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For those interested, here is a size comparison of the MSD8350 ready to run distributor (left) and the 8577. Both use the small cap, which is 3 7/8" in diameter. The stock Ford dual point cap is 3 15/16" in diameter. The height, measured from the engine block to the top of the plug wire boot is 9 3/8" for the 8350 and 8 5/8" for the 8577 and 6 7/8" for the stock Ford. So the 8350 is only 3/4" taller than the 8577.

I'm planning to run the 8577 and I hope it will fit under my 72 Pre L engine screen. I've read posts that say it will fit and others that say it won't fit. It will be a while until I install my engine as I'm in the process of preparing the engine bay. One thing's for sure, if the 8577 is a tight fit, the extra 3/4" height of the 8350 would probably not work. I'll post my findings when the engine is installed.



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  • Distributors
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A corner of the distributor sits below the cross-brace over the firewall opening, the leading edge of the engine screen rests on the brace I am referring to.

The 8350 "just" fits below that brace. I can't remember for sure, but the top of one of the spark plug wire "boots" may rub the brace. If it doesn't rub, it comes very close to rubbing. You gotta take the cap off to install the distributor in the hole. Once its in, its in. It works fine. I've seen more than one installed in L models. I can't remember if I've seen one mounted in a Pre-L. I don't think there's a difference.

The 8477/8577 distributors fit like a charm. Like you wrote, there's 3/4" clearance.

For anyone worried about the height of the 8350, I just recently learned the Accel #59205 Performance Replacement Distributor is a drop-in ignition like the MSD #8350 (I used to think it was just a distributor, didn't realize it contained an ignition module). The Accel is shorter than the MSD, but the cap is larger in diameter.

Both use magnetic triggers, both have user adjustable advance mechanisms, both are good choices.

I'm considering this upgrade in the very year future. Is there any advantage to one over the other?

I know the "ready to run" 8350 doesn't require an additional box whereas the 8577 does, and in theory this provides the ability to re-wire and run if the box goes down. Are there any other considerations in choosing between the two?
The "ready to run" distributor doesn't have any features like a rev-limiter, ignition retard during starting or dynamic dwell. But it will make a big difference in how your motor starts & runs. The multi-spark distributors will not work with the oem tach unless you use their tach adapter module, which costs extra.

I say use the "ready to run" type distributor because its quick, easy and inexpensive. If you want a more involved installation step up to a distributorless ignition.

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