By now we all know that electronic ignition is more reliable and requires less maintenance than the older breaker-point style of ignition, so it just makes sense to perform this easy upgrade to our older Mopars. But with all the electronic ignition options on the market today, which one is right for your car? If you run a post '71 Mopar (as well as certain '71 models), you can optimize the factory Mopar electronic ignition that is one of the best OEM ignition systems ever made. In earlier cars, it's easy to install a Mopar electronic ignition system, if you don't mind the cost and the nonfactory appearance of an electronic control unit (ECU) box bolted to your firewall. If you're racing, an aftermarket high-voltage system is mandatory. But if you want the reliability of electronic ignition while retaining the stock look, a Petronix ignition kit may be just what you need.

Our engine is a 383 that will be installed in a street driven, A-Body, big-block clone. Since we like to look stock and go fast, we had to decide what electronic ignition system would best suit our needs. While an MSD or Mallory system would certainly give us more than enough spark, our street car just didn't warrant the expense or complexity of these systems. We considered a Mopar Performance electronic ignition kit, but didn't necessarily want to drill holes in our previously unmolested firewall to mount the ECU. Since we had good luck with a Petronix electronic ignition system on a previous car, and it requires no drilling or external control box, we decided to use one on this engine as well.

The cool thing about the Petronix ignition system is that there are no external parts to install. All the parts fit inside a stock distributor, converting a points-style unit to a reliable electronic ignition. Because the factory distributor is retained, the engine bay looks completely stock with the exception of one additional wire. Since we were ordering some parts to complete our car from YearOne, we simply added the Petronix kit to our order and had it in a few days. To boost spark for our warmed-over engine, we also got the optional high-voltage coil.

This system should easily power our warmed-over 383 and will also have enough energy to fire the cylinders of a much hotter engine should we decide to upgrade in the future. Follow along as we show you the simplicity of installing this ignition system.