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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. Driver50x
    Joined: May 5, 2014
    Posts: 16

    Driver50x
    Member


    For what it’s worth, I was a mechanic in a Chevrolet dealership during the 1990’s. I’ve seen plenty of Delco coils that would not work in cold weather, but worked fine as soon as you warmed them up a bit.

    It sounds like Bubba has a bunch of experience with these things. Personally I would heed his advice and just install a new Bosch coil. That could very likely fix your problem.

    I’m reading this thread with interest, as I just installed a Pertronix ignition on my rod as well. I’m hoping it lasts more than 3500 miles. :rolleyes:
     
    Hnstray and town sedan like this.
  2. banjeaux bob
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 5,772

    banjeaux bob
    Member
    from alaska

     
  3. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 15,108

    tb33anda3rd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    be careful just putting any old coil with the pretronics units, some [all?] need a special coil.
     
  4. Truckdoctor Andy
    Joined: Jan 13, 2017
    Posts: 851

    Truckdoctor Andy
    Member

    On Pertronix, you have to match the resistance on the coil to the number of cylinders. I believe on a four cylinder, it calls for a 3 Ohm coil. 90% of my Pertronix are installed on fours. I have one on a six, and one on a 351W. I think the 8 cylinders get a 1.5 Ohm coil.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  5. ^and you have to match the coil resistance to the type of Pertronix igniter. Their site has instructions for all their igniters and distributors with advice on proper coil selection.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  6. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 18,739

    Roothawg
    Member

    That was all done. That's not the issue fellas. If I had to buy a new coil, it would be good info to have. I bought the matched set.
     
    Truckdoctor Andy and town sedan like this.
  7. Ask for a 70 Malibu rebuilt distributor at the auto parts, buy an extra set of points for the glove box and you'll be set.
     
    enigma57, olscrounger, Chucky and 3 others like this.
  8. GMC BUBBA
    Joined: Jun 15, 2006
    Posts: 3,348

    GMC BUBBA
    Member

    yep the bosch works well with the pertronixs
     
    big duece likes this.
  9. raven
    Joined: Aug 19, 2002
    Posts: 4,255

    raven
    Member

    I understand this sentiment, but the issue that arises is that if I want a quality piece and am willing to pay extra, I can’t find anything except the cheap junk.
    r


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
  10. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,372

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The answer is very simple; I'm surprised nobody has come up with it : Junk the Pertronix and get a good set of points and a reliable condenser (I can help with that). This has been covered so may times that it gets ridiculous. And this, on a TRADITIONAL "Hot Rod" forum.
     
    enigma57, Elcohaulic, wbrw32 and 5 others like this.
  11. GMC BUBBA
    Joined: Jun 15, 2006
    Posts: 3,348

    GMC BUBBA
    Member

    Amen , tubman ......its all in marketing !! I get the request every day to modify or change a system thats working very well in a stock form......
     
  12. Rex_A_Lott
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 964

    Rex_A_Lott
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Well, I am all ears. It used to be that most any set of points/condenser were "ok". That's definitely not the case any more. It used to be the gold standard was the heavy duty Echlin brand from Napa, back when everybody was running points, but even those arent the quality that we used to see. At least not the last few sets I've bought.
    In the Model A world they sell what is referred to as a "burn out proof" condenser, made by a company called A&L, I believe, but I dont know of a good source for V-8 stuff.
     
  13. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 18,739

    Roothawg
    Member

    Please re-read post number 1.

    I don’t have a Pertronix conversion, it’s a brand new distributor.

    I have points distributors collecting dust on the shelf. I ran them for years. I don’t want points distributors anymore. I also don’t want 6v charging systems, hand crank starters, mechanical brakes or mohair interior.

    I just want a quality made, high efficiency distributor. Trust me, I understand this is a TRADITIONAL hot rod forum. I’ve been here since the beginning.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  14. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,372

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Ooops! Sorry. It's just that the stock points distributor in my Corvette hasn't missed a beat since I bought the car in 1987. I just thought that would qualify as "a decent American made distributor for a SBC".
     
    olscrounger likes this.
  15. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 18,739

    Roothawg
    Member

    I have a couple of old dual points I could convert with an MSD box using one set of points as a trigger, but then I have a box to worry about. I have a 57 pass car distributor and a later 67 version. I haven't had any luck getting quality points. I'm sure it has to do with supply and demand.
     
  16. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,276

    sunbeam
    Member

    I have had the best luck with petronix 1 kits just remember to turn off the switch they don't like power to them when not running. Or you can go this route points last until the rub block is gone. http://www.gofastforless.com/ignition/points.gif
     
  17. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,677

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    What is that “ECU” ?

    Edit: okay, I went to the web site and read the article. Clever and knowledgeable guy!
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  18. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,276

    sunbeam
    Member

    It is using a Chrysler electronic ignition box. Easy to find and cheap.
     
    Hnstray likes this.
  19. pprather
    Joined: Jan 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,355

    pprather
    Member

    Roothawg, I feel your pain. Even though it is not traditional, I finally went with GM large cap, but it is getting hard to find dependable and long lasting modules for them. I carry a spare. Thankfully it is an easy swap in the field, if it is not dark or raining.

    Phil
     
  20. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 2,314

    Budget36
    Member


    Points in an '87? Or did you miss type the year?
     
  21. enigma57
    Joined: Apr 12, 2007
    Posts: 220

    enigma57
    Member

    Dealing with many of the same issues with regard to ignition with my inline 6 project and my son's 350 V-8 engine.

    The answer for us has been a combination of NOS and good used American made parts we located on the HAMB classifieds and on e-Bay.

    We are both running GM distributors (mine is NOS and the one I gave my son for his 350 V-8 is a vintage GM cast-iron distributor completely rebuilt).

    I had both distributors recurved to suit our engines and both are converted from breaker points to a magnetic pickup (available at NAPA and other auto parts stores, nothing exotic).

    We are both running vintage NOS (Made in USA) MSD 6A capacitive discharge ignition boxes and oil filled Mallory Voltmaster II coils. I have run this type ignition on all my carburetted engines since the 1970s. Its a good setup. No need to reinvent the wheel here.

    Hope this gives you some ideas,

    Harry
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  22. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 515

    Elcohaulic
    Member

    We are both running vintage NOS (Made in USA) MSD 6A capacitive discharge ignition boxes and oil filled Mallory Voltmaster II coils. I have run this type ignition on all my carburetted engines since the 1970s. Its a good setup. No need to reinvent the wheel here.

    Best ignition going...
     
    tb33anda3rd and 2OLD2FAST like this.
  23. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,372

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I don't buy new cars. The Corvette was 20 years old when I bought it.
     
  24. enigma57
    Joined: Apr 12, 2007
    Posts: 220

    enigma57
    Member

    :) They are available, sometimes on the HAMB classifieds and on e-Bay, as well. Here are the current e-Bay listings for NOS Echlin ignition goodies......

    https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nk...SubLocation=1&_sop=12&_dmd=1&_ipg=50&_fosrp=1

    Good luck,

    Harry
     
  25. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 15,094

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    I have been buying the old blister packed tune up kits (points cond and rotor) at swap meets for years. I buy em for all kinds of cars ... hell they are usually a buck or two each. I have enough to last me several lifetimes. It still confuses me why most car guys are terrified of ignition points. they are the most reliable ignition system around.
     
  26. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,276

    sunbeam
    Member

    As I remember points let you down about every 20,000 miles or less.
     
    Blues4U likes this.
  27. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 15,094

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    they won't let me down. It is called scheduled maintenance. I don't mind maintaining my cars , as a matter of fact I like doing things like tune ups, packing wheel bearings, chassis lubrication etc. unlike the modern commuter cars, vintage cars are not maintenance free.....
     
    427 sleeper, Budget36 and prpmmp like this.
  28. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 18,739

    Roothawg
    Member

    Mark, has Im not terrified of them. I just want something more efficient. Nothing wrong with them, I just don’t have a lot of free time these days, so any way I can free up time is a bonus. They have just kind of gone the way of the rotary phone, which I admit I have one of those too.

    Oh and I just started the Produce truck and drove it around with no issues. I have no idea how it healed itself.
     
  29. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 1,715

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    Was it or had it been very Damp ( high dew-point) prior to the truck refusing to start , , I have a DD truck that will not start especially if the weather has swung dramatically cold/to hot or if it's very Damp , 5 minutes with a heat gun aimed at the distributer and it go fires right up .It doesn't always refuse to start , but when it does ,drying it always starts it ..
     
  30. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 18,739

    Roothawg
    Member

    Not really, but I have wondered about it. I have driven it in driving rain with no issues.
     

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