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Distributor

Posted By paul2748 Last Month
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paul2748
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Does any one know if the upper part (plate etc)  of a 57 distributor is the same as a 57 Tbird distributor.  I know the bird has a tach drive but I'm interested in the small parts for the plate and other internals .  If the same, up to what year would that be as I know the plates changed over the years.


54 Victoria 312;  48 Ford Conv 302, 56 Bird 312
Forever Ford
Midland Park, NJ

slumlord444
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The T Birds have a roller bearing breaker plate. I believe the '57 passenger cars also had this but the later ones did not. I just pulled a distriburitor out of a '60 to '62 292 and it did not have the roller bearing plate. Not sure what the cutoff was for the roller bearing plate.
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- JOHN MUMMERT

Edited To Show Unique Breaker Plate and Vacuum Adv Canister-


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The distributor in my TBird came out of a 1957 Ford station wagon with a 272.  It has the roller plate.  The vacuum advance is different for the roller plate distributors.  The arm is straight instead of curved like the later models.  The points and condenser are the same.  Roller plate distributors need the ground wire between the case and the plate. This a common part to leave out.   If you do, you will get all kinds of intermittent ignition problems.
Ted
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All 1957-1959 Ford V8 distributors used the same ball bearing advance plate in the distributors with one exception.  That exception would be the 1957 supercharged 312’s.  The advance plates from a ’58-’59 FE or M-E-L distributor will also work in the ’57-’59 Y-Block distributors.  I have personally taken the ball bearing plates from the non-Thunderbird distributors (both FE and YBlock) and used them in the 1957 Thunderbird distributors.  The ball bearings in those plates do tend to rust and stick over time.  Sometimes just a good cleaning and/or reclocking of the plate to an unused position will restore the functionality of the plates.

Lorena, Texas (South of Waco)


paul2748
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Thanks everyone


54 Victoria 312;  48 Ford Conv 302, 56 Bird 312
Forever Ford
Midland Park, NJ

oldcarmark
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Ted (8/25/2019)
All 1957-1959 Ford V8 distributors used the same ball bearing advance plate in the distributors with one exception.  That exception would be the 1957 supercharged 312’s.  The advance plates from a ’58-’59 FE or M-E-L distributor will also work in the ’57-’59 Y-Block distributors.  I have personally taken the ball bearing plates from the non-Thunderbird distributors (both FE and YBlock) and used them in the 1957 Thunderbird distributors.  The ball bearings in those plates do tend to rust and stick over time.  Sometimes just a good cleaning and/or reclocking of the plate to an unused position will restore the functionality of the plates.

The 2 Used Ones I have experienced were not Salvageable even after cleaning. I believe the Ball Bearings developed Flat Spots from moving in One Position over 60 Years.I purchased 2 new Ones on Ebay. They show up from Time to Time. B7A-12151-A or DB2 . I assume Ford discontinued them in 1959 because of Cost. When they work Properly I would think they are much more Consistent than the 2 Piece replacement in the Distributors after 1959 with the Nylon Rubbing Blocks which wear over Time and the Plates are not as Accurate. .

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slumlord444
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The ball bearing distributors can also be converted to dual points by using a factory dual point plate and associated parts from an FE distributor. Take apart the ball bearing plate and use the outer race as a spacer. An additional spacer made out of a piece of coathanger or welding rod about 1/8 " is required. The distributor cam from the FE is also used to increase the advance limit. Did this to my T Bird back in 1966. Eventually switched it back.. When I went to install the Pertronix III with the built in rev limiter I discovered that they don't make one for the ball bearing distributor. Converted it back to the dual point breaker plate and installed the Pertronix III for the dual point setup. Fords can be interesting.
KULTULZ
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Just a thought on BALL BINDING.

The balls are also worn if the grounding wire between the plate and DIST HSG is not conductive. The resultant condition BURNS YOUR BALLS... w00t

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