Z32 300zx Smart Coil kit review

Discussion in 'Non Technical' started by zx299, Nov 21, 2021.

  1. zx299

    zx299 Well-Known Member

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    Things are a bit quiet on the forum lately :rolleyes: (except for adamzx’s bingle :eek:) and I’ve been asked numerous times lately about the Smart Coil kits I am running on my zeds, so I thought I’d throw up some light reading for those on here that might have an interest in my opinion …. (for what it’s worth)

    This 300zx Smart Coil kit came with everything I needed for installation (it even came with a new set of balance tube O rings). Each Denso Coil in the kit has its own inbuilt ignitor, and when fitted in conjunction with the rest of the kit enabled the total elimination of the PTU from my 300zx ignition system. The system has been designed to run on an OEM ecu (I have Nistune)

    [​IMG]

    Plug and play describes this Smart Coil kit to a tee …… I fitted the kit in well under an hour using only basic tools. Installation was straightforward with the instructions leading me through it one step at a time and I got the zed up and running without a hitch. There was no cutting or modifying of any description needed, and more importantly ….. no plenum pull was necessary to fit the kit. Anyone who can change a set of spark plugs, will be able to fit this kit….. it’s that simple.

    I had near new Splitfire Coilpacks (which I fitted because the oem coils were getting old) but I still opted for this kit for the reliability factor alone. (new technology coil design + no ptu means less things to go wrong in the future)

    [​IMG]
    I temporarily tied the PTU eliminator harness out of the way to get the zed up and running for the test drive

    The zeds haven’t missed a beat since installation, and I’ve found that since fitting this kit I can retain my 1.1mm sparkplug gap when I start winding up the boost. I’ve been told the Coilpacks in this kit can handle a heap more dwell than the zed ones, so that could come in handy. (I could’ve made a lot more use of that feature when I was younger :rolleyes:)

    Overall, I’ve been more than happy with the kit because it totally modernised the zed ignition system (which means less work for me in the years ahead :D) and I got the kit for less than what I paid for the Splitfire coilpacks they replaced :cool: so that was an added bonus.

    It’s a pity this kit wasn’t available when I had to replace my ageing Nissan Coilpacks, I could have saved myself a lot of time and money !
     
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  2. NI85

    NI85 Active Member

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    So where did you get that kit? As it's the first I've heard of a no PTU coil kit that doesn't require a modified/aftermarket ECU
     
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  3. MickW

    MickW Carntry member...

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    zx299 I'm curious too. Your new rig obviously works, you're no slouch with Zeds, but the pics you've posted don't show how the new setup could negate the PTU. Are there some MOSFETs hiding inside the coilpacks 12 volt sides? School us please :)
     
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  4. zx299

    zx299 Well-Known Member

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    I sourced mine through an automotive supplier contact I have, and I can assure you they definitely run on the oem ecu because that’s what I’m using :D

    Electronics design is a bit above my pay grade, but to the best of my understanding the Denso Coils in this kit each have an individual inbuilt igniter which negates the need for the traditional (and unreliable) PTU that originally fired each of the 6 coils on the zed. Now, besides having the advantage of the technological advancement in design these coils possess when compared to the zed coil, the elimination of the troublesome ptu has to be a huge step in the right direction :cool:
     
  5. NI85

    NI85 Active Member

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    So....where can everyone else get that kit from then? Or is it just exclusive for you and you're just teasing us? :oops:
    ---
    I have 2 x Z32, but one I have already spent $$$ on normal coils, ptu etc. The other could use something new.:D
     
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  6. zx299

    zx299 Well-Known Member

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    I don’t know where anyone else would get them, I just know where I got mine :cool:

    I know where you stand with the recent expenditure on zed coils / ptu !!! I was in exactly the same position ……. I was able to sell my near new Splitfires for a reasonable price, so that went a long way towards my “new acquisition”. I still think the swap was a positive move for the future, so I don’t regret the small hit my wallet took in order to modernise / simplify my zed ignition system.

    Suppliers are sticking it up us for 300zx coils now :rolleyes:. I hate to imagine what they are going to be charging in a few years time :eek:
     
  7. MintZ32

    MintZ32 Active Member

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    Will you be offering the kit as a package in the future?
     
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  8. zx299

    zx299 Well-Known Member

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    I can still access the kits at the moment, but I don’t know if that will continue …… I’m finding that suppliers are less inclined to be bothering with zed stuff these days :(

    I grabbed these things because I saw them as another worthwhile improvement to my zeds.

    As a number of people have asked my opinion of them recently, I thought I’d throw a little spiel on here for people’s interest :cool:

    Ian(zx299)
     
  9. ryzan

    ryzan Black Mesa? Fat chance...

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  10. zx299

    zx299 Well-Known Member

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    I just had a look at that site …… that kit does seem reasonably priced, but, sadly their kit is in America :(

    Unfortunately for anyone who has bought anything from the US lately, they will know that by the time you add the horrendous shipping costs to Australia, then add gst and then get gouged on the US / AU exchange rate , you can double the US asking price by the time you get it :eek:

    All of a sudden it’s not “quite reasonably priced” anymore :rolleyes:

    I never mentioned price in my write up, because it wasn’t relevant, the article was penned to make zed owners aware of an alternative to their 1980’s ignition system. It’s what’s commonly known as thinking outside the box.

    I’m not suggesting that everyone should update their ignition. I’m just stating that I did :cool:

    Ian(zx299)
    p.s for ryzans benefit ….. your “reasonably priced” alternative is a lot dearer than what I paid :D
     
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  11. NI85

    NI85 Active Member

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    We knew there was alternatives, just they require Modified ECU.
    The way you have written your post (Unfortunately) made it sound like a sales pitch for a new coil conversion kit specifically done for Z32s. I bold and italic and underlined what jumped out at me from your initial post.

    1)"The system has been designed to run on an OEM ecu" <- which indicates non-modified ECU despite you mentioned that yours was Nistune. (Which came across as just as an extra bit of info.)
    2)"It even came with balance tube O-rings"
    3) "Plug and play describes this Smart Coil kit to a tee. I fitted the kit in well under an hour using only basic tools. Installation was straightforward with the instructions leading me through it one step at a time and I got the zed up and running without a hitch. There was no cutting or modifying of any description needed, and more importantly ….. no plenum pull was necessary to fit the kit. Anyone who can change a set of spark plugs, will be able to fit this kit….. it’s that simple."
    4) "I still opted for this kit for the reliability factor alone" <- which would mean others could opt for it too.

    So you can understand then why people asking.

    Maybe just saying you installed "smart coils"(that don't require PTU) and you're happy not worrying about PTU issues, and just mention what parts you used to accomplish the end result, (which would have stopped people from getting the wrong idea of a kit that they could buy.) for those that have a modified ecu could follow the same method if desired.
     
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  12. MintZ32

    MintZ32 Active Member

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    I'm confused now, I was looking at the VAG ignition coil upgrade option a while ago and I thought smart coil kits like the R35 GTR kits, LS coil kits etc were compatible without the need of an aftermarket or modied ECU.

    Reading the description of the kit at performance vh says it's 100% plug and play as well :confused:.

    Was I wrong the whole time? which one is it? Lol
     
  13. rob260

    rob260 Moderator Staff Member

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    The factory tune runs 2.3-3.0ms dwell between 1000 & 6000 rpm. Those coils run at 2.5ms and up to 3.5ms before they saturate - they'd probably run on a standard tune but not optimally. A Nistuned ECU would allow you to adjust dwell to suit the coils.

    I’m not so sure about the whole “problematic PTU” narrative - the series 1 seem to last 20-30 years on average and the only damaged series 2 I’ve come across have been due to incorrect earthing. They do look the part, though.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
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  14. MintZ32

    MintZ32 Active Member

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    Yep Im aware of that. Ultimately what your saying is the coils won't run to their total potential capacity, but will work in principle on the stock ecu without the need for a PTU :)
     
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  15. zx299

    zx299 Well-Known Member

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    NI85

    Geez, I’m beginning to regret posting my thoughts on this thing now :(

    I’d been approached by a number of people who knew I was running an alternate ignition system and wanted to know my thoughts / opinions, and I responded to them directly. I was then foolish enough to think that some other zed owners may enjoy some light reading on the subject, so I posted on here.

    NI85, I’m struggling a bit to understand the gist of your post, but I’ll try and respond to it in the order you posted (by the numbers)

    Firstly, I’ve never had any intention of buying $2,000 aftermarket computers that are capable of landing spacecrafts on the moon, just to run my road going zeds. To me, that’s the equivalent of hiring a front end loader to dig a sand pit for a toddler in your backyard :rolleyes: Yes, it get’s the job done, but so would a friggin’ shovel !

    And, you criticise me for stating it’s a coil kit specifically for Z32s ….. well, to the best of my knowledge, there’s not another car on the planet that uses the 300zx coils (please enlighten me if there is)

    1) I was trying to convey the fact that this particular ignition system will run on the oem ECU (which it will) …… I use Nistune because I have Sard injectors on my zeds. If I was foolish enough to still be running oem injectors, I could be using the oem ecu on one of my zeds and still be using this ignition system

    2) I thought the fact that it came with a new set of balance tube O rings was good, because the balance tube MUST be removed to fit the kit and the majority of zed owners have probably never replaced their O rings since they’ve owned their zed :rolleyes:

    3) The kit is portrayed as being Plug and Play so I was reinforcing the fact that it actually is P&P.
    (Half the stuff I see stated as P&P these days actually requires major surgery in order to fit)

    4) I elected to fit this kit even though I had near new Splitfire Coils fitted, because IMHO, pissing off the ptu was a giant step in the right direction for reliability into the future. And, not being held to ransom by needing to purchase the unique zed coils at whatever price a spare parts place wishes to charge was also a plus !

    And your final statement has me scratching my head ????? I purchased the kit in the photo, and ryzan pointed to a similar kit that is available in the US (there may be others, I don’t know) and both run with the oem ecu ….. but for some reason, you seem to be stuck on this “needing an aftermarket computer” theory.

    If my reply doesn’t help you clear your confusion, then I don’t know that I’m capable of answering your queries beyond what I’ve already attempted :D

    Mintz32

    I think you may find that the Gtr35 & LS1 coils may need aftermarket computers to run because of their incompatibility with the 300zx ignition

    Ian(zx299)
    Geez, I think I need a drink :oops:
     
  16. rob260

    rob260 Moderator Staff Member

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    There is no “incompatibility with the 300zx ignition” with R35, D585, IGN1A, etc etc coils… an ignition system is fairly simple in that the ECU sends a pulsed signal when it’s time to fire and fortunately the ECU does not know or need to know what’s at the other end of the signal wire.

    What is required is the option to adjust dwell time to the point that adequate saturation can be achieved. If this is not the case then the output of the coil in mj will be reduced. It’s probably worth mentioning that if the dwell time is too great that can be problematic as well as the coils can overheat if they don’t have enough time to cool down between firing events.

    A nistune board installed on your factory ECU allows you to adjust dwell time. Any plug and play and wire in ECU will also allow the user to adjust dwell time.
     
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  17. rob260

    rob260 Moderator Staff Member

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    I haven’t tried it but yes the data appears that way.
     
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  18. geron

    geron National Petroleum Equipm

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    No stress Ian,

    This is a healthy discussion and most welcomed on the forum again.
    Thank you for posting about the coil packs, I found it very informative as well as Robs Information is spot on.
    My Z still has the series 1 PTU (I don't know how but it's still going) and have Series 2 complete kit as back up but this new info just came in and it's very interesting!

    How are the coil packs secured in place?
    Do they just push in and that's it?
     
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  19. MintZ32

    MintZ32 Active Member

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    Yep the CAS pretty much takes care of it afaik :cool:
     
  20. zx299

    zx299 Well-Known Member

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    The R35 coils need at least some form of stem modification & an upper plenum removal to fit (and dwell appears to be off the charts in comparison to the zed), so that slots them straight into the “incompatible with 300zx” category in my books.

    And as for the other coils mentioned, anything that needs the use of ignition leads is not even worth contemplating in my opinion :mad:

    My zeds are road cars, and as such, I tend to strive for simplicity and long term reliability as the bench marks for any mods I intend performing. If I had an outright drag or track car, and was into the pits after every outing, I might not be so concerned about these things …… and having thumping great big ugly coils with ignition leads running all over the show might not be an issue either.

    I run oem dwell on my oem turbo zed, and a slight dwell tweak on my other one. This seems more than satisfactory so far. Things might have been different if I was running ethanol jungle juice and boosting the tits off them, but as I have previously stated, these are road going zeds and I strive to achieve wide usable powerbands rather than Dyno Queen numbers :rolleyes:

    Geron, my zeds were both running S1 ptu’s when I switched to the smart coils. I figured NO PTU was a much better option than a S1 or S2. Why run a ptu / zx coil combo when a lone smart coil will do the same job more efficiently (and reliably) ?

    You push the coil onto the spark plug and the rubber boot “grabs” the ceramic part of the plug tightly. It sounds a bit dodgy, but you’d be surprised how effective this method is ……. if NSW country roads can’t pop them loose, it shows how well it works :cool:

    The one “trick” that is used is the application of Dielectric grease …… it stops the rubber boot from adhering to the ceramic of the plug due to heat. This stuff seems to last forever, so I figure you re apply it whenever you change your plugs.

    Ian(zx299)
     
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