Duraspark, hei, or leave points? - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Duraspark, hei, or leave points?

Looking to put my 94 roller 351w in my 68. Any opinion on duration/benefits of these systems would be appreciated. I am leaning towards a duraspark 2 conversion. I would be concerned about the lifespan of an offshore hei system. Points clearly are weaker/maintenance. What is your opinion or experience with these systems?
Question 2: I plan on reusing drive gear from the 94 fuel injection distributor on whatever
distributor I decide on, if I am leaving stock cam in. I may upgrade the cam. I know that material wise, the drive gear on the 94's distributor is compatible, but is it bad practice to run a used gear on a new cam? I know flat tappets are a definite no go, just don't know about gears.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 05:00 PM
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I can't help with Question 2, but having used single points, dual points, MSD, Duraspark and HEI systems I say go with the Duraspark.

Points are good if you get quality parts and don't mind doing some maintenance.

I used MSD 5 and 6 boxes for close to 30 years. When they came out they were great but with all the offerings nowadays and MSD's lack of quality over the last 10 or so I say save your money & hair.

GM HEIs are good, dependable and easy to hook up, but there's a reason Chevy hides those things in the back. They are butt ugly.


I have been using a Duraspark for years and I absolutely love it. They're cheap, parts are readily available and they're tunable. I especially like the timing retard during start feature - it's made a huge difference in my warm/hot starts.

Bob

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 05:11 PM
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I put a Duraspark in my '67. Mine is all stock parts, but I haven't touched it in many years. It's rock solid reliable.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 05:59 PM
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Most people could go 5 years before needing to touch their points.
Durasparks are relatively inexpensive and available right down the road - might fail next week.
HEI units do not have to be the large cap GM style. Some are small, self contained and ready to run dizzys can be had for under $75.

Pick one and carry spare parts

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 06:35 PM
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We've covered this subject ad nauseum in this forum.
This is just one thread. I was too lazy to find the other 5 or so....

https://forums.vintage-mustang.com/v...aspark-vs.html

If the OP is just using their car in a casual manner, a few times a week, I'd just go points and condenser.
If it's a race deal or you're doing serious mileage, the top dog would be a Duraspark distributor triggering
an HEI module. Second best would be DS distributor triggering a Duraspark box.
The Mopar (LX101) module is a distinct third place finisher.
That's about the story for OE stuff.

I can compare & contrast (or debate) all the aftermarket stuff, having run MOST of the aftermarket stuff.
(Mallory, MSD, Allison, Delta Mark 10, Perlux/Pertronix, Jacobs, Gaylord Compuspark, Prestolite, Hays Stinger, etc.)

My '68 has had an MSD 6AL setup for 15 years. My '66 has a Hays setup in the distributor triggering a 3rd gen Jacobs box.
My '48 Ford truck has a Hays setup triggering a 1st generation Jacobs box.

Nine cars here, nothing runs points. No ignition breakdowns since giving up on Pertronix 25 years ago.

Just a few of the NOS aftermarket kits in my collection.....
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Last edited by GT289; 07-21-2019 at 06:38 PM.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 09:43 PM
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I used a full Jacobs setup on my Ď83 GT. It was nice equipment. Never missed a beat at 6000+ RPM. Not sure why they went out of business. Other than poor management I guess.

Regards,
Patrick
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickstapler View Post
I used a full Jacobs setup on my ‘83 GT. It was nice equipment. Never missed a beat at 6000+ RPM. Not sure why they went out of business. Other than poor management I guess.
Sold out I believe ,sorta like Drake. EDIT or not ?http://www.jacobselectronics.com.au/ ?


DSII would be My go to been using mine for years with out issue ,,Well except one time at band cam,,,,eeerr Autox when my oil pump sucked up cam bearing material and broke 3 teeth off the distributor gear


Brad

Last edited by 2nd 66; 07-21-2019 at 10:58 PM.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 09:05 AM
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Duraspark and donít look back.


65 FB 289/3sp Rangoon Red/Red interior
68 Coupe 200/6 T-5 Diamond Blue/Blue interior
68 Coupe 302/C4 Black interior
69 Coupe 250/6 C4, Blue/Black interior
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 09:23 AM
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I have this one in my car. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 You will find that this is not a very popular option on this forum. But hey, I got one with a Ford blue cap, so that counts for something, right? In all seriousness, I got it because it's easy and super reliable. All parts for it are carried at any parts store. Is it pretty? Well, no. And honestly, when/if I ever get to go EFI, I'll ditch it for Holley's new setup.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd 66 View Post
Sold out I believe ,sorta like Drake. EDIT or not ?Jacobs Electronics ?


DSII would be My go to been using mine for years with out issue ,,Well except one time at band cam,,,,eeerr Autox when my oil pump sucked up cam bearing material and broke 3 teeth off the distributor gear
Supposedly it was Prestolite that Jacobs sold to...... and then they tried to do something with the Jacobs designs but had lackluster sales
when they rolled out the product line. The next try was to use the Jacobs technology in the (then current day) Mallory ignition boxes.
I don't think that product launch was too stellar either. I think the Jacobs designs are dormant maybe here in the US.
Prestolite's performance line includes all the old familiar Mr. Gasket Performance stuff (Accel, Gasket, Hays, Lakewood, Mallory and Prestolite Wire).
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 11:56 AM
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I plan on using a points distributor with a Petronix ignitor myself...with a set of points and a condenser in the glovebox as a backup. I don't care for either Duraspark or HEI. If I were actually serious about upgrading my ignition system beyond a points distributor, I would use the MegasSquirt unit I have laying on my shelf in spark-only mode and run LS coils, getting rid of the dizzy entirely...its probably about the same cost as one of those distributors anyway.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 01:39 PM
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I plan on using a points distributor with a Petronix ignitor myself...with a set of points and a condenser in the glovebox as a backup. I don't care for either Duraspark or HEI. If I were actually serious about upgrading my ignition system beyond a points distributor, I would use the MegasSquirt unit I have laying on my shelf in spark-only mode and run LS coils, getting rid of the dizzy entirely...its probably about the same cost as one of those distributors anyway.
Pertronix........ good luck with that. Biggest piece of crap out there. Just what electronic parts love, the intense heat found inside a distributor.

As the drill sergeant said, "I taught you everything you know. I didn't teach you everything I know."

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 03:15 PM
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Pertronix........ good luck with that. Biggest piece of crap out there. Just what electronic parts love, the intense heat found inside a distributor.
And yet, I have never had an actual Pertronix unit fail...yes, I have had knock-off units fail...but never an actual name brand one. Anyway, the point is that points and condenser are cheap and easy to replace if they fail...nothing else is. In the end, you have to ask yourself what the purpose of your car is. If you want to race it and get the most power possible...go for LS1 coils. If you want a daily driver...I would go points for easy availability...I just dont see a situation that I would ever buy a $300 distributor though.

If I did go HEI...this is what I would do:

https://www.powerperformancenews.com...tor-to-gm-hei/

Simply because you could keep a simple backup handy in case of failure.

The funniest thing to me about all this is that all these dizzy options are known to fail at one time or another...the real solution is to ditch the distributor and go with a 36-1 wheel for a more reliable solution, a solution that would also allow you to run LS1 coils(though you have to find some type of ECU to control spark, whether its MSD, or some semi-standalone or full standalone).
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 11:35 AM
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And yet, I have never had an actual Pertronix unit fail...yes, I have had knock-off units fail...but never an actual name brand one. Anyway, the point is that points and condenser are cheap and easy to replace if they fail...nothing else is. In the end, you have to ask yourself what the purpose of your car is. If you want to race it and get the most power possible...go for LS1 coils. If you want a daily driver...I would go points for easy availability...I just dont see a situation that I would ever buy a $300 distributor though.

If I did go HEI...this is what I would do:

https://www.powerperformancenews.com...tor-to-gm-hei/

Simply because you could keep a simple backup handy in case of failure.

The funniest thing to me about all this is that all these dizzy options are known to fail at one time or another...the real solution is to ditch the distributor and go with a 36-1 wheel for a more reliable solution, a solution that would also allow you to run LS1 coils(though you have to find some type of ECU to control spark, whether its MSD, or some semi-standalone or full standalone).
You're fortunate. The first one I had failed in San Diego while (tightly) parallel parked on a busy street.
Its failure mode was to start and run funky..... almost like it was mis-timed.
The second failure was outright... no spark.

When I'm talking HEI, I'm not referring to the ugly *** big GM distributor, I'm talking HEI ignition module. Triggered
by a magnetic pickup in a Ford/Motorcraft distributor. Yours is a good article.

Here's my trigger in a 70 year old truck.
Redundancy of this system has a Mallory box on one side of the switch and Jacobs on the other. The Jacobs has
never failed, so the switch hasn't been on the other side.
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Last edited by GT289; 07-23-2019 at 11:39 AM.
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