Skip to main content

Who still uses points and condensers? I have never been an electronic ignition guy and especially now since item like Pertronix are all made in China. I have NOS points but not a NOS condenser. 2nd Q does anyone know what NOS condensers I need to buy? I believe it was #12300 but all i see are #12300-A? what Micro Farad's were they?

Last edited by Rufcar
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Just use Echlin points and condenser. They are original suppliers to Ford.

Considering the location of the distributor in the Pantera, why use a Petronix that does not have a stellar reputation for dependability?

If the solution is to carry an extra Petronix in the glove box, that's fine but if the installed one fails, you are going to have to install the spare. How are you on installing them on the road?

Traditionally, you should get around 30,000 miles on points before they need maintenance. Are you going to put that mileage on the car?

I've already been in the distributor twice in my GT350 for the Petronix that I was using. I am no longer running it. It runs MUCH better with the dual point distributor.

What you probably want to run is a Motorcraft Duraspark distributor and system in the Pantera. There is no dependability issue there that I am aware of. You likely will never have to look at the ignition system again if you do.

If you follow this website, we have said that over and over and over again. That is not an alternate reality.

Last edited by panteradoug

I have searched this site and have 100 different opinions. I spoke to 2 guys who made a career working only on Panteras and they both recommend Pertroix.  I use points in all the willys I have restored (24). These point are new, installed by a proper mechanic by the previous owner and from day one that i acquired the car it starts to break up over 3 to 4K RPMs. I looked into the Dura spark 1,2 and 3. I hear from many that they are all having module problems. If it was not such a bear to get in there and remove the distributor i think id keep the points. I even have a NOS set but not a NOS condenser. New points have no silver in them and they tend to fail rather quickly. No one on the planet makes a condenser that's any good either. I restored many RR and Bentley cars and we have the same problem.

Right now the car runs fine starts fine and idles fine but again once at 4k i hear it slightly breaking up. If I hate the pertronix I can change it back. What I need to know is what is the exact distributor I need to find and what is the Micro Farads rating for the factory condenser so I can look for NOS. Id like to rig up an entire distributor on a bench as a back up.  Which Dura spark unit do you recommend? Thanks Jim

Last edited by Rufcar

There are other reasons for an engine to be misfiring over 3 or 4 thousand besides the firing system.

For instance, you could have a bad cap, bad wire, or something fouling the plugs.

You could have a vacuum leak in the induction...and on and on.

Everyone's experiences vary. I have NEVER heard of even one Duraspark MODULE failing. A "coil in a can", that's another subject.

I have had three MSD's fail.

I have had two Petronix 1's fail.

I have had one Petronix coil fail, BY LEAVING THE IGNITION ON with engine off.

Thier coils are a compromise design and under test do not deliver what Petronix claims that they do. You can overheat them.

You can always ask people for their opinions. Some think the flying monkeys took them. Some went for rides with "aliens" through the "Milkyway". Some think there is bamboo in the paper ballots in Arizona.

It helps if the opinions that you ask for are from people who know something about the subject and when an acorn falls, don't think the sky is falling.

These things just seem so obvious to me, that it largely goes unspoken...usually?

Personally I have found in doing this for over 40 years that the original Ford components are by far the most dependable. I won't tell you how old I am but it IS MORE than 30.

Aftermarket companies have rarely come up to that level of predictability and dependability.

I don't have the original CJ Pantera distributor part # but the '71 Boss 351 was stamped D1ZF-12127-DA and serviced as part number D1ZZ-121127D.

With the possible exception of the earliest '71 Panteras. the CJ's came with dual point/dual advance distributors and I would presume would have a D2ZF-12127-DA stamping.

The 351c CJ (Cobra Jet) appears in the '72 Model year. It is what is installed in the '72 and up Panteras and other Q code Fords. The distributor used is dual point and is functionally the same as the Boss 351 but with it's own unique ID number.

It uses a dual advance/retard vacuum advance with a 12 degree maximum vacuum advance. 20 degrees mechanical within the distributor. 12 to 16 degrees initial, depending on where you want it to idle and where the octane limit allows ping.

Originally they came with one medium and one heavy tension spring for the counter weights. That brought full mechanical advance in around 5,000 rpm. You can replace the heavy spring with another "medium" to bring total advance in around 3,000 rpm.

Beware using two light springs such as in the Moroso kit. The springs rapidly stretch and become dysfunctional.

ALL the Ford dual point distributors use the same points and CONDENSER as the earlier 289hp, 427hp, Boss 302, and 429cj Fords using the dual point distributors.

IF you are an "Archeologist" and must dig through the parts book, the '64-5 427 Transistorized ignition will show a different part number but it is really the same except for the additional lube wick.

The Pantera, Q code, dual point/dual advance design is different then the strictly mechanical advance distributors used in the 289hp and 427 Fords. It uses the same casting as the single point distributors but makes provisions for connecting the vacuum advance arm under the advance plate by using a different ball bearing advancing point plate and a different extended points cam to align with the higher mounted points.

Parts do not interchange with other distributors.

The dual points do have more initial tension so they do need more attention in my experience generally in the 15,000 to 20,000 mile range. Initially they are set at .021" clearance but some set them with a dwell meter. The dual points will give you the same dwell as the electronic Petronix will. Additional dwell with the original Ford yellow top coil is the reason for using dual points.

It helps if you use felt oiling pads and point lube. The felts were only supplied by Ford for the 427 Transistorized ignition distributors to reduce the frequency of adjustment periods.

I only see them serviced by Accel these days. They are way obsolete at Ford.

By far the simplest solution to a maintenance free system with the highest amount of star ratings and few if any bad marks are the Ford Duraspark systems.

Going with any other ignition system may (and likely) cause incompatibility issues with the Veglia tach.

Generic Duraspark systems seem to be just as good as the original Ford.

For additional ignition benefits, use the Ford Duraspark distributor with the Pantera-electronics ignition module.

IF you decide to go with the "Duraspark system" it will come with the large cap and an adapter for it. There is a small cap that fits it but is not a Ford application. It is for a 70 International Harvester with a 350 engine. It uses the same Ford rotor though as a single point Ford distributor does.

The Pantera ignition is a Ford design. It uses the Ford yellow top coil (9v) with a pink resistance wire. The tach is designed to work with that.

My Pantera is using the Duraspark II distributor with a small cap to clear the Weber carb system and male wire terminals. No problems with it in almost 35 years.

I'm not lecturing here at all. Certainly there are others here that will just plain disagree with me.

I Just share to help other "Pantera beginners" reduce the grief. The car is just a little unorthodox to most versed on US built cars and they sometimes make irrational assumptions on how to service it.

"Living in America is really neat. You don't have to run through the woods and scrape up your feet" - Randy Newman.

Last edited by panteradoug

I appreciate your answers as you are the 1st to show me what is needed. I am 72 and been working on cars a long time. I have owned over 100 none were fords so I know little about them except all are similar. Yes I am aware it could be something else thats why I have changed anything yet. Im just getting all the info 1st. Thank you.

I actually own it over 2 years and drove it over 1000 mi. Other than the carb its 100% original with 31k mi. I have had zero issues other than the 4K rpm breaking up since I acquired it out of AZ. These are simple compared to the RR/B cars I work on, They have over 95,000 parts!  My local guy is going to have a look see next week and If needed I have the NOS set of points.

I have had Duraspark modules (and coils) fail on me, but that was because I was a bonehead, and left my ignition on (without the engine running) for an extended period.

I have never had a problem with my Duraspark system other than that.

OBTW: Don’t run a ballast resistor on your Ford TFI coil, you will get misfires at high RPM.


Last edited by rocky

Depending on how involved you want to get with the ignition, you might want to consider going with Jon Haas' Pantera-Electronics Ignition module.

It has several unique features not available elsewhere as well as the added attributes of ultimate ignition prophecy and Pantera exclusivity.

It enables you to do away with the coil in a can and use one of the Dr.Frankestein voltage throwing coils as well as retarding the ignition advance at start to make it easier to start.

You also can't cook the coil like Rocky did (I have also) with it so if you have a senior moment and leave the ignition on with the engine off, you can't hurt anything except your pride.

You can find more information on it at

Last edited by panteradoug

UPDATE: After going in there we found it is NOT a dual point set up after all and NO there is NO vacuum connected to anything. The vac advance has not worked in a long time so its appears. It also has the original Ford 4 barrel. New points set to 16 and dwell to 30 new condenser.  All back together, starts instantly, runs perfect. I can wind out 4 to 5K no problems ton's of power no misfires, great kick down and take off. Perfect!  After all the what to go and what not to do the answer ended up pretty simple. Not sure how long it will all last but time will tell. Thanks to all for your suggestions. Jim

Did you get the stamped part number off of the distributor housing?

Many distributors have been changed out. Probably because of the hassle of dual points and single work just as well?

There is some question in my mind as to which distributor it came with originally and I think it all depends on the build date of the engine installed?

When I got my car the distributor had just been changed out. The original distributor was no longer with the car. It was a single point at that point and the housing was stamped D2ZT. The T with Ford would normally indicate that it was built for a truck. That is highly unlikely to have been the distributor the engine was built with.

Last edited by panteradoug

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.