vertex ignitions

Discussion in 'Ignitions & starters and electrically related comp' started by grumpyvette, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member ... ctions.pdf ... Vertex.pdf ... Vertex.pdf ... ctions.pdf

    Chevy V8 12 Degree PART #701000

    Ive always used the 12 degree built in advance versions

    no simpler, or easier to use ignition exists in my opinion,
    you lube the distributor gear, drop the distributor into the engine, set the distributor clamp so its movement or rotation is restricted and takes some effort to turn, connect a toggle switch to a wire from the kill switch knob( "P" terminal )on the side of the magneto thru , an insulated toggle switch to an excellent common engine and frame ground, , throw the switch too the open position, and with your timing light ,set the timing, so the ignition timings at full advance at about 3200rpm, and lock it in place. throw the switch to the closed position, connecting the (P) connector to engine ground and the ignition dies.
    to start the engine simply through the switch to the open position so the grounds not electrically connected and hit the starter button, on the floor or use the ignition to start the starter, the vertex needs no further electrical connection, no battery and the car will run with a nearly dead battery if its just strong enough to spin it over.

    you don,t need to control a vertex style MAGNETO, with a CPU or need vacuum, once its set up and installed correctly, it is easy to tune and it advances exactly as you set it up depending only on the engine rpms for its advance curve, your single connection goes to a single switch that opens and closes a connection to the engine ground, if its grounded its not providing spark, if the connections open you get spark at the plugs
    The "P" terminal on the Vertex is for
    the ground wire to cut off ignition.




    [​IMG] ... ctions.pdf

    you can frequently find good deals on these in good USED condition, but VERIFY it works before buying a USED ONE, if you can



    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2015
  2. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    If you have never used a magneto before; READ THIS
    Magneto Users Biggest Mistakes...
    Never do any of the following!

    Never connect battery volts to a magneto.
    Never use suppression wires or resistor spark plugs.
    Set the plug gaps at .018 - .020 for either internal or external coil magnetos.
    Magnetos do not require and are not more efficient with large large spark plug gaps.
    Never weld on the car with the magneto in the motor. The generating unit may be discharged.
    Never rely totally on your timing light as your sole source for timing your motor. Timing lights are typically D.C. and magnetos generate A.C. They also emit E.M.I. (Electro Magnetic Interference). In general, timing lights with mags are one (1) degree late for every 1000 RPM of engine speed. For best results, use a timing buzzer. We sell them and you can see one at the bottom of our products page.
    Never operate a magneto without all of the plug wires connected to the spark plugs.
    Never run a cast magneto drive gear against a steel billet camshaft. If there is any doubt which gear to use, contact the cam grinder.
    Never force a drive gear on the shaft when changing or installing the gear. It may change internal clearances in the mag.
    On a single mag warm up with a duel mag drive system and Mallory mags; DO NOT disconnect the second mag from the transformer. Severe damage to the mag generator will occur if you do.
  3. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    the vertex magneto is in my experience a very reliable, and very dependable ignition and on the plus side is going to fit and work with a great many injection systems and tunnel ram intakes that will never allow a HEI distributor to fit



    [​IMG] ... ctions.pdf ... id=4783129 ... Vertex.pdf

    youll generally want to install an oil pressure switch similar to this one pictured below that is a closed circuit if oil pressure falls below about 5-7 psi, one lead goes to engine ground and one to the magneto kill switch,lug insuring the magneto grounds out if the oil pressure drops, you'll also run a separate wire from the ground lug on the side too a toggle switch and a toggle switch,lead to ground allowing you to flip the switch and manually kill ignition voltage.

    [​IMG] ... tches.html


    [​IMG] ... 28511.html
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2017
  4. philly

    philly solid fixture here in the forum

    when is it appropriate to use a magneto instead of a jacobs style ignition or a distributorless setup? is this an alcohol burning race car type of thing or do people use this on daily driven cars?
  5. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    I used a vertex on my street driven 496 big block corvette that had Crower stack injection for several years with good results
    I found it worked rather well, but its older technology and for daily street use the newer individual coil ignitions have some advantages

  6. 87vette81big

    87vette81big Guest

    If I have time tonight Grumpy I will take a few photos of my 425 Olds Vertex Mag spinning on my SUN distributor machine at high speeds.
    Spark gap Rack.
    They are Kool.
    I have used them on the street & track. Doing it again.
    No electronics to fail.
  7. 87vette81big

    87vette81big Guest

    Scare the Wifee' & kids again.... :mrgreen:
  8. 87vette81big

    87vette81big Guest

  9. 87vette81big

    87vette81big Guest

    1964- 1990 Olds V8 Vertex OAC Magneto of mine Grumpy.
    1965-1966 vintage. Original Brown Cap & Brown Ignition Rotor Unit.
    For my Olds 425 A engine. I rebuilt it. fires perfect at all speeds.
    My SUN MT 400 distributor machine(1963 Vintage) shown & other Hotrod goodies, a few of them.
    I am Old School at Heart.

    WILL A MSD Capacitive Discharge work 40- 60 years from now ????

    Answer is NO.

  10. 87vette81big

    87vette81big Guest

    5.38 Gears Rick & Dana Factory Posi Unit.
    Help get the '63 GP Moving Fast off the Line....
  11. philly

    philly solid fixture here in the forum

    thats a very cool collection of vintage rodding goodies! im sure thats only a sample of the stuff you have stashed away. cool to see that thing light off. i think the fine tuneability of newer computer controlled ignitions and even newer distributorless one coil per cylinder setups have alot of merits in the case of milking every last horsepoewr out of a ccombination, but i ha ve to admit that brian has a point, 50 years from now my msd 6al will be in a landfill and his magneto setup will likely still be firing off every time on time.
  12. Indycars

    Indycars Administrator Staff Member

    That spark looks like it would knock you across the driveway if you got a hold of it!!!

  13. philly

    philly solid fixture here in the forum

    [sean connery voice] SHOCKING [/sean connery voice]
  14. 87vette81big

    87vette81big Guest

    It will Rick. Piss your pants pain if shocked by a Vertex Magneto I rebuilt & super tuned.

    MSD feels like a Bee Sting. Not much Secondary Current present. Short duration spark in crankshaft dwell time. 20 degrees max.

    Magnetos all have lots of secondary current & double the spark duration in crank dwell time. 40 degrees +.
    Top Fuel magnetos put out over 2 amps high KV Current at spark plugs 40,000 - 100,000 volts.
    No capacitive discharge can do that.

    Mags are not for all.
    They do require tuneup maintenance time to time.
    Setup knowledge & experience required.

    Super turbo boost like Phil & guys use require timing retard systems. Relegated to some form of electronic control.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2015
  15. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    (while I don,t agree with every detail the vast majority of the info in these three quotes is valid)

    from physics forum

    Feature Article from Hemmings Motor News
    May, 2011 - Jim O'Clair
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2015
  16. 87vette81big

    87vette81big Guest

    Vertex Magnetos light off each spark plug for 30 degrees of crankshaft rotation .
    depending on the version, up to 44 amps of current is available at the plugs,
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2015
  17. T-Test

    T-Test Well-Known Member

    They will knock you on your ass!! LOL
  18. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    considering you have no idea what the internal or functional condition is and, that they are very expensive to repair or replace parts and the external condition indicates it was not extremely well cared for , Its a huge gamble that may or may not pay off for the purchaser, that being said I've purchased several over the years for $100-$125 and invariably they cost more than that to get refurbished but even with the cost to get then fixed it still cost less than getting a new one.
    but be aware thats old school tech, and more modern coil on plug with a crank trigger ignitions have replaced those, for most serious racers.
    (just because its old school does not mean it won,t work)
    if your close enough to have someone I trust inspect it I may know someone whos interested if your reasonably priced



  19. Drawmain

    Drawmain Well-Known Member

    Video from Brian

  20. the shadow

    the shadow New Member

    hey grump,
    I want to set up my vertex ignition on my vintage race car and need to verify what others have told me + what I am reading here. the set up is a 671 blown/injected 355 chevy with and early hilborn gear drive (like a summers brothers gear drive) the vertex has 12 deg advance built into it (like you stated), this is a "crackle" show car so it's not going to race. I am looking to run around 32 deg total when running (even though it will mostly be idling accept for the occasional "whack of the throttle" to clean off the pistons). with the engine at TDC do I just drop the mag in on #1 as stated or do I manually back off the crank 12 deg's then drop the mag in. Most of my buddies think I should back off the crank manaul ( CCW) then put the mag in others say no drop it in at TDC.

Share This Page