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Old 04-08-2019, 07:10 AM   #1
caddy600
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Default Distributor to 1951 255 8BA

Hi Flathead friends,

Does the Mallory Unilite Distributor (3727501 to 49-53 Flathead) fit to my timing gear cover? And does it seem to be original?
Is there room for the extended shaft distributor or should it be used with short one..? I think that cover is cast iron. Does it matter is the distributor body iron or aluminum? I got Offenhauser Super Dual intake and carbs without vacum link. Or is there other distributor options?

My english may be such poor.
Sorry for that..

Best regards,
Juho
Finland
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Old 04-08-2019, 07:19 AM   #2
Mike51Merc
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Default Re: Distributor to 1951 255 8BA

You can cut off the shaft extension and use it in a short-shaft housing.

Technically the shaft should be the same metal as the housing otherwise you risk dissimilar metal corrosion.
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Old 04-08-2019, 07:32 AM   #3
34PKUP
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Default Re: Distributor to 1951 255 8BA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike51Merc View Post

Technically the shaft should be the same metal as the housing otherwise you risk dissimilar metal corrosion.
The original timing covers with the lower support are made of aluminum and there was never an issue with "dissimilar metal corrosion"
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Old 04-08-2019, 07:34 AM   #4
19Fordy
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Default Re: Distributor to 1951 255 8BA

If you have a cast iron cover you need to cut the distributor shaft shorter to match the internal fit of the cover. Read all of this thread plus links for great info.
https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showt...tributor+cover
and
https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showt...tributor+cover
and
https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showt...tributor+cover

Last edited by 19Fordy; 04-08-2019 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 04-08-2019, 07:38 AM   #5
51 MERC-CT
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Default Re: Distributor to 1951 255 8BA

Bought one of those distributors years ago and seem to recall that the instructions that came with it said to cut off the shaft for use in the alternative timing cover.
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Old 04-09-2019, 02:10 AM   #6
caddy600
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Default Re: Distributor to 1951 255 8BA

Thank you so much for quick responses and great information! I appreciate!
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: Distributor to 1951 255 8BA

Quote:
Originally Posted by 34PKUP View Post
The original timing covers with the lower support are made of aluminum and there was never an issue with "dissimilar metal corrosion"
In the long run it will likely happen, given the harsh environment of a daily driven car. I agree for most of our limited good-weather driving it would probably not be a problem.
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:25 AM   #8
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Default Re: Distributor to 1951 255 8BA

You might want to look for an aluminum front cover. I've always been able to find one when I needed one for a reasonable price. Things might be different now. eBay is your friend, as well as the "Swap Meet" sections here and on the "H.A.M.B.". There are also individuals around that have been helpful to me "Tony Marino" has been one.
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Old 04-09-2019, 01:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: Distributor to 1951 255 8BA

Ebay is yer pal:

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...overr&_sacat=0
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:04 AM   #10
Mike in AZ
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Default Re: Distributor to 1951 255 8BA

Welcome to the ‘Barn. Got pics of your car/truck? Or whatever the engine is in? We love pics. Mike
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Old 04-10-2019, 02:57 PM   #11
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Default Re: Distributor to 1951 255 8BA

Quote:
Originally Posted by tubman View Post
You might want to look for an aluminum front cover. I've always been able to find one when I needed one for a reasonable price. Things might be different now. eBay is your friend, as well as the "Swap Meet" sections here and on the "H.A.M.B.". There are also individuals around that have been helpful to me "Tony Marino" has been one.
I´ve been thinking that option too. Not bad idea at all.
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Old 04-10-2019, 03:05 PM   #12
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Default Re: Distributor to 1951 255 8BA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike in AZ View Post
Welcome to the ‘Barn. Got pics of your car/truck? Or whatever the engine is in? We love pics. Mike
Thank You so much! It`s good to be here.
Here comes some pics from summer 2017 (w/ fenders),
summer 2018 (w/o fenders) and one photo at the moment.
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Old 04-10-2019, 05:24 PM   #13
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Default Re: Distributor to 1951 255 8BA

Great looking car!
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Old 02-06-2020, 11:52 AM   #14
19Fordy
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Default Re: Distributor to 1951 255 8BA

The Mallory distributor and cap has a smaller dia. than the stock Ford or merc. The caps, rotor and internal metal parts are not interchangeable.

As for which dist. is best lots of folks like the Chevy conversion that Bubba's makes.

I used a Mallory electronic Unilite with mechanical advance for several years. It fits both Ford and Merc timing covers depending on if you cut the shaft shorter.

Recently I have been having lots of trouble with my Mallory Unilite as the modules fail very easily and are expensive to replace. I am now looking into installing a Pertronix unit. It's cheaper. Pertronix makes kits to fit both your mallory and your stock Ford distributor. All you have to do is install the new Pertronix breaker plate and coil.

Very easy to install. Be sure to contact Pertronix directly so they can tell you what will work best for your situation.

It's too bad that the high quality condensers and points of years ago are not available as the old dual points conversion was dependable.

Last edited by 19Fordy; 02-10-2020 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 02-06-2020, 01:18 PM   #15
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Default Re: Distributor to 1951 255 8BA

"19Fordy" - "Not available" is a little strong. Points are available, although they're about $25 a set. The condensers are also around, although harder to find, and more of a crap shoot as, unlike points, they can deteriorate over time. This is why I am making replacements.
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Old 02-06-2020, 01:41 PM   #16
V8 Bob
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Default Re: Distributor to 1951 255 8BA

Quote:
Originally Posted by 34PKUP View Post
The original timing covers with the lower support are made of aluminum and there was never an issue with "dissimilar metal corrosion"

The factory long shaft distributors used with the aluminum lower-supported timing covers have aluminum housings.
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Old 02-06-2020, 02:46 PM   #17
19Fordy
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Default Re: Distributor to 1951 255 8BA

Quote:
Originally Posted by tubman View Post
"19Fordy" - "Not available" is a little strong. Points are available, although they're about $25 a set. The condensers are also around, although harder to find, and more of a crap shoot as, unlike points, they can deteriorate over time. This is why I am making replacements.
tubman: Thanks for pointing out my "strength". $25 per set is fine as long as they are USA made. Didn't know you were making condensers. That's great. Hope they sell like hot cakes.
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Old 02-06-2020, 03:10 PM   #18
tubman
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Default Re: Distributor to 1951 255 8BA

They are on eBay, original Mallory in the original packaging. Things don't change much in the "points world", and points for some model older Mallory's are still available from Summit and Jeg's for less. Since you are unaware of my condensers, I will indulge in a little shameless self-promotion and post a couple of pictures for your approval.
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File Type: jpg Condenser2.jpg (64.2 KB, 21 views)
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Old 02-06-2020, 03:28 PM   #19
19Fordy
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Default Re: Distributor to 1951 255 8BA

Thank you. I am glad you posted the photos.
Wiil your condensers also work on a dual point Mallory 53 Ford distributor with mechanical advance?

Also, do you know if it's possible to run a stock 53 Ford vacuum advance distributor using a 390 Holley carb. ? I think the vacuum port on the Holley is not below the throttle plates so it won't work but, I'm not sure.
Thanks.

I just found this video after posting my question. Think it will work on a 53 Ford flathead?
https://www.google.com/search?q=vacu...6KtQWd3L6wBg27
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Old 02-06-2020, 04:10 PM   #20
tubman
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Default Re: Distributor to 1951 255 8BA

I have been running these condensers on all of my Mallory flattops, including the one in the '51 Mercury I have in my '51 club coupe. That particular one is my first practical prototype and has been in there for over 3 years and hasn't skipped a beat.

Conventional wisdom says that a Holley 390 won't work with a Load-a-Matic, since it doesn't have the proper vacuum port. It will run, but that's about it. The only experience I have with a 390 Holley on a flathead was an engine that had an MSD "Ready to Run" distributor, so I cannot be absolutely sure. However, I think dozens of Ford Barn Members can't be wrong.

When I followed the link you supplied, it was kind of confusing, because it went to a choice on 3 videos. I believe the one you are referencing is the one about "Ported vs. Manifold vacuum". Even that one is of no use, because Load-a-Matics use "Venturi vacuum" which is still another source. "Ported vacuum" started to be used in the sixties as an emissions measure in place of "Manifold vacuum" I am somewhat familiar with it from my adventures in the Corvette world. Converting from "Ported vacuum" to "Manifold vacuum" can result in increased performance (at the cost of emissions). It has nothing to do with Load-a-matics. If I have read you wrong on this, let me know.
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