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1957 Thunderbird Distributor - Ground wire lead?

Posted By Daniel Jessup Last Month
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Daniel Jessup
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A machinist called me today about a ground lead question for a 57 Tbird distributor... and sent me this pic. He wanted to know if the distributor is missing anything? He said this distributor came to him in pieces, all un-assembled, and he fears he may be missing a ground strap that connects the plate to the body. Obviously this is a Pertronix installation but he wants to be sure all of Ford's internals are correct before he proceeds. I don't know much about the 57 dizzy's - if I recall they may be a one year only "style"? Can some of you guys take a look at this pic and give him some clarification? 

Kenn Corrill - Adams County, Ohio

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Daniel Jessup

Loveland, Ohio

aka "The Hot Rod Reverend" w00t
check out the 1955 Ford Fairlane build at www.hotrodreverend.com


Florida_Phil
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You are missing the ground wire.  If you don't install it, the distributor will ground through the ball bearings on the advance plate.  This can cause all kinds of erratic issues.  The wire connects the distributor housing with the points.  You can see it in this pic. This wire needs to be flexible enough so it will not interfere with the advance plate.

http://forums.y-blocksforever.com/uploads/images/ffb16042-83dd-4fdf-b607-ce76.jpg


http://forums.y-blocksforever.com/uploads/images/82ad85c1-6def-4eb4-a085-3dd2.jpg

paul2748
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The top part of a Tbird distributor is no different than a sedan distributor except the springs and weights may be different.  It is set up the same


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

Ted
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The ball bearing advance plate distributors was a three year design (1957-1959) and was used in the Ford Y, FE, and M-E-L engines.  The Pertronix ignition conversion still requires a ground strap on the inside of the distributor.

Lorena, Texas (South of Waco)


Florida_Phil
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As previously stated, those distributors use a ball bearing mounted advance plate.  These tend to seize up in time.  If it sticks you could get erratic idle settings and poor performance.  Make sure the plate is free.  I soaked mine in lacquer thinner for a few days.  Repro straight arm vacuum advance units are available. 


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cokefirst
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Florida_Phil (7/16/2020)
You are missing the ground wire.  If you don't install it, the distributor will ground through the ball bearings on the advance plate.  This can cause all kinds of erratic issues.  The wire connects the distributor housing with the points.  You can see it in this pic. This wire needs to be flexible enough so it will not interfere with the advance plate.

http://forums.y-blocksforever.com/uploads/images/ffb16042-83dd-4fdf-b607-ce76.jpg


cokefirst
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the ground wire does not ground the points but grounds the distributor body to the plate the points mount to.  It is generally a very short piece of wire and does move as the plate moves.  
oldcarmark
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The Ground Wire goes from the Screw used to mount the Pertronix Unit to behind the Clip on the Side of housing that holds the Breaker Plate.

http://forums.y-blocksforever.com/uploads/images/b9ec8c4e-313b-486f-b1b0-422e.jpg http://forums.y-blocksforever.com/Uploads/Images/a82cee8f-be33-4d66-b65d-fcd8.jpg  
Daniel Jessup
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Thanks fellas, Kenn is squared away now!

Daniel Jessup

Loveland, Ohio

aka "The Hot Rod Reverend" w00t
check out the 1955 Ford Fairlane build at www.hotrodreverend.com




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