Video: How To Install PerTronix Digital HP Ignition Box

To obtain the highest level of performance and prevent damage, it is critical to get the proper amount of spark to your engine.  The PerTronix Digital HP ignition box is geared towards those with big spark needs and delivers over 187 mJ of energy. The Digital HP box works on any engine combination from 1-12 cylinders regardless of the brand. It also works on engines with unequal firing patterns.

Installs can seem daunting, but PeTronix created this video to walk you through the process using a 1968 Chevrolet Camaro with a 396 cubic-inch engine and other PerTronix upgrades.

The Digital HP is 70-percent smaller than the previous design and the reduced size makes it easy to mount in any location, preferably away from power robbing heat sources. The box comes with an integrated 3-step digital REV limiter that controls burnout and launch and protects against over revving the engine. Other key highlights include an RPM triggered output, adjustable start retard, locking automotive connector, tachometer output lead, and onboard diagnostics and tach calibration all in an ultra-small form factor.

To install the Digital HP you will need the following tools:

  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Wrenches and Sockets
  • Wire Cutters/Strippers
  • Power Drill with a #20 Drill Bit
  • Crimper (PerTronix T3001 Recommended)

Step One: Choose a mounting location

Before starting the installation, disconnect the negative battery cable. Then select a mounting location for the Digital HP and place the box where there is visibility of the LEDs, access to the switch interface, and room for the wire harness attachment. PerTronix recommends that the box is kept away from direct exhaust heat and areas that are exposed to wet conditions.

Due to the Digital HP’s size, it can be mounted in locations that other larger ignition systems can’t. The mounting location should also have enough room for the harness wires to reach the battery and other connection points. Typical installation locations include the firewall and inner fender well.

Next, place the box in the desired location and mark the mounting hole positions. The mounting hole pattern measures 3.5” long and 3.25” wide. Drill four pilot holes and use the provided sheet metal screws to fasten the box in place.

Optionally, the unit can be mounted with the provided 8-32 machine screws and locking nuts.

Step Two: Attach the wire harness connector to the Digital HP

The Digital HP uses a locking automotive connector. Push the wiring harness connector onto the box until it clicks, then push in the red lock to insure the connector is secure.

To remove the connector, pull the red lock out, and press down on black latch while pulling on the connector.

Next, route the wires towards their ultimate connection points. Make sure to keep the wires away from sharp edges, moving objects, and heat sources. Determine the appropriate length for each wire and cut the wire to length. Any unused wires should be coiled and taped out of the way. The most common terminals are provided to complete each connection; be sure to use a proper crimp tool to attach the terminals to the wires.

The PerTronix T3001 quick change crimp tool is recommended.

Additionally, it’s best to keep the coil wires (Black & Black/White) separated from the trigger wires (White & Violet, Green) to prevent EMI.

Only connect the Digital HP main battery power leads directly to the battery. If necessary, the wires can be extended with 10 – 8 AWG wire.

Step Three: Connect and Reattach

For most applications, the tach should be connected to the gray wire output from the Digital HP. This output is a 12V square wave signal for smooth tach operation, even at the rev limits. Using the gray wire also allows for other functions like rev limit verifications on startup. Some OEM tachs will not function properly when connected to the gray wire. Tach wires should never be connected directly to the coil.

Next, install the tabs onto the coil terminals connecting the black wire with the white stripe to the positive terminal and the unmarked black wire to the negative terminal. Determine the appropriate length for the unmarked red wire to the ignition switch and the unmarked white wire to the distributor’s trigger wire. Cut, strip, and crimp the provided terminal to each and press fit the connectors together. Route the two battery wires and cut them to length.

Strip the ends of each – attach them to the large ring terminals and the red wire to the positive terminal. Reattach the negative battery terminal to the battery but be careful not to reverse the polarity.

Use a small Phillips screwdriver rotate the cylinder selection switch labeled “cal” to match your engine’s number of cylinders and finally your installation is complete.

In addition to the video, PerTronix has a detailed installation guide that comes with the Digital HP.

For more information, see PerTronix.

Photography provided by PerTronix 

About the author

Nicole Ellan James

As an automotive journalist and avid car enthusiast, Nicole Ellan James has a passion for automotive that is reflected in every aspect of her lifestyle. Follow Nicole on Instagram and Facebook - @nicoleeellan
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