Magneti Marelli digital ignition

The Werk Shop

28814 Nagel Ct., Unit B

Lake Bluff, IL 60044

(847) 295.3200 Telephone

(847) 615.9375 Fax



The “RMFD Control Unit” in the “Old Lady”.

The replacement “RMFD Control Unit” that I ordered from Lenz Motorentechnik in Feldkirchen, Germany.

Sometimes parts just don’t seem to exist anymore.

Case in point is the “RMFD Control Unit” (PartNo 12141304851), a crucial part of the Ignition System, the digital controller made in Italy by Magneti Marelli.

The ProjectM1’s original unit is, unfortunately, not functioning properly. The RealOEM website lists this part as “Ended”. This means that to get a replacement one can not just order one from the factory.

Anybody who knows anything about digital technology will tell you that this is a field where substantial progress was made in the last 25 years. I would therefore choose to replace the old unit with something more modern rather than trying to find somebody that can fix the old one. Google to the rescue! There is a company that makes a modern replacement for the faulty unit in the ProjectM1. If it works I might actually start to believe that Google is worth $690 (December 2007!) per share.

The part I ordered came from Lenz Motorentechnik. They can deliver the updated technology in two ways. They can build the new electronics into the old (Magneti Marelli) box, preserving the original under-bonnet look, or they can send a complete replacement for the original box, that looks, if you squint really hard, almost the same as the original. The replacement seems to have the exact same dimensions as the original. It also has the same type of connectors on each side.

I have received some questions asking me how the Lenz unit performed and untill recently I replied in vague terms, simply because I didn’t know. The first unit I was send back in the spring of 2006 didn’t work at all and –after a quick phonecall to Frau Monika Lenz– found it’s way back to Germany. During the next year and a half I called Frau Lenz every couple of months and witnessed, through these phone calls, what appeared to be a complete redesign of the innards of the Lenz ignition controller. I am happy to report that the unit I received early September 2007 seems to work just fine. I mounted the Lenz replacement in the “Old Lady” and I have had some nice drives, devoid of any problems.

While making my bi-monthly calls to Frau Lenz I was not without doubts. Maybe I would never receive a functioning unit from Lenz Motorentechnik (I am glad to be proven wrong). I tried to come up with a backup plan but I haven’t found any other product that can simply replace the Magneti Marelli ignition control unit while leaving everything else the same.