Traditional Factory Ignition Systems (DIS) have been operating under the hood of cars for over two decades, but in recent years a new trend has emerged with the introduction of multi-coil systems:
COP systems have become popular for many reasons: easy installation, quick assembly / disassembly, increased productivity, reduced exhaust emissions, balanced fuel consumption.
Placing separate ignition coils directly above each spark plug solves a number of problems:
Consequently, each coil can be smaller, lighter, and able to consume less energy to activate the spark plug.
From a performance standpoint, having a separate coil for each cylinder gives you more time to recharge between cylinder shots. When using distribution systems, each single coil must fire twice during each crankshaft revolution in a four-cylinder engine and four times in a V8 engine.
When using a system with multiple coils, each coil should only fire once for each revolution of the crankshaft. This provides a longer saturation time for a hotter spark, especially at higher RPMs (when the firing time is significantly reduced). The result is fewer misfires, cleaner combustion and, as a result, fuel savings.
Having a separate coil for each cylinder also improves the engine’s ability to handle more recirculated exhaust gases in order to reduce nitrogen oxides (which is important for today’s low-emission vehicle standards), according to original equipment suppliers. The hotter spark makes the spark plugs more resistant to pollution and allows the car to travel 100,000 miles without replacing the plugs. The multi-coil ignition system also improves idle stability.
A typical multi-coil ignition system comes in a variety of configurations. On Chrysler, Toyota and many other vehicles, coils are installed directly above the spark plugs. Many of them are thin, recessed into special wells located in the engine valve covers. In other motors, such as GM’s Quad 2.2L Four, individual coils are installed in a cassette or holder that positions the units over the spark plugs. Late Corvette, Camaro, and other V8s use a Near Plug coil adjuster because the spark plugs protrude from the cylinder head side and there is no room to fit at the end of each fork. Here, the individual coils are mounted on the valve cover and attached to the fork with short spacers.
In most older systems without ignition, an electronic module was part of the overall design and controlled the turning on and off of the coils. On most newer systems, the switching function is controlled by the control module, although additional electronics and diodes can be installed at the top of each coil. The PCM receives the base timing signal from the CKP sensor.
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