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Hot Rods Does anyone still make a decent American made distributor for a SBC?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Roothawg, Oct 1, 2019.

  1. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 18,739

    Roothawg
    Member

    I went to start the Produce truck Friday, about 12 hours before we were supposed to run the Hot Rod Hundred, and it wouldn't hit a lick.

    I had purchased a new crate engine from Jegs and stabbed a brand new Pertronix small cap distributor in it. (Against my better judgement) Now, I have no spark.

    It lasted about oh.... about 3500 miles.

    I have heard that MSD, Mallory etc have all been bought up by investment groups and started making all of it in good ole China.

    Oh and let me start out by saying, I have points distributors on the shelf, so let's not belabor that point please. I would like a small cap American made distributor with vacuum advance.
     
    36 Master deluxe likes this.
  2. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,134

    oldsman41
    Member

    Don’t know of any but I carry a spare with me. Haven’t needed it yet been about 10,000 miles Mallory.i believe you are right I think most all the good stuff is now made somewhere other than USA.
     
  3. banjeaux bob
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 5,772

    banjeaux bob
    Member
    from alaska

    Well, it doesn't matter where it's made. It's the market that dictates the quality. Offshore manufacturers are every bit as capable as domestic manufacturers to make quality products.The trouble is how much is the end customer is willing to pay?
     
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  4. Rex_A_Lott
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 964

    Rex_A_Lott
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Are you opposed to taking one of your old point distributors and installing a Pertronix kit?
     
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  5. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 18,739

    Roothawg
    Member

    After dropping $280 on a brand new Pertronix distributor that fails after 3500 miles.....YES.
     
    dana barlow and town sedan like this.
  6. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,531

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Not many much more reliable than an old stock Delco distributor when push comes to shove. Yes you replace the points about every 10k and they don't start quite as easy as one with electronic and you loose a bit of gas mileage over an Hei but they seldom leave you stranded on the side of the road.
     
  7. Rex_A_Lott
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 964

    Rex_A_Lott
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I understand. Wasnt there somebody else that made a points eliminator kit years ago? My memory is fuzzy on that one.
     
    Roothawg likes this.
  8. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,430

    squirrel
    Member

    Not to belabor the point...but take one of those old distributors off the shelf, and install it in your car.

    To answer your original question, no. So use old junk, which works, instead.
     
    Torkwrench, Hnstray, OFT and 13 others like this.
  9. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 3,048

    slowmotion
    Member

    Didn't Crane offer a kit at one time?
    I still have an Accel 37000 series (bearings) dual point. Not the best choice street wise, but no complaints, 40+ years runnin'.
     
    Budget36, Driver50x and Deuces like this.
  10. Truckdoctor Andy
    Joined: Jan 13, 2017
    Posts: 851

    Truckdoctor Andy
    Member

    Just a thought, what about Performance Distributors in Memphis Tennessee?


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  11. town sedan
    Joined: Aug 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,076

    town sedan
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The trouble is how closely the importer rides herd on the offshore manufacture. Quality control has to be done before the shipping container is packed and shipped.

    What are you going to do with a full shipping container filled with parts of questionable quality? Ship 'em back? Or, sell them for the best buck possible? There are folks in this world who think new furniture for the lake house is more important than actually providing a good product for a fair (not cheap) price.
    -Dave
     
    ClayMart likes this.
  12. GMC BUBBA
    Joined: Jun 15, 2006
    Posts: 3,348

    GMC BUBBA
    Member

    Good question ! The answer is NO no one makes a USA made unit anymore.
    There are some options , the very best would be to rebuild a older delco cast iron unit (the very best ever) or use a vintage mallory YC . Both of these could very well use the pertronixs if ya want electronics however the weak point for them is the ignition coil!! I deal with quite a few failures each year and the coil is the culprit , cheap off shore product with a very high failure rate. I would suggest a bosch blue #00012 ignition coil , has a internal resisted winding and i have never really seen a defective one.
     
    verno30, loudbang, 5window and 11 others like this.
  13. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 18,739

    Roothawg
    Member

    Well, I have no idea what is the failure point now. I had absolutely no spark on Friday, now it starts and runs like it should. I got nothing.

    I was just going to crank it around to check the rotor and figured I would try it one more time to get a feel for the way it was acting and the silly thing started.
     
  14. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 15,108

    tb33anda3rd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    look for a pinched wire, dirty connection, bad terminal splice/crimp etc.....
     
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  15. sdluck
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,204

    sdluck
    Member

    Check your ignition switch
     
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  16. sdluck
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,204

    sdluck
    Member

    Have a test light and a jumper wire handy is no start.
     
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  17. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,372

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    "Bubba"'s right. Old Mallory "YC'''s (and other models) are still available on eBay for less than $100; get one before I buy them all and convert them to be used in flatheads. Oh yeah, get some new points and a good condenser and one of the coils "Bubba" mentioned and forget the Pertronix.
     
    Roothawg likes this.
  18. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 15,093

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    these kind of threads make me like my point ignitions more and more..... 1.5 ohm coil and a 1.5 ohm resister and the points will last a good long time... I put a set in my impala just because they had 30,000 miles on em....
     
  19. I am with Bubba. Use an original Delco. I am using the one from my '50, modified for HEI. Only failure has been operator negligence. AKA bad connection.

    And the darn thing did not even need new shaft or bushing. Good old GM.

    Ben
     
  20. deucendude
    Joined: Oct 31, 2008
    Posts: 496

    deucendude
    Member
    from norcal

    Did you happen to mismatch your distributor and coil. You must have the matching coil and distributor. They are guaranteed you know. My chev. powered 48 woodie has had the same one in it since 1993 and I just drove it to Louisville from the west coast. My 32 3 window has had the same one in it for 65,00o Miles.
     
  21. It will be fun now,,,
    When it Works then don’t then works again makes it hard to find a problem that’s currently functioning correctly.
     
  22. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 18,739

    Roothawg
    Member

    Yeah, that drives me crazy. Laying in bed at night, walking back through everything ever done to the ignition system.

    Before, it was backfiring through the carb occasionally, and almost hitting. Pulled a plug, no fire whatsoever. Now it starts in half a crank and idles perfect. Boggles the mind.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  23. FityFive
    Joined: Aug 9, 2010
    Posts: 286

    FityFive
    Member

    Will a Pertronix Ingnitor I or II work with the Bosch Blue coil? I thought I read that the Bosch coil had around 3 ohms resistance on the primary and around 8 on the secondary.
     
  24. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 1,713

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    This is what everyone who " fixes," things hates , you can't disassemble , visually diagnose and repair microprocessor electronics .....Last year my 1978 furnace quit , I could SEE that the heat/ fan relay wasn't tripping , the replacement circuit board has microprocessors to do the same function .
     
  25. Yes, Crane did/does? I bought one 15+ years ago and have had no problems. Factory distributer with electronic replacement for the points.
     
  26. banjeaux bob
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 5,772

    banjeaux bob
    Member
    from alaska

    Actually, much of the quality assurance is done BEFORE a contract is signed. The purchaser and the company lay out the parameters of quality and price. Then then the manufacturer builds a test r


    Again ,the misguided ,prejudicial inference that "offshore " is always inferior. I have been using drivetrain parts from China,Japan,Korea,Brazil,Argentina,Italy,England,Germany,and several former Eastern Block countries for 40 years. Both OEM and aftermarket parts. The difference in quality comes when the PURCHASER dictates the quality level of the finished product....not the manufacturer.
     
    RJP, Blues4U, AHotRod and 1 other person like this.
  27. upspirate
    Joined: Apr 15, 2012
    Posts: 2,056

    upspirate
    Member

    Mallory made the uni-light electronic conversion in the '70's
     
  28. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,424

    19Fordy
    Member

  29. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 18,739

    Roothawg
    Member

    Not sure, but from the prices listed, it looks like a lot of that is coming from off-shore. The prices are very close to those selling on ebay. I'm not wanting this to be a US vs offshore debate. I do like to keep my funds local if possible, but I am a realist also. This is a global economy now.
     
    town sedan and 5window like this.
  30. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 2,314

    Budget36
    Member


    I used to use Cranes in the late 70's and 80's in a few tractors we had, always reliable. Haven't seen them in years.
     

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