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Avanti 63, Distributor surprise!

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  • Avanti 63, Distributor surprise!

    According to all I've read, parts catalog, workshop manual etc, a 63 Avanti # 2866 and engine # 2085 should have a double points distributor. Mine has the delco window and single points. Just about everything on the car is original. Is there any possibilty at all that this is original? if not, what is your advise? Keep it as is or change to double points distributor?

  • #2
    Not a chance it's original. Delco window was used on '61 Larks only. It was probably installed to get the car running better after the original DP Prestolite wore out. How original do you feel like keeping the car?

    The Delco window is actually a desirable distributor for those who value reliability over originality, although the DP Prestolite *can* be rebuilt to be just as reliable (the main failing of it was the lack of bushings on the advance weights, a problem that the Chrysler versions of this distributor did not have.)

    I see three options:

    1) keep the "window" either as is or with some kind of electronic conversion (e.g. Pertronix) and don't worry about it. Maybe have it curved if you plan on driving the car a lot and/or "assertively."

    2) get a used DP Prestolite and have it fully rebuilt by someone who knows what they're doing

    3) buy one of the new Mallory Unilite distributors sold by Dave Thibeault

    With options 2) or 3) you can sell the Delco to recoup some of the costs, like I said, it is a desirable distributor to some people.

    all three should result in a decent running, reliable car assuming no other issues

    good luck


    55 Commander Starlight
    55 Commander Starlight


    • #3
      '60 Larks also had the Delco-window distributor.

      I've run these on both R-1 and R-2s with no isssues. You can't see the distributor on an Avanti anyway. Nate's
      ideas are good advice. Russ Farris

      1963 GT Hawk R-2 4-speed
      1964 Avanti R-1 Auto
      1963 GT Hawk R-2 4-speed
      1964 Avanti R-1 Auto


      • #4
        If your car is an R2 it's doubtful that the Delco is curved properly for your engine. Should be fine for an R1 though.

        R2 R5388 @ Macungie 2006________________ 1988 "Beater" Avanti


        • #5
          Thank you Nate,
          With the facts known I'll keep the distributor, being able to set the points with the engine running is a great advantage.
          Finding a good specialist to rebuild is not that easy over here, and spending money for a new Mallory unit is rather unneccesary in my view.
          Here follows the parts# for "my" distributor;
          cap: DR 429 X
          rotor: DR 311 X
          points: DR 2371 XP or DR 2270
          all the above parts are from Standard.


          • #6
            I'm using the '61 Delco distributor in my R2 and it is not difficult to set it up or curve it for the R2 with available adjustable vacuum advance units and advance limiter and appropriate advance weight springs. In any event whether you have an R1 or R2, you should limit the centrifugal advance to 10 distributor degrees which is the setup for GM engines of that period. Studebaker allowed the centrifugal advance to increase to 23-24 engine degrees or 11.5-12 distributor degrees. Studebaker did not use the advance stop bushing on the underside of the advance mechanism. A "speed shop" should be able to supply you with a centrifugal advance weight kit that will contain that small steel bushing. It just presses on the stop pin. Unfortunately, I didn't record the kit part no. but Autozone lists an Accel kit #31042 that seems to be the one, but has limited availability. I'm quite happy with the Delco unit in my R2 Avanti. However, I'm using the Pertronix #1181 conversion with a Crane adjustable vacuum advance #99601-1 and Pertronix coil #40011.