I am interested in upgrading the ignition system in my 1977 Ford F150 (300ci 6cyl). Are there any manufactures making/selling upgraded ignitions for the 4.9L? What if any suggestions would you lend me? What has been your experience with upgrading the ignition on an older 4.9L? Does an upgraded ignition really help?
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1977 Ford 4.0L
<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comffice:smarttags" /><st1lace>Cam</st1lace>: RV1 truck cam
Timing: Steel gear drive set
Fuel: Offenhouser intake with 500cfm Edelbrock Carb
Ignition: Stock electronic Dura Spark
duraspark II distributor (OE reman ford), GM 4 pin module, TFI coil (ford efi, just as a reference, any 92-96 ford efi truck coil would work). Looks like frankensteins monster but it works and works very well. Try a google search, the how to on this is available.
As far as, new distributors themselves, other than the DUI, you have mallory and I wanna say unilite but they are expensive.
Honestly, Ive done the elcheapo DSII, GM 4 pin, TFI and it performed noticably better than all new duraspark II components, without a doubt. Wasnt measured on a machine but was based on cold starts. Went from very reluctant to start/idle cold, to hit the key it fired, period, every time. I tried two DS ignition modules and two coils, and a reman dizzy, no change, add the GM module/tfi coil...worked like a charm.
You wont go wrong with msd/mallory ignition box and DSII either, although youd want to spend some dough on expensive wires, which you wouldnt need on the elcheapo approach, but Im not so sure from a bang for buck value its (msd/mallory) that much better than the elcheapo approach (DSII gm 4 pin TFI coil), unless you want a rev limiter.
And yes, a better ignition system can result in better mpg and performance.
What Motorhead351 said. Spiro type wires and Efi spark plugs with the gap opened to 50-55 help too. Want some bragging rights with the deal? Spend the bucks on a MSD 6a or Mallory HyFire6a wired in conjunction with the DSII box, a MSD2 Blaster coil or an ACCEL SuperStock Coil, etc., and Taylor Spiro Pro wires and you will get about the same performance as the GM/HEI box and TFI coil.