Mustang MonthlyHow To Engine
Install A PerTronix "Cast-Look" Distributor
Keep a stock-like appearance
It's been over three decades since a Ford vehicle rolled out of an assembly plant with a mechanical points ignition system and at least a decade since Ford last stuck a distributor in anything at all. So we find it surprising to discover that people with regular-use vintage Mustangs are still using a points-type ignition. You have a concours-type car and want to keep it stock for the judges? We understand that, but for the weekend cruiser or modified vintage Mustang owner, running an electronic ignition system of some sort just makes sense. Spark plugs last longer, the combustion chamber sees a hotter spark for a more complete burn and less emissions, and acceleration and overall performance is improved. So what's stopping you?
We've installed the PerTronix Ignitor in many vehicles over the years. It's a great under-cap replacement for the original points, which are mechanical and they do wear. Points are a service item, and it's common to replace them annually in your tune up regimen. Having the PerTronix in place of the points means no more wear, easier starting, and more complete ignition/combustion. However, if your stock distributor is past its useful service life (and many of them are), adding a PerTronix unit to a worn out distributor isn't going to be as beneficial. Your previous option was to buy an aftermarket distributor, usually whittled from a hunk of billet aluminum with a big red cap on it. While they work great, they stick out like a sore thumb on a near-stock engine bay. Not to mention their higher cost.
Even though PerTronix itself sells billet distributors, they felt a stock-look cast distributor with all of the same benefits would be of interest to vintage Mustang owners. Currently, PerTronix offers their stock-look distributors for the small-block Ford engine family with either Ignitor or Ignitor III electronics under the cap. The new cast housing is molded like the original Ford unit and is setup with a performance advance curve right out of the box. Vacuum advance systems are adjustable and the high-strength cap comes in stock-look black with brass contacts.
The new PerTronix stock-look distributors are CARB EO approved and legal in all 50 states and come with a one-year warranty (30 months on electronics).