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Ignition Upgrades

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  • Ignition Upgrades

    Hey everybody,
    I am thinking about going to a performance ignition system on the ol 390 and was wondering if anybody has done the same? i.e. MSD or Mallory etc distributors, coils, wires, etc etc. Recommendations? Pros/cons? Thanks

  • #2
    RE: Ignition Upgrades

    Welcome the site. I have the Mallory Unilite system on my 1959 and the Pertonix on my 1960. Both work well. Make sure you ground the sytems well or they will work intermittently or not at all.

    Alexander
    1959 Hardtop
    1960 Golde Top
    Alexander
    1959 Hard Top
    1960 Golde Top
    sigpic

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    • #3
      RE: Ignition Upgrades

      Thanks, if anyone else has some input or suggestions let me hear em!

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      • #4
        RE: Ignition Upgrades

        I ve been running a MSD Pro billet ready to run distributor(part #8595) simple 3 wire install, just add a good coil ( Im using a MSD also) a little pricey, but simple upgrade, just watch your oil pump drive rod when you pull you old one out if your motors still in the car. I bought this dist. as an upgrade , went to install it only to hear a "tink...tink..ta tunk, as the oil pump drive rod came up with th distributor gear then fell clear into the bottom of the oil pan, ultimatly leading to the removal and rebuilding of the engine, unplanned,$$$(I had to do it after pulling that boat anchor out) I am happy with the MSD, the only real performance I noticed was that it seems to start a little easier.

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        • #5
          RE: Ignition Upgrades

          Thanks, very useful information. Is there any trick or precaution to not pulling the oil rod out with the distributor even though it does run off the distributor gear? also which coil are you using, round canister style with the fluid inside or the boxy type? Im sure the start up is faster but have you notice any increase in power or gas mileage? and was it really a "ready to run" type thing or did you have to do some tweeking before start up? thanks again

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          • #6
            RE: Ignition Upgrades

            Round style, I just liked the idea of being able to utilze the stock mounts over the square one.
            It was a really simple install, good directions from MSD.The only addition from stock was a small ceramic ballast resister thingy that came with the coil, or was it in the distributor box?
            I think the shaft stuck to the dist. gear because of the poor condition or the motor, glazed and sludgy. I didn't pay attention when I slipped the distributer of the cam teeth, haf way out, tink tink, gone. just bad luck I figure.
            I cant really say either way on the gains from the distributor and coil. I bought them as an upgrade and ended up rebuilding the old boat anchor after I dropped the oilpump shaft and had to pull the motor and drop the pan. I changed to much stuff ( cam , carb, intake, roller rockers, bigger valves,dual exhaust...)at the same time to say what did what, it does run a lot stronger.:7

            milage? whats that? Ive never calculated the boats voyage capacity!:+

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            • #7
              RE: Ignition Upgrades

              Thanks, i was most concerned about that **** oil rod. Mainly my 63 takes a couple of cranks before she fires so i suspect a weak coil, distributor, solenoid, etc. Plus not having points anymore seems like a plus.

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