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Old 03-18-2021, 08:26 PM   #21
flatjack9
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Default Re: 3 bolt to 2 bolt distributor adapter

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Originally Posted by Jakno View Post
This is the timing cover and Helmet Distributor on my 59A engine. I,m not sure of the year other than it is a 24 stud engine. I bought it "as is " and am attempting to get it running with a reconditioned crab distributor

thanks for all the help and information
The picture shows this is obviously not a 59A engine, but earlier style. At least from the picture of the cam.
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Old 03-18-2021, 10:34 PM   #22
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Default Re: 3 bolt to 2 bolt distributor adapter

I have seen several 59 blocks with 3 bolt helmet covers on them. It could be a dealer replacement motor using your old ignition sysytem, i dont know. some of the 59's are 221 CI too
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Old 03-19-2021, 08:21 AM   #23
GaryU.
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Default Re: 3 bolt to 2 bolt distributor adapter

I had a 59 engine fitted with a 3 bolt cover a few years ago, had the button between cam and distributor.
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Old 03-19-2021, 09:38 AM   #24
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Default Re: 3 bolt to 2 bolt distributor adapter

It's easy to change the cover, but the picture shows an early cam in the engine. Of course this could also have been changed. Need to do the "pencil" test.
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Old 03-19-2021, 10:06 AM   #25
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Default Re: 3 bolt to 2 bolt distributor adapter

Fwiw the 59A I bought recently had a long nose cam and 3 bolt cover. What parts have been swapped over the years can not be anticipated.

Last edited by Mart; 03-19-2021 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 03-19-2021, 10:42 AM   #26
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Default Re: 3 bolt to 2 bolt distributor adapter

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I had a 59 engine fitted with a 3 bolt cover a few years ago, had the button between cam and distributor.
That's what I found to be in the '37 I bought recently. I've been curious why a three bolt cover on a 59 engine? Was pro-built by Motor City Flatheads. Maybe they did this because customer was putting it in a '37, so was set up for a helmet??

But then a fat aluminum radiator/electric fan left no room for a helmet distributor. So now is back to a crab, an aftermarket Mallory three-bolt crab, which needs the cam extension button for the short camshaft in the 59 engine.

To original poster: I think that Mallory three bolt crab would be a direct bolt-on for you. But it has a bright aluminum case, so would jump out as an obvious modern aftermarket piece.

Last edited by JayChicago; 03-19-2021 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 03-19-2021, 01:02 PM   #27
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Default Re: 3 bolt to 2 bolt distributor adapter

Thanks to everyone who has provided thoughts and information regarding installing a crab distributor on What I believe is my 59 A, 24 stud engine which I bought with a helmet distributor and 3 bolt timing cover. I have never ran this engine so I'm not positive if the helmet distributor even worked but I can get no spark from it on the bench.
I realize this motor could be a collection of parts from different years and trying to narrow it down to what's on it now vs what should be on the motor for it's year can be difficult or impossible.
My question now is if I'm willing to change the timing cover, a helmet or crab dizzy, add a spacer or a adapter what's the best option to make this engine run.
The other thing I've discovered is that MillWorks sells a electronic 6volt distributor with either a 2 bolt or 3 bolt install. I'm not real fond of installing this if I can get a crab distributor from Charlie/NY and make my truck go down the road59A piston std 09T.jpg

59 engine number.jpg

59A Right Side.jpg

59 cam shaft nose.jpg
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Old 03-19-2021, 01:16 PM   #28
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Default Re: 3 bolt to 2 bolt distributor adapter

Couple more pictures
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Helmet Dist.jpg (49.4 KB, 48 views)
File Type: jpg 35 up back.jpg (60.3 KB, 43 views)
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Old 03-22-2021, 09:07 PM   #29
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Default Re: 3 bolt to 2 bolt distributor adapter

Get the crab from charlie, and stay away from the modern thing would be the way i would go. good luck with the project
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Old 03-28-2021, 08:04 AM   #30
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Default Re: 3 bolt to 2 bolt distributor adapter

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You can see the area of the vac port that needs filing. It's very close to the hex on the vac brake.
Many thanks for that. Much appreciated.
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Old 03-28-2021, 05:58 PM   #31
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Default Re: 3 bolt to 2 bolt distributor adapter

The cam you have is a long-nose cam - it sticks out about 5/16 to 3/8" more than the later cam that was used in 59X engines with the 2-bolt style distributors. So, you can go to a 2-bolt distributor if you space it out, or you can get really busy and put the later cam in it, run the 2-bolt cover and bolt the crab right to it. Obviously changing out the cam is a bit of an effort . . . so the spacer is the easiest way to go by far.
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Old 03-29-2021, 02:34 PM   #32
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Default Re: 3 bolt to 2 bolt distributor adapter

Thanks for all the advice which I did heed. I was lucky to find a 2-3 bolt spacer from soportlander and purchase a crab distributor from Charlie/NY. Should be able to have it running by the end of the week.
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