Pertronix Ignitor Ignition & Flamethrower I, II, and III Comparison

Ignitor I: Part No. 1181 This is the basic points replacement unit and has 2 times the energy of points and the resistance wire is not an issue whatsoever. They can be run with a stock points type coil or a Flamethrower 40,000 volt Coils available in 1.5 or 3.0 resistance values and available in chrome or stock looking black. This unit works fine with a stock engine. Ignitor units operate off of a magnetic wheel that mounts underneath the rotor. You will have to make sure to take any end play out of your distributor to maintain the proper gap.

Ignitor II: Part No. 91181 The next level has 4 times the energy of points between 3000 and 5000 RPM operating at it’s full potential working with 12 Volts and features Adaptive Dwell. My experience is that the Ignitor II will work fine without bypassing resistance wire for stock and mildly tweaked pump gas engines up to 400 HP, just not at full potential. I would recommend however you check the available voltage at the coil with the ignition on to check the health of your resistance wire before making a choice. If you have about 10 volts, you should be good to go. I had originally tested my Ignitor II at both 10 and 12 volts and didn't notice any difference. An Ignitor II low resistance coil is recommended. Ignitor II 45,000 Volt coils are .6 ohms resistance and available in chrome or stock looking black. The Ignitor II units also operate off of a magnetic wheel that mounts underneath the rotor. You will have to make sure to take any end play out of your distributor to maintain the proper gap.
Ignitor III: Part No. 71181  5 times the energy of points between 3000 and 5000 RPM operating at it’s full potential and has a built in Rev Limiter. It also features Adaptive Dwell and Multispark. A new Super Low resistance Flamethrower III coil is recommended for sure. The Flamethrower III 45,000 volt coils are low .32 ohm resistance, quick charge, and available in chrome or stock black. The Ignitor III units operate off the points cam. With it’s additional features including Multi-Spark, the Ignitor III must have a full 12 volts to the coil to operate properly, period. The unit also senses startup increasing voltage and adjusts the timing which can come in handy on an engine with a lot of initial timing in it. (The matching Flamethrower III Coil is under Summit Racing Part No. PNX-44011 for Black, and PNX-44010 for Chrome).   An advantage of the III over the II, is that it does not require the removal of the distributor.

For more on Pertronix go to

The new "Lobe Sensing" versions of the Ignitor Units (i.e. 1181LS and 91181LS) do not require removing the distributor.

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Comment by Roland Moser on September 28, 2019 at 10:25am

just finished the installation of a Ignitor 3 Modul with a Flametrower 2 coil....

WOW! runs so much smoother and crisper!

had to readjust the idle screw on the carb cause the rpm's  got higher.

Comment by Tony and Ginny 429 on May 26, 2016 at 11:37am
You need to remove the resistance wire ,and run a full 12 volts to the coil ,with the pertronics ignitions
That could very well be the problem you are dealing with ,regarding your thougths on lack of spark
Why not go with the more powerful coil ,to get the most from your new ,super ignition system
More power to you ! LOL !
Comment by Patrick McElligott on May 26, 2016 at 10:39am
Just read the part about the coil recommendation. Just worried about the resistance wire.
Comment by Patrick McElligott on May 26, 2016 at 10:38am
Appreciate the help Jason.
Comment by Patrick McElligott on May 26, 2016 at 10:38am
I am reading a lot about the resistance wire. Does this wire need to be removed from the coil if I install the Pertronix III on my '63 390? Would you recommend also going with the Pertronix Flamethrower III coil in this setup versus the stock coil I'm using now?
Comment by Erick Armenta Cadillac Kings AV on April 24, 2014 at 6:43pm
I had petronix installed when I had my motor rebuilt. I am now experiencing something that I thought was vapor lock. After addressing that issue, the problem still persists. I believe I am losing "spark". I've heard that something should have been bypassed at the coil for the generator? Is this true? If so, does anyone have any suggestions on how to solve this problem? Any info or input would be greatly appreciated! Thanx in advance.
Comment by Jason Edge on January 24, 2014 at 7:23am

Just bumping this up for those considering the Pertronix ignition.

Comment by Steve Dorsey on April 12, 2013 at 2:34pm

I installed the Pertronix II a few weeks ago. I recently got a new stock coil so I will just leave it as is. Works great though. Not sure if Petronix coil will do much as it seems great already.  Steve

Comment by Jason Edge on April 12, 2013 at 6:46am
I had the II series for probably 5 + years with excellent results and upgraded to the III series last year with engine rebuild with even better results.
Comment by Chris Codd on April 11, 2013 at 11:59pm

This is a great post! I was looking at my coil the other day and wondering why I haven't upgraded to any of these options yet (I want that chrome one lol). Which of the three are you using Jason? 


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