Mercury Cougar Owners banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Contributing Member
Joined
·
320 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE...

I HAVE HAD MY CAR FOR ABOUT A MONTH NOW AND WANT
TO START ON SOME UPGRADES ON THE ENGINE. I HAVE A
67 XR-7 WITH A 289 2V. 32,000 MILES.
I KNOW VERY LITTLE ABOUT ENGINES BUT HAVE A BUDDY
WHO IS WILLING TO HELP ME OUT.

I WOULD LIKE TO GO WITH A ELECTRONIC IGNITION BUT IS IT
WORTH IT TO SPEND ANOTHER $100 AND REPLACE THE DISTRIBUTOR?

I NOW FEEL LIKE A REAL MEMBER NOW THAT I HAVE MY NEW CAR!!

JIM
 

·
Contributing Sr Motorhead
Joined
·
5,470 Posts
Ford distributos

Right off the bat I'm going to have to say that I grew up in an all-GM family. All of the cars were V-8s, so all of the distributors had that little liftgate in the cap where you could adjust the points while the car was running with a 1/8" allen wrench. Just turn the wrench until you showed 30 degrees on the dwell meter. How simple can that be!

Well, then I broke with tradition and bought the family's first Ford product, my first 72 Cougar. What a PITA to set the points correctly. I only had the car a year, but I don't think I got the thing running right (dwell and timing) set right until right before I sold the darn thing.

I sold the rotted out five-year-old Cougar and bought a 73 Electra. Again easy to tune.

After a few years, and a good job where I actually had money coming in, I got the hankering for another Cougar. That led to AlphaCat and a whole slew of others. Here I go again trying to get them running right. Then to make matters even worse, I put a dual point distributor into AlphaCat. What a nightmare. I was continually frying points. I finally got fed up and followed my buddy's lead by going with a Duraspark distributor triggering a MSD. No more tuning problems.

OK, now to the point of the posting -- enough rambling from the old man senior motorhead... :p:

Then I got married and along with the wife, I now get to work on another Ford, her all-original, 17k mile 70 Mach 1. It ran OK for a couple years without any problems, but when we took it to the big 30th anniversary Mustang show in Charlotte, the thing started acting up. Ever try installing a set of points in a hotel parking lot in the dark? Grrrr. That's was the last straw. Once we got home I installed a Pertronix ignition unit and she's been fine ever since. The only way to tell it is in there is that now there are two wires going into the bottom of the distributor. (Wife's a stickler for original)

The Pertronix upgrade will forever rid you of the hassle of points, condenser, dwell settings... It takes all of maybe ten minutes to do. Worth every penny IMHO. Go for it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
266 Posts
I agree with Cougrrcj, however I have always found point setting to be an easy task. I can do it in about 10 seconds. All I need is a matchbook cover used as a feeler gauge and a screwdriver. I have had to change them on the fly and it only takes me a few minutes. I find you can get max life out of a set of points by setting them just a bit more than spec and keeping them filed smooth. but now that I have thought about for a moment....it was a pain in the @$$ cause i never had that damn screwdriver. If your going to upgrade your coil then you will surley want to go with at least the pertronix units. Depending on how hot you go. I have put them on three cars and one motorcycle in the past and all of them still work well.

Now if your wanting to compare a new breakerless ignition distributor against the pertronix unit, you probably wont see a performance difference between the two on the lower HP motors and lower voltage coils. But when your pushing bigger HP and a nice hot coil, you can bennifit from a new distributor because the pertronix is only good up to about 45K.

and welcome into the den of cougar owners.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
544 Posts
I have put the pertronix on 3 cougars now, and it makes a big improvement. Easy even for a novice. If you subscribe to the classic cougar network there are instructions on both the swap and changing the advance curve while you have the cap off if you are more adventurous.

Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,279 Posts
Petronix, "the dark side"

Keep a spare Petronix or points in your glove box! They will go out at any time and leave you stranded! (Ask me how I know).

I now run a MSD6AL and MSD coil with a recurved Duraspark distributor. Idles and runs clean at lo-RPM's
 

·
Contributing Sr Motorhead
Joined
·
5,470 Posts
Other options

MM,

What, you didn't read my entire post and see where I had done the same thing as Art by going to a Duraspark distributor triggering a MSD?

Then to make matters even worse, I put a dual point distributor into AlphaCat. What a nightmare. I was continually frying points. I finally got fed up and followed my buddy's lead by going with a Duraspark distributor triggering a MSD. No more tuning problems.
*mutter, mutter, mutter* Doesn't anyone listen to an old man anymore? *mutter, mutter*

The best part about this Duraspark/MSD swap is you don't even have to use the factory Duraspark ignition module. You are using the MSD as the ignition module. The downside is it won't look original, so that's why we went Pertronix on the wife's Mach. Like I said, she's a stickler for originality.

Vfret,

Yes, I know you can just use a matchbook cover for setting points. I think I was doing that since before you were born! ;)

The thing is, you really need a dwell meter to ensure you really have the points gapped right. You can set your points with a damn feeler gauge or matchbook cover and still be off by five or more degrees. Your car will know the difference! on a Ford you have to get it close initally, then button the thing up and start the car, check the dwell, then tear it aprt again to take another guesstimate of how much (and which way) you have to readjust the points to get the dwell setting right. Then button it up, fire up the car, and see if you were right. If not you do it all over again...and again....and again... Like I said, PITA!!

The biggest problem I had with my first Cougar was setting the timing. Since that distributor hold down bolt is buried under the a/c compressor (PITA factor one), and I didn't have one of those specialty contorted distributor wrenches (PITA factor two), and the bolt was rusted in there (PITA factor three. Three strikes - you're out), I had a hell of a time getting the timing set right until just before I sold the car. Only then would it burn rubber if I straight punched it. (351C-2V and 2.75 rear gears really aren't conducive to tire fries!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,832 Posts
Sorry CJ, how did I miss your point when Art's was short and too the point and yours rambled and rambled!!LOL Belive me from one old man to the other I DO listen to the old men, its the younger generation I take with a grain of salt. Belive me I know where your coming from on setting points on a Ford, I used to run a Mallory dual point on my 377W. Now with that you did it all the same way only twice over. I ended up with a Accel dual point and you could adjust it from the outside with a allen wrench like a chevrolet and it even had a connector on the outside to disconnect one set of points. You just set the one set , plug in the wire and doubled the dwell to set the other set. Remember this was in the days before high performance HEIs were the norm. I ran a Mallory electrronic on my modifieds and loved it. There now I'm done rambling LOL mm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,299 Posts
hey old guys...... jk jk

anyone on here ever use one of the HEI distrubutors on the Fords?? somecompany called Davis Unified Ignition makes them to fit the Fords and before i put the Pertronix and Accel combo in my car, i really wanted this one. i think i go with it on the next Cougar. i hope that it will clear a single plane and air cleaner though. it puts out 55000 volts or so i think and soudns good. at $355 or so its actually cheaper than buying the whole MSD setup. only thing id kinda want is the timing control knob that MSD offers. make tuning easier but oh well. cant have it all can we? http://www.performancedistributors.com is the address i think.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,832 Posts
Steve, I have talked to a guy who has one on his ford and he loves it. I just dont like the GM looks of the dist on it. And I also know alot of Modified racers who swear by them. mm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,279 Posts
Re: Other options

The downside is it won't look original, so that's why we went Pertronix on the wife's Mach. Like I said, she's a stickler for originality.

Heh! Nothing original about two wires coming out of the distributor! Stands out like a red nut in a snowbank!
 

·
Contributing Sr Motorhead
Joined
·
5,470 Posts
Art, it isn't that obtrusive looking! as I noted in the original reply, it does have two wires going to the distributor, but that's the only givaway. Once you tape them up, who's to know? Its not like I put one of those confounded GM HEIs on there (That's for MM ;) ) or have an additional box mounted on the fenderwell somewhere like a MSD or other electronic ignition.

As for carrying around a spare Pertronix unit, what's the big deal? Heck, I used to carry a spare set of points around in my glovebox, doesn't everyone? Words of wisdom from someone who has BTDT. Just like Mopars needing to carry around a spare ballast resistor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,299 Posts
the thing with the spares is that points are like $2. im a young poor kid and a spare pertronix is like 80. that matters to me. i dont have a spare, but i know i have points somwhere around still. i just dont like them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,279 Posts
Petronix

Cougrrcj said:
Art, it isn't that obtrusive looking! as I noted in the original reply, it does have two wires going to the distributor, but that's the only givaway. Once you tape them up, who's to know?


J/K Cougrrcj, I'm an ex-MCA member and ex-67/68 Shelby Concours judge. I notice things like that when people say "100% original". Agreed, the Petronix is better than points.
 

·
Contributing Sr Motorhead
Joined
·
5,470 Posts
Art,

My wife still is an MCA member.

Funny thing though, when we had her Mach at the big 30th show in Charlotte, we were supposed to get judged, but never did. (NOT concours class!) We asked for the judging sheet but they said her car wasn't judged (for whatever reason). I wonder if the big hoopla over Herr Clinton's visit cut the judging short...

Her car is all original except that she had to repair the paint on two consecutive panels (right fender and door) where the car got 'keyed' at a cruise when she first got it. Hmmm. That puts it in restored class? What a crock! The rest of the paint is original so that's 25 years old at the time so of course there were a couple of scratches here and there.

Some self-professed 'experts' were pointing out flaws in the paint on the rest of the car, but that's how Ford built it! A lump of painted over seam sealer in the trunk opening, a sag in the paint on one of the quarter extensions, the dark argent paint wasn't 100% covering the area around the trunk lock... Quality was not Job 1 back then. Also her car has the supposed 'big block' group 27 battery shield and HD battery cables, but they are also original to her car.

Other people kept coming over to her car (a Metuchen built car) to look for the correct markings for theirs. Her car still has the white crayon markings on the core support for crissakes! Hers was the only 70 Mach in the (general area) that still had the original hood insulation on it too!

Those Concours guys are nuts! Her car is driven so of course the exhaust system has rust on it! Yes, we still had a couple of bugs in the radiator that defied removal, but we drove the car the 450 miles from Cleveland to Charlotte.

Man, I got really turned off about ever showing a car ever again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,141 Posts
I'm with you Cougrrcj. I've got nothing against a concours restoration - I'm just not into that. I prefer to look at the package as a whole. Concourse judging has gone from "original" to "perfect original". And like you said Quality was NOT job 1 back then. The real satisfaction comes from building and DRIVING your cat - the best rewards come from fellow enthusiasts - not Know It All judges. In my book a people's choice is worth more than a concourse trophy anyday. And if I really want a trophy I can buy one! :p:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,832 Posts
Rktmn, how many do you want to buy? After 20 years of racing there piled up all over the family room. Getting sick of looking at them. Wife hates dusting them. When I move they go to a box in the attic. LOL mm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,141 Posts
Gee Mark, How many will fit in a 69's trunk? :D
Maybe then the judges would be impressed and I would win a trophy and...... :p:
Wait a minute, can I still drive it? :1poke:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,279 Posts
To show or not to show....

Cougrrcj said:


Man, I got really turned off about ever showing a car ever again!
I understand 100%! (Notice I said ex-MCA)

Were you in the survivor class? It's for cars with 85% original paint, original upolstery, etc.

As for the Charlotte 30th, I was there too...I think there were 1200 cars there, judging one class would be a monumental task, not defending MCA, but there were bound to me "more than the usual" snafu's, sorry you were one of them.

The good thing about the car hobby is there is no "right or wrong" way to enjoy our relics... Some enjoy Concours, some like cruising on a Sunday, others just like to have them in the backyard to restore "someday".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,371 Posts
It is really hard to have a stranger pick your baby apart.... I think that you have to enjoy your cat the best way you can. At the last show I was at I was taking to a guy that was just in awe at the condition of my cat. I told him looking at it is great but driving..... that's what it's all about (for me anyway) I have nothing against the concours guys. but personnally I don't have the time or money to compete with that. So don't feel bad if a show judge picks you cat apart (unless he's just an A**) Take it with a grain 'o salt and just enjoy the show........ You might even get some ideas to make your cat better.....

<stepping down from soapbox>

Don
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top