I have a 57' T-bird with a 312 V8 and an original 4150 Holley carb. I bought it last summer. It runs fairly well. However, it just has not measured up to my other 50's cars. I checked the distributor and discovered that the vacuum advance was shot and wouldn't hold a vacuum. After further looking, I discovered that the vacuum advance is like what goes on a 1955 T-bird as it does not match the one used on either a 57' or a 56'. It is also a tach drive distributor. I decided I want to go to a Mallory tach drive distributor. I looked at Mallory's catalog and called the tech line as well as looked at the aftermarket T-bird parts suppliers. The aftermarket people sell a dual points set up for $600-800. It is probably a Mallory number 2638701. Mallory says its discontinued. Mallory has an electronic ignition called Unilite (Mallory number 3838701) that the catalog shows will work. However, on the electronic set up, it says it fits 1955-1962 Ford 256, 272, 292 and 312 Hex Drive Oil Pump
(whereas on the dual points set up the catalog shows 1955-62 Ford 256, 272, 292 and 312 but does not
mention hex drive oil pump). So my concern is that the electronic set up may only work on a car with a hex drive oil pump. Mallory's tech line says they don't know if its a mistake in the catalog or if it will only go on a 1957 312 with a hex drive. I have not pulled my distributor to see what I've got.
I also have a tach driven by a cable. I want to keep it. However, the new Mallory appears to have a speedometer style screw on end whereas the old Ford one uses a gear and a bracket. Mallory doesn't know where to go to get a new tach cable made up for my 57 T-bird. They said look on e-bay-I didn't find what I wanted there.
Does anyone have experience putting the Mallory electronic Unilite tachmoeter distributor on a 1957 T-bird? If so, I would appreciate your advice as well as how to get a tachometer cable. I'd prefer to buy a system through a Mallory dealer and find a tach cable and not be stuck paying $600-800 for a Mallory dual point set up at one of the aftermarket T-bird dealers-it seems high. Thank you.