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3x2stude
07-09-2017, 03:06 PM
I am going to do a tune-up on my '61 Hawk. I want to convert a distributor to pointless ignition so Petronics is my choice. As I see it I have three choices, Prestolite, windowed Delco or non-windowed Delco.

1. Which has the best bearings and lubrication?

2. Which is the most variable on vacuum advance?

3. If I need parts on the road which will be the friendliest?



JK

RadioRoy
07-09-2017, 04:25 PM
I like the early, non-windowed Delco the best. They are plentiful, and the head was shared by many GM cars of the era.

Either of the Delcos will have parts readily available. I kept a spare Delco in the trunk for a few years until the Pertronix proved itself to be reliable.

Bud
07-09-2017, 05:15 PM
Like Roy says, the earlier Delco distributor is a good one. I don't particularly like the Delco window distributors as they all suffer from excessive shaft end play which can cause the timing to jump around erratically when the shaft moves up and down. I use dual point Prestolite distributors in both my 62 Hawk and 63 Avanti because they have a ball bearing breaker plate which makes the vacuum advance work smoother and as long as the centrifugal advance weights are replaced with the updated weights with bronze bushings in them, they are as good or better than any of the other distributors. The Prestolite distributors also share parts with several of the big block Chrysler distributors so parts are still around to repair them. That being said, the window distributors share parts with most GM distributors from 1956 to 1974, so keeping them alive could be easier than the other distributors. Bud

3x2stude
07-10-2017, 10:46 PM
Bud,

I am going to convert to modern electronics, are the dual point Prestolites you use still on points or converted?

JK

SScopelli
07-10-2017, 11:33 PM
For converting to Pertronix on a Prestolite distributor, you need the dual point plate. Having the dual point plate means finding the right vacuum advance, and that is where is gets pricey.

This MOPAR vacuum advance is what is close that will work..
https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/0IQAAOSwd4tT4uQw/s-l400.jpg

Since it is MOPAR bet on paying $90 plus for a $27 part since after all they go on $200K cars.

Finding a dual point prestolite is a little tough since they were only used on the "R" series engines.

Also MOPAR vacuum advance pull 13 deg of advance, where the R1/R2, only pulls 9 deg of advance, which might put more advance in your timing at cruise than you want.

I should not bag on MOPAR since finding a NOS Studebaker one (9 deg) in not any cheaper.

Dave Tebow sells a Mallory Unilite that I have on two of my engines. People have mixed feelings about it, but I say it is a great option and I have yet to have any issues with them. Plus you can change the curve rate and the mechanical and vacuum advance fairly easy.

http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/-1UAAOSwi8VZQ17g/s-l1600.jpg

I know on my Larks, the "Delco window" has no real clearance to the firewall.

Some food for thought.

DEEPNHOCK
07-11-2017, 06:02 AM
Dave Thibault does not have any more of the discontinued Mallory billet distributors.
Mallory was sold to MSD and shut down the special products line.



For converting to Pertronix on a Prestolite distributor, you need the dual point plate. Having the dual point plate means finding the right vacuum advance, and that is where is gets pricey.

This MOPAR vacuum advance is what is close that will work..
https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/0IQAAOSwd4tT4uQw/s-l400.jpg

Since it is MOPAR bet on paying $90 plus for a $27 part since after all they go on $200K cars.

Finding a dual point prestolite is a little tough since they were only used on the "R" series engines.

Also MOPAR vacuum advance pull 13 deg of advance, where the R1/R2, only pulls 9 deg of advance, which might put more advance in your timing at cruise than you want.

I should not bag on MOPAR since finding a NOS Studebaker one (9 deg) in not any cheaper.

Dave Tebow sells a Mallory Unilite that I have on two of my engines. People have mixed feelings about it, but I say it is a great option and I have yet to have any issues with them. Plus you can change the curve rate and the mechanical and vacuum advance fairly easy.

http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/-1UAAOSwi8VZQ17g/s-l1600.jpg

I know on my Larks, the "Delco window" has no real clearance to the firewall.

Some food for thought.

Bud
07-11-2017, 08:39 AM
The advance rate on the Prestolite dual point vacuum advance is adjustable by changing the thickness of the shim stack inside of the advance. I've seen Prestolite vacuum advance units for Chrysler big block engines on EBAY regularly for a decent price. While they aren't an exact replacement for the original part, they can be made to work satisfactorily. Bud

DEEPNHOCK
07-11-2017, 08:53 AM
Some good Pertronix info is in the thread at:

http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?92427-Performance-Review-Pertronix-Ignitor-III-Electronic-Ignition-Conversion-Kit-Install&highlight=Review%3A+Pertronix (http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?92427-Performance-Review-Pertronix-Ignitor-III-Electronic-Ignition-Conversion-Kit-Install&highlight=Review%3A+Pertronix)

(Apologies for the lack of pic's....Thanks, Photobucket :mad:)

Mike Van Veghten
07-11-2017, 12:38 PM
NOooo...

Which car...the one with the blower / Webbers..?
If so, get the latest (timing) adjustable MSD box and build yourself a "crank triggered" ignition.
All you need is a reluctor ring/disc (I used MSD), a pickup (I used a 90 degree bent one from Good Vibrations), and a bracket also from Good Vibrations (but modified to fit).
http://www.goodvibesracing.com/

Anyway, pretty simple actually with the new MSD box, designed to do just this. A simple plug the pickup into the MSD box, power it, set your desired ignition curve (change to your desired curve), and off you go.
Did this to my, to be...daily driver and will do it to my Hot Rod Stude also when I put the 299 in.

Mike

3x2stude
07-11-2017, 07:00 PM
Mike,

The distributor is for my driver / beater / show car, 1961 4-speed Hawk, neither the blower or Weber motor. I need to replace the exhaust and do a tune up. I wanted upgrade the distributor. I have a T-bow unit new in the box in the basement but I am leery of using it now for the replacement part issue. If anyone knows if parts are available please chime in. I would stock up on a few modules, caps and rotors and call it good.

JK

3x2stude
07-11-2017, 07:10 PM
Mike,

The distributor is for my driver / beater / show car, 1961 4-speed Hawk, neither the blower or Weber motor. I need to replace the exhaust and do a tune up. I wanted upgrade the distributor. I have a T-bow unit new in the box in the basement but I am leery of using it now for the replacement part issue. If anyone knows if parts are available please chime in. I would stock up on a few modules, caps and rotors and call it good.

JK

Corvanti
07-11-2017, 07:21 PM
i'd use the "T-Bow" Mallory distributor you have on hand. if you are worried, get a windowless Delco to exchange at your leisure.

SScopelli
07-12-2017, 11:22 AM
NOooo...

Which car...the one with the blower / Webbers..?
If so, get the latest (timing) adjustable MSD box and build yourself a "crank triggered" ignition.
All you need is a reluctor ring/disc (I used MSD), a pickup (I used a 90 degree bent one from Good Vibrations), and a bracket also from Good Vibrations (but modified to fit).
http://www.goodvibesracing.com/

Anyway, pretty simple actually with the new MSD box, designed to do just this. A simple plug the pickup into the MSD box, power it, set your desired ignition curve (change to your desired curve), and off you go.
Did this to my, to be...daily driver and will do it to my Hot Rod Stude also when I put the 299 in.

Mike

Mike,

After the conversion to MSD and programmable curve, are you running coil on plug or do you still have to use a distributor that has the mechanical and vacuum advance disabled, correct?

Pictures be nice.

Seb

Mike Van Veghten
07-14-2017, 11:07 AM
Seb -

Standard single coil (MSD, Blaster SS).
Double click on pictures 3 and 21. In shot #3, the bracket (junk material !) I made along with the modified store bought bracket with the hole in it, and shot #21, you can see the sensor/pickup sticking out of the bracket.

https://public.fotki.com/-Mike-/54-conestoga-ii/

I gutted the distributor and welded it so that no advance/retard or anything else happens within the distributor. The MSD box (https://www.msdperformance.com/products/ignitions/street_and_strip/parts/6530) gets the timing signal from the disc (see pic. #3) bolted to the back of the OEM damper hub and from the sensor/pickup, it then sends the spark plug voltage to the coil to get amplified, then to the distributor to be...distributed.
The red box does everything. The entire (fully adjustable) timing curve. You can adjust the ignition curve any way you like.
If you run a blower (any style), nitrous oxide, etc., you can make any curve you like, and change/adjust it all you like.

Hope that helps.

Mike

P.s. - No, the car isn't running yet. I've been on the east coast for the last 3 months for work, and will be for another two to three months..!

Also...the MSD box is inside the car mounted to the firewall.