Ted’s Rules for TSP Type Distributors



I bought one of these TSP “Ready to Run” type distributors to test the possible use in the Brown EFI system.    My unit died during a normal compression test which I was disconnecting the spark plug wires and cranking the engine.   This started my internet research where other users have had failures, the causes and how I could stop it if we did decide to use this type of distributor.  These units are sold by many Corvair vendors, TSP, Seth Emerson, Ebay, Amazon, etc and reasonably priced between $114-$199 as of Oct 2018.  These are MY thoughts and are not an official endorsement of any product or the indisputable word of god .  These are common sense things and common issues that can cause a module failure and leave you stranded.

  1.  Bypass resistor wire to ensure you have 12VDC at the coil/connector for the coil and module.  Less than 12VDC or over 16VDC will kill module over time.
  2. Never  TURN OVER ENGINE WITH ANY PLUG WIRES DISCONNECTED with unit connected to power source (like testing compression). This will kill modules,
  3. Use a Coil with a rating of .5 to .7 ohms.  Flamethrower II or DR35 E-Coil, etc.  High Ohm/resistance coils increase heat within the module and increase chance of failure.  TSP offers a low resistance (.7 ohms), can-type coil that is designed for the R2R units. 
  4. Convert to an Alternator with integral regulator.  These produce cleaner power and no arcing points in mechanical regulator.
  5. Never disconnect distributor connector with power on (it breaks the ground).  Unit is not self grounding and Grounding is only supplied through connector
  6. Never disconnect power ground with power on
  7. Ensure heat shields are in place to keep engine bay as cool as possible.
  8. Keep an extra one in the trunk, or a module if you can do a field repair.

TSP Catalog link is here

Will following these steps guarantee long life of the TSP distributor?… who knows, but I will bet that following these steps will give them a longer life than not.

We plan to use these distributors in the Brown EFI system by removing the module and using it with the ECM and VW/Audi Logic Coil to produce a dependable and simple EFI system.  We have tested quite a few coils so far, but this one has performed and self-cooled even on the hottest days.