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Looking for a distributor for my 1969 302. Any recommendations? Thoughts on Cardone, PerTronix, and HEI would also be appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Stock, rebuilt and recurved by Dan at The Mustang Barn, because even the re-man stuff is made out of a hodge-podge of whatevers. I am running a Pertronix Ignitor for 23 years in one car and points in another and they start & run equally well, but the points will certainly need to be replaced. The Ignitor? Who knows?
 

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Stock, rebuilt and recurved by Dan at The Mustang Barn, because even the re-man stuff is made out of a hodge-podge of whatevers. I am running a Pertronix Ignitor for 23 years in one car and points in another and they start & run equally well, but the points will certainly need to be replaced. The Ignitor? Who knows?
^^^ This. If you don't mind cleaning and gapping points every 12,000 miles or so then I'd go this route. These old cars without EGR, retarded cam timing, squeaky lean fuel mixtures, etc., don't need fancy ignition systems to run well. A good set of ordinary copper spark plugs gapped at .032" and properly adjusted distributor is all you need.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have heard some good things about Pertronix and it does seem like the best distributor for the long run but has anyone had experience with $100 distributors like Cardone? or is it just not worth it?
 

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Supposedly the new Spectra Premium distributors are really nice. You may still need to tweak the curve a bit, but like @Woodchuck said, points work perfectly fine.

 
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$57.79 for a new Spectra Premium from Rock Auto. That said, if you have your old one I'd send it off to Dan Nolan at The Mustang Barn and have it "blueprinted" before I'd even consider dropping in an aftermarket.
 

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I’m more of a when a component wears out, replace it with a superior product. Especially on a vehicle you plan to keep.

While this might not sit well with the guys looking to preserve history, and I respect that.

An electronic ignition is one of the best upgrades you can implement upon any Ford small block.

Set it and forgot it..

Fiddling with points is a pain in the a$$, a waste of time and time is money, and is this current climate no-one knows how much of it they have left.

Not to mention, any spirited driving and that 12k reset figure goes right out the window. I was regapping points every 2-3, 1/4 mile runs back in the day. (dual point dizzy) put this electronic dizzy in with a hotter coil, was able to run larger gap, picked up 3/10’s on my ET’s and I NEVER had another issue with my ignition system.

What’s your time worth? As we get older that value increases exponentially.

760271
 

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It's nice(?) but can still benefit from Dan's recurve. I've running a '67 Motocraft with a Dan Nolan curve and an Ignitor 1 sparkie. It's a component, I don't have to second guess.
 
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Before you buy one, listen to this:

I have a ford 302 that had a Pertronix distributor. It stranded me in middle of nowhere on memorial day because the ignition unit died suddenly.

The Pertronix distributor is proprietary. You can NOT swap in points/condenser if the ignition module dies.

So I got a Spectra Premium distributor, and bought another Pertronix unit. Perfect, right? WRONG. The plastic magnet ring that comes with the ignitor does NOT work on aftermarket distributors. Without this magnet ring, the ignitor can not function. The cam lobes on the spectra distributor are too small, and the magnet ring spins freely. Ridiculous.

So here I am, after hours of BS in my engine bay, scrounging around trying to find an original Ford distributor. If I had one of those, all of my problems would be solved. Instead, i’m out $85 for a aftermarket distributor, $200 for 2 nights in a hotel room for getting stranded, my $115 pertronix essentially useless, and now i have to spend $150 on a Ford distributor- which, if i had in the first place, would have prevented all of my problems.

BUY. A. FORD. DISTRIBUTOR.
 

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Yeah, with a stock distributor and a Pertronix Ignitor drop-in, if it were to fail, just put the original points plate back in and go.
 
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Durapark II from the 70s.

You get electronic ignition so you don't have to adjust the points /and/ it's a stock Ford part so if something dies you ought to be able to find it anywhere.

Probably should still send it out and get the advance curve done though. That can't hurt.
 

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There is nothing "superior" about aftermarket distributors. The original Autolite distributor is a far superior casting in both material and machining. The bushings are easily replaced and it is easily "tunable". If you are replacing or regapping points at intervals shorter than 12,000 miles then something is very wrong...either the quality of the breaker points is poor or, if the contacts are pitting, the voltage is incorrect.

At any rate, if a solid-state ignition trigger is desired there are a couple options, the easiest being to pop your points and condenser in a baggie and put them in your glove box or tool kit and toss in a Pertronix Ignitor I. Properly installed they are quite reliable... the biggest issue is failure due to leaving the key in the "on" position and the ignition coil charging. A simple timer/relay triggered by the Alternator Stator post can solve that issue.

The second option, and one that I favor, is the use of a later DuraSparkII distributor which retains the "tunability" of the original Autolite unit with a magnetic pickup coil. I rewire my DuraSparkII distributors to use a "generic" 3-wire plug to connect them to a Mopar ECU which is a nice, compact unit that is easily hidden, if desired, and allows you to retain your existing ignition coil and wiring, including the resistance wire set-up.
 

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Yeah, with a stock distributor and a Pertronix Ignitor drop-in, if it were to fail, just put the original points plate back in and go.
That is what happened to me, the Pertronix drop in system, for no reason whatsoever quit after 1 yr while I was on a 4 hour run. Pulled the set of points/condenser out of the trunk and managed to catch up with the group. No more Pertonix for me.
 

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I had similar experience that Kwaz had with Pertronix. Bought new pertronix dizzy with ignitor 2 and the pertronix relay to provide 12volts. After several months the module just quit. One day it started, the next day it quit. Ordered another ignitor 2 (you cannot mix ignitors within pertronix distributors). It lasted 10 days and left me stranded at a car show 30 miles from home. This time I called pertronix and after a long wait time, I actually got a live "tech". Explained the problem, listened to him telling me to test what I already tested and finally he told me, and I quote "sometimes the logic in ignitor 2 that turns off the module if the ignition is left on without the engine running does not ever turn on again." Put the original dizzly back in with motorcraft points and condenser. Anyone want a dead pertronix 2 dizzy?
 

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we are the original family owners of my motor that my dad bought new so i know it very well. Its been mine since 1982.
after going through and wasting big $$$ on many HP dizzys, red boxes and running P1 for 20 yrs About 8 yrs ago i decided to have my original
dizzy redone. so I sent it out to Tim who sincere tired. I put it in, timed it up and and couldn't believe how well the car ran. I let Dad talk it for a ride and he couldnt believe it either

only comment he made was back in the day why the heck did he turn down the then $12 service to reset up they dizzy that his mechanic recommended every time he went in for service

Just last month i cleaned and regapped the points for the first time. was only a very little off on the dwell but since im a fanatic i reset it to spec
 

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Just wanted say that this thread is great - lot's of good opinions and great info with plenty of options. I've been wondering about my distributor and now I have enough info to make an informed decision.
 

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I had a pertronix go bad then a 300.00 Mallory. Dropped in a rest to run dist from southwest performance 9 moths ago timed it ran 12v to dist and coil car now runs better then ever. Best part it was 50.00 and came highly recommend by a mechanic friend of mine who has one in his car
 

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Head to NAPA Auto Parts and find a good rebuilt 12127 stocker. Cheap and will last long. Learn about curving on your own and do it. It’s not hard. Set your points with a swell meter. Leave Pertronix for someone else. Since they went Chinese, quality it gone. My first one, installed in 1990 lasted 15 years. The rest died within 6 months of each other so I went back to points. The best NAPA has, not the cheapos. If you go Pertronix keep a set of points/condenser or a tested Pertronix in your trunk. You’ll need it. I touch up my point monthly and they run as good or better than that Chinese junk....my opinion of course...
 
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