ID'ing a distributor

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jondearmond
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Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:27 am
Location: Virginia Beach, VA

ID'ing a distributor

Post by jondearmond » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:55 am

I want to get a back up distributor cap, rotor, and points, but I don't know what brand I have or where the "ID tag" is. I popped the cap off and all I could read around the rim of the ignition plate was "Dyna-Lite". How do I figure out what I've got?

Dave Czirr
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Re: ID'ing a distributor

Post by Dave Czirr » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:12 am

Unless someone removed it, there should be a metal ID tag on the outside of the distributor body, it may be underneath where you can't easily see it. "Dyna-Lite" is an aftermarket breaker plate so your distributor is apparently now non-stock so it may (or may not) take different ignition points. However the cap and rotor shouldn't have been affected by changing the breaker plate so once you find the ID plate on the distributor body, it should be no problem to get new cap, rotor, etc. And don't forget to get a new condensor, they fail more frequently than any other part of the ignition system. Most any condensor will function OK, though there is some variation in capacitance they really don't care much whether they are for 4, 6, 8, or 12 cylinders, positive or negative ground, or 6 or 12 volts. If I don't have a condensor #, I just get a "universal" 6-volt condensor. It sounds like identifying the points may be the biggest problem.

If you remind me of your year and model I can advise what the correct original distributor was and chances are it's still in the car and the Dyna-Lite fitted into the original distributor. Does it have 1 or 2 sets of points? Factory equipment was for single points and the feature of most Dyna-Lites was to convert to dual points, giving a slight increase in performance.

jondearmond
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:27 am
Location: Virginia Beach, VA

Re: ID'ing a distributor

Post by jondearmond » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:05 pm

I have a 2392 Std 8 Sedan, 1950 with a 288 and an ultramatic if that matters. Single set of points, 12V system.

Dave Czirr
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Re: ID'ing a distributor

Post by Dave Czirr » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:21 pm

Sounds like your car has had another modification, it should be 6-volt, not 12. Your correct distributor should be a Delco-Remy #1110811. These numbers are for the original unaltered distributor.

Echlin (NAPA) #s, points CS 77, condensor RR134, cap RR100, rotor RR99.
Standard #s, points DR2236, condensor DR 60X, cap DR 196, rotor DR 142.

Some of these numbers may have been superceeded by now but a good counter man at a good autoparts store should be able to check that for you, these parts are in wide supply and if you come up empty you can always order from Kanter Auto Parts for Max Merritt. If in fact the car has been converted to 12-volt you'll also need a ballast resistor installed for the coil or the points won't last long.

JWL115C
Posts: 196
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:02 am

Re: ID'ing a distributor

Post by JWL115C » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:30 pm

Dave, good suggestion about the ballast resistor. Question: Will a coil with an internal resistor serve as well as one requiring an external resistor?

(o{}o)

jondearmond
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:27 am
Location: Virginia Beach, VA

Re: ID'ing a distributor

Post by jondearmond » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:18 pm

Where specifically in the circuit does this ballast resistor go and what does it do?

JWL115C
Posts: 196
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:02 am

Re: ID'ing a distributor

Post by JWL115C » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:54 pm

A ballast resistor is placed between the ignition switch and the coil. Its purpose is to reduce voltage to prevent overheating of the coil and burning of the distributor points by the full voltage being produced. On factory installed systems of this type the resistor is bypassed when the start function on the ignition switch is engaged, so as to provide full voltage to the coil for maximum spark when starting. Then, when the switch is moved to the ignition position after the engine starts, the ballast resistor is a part of the circuit. This type of system requires an external resistor type coil. You can probably get by without worrying about a bypass circuit for the resistor and just connect a resistor in-line.

My question to Dave was: Could a coil with an internal resistor serve as well? This would make for a simpler system.

Also make sure the coil is connected correctly. For a negative ground system the negative (-) terminal of the coil is connected to the distributor, if a positive grounded system then the positive (+) terminal to the distributor. If your Packard was converted to 12-volts, then it is most likely a negative ground system.

(o{}o)

JWL115C
Posts: 196
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:02 am

Re: ID'ing a distributor

Post by JWL115C » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:57 pm

Also, these ballast resistors get hot so place it where it will not overheat or burn something. Most are located on the engine compartment side of the firewall.

(o{}o)

jondearmond
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:27 am
Location: Virginia Beach, VA

Re: ID'ing a distributor

Post by jondearmond » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:58 pm

In case anyone else runs into an aftermarket dyna lite plate, my plate was different from the packard part number which NAPA has. The points were p/n CS777A.

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