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Lincoln Zephyr Distributor Conversion and Rebuild

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Archie31, Dec 11, 2014.

  1. Hello fellow HAMBers, does anyone know who does conversion for Lincoln V12 Distributors to V8 Distributors for Flatheads? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you


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  2. Contact GMCBUBBA here on the HAMB,,,,,find him listed in HAMB'O'DEX
     
  3. jkeesey
    Joined: Oct 12, 2011
    Posts: 652

    jkeesey
    Member

    I cant seem to wrap my mind around this. You want to convert a v12 distributor to a v8?
     
  4. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    It used to be routine...Moon, DuCoil, and others offered distributors and kits. Moon published his own how-to in Car Craft, three issue story I think in '53. There were quite a number of different ways to do it. The Car craft articles will show the way, and, amazingly, none of the work is really high-tech.
    A few were based on '37-42 Ford distributor with LZ adapted coil and rotor, point plate entirely redrilled for different and relocated points, cut V8 cam.
    Most used the V 12 distributor, heavily reworked point plate, V8 cam with half the lobes removed, and one of two or three different adaptations to pick up the secondary voltage at proper places from V12 rotor and side plates...

    I think the way of the future here would use the original LZ point plate so points could be timed and degreed entirely separately, and of course be drilled for a common Mopar or '50's Ford set of points rather than crazy lawn-mower/aircraft mag points that are as hard to find as Zephyr parts...

    Operation now is heavily fixxit and make do, as basic LZ parts are getting close to irreplaceable.

    (A PS...I have a number of old conversions, and I think each has its own peculiarities. In looking around for distributors, I found that a surprisingly high percentage of V-12 distributors out there are V8 conversions, often unnoticed by the seller!)
     

  5. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 16,862

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I think I read on Fordbarn that Bubba is not going to do any more specialty distributors. Just concentrating on stock Ford stuff. But maybe he'll chime in here and tell us otherwise.

    I haven't seen anybody saying they will make a conversion from scratch. Lots of delicate work soldering on old bakelite parts that are very expen$ive.

    Do you remember this thread? http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/...2-zephyr-distributors-on-flathead-v8s.634139/

    Maybe you could do the conversion yourself.


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  6. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    The conversion of the V-12 distributor is probably the coolest of the dual coils setups for Flathead because you wind up with an ignition that looks like (actually, IS) a spectacular Art Deco sculpture, but it is probably the hardest and most expensive route.
    The "Other" dual distributor, Nash 8 adapted to Ford flange, requires stuff that makes Zephyr parts look common and cheap. Plus it looks dirt ordinary...hell with it! I have one somewhere, and don't even miss knowing where it is in the basement.
    There are two relatively easy but visually unspectacular conversions...
    The old Harmon-Collins 21A conversion is fairly plentiful, but generally unusable because of missing or cracked plastic parts. A guy on the barn has just started producing very nice rotors for these and is working on the impossible extra cap...I think this will happen, as he promised the rotors and turned the promise into nice parts very quickly.
    When that becomes available, a do-it-yourself HC is suddenly practical.

    There was also a 59A dual conversion done commercially by someone in the '50's. Aside from the need to redrill plate and add different points (I think they were done there just like HC) the cap conversion requires only Ford cap and rotor, some brass, and three screws, making this by far the simplest route. I have found bits, never a complete rig, but what they did was:
    1. Bend a little piece of brass 90 degrees and screw it to the counterweight of the 59A rotor.
    2. Drill a small hole on each side of the 59 coil contact in cap and screw on a ring of brass half way between coil contact and cylinder contacts, all dimensioned to meet up with step one. Presto, DC cap.
    I have yet ANOTHER 59 cap converted with a ring of brass around periphery of cap walls...presumably worked in general as the one above.

    Also--note the pictures in link provided by Alchemy. They show both common methods
    of retiming LZ rotor/cap for a 90 degree motor. Since you will probably be using burned up used caps and rotor, these conversions allow the parts to be resurfaced and returned to proper clearances.
     
  7. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Picture stolen online...try to imagine this thing with aluminum and all bakelite polished:
    [​IMG]
     
  8. jkeesey
    Joined: Oct 12, 2011
    Posts: 652

    jkeesey
    Member

    The Zephyr v12 I take care of has the dual tube coil conversion on it. The top conversion plate is also clear so you can watch the rotors spin.
     
  9. I did and unfortunately he does not do Zephyr conversion anymore.
     
  10. Yes, this a prewar conversion that Kong, Harmon Collins, Spalding Brothers and Du Coil did before they came up with there own designs for dual coil dizzy's
     

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