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Pertronix, Duraspark, or CRT Distributor?

Posted By 55blacktie Last Month
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55blacktie
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I'm looking to upgrade my stock, 1957 Thunderbird tach-drive distributor. I'm considering Pertronix l or ll/w with Pertronix external RPM limiter, Duraspark conversion, CRT distributor/w external RPM limiter, or FBO rebuild/conversion, the latter being the most expensive. The FBO and CRT have upper and lower shaft bushings. Is the additional bushing overkill? Pertronix conversions seem to be the most common and least expensive. What are your recommendations? Ted has already said that he prefers an electronic conversion. My brother had an MSD distributor and External box on his I/O 351W, but the MSD components were expensive and not particularly reliable. Maybe they're better suited to cars, not ski boats.

Thanks
Dobie
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I use a Pertronix II in my stockish '55 Merc. Been in there for about 10 years with no issues. 
DryLakesRacer
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7 yrs ago I put in Pertronix II Unit with their coil. I also continued to use my stock ballast resistor.(optional-my choice) It has been perfect and I check but have not changed spark plugs.

56 Vic, B'Ville 200 MPH Club Member, So Cal.
Talkwrench
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I went the Petronix ignitor 3 wont cost that much more and its multi spark through entire rev range and has a rev limiter. Dont put it in a crappy distributor and expect it to work, you must use matching coil.   

http://forums.y-blocksforever.com/Uploads/Images/02c74785-3ce2-4b80-a66c-f31f.jpg

"Came too close to dying to stop living now!"
55blacktie
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Pre-59 distributors use ball bearing breaker plate and straight vacuum advance arm, not compatible with Pertronix lll, but anything can be made to work. 
charliemccraney
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Considering that a '57 distributor is over 60 years old, you definitely want new or rebuilt, so that makes it CRT or FBO.

Duraspark based is reliable and replacement parts can still be found easily but it requires an external box.  Pertronix can also be found easily and does not need an external box.  You will probably get better performance with an external box but it may not be worth the cost.  From what I understand, the stock replacement boxes for Duraspark are junk, so you would want something aftermarket.



Lawrenceville, GA
55blacktie
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The distributor has few parts, and it has had very little use in 50 years. Pertronix has an external rev limiter that can be used with the Pertronix l or ll. If it goes out, the distributor will still function without rev limiter. I'm no expert, but a good builder probably can take care of it. The FBO work looks first-rate, expensive, and might not be necessary. I'm also reluctant to ship an FEJ 57 Tbird tach-drive distributor; I might never see it again.I guess I just answered my question, but thanks.
Daniel Jessup
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do not leave out the ACCEL 2020 unit. I am not sure why, but most guys who run Y blocks hardly know that it even exists. The pointless ignition kit is for all Ford Distributors from 57-74. I have more about this on my website here: https://www.hotrodreverend.com/post/2018/08/19/1955-ford-part-59-1956-ford-four-door-victoria

I have never had one issue after having installed this kit in quite a few Y block distributors...

Daniel Jessup

Loveland, Ohio

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


55blacktie
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Thank you.

That's a good looking car, even if it does have four doors. 
GREENBIRD56
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I think that Rob (Talkwrench) over in Perth has the quickest, straight forward solution if you are not prone to tinker - use the Petronix type III and a good high temp coil. Has all the features you'll want and will make very hot sparks.

I'm a tinkerer and used a re-curved '59 distributor, Duraspark trigger, divorced 4 pin HEI controller, GM E-core coil and an adjustable vacuum pot. May sound like a pain but I know it inside out and can fix it any time and anywhere.

http://forums.y-blocksforever.com/uploads/images/9ea2bf28-00c4-4772-9ac7-d154.jpg 
 Steve Metzger       Tucson, Arizona


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