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Old April 27th, 2018, 09:28 AM   #1
V8Transporter
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Default 21st Century Ignition
Re:: New distributor for my V8 Single Cab.   

Back in the early 80's I installed a Mallory Dual Point distributor in the Single Cabs' 351 Windsor engine. I've been having problems for the last year or so, and plan to replace it with a new pointless unit. I've heard that Summit has a good breaker-less distributor at a reasonable price. Any thoughts & suggestions will be appreciated.
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Old April 27th, 2018, 03:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: 21st Century Ignition

I got nothing, maybe you get to be Guinea Pig. ;)
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Old April 27th, 2018, 04:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: 21st Century Ignition

I run Mallory Unilites so I still haven't made it to the 21st century.
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Old April 27th, 2018, 05:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: 21st Century Ignition

I've installed new points, checked the lobes and drive gear, shaft etc. But for some reason there is no flash at the set which opens first, either when cranking, or just opening them with the ignition on. Checked the wire, ground, etc...sigh. From the coil wire there is a beautiful blue/white spark, from the new MSD coil (after a new Accel coil suddenly quit) and proper resistor. . But it doesn't seem make it to the plug past the first firing. A plug will fire once then nada. Ignition switch checks out, thought I 'hot wired " it just in case. New plug wires check out. I bought and returned a brand new cap, which didn't fit..about .090" id too large when positioned on the dist. body, so it sort of wobbled even with the clips in place. Spare old cap didn't conduct through the center wire plug to the piece running to the rotors top. A second old cap seems okay, but??
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Old April 28th, 2018, 12:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: 21st Century Ignition

Go Hall effect... You'll be done with all that wear and tear in the distributor... I went Pertronix years ago on My bugs and never looked back... that is until My Step son hooked my wires up backward during a engine pull and re-install for some reason... They don't work well after that so I went to a "preset" Points distributor and stabbed it so I could go to the store and buy a new Pertronix rig... Been a long time since I had a running Bug motor, but I still have a coupe to build up when the time comes available. Won't be using points in the new builds either.
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Old April 28th, 2018, 08:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: 21st Century Ignition

If it's late when you're reading this, it will likely help you sleep.
Today I pulled out the Mallory Dual point and noticed that both points didn't look like they were seated on the plate. Looked like they hadn't seated at the pivot point, leaving a gap of about .100" between the points assembly and the plate at that end. The other end is held flat against the plate by the small screw which holds things once the point gap has been set. So I pulled the plate for better look. At the pivot point on the plate there is a raised alloy ring (.124" high by .325" dia.) around the the base of the pivot shaft. The top outer edge of the 'ring' has a slight 45 degree relief to allow the hole in the points assembly to slide over and down into place. Except, id of the hole is .002" to .003" smaller than this ring it's supposed to slide over. My old points are the same, didn't fit right either. But I have no idea how far back new ones quit fitting. A minute or so with a small rat tail file and the whole thing slips together. I installed the distributor in '82 or '83. I began to have a problem a few years back with new points wearing oddly. Funny, but the inner part of new dist cap I recently bought and returned was about .090" larger in diameter that the alloy body where it's supposed to seat. It literally wobbled when clipped in place.
Either the specs have changed with later distributors, or replacement parts are crap.
I'll give it another shot tomorrow, but a new electronic system like a Pedtronics looks like the hot setup.
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Old April 29th, 2018, 09:29 AM   #7
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Default Re: 21st Century Ignition

Replacement parts ARE crap in a lot of instances. It's getting harder and harder to find quality bits any more.
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Old April 29th, 2018, 10:23 AM   #8
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Default Re: 21st Century Ignition

It has to be replacement parts

Last August I brought a SVDA distributor to replace my 009 that I bought bacck in 1986, I also bought a Pertronix pointless ignition setup for it, when I went to put the Pertronix pointless ignition setup on the new distributor the magnet ring that fits over the distributor shaft with the 4 lobes it didn't fit, I got out my calipers and measured to see why it didn't fit, the new distributor's shaft and lobes were 0.007" larger than the old distributor, so I went back to my garage and pulled out all the distributors I had and checked their size, they were all the same size as the distributor I bought in 86
I took the magnetic ring and set it on the roof of my wife's car which is black and left it there in the sun for about 4 hours and forced it on, then this past winter after driving it for a while, parked it, went out a few hours later it wouldn't run, was popping like it was 180 degrees off, turns out that magnetic ring cracked, so I put points back in, a month later it wouldn't start, I checked everything, no spark at the plug, wasn't until I pulled the cap off, then went to pull the rotor off that I noticed the distributor shaft was broken, I bought it from Appletree and told them what happened, 3 days later a new one came in the mail, the shaft on it is oversized as well, I bought a new Pertronix magnetic ring from Summit Racing but it won't fit, I measured it and it's the exact same size as the distributor shaft, I'm going to use my dremal and try to open up the inside of the magnetic ring because it's easier ro remove plastic than metal

Basically I'm saying these new parts aren't made anything like they were years ago, but then again I didn't even look to see where this new distributor was made versus the old one I bought back in 86
I'm still driving with the old 009 and points, on a these days I'll get around to getting it in because I si don't like adjusting points

Ron
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Old April 29th, 2018, 02:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: 21st Century Ignition

Since I'm obviously not alone with problems of this sort...

A song...to the tune of, ahem, "I've been working on the railroad."
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Old April 29th, 2018, 02:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: 21st Century Ignition

Arrgh..anyway...

I've been working on my project
All the live long week
Back and forth to the parts store
Enough times to make me shriek
Used to be
That you could buy parts
Which always worked 'n fit
But these days at the counter
What they hand you
Ain't
Worth
Shit

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Old April 30th, 2018, 10:35 AM   #11
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Default Re: 21st Century Ignition

Hmm. Thinking back, exceptions to the above little ditty are places like Wolfsburg West, JBugs and Wolfgang Intl. I've had very positive experiences with them. Maybe that's because they're supplying parts for bugs and Type IIs, etc.....
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Old April 30th, 2018, 06:35 PM   #12
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Default

I picked up a Pertronix, plugs, Bosch wires, and prolly a few other things for the fake Heb about 6 months ago. It's an 009 of mystery origin, but it all went together like butter. Imma take the hint that the VW gods have given me and keep that puppy when I go through the motor

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Old May 5th, 2018, 10:42 PM   #13
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Default Re: 21st Century Ignition

I wonder if we could make a pointless ignition system using a reed switch and a magnet put on the rotor arm.

My idea is to drill holes in a messed up dizzy cap then mount reed switches in them. Drill a hole in the router arm then glue in a small magnet. When itís spinning it will trip the reed switch have this input go to the junkyard coils. Frankly a wasted spark system would be fine for this!

I wonder if this would work! Whatís even better is you could even keep a vacuum advance with this set up.
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Old May 27th, 2018, 04:50 PM   #14
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Default Re: 21st Century Ignition

This just in .....Looking back at the log I keep for the Single Cab, the last swap of a new condenser was about 8 years and 12k miles ago... So Friday I stopped at Smothers Performance parts, who carry Mallory parts, and ordered a new Mallory condenser, two in fact. Danny, the parts guy, wasn't kidding that they would arrive the next morning.
Yesterday I picked 'em up and an hour ago swapped in a shiny new condenser. I haven't tried to start the truck in about a month. Before it took a shot of starting fluid and a couple seconds of cranking before she'd stumble to life for a couple of seconds before stumbling to a stop.
Fingers crossed, I pumped the throttle once, pulled on the choke and turned the key. This time Bang, she was running, and instead of stumbling to a stop, picked up the RPMs until I dialed back on the throttle screw. I let her run for about five minutes, shut her off and tried again. A quick turn of the starter and she was right back at it, coming up fast from an idle when I opened her up a bit. Next I'll set the timing and readjust the carb. But she sounds great! Oh, the condenser was $10.22 with tax.
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Old May 27th, 2018, 05:57 PM   #15
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Default Re: 21st Century Ignition

What ignition system was Ford using when they built the last small block in 2003 for the 5.0 Explorer? Can that work on a 351W? Was it distributorless? Distributors are definitely 20th Century
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Old May 27th, 2018, 08:47 PM   #16
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Default Re: 21st Century Ignition

I have no idea. My 351 came out of t-boned '79 PG&E truck and factory dist. which I replaced in '80 or so. Right now with the Single Cab running again, I think I'll stick with my 38 y.o. dual point.
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Old May 27th, 2018, 10:18 PM   #17
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If it ainít broke (at the moment)...😃
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Old May 28th, 2018, 08:01 AM   #18
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Default Re: 21st Century Ignition

Yup. I plan to have the truck "live in the moment." Hopefully for a year or six.
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Old May 28th, 2018, 02:27 PM   #19
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Default Re: 21st Century Ignition

You can always look up "how to adapt a Toyota Distributor and ignition set to your VW air-cooled engine"... well something like that. Bob Hoover (I know a lot of you know who that was) did a sermon or write up detailing how to do it. some of us actually printed out the information on PAPER... Kinda old school I know, but it does exist for those who'd like to hunt it down online as well. look up Hoover Sermons and see what comes up... Well worth the read if you find the article I'm talking about.
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Old May 28th, 2018, 03:25 PM   #20
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Default Re: 21st Century Ignition

If I ever pull the V8 and return the truck to sort of stock condition, I'll give a Toyota Distributor a 'look see.'
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Old May 30th, 2018, 10:36 AM   #21
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Default Re: 21st Century Ignition

Toyota to a VW huh, have I got a story for you

Years ago I bought a 1980 Datsun pickup truck for $75, it had a Nissan engine and ran real good, but it had so much rust you couldn't haul sand and every bump you hit the truck would whistle a different tune, anyway one day the truck wouldn't start, turns out the ignition modual went bad, a new one cost $285 if it would have been a 1979 the ignition modual only cost $75
So one day I pulled the distributor out and the bottom drive was almost identical to an air cooled VW, I stuck it into a VW case and it fit perfectly, it just stuck out about 3/4" from the case, since I had a box full of VW distributors I took one to work, chucked it up in a lathe and turned down the housing far enough to fit all the way down and engage with the distributor drive gear, hooked up a coil and points and drove it for almost 2 years, I stopped driving it when the cab mounts rusted out and the cab started dropping down interfering with the clutch and brake pedals, I pulled the engine and junked the truck, sold the engine to a guy that lived up the street from me at our first house, we moved a year later, he called me up asking me about the points, he went to the parts store and they told him they didn't put points in those trucks, I told him what I did, then told him he could come get the original distributor and modual, when I told him how much it cost he said forget it and just bought VW points, I don't know how long he kept the engine and the car he put it in but he just laughed when I told him how I fixed it rather than spending almost $300 on a $75 truck

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Old May 30th, 2018, 12:54 PM   #22
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Default Re: 21st Century Ignition

That's the way it works, Ron... Chuck it up and turn it... Make that mother work. The Toyota situation isn't much different than your story, just the other way around and you get to replace the drive piece on the Toyota Distributor after cutting it's shaft and housing down about that much or so the clocking of the Toyota to the drive gear not being all that important as ling as you can time it as needed (which is possible with just about any 4 cylinder rotatable distributor)... It's not too hard from my memory. but I also have always run the Pertronix since they became widely available.
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Old June 2nd, 2018, 07:37 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V8Transporter View Post
If I ever pull the V8 and return the truck to sort of stock condition, I'll give a Toyota Distributor a 'look see.'
😂😂😂Mama always used to say ďread twice, post onceĒ😂😂😂
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