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Wholesale ignition swap

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BadHabit351 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 23-November-2020 at 4:42AM
When I built my 393 stroker; I bought an MSD ready to run distributor and suggested coil.

Apparently, MSD isn't what they used to be. I had been having several tuning issues that I could not resolve consistantly. The straw that broke the camel's back was when I discovered my distributor was not returning from mechanical advance. Set the initial at 12 BTDC, drive the car and when you checked it again it was at varying ranges from 24 to 28 BTDC. Shut down the engine and most of the time it would return to 12...most of the time. A few times I had to roll start because the timing was so high, that 10.1:1 motor would not spin. I do have a PMGR starter. This seems to be an issue with MSD's in Fords (or any front distributor set up) and the fix is to send the distributor to MSD along with $140, they recoat the shaft, and send it back. Problem is; next year the issue rears its ugly head again.

After much internet investigating; I chose Todd Meyer's distributor....but it was not available in August and they weren't sure when it would be available again.

Next option was a good old Duraspark. I talked to the folks at Performance Distributors. They first recommended an HEI set up. Not judging those that have, but this old boy does not like the appearance of that huge cap and coil set up displayed on the front of a small block Ford. 

After several emails about their Duraspark, I decided that was my direction.

Some of the best money I've spent.

I bought the entire set up from them including the distributor, coil, and extended dwell spark box. After a quick & dirty installation; all I can say is HOLY MOLY! There was quite a bit of power unleashed and several frustrating tuning issues are gone.

I had a sputter that I could not tune out. Apparently, I fighting that over advanced timing. Their timing curve almost matches what I had set up exactly (had the dist been perfoming correctly...). Another cured issue was hard starting after sitting for a week. It was a 10 minute ordeal to get the rumble going. Now...as soon as fuel pressure gauge shoes pressure (about 5 spins of the engine), it fires. Very smooth power now from idle to WOT. The ED box also has a built in rev limiter...another bonus.

For full disclosure, I did install a new set of 8.5mm plug wires and a fresh set of plugs. I went with the Summit Racing wires (cut to fit) and good old Autolite plugs.

I had my other tach modified by Rocketman to run as God intended (- side of the coil) so that's next in installation.




1973/72 Gran Torino Sport
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dan0R30 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dan0R30 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-February-2021 at 8:33AM
That sounds like a solid ignition system! I'm intrigued to say the least. I used an MSD dizzy and 6AL over 15 years ago but it seems like all I read are bad experiences now. I haven't heard of Performance Distributors but they must be a reputable shop as they have a backlog even outside their peak season (currently 6-8 weeks).

I've only started looking into some ignition options and just saw this post. Looks to be a good tuned Duraspark option and cheaper than an equivalent MSD setup. Is this a 12V ignition? If so, did you use a relay w/ existing ballast for your 12V source? Thanks for sharing your setup.
Dan

1970 Ford Torino 2drHT - Original 351C 4V - FMX - 9" 3.00
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BadHabit351 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BadHabit351 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-February-2021 at 1:35AM
MSD which is owned by Holley now, is mostly made in China...big shock, huh? I will never buy another MSD. Another American legend down the toilet.

Yes, it's a 12V coil. I wired in a relay that the 7V coil wire will trigger. I had my tach converted and will be eliminating that from the positive side. I have this thing about not cutting factory wiring harnesses, so the relay was the right answer for me.
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dan0R30 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dan0R30 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-February-2021 at 1:16PM
That is too bad about MSD...

I like the relay option. Splicing the factory wiring harness is definitely not on my list. Thanks for the info, I'll be putting this ignition on my top choices list. FWIW, I just realized that the Performance Distributors brand is the same as Davis Unified Ignition. I still don't have personal experience with their product but I HAVE heard of them. Summit even has a few of their products in stock.

Dan

1970 Ford Torino 2drHT - Original 351C 4V - FMX - 9" 3.00
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californiajohnny View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-February-2021 at 6:38PM
i have a davis unified ign  HEI dist. in my toyota celica! it was pricey but they set it up on their machine for my cam and carb set up custom dialed inWink they were the first to offer modified GM HEI dist. to fit non GM enginesBig smile

JOHN
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Big Bird View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Big Bird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-February-2021 at 9:08AM
That's just funny right there, Johnny.
Distributor looks to be as big as the engine.
"What we do in full frontal view, is more honest than your cleaned-up mind."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-February-2021 at 3:02PM
Originally posted by Big Bird Big Bird wrote:

That's just funny right there, Johnny.
Distributor looks to be as big as the engine.
it's the camera angle, but yes it's big but reliableWink it's extended to clear p/s res/ pump on toyota trucks which i don't have, i guess they offer a shorter one but this was all dialed in so...
JOHN
74 GRAN TORINO S&H CLONE
74 VETTE CUSTOM
90 S10 BLAZER 4X4 LIFTED
77 CELICA CUSTOM
75 V8 MONZA SUPERCHARGED
79 COURIER VERT. SLAMMED
75 VEGA V6 5 SPD
70 CHEV C10 P/U
68 MUSTANG FB CONVERSION
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