Pertronix Electronic Ignition for Ford Thunderbird 1955-1974

biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
There are 2 kits available for the Ford Thunderbirds . One will be for the stock distributor that will fit the 1955-1956 Y-blocks. Some people replaced the stock distributor with the newer distributor because it was a better distributor.

The other kit is for the 1957-1974 Ford 8 cylinder distributors.

The way you can tell the difference is the 55-56 stock distributor has a round rod coming into the distributor from the vacuum advance unit, it takes Pertronix Electronic Ignition Kit #1282. Purchase on Amazon here or Ebay here.

If the system is a 1955 6-volt it takes Pertronix Electronic Ignition Kit #1282P6. Purchase on Ebay here.

The 57-74 distributor has a flat rod coming in from the vacuum unit, it takes Pertronix Electronic Ignition Kit #1281. Purchase on Amazon here or Ebay here

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57tbird57

Active Member
Joined
May 3, 2019
Thunderbird Year
1957
There are three different Pertronix conversations. Igniter, igniter 11, and igniter 111. Which one is best for the 57 312 TBird??
I have been using the ignitor in several cars including 3,57s and they work great. This last 1 i also installed the flame thrower coil as well. Can burn rubber in 1st gear and chirp tires in second, and this is an automatic.
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2019
Thunderbird Year
1956
Am getting ready to install the Pertronix 1281 on my 56. Car runs fine now, just rich (likely needs some carb work), but wanted a hotter ignition.
It sounds like the existing resister should be totally bypaased? What have others done? Appreciate the advice in advance!
 

cokefirst

Active Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Thunderbird Year
1955
Don't use the resistor. You need full 12v for optimal operation.
If you want to retain the original look of the car, and you have the original style metal clad ignition resistor, remove the back of it, and solder a wire on the back side between the two terminals and then replace the back. You will have the look of the resistor but it will be bypassed.
 

CSPIDY

Active Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2016
Thunderbird Year
1957
Read the instructions that come with the Pentronics unit, mine had me check the value of the resistor before installation.
 
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