Go Back   The Ford Barn > General Discussion > Early V8 (1932-53)

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-27-2020, 04:04 PM   #1
34fordy
Senior Member
 
34fordy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Fort Dodge, Iowa
Posts: 469
Default Helmet distributor an a 4 cylinder

I saw an old picture on The Hamb of a Model A with a helmet distributor on the top of the engine. It was mounted vertically with 2 plug wires protruding from each cap. Was this a common "upgrade"?
34fordy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2020, 06:09 PM   #2
Hoop
Senior Member
 
Hoop's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Jacksonville FL
Posts: 1,137
Default Re: Helmet distributor an a 4 cylinder

How about posting a link to the HAMB thread?

Thank you.
__________________
"Remember that when it comes to intelligence, half of all of us are below average."
Hoop is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 08-27-2020, 06:34 PM   #3
34fordy
Senior Member
 
34fordy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Fort Dodge, Iowa
Posts: 469
Default Re: Helmet distributor an a 4 cylinder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoop View Post
How about posting a link to the HAMB thread?

Thank you.
I have not learned how to do that Hoop.
The thread was on "Vintage shots from days gone by" page 24. It was posted by LowKat Jan 9, 2010.
Maybe another member with "skills" can do it.
34fordy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2020, 07:40 PM   #4
Hoop
Senior Member
 
Hoop's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Jacksonville FL
Posts: 1,137
Default Re: Helmet distributor an a 4 cylinder

https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/...one-by.428585/

117a82036ac050cc_landing.jpg
__________________
"Remember that when it comes to intelligence, half of all of us are below average."
Hoop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2020, 07:45 PM   #5
34fordy
Senior Member
 
34fordy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Fort Dodge, Iowa
Posts: 469
Default Re: Helmet distributor an a 4 cylinder

Thanks Hoop. Does anyone have any info on this. I suppose someone made an adapter. Maybe the only one?
34fordy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2020, 11:31 PM   #6
Karl
Senior Member
 
Karl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Manawatu, New Zealand
Posts: 1,216
Default Re: Helmet distributor an a 4 cylinder

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
How would you time it ?
__________________
Such a fine sight to see-Its a Girl, My Lord, in a Flatbed Ford slowin' down to take a look at me.
Karl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2020, 12:22 AM   #7
Aarongriffey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Hayward,CA
Posts: 397
Default Re: Helmet distributor an a 4 cylinder

I don’t think it was a popular thing to do. and I’ve been around a bunch of model A Fords.
I have know of a few, very few, with Jeep distributors. Anything to get rid of the spark advance lever.
I’ve also seen them with a magneto mounted on the left side at the front.
If you used the lower part of the mode A distributor it shouldn’t be too hard to adapt a V8 distributor to it.
Aarongriffey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2020, 12:13 PM   #8
Als48
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 17
Default Re: Helmet distributor an a 4 cylinder

Don't know how you would adapt it, but the 30's and 40's Ford tractors had a front mounted distributor. It looked at least similar to a helmet cap dist. mechanical advance, if I remember right.

Al Hook
Als48 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2020, 12:33 PM   #9
JSeery
Senior Member
 
JSeery's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Wichita KS
Posts: 15,080
Default Re: Helmet distributor an a 4 cylinder

9N distributor. The one in the photo looks noting like the 2N, 9N, 8N distributor.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg s-l640.jpg (37.3 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg 39-50 Distributor2.jpg (53.8 KB, 18 views)

Last edited by JSeery; 08-28-2020 at 12:39 PM.
JSeery is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2020, 12:33 PM   #10
DavidG
Senior Member
 
DavidG's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 7,065
Default Re: Helmet distributor an a 4 cylinder

Why not use a Model B distributor to get rid of the Model A spark advance lever? They had centrifugal advance built in. No modifications required other than resetting the initial spark advance.
DavidG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2020, 01:04 PM   #11
35fordtn
Senior Member
 
35fordtn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McMinnville, TN
Posts: 1,880
Default Re: Helmet distributor an a 4 cylinder

There is NO advantage to this other than having two sets of points for better coil charge,, Even then it's not needed.. As David states swamping to a "B" distributor would be a better solution.. One could even get a "B" distributor to advance like a 11A

My guess was they did it to get people talking... Obviously mission accomplished even 60 years later

I am more curious as to what kind of radiator they are running. They filled in the cap hole and seems like they did a good job at it
35fordtn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2020, 02:02 PM   #12
Hoop
Senior Member
 
Hoop's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Jacksonville FL
Posts: 1,137
Default Re: Helmet distributor an a 4 cylinder

Fascinating to think about what was being tried back then. Note the carbs. Makes you wonder about how much the distributor was modified ... cam doesn't need 8 lobes, remove 4 ... plenty of dwell now available, get rid of one set of points.

B might make more sense, but a V8 distributor ....

Good to find little glimpses of the early stuff.
__________________
"Remember that when it comes to intelligence, half of all of us are below average."
Hoop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2020, 03:25 PM   #13
Aarongriffey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Hayward,CA
Posts: 397
Default Re: Helmet distributor an a 4 cylinder

In all the owning and monkeying around with early Fords in my younger days I NEVER ran across a model B distributor . Never.
In fact I remember seeing a 32 V8 coupe once but don’t recall seeing a model B on the street, in a a junkyard or any other place. Only saw them in Hot Rod magazine.
I drove my ‘33 V8 and my friend drove a model A. We always knew a B distributor would be nice for his model because another friend told us so as he had Jeep distributor in his.
Even after I came to California in ‘66 I didn’t see many model B cars. They were very rare in the parts of the country had bad roads, snow and freezing weather and people that were broke because of the depression.
Aarongriffey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2020, 04:11 PM   #14
Lawrie
Senior Member
 
Lawrie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Qld, Australia
Posts: 3,578
Default Re: Helmet distributor an a 4 cylinder

The v8 dist maybe an improvement if the vac brake was made operative,you could use only one set of points ,remove halve the lobes on the points cam,etc.
Mind you ,our 28ccpu has done maybe 80000miles with the stock A setup with no drama.
Lawrie
Lawrie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2020, 04:55 PM   #15
34fordy
Senior Member
 
34fordy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Fort Dodge, Iowa
Posts: 469
Default Re: Helmet distributor an a 4 cylinder

I have no idea what year this picture was taken. Looks like 1950's possibly. The newest car looks to be 1937? I still find it fascinating that some guy had an idea and figured out a way to make it work, even if it was no improvement. Most likely he thought it would and dared to try it. There are plenty of members, and I am thinking of Ol' Ron and others like him.
They are constantly trying to make something run better or make more horsepower. These are things that make this forum so interesting.
34fordy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2020, 09:06 PM   #16
GB SISSON
Senior Member
 
GB SISSON's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Orcas Island Washington
Posts: 2,601
Default Re: Helmet distributor an a 4 cylinder

I second the motion that this early inventive stuff makes this forum very interesting.
__________________
'47 1/2 ton pickup next project, '47 one ton panel 99% stock nearing completion, '47 2 ton with 8ba and 9' script stakebed, '46 1/2 ton woodie project,'59 F350 9' flareside pickup with cummins 6at. 'Rusty ol' floorboards, hot on their feet' (Alan Jackson)
GB SISSON is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2020, 12:11 AM   #17
F-ONE
Member
 
F-ONE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Heart of Dixie ( Alabama)
Posts: 55
Default Re: Helmet distributor an a 4 cylinder

Quote:
Originally Posted by 34fordy View Post
I have no idea what year this picture was taken. Looks like 1950's possibly. The newest car looks to be 1937? I still find it fascinating that some guy had an idea and figured out a way to make it work, even if it was no improvement. Most likely he thought it would and dared to try it. There are plenty of members, and I am thinking of Ol' Ron and others like him.
They are constantly trying to make something run better or make more horsepower. These are things that make this forum so interesting.
I'm going to sat that's Pre-War by the hairsyles and clothing (1940).

It seems I have read or heard something about this. It may have been in a Vern Tardel book or maybe off the HAMB.

There was something about this. I'm sorry but I cant recall.
F-ONE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2020, 03:57 PM   #18
Hoop
Senior Member
 
Hoop's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Jacksonville FL
Posts: 1,137
Default Re: Helmet distributor an a 4 cylinder

"How would you time it ?"

Nobody answered this. Actually, once you figure out how to adapt the distributor to the Model A, timing would be pretty easy. Just a matter of experimenting to find out what advances worked best. The Model A has such a huge range of settings for timing.

Funny if someone thought that because it was a helmet (or crab) that it could only be timed on a Sun machine.
__________________
"Remember that when it comes to intelligence, half of all of us are below average."
Hoop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2020, 05:58 PM   #19
cas3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: sw minnesota
Posts: 2,446
Default Re: Helmet distributor an a 4 cylinder

i believe thats an old photo from life magazine. i'd guess the kid was doing the poor mans dual points, wishing for a mallory or kong or summer brothers type of hotrod stuff, but spent all his money on the grill shell and dual carbs. still saving for a windshield. looks like they are enjoying life, hope the kids do now
cas3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:45 AM.