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I need a FE distributor.

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  • I need a FE distributor.

    This one that came on the F100 is giving me fits. First, it doesn't sound right (like the top bearing is sloppy), then one of the vacuum advance screws broke in the aluminum (of course), now I'm trying to pull the shaft out and it's stuck!

    If one of you guys has a decent core you can part with, let me know how much you want because I'm going to need a distributor to crank up Penelope's 390.

    I have a Comp Cams installed and am told to use a bronze gear. Fifty bucks later, here I am trying to fit the gear on a funky distributor. Normally, these Ford distributors are easy to work on.

    It looks like I'm sending my spare headlight switch to Ray Clark in the morning. I still owe Bill Newman (tbirds8) for the 4100 he sent me. Maybe I can work a three-way deal where Ray pays Bill...

    Thanks in advance, you guys. - Dave
    My latest project:
    CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

    "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
    --Lee Iacocca

  • #2
    Seems that not so long ago a fellow birder here on the site purchased a reman dist from his local auto parts store???

    Might check NAPA, O'reillys, Autozone in your hometown...


    -Jon in TX.
    sigpic
    The 1960 Ford Thunderbird. The WORLD'S most wanted car....

    VTCI Member#6287.

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    • #3
      Picked one up at Advance... with vacuum and points installed... about $50
      1959 Thunderbird HT

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      • #4
        need part # for fe dist. Not sure what i have. Fe or cleveland

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        • #5
          Distributor ...

          Dave, I would think about going with a steel gear on your roller cam for street use. The bronze will work fine, but the life expectancy is fairly short. As for the dist. any major parts store should be able to get you one for under $75 with a core. If it were mine I would opt for a Ford Duraspark unit from something like a 76 F-150 in conjunction with an MSD-6AL. As you probably know a recurve of any stock dist. will really wake up your 390 project. Hope you get it all worked out, and keep up the good fight. Mike

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          • #6
            Mike, you're a great guy and thanks for your input. I consider you to be our greatest Performance FE Squarebird member.

            This F-100 distributor had sloppy bearings.

            Penelope (Bill Knighton) has a distributor on his 352 with a Pertronix setup.

            I will run this engine before shipping to Oz but I must also consider Bill's swap. Comp Cams specified the bronze gear for our roller cam (so I bought one for $50).

            Comp says bronze is compatible with all cams. I don't think this roller takes more power to turn but I am now running a High Volume Melling Oil Pump, which does use more ponies. (I have restricted the Rocker Shafts with a .090" drill.) I would like to give Bill a distributor he can simply transfer his Pertronix unit onto and call it a day.

            My buddy John Vermeersch sold me a 'core' distributor for $10 with a stock gear attached. The bearings feel very good, which was my only concern. I aim to build this with the bronze gear and F-100 springs when I get to it. That's where I'm at right now. I'm building this engine for lots of low rpm torque.

            The C-6 is done (with the E4OD gears). It's dry, which is how I will ship it. In the mean time, I need it to mount the starter motor. I'm not there yet but things are progressing nicely.
            - Dave
            My latest project:
            CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

            "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
            --Lee Iacocca

            Comment


            • #7
              Just a thought here-

              A bronze dist driven gear is (was) meant to be sacrificial, i.e. it is (was) used with a hardened camshaft usually for competition engines. It also wore very quickly with the possibility of bronze shavings going directly into the engine. COMP also offers a composition driven gear which will not break down on a street engine.

              The camshaft drive and dist driven gears must be comparable or accelerated wear may occur.

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              • #8
                Hey Dave,
                Sorry I could not find my old one. I got my new one and vacuum advance from O'reilly Auto Parts! It took them sometime to locate one but they found it. Don't let them tell you their books only go back to '62, they can call and locate one
                Richard D. Hord
                sigpic'60 Thunderbird "Christine"
                Registry #33436

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                • #9
                  Just a small ...

                  fish in a big pond, but thanks for the kind words Dave. Mike

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gaffney1951 View Post
                    ... As for the dist. any major parts store should be able to get you one for under $75 with a core...
                    Mike, I had the original truck engine dist. but the bearings were shot. So, I gave John Vermeersch a visit and he hooked me up with a good housing w/shaft for $10. That's all I needed.
                    Originally posted by gaffney1951 View Post
                    ... As you probably know a recurve of any stock dist. will really wake up your 390 project.
                    Mike, I can't run this engine under load because it wil be on a stand. So, I will start with 34* total advance, peaking at ~2,500-RPM. I called Comp Cams and they didn't want to even suggest a starting point. I can't blame them as this is a tuning project. I said, "So is a camshaft." He agreed, but there are too many variables like, gas, load, trans, cam, rpm, compression ratio, displacement, etc.

                    I got the ok from Penelope to buy a new Pertronix Ignitor II and Flame Thrower II coil. Then I will stand-run without vacuum advance using my trusty Sun Tach and a timing light, to see where the dist. advance changes.

                    Once the engine is installed and run under load, Bill will have to tweak it. I like the fact that this new Ignitor II operates like the Duraspark when starting... it retards timing for easier starts. It also shuts itself off if the key is left in the 'run' position for long periods without the engine running. - Dave
                    My latest project:
                    CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                    "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                    --Lee Iacocca

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Maybe this will be of some benefit-

                      http://www.fordmuscle.com/archives/2...ng/index.shtml

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                      • #12
                        Gary, this article is by far the best I've seen for recurving a distributor. They leave no stone unturned. Thank You for sharing it.

                        I like that they don't encourage everyone to run to your local Sun distributor machine for recurving, and that 'driving the car' is the only true way to know what moves need to be made for fine tuning. So, Penelope has work to do.

                        BTW, what do you use to pull the little wire 'keeper' out of the top (just under the rotor)? - Dave
                        My latest project:
                        CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                        "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                        --Lee Iacocca

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post

                          Gary, this article is by far the best I've seen for recurving a distributor. They leave no stone unturned. Thank You for sharing it.

                          I like that they don't encourage everyone to run to your local Sun distributor machine for recurving, and that 'driving the car' is the only true way to know what moves need to be made for fine tuning. So, Penelope has work to do.

                          BTW, what do you use to pull the little wire 'keeper' out of the top (just under the rotor)? - Dave
                          Thanks Dave (and you are quite welcome)...

                          What most don't realize with a rebuilt distributor is that if the re-builder actually re-curves the distributor, it will be a compromise to suit many different applications. What you actually walk out with may not be suitable for your application.

                          I have a timing light that shows advance at differing RPM's, the easiest way out other than the machine you mentioned. But it can also be done with a properly indexed balancer (or timing tape) and a tach.

                          One must also remember that the vacuum advance is adjustable also.

                          Is this clip you mention holding tension on the rotor button? I would like to see a photo if possible. If the above description is as I visualize it, it was used on the early six cylinders. It must be a very early distributor (any I.D. markings) as I don't remember seeing this on an early FE. A felt insert was used at this location also (lubrication).

                          But of course I learn something everyday, my main reason for being here and aggravating you guys...

                          Oh...BTW..

                          Thumbs up on the PERTRONIX II. It is much easier to hide (and not as complicated) as the DURASPARK II. It is really going to help performance.
                          Last edited by KULTULZ; April 24th, 2012, 07:30 AM.

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