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Who runs a Mallory Unilite distributor?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Gasoline Junkie, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,720

    junk yard kid

    Well it did work for about 20,000 miles and was still working all be it poorly when i pulled it out. I hadnt really done a tune up in that 20 either. So it coulda been the plugs that were to short. I was in high school and didnt know any better. I probably should just get me some caps and rotors and show it some respect for all the trouble free and very fun miles it gave me.
  2. iarodder
    Joined: Dec 18, 2012
    Posts: 214


    Personal experience: I've had a mallory die on me, went to a MSD and never looked back.... :confused: Just my .02 cents worth.
  3. Pinball Wizard
    Joined: Jul 25, 2008
    Posts: 91

    Pinball Wizard

    I killed one with a battery charger/starter trying to jump my truck when the battery was dead. Other than that have 12 years on my unilite distributer. Find out whats causing voltage spikes and everything will be OK.

  4. triumph 1
    Joined: Feb 9, 2011
    Posts: 408

    triumph 1

    I have ran 3 of them with no problems what so ever. The last one was in my jeep for 15 years and never skipped a beat. Keeping the voltage at 9 with a resistor is key in having them last.
  5. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,181


    Yes , half the price and half the warranty. They both work the same.

    The e spark was designed to convert a factory distributor (# 6100M) where as the unilite #605 is what comes with it new.

    I had my 605 module go bad again last year and did some research that the 6100M is a better module. I havn't had any problems with that module in my car since . And also running a ballast resistor I think about 1.5 OHMS from a 80's Dodge truck/van. And a MSD coil.

    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  6. WB69
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,226


    No problems in 14 years with one. No need to reinterate what's already said above. All good advice. Also, have MSD without any problems.
  7. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    from MI

    While there are more who would say what you posted, there are also plenty who have had the opposite experience. The Uni-lite is generally easier to kill, but older MSD 6 series(the most popular models) definitely had their issues along with some of the other units, especially the older 7 series.

    Not that it helps when you are sitting on the side of the road somewhere, last I knew MSD was still repairing their modules for a pretty reasonable cost. Unilties are throwaways. Like the Unilite, MSDs don't like poor grounding either.
  8. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    I think there might be some truth to that. We have had a few Mallory coils fail, the round chrome ones. We attributed it to mounting them on their side and heard they need to be mounted upright. When I called Mallory to ask about that the Tech guy told me he isn't a fan of any of the round coils and only likes their square Super Coils, those ugly yellow ones. Since I won't be putting one of those things on my motor anytime soon I will just keep an eye on the chrome one, which is now mounted straight up and down.

    I did run the yellow one on my Jeep pickup and it lasted 5 years and was still working when I sold the truck.

  9. braindamage
    Joined: May 9, 2010
    Posts: 62

    from Arnold Mo

    Had the same problem in my Chevelle. Mallory tech dept told me to run 2 ballast resistors to knock down the voltage to no more than 9.8 volts that I would keep blowing them with anything more. Havent had a problem since. Im also running a Jacobs ProStreet box and coil with it.
  10. chop32
    Joined: Oct 13, 2002
    Posts: 1,077


    When I bought my '68 Camaro in 1986, there was a Unilite in the 427. That same distributor went into my '32 Ford Pickup in 1996 and has never let me down. Ive always run the suggested Mallory ballast resistor and have been using a cheap set of the see thru red sparkplug wires (solid core) and an old Judson coil with the Unilite since 1996, maybe Ive just been lucky.
  11. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 5,684

    from Oregon

    If you want a trouble free Unilite put an MSD 6AL box ahead of it. The MSD will filter out any surges or spikes and keep the Unilite protected from high voltage that can take the module out. Plus the 6AL is just a great control box for any car's distributor and ignition system.
  12. Leadsled51
    Joined: Dec 21, 2001
    Posts: 333


    Something that I didn't see mentioned in any of the above responses, and I think this was actually in the Mallory instructions, is do not mig weld on your car while the distributor is hooked up. I guess it can fry the module that way too.
  13. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    from MI

    Or........ unless you specifically wanted a Unilite triggered MSD for some reason you could just use the add on Mallory module I mentioned back in post #19. Of course, a magnetically triggered(very reliable) MSD would completely eliminate the Uniltie along with any concerns about it.
  14. 5wcoupehunter
    Joined: Oct 20, 2007
    Posts: 894

    from FLORIDA

    I have run one for years with a MSD 6A trouble free.
  15. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    from MI

    That's mostly a risk if the welder isn't grounded near the weld and on the same part without going through any ground straps or cables. But you are right, better to be safe than walking.
  16. raj4851
    Joined: Jan 18, 2006
    Posts: 95

    from Decatur Il

    Gasoline Junkie, I posted on Chevy Talk concerning a distributor. A guy on there rebuilds distributors and is really sharp. Unlite was recommended but with strong recommendations that a .6 ohm resistor was to be put in between the coil and the Unilite. You also run a GM resistor, about a 1.25 ohm to the coil. I used an Accel unit that was .85 ohms between the coil & the Unilite. I haven't had the car started yet but I'm convinced this is the way to go. Hope this helps.
  17. Oldtimingman
    Joined: Feb 10, 2013
    Posts: 1

    from Oregon

    I have the same one installed since 95. Its in my rock crawler 48 Willys. Has only about 11,000 miles total , but likely thousands of hours crawling , and idling !. I weld on the rig continuously! never disconnected nothing, same cap , rotor, module, resistor since 95. Had a Mallory performance coil, made zero difference. Off the shelf resistor, plane jane coil now. HASN'T MISSED A LICK ! rig sits for weeks and months sometimes before it started.....But will admit all my connections are cleaned and tightened regularly. The thing has been bulletproof.
  18. moparjack44
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 467


    Does MSD have an electronic distributor for the 1st generation 392 Chrysler Hemi? I'm kinda gotten scared of my Mallory Unilite. I've burnt about 4 modules?
  19. This is awesome now i can use my Mallory's again very informative on what the problems may be. Had them on my Hot Rod's since high school but quit use them as they quit working. Alway like them small, fit in tight applications. Sweeeeeeet
  20. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 5,684

    from Oregon

    The filters help, but a car with either an alternator, or any voltage issue where voltage might go higher than 13.5 v. will still occasionally eat a Unilite module. I ran one with a stock GM ceramic ballast resistor ahead of it and nothing else. It worked great, and never failed. I have a Unilite in my Falcon now, and when I first installed it I ran the ballast resistor until I installed the MSD 6AL box. The MSD box does a great job of boosting output, but also protecting the Unilite module also. It's been working perfectly for the last year with the MSD.
    One note on the MSD/Unilite wiring. The MSD wiring info is incorrect in their diagram. Needs to be wired like the MSD was feeding a points distributor, and it will work fine.

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