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I have a 1971 Mustang with a 351 Cleveland 4spd I am thinking of upgrading my distributor should I go modern or traditional? Thanks
 

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I have a 1971 Mustang with a 351 Cleveland 4spd I am thinking of upgrading my distributor should I go modern or traditional? Thanks
Technically its up to you...

Benefits of stock... its stock, assuming you want a stock car.

Benefits of Modern, its modern, better performing ignition which in turn gives a bit more performance, but obviously is not era correct.

I have an old CDI ignition on my '66, ran really smooth until it gave out, but a switch on the box puts the points back into the system and off I go. Still runs fine, and I will have to rebuild the CDI, but for me that "retro" electronic ignition fits the stock look of the car. I have otherwise left it original; even still has the California emissions on it.
 

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Points are a PITA. I never converted an old car but I did convert a motorcycle. It was the best thing I ever did to that bike. After putting the system in I never had to adjust it.
 

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Daily driver, I'd upgrade. Occasional use, parked mostly in winter, I'd leave stock points.
 

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When I drove cars with points, I was messing with them every 3000 miles. It was part of the oil - filter change deal. Pointless ignition was wonderful. Cars with ECM remarkably better yet. Teacher in the Automotive Technology department where I work went to far as to put a modern ECM controlled engine in his 69 Nova. Claims it is much better than the stock setup.
 

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there is no reason at all to use points anymore in my opinion. even in a concourse restoration with the pertronix ignitor you can put it under the stock distributor cap and no one will ever know. I can think of no good reason at all to use points.
 

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It really depends on the car and what you want. I dropped a Pertonix dizzy in my 302 because it seems the car didn't like points. I was replacing them every four or five months, as it just kept burning them up. My 351, on the other hand, has run just fine with points since it was built, and I have no real reason to switch. I change them about every year or so just because it's a good idea, and once I get the dwell angle set, it runs great.

I think a lot of people disparage point ignition systems today because they aren't as "easy" as plug-and-play electronic systems - they require occasional adjustment and periodic replacement. But for stock applications, they are just fine, and there is a certain beauty to the simplicity.
 

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I went with Pertronix not to long ago. Amazing!! That is all I can say about it. I do however keep a set of points in the glove box just in case.
 

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Did any of you guys notice any drivability or performance improvements after the switch?
 

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You can gain improvements. Faster starting and maybe a touch more fuel efficent. Larger spark plug gap can be used making for better ignition.
 

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I put in a pertronix 1st generation a decade ago and have loved it.
 

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I have a MSD system and it has not given me any problems. Starts quick everytime.

As everyone has said, go electronic and eliminate a big headache


Good Luck and BE Safe
Ron
 
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