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Old 03-31-2004, 07:06 PM   #1
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A number of years ago (must have been when RapidFires came out because I seem to have two different ones) I was told that while the original plug for my '90 SE took a .060" gap, the Magnavox ignition was a lot happier with a .045 and the RapidFire 33 was reommended. In any event when I replaced the engine, I put in #3s.

Lately I have been hearing tales of smoother idle, more power, and better MPG with the #14 RapidFire which has an .060 gap. Further looking on the AC-Delco page it now recommends #14s for just about all 3800s and #3s are for Fords.

Personal feeling is that the Magnavox is marginal and the Delco is more capable of supporting a .060 gap. Just received a couple of modules so will convert the 90 tomorrow (already did the 88 and seems smoother). Would appreciate opinions.
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Old 03-31-2004, 10:21 PM   #2
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I'd buy that 100% Padgett. I believe the old Magnavox iginition is a weaker spark voltage than the Delco.
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Old 04-01-2004, 12:48 AM   #3
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You almost have to start with a complete type II ignition from a yard de junque because to convert from Magnavox to type II Delco Ingition you need the module, coils, plate, and all of the bolts/screws to do the changeover and since you can't very well test it in the yard, it generally comes under the "50% of all used complex electronics fail in the first week".

Good news is that if you have the complete assemply, it is literally a "plug and play" replacement for the Magnavox which then makes a good spare if something unfortunate happens.

Another issue is that the shop testers such as at AutoZone have a bad habit of passing as good a module that will not fire reliaby in a car (is being worked on but another story, the people at Wells are being very receptive).

Incidently the Magnavox is not a "type I", that is the Delco ignition used on the earlier C3 3800s like the Grand Nationals, with a single reference pulse coming from the crank sensor. The "type 2" designed and still being used in 2004 is for the P4 system with dual pulse trains (why there are two interrupter rings on the harmonic balancer and three magnets on the crank sensor).

Of course the Delcos all have three individual coils while the Magnavox has a single triple coil pack.

And for super obscurity, the first time I saw one coil firing two plugs was on a 1960ish Honda 150 "Dream". Worked to well over 10,000 rpm.
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Old 04-01-2004, 07:07 PM   #4
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Egg on face dept - after posting the last I opened the parts book and lo the Magnavox is called "type I" and the Delco "type 2", even a 1986 Delco is called "type 2" which I would assume to be the older single pulse type.

Reason was that after this morning'* strange events I wanted to look to see if there were several differnt types of crank sensor use but no the 88-90 "C" and 91-93 "L" engines both use the same part number.

What was strange was that with the new module arrival, I had enough parts to convert our 90. Assembled the ignition and put on Bonne. Zero spark. Replaced original Magnavox. Ran fine. Tried on 88 that had already been converted. No spark. Original fine. Swapped coils just in case one was shorting. Ran fine with original module/new coils, no fire with new module/original coils. Obtained second new module. Same-same.

So now I have the Magnavox back in the Bonne and messages into the module mfr to find out what is going on. Possibly some obscure wiring difference but examination of the circuits in the factory service manuals (I have a shelf full) for the Magnavox and the Delco indicates that the harnesses are identical

Incidently, it seems the connector on the end of the module is keyed for the application so if the harness will connect, it "should" work (Famous last words).
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