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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Someone offered to sell me a Mallory UNILITE electronic distributor for 30 bucks, but it needs a new module(?). I know next to nothing about ignition systems, so maybe somebody can give me a hand. What is this module, where could I get one, and about how much would it cost? A new UNILITE dist. from Summit is about 160 dollars. As far as I can tell, I will have to get an external coil. Will any one of the $20-$40 coils that Summit sells work? The dist. has a 3-wire plug. Is this even a good ignition?
 

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The modules are notorious for frying. Someone might be able to add to this, but I think the big problem is the fact that Mallory went out of business? The modules are hard to come by, and not cheap. I think I saw a guy selling them at the last swap meet for 50 bucks a pop, he had about 10 of them. I don't think it's a bad distributor, but something is inheritantly wrong with the modules for them to fry all the time. I'd shy away from it if I were you, maybe that's why he's selling it for cheap? If I'm wrong about them going out of business, I'm sure someone will correct me....Just my .02 cents.......KZ

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John D. Smith
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I think Mallory was purchased by a company in hudson Mass, called adrenaline. The Dist's work great when they work, and when they dont, a mudule for about $70.00 will cure it.
I've heard that the modules are prone to failure due to bad grounds. The primary ground for a dist is on the hold down clamp, make sure there is not too much paint on any surface...
This is something I heard from a dude who used to work for a Powershop, the company that owned mallory before it was sold to adrenaline, I have no idea what adrenaline intends to do with mallory.
 

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Mallory is not out of business - they got acquired (along with a bunch of other performance companies) by Mr. Gasket - (see http://www.mrgasket.com/).

As I understand it the "problem" with the modules is that they are voltage sensitive and need a ballast resistor properly installed to ensure they get the right voltage. Mallory provides instructions to make sure you do this correctly - I believe you can also download them from their site.

A lot of guys hook them up first and read the instructions second - then get to buy a module after they fry it. I did this the first time myself but the replacement module in mine has worked fine for several years. I have it hooked up with a Mallory coil and MSD 6A box and a good 'ol ballast resistor.

The only gripe I have with it is that after reading all the encyclopedias here about ignition timing I think I would benefit from a vacuum advance which my distributor does not have.

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Scott
'69 400SB, Richmond 5-speed; '99 HD Road King Classic
www.geocities.com/sdenning1
 

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I used one in my Lola T-70 vintage car, it broke after about 4 hrs use.
The advance weights are pot metal and the advance spring attachment pins wiggled out and the weights hit the outer housing spining the distributor to retard position, and twisting the tach cable.

One problem I see with it is, what will you do to keep from being stranded if it fails? Will you carry around a spare module? and what will you do if it locks up?
If you don't rev that high I think the lock up problem won't surface.

It seems I saw in a catalog they sell a protection unit for the module now. It should have been included in the distributor.
David

I'd go with a more easily repaired unit.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks a lot, guys, i really appreciate the help. Any suggestions as to what kind of ignition system would be the best for me to use on my 355? How about a reman. GM HEI? Pertronix? MSD? Accel? I'm a high school student on a tight budget. Maybe someone can also explain the difference between mech. and vac. advance. I'm not really sure i understand it. Thanks again.
 

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How about going back to dual points? Adjust the gap every so often, your good to go! But seriously, anything electronic will break. About the cheapest is HEI and throw in a module into glove box along with tool(s) just in case it ever quits.

'68 Camaro/11.90/350-PG
 

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When my Unilite died on my race car I found a Corvette tach drive distributor that I converted to a mag pulse transistor type by adding the magnet, pickup coil and pole pieces. They were expensive but the unit is very reliable.
Instead of using a transistor amplifier, I use an MSD 6 with rev limiter.
I bring a spare along just in case it fails. No problems in almost 20 years of use.

For a tight budget I'd look for an HEI unit, or I really like Ignitionmans small body HEI conversion of a point distributor using an HEI module attached underneath the dist body. And a pickup added instead of points.
David

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Check my web page for First Gen Camaro suspension info:
David's Motorsports page
First Gen Suspension Page
67 RS 327
69 Camaro Vintage Racer
65 Lola T-70 Can Am Vintage Racer
 

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I'm on a budget like you (who isn't?) and I run a stock GM HEI with an ACCELL Super Coil. It's pretty basic, but it runs fine in my Nova. The motor is a .030 over 350 with 2.02/ 1.67 double hump heads, a .525 lift hyd. cam, a Victor Jr. and a 650 Holley. I have a 3000 stall converter and it pulls hard from 3000 to 6000 rpm. It doesn't cut out or break up at all. And its cheap!
Stay FAR away from Unilites- I've walked home a couple of times because of those pieces of s***!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks a bunch, guys. I happened to find a replacement Unilite module on the shelf at the local parts store on Sat. 140 bucks! I can get an new HEI from Summit for that> Guess thats what i'll do. Without your help, i probably would've blown 150+ dollars and gotten stranded somewhere.
 
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