Using Crane Cams electronic ignition with the Montreal

Tom Sanor ("Mr Goose")

I bought the ignition system from Crane Cams in Daytona Beach, Florida, and I used the Model XR-3000 electronic ignition box (P/N 3000-0231) and the PS91 hi-output coil (P/N 730-0091). Crane's price for both is USD 184.62 and their website lists retailers in many countries. I bought it two years ago and then you could purchase it directly from Crane via their website at a discount but I guess not now.

To view this equipment on their website, click on "Online Catalogs" then click on "Import Power/Sport Compact". Go to the bottom of the page to view each individual component. This is the easiest way to find what you want. If instead you look up "Alfa Romeo" you will find no listings, however the correct P/Ns are listed under "Ferrari 6/8/12 Cyl."

Crane also sells higher output, multiple discharge systems (like MSD) for a lot more money, but they are not necessary at all.

I originally bought TWO complete systems, two XR-3000 and two PS91 coils, hoping to mimic the stock dual ignition in the Monty, however IT WILL NOT WORK this way. I spent two weeks trying to get it to work, then Crane confirmed to me by phone that the two boxes will electrically interfere with each other. They told me to run it on one system only. I did, and it runs great!

To install it, then, you use the Optical Trigger Assy. (included with P/N 3000-0231) mounted inside your distributor to fire at #1 cyl. Use the 8 cyl. plastic shutter which slides down over the old cam lobes. I epoxied it in place with a spacer washer for a good, tight fit. Make a "U" shaped piece of solid copper wire which you place into the two coil terminals on the top of your distributor cap, making good contact with the copper. Put the high voltage coil wire into the correct terminal for #1 cyl. forcing it against one end of the "U" shaped copper so they share the terminal hole. Then thoroughly insulate the rest of the exposed "U" shaped copper and the other terminal on the dist. cap with black silicone rubber.

Needless to say you must mount the Optical Trigger Assy. accurately, which is somewhat tedious, and you must time your distributor advance with a timing light, per Alfa. Everything else about installing the kit is straightforward.

I found this a great opportunity to disassemble the distributor to be sure the advance mechanism was working, and was clean and lubricated. I also systematically located all the marks on the flywheel, determined exactly what they were, and marked them with various paint colors. (This was a good way to learn how it all works.)

Result: Perfect ignition at all engine speeds - even 8000 rpm. Instant starting. No plug fouling. No need to adjust the ignition at all in the future. You will like it.

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