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Thunderbird distributor I.D. help

Posted By ogasman Last Month
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ogasman
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Came with a 292 that was supposed to be out of a 1955 bird.  Had a 56 block and 57 heads.  Is this a 57 distributor?

Thanks
Paul
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No.  It's a '55 T-Bird distributor.

John - "The Hoosier Hurricane"
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The number on the distributor should be FEA-12127-E or F for the 55 T- Bird.  I think the difference was for manual or auto trans.
ogasman
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Thanks Guys
  Could not find any casting numbers on the distributor.  There is an attached plate with just a few numbers.  It came out of a stick car.

Paul
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Looks like a 55 distributor to me. It doesn't have the dual vacuum pot of the 56, but it does have exposed springs found on the 55-56 vacuum-advance-only distributors. It is not a 57 distributor/w both vacuum and mechanical advance. A 57 distributor would not have the exposed springs above the breaker plate.A 55 distributor should have a data/model plate attached to the distributor housing. I think 56 distributors do as well. The information is cast into a 57 distributor's body; there's no plate. A 57 distributor cap will not fit on a 55/56 distributor. If you are going to run a modern 57-up carburetor, you will need a 57-up distributor. 

If you can provide the model/part number, one of us can tell you exactly what you have, but it definitely isn't a 57 distributor.
ogasman
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The data plate was painted over.  Cleaned if off as best as possible.  Lower left is stamped 572, top right stamped FEV, lower right stamped E.  Just curious why you can't run it with a modern Holley carb?  My dad swapped out the teapot intake to the B manifold, and ran a modern Holley carb on his other 1955 bird without any issues that I know of.  He did not change the distributor.

Paul
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Go to eatonbalancing.com, click on "Quick Index" at the top of the page, and then select "Modifying the Holley 4000(Teapot) for the late model distributors." I think it will answer your question better than I can. 
57RancheroJim
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His situation is the opposite. Later carb and early distributor.
55blacktie
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57rancherojim, read the article, not just the title.
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A 57-up carburetor relies on mechanical advance, which the 55 distributor does not have. The 55 vacuum advance is designed to work with the Teapot carburetor. In other words, with a 57-up carburetor and a 55 distributor, he will have no ignition advance. The vacuum advance circuitry can be plugged on a Teapot, thereby relying solely on the mechanical advance of a 57-up distributor, which he does not have. I think it makes more sense when Ted says it, but people who have already figured it out will know what I'm trying to say.  


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