Pertronix Distributor Adapter

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Well-known member
Dec 5, 2008
Working on 'dumbing down' a Toyota 5MGE twin overhead cam 3.8, that I have in my junk that I got from an electrical fire.

Am carbuerating it and looking to alter the distributor to a HEI or something. It has that computer type hall switch distributor with a vacume advance. I'd like to do what pertronix does from junk If I can. MSD looks like they have what I need, but I'd rather do it from junk if possible.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


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Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I have done both! Petronix & MSD. Petronicx is of course the cheapest & you'll need a crank/flywheel sensor for the MSD box. MSD makes a specific box for that & it ain't cheap! Good luck!

Thanks for the response . Yeah, I've been pricing the MSD box, and I'd be out about $400 after I get the crank switch.. That's a bit much seeing as I'm not sure the engine is any good--sitting for so long. The Petronix is closer to what I'm willing to pay, but they don't have a specific Toyota kit.

I have 2 distributors for the 5MGE, the one that looks familiar has a sensor (Looks like a little transformer) and a 6 prong rotor trigger, and a vacuum advance, similar to the HEIs I'm accustom to. Resistance spikes every time the rotor star passes the little coil sensor. When it triggers I get a spike in OHMS. I was wondering if that would trigger a standard coil?

What triggers a standard coil?
I decided I'd go with what I know on the controller, and get a GM HEI 4 prong to wire up as the controller for the 82 Supra distributor I'm planning to use. It has vac advance and an older magnetic trigger in its sounding similar to GMs, and I'm more familiar with GM stuff. 20$ for a 'new' GM 4 prong HEI module for the brain/controller and some wire, and a coil/resistor and an ignition switch. Wireing is my weakest work. My welding has gone down hill alot lately, but electrical has always been my downfall.
Got my parts collected up for my DIY HEI distributor for the Toyota 5MGE I'm trying to resurrect. I've built Fords and GMs all my life, (First build at 14, and Now I'm 72) and have always used the GM HEI as soon as it came out, so it stands to reason I'd do HEI on a Toyota--I think.. Got 3- 4 prong 'take offs' modules off Ebay for $20 from a hot rod shop. I have a choice of coils and ballast resistors (if needed), and printed instructions off the web. My own version of Petronix I guess. Any suggestions, recomendadtions are welcome.


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We've done five of them most of them on Chrysler vehicles. You'll love the results.
We used the distributers with the magnetic pickups as the triggers.
We've done five of them most of them on Chrysler vehicles. You'll love the results.
We used the distributers with the magnetic pickups as the triggers.
Hey OI--Thanks for the response. I moved the Toyota 5MGE off the rotating engine stand to a home made run stand this AM. Need it lined out before I do the Distributor.-- Be a Few days.. I see you are from Willard--I Kinda lived near your neighborhood in the 70s--Ash Grove, BoDark. Worked general farm labor, went to SMSU in Springfield till I graduated in 76 and got out in the world. Lotsa fond memories. Good people..Great culture.
Got it running--Magnetic pickup distributor from an 82 Toyota supra, with a GM HEI sparker, triggering a regular coil. The HEI wires come out from behind the carb where its mounted on a piece of aluminum for a heat sink. Really simple, and shoots a big fat spark. Fired first try. Rather be lucky than smart---
Home made run stand. All scrap build. Handy and cost nuthin but time..


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