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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well after waiting for months

Well after waiting for months for the Elgin cams that never came, went ahead and installed the Mallory adjustable advance curve Unilite distributor using the adapter worked up by Norwood's (those guys rock). Placed an MSD 6AL system with 8000 rpm rev limiter in the trunk. Used new Taylor wires.

The reasons were 1. Reliability (the Marelli has gone single bank several times) 2. Ease of DIY maintenence (MUCH simpler to maintain and parts plentiful and inexpensive) 3. Ability to tune the advance curve (the Marelli is not user adjustable - max advance at WOT is 32 degrees).

Some lessons learned -
1. need to reverse the advance rotation for this particular distributor - Mallory, Inc did it for $25. The whole distributor, cap and rotor cost $250 (less than one OEM cap)
2. An MSD coil is not compatable with a Unilite trigger, but is compatable after MSD trigger box installed.
3. The original Marelli Microplex ECU will run the tach with the coils disconnected - how cool is that? No futzy tach adapter needed! Hooray!

Before I got there, Gary at Grand Touring (brilliant mechanic) took it out for a quick spin and said Jeez - this thing is too fast. Upon re-checking the advance, he found that it had inadvertantly slipped to almost 40 degrees by 3500 rpm. Yee-haa. He did not feel any problems, but discretion ruled the day and the advance is now set at an idle of 12 and max advance of 34 - 35 at 3500 rpm. He re-drove it and while it did not feel as fast as before, it was still quicker subjectively than when he had driven it with the stock Marelli Microplex. Then I got in to drive.

Wow! A different personality all together. It really wants to rev and rev!! Feels like it revs much much quicker and freely than before. Of course, will dyno next week to tweak and quantify what is really happening.. Maybe I should sneak it up to 36 degrees advance - I'm only running a 9.2 CR. There is a bit more advance brought in earlier, so perhaps that is what the difference is along with more total advance. Also, I have NOT opened up the plug gaps yet as recommended.

The pictures below show the raw installation - hasn't been prettied up yet as this was the development part. It's a bit messy right now, so work with me a bit... promise it will look better. The adaptor is the same red powder coat crinkle as the cam covers, the shade difference is that it is fresh - should mellow to match after some use. Have also included a wiring schematic. Will dress it up next week and take some better photos.

Lots of fun!!! And NO MORE SINGLE BANK IGNITION!!

best to all
rt


 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Amazing, looking forward to th

Amazing, looking forward to the dyno results and further pictures!!!

Russ, no apologies needed! This is way cool!
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
WOW...AWESOME...you've don

WOW...AWESOME...you've done an absolutely amazing amount of development and the results look great!! CONGRATS !!!

 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Russ,
Still waiting on the fi


Russ,
Still waiting on the first publication of your collective modification process. It should make good reading. I really have great admiration for clean and professional looking improvements on a factory design that end up LOOKING like a factory design.

I would LOVE to do to my old 308 what you have done to your Mondial. What a blast!

Are you still going to shoot for a cam change?

I like the distributor conversion. It looks like a factory installation. I am thinking I may not be able to install on the aft bank because of proximity to the oil cooler on my GTS.

The Taylor wires look good too!.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Spasso -
Many thanks.
Am ke


Spasso -
Many thanks.
Am keeping the unofficial documentation record in Ferrari-talk's upgrade section. I usually post more pictures there and add details as well. Am looking at doing an article for Forza comparing my car, Mark Eberhardt's blown 308, and Philip Airey's P-6 cammed 308 as 3 different approaches, all Ferrari.

It's funny you should mention looking like stock - I actually go out of my way to design the final mod to be as OEM or Ferrari looking as possible (e.g. note stock air box on carbs, flat cap distributor off the cam, etc...). Ferrari engine compartments, especially the classics, have a look and feel to them - classic simple elegance. That's what I always try to achieve with either added reliability, performance or both - and use all OEM stuff whenever possible.
It's a lot of fun and a Ferrari engine compartment shoud be every bit as elegant as the body.
best
rt
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would love to know the cost

I would love to know the cost for the complete project. Mine is a '79 308GTB.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Greg - Rough breakdown - your

Greg - Rough breakdown - your mileage may vary:

Mallory Unilite distributor for Flathead Ford V-8 - $240
Adapter and drive dog custom made kit by Norwood Performance - $500
Mod to change rotation direction - $25
MSD blaster 2 coil - $39
Wires - $40/whatever
Cover for other side from Kermit (www.Durable1.com - $25 I think)

For your car, you will need to have your tach modified for a V-8 signal (it's a 4cyl tach off of one bank stock) at Palo Alto Speedometer - OR - you can use a Millermon signal converter that I thought I might need but I didn't. Don't know if it works, but will sell it if anyone decides to try it.
I know both James at Norwood's (www.norwoodperformance.com) offers single distributor conversions from the stock Marelli for your car, so might also give them a call. Mine was the first Mallory they have done. Kermit is developing a similar kit to mine as well using an MSD distributor.

Hope this helps.
Here are a couple of other photos.
best
Russ



 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Russ
How much for the tach si


Russ
How much for the tach signal converter? Or could I try it first to see if it works? I have been waiting for him to make another batch, but none yet.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, if you've got one of

Well, if you've got one of his distributors and need the adaptor, you can have it what what it cost me. I actually heard he moved and may have gotten out of the business, but don't know. Although well intentioned, I think his product got more popular than he was able to support part time with customer service. Shoot me a crisp new $50 and it's in the mail with directions. Drop me an board generated email (from profile page).
All the usual disclaimers and no return since it's electrical since I got it from him and never used it.

Actually, here are the directions he sent me:
Black wire - Ground
Red - positive ignition switch
White - tach input
Green - output to tach.
Wiring wrong will blow the adapter

best
rt
 
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