Comparing the Crane and Petronix Ignition Systems

by Glenn Trunnell

Last year I installed the crane XR-700 along with an MSD (multi-spark discharge system) on my Spit which I drive often as well as autocross. Today I removed the Crane and MSD and replaced them with the Ignitor by Pertronix. Never mind why, but anyway I thought people would be interested in the results.

With the Crane and MSD installed the car ran o.k, but the power always seemed to drop off about 4800 RPM in 3rd gear and the car just didn't rev like I thought it should. It didn't miss or anything, but it just felt a little sluggish. With the Ignitor installed the car will pull to 6000 in the first 3 gears and was still pulling at 5000 in 4th when I had to slow down due to traffic. I have to say that the performance is much improved. Nothing else on the car was changed, same coil, wires etc. So I can only credit the Ignitor.

The installation is also much more sanitary. As far as the MSD goes I can't say that it helped at all, probably because the car was already running well, without missing and there was no noticable improvement. I do have a friend who has an MSD on his Chevelle and he feels that it is the best investment that he has ever made. So I think that in some cases it can be useful.

I also run a Jacobs Energy Team 50,000 volt coil. One caveat when using the Crane or Ignitor systems with a hot coil... if the coil primary resistance is too low (0.6 ohms in my case) you have to make sure that the current throught the module is limited. Many people have by-passed the ballast resistor wiring that is built into the late model Spits to use a hotter coil that has a built in resistor. If you switch to one of these systems make sure that the resistance is high enough to limit the current to 5 amps or less. In my case the stock ballast resistor is still in place and it works fine even though my coil has a very low resistance.

Sorry this was so long, but I thought everyone would benefit from my experience.

Glenn Trunnell

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