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I would like to be educated a little more about distributors. I don't know much about them other than their basic function. Can someone explain a little about a the differences between single, dual, and non vacuum?

1967 coupe with vinyl top. 351W engine with C-4. Work in progress.
 

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I have some info describing 428 CJ distributors up on the web. Though my examples are specific to 428 CJs, the general terminology is common to all distributors. Here's the link:

http://www.428cobrajet.org/id-distributor.html

It does explain some of the common terms, including dual/single point and vacuum advance setups.

Scott Hollenbeck
1970 R-code Mach 1
http://www.428cobrajet.org
Fairfax Station, Virginia, USA
 
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Here's a few basic things to know:

Mechanical Advance - A.K.A. Centrifugal Advance. Uses springs and counterweights to advance the timing with engine RPM's. Kits are available to re-curve the advance. In other words, change the way the timing is advanced with the RPM's.

Vacuum Advance - Uses a vacuum diaphragm to move the triggering device (points or electronic pickup). This advance is a little more accurate than the mechanical, and helps you out with fuel economy.

Most stock Ford distributors are dual advance, meaning they implement both types. You'll also run into single and dual point distributors. One uses one set of breaker points, the other two sets - don't worry about that much other than knowing which type you have.

Hope some of this helps.


-Brian

66restomod's Home Page
[color:red]Updated: 4/13/2001</font color=red>
"In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable."-Eisenhower
 

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In addition to what the others said, a dual advance distributor will have 2 vaccum ports on it. One is used to advance timing, the other used to retard timing. They came into use about '68 (maybe in '67) as part of the first form of emmissions controls.

If you always do what you've always done,
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