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Old 07-14-2005, 08:33 AM
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Electrionic Ignition for Ford 390

Any one got a recomendation for an Electronic Ignition upgrade kit for a '64 Ford 390? There seem to be a lot of different brands out there... from cheap to expensive.

B

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Old 07-14-2005, 09:19 PM
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First choice would be a DURASPARK II upgrade (find distribtor from mid-seventies 360/390 truck).

If you want it to look stock, then PERTRONIX II.
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Old 07-15-2005, 01:53 AM
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my vote would be for the pertronix, unless your more performance minded....
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Old 07-15-2005, 04:55 AM
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... and then even cheaper than pertronix is crane's unit, which comes with a built-in rev limiter. I believe the price breakdown is like this:

Crane - $59
Pertronix - $69
Pertronix II - $99

I believe there's more to a Ford Duraspark than just a distributor change... like wiring, a box of some sort, misc hardware, etc. Any of the above just replaces the single or dual points inside the distributor with magnets.
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Old 07-15-2005, 05:32 AM
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But what you also have to take into account is service replacement parts if the ignition system takes a dive on the side of the road. A DURASPARK SYSTEM will be much easier to find parts for than an aftermarket system.

And yes, the DURASPARK is more than a distributor swap but the donor parts are everywheres.
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Old 07-15-2005, 08:19 AM
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.........................

Last edited by interro1; 07-16-2005 at 05:21 AM. Reason: I'm dumb
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Old 07-22-2005, 03:55 PM
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Ok,

I can get a reman distributor for a 1975 Ford F-150 Ranger with a 390 from Napa for $51 (+$33 core)

It says that it comes with the electronic ignition in it already!

Sounds like a simple swap-in, No? Is that the Duraspark?

Also, this says that it has a dual vacuum advance already installed... I think that my current distributor has a single vacuum advance, but i'm not really sure. Is this going to cause a problem?

What do I need to know here before I jump in?

B
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Old 07-22-2005, 04:44 PM
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Here is the best description of the DURASPARK II conversion I have come across so far. It is a complete system and not everything is contained within the distributor. Read this and ask me any questions you need to and if you decide to do the conversion, I will give you more tech. info.

-DURASPARK II CONVERSION-

Now if you decide you do not want to go to this extreme, the -PERTRONIX II- will be the best system to use for the street. If it fails, you can just put the points/condensor back in the distributor and go home.
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Old 07-22-2005, 07:03 PM
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Do not even think about aftermarket ignitions.Duraspark it!

By the way,when disconnecting the terminals,do not try to undo the tangs and pull at the same time.Grab by the wires firmly and pull them apart.That is the correct way!
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Old 07-22-2005, 07:35 PM
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Pertronix II is overrated - the Pertronix I works the same and is just as interchangeable if it happens to fail. I've run one for 5 years now, no problems whatsoever. I carry around my old points just in case, but I doubt I'll ever need it. A buddy of mine has a pertronix unit in his 67 Mustang that is going on 12 years without failure. For what it costs, it beats the Duraspark conversion ANYDAY.
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Old 07-24-2005, 11:37 AM
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Ok,

Since I like to do things right, and the duraspark seems to be the fanatics choice, I'm going to go that way.

I would really like to get that extra info Kultulz.

From the instuctions that you posted, it just doesn't seem that hard, but I've still got some confusiuon over here.

From the instructions, it sounds like I could keep my old destributor... also sounds like there is some sort of conversion kit. Not really clear on how this all fits together.

According to the napa site, ford trucks stopped using the 390 after the 1976 model year. Kultulz's link says that the duraspark II didn't come into use until the 1977 model year. I don't know if the 390's distributor was any different than say the 351W's or the 400's. I guess I'd like some more info on this if anyone's got it.

Also, the instuctions are for small black engines... and that doesn't include the 390!

Napa's got an Echlin Electronic Ignition Conversion kit that Napa lists as for the 1976 model year. But the 1976 distributor says that it is already an electronic ignition? Duraspark I??? There also seems to be something called the controle mondule and several other parts that don't seem to have a direct points-system equivilant.

Anyway, if anyone can shed some light on which parts I'll need and which I can do with out for the 390, that would be great.

B

PS. Because of my location, I don't have access to a pick-and-pull type junk yard. I'm going to have to do this all through the mail or my local napa... so getting the parts right before I start is going to be sort of important.
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Old 07-24-2005, 08:19 PM
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OK...

Let me see if I can explain this easily. There were more than one variation of DURASPARK. It began in 1974 and was last used on the 1985 5.0L carb MUSTANG. The first version was referred to as SSI (Solid State Ignition) and progressed from there until TFI was introduced with EEC. So a 1974/1976 360/390 FE distributor will have the same stator so the distributors will be interchangeable. As for the vacuum advance cannister, if there is no application with a single signal cannister, a CRANE adjustible cannister will be needed. The dual diaphram is a emission related piece and is designed to retard as well as advance timing.

Now, you will also need an Ignition Module (DURASPARK II has a blue strain relief and is the one you want-The Casting I.D. No on a genuine begins D9VE). Do not use aftermarket pieces as they are mostly junk. FORD RACING PARTS once sold a free standing system that featured a FORD harness and an MSD Module. The Module was junk. I know, I bought one.

You will also need a wiring harness and this connects all the components. It can be found on any 76/85 passenger car (or 302/351M/400 pickup).

The coil is a special unit that produces about 40,000V. You can wire in a later TFI (E-COIL) that will give you about 45,000V and fire about anything. The RPM limit is approx. 8,000RPM. A MSD CD can be triggered off the system if you have a heavy thumper.

The actual module needs full battery voltage whereas the DURASPARK II coil needs approx 9V available through your present resistor wire off the ignition switch. If desired, the white lead can be routed to the S Terminal on the starter solenoid to retard timing during crank. This will save your starter motor.

You can use either the small cap (it is the same size as your black points type cap but is made of a more durable dia-electric material-blue in color) or the actual DURASPARK II cap with the the further apart points (to prevent high voltage crossfire).

-DISTRIBUTOR CAP CONVERSION-

That's about the best I can explain it. Shoot the questions to me if you have them.









Am Looking For Factory/Aftermarket Speed Parts For The MEL (Merc-Edsel-Linc-TBird) Engine Family (383-410-430-462) Produced From 1958 To 1968

Also Early FORD Special Service Tools


-MEL ENGINE FORUM-

Last edited by KULTULZ; 07-25-2005 at 04:30 AM.
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Old 07-25-2005, 07:36 PM
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Hey Billy,Kult just gave us a brilliant explanation on Ford's electronic ignition
history.When you gather all the pieces together,wire it to a battery as per the diagram and make it spark by spinning the distributor with your fingers! This will brake the ice and you will feel better about fitting it to your car.
I had a '70 Maverick in NJ in which I installed a Duraspark system.It worked very reliably for years.
Hey Kult,how about writing about the three plug special module?
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Old 07-26-2005, 12:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulo

Hey Kult,how about writing about the three plug special module?
Are you referring to the DUAL-MODE IGNITION SYSTEM? It has three plugs and nine leads? YELLOW strain relief?

This was used in two applications, one high-altitude and the other economy calibration. The module used was the same but one system used a barometric pressure switch and the other a vacuum switch. Either would cause the module to retard ignition advance under certain conditions to prevent spark knock.

There many different systems used (all similiar in basic operation) for performance, economy or emission calibrations. DURASPARK I was a system used only on CA applications and produced a hotter spark to overcome emissions. DUASPARK III was actually crank fired and was controlled by an ECM.

But the DURASPARK II is the one for performance retro-fits.

Below is a brief timeline. It is not FORD literature and there are some mistakes and leave-outs, but it will give you an idea of the technical progression.

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Old 07-26-2005, 12:58 AM
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Before you guys start asking about DURASPARK I to get a hotter spark, the introduction of a TFI (E-COIL) into the system will give you all the fire you need (other than a CD System).



Notice the E-COIL is BAT VOLT. There is no resistor wire used.

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