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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/20/2005 9:48:55 AM EDT
A coworker recently inherited her grandfather's 1963 Dodge. We were looking under the hood (the car is in GREAT shape!) and I pointed at the distributor and asked one of our young engineers if he could explain what it was and how it worked. He couldn't, and was amazed at the simplicity of the system when I told him.

It got me thinking about the days of working on cars with my Dad (set the points, adjust the fuel mixture on the carb, set the timing, and you were good to go!).

Is it possible (or practical) to take a modern, computer controlled engine with electronic ignition and convert it to old school?

Points, carb, and that's it?
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 2:01:36 PM EDT
I am sure that you could if you wanted to. You would have to drive the dist off of the cam or a pulley, and you would need to modify the intake so that you could run the carb on it.

I know that we run stock electronics in our turbo dodges with a 2.4 out of a SRT4. The cam runs the dist and the stock electronics are calibrated to control the different motor.
Link Posted: 9/21/2005 5:08:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/22/2005 8:49:43 AM EDT by oneshot1kill]
Sure, it can be done, how easily depends on the motor. Modern engines that are still using electronic distributors are simple, but points were always a weak link in hi performanc applications. I went to electronic ignitions in all my GTO's and other GM's back in the day.

Many blocks today are using DIS ignitions, to eliminate them would require a distributor. Good thing is that some of these blocks USED to run distributors at one time, for example the 2.8, 3.1, 3.3, 3.4 etc GM motor still has a distributor hole. It's just blocked with an 'O-ringed' base so it doesn't leak oil, which doesn't work well as they still leak all the time, and they have gears to drive the oil pump off the cam. Fords 3.8L also has a distributor hole on some blocks, only they put a cam sensor driven by the cam gears in place of the distributor. These blocks, and others like them, can easily be converted to a distributor if you like. A number of the V8's are basically the same blocks that rn distributors so they can be changed too.

Fuel may be a little trickier, going to a carb would require a new intake manifold, probably a custom job unless we are looking at one of those V-8's where carb ready intakes are available at a reasonable price.
Link Posted: 9/21/2005 6:03:52 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/21/2005 8:43:13 PM EDT
I always have been a carb lover but you have got to be the first guy to prefer points to electronic ignition. Points suck plain and simple. They begin to deteriorate the first time you start the car and get worse each and every time resulting in worse and worse spark. Electonic ignition is consistant and maintenance free.
Link Posted: 9/22/2005 8:55:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Maynard:
I went back to a carb an on EFI truck for numerous reasons.

It offered more bang for the buck and tuneability. The ECM on my 1989 F150 would not allow for easy upgrade and would not handle the cam I chose for my Ford 300 engine.

I was aiming for a torque build and chose the Offenhauser Dual Plane intake to enhance the low end. There are no aftermarket options for the 4.9l/300 ford EFI intake.

I also started with points on this engine but quickly grew weary of replacing them. I switched to a hall effect Pertronix ingition and have never looked back.

I'm running an Edelbrock 500 carb/Motorcraft vacuum advance dizzy/MSD coil and Autolite plugs. I'm not much of a carb tuner yet but I'm giving 'er hell trying.

Truck runs pretty well and pulls very strongly.


Strong enough to never have lost to any chebbies



Nice truck Maynard...and stop beating up those Chebbies!
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 3:11:56 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 2:58:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Maynard:
I swore them off forever after all the problems I had with them. I couldn't get them to last longer than two weeks and that was gapping them at .080.

Anything less and they would crap out almost immediately. Gapping them to the factory spec would yield less then 5 minutes of run time before they would fry.

The truck also ran much much better after switching to the Pertronix even compared to a fresh set of points.



It sounds like you had a bad condenser.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 4:36:44 PM EDT
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