Mustang 1965 FoMoCo Distributor - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019 Thread Starter
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Mustang 1965 FoMoCo Distributor

Hi all,
Just bought the vacuum advance to install it in my 65 distributor but when running, the points moves and close the gap, my mechanic said that the distributor is not working propperly, looks like the sliding plate is too lose, even to "calibrate" the points becomes a really pain.
I would like to keep the original one and install it a Pertronix but with the vacuum advance working.​
Is there any way to repair the distributor?

Thanks

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019
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Welcome to AFM, Mcons!


Just to understand, here: are you trying to set the points while your engine is running? Because you have to set the points gap with it turned off. There's no way vac advance should be tugging on anything while you're setting points, unless you have a friend sucking on the vacuum hose.

What kind of dizzy do you have? The stock old Autolite? Those work fine, and they're pretty maintenance-free for the most part. They're also usually easy to fix if anything does wear out, so I am pretty sure we can make this thing do what it's supposed to.

If you could take some pics and show us what you're up to, it might really help out.

Best wishes.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019
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I completely agree with the above....
and let me bring to light some things about Pertronix boxes...….You will have to excuse me a little here, but, what is morereliable than points......certainly not the more popular & common “e-boxreplacement kits”. Yes you can hear people state "It runs so muchsmoother/better than when it had points"........in each case that anindividual said that in my presence, they had very little knowledge aboutpoints and the ones they were running were- old & tired or inexpensiveaftermarket replacement units or the individual (including professionalmechanic) was unfamiliar with not just setting the gap to OEM specs, butsetting the dwell & initial timing to what the engine likes.

But let’s look at the OEM ignition system from the early 60’s….
Original Coil Voltage: 20,000; by the end of the 60’s 40,000 volt highperformance coils were common…..by the 70’s 50,000 & 60,000 volt coils wereeasily available & is what we have today. Did we really gain all sorts ofHP/TQ with all this extra voltage…….no, what we were able to gain was strongersupport (if you will excuse my terms here) for higher RPM’s- specifically inthe 6,000+ range…..enough to power NASCAR engines in the 8,000 rpm range at200+ mph!

Points were used in NASCAR up through the late 1970's, running speeds of200mph+.........Cale Yarborough did lose a race one time because the ignitionpoints broke. In a street application, if you look at the data very closelythat is provided by these more common e-box companies, in street applications(where max power-band RPM is around 6000), when the standard dyno deviation isremoved (5% standard per every dyno mfg) there is less than 1% improvement inperformance. Further testing by independent aftermarket DIS (direct ignition system)manufacturers verify this through their own testing- there is little gain overan ignition points system until you reach 4000 rpm…then you begin to see aslight sustainment of ignition delivery above what points can deliver but itdoesn’t even begin to compare to what a “modern”, real e-based system can &does deliver in a real world street (and race) environment.
I am not promoting this product but their analysis is very accurate of themisleading PR docs pertronix & others have…... http://www.compu-tronix.com/FAQ.htm#A13
link: http://www.compu-tronix.com/MightyMo...risonGraph.pdf (if the link doesn't show it...send me a Pm with email and I will send you the document)
The other item is, in a street vehicle, if you wait to see improvement until4000+ rpm, the race is over.
Here is a link to a back to back ¼ runs- comparison ofpoints vs a couple of e-box conversions……..no discernible difference http://www.vintageperformance.com/retrorockets/track.htm

These e-box “conversion kits” have literally the same design limitations as the“conventional points”- because they are essentially using the same deliverysystem (rotor, cap, wires, etc.) and they are subject to the same inherentdesign impactors of which there are numerous….including ozone that is producedwithin the cap…..none of this has by miracle “disappeared” and in fact whencompared in true recorded data-frame analysis, the benefit will be gone by 5800rpm and the loss, although slightly less, parallels that of points. In racingconditions that could very well make a difference, but in a street application,you could literally change brand of fuel and see that level of improvement ordegradation. Additionally, there arecompanies such as ProComp whose “High-Tech Multiple Discharge Ignition Systems”are nothing more than re-boxed low tech conversion parts purchased in bulk fromother companies- mostly Chinese-based. Check out this pic http://www.pro-touring.com/showthread.php?94936-procomp-ignition-boxof a “new” ProComp e-ignition system- it’s a glued together GM part stuffedinto a pretty aluminum box. Consideringthey were sued in 2006 by MSD (and prohibited as part of a settlement fromusing/distributing any of their parts), I’m not surprised by anything I seewith their crap….but this includes much of the e-box aftermarket industry- alot of PR documents which physics does not play any part!

Very good quality ignition points/condensors are available and when setproperly, are very reliable and provide excellent performance. There have beenno less than 5 people who I personally knew were going to get e-boxes, then Ihad them get a good set of points/condenser, a high voltage (40k+) coil, andinstalled them showing them specifically how to do it......the engines ransmooth and strong. One person did end up buying an e-box, why, because he saidhe just got tired of not being "cool", after spending $500 for adistributor, etc (he went “Popular” high end), a year later (when he asked meto help him fix something) he admitted, it was a waste of $...it didn't run anybetter than after we put the points in.

While many state the positives of e-boxes (and there are certainly manypositive attributes), there are conditions which reduce an e-boxeseffectiveness & reliability....to start with the circuitry and handling(container vessel shipping) of it from China (which is where 90% of the morecommon/popular e-box company's products originate). Any aspect includingtemperature control, static safeguards, moisture can & will cause bothdetectable and undetectable damage which may not show up until after you havesubjected the installed component to real world vibrations, heat, cold,moisture & grease/oil. Yes, all of these damage e-components, but thesystems (based upon a variety of factors) are suppose to be prepared to endurethese exposures but that is based upon many, many assumptions. Including properhandling & q/a.......given all of the 3rd party involvement in the finalproduct, it is unrealistic (IMHO) to believe that e-boxes have an increasedreliability as compared to their mechanical-based counterpart. And in terms of“Dwell Control” I won’t even go into that in detail but I will say, what the“kits” provide is a joke…..you can actually get more control over the dwell byhaving an understanding of how to set timing versus dwell setting with pointsthan the most popular e-box conversion kits can provide…..which makes for avery smooth running engine- this is not just IMHO, but well known among the"higher quality" aftermarket engineers whose systems reflect thisability to "tune"!
If you need to say I got rid of my points…ok, that’s fine, but if you arereally serious about actually upgrading the ignition system then doso……although it has been scrapped by the OEM’s in favor of more advanced,effective systems, there are aftermarket DIS units (yes the same as Ford usedin the 90’s & developed by Porsche in the 80’s) whose cost is within reachof most buyers and will actually perform as stated.

and regardless of what some may say.....no, you don't have to constantly reset the points......I just had to adjust mine.....10,000 miles later.....it does require you to put one drop of Teflon lube on the "cam"...which eliminates the wear point.....but...this use to be provided with all ignition points but in the 80's the engineers all decided it wasn't needed.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019
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Beechkid is right. Although points do require occasional maintenance, for an engine that doesn't get past 5500 RPMs, they deliver a nice, hot, fat, long (wow that sounds raunchy!) spark. In contrast, electronic ignition systems offer a very intense, but brief spark.

As for reliability, points do wear out occasionally, and condensors can fail. But they're cheap. Electronic ignition modules usually work fine, but when they die, it's going to set you back at least $100+.

Once you understand the basics with points, they are really no big deal. For any car that stays below 5500, I'd recommend them, because they typically work better.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019
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To the OP, if your advance plate is worn out, then yes your not going to get the distributor to operate correctly whether you use points or a Pertronix points replacement setup. You can rebuild, or have it rebuilt to run for another 50 years, or purchase a rebuilt one to save time. They aren't expensive, about $75 at your local parts store.

I don't understand the rant about E-boxes above because that's not what your after. Some of the statements are true, but performance electric ignitions have really improved over the years and there are applications in which they are far superior than any points system will ever be. Pertronix has also come a long way with its Pertronix III system.

As mentioned above, points are a very good reliable ignition system where a quality set of performance points will allow the engine to run flawlessly to 6k+ rpm. The Pertronix points replacement modules are just that, a points replacement. They can give very good service for many years, however you will not realize any performance increase over points, you just don't have to check dwell periodically or replace the points anymore. Keep a spare module or an extra set of points and condenser in the glove box for emergencies and learn how to install them.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2019
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No real 'can of worms' to be opened here, either way. I think these days, a lot of people get the impression that points are garbage and should quickly be ditched in favor of electronics. It's simply not so, as Beechkid pointed out.



If you don't want to have to check on your distributor every 4-5 oil changes, then electronic ignition may be for you. They usually work pretty well too. They're not any 'better' for your typical Mustang, but they are certainly fuss-free until they mysteriously stop working (sometimes they just work 'forever' too, but the harsh operating environment under your hood inside your distributor is not kind to electronics.)

All of us are just trying to point out the benefits and drawbacks of both points, and electronic systems. Hopefully, there's not much actually wrong with your distributor, but if there is, like Redstang mentions, you can get it fixed or replaced without too much drama.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2019
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Welcome to the site!! I moved your thread for you.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 07redstang View Post
To the OP, if your advance plate is worn out, then yes your not going to get the distributor to operate correctly whether you use points or a Pertronix points replacement setup. You can rebuild, or have it rebuilt to run for another 50 years, or purchase a rebuilt one to save time. They aren't expensive, about $75 at your local parts store.

I don't understand the rant about E-boxes above because that's not what your after. Some of the statements are true, but performance electric ignitions have really improved over the years and there are applications in which they are far superior than any points system will ever be. Pertronix has also come a long way with its Pertronix III system.

As mentioned above, points are a very good reliable ignition system where a quality set of performance points will allow the engine to run flawlessly to 6k+ rpm. The Pertronix points replacement modules are just that, a points replacement. They can give very good service for many years, however you will not realize any performance increase over points, you just don't have to check dwell periodically or replace the points anymore. Keep a spare module or an extra set of points and condenser in the glove box for emergencies and learn how to install them.
for 6k+, I agree, but the e-boxes do not operate any better then points do....I have the actual system testing that was done by a 3rd party....oem ignition system engineer...who was as "disturbed' by the PR material of Pertronix and others with similar systems, whose claims could not be substantiated. If you would like the analysis...pm me.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-11-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 07redstang View Post
To the OP, if your advance plate is worn out, then yes your not going to get the distributor to operate correctly whether you use points or a Pertronix points replacement setup. You can rebuild, or have it rebuilt to run for another 50 years, or purchase a rebuilt one to save time. They aren't expensive, about $75 at your local parts store.
EXACTLY this, what is happening is that the breaker plate is no longer round, and as the vac advance moves it, it is acting like a cam, changing the points values.
A couple of ways around this, if you need matching part numbers, go buy a dizzy from a parts store, gut it, and install those parts in your dizzy. You used to be able to buy rebuild kits, no more. The other option, if you don't need specific numbers, and have room, is to buy an HEI and all your problems are over.
the way to check this, is with a dwell meter, install the points, hook up the meter, start the car and apply vacuum to the canister, the dwell should remain relatively constant. I think the dwell is around 28 degrees but it's been awhile.
They had a "chevy" firing order back then, the cylinders are numbered different but if you just pretend it's a SBC and go 18436572, it will come out the same (google it).Around 83 with the HO302s, they went to the 351 firing order to prevent some crossfire issues and they changed the cam to accommodate this.
I put HEIs into everything I've built for years
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HEI's are no better than the stock Ford distributors, and cause interference issues with stock air cleaners, etc. I'm not very fond of the teeny on-cap coils that some use, either, as they are prone to failure because of overheating. If you don't care about appearance or fitment, put in whatever you want. =) Chebby guys usually feel more comfortable with a giant herky blue thing on top of their motors - maybe to increase visibility waaay back there in the back of their engines. (In the interest of fairness, other than the coil thing, and not fitting with factory air cleaners, they actually work fine. I still hate 'em.)


But @blacksheep , you're right about the firing order business. Most American V8's have used the same order; the manufacturers just number the cylinders differently. All 90 degree V8's use 15426378 or 13726548 (by Ford's numbers) unless they're flat-plane cranks.


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I have a 1965 “C” code 289 Mustang Fastback.
I installed a Petronix -Perlux ignitor kit more than 25 years ago with no problems.
I do carry a set of points and condensor in the glove box as backup but haven’t needed the old set up. The Pertronix Ignitor fits in place of the original points and condensor. Only external visible difference is two wires going to both sides of the ignition coil from the distributor while the original points and condensor only uses one black lead going to the negative / dist/ “-“ side of the ignition coil.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 07redstang View Post
To the OP, if your advance plate is worn out, then yes your not going to get the distributor to operate correctly whether you use points or a Pertronix points replacement setup. You can rebuild, or have it rebuilt to run for another 50 years, or purchase a rebuilt one to save time. They aren't expensive, about $75 at your local parts store.

I don't understand the rant about E-boxes above because that's not what your after. Some of the statements are true, but performance electric ignitions have really improved over the years and there are applications in which they are far superior than any points system will ever be. Pertronix has also come a long way with its Pertronix III system.

As mentioned above, points are a very good reliable ignition system where a quality set of performance points will allow the engine to run flawlessly to 6k+ rpm. The Pertronix points replacement modules are just that, a points replacement. They can give very good service for many years, however you will not realize any performance increase over points, you just don't have to check dwell periodically or replace the points anymore. Keep a spare module or an extra set of points and condenser in the glove box for emergencies and learn how to install them.
This is the only reason I use the pickup instead of points set ups. It's reason enough.
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Mcons, you might want to consider having your dizzy set up to the proper timing curve. Find a dizzy rebuilding service with a Sun distributor machine. I have had several done by the Mustang Barn, Dan has a reasonable turn around time. Having the curve sett to factory specs is a simple and effective improvement for drive ability. The dizzys were never curved from the factory. Bill
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My advice send the distributor to Dan Nolan at the Mustang Barn in Harleysville, PA. He will check your distributor over, place on a distributor machine and determine why you are having issues. Also, will recommend a curve individualized for your engine.

Actually, for anyone of us here, do the same. We all spend hundreds of dollars on go fast parts, and don't pay enough attention to one of the most important pieces of equipment. Sure yours may be new, but, the curve advance rate may be totally wrong based on your cam, rear, initial timing etc.
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