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Technical Is there a reliable non-HEI SBC distributor?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rockable, May 25, 2019.

  1. rockable
    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,899

    rockable
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I installed a Pertronix II distributor about a year ago in my 350 HO and the hall effect module has already failed and cost me a 50 buck ride in a rollback.

    After doing a little research, it seems they are not very reliable. This is a car that I road trip and I dont have room for an HEI distributor. I don't have access to a points style distributor. Are there any reliable aftermarket distributors? It seems like a magnetic pickup would be best. Also, I don't want to install a CD box unless I have no option.

    Thanks for your suggestions.
     
  2. porkchop4464
    Joined: Jan 20, 2009
    Posts: 740

    porkchop4464
    Member

  3. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,401

    belair
    Member

    Chevy made billions of them. Pertronix works great if you match the coil to the unit.
     
    Tim, 3340, ClayMart and 4 others like this.
  4. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,076

    squirrel
    Member

    up until a few years ago, you could buy a rebuilt stock distributor at any parts store. Times have changed.

    unless you do a little bit of looking around

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/400987541467
     
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  5. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,098

    F-ONE
    Member
    from Alabama

    Until they don't.

    Vintage off road enthusiasts (Willis Jeeps) keep a set of points if they run Petronix just in case.
     
  6. rockable
    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,899

    rockable
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'm using a Pertronix Blaster 2 coil.
     
  7. rockable
    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,899

    rockable
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Will points fit the Pertronix distributor? I doubt it.
     
  8. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,146

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    1) Stock points distributor
    2)Stock points distributor with Ford thick film module or MSD module (my choice)
    3) The distributor you have now with a fresh Pertronix, and a spare Pertronix in the glove box.
     
    joel, tractorguy, RDR and 1 other person like this.
  9. Jack E/NJ
    Joined: Mar 5, 2011
    Posts: 585

    Jack E/NJ
    Member
    from NJ

    >>>hall effect module has already failed>>>After doing a little research, it seems they are not very reliable.>>>
    Wow, I didn't know that!

    >>>I don't have access to a points style distributor.>>>
    Wow, I thought everybody had access!

    Jack E/NJ
     
    Texas Webb likes this.
  10. rockable
    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,899

    rockable
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'm,leaning towards #3.
     
  11. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217

    F&J
    Member

    Our local Napa got a reman OEM V8 Chevy points distributor for a friends 66 truck last year. I put it in and looked it over pretty good, and it was a nice piece. He's had the truck since 1970 and the stock one wore out. (points plate slop).
     
    19Eddy30, tractorguy and 31hotrodguy like this.
  12. irishsteve
    Joined: Jan 10, 2017
    Posts: 722

    irishsteve

    Swap meets are still a good place to find stock distributors.E bay too,but you cant check the shaft bearings if you cant hold it.
     
  13. Have you contacted Pertronix? Are you using solid core ignition wire?

    Ben
     
    hrm2k likes this.
  14. mohead1
    Joined: Jan 18, 2013
    Posts: 559

    mohead1
    Member

    MSD billet Pro.....but its mechanical only i believe, no vac can. Very adjustable, running them for years, on my 550 horse smallblock 30 Coupe

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     
    31hotrodguy likes this.
  15. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,869

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You can usually fix a distributor with points on the side of the road with an emory board and a match book cover and a screw driver. Or carry spare points. Even with missing a few of the things that electronic ignition provides as easier starting, slightly better gas mileage and less tune ups the "I can get it going and go again feeling with points" does have it's plusses.
     
  16. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 4,692

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    A Napa guy told me he could get any old car parts I wanted. I asked about a water pump for a 1955 291 DeSoto hemi. Got him on that one .:) They maybe worth a try. Something like that they can probably get.
     
    hillbilly and rockable like this.
  17. 29moonshine
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,292

    29moonshine
    Member

    I got a spare points dis in my nova and a extra set of points and condenser as a spare so far I have never needed them. just saying
     
  18. rockable
    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,899

    rockable
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yes. No. I thought I had a bad could but now I know different after replacing the coil.
     
    Deuces likes this.
  19. rockable
    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,899

    rockable
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I road trip this car. Vacuum advance is a given for me, since I'm used to getting 18 mpg. I know what happens when I don't have vacuum advance.
     
    dan griffin likes this.
  20. rockable
    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,899

    rockable
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Putting a points distributor back in means I have to add that ugly ballast resistor back. Not anxious to do that. I prefer the clean look and performance I got with the Pertronix..........while it's working.
     
  21. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,401

    belair
    Member

    You can mount the ballast resistor out of sight, can't you? And I love your car.
     
    31hotrodguy likes this.
  22. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,076

    squirrel
    Member

    or get a ballast resistor wire, like Chevy and Ford used in the 1960s
     
  23. Jack E/NJ
    Joined: Mar 5, 2011
    Posts: 585

    Jack E/NJ
    Member
    from NJ

    >>>Putting a points distributor back in means I have to add that ugly ballast resistor back. >>>

    Wow! I forgot about 6v coils! Somebody should invent a 12v coil. Jack E/NJ
     
  24. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,922

    missysdad1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    There is nothing more reliable than a GM point-style distributor in a driver-style hot rod. They are just fine absolutely stock, but a gentle recurve by a knowledgeable distributor shop to fit your driving habits and your rear end ratio will help both mileage and performance. A slightly warmer-than-stock coil will help, too, along with an appropriate choice of spark plug heat range. Most of what you hear about high-performance ignitions is pure hype designed to drain your wallet in search of improved Wide Open Throttle performance in a car with a Ricky Racer motor. If that isn't you, save your money by investing in a GM point-style distributor with decades upon decades of happy reliable motoring history behind it.
     
  25. lumpy 63
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
    Posts: 1,138

    lumpy 63
    Member

    I have used Pertronix many times, the only failure so far was a bad coil. I like MSD stuff as long as its not the shitty stand alone unit. If I'm gonna run HEI it's gonna be made by Chevy. I have no issues with points type distributors other than any points you can buy locally are total foreign crap. IMHO I would buy a new Pertonix module and if it makes you feel better a backup for the glove box.
     
  26. paul55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 3,223

    paul55
    Member
    from michigan

    Mallory uni-lite is small and have never had a problem.
     
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  27. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,076

    squirrel
    Member

    ...but lots of others have....
     
    j3harleys and papadaddio like this.
  28. paul55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 3,223

    paul55
    Member
    from michigan

    10+ yrs. and never an issue. Musta got a good one. It was a marine application that I changed the gear on...maybe a difference?
     
  29. RDR
    Joined: May 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,352

    RDR
    Member

    Ran Pertronix in the '52 Chevy (250)for over 100,000 miles,13 years. Burned out 2 modules before I was told by Pertronix that my key was on while engine wasn't running...Well, DUH...First time it happened car was idling in driveway when it died..psstt..fried it.
    Next time turned the key on to check why blinkers didn't work, realized it was flasher, went into parts store, came out...to..fried module.
    After finding out about the key on deal never had another problem and had always carried an extra kit in the glovebox so was never down more than 20 minutes anyway..
    Never understood why Pertronix doesn't sell just the module (as there's your points you always used to carry in your glovebox)
    Supposedly the Pertronix II won't burn out like the earlier ones did.
     
  30. 427 sleeper
    Joined: Mar 8, 2017
    Posts: 1,012

    427 sleeper
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I don't understand why we, as civilized human beings, are always trying to re-invent the wheel, so to speak. Points and condensers have worked for decades, reliabily. Most people have just gotten too complacent and just assume that new technology is better so they go with it, with much disappointment. IMHO.
     

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