Distributor for a Cleveland 351 4V 1970 Mach 1 - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Distributor for a Cleveland 351 4V 1970 Mach 1

Almost done. We rewired the car with a kit from American Autowire. We had to add a ballast resistor Car fired right up. we broke the ballast resistor trying to mount it to the frame. Tried a new one but it failed. Thought about getting a new distributor that was HEI to eliminate the ballast resistor This car also has a shaker so I want to keep the original air cleaner. So size does matter. What would you guys recommend? Thanks for any help.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 04:16 PM
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DurasparkII distributor for a F-series truck with a 400, triggering a Mopar ignition module.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 04:39 PM
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The same distributor fits a 351C, 351M, 400, 429 and 460 so a DSII distributor from any of those engines will work. You can use it to trigger any of the electronic control modules- the Ford/Motorcraft, Mopar, HEI, MSD 6AL or any of the others. Be sure to use a coil like the mid 80's Ford/Motorcraft e-coil that can run on full 12V.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Do I find these used?

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 05:13 PM
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Sure, you can find lots of used ones or a new one is not terribly expensive.


https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo...401130&jsn=959
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Sure, you can find lots of used ones or a new one is not terribly expensive.


https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo...401130&jsn=959
Will I need anything else besides the mid 80s e-coil? I can use the original ford box and do away with the ballast resistor? My 1970 did not come with a ignition module right? I am new to cars sorry for being dumb.

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Last edited by Mike Stieve; 09-19-2019 at 06:11 PM.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 08:03 PM
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I have what I believe is a Duraspark distributor (73 Mach 1 Q-code Cleveland) that the previous owner (who I know) removed many years ago for a Unilite. I would be happy to send it to you for the cost of shipping. PM if interested and I can dig it out and take photos. I am near San Antonio. I need to get rid of a few boxes of stuff...
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 10:29 PM
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Will I need anything else besides the mid 80s e-coil? I can use the original ford box and do away with the ballast resistor? My 1970 did not come with a ignition module right? I am new to cars sorry for being dumb.

Mustangs did not have a ballast resistor from the factory, they had a special high resistance wire between the ignition switch and the firewall which is commonly referred to as the Pink Wire because of the color of it's insulation. You need to bypass it if it's still in the car.
Your '70 came with points and a condenser, no ignition module.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 11:30 PM
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Those Chinese, aftermarket HEI distributors are tempting since they're so cheap. But I can't help but think they look ridiculous on a Ford V8.

Yeah, the Duraspark is a good option. Or, you could get a factory Cleveland distributor and run points or an electronic ignition module.

Currently working on a 1970 Mach 1 project. See it here: http://forums.vintage-mustang.com/vi...ode-build.html
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 02:48 AM
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@Klutch is right! Don't put one of those crappy GM monstrosities on the front of your engine, where it messes with aircleaners, Monte Carlo bars! Just get a good Ford dizzy. Make sure its ignition curve is right, put in a coil with the right resistance (if you're not sure, just read THIS ARTICLE )

Depending on how much you hop it up, and what cam you've got, you may even want to consider points. They deliver a really long, fat, hot spark up to about 5500 RPMs, so unless you're running a hot cam and a lot of other goodies, they make sense. If you're above that, the shorter, but more intense spark of an electronic ignition system, along with the superior dwell at high RPMs really helps. It is true that you will need to check your points once in a while. Maybe every 5-10 oil changes or so. A lot of cars actually run better with points than with electronic ignition, but of course, electronic ignition is basically 'maintenance free' which is nice.

As for 'which is better', I would say that there's not much difference between an HEI and stock Autolite/Motocraft distributor, except that the Ford one fits better and looks more appropriate. The one other exception would be the crummy 'coil in cap' HEI dizzys that tend to have problems. The regular HEI distributors work just fine, too, even if I do hate them. =)

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 10:01 AM
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nothing beats a stock ford dizzy when its set up correctly

Call Dan at Glazier Nolan and see what he can do

1970 Mach 1 San Jose built Dec 23 1969. Marti 1 of 7. Purchased in 1987. Original family owner of the power train
351C 2v FMX.


1993 GT 13,000 miles, Built 2-12-93 Bought 8/3/93 Auto, 3:27 Axle, cloth, sunroof, AC. Unmolested all original car. Purchased new 8-3-93. still has the factory windshield fluid.
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