The ignition system plays a very important role in the operation of the internal combustion engine. No spark, no go. At 5040 rpm on a 6 cylinder engine the ignition system must supply 252 sparks /second. That's a lot in anyone's language and requires every component in the system from the ignition coil to the spark plugs to be in good condition. Ignition systems from years gone by are very crude compared to today's sophisticated electronics. The contact breaker system has served the automotive engine well, but as technology progressed with engine design and pollution requirements grew more stringent, a more accurate, reliable, more controllable ignition system was required. We moved to High Energy systems which did away with the contact points, then we moved to electronic ignition modules to trigger the coil spark. Finally we dispensed with the distributor entirely and mounted crank and cam sensors to relay engine position to an ECU, which then computed the correct ignition angle for the prevailing conditions the engine was operating at. I will eventually cover some of the major systems, their components and how to test them, and their operation in this section.


















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Engine Management