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Basic Points Type Inductive Discharge Ignition Systems

by Dan Masters, , and Bob Sykes,

Most LBCs use this type of ignition system. Later cars benefit from the miracles of Electronic Ignition systems which are not described here, but most of the same principles apply. One can think of electronic ignitions as "improved points."

The basic ignition system consists of; the Ignition Coil, Points, Capacitor (aka Condenser), Distributor and Sparking Plugs. A ballast resistor may also be included in this system. Various bits of wire connect all these parts together and move the electrons to the right place at the right time, hopefully. Without the aid of diagrams, the scope of this is limited, but the function of each component is described briefly below, For simplicity's sake, no formulas will be used, only descriptions of the various aspects.

This really only scratches the surface of ignition systems. You have been spared topics like Cylinder pressure, Ignition-voltage waveshape, Timing, Capacitance, Inductance, formulas with Greek letters and other technical mumbo-jumbo. But then there's always part 2.....

Dan Masters,
Bob Sykes,



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