Electronic Ignition Upgrade
One of the best improvement I've made in the smootheness and reliability to my 510
so far has been to convert from points to electronic ignition. Most conversions
I've seen use the Nissan distributor with the module mounted on the side. The
conversions that I have done use the Nissan distibutor the uses a remote mounted
Why I Use This Distibutor
I initially used this distibutor because I had purchased a '77 200sx to use for parts.
I tryed it with the GM module because when I parted the car out I didn't reallizethat the
module was remotely mounted. I junked the car with the module still
under the dash (or where ever they hide it). I knew that I could get a GM module anywhere
and just see if the electronic ignition was a worth while modification. I was pleasantly
surprised by what an improvement it made in the way the car ran. These distributors seem
fairly common in the local junkyards and may be cheaper then other electronic distributors
if you point out the lack of internal module. I also believe that if you have the internal
module distibutor and your module goes out you could bypass it and use a GM module the way I
have outlined below.
Why I Use This Module
After I did the conversion I decided to check out the Nissan module. I thought I would take
a look at it and see how different it was. At the time I worked a parts house, so I started
there. I discovered that this parts house didn't stock any Nissan ignition modules. They could
be special ordered for about $130 to $150. The GM module costs $11.99, was kept in stock, and
has a lifetime warranty. I decided to stick with the GM module and see how long it would last
in the Datsun. After about three months the first one burnt out. The next one I put in I made
sure was more protected from weather than the first. I also used a heat sink on it. The GM cars
that use this module have it mounted in the disributor. This keeps it fairly well protected. The
second module has been runningin my 510 for about a year and has had no problems. Even if it
were to got out once a year, it's still cheaper than replacing the Nissan module every ten
years. If you have a lifetime warranty, all the better.
List of What You'll Need
- 1 Datsun electronic distributor with the mount
- 1 coil and bracket from the same car
- 1 new cap, rotor, spark plugs, and plugwires that fit the donor car
- 1 GM control module (ask for one out of a '78 V-8 Camaro and you should be OK)
- 1 method of heat sinking thocking nuts for above
- 5 female "blade" connectors
- 1 female narrow "blade" connector
- 12-18 guage wire (about 4 feet)
- 1 roll of electrical tape
- 4 spark plugs for model of Datsun you got the distributor from
- plug wire set for same
Adding a Module
Begin by figuring out how you're going to mount the module. I mounted mine on the
driver side fender well, above the coil, and between the washer fluid bottle and the
V.I.N. tag. Be sure you drill the holes low enough to avoid interference with the
boxed channel that runs behind the fender in this area. At first I just mounted the
module straight to the fender well. I soon noticed that the back of the module was
beginning to rust. It soon failed. Now I use the heat sink off of a '75-'80 Chrysler
ingition module. This is simply an aluminum channel that the GM module fits nicely into.
Any aluminum channel that is convenient will work. File the little alignment pins off the
back of the GM module and mount the module to the fender well with the heatsink in the middle.
Be sure to use the heat sink compound (white sticky goo) that the module came with between the module and
the heat sink.
Hooking It All Up
Once you get your module mounted install the new distributor. Make sure the plug wires are
all in the right order.
Next put the coil out of the car you got the distibutor from into your 510. Take the Start 12v wire off of the old coil and
the Run 12v wire off of the ballast resistor and hook them to the positive side of the new
coil. Do not hook up the wire that runs from the 8v end of the ballast resistor o the positive side of the coil.
Run a new wire from the positive side of the coil to the "B" terminal on the module. Run another
new wire from the negative side of the coil to the "C" terminal on the module. Now temporarily connect the two
from the new distributor to the "W" and "G" terminals wires. Start the car. If the car runs but doesn't want
to rev up disconnect the "W" and "G" wires and reverse them. The car should run much better. If it doesn't
you may have something else wrong with the system. Make sure that there are no loose wires left over. The only exception
is the old points wire that will be loose at both ends. Install your new plugs, gapped to the
specifications of the car that the distributor came from.Set the timing, and wrap or tie-up the
Now enjoy a faster, smoother, and more reliable Datsun.
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