Flamethrower Dist and Roller Cam?

Discussion in 'Technical' started by Jsarnold, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. Jsarnold

    Jsarnold Senior Member

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    The Pertronix catalog lists the FlameThrower distributor for sbf, EXCEPT 5.0. No listing for a 5.0.

    When I asked about a steel gear for a roller cam, I got this response.



    I guess I believe them. :hmmm: Anyone using one of those distributors with a roller tappet cam?

    Last edited: Oct 15, 2010
  2. maverick75

    maverick75 Gotta Love Mavs!

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    as long as its a steel/bronze/composite i dont see any problems with running it in a roller motor. But of course cast iron is a no no.
  3. PaulS

    PaulS Member extrordiare

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    Actually a cast iron gear would be fine - BUT the sintered iron gears will shread against the steel cam. (sintered iron is powdered iron formed under pressure)
  4. maverick75

    maverick75 Gotta Love Mavs!

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    I also thought they were cast.... It even states it in the description when you buy a distributor. So there sintered iron?
  5. PaulS

    PaulS Member extrordiare

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    Yep! they are sintered iron - just crack one and you can tell.
  6. maverick75

    maverick75 Gotta Love Mavs!

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    Thank you for the info Paul.
  7. Jsarnold

    Jsarnold Senior Member

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    So Many Options ...

    OK, so I was settled on a Duraspark/HEI hybrid as my second ignition for the Maverick. (I want an extra ignition in the trunk for road trips.) Lining up the parts, I find a rebuilt '85 GT 5-speed Duraspark for $50. HEI module is $22. Then, with more reading, I learn I should also get a better coil to get the advantage of the hotter ignition.

    So, why not just buy a second HEI distributor and have the same wiring for the primary and backup ignitions. How about this one for $40? http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330492518453&fromMakeTrack=true

    Sure would make it simpler to swap out in case of a failure and I'm not bothered by the size of the HEI.

    I asked the seller which gear it has. If its bronze or steel, I think I'll go for it.
  8. Bryant

    Bryant forgot more than learned

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    those distrbtors use gm hei moduels. you shouldnt need to carry a complete distributor, just the moduel. unless your worried about the gear wearing out. it shouldnt if its the right one for the cam.
  9. Jsarnold

    Jsarnold Senior Member

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    Not worried about the gear but I like the idea of swapping out the entire ignition (module, coil, cap, rotor, ...) if I have a problem on the road. Then I can find the problem and fix it when I get home. I do appreciate your comments. :Handshake
  10. mojo

    mojo "Everett"- Senior Citizen Supporting Member

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    HEI Dizzy Upgrade

    I chked out that HEI setup. I like what I see. At that price u can afford 2 new units. I have the DuraSpark on my car but considering the change over. I wud like the setup where I get 12v to coil setup and eliminate the box under the hood. If you go this route I wud like to know what u think of this upgrade.
    I have seen others here using similiar if not the same setup and kind of confused abt the dizzy gear issues. Im not clear on what gear I wud need in order not to do any damage internally. I suppose all the DuraSpark dizzy's have the same gear material. Maybe some of the folks here can provide me some feedback on this question?
  11. Jsarnold

    Jsarnold Senior Member

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    Mojo,

    I already have an HEI distributor on mine. But, I want to have a backup ignition for road trips. That's why I've been looking at all the options.

    I like the HEI just fine. Do a search and you'll find the full range of opinions on the HEI. Some don't like it because its GM. Some think its BIG and UGLY. Some don't like the design with the hot module under the coil. Some like the single wire (or 2-wire with tach) hookup and elimination of separate coil. Didn't see any very negative comments for anyone that has one.

    The size is an issue if you have a 14" air cleaner. I picked up a 14" air cleaner that's offset 1" and then it clears. Not sure if I have an issue with the heater hose nipple on top of the intake. Right now I have that nipple in the thermostat housing but I'm not getting good flow thru the heater core.. Gonna try putting the nipple in the manifold. It will be tight but I THINK it will clear. Not sure if it would be a problem for a Monte Carlo bar. Seller of the new one on MMB says it will fit but I'd want to verify that before I bought.

    The issue with the gear is pretty simple. Flat tappet cams are cast and require a cast gear. Roller tappet cams are steel and require a steel gear. Think a bronze gear is an option for the roller cam, not sure if its OK for cast cam. Flamethrower distributor supposedly has a gear that is OK for either cast or steel cam according to an email I got. NOT true according to their catalog.

    Not all Duraspark distributors have the same gear. Some are cast and some are steel, depending on the cam.

    I'm probably gonna get the $40 ebay distributor IF it has a steel gear. It looks like a steel gear in the picture. Still waiting to hear from the seller. That way I'll have a complete backup ignition and no changes to wiring to swap it. Will post here when I hear from them.

    I got the 12V power by running another wire from the ignition switch to the distributor bypassing the resistor wire. As of now, I have both the old resistor wire and the new 12V wire accessible there. Other good option to get 12V would be a relay switched by the resistor wire. I just don't like having a lot of relays with all their wiring. The HEI module uses a lot of power so don't skimp on the gauge of that wire.
  12. mojo

    mojo "Everett"- Senior Citizen Supporting Member

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    Thanks for shedding some light on this distributor subject. I don't know what my engine has in the way of internals. It has ran real gud since I got it and I have not even removed a valve cover. I did'nt see a need to. I have did wires, plugs, dizzy cap & rotor along w/ changing out some gaskets in the Holley 600. The carb looks new and can't figure out why I had to do it, but, it cleand-up the rough idle. I wud have to remove a cover to tell what type cam it has.
    I did read the instruction on using at least 10ga. wire. I will do some searching B4 I move one way or other.
  13. Jsarnold

    Jsarnold Senior Member

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    Just got a response to my question about the gear today. Its a hardened steel gear so it should be fine for the roller tappet cam. I wonder what it'll do to the flat tappet cam since that dist is supposed to work on them too. But then, the FlameThrower dist is supposed to work on both roller and flat tappet too so its confusing.

    Assuming it works, I'll be happy to have a complete backup ignition for $50 incl shipping. Seller has an excellent rating.
  14. maverick75

    maverick75 Gotta Love Mavs!

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    Too add more to the confusing Duraspark is HEI also :) Im one of the people who dont like the GM version because of the size. But its a great setup as I have it on my 454.

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