. guess what. no fire at #3. pop the disc back out and the magnet at that spot was about HALF the strenght of the other 3. so i ran to the local supply house and grabbed a set of points and condensor. slapped 'em in and BAM firing on all 4 again. i may order a replacement rotor disc for the compu-fire at some point. the 009 is coming out of the car anyhow in favor of a 019 . if nothing else i'll get the disc so i can sell the 009 with the functioning unit.

either way even if you get it running right keep a set of points and condensor in the car just in case. well either that or a spare compu-fire which cost about 10 times what a set of points and new condensor cost...ken....

John63RagTop Sat Jun 28, 2008 9:37 pm

Thanks Ken, I read your note today about the disk...what a trip! Now I'm starting to question my purchase of Compu-Fire, maybe I should go with something else. I just remember about 33 years ago I had a 59 Bus that I put electronic ignition in, still used the points but...I NEVER had to change the points again. Thought that 33 years later there would be better stuff out there and maybe there is and I just didn't get it. John

luckystiff Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:51 am

i've heard of more Pertronix failing than Compu-Fires. i didn't put this one in so it could have been a problem that went back to the original install for all i know. i think when these units are performing trouble free they are great. but i also think they can be a bit sensitive. like i said i may odred another rotor disc for this one. i'm not a big fan of 009s but somehow wound up with them in both my square and my 66 ahahaha. i have 019s and 010s to use in them. i may put my refreshed 019 in the 66 and put the compu-fire in my square until i build a bigger engine which is in the plans. i have heard several people say the compu-fire help push past the 009 flat spot somewhat, though i don't know if that is true since as i said mine has run like hell since i got the car. i'm interested to experiment though...ken....

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