How to install an electronic ignition on a triumph

Updated July 20, 2017

Installing an electronic ignition in a vintage Triumph car is a great performance and reliability improvement over the outdated original equipment points and condensers. A modern electronic ignition system upgrade results in easier starting, increased power and improved fuel economy. Electronic ignition has the advantage of being maintenance free and never needing adjustments or tune ups. Changing your Triumph's ignition system is an easy task that is well within the ability of the average home mechanic.

Shift the car into neutral and apply the parking brake. Turn the ignition switch off and disconnect the battery ground lead.

Remove the distributor cap and rotor but do not remove the spark plug wires from the cap. Inspect the distributor cap and rotor for wear or damage and replace as needed.

Remove the points, condenser and wire grommet from inside the distributor. It is not necessary to remove or disturb the distributor adjustments or tamper with any other internal distributor components.

Clean the breaker plate and the point cam. Install the ignitor-plate from the ignition kit onto the breaker plate.

Install the magnet-sleeve from the ignition kit over the distributor shaft and onto the point cam. The sleeve only fits one way on the shaft. Be careful not to damage the sleeve by forcing it onto the shaft.

Insert the wires of the ignitor-plate through the hole in the distributor housing. Pull the grommet into place on the distributor making sure that the wires do not interfere with any moving parts. The grommet protects the ignition wires from chafing on the distributor housing. Neglecting to replace the grommet may cause ignition ground shorts or other problems later on.

Replace the rotor and distributor cap.

Connect the Ignitor-plate black wire to the negative (-) side of the ignition coil.

Connect the Ignitor-plate red wire to the positive (+) side of the ignition coil. These two steps are for negative ground vehicles.

Remove the ignition switch wire from the negative (-) coil terminal. Connect

the black ignitor wire to the ignition switch wire. Connect the ignitor black/white wire to negative (-) side of the ignition coil. Connect an AWG 20 copper stranded wire from the positive (+) coil terminal to the positive (+) battery terminal or chassis. The steps in this paragraph are for positive ground vehicles.

Reconnect the battery ground lead and start the car. Test drive the car and listen for excessive pinging. Adjust the ignition timing if required.


A fender cover or old blanket will protect the finish of your car when working under the bonnet.

Things You'll Need

  • Electronic Ignition kit
  • Flat-tip screwdriver
  • Cross-tip screwdriver
  • Adjustable wrench
  • 8-inch insulated AWG 20 copper stranded wire
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Michelle Schaefer began writing in 1998 for "The Pennsylvania Homeschooler" with advice for parents educating their handicapped children at home. She earned a bachelor's degree in education from Kutztown University in 1991.