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Customs Simplest options for Ford 300 distributors? (mechanical advance)

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by luketrash, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. luketrash
    Joined: Jul 29, 2004
    Posts: 301

    luketrash
    Member

    I've got a 1960 Ford that I'm going to swap in a different I6 223 engine into. I've procured a NOS 1964 oil pickup tube so I can run a 1964 oil pump with 5/16" hex drive. This frees me up to ditch a 223 distributor and run a 300 distributor. That said, I don't know jack about what my options are, but assume they are 'better' than for 223. I'd like to completely bypass the load-o-matic setup with the vacuum advance so I can run a different carb setup than the Holley 1904 that's on there. Do any of you have a recommendation for running a -simple- -reliable- 1bbl setup and distributor on there? I'm starting to gather a parts list for the build. I realize that I'm going to have to remove the distributor drive from my 223 dizzy and have it machined to fit on a 300 distributor but otherwise it should work from what I understand. Did Ford ever have a 300 distributor that was 100% mechanical advance with spring weights? I don't really mind points vs electronic ignition, but would prefer electronic ignition as well. Thanks for any info!
     
  2. greaseyknight
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 225

    greaseyknight
    Member
    from Burley WA

    I would just use a standard 300 distributor, and use manifold vacuum to run it. Pick up a Duraspark unit if you want an electronic version, I think they stopped using points in '72.

    I've had decent luck with the 1904's, Ford also put Autolite 1101 carbs on the later 223's but I've never dealt with them. Without any other mod's I don't think a different carb will help you. The log style intake and exhaust manifolds are really restrictive. A header and a dual carb intake will really wake the engine up with no other changes.

    Have you seen this thread?
     
  3. J'st Wandering
    Joined: Jan 28, 2004
    Posts: 1,772

    J'st Wandering
    Member

    Last for the points in 300's in 1976.
     
  4. finn
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 884

    finn
    Member

    The 79 and later engines have egr and ping if you block it off, so I'd guess they have more advance at part load, as in "to much".
     

  5. luketrash
    Joined: Jul 29, 2004
    Posts: 301

    luketrash
    Member

    Thanks guys! That linked thread is the sort of info I was after. One more possibly dumb question. Once I have a new distributor and vac advancer unit, do I just plug the hole where the load-a-matic power valve looking thing resides, or do I just leave it mounted to the side of the carburetor?
     
  6. greaseyknight
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 225

    greaseyknight
    Member
    from Burley WA

    Do you mean the port on the carb that the hard line to the distributor is connected to? If so, yes you just want to plug it. The power valve/Economizer is the round thing with three screws that goes down into the float bow, that should be left alone.
     
  7. luketrash
    Joined: Jul 29, 2004
    Posts: 301

    luketrash
    Member

    Yeah, I mean the thing that sticks off of the side of the carb.
    [​IMG]

    I didn't know if these particular carbs end up having different vacuum values than a non-load-o-matic version or not when you close it off with a pipe plug. My '54 Ford had no such system, but had a Holley 1904 and 223 engine. I get why Ford put these on, but the problem is that the rebuild kit I bought looks different than the original valve and I just don't trust anything I don't have control over like that. So I'm thinking about buying a regular old duraspark distributor/rotor/cap and working from that. And all I need is the duraspark vacuum advancer and a pipe plug for the valve on the carb. At least that's my plan. The accidental purchase of a rare 1964 oil pickup tube is what started the gears turning in my head because I can drive a 300 distributor with the 1964 oil pump.
     
  8. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    And do not confuse the vac advance on a centrifugal distributor with the system on a Loadamatic...
    You want that vac hooked up, or you will lose substantial power at most normal driving when you are at part throttle, possibly even fouling plugs from running retarded. Engines running at part throttle, which is most of the time, need more advance than the full-throttle curve provided by the centrifugal system.
    As noted above, the vac can from a vehicle that had EGR will give too much advance and cause pinging...either block part of its movement or swap in a can from a heavy truck application or from an earlier vehicle to get reasonable advance.
     
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  9. luketrash
    Joined: Jul 29, 2004
    Posts: 301

    luketrash
    Member

    My main part I am in the dark on is the carburetor. I didn't know what effect blocking the load-o-matic port had on it working like a normal 1904 Holley. I am planning on staying away from the system designed to handle emissions. Hopefully there's a non emissions version of the duraspark setup. Or maybe I'll end up with a points distributor and buy a pertronix setup later if I got the itch. I'm not scared of points and points can keep up with whatever pitifully low max RPM my engine has ;)
     
  10. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Loadomatic port has two drillings inside, one to the venturi and one down into base area. Plug the outer port and you can forget about it without further work. This will not affect carburetor.
     
  11. luketrash
    Joined: Jul 29, 2004
    Posts: 301

    luketrash
    Member

    Good to know! That'll get me moving on this engine put-together project. I'm swapping a worn out engine for a better one but I want to also make it run pretty reliably in the ignition department. I'm too cheap to go looking for a good Holley at this point since people on ebay think they're gold now.
     
  12. Cam Baker
    Joined: Jun 1, 2014
    Posts: 61

    Cam Baker

    I just did the 300 distributor mod for my 223, and let me give you a warning: don't expect it to be easy. Swapping the distributor shaft gears was an absolute bitch, and now I can't get the damn thing to idle or let alone rev past 2000 rpm. Not too convenient, since I have work tomorrow and this is my daily driver. I started this project on friday. Yeah, its been shitty. Don't try it unless you have a blowtorch and a proper way to bore the old gear out to fit the 300 shaft. Spoiler: a 1/2" drill bit will not be enough. You will also need a press and lots of patience.

    Anyone know if you need to swap out the ignition coil too? I'm not too sure if the stock coil will work.

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  13. luketrash
    Joined: Jul 29, 2004
    Posts: 301

    luketrash
    Member

    I was planning to take it to a machine shop to have the gear machined out to .530" or whatever it happens to be. As for the coil, I'm not sure. I'm running a modern Accel coil on my truck now with the old setup. I'll probably try to use it with whatever I end up with. What distributor did you use? Points or Duraspark or what?
     
  14. Cam Baker
    Joined: Jun 1, 2014
    Posts: 61

    Cam Baker

    I went with a points setup with dual port exhaust from a '72 300. Everything fit mechanically, but it has surging and revving problems. I'm going to have a mechanic buddy come by and give me a hand with it tomorrow, but its looking grim.

    Duraspark is cool, but I was going to throw in a pertronix setup. Looks like that may not be happening anytime soon.

    Have you experienced a noticeable increase in performance with the aftermarket coil? Might be that my stock coil (that still functions otherwise) isn't supplying enough spark for the new distributor.

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  15. luketrash
    Joined: Jul 29, 2004
    Posts: 301

    luketrash
    Member

    My truck doesn't run well at all because it has 100 PSI of compression in each cylinder and blows through motor oil faster than gasoline. I'm building another 223 engine that I have sitting in my garage on a stand. My truck starts right up and runs with the Accel coil but it also did with the ratty old coil that was on there when I got it. Performance has always been crappy, thus the new engine to replace the old one. I accidentally bought a 1964 oil pickup so I figured I'd run with the idea of using a 1964 oil pump and 5/16" drive 300 distributor. I may also stick with points until I'm up and running because I don't want to have to mess with the voodoo of the controller box for electronic ignition. OK, so when you switched from the stock 223 dizzy, did you plug your load-o-matic valve on the carburetor by removing it and sticking a brass pipe plug in there? That may be why your truck isn't running with the 300 distributor?
     
  16. Cam Baker
    Joined: Jun 1, 2014
    Posts: 61

    Cam Baker

    I actually ended up running my stock oil pump. I just cut a 5/16 hex key and welded a 1/4 inch adapter on it. Mechanically, everything fit perfectly. The pinhole for the gear even lined up. I may just have a bum distributor.

    My holley 94 doesn't have a spark control valve. I ran my load a matic off manifold vacuum.

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  17. luketrash
    Joined: Jul 29, 2004
    Posts: 301

    luketrash
    Member

    Yeah, I don't know then why it'd run bad. Mechanically speaking distributors (especially points ones) all pretty much do the same thing. The reason I want to use a modern distributor is because I want to ditch the load-o-matic stuff since it's not needed and I don't trust it. And other people mentioned if you pony up for an MSD box and duraspark that you can rev the engine better and get smoother performance. I'm just trying to build up something reliable I can drive to and from work every day without it being an ordeal.
     
  18. Cam Baker
    Joined: Jun 1, 2014
    Posts: 61

    Cam Baker

    I was driving my truck to work every day with no drama. Great daily driver. I just couldn't leave well enough alone. Haha.

    I'm picking up my new load a matic from the parts store today. I'll be adjusting the points on the 300 dizzy, just to see if that makes a difference.

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  19. Cam Baker
    Joined: Jun 1, 2014
    Posts: 61

    Cam Baker

    Hey luke, I got my distributor working. Faulty connection, just had to clean up a wire in the distributor. I posted a tutorial on the conversion that may give you a hand. Just letting you know.

    Happy rodding.

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  20. luketrash
    Joined: Jul 29, 2004
    Posts: 301

    luketrash
    Member

    Cool! I'm glad you got it sorted out. Where'd you post the tutorial. The HAMB changes so much between my infrequent visits that I never know how to navigate this place without a direct link to stuff.
     
  21. 59'er F100
    Joined: Apr 23, 2009
    Posts: 23

    59'er F100
    Member
    from Duncan, OK

    Any chance you could pass along the tutorial info on the mechanical advance dizzy swap from the 300? I'd sure appreciate it. Thanks.
     

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