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Prestolite Distributor?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by JoeHall View Post
    As part of the EFI conversion, I have two Mopar converted Prestolites in the two GT Hawks. Both have Stude caps, and one has a Mopar rotor. Either rotor will fit, but I did not know any other than OEM Stude cap would fit. Both perform flawlessly.
    The Prestolite rotor I received does not mate to the distributor shaft at all, it's completely different. The rotor on the car has a "key" type of attachment to the shaft and a solid contact on the top to make contact with the sprung contact on the cap. The rotor and cap on the car are the opposite with the sprung wire on the rotor and a solid contact on the cap! I get the feeling there may have been a few different ways to do this. I am going to give Dave Thibeault to get his thoughts!

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Felix View Post
      I think I have one of those distributor conversions. It came with an engine a while back and nothing I tried fit. All I have is the prestolite V8 distributor with a mopar looking trigger system, no cap, no rotor. I tried Studebaker issued prestolite caps but ran out of options. If you find an answer it may work for me.
      I spoke with Dave Thibeault. He used the cap and rotor from a Chrysler 400 without the lean burn system. I'm going to try and source that locally and I'll let you know if I have any success.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Kato View Post

        I spoke with Dave Thibeault. He used the cap and rotor from a Chrysler 400 without the lean burn system. I'm going to try and source that locally and I'll let you know if I have any success.
        Any luck with the cap and rotor?

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Felix View Post

          Any luck with the cap and rotor?
          Sort of. I got the part numbers from Dave but my distributor is worn and needs replacing.

          The Distributor Cap is: NAPA/Echlin MO-20 or Standard Ignition: CH-409X, CH-409 or CH-409T
          Rotor: NAPA/Echlin MO-13 or Standard Ignition CH-303X, CH-303 or CH-303T

          I have the part numbers for everything on this distributor so let me know if you need more. I could email you the entire list.

          Hope that helps!

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Kato View Post

            Sort of. I got the part numbers from Dave but my distributor is worn and needs replacing.

            The Distributor Cap is: NAPA/Echlin MO-20 or Standard Ignition: CH-409X, CH-409 or CH-409T
            Rotor: NAPA/Echlin MO-13 or Standard Ignition CH-303X, CH-303 or CH-303T

            I have the part numbers for everything on this distributor so let me know if you need more. I could email you the entire list.

            Hope that helps!
            I'll have to dig out mine and see if those part numbers will work and if I have any.

            Any and all numbers will be appreciated.

            Thanks.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Felix View Post

              I'll have to dig out mine and see if those part numbers will work and if I have any.

              Any and all numbers will be appreciated.

              Thanks.
              PM sent. Tried to attach the list but am being told the file is too large???? I can email it to you.

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              • #22
                I purchased this conversion and had nothing but trouble...........the advance weights and springs were a problem, car pinged like crazy..........finally pulled it out, put back the point dizzy, which I rebuilt with bronze bushed weights, and utilized the Mopar ball bearing breaker plate. Can you spell happiness???

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Hawklover View Post
                  I purchased this conversion and had nothing but trouble...........the advance weights and springs were a problem, car pinged like crazy..........finally pulled it out, put back the point dizzy, which I rebuilt with bronze bushed weights, and utilized the Mopar ball bearing breaker plate. Can you spell happiness???
                  Mine was working but the shaft has massive play in it. New distributor on its way!

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                  • #24
                    A conglomeration of misc. Makes and Models Distributor Parts is Never a good deal, replacement Parts and knowledge of a Non-Factory installation can be problematic.
                    StudeRich
                    Second Generation Stude Driver,
                    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                    • #25
                      I have no idea what condition the one I have is in. It came with an engine I picked up for $50 and the distributor was in it so I considered it a bonus. I think I'd like to get it to a usable condition and if it turns out to be a dud I'll salvage what I can. Thanks.

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                      • #26
                        JMTS, with a point dizzy not too much can crap out on the road.........I carry spare points, cond, rotor, cap, tach/dwell. I can be back on the road in under 30 minutes.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Kato View Post
                          My 62 GT has the Chrysler electronic ignition conversion which I understand works because the Prestolite distributor used on some Mopar engines is the same top portion as the Presto used on Studebaker's 62 to 64, although different at the bottom drive section. I wanted to replace the cap and rotor and assumed the cap 1555503 and rotor 1555502 would be the correct parts so I ordered them. I went to install them today and found the cap and rotor are not whats on the car!

                          Question is now, what is on the car? I've attached some photos here. The picture of the rotors shows whats on the car at top and Presto rotor 1555502 on the bottom. The cap size is slightly different although they look very similar. The big difference is where the front clip attaches to the cap there is a notch below where the clip attaches to the cap on the one on the car whereas there is no notch on the Presto 1555503 cap.

                          Can anyone identify what distributor I have on the car? Were there different versions of the Prestolite distributor or did someone put some sort of a hybrid unit on the car? It was all done before I owned it. Appreciate any advice, they are somewhat worn and need replacement, if I can figure out what to get!

                          Click image for larger version Name:	20210425_123048.jpg Views:	0 Size:	164.0 KB ID:	1891638 Click image for larger version Name:	20210425_123112.jpg Views:	0 Size:	48.0 KB ID:	1891639 Click image for larger version Name:	20210425_123139.jpg Views:	0 Size:	60.5 KB ID:	1891640 Click image for larger version Name:	20210425_123159.jpg Views:	0 Size:	73.0 KB ID:	1891641 Click image for larger version Name:	20210425_123302.jpg Views:	0 Size:	98.5 KB ID:	1891642
                          1) Top rotor on car - Bottom 1555502
                          2) Cap 1555503 no notch
                          3) Notch where clip attaches
                          4-5) Any ideas what distributor this is?
                          Just this week, I gutted a 1980s Mopar distributor, to build another Stude Presto/Mopar, just for the fun of it. So, while fresh in mind, I will comment on the parts in your distributor, mainly for our archives' sake: the top rotor fits most, if not all 69-89 Mopar V8, and fits the Stude Presto cap perfectly. I cannot see your old cap well enough, but the new cap appears correct for Stude Presto. Looking at the cap retainer clips, it appears someone grafted Mopar clips on, which may have mandated a different cap. I dunno why anyone would do that, as the Stude clips work just fine, as does the original cap. I only had to tap one hole on the Stude Presto (a retainer clip hole), but maybe, with yours, someone took a different route.

                          The only Mopar parts I needed for the conversion was: the top shaft; magnetic pickup & deck-plate it mounts on; reluctor, and rotor. The only mod to the Stude Presto was to remove the vacuum advance (coulda left it on as a dummy), and tap the one retainer clip hole. The Mopar parts fit many 70s-80s Mopar V8 (both CW and CCW rotating versions), and NOS is still readily available. I was even able to use the original roll-pin locators on the reluctor, to accomplish fazing.

                          This was all common knowledge in the 70s when the Presto/Mopar conversion was popular with Stude drivers, but has became lost over the decades. I much prefer this setup, with NOS parts, over anything from offshore nowadays.
                          Last edited by JoeHall; 06-25-2021, 07:27 AM.

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