Has anyone tried converting the standard mag ignition  to an electronic ignition? Seems like an electronic ignition would have lots of advantages over the old system. I'm all ears!!

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I don't know if you are familiar with SDS Efi? Here is there website. They make a kit for upgrading to EFi on the O200.


Several vendors support this, but they’re on what I consider to be on the expensive side. Like $1700 per “mag”. Just chkd. Spruce has em for $1400. e-Mag. 

Going to an electronic ignition on the 0-200 makes operation of the engine dependent upon the alternator and battery.

I have the C-90 on my 750. I like the fact the engine is so simple and dependable. No need for a working battery or alternator to fly you home.


I installed a pair of P-Mags on my O-200A. They were a bit pricey as Carl mentioned. I purchased them from E-Mag Electronic Ignitions. What I like about their P-Mag model is that it allows the use of automotive plugs which are much more economical than aircraft plugs, but have a much higher spark output. Jimmy's point about being dependent on a battery and alternator is not valid with the P-Mag version because it has a built-in alternator within the mag. The battery is only required for the initial startup. If the battery or alternator should happen to fail in-flight, the P-Mag continues to operate the same as a regular magneto. The only caveat is the rpm must be kept above 800 rpm for guaranteed operation, but in-flight your propeller will not get to that low an rpm. Mine will actually continue to function down to about 750 rpm. As with a lot of things in aviation, it comes down to personal preference.

Dennis Hutchinson

Hi Dennis,

i would sure like to hear any comments or reviews you may have on the p-mag, especially any performance gains.

im considering purchasing one myself.


Thanks for the correction, my mistake. I was not aware they had their own alternator, just read up on that at the Emags website. 

Jimmy Y

Hi Dennis, I really appreciate your comments and insight, I will look into the P-mags as they sound like what I want in my plane. As a mechanic for John Deere, I've worked on quite a few magnetos (although not aviation mags) and have seen their weaknesses. I would rather have an electronic ignition system in my airplane and if it doesn't require a battery to fire it, so much the better.

Same here...would love to hear about performance and specifically anything that makes the mags superior to regular mags. Anecdotally I have heard that if you’re generally flying at lower altitudes there is no significant difference. Also because our planes are generally flying at lower speeds too. Would love to know for sure.  Thanks

David, Jimmy and Don,

Sorry for the slow reply. I can't really give you any difference in performance figures because I never flew the engine with the original Slick mags on it. You do need to keep the drive gear from the Slicks to be remounted on the P-Mags. I can't find my original weights for the old mags compared to the P-Mags at the moment, but as I recall it was a weight savings of around 3-4 pounds for the pair. To use the automotive plugs does require the purchase of some brass inserts which will need to be modified in length to fit your individual engine. I had been using Bosch Platinum Cross-Fire plugs until Bosch stopped manufacturing them. I am now using an NGK Iridium plug, which works quite well. One of the nice things about installing the P-Mags, the engine fires up within the first 3 blades, unless I forget to switch the ignition switch on. Another thing that I have been very impressed with is E-Mags customer service. After about 100 hours or so, one of the clamp nuts on my right mag loosened up, which in turn caused the mag to malfunction. I had purchased the P-Mags more than a year before my first run-up, and clearly the damage was caused by the loose clamp nut, and the mag was definitely beyond the warranty time limits. I contacted them, told them exactly what had transpired and shipped the mag to them. They returned the mag completely rebuilt to me within a week. When I opened the box and found the invoice, I was shocked to see that there was no charge! However, when I reinstalled the mag, I replaced the clamp nuts with brass Continental exhaust flange nuts. They are about 5/8" long and a resistance fit with the same diameter and pitch as the mag clamp nuts. I have not had any more problems with the clamp nuts loosening up since, around 175 hours later at this point. And both P-Mags have been functioning flawlessly. I usually lean enough to keep my EGT's around 1450-1475, with normal cruise about 2550 rpm. I've been getting a pretty consistent fuel burn rate of about 4.8 gph.


Thanks for the comments Dennis

I have a Zodiac 601xl. I inherited a project with an O-200 Continental. The Bendix mags were in bad shape. I tried to have them reworked and one was completely shot so that is when I researched E-Mags. I did a top overhaul due to scoring in the cylinder walls. (engine sat for years without being run) I had the the cylinders honed to 15,000 of an inch. At that time, I replaced the cylinders with higher Compression pistons (C-85) and replaced the rings. I decided to use one P-114 E-Mag. I was adivised to keep my regular Bendix magneto as a backup. (for redundancy) I did that until the distributor housing cracked on the other Bendix magneto. I replaced that with a second E-Mag. Although rare in an O-200 Continental, someone I know, who has an RV-9A, has two E-Mags on his Lycoming 0-360 and loves them. (he is getting close to 7 gph) I absolutely love them! Electronic Ignition puts my airplane into the 21st century. The spark is hotter and the engine starts right up. I use auto plugs, I save closer to a gallon of fuel an hour, and the engine runs smoother and stronger. You can put in a switch to vary the ignition timing and get even better performance at altitude. (can only change it on the ground) E-Mags have not been approved for certified engines but since this is experimental it is allowed. There is discussion about having one E Mag and one regular magneto. The fear is that if you have an electrical failure the regular magneto will keep the engine running. As stated before in another post, the E-Mag has its own alternator and technically, if you keep it above 900 rpms it will run. (mine cuts out around 750 rpm) The chances of both E-Mags malfunctioning are slim to none. Before I was lucky to get 80 bhp out of this engine, now I get closer to 115 bph. (this is because of the previous work I mentioned) but the E-Mags help. The other thing I can't say enough of is E-Mag customer support. Brad and Trent have been great. I had an issue with my left E-Mag, I sent it back to them and they completely overhauled it at no cost. If you can find a used one for an O-200 Continental, send it in to them, the overhaul price is around $130. They offer a military discount on a new E-Mag. Although the 0-200 Continental is heavier than a Rotax 912ULS by around 100 lbs, I wanted a direct drive engine, bullet proof reliablity, less complexity, and would offset the weight of a BRS Chute installed in my hat shelf. (a concession to my wife) I have flown my airplane several times to Key West, over the open water, to the Bahamas and the engine runs great. I may even do the Governors Cup Race to the Caribbean with 25 other airplanes next February. I am very happy with the E-Mags and strongly recommend them. With a regular magneto at nearly $1200 each for a few hundred more, I would give the emags serious consideration. RJS


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