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F Head Distributor Options

Discussion in 'Early CJ5 and CJ6 Tech' started by Nebr1957CJ5, Nov 12, 2021.

  1. Nov 12, 2021
    Nebr1957CJ5

    Nebr1957CJ5 I will do it tomorrow

    Lincoln NE
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    I'm looking at a bit of a do over on my CJ5. The 57 is still a 6v with an IAY distributor. I'm looking to change over to a 12v and ditch the points and change to an alternator but I have a problem. To my knowledge, my distributor does not have pertronix kit that will allow the points to be changed out. What is the best route forward? I see that Kaiser Willys has an electronic distributor available and that other f head distributors have kits available to eliminate the points, but is there something along the lines of Ford DS2 upgrade that can be done? I don't mind experimenting around with different options or modifying parts, I just need a starting point.
     
  2. Nov 13, 2021
    Oldpappy

    Oldpappy A.C. Fults - Curmudgeon at large 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor

    East Tennessee
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    I am not sure why so many want to "ditch the points" but suspect it has something to do with the poor quality of some of the Asian import replacement parts.

    If the distributor is put in good shape, and a quality set of points and condenser is installed, these engines run great, and maintenance is easy.

    I found "Blue Streak" tune up kits at Classic Military Vehicles www.jeep1942.com and these seem to be high quality.

    I did have an electronic distributor in one of my Jeeps and it worked okay, but I converted it to a stock distributor because those work fine too with the added benefit that I can fix just about any problem with it out in the field. I suppose I am "old school" but I don't consider adding complication an "upgrade".
     
    dozerjim likes this.
  3. Nov 13, 2021
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member

    Apopka, Fl
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    Agree. Modern condensers seemed to be the biggest culprit followed by points coming in 2nd.
     
    dozerjim likes this.
  4. Nov 13, 2021
    Oldpappy

    Oldpappy A.C. Fults - Curmudgeon at large 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor

    East Tennessee
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    Yep, when I first got the CJ5 I have running I ordered a tune up kit from a well known supplier. It came in an unmarked white box, and worked fine at first but within a month the condenser failed which was confirmed by replacing with an old one I had kept.

    I searched around until I found those at CMV, and I could tell when I opened the box that they were a whole lot better quality. That set has been in the Jeep since early Summer with no problems. Jeep starts right up and runs great.
     
    dozerjim likes this.
  5. Nov 13, 2021
    Nebr1957CJ5

    Nebr1957CJ5 I will do it tomorrow

    Lincoln NE
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    Bad quality points and especially condensers are my main complaint. However, it occurred to me that I would get a better spark with the electronic ignition after I converted to 12v, along with the added benefit of not having the additional maintenance of ignition points.
     
  6. Nov 13, 2021
    Nebr1957CJ5

    Nebr1957CJ5 I will do it tomorrow

    Lincoln NE
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    If a distributor for say a ford 2.3 like this:
    Cardone | Distributor
    Could be made to fit an f head, we would have a better spark with parts that could be replaced at any parts store.

    It's basically the exact thing a lot of Ford 240/300 guys do rather than use Pertronix kits which often have to be ordered in.
     
  7. Nov 13, 2021
    Howard Eisenhauer

    Howard Eisenhauer Super Moderator Staff Member

    Tantallon, Nova...
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    While they can cover up for some non-electrical issues such as worn lobes or bad bushings in a dizzy the Pertronics & similar points replacement modules don't really add anything to the spark, i.e. they don't pump extra energy into the coil as compared to points. You're just changing from a mechanical on-off switch to a electronic on-off switch.
     
    Glenn likes this.
  8. Nov 13, 2021
    PeteL

    PeteL If it wasn't for physics, and law enforcement... 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Hills of NH
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    Ten minutes once every couple of years? Easily diagnosed and fixed on the trail? I have no problem with that.

    As for import quality, I just buy New Old Stock on ebay.
     
  9. Nov 13, 2021
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member

    Apopka, Fl
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    I currently have the K/W electronic distributors in both F-heads. They don't start, or run any better than a points distributor. I can reach in and turn the key in my wagon and it's running. It has the points and condensor that was in it when I bought it in '06, restored it and put around 17,000 miles on it, then retired it when I switched to Hagerty in '08. All things considered, a carburetor will give a lot more trouble than original ignition parts.
     
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  10. Nov 13, 2021
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member

    Apopka, Fl
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    I'll say the quality, or lack of quality, with current parts through the normal suppliers is the same whether it's points and condenser or electronic. The exceptions will be sellers like Oldpappy mentioned.
     
  11. Nov 13, 2021
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member

    Apopka, Fl
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    Regarding the electronic distributors, I put one in the 3B first. It absolutely wouldn't start. Replaced the ignition module with the spare I bought with it. Fired right up. At least they are simple to replace, no harder than a condenser. Last year it was becoming hard to start, only started when it knew I was pissed. Again replaced the module with another spare, fired right up.
     
  12. Nov 13, 2021
    Nebr1957CJ5

    Nebr1957CJ5 I will do it tomorrow

    Lincoln NE
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    I'd read some bad reviews about the KW distributor, and that seems like a bad route to go.
    As far as NOS ignition parts, how sustainable is that for a solution? There are a limited number of those items so it will only get more expensive until I end up right back where I am.
    So no other options and everyone says points is the only choice?
     
    Glenn likes this.
  13. Nov 13, 2021
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member

    Apopka, Fl
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    Sustainable? Good question. Anybody's guess.
     
  14. Nov 13, 2021
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member

    Apopka, Fl
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    I don't think anyone is saying points are the only choice, just that converting to an electronic distributor won't necessarily solve anything. Apparently people have had failures with Pertronix also?
     
  15. Nov 13, 2021
    timgr

    timgr We stand on the shoulders of giants. 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

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    Anything NOS will be come more scarce as time goes on. Time stops for no one.

    How many miles per year will you put on this Jeep? Few put more than 10K mi/yr on their hobby cars. Figure out how many years you expect to keep driving it, and buy sufficient NOS parts to cover it. Ten sets should get you through a couple of decades at least.

    You could use a capacitor discharge ignition module, and make the points last even longer. Then the points no longer switch the coil; instead they send a signal to the ignition box. The points will last until the fiber block wears away so much you can no longer adjust them.
     
  16. Nov 13, 2021
    Nebr1957CJ5

    Nebr1957CJ5 I will do it tomorrow

    Lincoln NE
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    I daily drive a 67 f100 now and would like to work my jeep into the mix, splitting time and using it as I do things and make improvements to the body, etc. I have driven it a bit but with the crap ignition components I keep coming across, it won't be possible to use it around town.
    I use a pertronix module in my truck and it is fine, but if/when it fails I'll be stuck unless I carry a spare $125 unit or until one can be shipped to me.
    I was just hoping a middle ground existed which is why many people with my type of truck use the duraspark 2 ignition system.
     
  17. Nov 13, 2021
    PeteL

    PeteL If it wasn't for physics, and law enforcement... 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Hills of NH
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    A truism, but I still can get some NOS for vehicles even from the 1920's and 30's.

    I've had no trouble at all finding NOS Jeep points and condensers sufficient for the foreseeable future.

    One or two quick examples found this minute -

    NOS Willys Jeep L-134 F-134 Condenser Seal Tested Made In USA | eBay

    Contact Points and NOS USGI Condenser CJ2A, MB GPW G503 Willys Jeep Military WW2 | eBay
     
  18. Nov 13, 2021
    Oldpappy

    Oldpappy A.C. Fults - Curmudgeon at large 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor

    East Tennessee
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    I doubt you get a "better spark", but if you want to avoid the occasional tune up of a points ignition the electronic set up does eliminate that, but according to one post above you just trade that chore for swapping out ignition modules.

    I have a set of feeler gages and know how to use them. I don't mind doing a tune up on an engine, I actually enjoy it, and I like having a vehicle I know how to fix anything that is on it.

    Most of my life I have driven old cars I fixed myself. Always had a reliable vehicle that I knew how to fix, and never had a car payment until I married my "new" wife 20 years ago.

    Now I have a Ford F150, and a Ford Bronco on the way. I have opened the hood on these new cars and don't even know much about what I am looking at, let alone know how to work on them.

    It is refreshing to me to open the hood on one of my old Jeeps, and everything I am looking at I know how it works and how to fix it if needed.

    The tune up kit I got from CMV was "Blue Steak" brand, I have no idea where they were made but very clearly are much better quality than the white box junk I have gotten from other suppliers. These are new manufacture so no dependance on the shrinking supply of of NOS parts.
     
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  19. Nov 13, 2021
    Howard Eisenhauer

    Howard Eisenhauer Super Moderator Staff Member

    Tantallon, Nova...
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    The simple solution to junk condensers is to buy a good quality capacitor. You're looking for something in the .22 to .30 uf (micro farads) range, about 600 volts or higher rating.

    If you're a stickler for looking authentic you can find something that fits inside the can of an old condenser. Bonus points for a high temperature range and low inductance.


    940C10P22K-F Cornell Dubilier Electronics (CDE) | Capacitors | DigiKey

    MKP1845422105 Vishay Beyschlag/Draloric/BC Components | Capacitors | DigiKey
     
  20. Nov 13, 2021
    Oldpappy

    Oldpappy A.C. Fults - Curmudgeon at large 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor

    East Tennessee
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    Howard,

    I am sure you know what you are talking about but I don't see how that is simpler than just buying a quality condenser and points set.
     
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