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Old 09-01-2017, 09:15 AM   #1
BUBBAS IGNITION
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Default Crab thoughts ??????????

I get a lot of core flathead distributors in from time to time and during the process of sorting them out for rebuild run across some strange stuff.

I am going to post this picture from this morning and see how many of you can figure it out. Then i will run it on a distributor machine and check it out.

The story could go like this?? You need your mindset for the correct time period here.

Somewhere down south ( maybe Livingston Tennessee) in a Esso service bay a trio of future racers wer disecting the ignition of a 34 Ford coupe with a 44 Flathead . This was the stations dirt track racer and they wer tuning for the friday night races. Jim Bob Smith had made them a special camshaft of unknown grind and the engine would turn way more rpm than the ignition would allow. Bobby John Jones had stopped by to see if he could help the problem. After a couple evenings the car would run like a bat out of hell. They would all smile while unloading the car at the local Hillham Tennessee race track for sure.

Looking over the picture can you see what Bobby John did to the stock ignition????? Old Ron Ron might have been involved ????
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Old 09-01-2017, 09:22 AM   #2
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Default Re: Crab thoughts ??????????

Water hose has many uses?
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Old 09-01-2017, 09:22 AM   #3
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Default Re: Crab thoughts ??????????

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Originally Posted by BUBBAS IGNITION View Post
I get a lot of core flathead distributors in from time to time and during the process of sorting them out for rebuild run across some strange stuff.

I am going to post this picture from this morning and see how many of you can figure it out. Then i will run it on a distributor machine and check it out.

The story could go like this?? You need your mindset for the correct time period here.

Somewhere down south ( maybe Livingston Tennessee) in a Esso service bay a trio of future racers wer disecting the ignition of a 34 Ford coupe with a 44 Flathead . This was the stations dirt track racer and they wer tuning for the friday night races. Jim Bob Smith had made them a special camshaft of unknown grind and the engine would turn way more rpm than the ignition would allow. Bobby John Jones had stopped by to see if he could help the problem. After a couple evenings the car would run like a bat out of hell. They would all smile while unloading the car at the local Hillham Tennessee race track for sure.

Looking over the picture can you see what Bobby John did to the stock ignition????? Old Ron Ron might have been involved ????
"Southern engineering" at its best!
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Old 09-01-2017, 09:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: Crab thoughts ??????????

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Water hose has many uses?

Ten points !!! Good catch, now what use would that serve......
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Old 09-01-2017, 09:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: Crab thoughts ??????????

No Bounce !
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Old 09-01-2017, 09:40 AM   #6
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Default Re: Crab thoughts ??????????

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Ten points !!! Good catch, now what use would that serve......
Keep the points from "floating" ??
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Old 09-01-2017, 09:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: Crab thoughts ??????????

Yep.. Rubber springs. Good one! Steady dwell at high RPM.
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Old 09-01-2017, 09:54 AM   #8
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Default Re: Crab thoughts ??????????

Worked like a champ for that race...................................had to install new "anti-floaters" next go round though...................got hot and lost the spring effect!
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Old 09-01-2017, 10:19 AM   #9
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Default Re: Crab thoughts ??????????

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Worked like a champ for that race...................................had to install new "anti-floaters" next go round though...................got hot and lost the spring effect!
You guys are on it !! We always used black vacuum hose, can i assume that red heater hose would be 1000 more than the black vacuum hose???

What else has been done to this distributor ??????? It has two primary coil leads. This one has me a little confused.
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Old 09-01-2017, 10:56 AM   #10
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Default Re: Crab thoughts ??????????

I believe they also moved the points location on one set of points - notice how they brazed a new support for the upper shaft bushing area. It is hard to just guess by looking at a picture and not rotating it (and looking at the points cam), but a wild-ass guess is that they made it a "dual spark" setup . . . it fired twice on the same cylinder.

Is my guess about right?

D
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Old 09-01-2017, 11:29 AM   #11
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Default Re: Crab thoughts ??????????

Looks like they added a second spring piece inside the stock spring; also an old anti-float trick.
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Old 09-01-2017, 11:36 AM   #12
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Default Re: Crab thoughts ??????????

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Originally Posted by Bored&Stroked View Post
I believe they also moved the points location on one set of points - notice how they brazed a new support for the upper shaft bushing area. It is hard to just guess by looking at a picture and not rotating it (and looking at the points cam), but a wild-ass guess is that they made it a "dual spark" setup . . . it fired twice on the same cylinder.

Is my guess about right?

D
Would this "double spark" require an extra coil and condenser?
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Old 09-01-2017, 11:37 AM   #13
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Default Re: Crab thoughts ??????????

Thanks for stirring up a lot of old memories. I tried that -( but with a folded up matchbook cover)- once on my first '57 *****. I would set up at the entrance of the new bypass, looking for challengers.
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Old 09-01-2017, 01:01 PM   #14
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Default Re: Crab thoughts ??????????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bored&Stroked View Post
I believe they also moved the points location on one set of points - notice how they brazed a new support for the upper shaft bushing area. It is hard to just guess by looking at a picture and not rotating it (and looking at the points cam), but a wild-ass guess is that they made it a "dual spark" setup . . . it fired twice on the same cylinder.

Is my guess about right?

D
Yep one set of points have been relocated. And the distributor cam has every other lobe ground off (like a Harmon Collins dual coil). I ran it on a machine this morning and its 4 and 4 cylinders.

What i cant grasp is using a dual coil set up (which this would be) what did they do for a dual coil distributor cap so that it would fire 4 and 4?????
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Old 09-01-2017, 01:30 PM   #15
Bruce Lancaster
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Default Re: Crab thoughts ??????????

Dual coil probably like numerous DC conversions on 59A distributors...I know there were commercial ones and home made ones (much simpler than all the crazy extra plastic used on HC 21A conversions) but I have never seen one with a label identifying a commercial source.
Commonest way: A brass ring is installed at top inside of the main cap with terminals. Ring is spaced about half way between the 8 plug contacts and and the center carbon original coil contact. Ring is less than 1/4" wide and has two holes drilled through it from the chamber above and is threaded for 2 machine screws, heads of screws in chamber above. One of the screws is then the terminal for second coil secondary!
Standard 59A rotor gets a small L-shaped piece of brass screwed onto the counterweight end...vertical tab of this is cut to reach up to the brass ring, horizontal piece reaches out to sparkplug wire terminals.
The plates used are mostly done just like Harmon Collins 21A. I do have couple with point sets that I think from pictures in ancient Echlin catalogs are from a big Buick straight 8!
I also have 2 in which the ring is a circle of brass wire (about coathanger gauge) around the inner wall of the main cap.
I've seen pics of bits of 59 conversions like this with a supplier, maybe Crawford or something like that, in old annuals from circa '52, but never enough of the setup identified enough to correlate with my various incomplete distributors.
By the way, double spring '37-48 points were commercially available one...just 2 stock springs. They had a reputation for wearing out FAST.
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Old 09-01-2017, 01:52 PM   #16
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Default Re: Crab thoughts ??????????

I have an old 6 volt Mallory "FlashFire" 6 volt coil than appear to be two coils in one. It differs from the other "FlashFire" coils I have in that it has three low voltage terminals instead of two, but still has only one high voltage connection. I am surmising that there are two primary windings in the unit, and one secondary. This coil would work with a distributor like this by connecting each set of points to to it's own primary winding. I don't know the implications of separate primary but only one secondary winding, but this could be an explanation. I also have an old "flattop" Mallory for an Olds Rocket with the 4-lobe cam and separate external connections from each point set. When I get around to getting my Rocket running, I am planning on trying the distributor and the coil on it to see if it works. The cap on this distributor is a run of the mill flattop cap, with no provision for an extra coil wire, so it would have to work something like this.

Any of you who are Mallory experts out there, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but this is my best guess. I'll take some pictures of this setup when I go to my shop today, and post them if anybody has an interest.
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Old 09-01-2017, 02:46 PM   #17
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Default Re: Crab thoughts ??????????

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I have an old 6 volt Mallory "FlashFire" 6 volt coil than appear to be two coils in one. It differs from the other "FlashFire" coils I have in that it has three low voltage terminals instead of two, but still has only one high voltage connection. I am surmising that there are two primary windings in the unit, and one secondary. This coil would work with a distributor like this by connecting each set of points to to it's own primary winding. I don't know the implications of separate primary but only one secondary winding, but this could be an explanation. I also have an old "flattop" Mallory for an Olds Rocket with the 4-lobe cam and separate external connections from each point set. When I get around to getting my Rocket running, I am planning on trying the distributor and the coil on it to see if it works. The cap on this distributor is a run of the mill flattop cap, with no provision for an extra coil wire, so it would have to work something like this.

Any of you who are Mallory experts out there, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but this is my best guess. I'll take some pictures of this setup when I go to my shop today, and post them if anybody has an interest.
I THINK THATS THE ANSWER!!!

I even have a couple laying around here somewhere.The Mallory four lobe uses that dual primary coil. sometimes called a rev-pol for reverse polarity as one primary would be pos and the other neg to prevent interference. I even have the orginal add from Mallory here somewhere.
We have restored hundreds of Mallorys and often we just tie the four lobe connectors together for standard coil utilization.
This distributor would work using one of those and thats the time slot where those would have been in the Speedshops etc.......Good job all , interesting discussion..
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Old 09-02-2017, 06:07 AM   #18
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Default Re: Crab thoughts ??????????

Here's a crappy cell phone picture of the "FlashFire" coil I referenced in my precious post. The current "comes in" through the terminal on the ballast resistor at the far end. Notice the two terminals on the near end. I have ohmed this out, and in addition to being good, the readings support my theory that there are two separate primary windings inside. One additional aside; Bubba's coil is red, which indicates a 12 volt coil, while mine is black, meaning that it is for 6 volts.
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Last edited by tubman; 09-02-2017 at 06:27 AM.
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Old 09-02-2017, 06:15 AM   #19
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Default Re: Crab thoughts ??????????

Used the rubber hose a few times , it's a bit rough on the points rubbing blocks and the dist cam . It'll last for a race but not on the street . Unfortunately I found out the hard way .
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Old 09-02-2017, 08:55 AM   #20
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Default Re: Crab thoughts ??????????

I got into stock car racing too late to have these problems. I only built the short block for the first engine. The carb and ignition was furnished by the owner. The engine ran good?? but the driver complained about the handling. I was not involved with the car at that time. The following year when I was brought in to do the engine work, I used a stock 8BA dist. with fixed advance, and dual points. this ran great to well over 5k. Later, in the late 60's I was given a converted Chevy dist, and we ran that with the advance locked at 17 degs. I was never much of a ignition person till much later when I started building Street engines and people complained about gas mileage. My first ignition systems were the GM unit with just the mechanical adv and 24 degs adv.
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