Thanks to George P and all of the others that provided insight and technical knowledge on upgrading to a Duraspark ignition system. I purchased a NOS Duraspark I ignition module and coil, along with a rebuilt/upgraded distributor from DUI. What sounded like an easy upgrade took a lot longer than expected because we struggled with getting the distributor gear to fully engage with the camshaft. After a gear swap to the original distributor gear and setting the engine to TDC she finally dropped right in! She struggled to start initially until we advanced the distributor a bit then BOOM, she sprung to life! We set the timing to 14 BTDC and the distributor is 24 degrees all in at 3k rpm. Can't wait to road test her this weekend. She now fires up on the FIRST key turn, idles smoothly, and the exhaust odor is much less. Can't wait to road test her this weekend! Video taken this morning
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Was curious if any of you experts know how much the Duraspark I electronically retards the timing when the white white is energized during start? Thanks
Road tested her this weekend and put about 80 miles on her. Runs amazingly well, never better! Slight ping at WOT in 5th gear going up a freeway hill, should retard timing a tad. Last 8 miles or so was slowing moving LA stop and go traffic. Take a look at the pic with #6 spark plug on left with Duraspark I compared to the #6 on the right? Not sure why #6 with my dual points system was the only carbon fouled one whereas the others looked perfect? Maybe the plug wire wasn't a good connection?
Another upgrade to Duraspark ignitions is to substitute the Ford TFI solid-state coil (the one that looks like a transformer from the next generation of stock ignitions) to replace the can-of-oil coil. This eliminates the common problem of coil overheating and rupturing if 12V+ is left on too long. There are a number of aftermarket coils that work the same but are more expensive than the Ford assembly. Note these coils won't make the engine faster or improve the spark, it just increases reliability.
Regarding the carbon buildup on plug #6, maybe do a compression test and/or leak down test on the engine. If cylinder number #6 is different than the other cylinders then it would point to an issue other than ignition.