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What is Electronic Ignition?
Modern automobiles utilize direct ignition systems where individual ignition coils sit directly on top of the spark plugs, eliminating the need for distributors and even spark plug wires.
None of that was possible prior to electronic ignition.You saw a few electronic ignition systems in things like the Delco-Remy system in Coventry Climax and BRM Formula One engines in the early 1960s.
Pontiac delivered the first production electronic ignition system, known as Delcotronic, as an option in 1963, the same feature offered in some Corvettes. Fiat offered the first standard electronic ignition across the board in 1968. Chrysler followed suit in 1971, and GM stepped up with HEI in 1973.
Electronic ignition systems revolutionized automotive maintenance. Prior to Electronic Ingition (EI), you were in for a points adjustment at every 6,000 miles. Drivers had ignition tools in their glovebox as a matter of course, and a wet distributor meant you were spraying WD-40 under the cap if you expected your car to start.
Electronic ignition changed all that.It also ushered in a new era of engine management, allowing sophisticated computers to adjust engine timing to accommodate for driving styles and fuel quality. Electronic ignition allows for incredible gains in fuel economy and efficiency from a powerful engine.
Electronic Ignition (EI)