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Old 02-05-2021, 04:14 PM   #1
BUBBAS IGNITION
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Default Harmon Collins build thread ...

This is just the start of a thread on the Harmon Collins distributor build . I have 3-4 of these in the shop and have just stopped just to build these units . I will include a step by step blow by blow as we go over the next couple weeks .
I have done quite a few of these over the years and will include part numbers etc for different stuff.
So lets start with the WHY do you need a Harmon Collins dual coil set up for the flathead ????

And i guess you could answer that with you dont need it .

However there was a time when you could experience a gain from the dual coils etc. Lets pretend its 1944 or so and you have built your 50th flathead and each one you and Jed down at the Esso station had figured out how to make one run a much higher rpm band from stock . Assuming its 1944 there wasnt many options even with a small tow ignition guru with a old allen or sun machine .
I remember hauling a box of parts wrapped in a army blanket to another town and having some top secret work done (early 60s for me), put the heads back in the blanket then taking them back to the station . ( we ran a flathead on a local dirt track and the rules were stock engines , up to 53 ) Years later i began to understand that the out of town shop was flycutting the heads so the valves didnt hit the head!!!
So lets assume you do need it and think they LOOK cool !!
The Harmon Collins dual coil is a pretty simple unit utilizing tow seperate coils and acts as two four cylinder ignition systems utilizing a increased dwell time per coil firing event , ( so there IS a advantage ) Distributor cam is ground to provide four cylinder action thru the bendix aircraft platinum contacts !!! Platium high quality contacts are very reliable and may or may not need replacement .
SO FOR DISCUSSION SAKE LETS ASUME YOU DO NEED THE ENHANCED SYSTEM .......
SO LETS DISCUSS AS WE GO , I WILL ADD AS TIME ALLOWS ........
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File Type: jpg IMG_3796.jpg (43.1 KB, 142 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3799.jpg (61.8 KB, 150 views)
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Old 02-05-2021, 05:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Harmon Collins build thread ...

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Old 02-05-2021, 06:20 PM   #3
STAN WHITE
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Default Re: Harmon Collins build thread ...

Bubba I think I bought a couple of condensers from you for my Harmon& Collins dual coil ignitions. I also am going to run an H&C Ignition. I have one that I ran for years , That I will probly run again. I also have two new H&C in the box just incase. Interested to hear the rest of the story from you. I also like others info. Thanks. Stan
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Old 02-05-2021, 08:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: Harmon Collins build thread ...

This will be a good one to follow. I think I had asked if you could do this for us some years ago, around the time you did the crab build thread.
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Old 02-06-2021, 08:05 AM   #5
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Old 02-07-2021, 10:11 AM   #6
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Default Re: Harmon Collins build thread ...

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Just to be clear, it looks to me like the Harmon Collins unit is a reworking of the stock 42-48 V8 distributor. Is this correct? If so, I'm guessing that a really dedicated person could make the conversion parts today since there are plenty of stock distributors still around (not interested myself, I've always run out of bravery exceeding the speed limit before my stock drive lines ran out of acceleration).
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Old 02-07-2021, 11:03 AM   #7
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Default Re: Harmon Collins build thread ...

A little sunday morning discussion , ( baby its cold outside at 2 degrees in Indy ) so glad i insulated this shop really well!!!
Looking at the unit on the bench the lower section below the line is the parts needed to make it the " Harmon Collins distributor . Someone asked if they could just "make" the parts , i would say "probably not" ...
From left to right

1- u shaped condensor mount to mount the condensors (one for each coil)
2-Point plate with Bendix Aircraft contacts mounted one set per coil
3-Cap clips ( 49-53 loadamatic )
4-distributor cam with everyother one ground off (machine ground )
5-Dual coil special rotor with carbon button on bottom
6-secondary ring with brass contact and secondary coil connection
7-Harmon collins ( no center bump inside ) also special cap assembly
8-two long screws to allow primary ignition hook up
9-upper left rotor adapter to allow special rotor to fit crab

We will massage and clean all these parts and adjust as we go .
Upper parts will be treated as usual........
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Old 02-08-2021, 01:22 AM   #8
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Default Re: Harmon Collins build thread ...

Do a search, both here & on H.A.M.B. Someone has already tried this. A lot of work and expense, and the results were not all that good.!! Ask me how I know.?
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Old 02-08-2021, 02:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: Harmon Collins build thread ...

Ok some more work today :

One of the weak points on a collins is the plastics , think about it they are are at the least 50 years old . When new they used 6 volts and very low current levels ( maybe 4 to 5 amps at the most ) . One of the problems is what i call "chevrolet mentality" . Chevrolet mentality is when you and your "chevrolet " friend think that 12 volts and a .4 ohm msd super coil made Grumpy Jenkins Camaro run fast it should work on your early ford !!! And it will work at least for a little time .
We suggest using the Bosch blue coil from amazon .com # 00012 Bosch Blue ......

Heres a secondary ignition law for you ....

YOU CAN NOT PREVENT SECONDARY IGNITION FROM FINDING A PATH TO GROUND !!! EVEN IN A VERY OPEN CIRCUIT "IT WILL SEEK AND FIND A GROUND SOMEWHERE "
IF YOU OPEN CIRCUIT THE SPARK WILL TRAVEL THRU SOMWHERE EVEN THOUGH YOU MAY NOT SEE IT OR WHERE IT WENT .


So using those thoughts the other issue with these distributor is they often will only run on four cylinders . What we have found is that the secondary spark is grounded somewhere ???
To help prevent this we use GE Gyptal insulating paint , the holes for the coil screws are a great place for voltage to arch and kill four cylinders are treated with a coat of gyptal paint as well as the inside the distributor cap.
These parts are kinda hard to get but dzus on the board used to make some replacements . ( more about that later )
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File Type: jpg IMG_3812.jpg (56.5 KB, 92 views)
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Old 02-08-2021, 04:25 PM   #10
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Default Re: Harmon Collins build thread ...

Another blip for today , amazon just dropped off some new Bosch Coils for this project .
Brazil made for German Bosch # 9 220 081 083
us # 00012 cost approx $50 each
3.0 ohms so no resistor needed
I have never ever seen a defective one !!!!
Can be mounted in any position, dont like the color paint them or use stick-um paper checkered flag etc ......
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Old 02-08-2021, 04:34 PM   #11
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Default Re: Harmon Collins build thread ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 38 coupe View Post
Just to be clear, it looks to me like the Harmon Collins unit is a reworking of the stock 42-48 V8 distributor. Is this correct? If so, I'm guessing that a really dedicated person could make the conversion parts today since there are plenty of stock distributors still around (not interested myself, I've always run out of bravery exceeding the speed limit before my stock drive lines ran out of acceleration).
Tyrell Pennington in Alaska is making new dual coil distributors using the rabbit ear style crabs. He goes by tradrod1930 on Instagram. They look killer.

Last edited by Tim Ayers; 02-08-2021 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 02-08-2021, 05:09 PM   #12
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Default Re: Harmon Collins build thread ...


It should look like this.

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Old 02-08-2021, 08:09 PM   #13
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Default Re: Harmon Collins build thread ...

Lets try this again. Attached is a file showing the mounting of two "Bosch Blue " coils that "Bubba" refers to in his post for the "Harman & Collins" duel coil ignition system. This is the way I chose to do it.
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Old 02-08-2021, 09:42 PM   #14
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Default Re: Harmon Collins build thread ...

The only thing that would improve that picture is adding a couple of proper condensers.
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Old 02-09-2021, 02:48 AM   #15
FLTHDCPE
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Default Re: Harmon Collins build thread ...

I had two of your"proper condensers" on this distributor before these. I experienced an ignition problem and changed to the ones that are on there now. I sent you a "PM"
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Old 02-09-2021, 07:40 AM   #16
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Default Re: Harmon Collins build thread ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by FLTHDCPE View Post
I had two of your"proper condensers" on this distributor before these. I experienced an ignition problem and changed to the ones that are on there now. I sent you a "PM"
I am in the process of answering your "PM". I don't think it would be proper to get into a discussion of what happened on the general discussion board as others are involved.
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Old 02-10-2021, 12:33 AM   #17
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Default Re: Harmon Collins build thread ...

Like this one better.!! This is what I like.!! "Ole Timey" Look.!!
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Old 02-10-2021, 11:06 AM   #18
BUBBAS IGNITION
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Default Re: Harmon Collins build thread ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by FLTHDCPE View Post
Lets try this again. Attached is a file showing the mounting of two "Bosch Blue " coils that "Bubba" refers to in his post for the "Harman & Collins" duel coil ignition system. This is the way I chose to do it.

shish ?? I happen to know that his "wife" actually did the coil covering , tell her Bubba said "good job ""!!!!!!
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Old 02-10-2021, 11:17 AM   #19
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Default Re: Harmon Collins build thread ...

Todays discussion is the harmon collins contacts .

The contacts are aircraft magneto points ( the very best quality platium) very dependable and hardly ever fail ( keep the coil resistance at 3.0 ohms ) NO MSD blastr stuff !!!!
In many cases we dont have to replace , just a good clean up with brake clean and a $2 bill for emory cloth ( money is the finest emory cloth you can buy ) Just spray some brake clean on a folded bill and polish the closed contacts . Works very very good .
The point plate is a modified crab plate , brass contact straps are removed and cut off , screws and point posts are discarded .
We lightly blast the plate ( i use a mixture of glass and light abrasive) and paint with trans star black primer ( the very best paint for the job) .
Reuse the factor wire leads if possible and reinstall to plate .......
LOOKS GREAT ...




Note got a pm from whygoby that DZUS has passed away a few weeks back , and he had a few ( small quanity) new rotors for the Collins he had made ???


Another note : Terry my part time guy just happened to have a pocket full of $2 bills . Left over from his old strip club days !!! Hes 80 and said he got a lot of use out of twos sometimes picking up 50 or so each week when he cashed his check ??? I dont understand but some will ????
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File Type: jpg IMG_3816.jpg (65.8 KB, 72 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3817.jpg (51.4 KB, 77 views)
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Old 02-10-2021, 11:27 AM   #20
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Default Re: Harmon Collins build thread ...

I Got a hot rod Ford and a Two-Dollar Bill,

Ha ha
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