'57 Pertronix

I heard nothing but good things about that set up. Sometimes though, you have to put in a higher coil. Good luck on your upgrade. I'm doing the samething in spring with my 64 T-Bird. A better, consistent fire.
Great, thank you. I'll be anxious to hear how your '64 turns out.
I assume that they are all 12 volt. Is it the output voltage that varies? If I buy the Pertronix brand coil, is that in of itself, an upgrade?

I put one in my 56 bird 3 years ago and it's been great. Missed a plastic spacer/washer on the first try, but the Pertronix help-line folks walked me through and we figured out the problem easily.
Thanks. I installed mine and was prepared to have to reset the timing but it was perfect.
I've had a Pertronix in my 64 for a long long time, no problems with it whatsoever. One of those few things you'll never have to mess with again.

One minor point: on the 57, there is a cable that runs from the distributor to the radio, for the Volumatic feature. Is this eliminated or can it remain intact? If anyone has comments, I would like to know. When I do radio conversions, it is now possible to retain the Volumatic function, but I've been telling customers that it only works with the original distributor arrangement.
I have an older pertronix, very simple conversion. I have went though a few coils finally ended up with a basic Napa brand with the correct resistance without having to keep the resistor or resistance wire. Very important to verify your resistance is correct, pertronix tech support is very good.
Hi all. Wanted to mention there is now a Pertronix III. It emits 3 pulses for every power stroke, so with this module, you don't need a spark box.
Please educate me, what is a spark box? I installed what they (Pertronix) suggested, a Pertronix 1281 and their FlameThrower coil. Would I benefit from upgrading to the III?

Hi there Dick. A standard ignition delivers a single spark to each cylinder when the cylinder is at or near TDC on it's power stroke. A spark box connects between the distributor and coil and causes the coil to fire three times instead of once. If you add in a higher energy coil, like the Pertronix flamethrower coil, then you're getting three hotter sparks, hence better ignition/more complete combustion of gas. In a 390, with pistons the size of soup cans, that can make a big difference. I put a standard Pertronix and flamethrower coil plus spark box on a Galaxie 500 I have and the difference in power was quite noticeable, in fact I had to crank down the idle screw to reduce the idle to where it is supposed to be, that's how much better the gas was being combusted. The engine runs and idles smoother as well.

An MSD spark box will provide the multiple sparks up to 3000 rpm (or so) then a single spark at higher rpms. Spark boxes typically have rev limiters too for the drag racers among us to keep from blowing their engines with over revving. My understanding is the Pertronix III provides the multiple sparks regardless of the revs (which is a good thing) and also has a rev limiter. So, no spark box needed. By the way, no danger of burning holes in the tops of pistons, that's an urban legend.
Here's a pic of the spark box on the Galaxie. They come with long leads and can be mounted on the firewall or inside the passenger compartment if desired.


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