Last update Sept. 7/17

CPI (Coil Pack Ignition)(Aviation Applications)

Programmable ignition system for aviation and automotive applications. See automotive CPI info here: CPI


CPI module

The most feature packed, easy to use, programmable aircraft electronic ignition on the market

The CPI is a programmable, stand alone, crank triggered, distributorless ignition system for 4, 6 and 8 cylinder engines. The primary target market is aviation engines equipped with carburetors or mechanical fuel injection. Comes complete with coil pack, crank sensor, magnets, wiring harness, vacuum hose, manual. Compared to older aircraft electronic ignitions, the CPI is smaller, lighter and has more features. There are no big, clunky multiple boxes to wire together. The CPI is user programmable (in flight if you wish) via the integrated keypad. No antiquated DIP switches, no PC required, no extra cost, separately wired interfaces, no scheduled maintenance to perform. No other system gives you the ease to advance timing when running Lean of Peak for maximum power and fuel economy.

Kit prices start at $850US for some basic 4 cylinder engines like Jabiru 2200 and Rotax 912(single coil pack, without plug wires). We'll tailor wiring harnesses and optional items to suit each customer's specific requirements. Best to email us here for your needs and a quote: racetech1@telus.net Please note that these prices are not for the automotive kits that we also offer here: CPI


Electronic Ignition Kit Price Comparison 4 Cylinder Lycoming USD (as of Sept.1/17)

SDS CPI $1170
P-Mag $1555+ $198 for new gear
Lightspeed III $1535-$1750
Electroair $1950

Please note, the CPI is not suitable for hand propped engines, you must have a starter



Complete Lycoming 540 kit. System prices range from $1215 to $1325US for single systems driving one set of plugs, $2275 to $2495 for dual system driving both sets of plugs, depending on options. On engines with long reach plugs (identified with yellow center head finning), add $102 per system for longer plug adapters and Denso Iridium plugs.



Spark plugs and adapters for long reach Angle Valve Lycomings (IO-390/ 580)



Rotax 912 single CPI kit


  • CPI gives you complete timing control with rpm (100 rpm increments on direct drive engines) as well as manifold pressure (boost retard and vacuum advance)
  • Small size- 4.4 X 2.35 X 1.2 inches for module
  • Clean, compact design
  • Integral MAP sensor
  • Rev limiting
  • Backlit LCD has gauge mode to display rpm, manifold pressure and actual ignition timing
  • 12V tach output
  • Programmable dwell time and cranking retard values
  • Single CPI module can drive two coil packs for twin plug, 4 cylinder engines (Continental, Lycoming, Jabiru 2200, Rotax 912/914 etc.)
  • Based on proven SDS EM-5 and XIC software/ hardware, over 20 years experience and thousands of systems in service worldwide
  • MAP units display in inches of mercury absolute
  • Aviation panel mount kit available
  • Low current draw/ long spark duration. 4 cylinder coil pack and CPI draw about 1.2 amps at 2500 rpm.
  • Aviation CPIs have a switch to alter advance with mixture strength for best LOP cruise economy or swiching between mogas and 100LL.
  • Magnet alignment screen and LED for fast crank sensor setup, error warning for missed magnets/ alignment issues
  • Coil test mode
  • Runup test for twin plug aviation installations
  • Simple wiring hookup, Wiring harness included made from Mil Spec Tefzel wire.
  • Hall Effect triggered- no timing disc to mount. Flying magnets (supplied) can be mounted to crank pulley or flywheel
  • Magnets are crankshaft mounted so timing is precise, no worries about magneto gears, drives, bearings wearing or failing
  • No electronics mounted inside hot engine parts like many other aircraft EI systems
  • No cooling blast tubes required like many other aircraft EI systems
  • No periodic inspections on mag gears, cotter pins, bearings, shafts, seals, PCBs like P-mag. Just check spark plugs during annual
  • All components firewall forward are waterproof unlike some other aircraft EIs
  • Our circuit boards are conformal coated in key areas to resist humidity, condensation and oxidation unlike some EIs which have bare boards
  • Coil packs are engine mountable
  • Bolt on kits for Experimental Lycoming 4 and 6 cylinder, Jabiru 2200/ 3300, Rotax 912/914 engines
  • Variety of coil pack mounts available for Lycoming engines- (top case, mag hole and firewall)
  • Unit can be blind or panel mounted
  • Lower price than other aircraft EIs. Single 4 cylinder CPI with all options and short reach plugs- $1170.
  • Racetech/SDS has been selling EIs to the aviation market since 1997. We've built our reputation and business on reliable, affordable products and the best customer and tech support in the industry. You'll find us friendly, helpful and timely in our responses before and after the sale and we don't make promises we can't keep.
  • Note the CPI should only be used with resistor type spark plugs and good quality, EMI/ RFI suppression type plug wires. Never use non-resistor plugs or solid core wires. We can supply quality MSD plug wire, boots and terminals for most engines.


    A couple videos showing basic features and programming and CPI hardware:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBEOQdZBOS8

    hhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olQwqfxm2BE



    Lycoming 320/360 ignition kit includes Magneto cover, single or dual Hall sensor and mount, hardware, automotive plug adapters and plugs plus drilling block, drill and tap to mount magnets into OE flywheel, optional panel mount kit, MSD 8.5mm wire sets and wiring harness also included (not shown). Fits engines with 8 7/16 ID flywheel only. Prices range from $1120 to $1170US for a single setup firing one set of plugs, $1965 to $2185 for dual setup firing both sets of plugs, depending on options. On engines with long reach plugs (identified with yellow center head finning), add $68 per system for longer plug adapters and Denso Iridium plugs. Wiring harnesses can be custom tailored to your needs and any items not desired can be deleted from the kit. Note, you must drill and tap your own flywheel for the triggering magnets with the drilling kit provided.


    Photos showing some of the basic screens here:


    Advance switch screen


    Magnet alignment window


    RPM timing advance window


    Manifold pressure advance window


    Manifold pressure retard window

    Programming resolution is 1 degree. Timing values are shown in true degrees. Full control given to the user over the entire timing map from cranking retard to rpm (every 100 rpm) to MAP (every 1.2 inches) plus advance switch amounts. No clumsy, extra cost programming interfaces like Lightspeed, P-MAG offers.



    CPI-6 coil pack, crank sensor installation on Mike Robinson's Lycoming IO-540 powered Rocket


    Flywheel detail on IO-540


    Crank sensor mount detail on IO-540



    Coil mount kit for 4 cylinder Lycoming engines. Mounts to top rear of crankcase


    New rear mount for coil packs on 4 cylinder Lycoming engines. Mounts in place of magnetos.


    New 540 top coil mount


    ***Please be sure to measure your front case bolt spacing on Lycoming engines before ordering. This dimension can be either 3.25 or 3.50 inches.***



    Adam Pontious' very nice Rocket with CPI


    Photos of Hall mount for 3.50 inch case bolt spacing


    3.25 inch spacing Hall mount. Both designs now have threaded holes to mount cable protection plate to.


    Dual CPI panel installation in Lancair


    Lycoming 540 rear coil pack mount


    Rear coil mount on Lycoming O-320


    Simon Jarman's lovely O-320 powered Glastar in France with CPI-4. Nov. 2016 update from Simon- "...I have been running your CPI unit for 8 months, and so far it is a fix and forget solution. The engine always starts hot or cold and there is no rpm drop on turning off my magneto, so the CPI seems to be doing all the work. I am saving some fuel too. On a recent trip to Spain at 8000' I averaged 19.6 mpg out and 21.4 mpg back, difference due to wind. Previously I was seeing about 18 mpg"


    Crank trigger detail on Lycoming 360/ Lancair


    Firewall mount of CPI coil pack on Neil McLaren's RV6, Aerosport 375 engine



    Replace your crude factory Rotax ignition with CPI. New lightweight Rotax 912/914 magnet disc and Hall sensor mount. Dynamo ring not included.



    Jabiru 2200/3300 Magnet disc and Hall sensor mount

    For aircraft system pricing, options and wiring harness lengths and termination preferences, please contact us:

    E-mail:racetech1@telus.net



    Subaru type coil pack supplied for 4 and 8 cylinder engines and twin plug, 4 cylinder engines


    Coil pack supplied for 6 cylinder engines with module, mounting bracket and heat sink. 3.6 pounds


    Underside of CNC'd mounting bracket, 6 cylinder


    Coil mounting hardware kit included


    LCD shown in gauge mode


    Optional Panel Mount Kit


    Panel mount blocks on CPI


    Blocks, hardware and drilling/ scribing template


    Block detail


    Template over CPI face


    Approximate System weights

    Single 4 cylinder CPI driving one set of plugs- 4.5 pounds

    Single 6 cylinder CPI driving one set of plugs- 5.5 pounds

    Dual 4 cylinder CPI driving 2 sets of plugs- 8.5 pounds

    Dual 6 cylinder CPI driving 2 sets of plugs- 10.5 pounds

    Note that there are slight differences in coil mount weights


    MSD Plug Wires and Boots

    Be sure you push the plug and coil boots all the way down to engage the terminals fully. There should be about a 1/8 inch gap as shown in the photo below


    CPI Documentation

    For main aero CPI installation and tuning manual click here

    For CPI aircraft supplement guide click here

    Lycoming 4 cylinder magnet mounting

    Lycoming 6 cylinder magnet mounting

    Basic wiring and switch layout for dual 6 cylinder CPI


    Magneto Parts to Remove on 6 Cylinder Lycoming Engines

    Exploded view of magneto parts on Lycoming 540 engines: 540magparts.pdf
    When replacing the mags on 6 cylinder Lycoming engines, be sure to remove the gear/ cup (6), cush drive (2) and pilot bearing (7) as shown above. Be very careful not to drop any of the parts into the sump! The extension housing (4) may be removed or left in place as desired


    MSD Plug Wire Part Numbers

    The following bulk PNs fit all coil packs:

    34049 8.5mm red Superconductor wire
    34615 90 degree terminal (plug and coil)
    34605 straight plug terminal
    34555 90 degree coil boot
    34515 90 degree plug boot
    34565 straight plug boot


    For other aviation product information, click here: Aircraft


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