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63 Hawk--new electronic distributor or pertronix??

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  • Electrical: 63 Hawk--new electronic distributor or pertronix??

    Hello,

    It time to update the distributor. Can any of you tell which I have currently, the Prestolite or the Delco? It is a stock 289. Should I replace the whole thing with a Maxx, HEI, CRT or just the internals with the Prestolite? Leaning toward replacing as distributor is looking pretty aged, although losing my tach saddens me. Welcome thoughts and opinions from those far more knowledgeable than me. Thank you in advance.

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  • #2
    You have the Prestolite, which would be original on a ‘62 - ‘64 Studebaker.

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    • #3
      Why not just have it checked over and drop all of something like $40 on points, condenser, rotor and cap. Make sure the advance weights are OK. If so, go whole hog and put on some new plug wires and plugs while you are at it. You will be golden for another 20,000 miles or so. With a stock engine do not imagine for a minute that you will experience life altering change by going to a new distributor.

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      • #4
        BUT your car will start more easily and run smoother. You won't have to go thru the horrible ordeal of changing points every year or two. You won't be stranded by the roadside with burned points. Just put module and coil in 57 Clipper----so nice. Pulled dist. to do it, tho and lots of folks pull dist out to put in poins and condenser. My module was $142 from Fairborn Studebaker (coil also which bypasses ign resistor which also periodically burns out) So really I don' know why you'd switch to pertronx!

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        • #5
          How ironic: the very car in which I experienced total ignition failure between lunch and home was a 57 Clipper with Pertronix. Came home on a flatbed as there was nothing to be done with it roadside. Module had let all of its smoke out. Oh and if you do go with Pertonix, be certain to not leave the key on with the engine stopped...

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          • #6
            Yep, I had 2 cars with points that were working just fine, then thought electronic ignition would be better.
            Both failed in short order, but I've never had a coil, points, or condenser fail me on the road.

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            • #7
              I went through 3 Pertronix in one year. Now I have points. It's not a big deal to install a fresh set of points every 10K mi.

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              • #8
                On the other hand, I had...a single Pertronix unit in my 59 Lark, 259. It lasted about ten years of my "only" car, driving. The better part of just over 90,000 miles.

                Mike

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                • #9
                  Is the pertronix 1584 the correct model for me then?

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                  • #10
                    Towed home twice due to non-op pertronix unit in delco "window" distributor - Then, towed home due to pertronix coil leaking its oil all over the engine. Replaced both w/ stock items - No more problems.

                    However, some users have good experiences w/ those units - Poor quality control resulting in some good/some crap??

                    Pautlk
                    Last edited by Paul Keller; 05-22-2019, 01:18 PM.

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                    • #11
                      My brother switched to a pertronix in his 73 Mustang. It ran great for one summer, but after a year of storage the pertronix was dead and he went back to points.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CampbelHawk View Post
                        Is the pertronix 1584 the correct model for me then?
                        I show the SINGLE Point Prestolite used on non-"R" Series Hawks & Lark Types get a Pertronix 71385, these are Igniter III Units with Rev Limiters but the only ones available.

                        The 1584 is for a Dual Point R1 or R2 Stude. with Prestolite.
                        StudeRich
                        Second Generation Stude Driver,
                        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                        • #13
                          I did a back yard conversion of a 63 Prestolite in early 90's with Chrysler bits. module failed last summer after being a daily driver for years. repaired 63lark is now a sometime driver,same dist internals,new "Box". lark looks pretty faded but still dependable. if you are handy try a Mopar conversion. Luck Doofus

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                          • #14
                            Just use the points. I keep a small file, some crocus cloth, and a gap gauge just for the occasion. The one and only time I was ever towed was in the middle of the night when the little 10 cent wire failed and shorted to the body. (didn't see the cause) Now I keep a spare of it.

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                            • #15
                              I've used pertronix on several cars for the past 15yrs, never had a failure. Changing points on a 289 is a pain literally.
                              Mark Riesch
                              New Bern, NC

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