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Old 02-08-2011, 11:55 PM   #1
Zaemo
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Default Flathead Ignition Conversions

Does anyone have any old tech articles on converting early ignitions to dual coil or the Lincoln Zephyr coil conversion? 6 or 12V info would be great if you can post or e-mail info to me.
Does anyone know a source for LZ dual coils?
Thanks,

Z
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Old 02-09-2011, 03:27 AM   #2
Charlie ny
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Default Re: Flathead Ignition Conversions

Z,
Send me your address...I have a lengthy article from HOT ROD on
how to adapt an LZ dist to Ford V8. Lincoln coils turn up frequently at
swap meets but all will require rebuild. Skip Haney is my coil guy of
choice. I have a couple Lincoln distributors and one or two coils some-
where in my stash.
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Flathead Ignition Conversions

Excuse my ignorance on the subject , but is this what you folks are chatting about? I had never seen one of these setups before and am still wondering what it is.
sorry for hijacking the thread if its not...

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Old 02-10-2011, 01:01 PM   #4
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Default Re: Flathead Ignition Conversions

You would need to change the cam most likely to a 4cylinder 9n tractor and use the ford caps on the LZ disy ,as the l Z uses one points set to fire 6 cylinders .
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:02 PM   #5
Bruce Lancaster
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Default Re: Flathead Ignition Conversions

LZ conversion, the Dean Moon version, was covered in a 3 part article in Car Craft in 1954. It was reprinted in HRM's annual for I think 1955, but when they reprinted it they shrank the drilling templates...
There are/were multiple ways to do the mods but the CC article will get you thinking. It is pretty well detailed, and Moon was one of the several commercial sources for these things. Crazy impractical modification justified by the sheer coolness of the tech and the beauty of the LZ distributor!
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: Flathead Ignition Conversions

The conversion used a mix of LZ and Ford 78 distributor bits with some magneto points...For a modern conversion, I would look into one of the other (other than Moon) popular means of extending the secondary contacts and I would for sure find some more common points to use than any of the obscure types I have seen in those!
While looking into this a few years back, I discoverd that a fairly high percentage of distributors for sale as LZ were actually Ford converted, with a considerable varieyt of technique and parts choice.
There were at least a couple of commercial suppliers (and one kit) for the LZ based conversion, and at least one that used a 78 distributor body with an adapter to put the LZ coil into the mix. And...the conversion was low-tech enough tinkering that lots of people made up their own versions.
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Flathead Ignition Conversions

This is getting more confusing as I go. A Ford Barner is sending me the article to look over. I have looked high and low and I can't seem to find any tech articles on line. I may end up going with a 12V converted early distributor with a single coil. I have not had the opportunity to look at one of these to see how they are converted. Maybe I need to just find one that is already done, and restore it. It seems a little odd that no one is really doing this these days. Maybe it's more trouble than it's worth after 12V systems came about but it's authentic for a 40's build which is my next project. It's interesting to learn about, if anything. I saw a few different versions of these at the GNRS. The B&W pictures are from a Don Montgomery book.
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: Flathead Ignition Conversions

Here's two from the GNRS. Not great pics but you get the vibe.
Z
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:40 AM   #9
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Default Re: Flathead Ignition Conversions

Like lots of early Ford tech lore, stuff like this just isn't on the internet. You have to find a crazed packrat with a huge library of ancient Ford and hotrod stuff.
Doing it commercially...one of the high-end restorers of carbs and ignitions could likely do it, but after doing a LOT of careful work, finding and buying the Lincoln bits, and rebuilding a Lincoln coil pack, the price tag would be terrifying.
You need to find either the Car Craft stuff or an old converted distributor and work from there.
If I were to do one of these things I would use the rotor mods rather than the cap mods for the secondary side, I would find some common passenger car points to use
(all of the different conversions I have found use points that are now rare, expensive, and hard to find), AND I would try to find a way to keep the LZ point plate for the advantage of being able to set proper dwell, then separately time the two points. Relying on perfect drilling and perfect point geometry doesn't seem wise for that!
Remember, this is a pure nostalgia excercise. A stock Ford distributor with a decent modern or even 1960's coil will do the job fine at hot flathead RPMS, and electronic conversions offer a lot more bang for the buck than LZ. Anything involving old speed equipment is crazy expensive and requires research and learning curve far beyond the internet.
And--you will never see a piece of electrical equipment more beautiful than a clean LZ setup...one would be perfectly at home in the Museum of Modern Art!
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:23 AM   #10
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Default Re: Flathead Ignition Conversions

Check with Bubba's ,He done a post a while back on one that was sent to him, He is the best around as far as I'm concerned!
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:21 PM   #11
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Default Re: Flathead Ignition Conversions

I hear your words Bruce,
This is a nostalgic exercise for sure. That's the whole point for me, especially with a (real) traditional build. I look forward to learning the different ways this type of early ignition was accomplished. I just wish I had more available to me to research. It would be nice if this conversion just didn't fade away and get forgotten about.
Terrifying price tag? Seems like I could do this for a fraction of the price of a magneto. What's a Kong ignition go for if you could find one for sale? I could probably a spare dual coil as well and still spend less.
Maybe I'm wrong but I look forward to finding out!
Thanks for your tips, I don't yet know what's involved here so I'll be cataloging all of this info.

Z
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:47 PM   #12
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Default Re: Flathead Ignition Conversions

T doesn't sound that complicated ,I ha vent done one but it looks like you could file the rotor tips of and likely use the v8 caps ,I have worked on 9N tractor dizy and the 4 lob cam looks ideal. I have seen two 6cylinder dizys on a LZ .one out each side .
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:42 PM   #13
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Default Re: Flathead Ignition Conversions

Basic mods: 78 cam, 4 lobes obliterated. Tracor pre-'52 one might fit...never had one of those distributors, but they are related.
Secondary...you have to use LZ rotor, which is phased wrong. Moon soldered curved strips of brass to LZ cap contacts, I have seen others I think better in which the brass tips of LZ rotor were slit with a razor saw radially and curved brass blades soldered in.
Most used some now hard to find small engine mag points, same ones as HC dual coil 59A, on a redrilled 78 plate. One I have kept the LZ plate (A VERY good idea, IMHO) and used one LZ point and one obsolete Mallory point, both of them now difficult to find. Those are the BIG mods.
Figuring out which LZ secondary terminals you need and when on a DC V8 should hurt your head!
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:48 PM   #14
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Default Re: Flathead Ignition Conversions

I would suggest the pinto points ,There is a left and right in the series The Ford 71 Cortina 1600/1800 has the left set .Or try the LZ uses the Model 78 points (37 to 48 ) crab
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:58 PM   #15
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Default Re: Flathead Ignition Conversions - V12 to V8 Help!

Does anybody have a decent copy of the Car Craft article? I've just torn a couple LZ distributors apart - the cam change is the easy part, the rotor isn't bad, but I'd love to read about the points changes and how that was accomplished - even if I had to use the MAG points like the HC used. If anybody has the articles - I'd be very happy to see them! Also, I'll make a tech article and share it back.

Thanks!

daleohays@gmail.com
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Old 10-28-2013, 07:38 AM   #16
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Default Re: Flathead Ignition Conversions

Get one together as a project . I would be glad to run on a machine and sync the unit if needed.....
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Old 10-28-2013, 08:16 AM   #17
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Default Re: Flathead Ignition Conversions

I have a old tech article on how to do it. I could make copies and snail mail it to you
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Old 10-28-2013, 12:16 PM   #18
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Default Re: Flathead Ignition Conversions

I have a few Lincoln-Z distributors converted for the V8. They are the W&H Ducoil modified. I also Have a NOS 4 lobe cam as a spare. I believe that they were the original L-Z with the 6 points re-ground to a 4 lobe version, much like you would do to a cam regrind. It also uses the extended brass contacts, which seem to be professional done as apposed to a homemade job. I believe I have instructions for this unit from W&H Ducoil....if I could only find it.....somewhere.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:15 AM   #19
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Default Re: Flathead Ignition Conversions

Wow...2,005 views on this topic.....there must a lot of interest on Flathead ignition conversions....join in, and lets hear more comments.....I'm all ears on this one. Thanks Zaemo for stiring up the pot.............Robert
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:27 AM   #20
Bruce Lancaster
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Default Re: Flathead Ignition Conversions

April, May, June 1954 Car Craft has the Moon tech article and drilling templates.
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