Mac's distributor

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: Mac's distributor
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry Davis Houston TX on Saturday, November 05, 2016 - 09:52 pm:

Any one out there with any experience with Mac's distributor PN T3217DIS 72 ? From what I see it looks like it simply replaces the timer with a rotor and rotor cap. Really? Jerry.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Mazza on Saturday, November 05, 2016 - 09:59 pm:

Get it cheaper directly from John Stolz much cheaper. Yes mounts rotor directly on cam and replaces timer with machined aluminum adapter and cap. http://modeltranch.com/ timing controlled with no additional bell cranks or gear drive for distributor.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Donnie Brown North Central Arkansas on Saturday, November 05, 2016 - 10:21 pm:

Jerry, I think the one you are talking about is the style with the cap having all four plug wires on one side of the cap. It is part number 16-54672-1 in my book, But it cross refrences to your number in the back of the book. I have one of those distributors and it appears to be a good design. I have never ran mine, so I am also interested in any input. If someone has a copy of the installation instructions they could post would really help. It states in Macs catalog that you need to remove the radiator to install the distributor. I think from looking at my parts, that you must file a flat on the end of the camshaft for the distributor cam lobe to fit onto. The cam lobe is held in place with 2 set screws. So that is probably why you need to remove the radiator. The idler is to keep the fan belt from rubbing the distributor. And the two clips with bolts shown in the add are to clamp the distributors aluminum body in place on the front timing cover. The clips design will allow the distributor to turn for spark advance just like a regular timer turns for spark advance. I would really love to see the instructions to make sure I have correctly figured out how to install mine.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry Davis Houston TX on Saturday, November 05, 2016 - 10:35 pm:

David,Donnie, thank you both. I'm considering replacing my T coils with a distributor on my 14, which has a 24 engine and cast hogshead/starter. I would then use the mag out put as an energy source for the battery. She runs well on battery but poorly on my low voltage mag. I saw the Mac's distributor but have yet to hear from anyone who uses one. At this point I'm just considering all distributor options. Thanks in advance for anyone who can throw in some experience on this. Jerry.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cliff Colee on Saturday, November 05, 2016 - 10:47 pm:

I just installed a Texas T distributor on my T. I did look at various models before deciding on the Texas T distributor because parts are readily available (uses VW cap, rotor, points, condensor).

The install was easy, even for a relative Model T newcomer. I did purchase the installation kit with the distributor - it provides a modern camshaft seal, timing cover centering tool, and other tools that make short work of the install. Happy Camper here.....


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Patterson. Australia. on Sunday, November 06, 2016 - 01:37 am:

I've had a Model T Ranch distributor on my T for 12 or 13 years now.
It works perfectly with no trouble at all.
John Stolz is a real gentleman and easy to deal with. You'll get your best deal direct with him.
Cheers,
Rob

My apologies for the sideways image. Its upright in my computer library no matter how I try, I cant get it upright here.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Patterson. Australia. on Sunday, November 06, 2016 - 04:47 am:

Its been quite some time since mine was installed, and my mind is nearly constantly in a seniors moment these days, so I cant be certain, but I should add that you do need to modify the camshaft by filing a flat on it to accommodate the rotor button.
I may very well be wrong here, but I believe the distributor cap is from a Honda Accord.
Cheers,
Rob


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Mazza on Sunday, November 06, 2016 - 06:37 am:

Look on model t ranch website, he now sells all wear items so you can get parts to service it. I bought it due to being more of a direct installation, no gears to wear and even comes with ballast so you don't have to use cheaply made vw internally resisted coil like the Texas t parts unit. Even though you need to file a flat on the cam you can go back to stock no problem.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry Davis Houston TX on Sunday, November 06, 2016 - 08:56 am:

Rob, is there any problem or interference between the fan belt and the distributor cap/leads?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Donnie Brown North Central Arkansas on Sunday, November 06, 2016 - 09:14 am:

Macs also has all the wear parts, (cap, points, rotor, cam lobe, ect) They are listed in the catalog just below the listing for the distributor. Although it is cheaper to get them from Model T Ranch. Jerry, There is an idler that moves the fan belt over enough to clear everything. In my opinion (for what little it may be worth) and never actually using it yet. It really appears to me to be a nice, simple, type of distributor. The only thing I would like the instructions for, is to know where to file the flat on the end of the camshaft. Im going to contact Model T Ranch and see if they can send me the instructions.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Patterson. Australia. on Sunday, November 06, 2016 - 01:49 pm:

Jerry,
There would be interference problems, but as Donnie mentioned, the kit comes with a nicely made idler pulley to overcome that. Look closely and you can just see it in the second photo.
Cheers,
Rob


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Sunday, November 06, 2016 - 01:54 pm:

pic


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry Davis Houston TX on Sunday, November 06, 2016 - 02:18 pm:

Rob, thanks for the comeback. I guess the idler pulley would be to the left and behind the spark cables. I'm running a water pump. (Texas is HOT) Hopefully this would not present a problem other that a longer fan belt will be needed. J.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Matthiesen on Sunday, November 06, 2016 - 07:52 pm:

From the picture it looks like the engine pan has to be notched to clear the high tension coil lead for timing advance. This is a right hand drive car, is a notch needed on a left hand drive car?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry Davis Houston TX on Sunday, November 06, 2016 - 09:36 pm:

Kevin, just wondering, with the need of a idler pulley so the belt would clear the rotor cap, what kind of belt alignment problems could/would be introduced. J.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Schedler, Sacramento on Monday, November 07, 2016 - 01:53 am:

Rob, make a "L" brace, with a hole to fasten it in place of the current fan brace. Make the arms long enough to hold both the fan pulley and a back side idler pulley to push the fan belt away from the distributor. I think I can find a small back side idler pulley in my stuff someplace. If you are interested I'll look for one NC. You'll need the proper shoulder bolts. Maybe the original fan bolt can be made to work on top but you'll need a shoulder bolt for the bottom. In this picture I used 2 idler bearings bolted together as a back side idler. (Below the compressor.)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Bergmann Sydney - Australia on Monday, November 07, 2016 - 02:48 am:

This thread is really interesting and timely for me, as I met up with a man last Sunday at our annual inspection day here in New South Wales. He has one of these Model T Ranch style distributors on his car. I think his was made in South Australia in the early 80's. He thought the cap came from a VW. I thought it was from a Mini, but haven't seen any evidence that I'm correct. Do any of you have any idea about the vehicle the distributor cap was sourced from? Thank you Tom


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Bennett - Australia on Monday, November 07, 2016 - 04:38 am:

Tom, if the distributor came from South Australia, it was most likely made by Jim Buttars. He used a cap from a Morris Mini. His kits worked really well, but setting the points and timing the thing was much easier with the radiator off! When Jim passed, his son was left with a new batch of lobed pieces for his next batch of kits, but as far as I know they were never proceeded with.

Allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Bergmann Sydney - Australia on Monday, November 07, 2016 - 05:56 am:

Alan, Thank you. Morris Minor, not Mini Minor. Just the reply I was hoping for. Thank you very much. Tom


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry Davis Houston TX on Monday, November 07, 2016 - 08:48 am:

If there's any body out there who has installed a Model T Ranch distributor on a 24/7 engine and would care to detail all of the mod's necessary to complete the installation and would care to detail the work I would be most grateful for the info. Jerry.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Aaron Griffey, Hayward Ca. on Monday, November 07, 2016 - 11:53 am:

I put one on a '13 touring about 10 years go.
For some reason I had to make a spacer to hold the distributor cap about a 1/4 inch forward.
I cut a 1/4 inch off the end of a pipe to use as a spacer.
I don't remember why I had to do that but the whole set-up worked very well and it could be advanced and retarded easily as with original timer.
It is next to impossible to change or set the points with the radiator on the car though.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Monday, November 07, 2016 - 12:00 pm:

That Ranch distributor is VERY cool. I've never seen one before.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry Davis Houston TX on Monday, November 07, 2016 - 02:12 pm:

Aaron, thanks for the message. Did you have to notch the pan nose to make fan belt clearance? Did you have any belt tracking issues. I ask this as I understand it's necessary to use a idler pulley. Also do you see any reason that a water pump would cause any problems. (yep, I know the pump/no pump issue). Thanks, Jerry.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Patterson. Australia. on Monday, November 07, 2016 - 03:11 pm:

Jerry,
There are absolutely NO problems with fan belt clearance. NONE. The idler pully supplied with the kit see's to that.
At the same time I installed mine, I installed a water pump. I measured up the distance and bought a suitable length fan belt. The car ran in that configuration for many years and I was perfectly happy with the distributor.......Still am.
I cant say the same for the water pump though. Its now in the bottom of a land fill somewhere....hopefully.
As suggested before, I'd be asking these questions of John Stoltz. After all, its his product and you'll have no trouble approaching him.
Cheers,
Rob

(Message edited by rob patterson on November 07, 2016)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Patterson. Australia. on Monday, November 07, 2016 - 04:16 pm:

Jerry,
They say a photos worth a thousand words.....here's two.
The pan doesn't have to be notched for the coil lead. Mine was, just in case I needed the extra clearance later, but never did.(see first pic above)
Again, my apologies for the squew-iff pics.
Cheers,
Rob


(Message edited by rob patterson on November 07, 2016)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Aaron Griffey, Hayward Ca. on Monday, November 07, 2016 - 04:49 pm:

i did NOT have to notch the pan on that car.
Keep in mind a '13 has a very small crank pulley.
The car did not have a water pump.
We never had belt problems of any kind.
also keep in mind it was 10 or 15 years ago and I have done a lot of work on other cars since.
The owner of the '13 has passed on and the car is long gone so I can not check it out for you.
What I do remember about that car is how nice the Ruckstel kit from Chafen's worked out.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Monday, November 07, 2016 - 05:20 pm:

Don't forget to install the cotter pin in the end of the fan arm bolt! :-O


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ross Harris on Monday, November 07, 2016 - 06:02 pm:

I'm sure the cap and rotor are off a honda acord late 80 s I think


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Donnie Brown North Central Arkansas on Monday, November 07, 2016 - 07:42 pm:

The distributor I have is not on a car, so I took some photos of it. Maybe they will give a better idea of how it is made. I am not sure if I have the two clamps in the right position in the photo. But it shows how they clamp the aluminum housing in place. I also took close ups of the part numbers for the distributor cap and rotor. Aaron, as to needing a spacer. Im wondering if you ended up with one of the new cam gears that was made too thick in the center a few years ago. I have heard that they will cause problems with some brands of timers (New Day I think) It could be one of those timing gears that could cause the problem needing a spacer. ???? Just thinking out loud. Nothing to really back it up with.

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