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Old 11-11-2019, 01:42 PM   #1
Bonniewwyn
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Default Best distributor for '56 T Bird 312 ?

My T Bird does not have the corret tach drive dizzy. Unit is later one and tired. I would like to up date to best performing dizzy ...not concerned about originality. Last owner swapped out tea pot carb to a new Holley from JEGGS. Does not have to be mech drive tach type and perhaps a modrn electronic unit that will drop in ?
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Old 11-11-2019, 05:31 PM   #2
KULTULZ
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Post Re: Best distributor for '56 T Bird 312 ?

Read this page in its entirety - http://4secondsflat.com/Ford%20Y-Blo...stributors.htm

I don't see the need for the PERTRONIX III unless the engine is heavily modified. I would ask about a PERTRONIX II install.

There are bad reports of the CHI-COM MSD copy, so be aware of that.
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Old 11-11-2019, 06:39 PM   #3
dmsfrr
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Default Re: Best distributor for '56 T Bird 312 ?

Depending on which "later" distributor you have, getting it rebuilt or sending it in as a core to the outfit Kultulz posted the link to, there aren't many Made in the USA choices.

Mallory used to make a couple pretty nice Y-block distributors, including one with tach drive, but it's been discontinued for about 5+ yrs.
https://www.amazon.com/Mallory-USA-3...ct_top?ie=UTF8
The original Mallory ignition parts company doesn't even exist anymore.

Both of my project Birds use an oem '57 distributor so the '57-'59 version is the one I'm familiar with. Although the oem '59 to '64 Y-block distributors could work just as well for you.
There are still a few independent shops around that can rebuild (& recurve as needed) the one you have.

Caution: an exchange distributor from an auto parts store supplier may get you an incorrect distributor with a main shaft that is too short, which can fail quickly.

Other than the newer carb and dist, does your 312 have any performance upgrades, or is it stock?
Which intake manifold is on it? ECZ-A ('56) or ECZ-B ('57 style)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 57 dist, shaft length.jpg (56.9 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg 55 56 flat dist rotor index.jpg (58.8 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg 57 dist rotor index.jpg (54.6 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg 59+ dist pivot plate, curved adv arm.jpg (61.6 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg ECZ-A bare intake.jpg (78.6 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg ecz-b '57 casting number c.jpg (57.8 KB, 8 views)

Last edited by dmsfrr; 11-12-2019 at 01:36 AM. Reason: add 2 more photos
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Old 11-11-2019, 07:51 PM   #4
Daves55Sedan
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Default Re: Best distributor for '56 T Bird 312 ?

The '57 thru '59 Y-block car distributor is a direct bolt-in, but they do not have the tach cable hookup on them.
'57 and later used different points, condenser, rotor and distributor cap than the earlier distributors, so you will need to get those also.
Pertronix makes an electronic kit to replace points and condenser but I don't recommend those.
I suggest, if you can find an old used '57 & later Y-block distributor, rebuild it yourself with new shaft bushings available at some of the resto parts suppliers rather than sending it off to rebuild. I have heard stories that the rebuilder (Cardone, I think it was) is messing these up somehow.
The Ford car shop manual gives important tolerances to observe if bushings need to be replaced.
Don't forget to lube that shaft at the fitting on the side of the dizzy housing.
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Old 11-12-2019, 12:11 PM   #5
Bonniewwyn
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Default Re: Best distributor for '56 T Bird 312 ?

Intake is an ECZ "B: Thanks for the help guys !
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Old 11-14-2019, 11:07 PM   #6
oldbird55
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Default Re: Best distributor for '56 T Bird 312 ?

Try Marvin Hill he has the Mallory dist
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