Pacemaker Performance is a company created in early 2013. The objective was to produce an electronic ignition designed specifically for an aircraft engine… that has been re-purposed for an airboat engine. The two engines are not the same due to the fact that they operate in two very different ways. So before we discuss the “what”, we must first have an understanding of the “why”.

When an aircraft engine began its ‘life’, it was designed with a specific purpose. The RPM and propeller load could be predicted so the timing necessary for the task could also be predicted. The timing value necessary for that one RPM and load was set using a gear-driven magneto (state-of-the-art technology 80 years ago). Today we “chuckle” at what we used to do 20 years ago, not to mention 80!! And as air boaters, we rarely operate our engines at that “wide open” RPM so the rest of the time our engines are hobbled and very inefficient because of this incorrect timing. That’s why only generators, pumps, and yes, AIRCRAFT engines have fixed timing. Every other engine on this planet produced to operate at varied RPM’s has some sort of provision to match the necessary timing to that chosen RPM.

The first production automobile was Henry J. Ford’s “Model T”. The original one rolled off of the assembly line in October of 1908. It’s safe to assume Mr. Ford did his homework and understood the science involved with a combustion engine. The vehicle was equipped with a massive, 177 cubic inch, 4-cylinder engine producing a mind-boggling 20 horsepower!! With a top speed of nearly 45 mph, this was a beast!! But even at such modest power levels, Henry knew that the timing was critical if the engine was to be efficient and operate at varied RPM’s. To solve this problem, a timing control lever was attached to the steering column and the operator then learned how to manually advance and “retard” the timing as needed. This scientific principle applied over 100 years ago, hasn’t changed to date, and nor will it ever. Your airboat engine is just another engine. Running around ‘on and off’ the throttle, cruising for long periods of time (below full throttle), the engine requires proper timing to be efficient. I encourage everyone to Google “what is timing and what role does it play in my engine?”. Like most anything, once it’s understood, the fear and mystery disappear.

Pacemaker Ignition is proprietary in many ways. The Controller (ECM) is built in-house by hand. It allows “hard” timing and separate manifold pressure (MAP) curves to be established. These two then work together to provide the timing values necessary to achieve maximum efficiency at all RPM’s……from idle to full throttle. Through my experience and extensive testing, I was able to establish a basic setting…..” tune” that works in the vast majority of engines. I pre-set every controller that goes out, however, changes can easily be made as desired. I do strongly encourage anyone to first understand how timing works in a combustion engine before freelancing & making blind adjustments. In the event there is a question, please feel free to call me.

Pacemaker is the only ignition system of its kind that has the ability to run without the ECM. Other products rely totally on the ECM to work the system which can be an issue. As an air boater, water and moisture definitely come with the territory. If your boat sinks, it’s almost guaranteed that your Controller will become inoperative. Not with Pacemaker. And trust me, I personally know from experience that our system will continue to run after being underwater. Both coil packs are in fact their own independent ignition system, containing their own internal software which allows them to “think on their own”. If anything happens to the ECM, the coil packs will default to running individually at 22.5 degrees of fixed timing…….much like mags do. To date, I know of approximately 25 incidences where boats have sunk. In some cases, TWICE AND LEFT OVERNIGHT…….with the power still on. Every one of those systems is still in operation today to my knowledge.

Pacemaker is also proprietary in that it can operate well below 12 volts. Other systems require 12 volts for the ECM to function. As mentioned above, if your ECM quits, your ignition will not function. Having alternator and/or battery issues is very common when air boating. With Pacemaker, even with a loss of power, it will continue to run all the way down to 7 volts!! I am a long-time air boater and I have made every provision possible to ensure you get back to the truck!!

Pacemaker ignition also comes equipped with a built-in nitrous retard program. Most folks care nothing about running nitrous, but some of us like to run a bunch of it!!! Proper timing retard is ABSOLUTELY critical in being able to run nitrous safely and consistently. The controller has an illuminated LCD screen which allows the user to view the timing values. There is also a built-in digital tachometer that not only helps with setting propeller pitch but gives the user the ability to see their “on the button” nitrous gains.

Pacemaker ignition comes with a “No Bullshit” satisfaction guarantee……if you are not completely satisfied within 30 days of purchasing my system, you will be refunded every penny with no questions asked. The system also comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty. For the first year, no matter what happens; fire, lightning strike, crash, or caught up in a gunfight, the system is completely covered with zero out-of-pocket expense. Beyond that, there is NEVER a labor fee associated with a repair and the faulty component is provided at a cost. The expense of a Pacemaker repair rarely exceeds $100. This is far below the average repair on a single magneto. I put a huge emphasis on customer service so when you have an issue, WE have an issue. As I am finishing this paragraph, there are almost 1400 systems in operation and I am not aware of a single un-resolved issue. The bottom line is if there’s a problem, it gets resolved ASAP!!

For more information or if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to call me.

All Systems Start at $1495

All of the systems are prewired and packages as below.

4 Cylinder Lycoming PaceMaker Performance Ignitions KIT

4 Cylinder Lycoming

6 Cylinder Lycoming PaceMaker Performace Ignition KIT

6 Cylinder Lycoming

8 Cylinder Lycoming PaceMaker Performace Ignition KIT

8 Cylinder Lycoming

6 Cylinder Continental Continental PaceMaker Performace Ignition KIT. Sandcast or Perma case.

6 Cylinder Continental

Plate Mount GPU

Plate Mount GPU


Drop us a line

Contact us for anything you want to know! We are happy to answer any question you have!