I want to take my 1960 mustang and add a Coil on plug for a fun little project.. how much work do you think it will be? First time doing this so I want to know how will I go about doing it?

  • Which engine are you doing this with? Unless you are being "generic" about a "60's" Mustang, they only go back to '64. You wouldn't be able to do a "coil-on" setup, but might be able to do a "coil-over" (or coil-near) setup. Depends on what exactly you have and what you want to do with it. Commented Dec 4, 2016 at 20:41
  • What are you hoping to gain by doing this? If you are looking for a fun project, maybe a fuel injection kit, disc brake conversion, or something else would be more functional.
    – cory
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 15:41
  • You'd probably be better off just installing an MSD ignition kit or something of the like. Like vini_i said, coil-over will likely be prohibitively expensive, and an ignition kit should reap the same benefits. If you're super familiar with the car you could reasonably expect to finish the project in an afternoon depending on how well you clean up the cables and such.
    – atraudes
    Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 0:55

1 Answer 1


It would be lots and lots and lots of work. Did I mention lots.

The car has nothing electronic at all. It has a carburetor and points and breaker distributor. There is effectively no starting point and everything would need done from scratch.

Currently everything in your car is run mechanically. Points and breaker are mechanically opened and closed by a cam wheel. The timing is taken care of with mechanical flyweights and a vacuum advance. The cylinder selection depends on the location of the rotor inside the distributor. The temperature of the engine changes what kind of vacuum the advance gets. All of this functionality would need to be recreated electronically.

For starters, in a coil on plug system everything is run electronically. There is a crank shaft position sensor, camshaft position sensor, some type of load sensor (manifold absolute pressure or mass air flow), coolant temperature, intake air temperature and knock sensors. A computer reads in all these sensors and decides on what cylinder to fire, what kinds of dwell is needed and what timing is needed.

First you'll need a computer. Either something custom built like a Mega Squirt or something aftermarket like an Accel. Then at the bare minimum you'll need all the ignition components (duh), crank shaft position sensor, load sensor and coolant temperature. A camshaft position sensor makes it nicer but by using a waste spark firing order the sensor could be avoided. Intake air temperature sensor would also be nice because it can compensate for air temperature. Knock sensor would be the hardest to install because they screw into the block and the block needs to be designed to hold them.

After all that the timing curves would need to be mapped and programmed into the computer.

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