A solution to the Austin Sevens Timing

When I got the car it had a standard DK4 distributor and it didn’t take long to discover it was completely worn out. Setting the points at .015 on cylinder one and and moving round the cam the others varied between zero and a sixteenth of an inch!

So I bought a Beetle 009 modified to fit the A7 complete with the drive gear. Thinking back I believe that Don Stringer got it for me. As an aside I also got a Petronix Hall Effect ignition model and later a whole new 009 A7 serum as a spare!

Once I’d learnt to time it properly it worked fine but I have always been suspicious about the advance curve. According to the Austin Seven experts you need to restrict the advance which I did by putting some terminal insulation around the stop. But I was still unsure.

Then I saw the Aldon Amythest mappable ignition system. Unlike the mega jolt type system this is triggered from a distributor so should be pretty easy to fit and would retain a sort of original look in the engine compartment. The other benefit is it can be programmed with vacuum advance as well.

Installation went OK but hit a problem when I found you needed a PC to program the unit and this is a Mac household. Fortunately I’m not the sort of bloke to throw old stuff away and dug our an old Windows XP laptop that I managed to get to work and used that.

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