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Thread: Ignition Mystery

  1. #1

    Ignition Mystery

    I have an all stock '72E with MFI, points, etc., but a Permatune not Bosch CD (came w/ it, not my choice) and I know their rep is not nearly what the Bosch's is.

    I have noticed in VERY humid weather (de rigeur here in summer in Wash DC) that the car will start up on a couple of cranks as normal and then cut out very abruptly and crisply--almost as if the ignition switch was shut off or killed, after a minute or less of running. It then cranks and refuses to start until it sits for a while--anywhere from 5 minutes (like it did tonight) to a day.

    The car had a full tune up less than 2k miles ago with a valve adjustment, oil change, new plugs, points, cap, rotor, etc. and is driven daily to and from work--mostly in town but I "blow it out" for a brief period on the highway. The plug wires are in good condition and the car has a decent battery (removed #2 with one good sized battery and removed the 2nd cable, etc.) and a new hi-torque starter. The grounds are ok but not new. The car has a mickey-mouse "kill switch" installed via the rear window defroster switch in the Tach line which seems to work fine but these recent quirks have got me thinking about either removing it altogether or replacing it with a switch specifically made for this purpose in the trunk area and trying to get my defroster back.

    Anyway, is it symptomatic of the Permatunes to sporadically die before they go dead altogether or do I probably have some other kind of problem?

    With the ignition switch on tonight, I couldn't really hear any whine coming from it and for about 5 mins, I was stranded.

    I should also mention that the MFI pump is wearing out and I think I have some small leaks in or around the stacks as once it warms up, any backfiring ceases. The pump is adjusted now so that it's smooth across the entire rev band but I know it is not running as crisply as it should be. Saving up now for the pump and throttle body rebuild...Not sure if this is contributing to the starting problem or not. I have not measured the fuel pressure, changed the fuel filter or checked the CO but I know from my 12-15 mpg that its probably not in the 2-3% range as is spec. There is NO gas smell in the oil and for the most part--90% of the time and 100% of the time last winter, the car runs very well. It's only been this summer that I've noticed/experienced this problem.

    Any ideas on how to trouble-shoot this?

    Thanks, John

  2. #2


    I had that problem too. I retrofitted a complete ignition system from a 62 Tatra and the problem was solved. If Tatra parts are not available you might try ignition parts from a 71 Triumph Spitfire.

  3. #3


    It's the Permacrap. I had the exact same problem with mine. It even would activate my garage door opener! Seems it was on the same Hz as the opener. I went as far as setting up a "piggy back" set up with a Bosch box so that when the Permajunk would quit I would just switch boxes and...zoom.. magic... no problems. I sent it back to Permafail and they "tested" it and said there was nothing wrong with it. I bought a used Bosch 3 pin from a racer friend for $200.00 and have had no trouble since. My garage door now only opens and closes when I want it to! Permacheap did NOT refund my money, nor would they take it back. One more thing, some of the Bosch boxes can be rebuilt. Talk to the guy at Zimms in Texas. I think the rule is that it it has an epoxy bead on it vs a metal rivet it can be rebuilt for around $100.00.
    Good luck and you will have to find another use for that Permatrash. Paper weight??

  4. #4


    Your car did exactly what mine did, its the permatune. By the way a working Permatune doesnt whine, just the Bosch ones do that.

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