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Duraspark distributor question

Discussion in 'Modified Alpine' started by sunalp, Jul 31, 2020 at 4:43 PM.

  1. sunalp

    sunalp Platinum Level Sponsor

    I 'm working on a 2.8 with a Duraspark ignition. The car runs but surges and when restarting
    sounds like it's not timed correctly. No matter where I turn the dist it sounds the same. I replaced the ign
    module, no change.

    My question is under the cap. Under the rotor is a black gear that I'm guessing acts like points
    would ( if it had them) making the spark at the right time. Is that gear (for the lack of the correct
    name) supposed to be fixed to the shaft, or is it supposed to spin freely?

  2. 260Alpine

    260Alpine Silver Level Sponsor

    Steve should be a pin holding the reluctor fixed.

  3. sunalp

    sunalp Platinum Level Sponsor

    Thanks Jim!

    I thought it looked strange and thanks for the proper name.
    I'm going to see if the pin is stuck to the magnet and try to put it back in
    to see if this is my issue. ( I kinda already know it is!)

    Next question, has anyone upgraded this distributor to something like a Pertronix
    unit ( meaning whole distributor, not just an ignitor) or something perhaps more
    durable? This is the second time the distributor has let us down.

    Thanks again!
  4. 260Alpine

    260Alpine Silver Level Sponsor

    Duraspark is much better than Pertronix. Look up Duraspark with GM 4 pin HEI module instead of the Ford control box. No resister or resister wire.
  5. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane Gold Level Sponsor

  6. 260Alpine

    260Alpine Silver Level Sponsor

  7. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane Gold Level Sponsor

    That is my plan. Where do you mount it?
  8. 260Alpine

    260Alpine Silver Level Sponsor

    Aladin, Usually on the fenderwell by the radiator where there is a little breeze from the fan.
  9. sunalp

    sunalp Platinum Level Sponsor

    That sounds great! But it seems that the Duraspark distributor has had issues, not anything else.
    It seems to be a problem with build, or in the case of this distributor, rebuild quality. We purchased
    this dizzy maybe two years ago. The first issue was the rotor. It totally blew apart while driving leaving the
    car stranded. Now this pin holding the reluctor has dislodged, so I'm having issues with this distributor.
    Are they available brand new? I'll do a search. This one was purchased through Rock Auto as a rebuilt
    as I believe that was the only choice at the time.

    I and the owner of the car are getting tired of working on this car and finding the issue to be in the dizzy.
    That was my thought about going with a new dizzy from Pertonix.

    You say Duraspark is better. Can you explain why?

    Again, many thanks for all input! It's greatly appreciated!!
  10. DanR

    DanR Diamond Level Sponsor

    Steve, I too like the DuraSpark. I have not had any problems.
  11. sunalp

    sunalp Platinum Level Sponsor

    Well, I pulled the dizzy this morning and the pin that holds the reluctor has basically disintegrated
    leaving alot of metal shavings all over the magnet. The one piece I did find makes it look like it was a roll

    I agree Dan, I like the duraspark system as it is pretty easy to hook up and use. We've just had issues with the quality
    of the components.

    I read the article and have questions about that too. It wasn't clear to me that the Duraspark ign module was
    eliminated. If it is I can, and probably will do the GM conversion as it's much easier to find and much cheaper than
    the Ford component.

  12. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane Gold Level Sponsor

    Yes, the ford ignition module is replaced by the gm unit.
  13. sunalp

    sunalp Platinum Level Sponsor

    Thanks for the clarification. Next time the module takes a dump we'll replace it with that!
  14. 260Alpine

    260Alpine Silver Level Sponsor

    Mike Armstrong likes this.
  15. sunalp

    sunalp Platinum Level Sponsor

    Thanks Jim,
    Looks like a really good read!

    Can you or anyone explain why Duraspark is superior to Pertronix?

  16. 260Alpine

    260Alpine Silver Level Sponsor

    Factory reliability of reluctor and internal module. Chrysler and GM are good too. You just got a bad rebuild. The Fordsix site sells a rebadged Chryser external control. I think the GM HEI is better.
  17. sunalp

    sunalp Platinum Level Sponsor

    Thanks Jim!
    I think I'll order another distributor tomorrow. I have a really good fastener warehouse near me that sells
    just about everything. Thinking of taking the dizzy there to find a roll pin that'll fit. Maybe loctite it in
    and see if that holds, or at least until the new dizzy arrives.

    Any thoughts?
  18. Bill Blue

    Bill Blue Diamond Level Sponsor

    As I understand the events, your problems are due to a shattered roll pin. Roll pins do not shatter for no reason. Something made it shatter and its replacement will shatter unless the cause of failure is found and corrected.

  19. 260Alpine

    260Alpine Silver Level Sponsor

    Steve, I think the original distributor used a solid pin, not a roll pin. I'd only used the 77-79 Duraspark II with the 2.8. 75-76 Duraspark was a little different.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020 at 8:56 PM
  20. 260Alpine

    260Alpine Silver Level Sponsor

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