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Performance Distributors
Custom Curved Ford DURASPARK Distributors

If you are looking to replace your tired DURASPARK, Performance Distributors offers custom calibrated units with improved components. By providing them with specific information about your application, Steve Davis and his team will dial-in a DURASPARK unit with a custom mechanical advance curve using these basic parameters:

cam specifications
compression ratio
vehicle weight
towing specifications
nitrous specifications
blower specifications

This is exactly what we did in this article. By reviewing the pictures below you can see that even our Mallory HyFire 6EZL CDI box could not overcome some of the intermittent behavior caused by our current worn-out DURASPARK distributor. We've also pointed out some of the advantages of going with a Performance Distributors DURASPARK rather than a chain store replacement distributor.

While the addition of the Mallory CDI box showed vast improvement, at times our ignition was "buggy". Starting with the oldest parts in the current system, we pulled the distributor.
For lack of a better word, it was awfully "cruddy" underneath the cap. This must have been the original distributor.

Most likely the cause of the intermittent behavior we were experiencing, one of the spade terminals was very loose and the connector was cracked.
For curiosity sake, we tested the lateral shaft movement of a chain store replacement DURASPARK distributor that was laying around the garage. The distributor we just pulled from our F250 certainly had bearing wear. The chain store replacement (shown here) simply had mediocre tolerances. Both were very loose.

The Performance Distributors unit had no lateral shaft movement and spun freely. This is due to the Full Length Oil Impregnated Bronze Bushing used during assembly. You won't find this in a stock replacement DURASPARK unit.
The lubricated feature of the Full Length Oil Impregnated Bronze Bushing allows for a tighter bearing-to-housing tolerance. The bottom of the bushing is shown here by the red arrow. It runs the entire length of the housing to just below the advance plate. See photo.

Performance Distributors also uses a heavy duty cap and rotor for improved conductivity. Here's a look inside.
Each Performance Distributors DURASPARK unit goes out the door custom calibrated for a specific application, a great feature for those not wanting to mess with their centrifugal advance curve. The numbers shown here were dialed in specifically for Project RedNeck, a stock 351M with factory cam. Keep in mind the 24 degrees shown here does not include the base timing or vacuum advance.

Of course I took note of the rotor position when I removed the original DURASPARK. Here's the Performance Distributors unit being installed.
All wrapped up and ready for dialing in initial timing (12-14 degrees). The combination of the Mallory CDI box along with the custom calibrated DURASPARK had Project RedNeck idling smoother than a 2007 F250 with King Ranch package.



Performance Distributors Dyna-Module and Inferno Coil for DURASPARK (IDI)
As discussed in the section on CDI vs. IDI ignitions, there are some advantages to an IDI. The most significant advantage being that inductive systems can create a long duration spark (dwell). While not necessary when using the Performance Distributors DURASPARK distributor shown in the previous section, Performance Distributors offers a high output IDI for all DURASPARK distributors. The Dyna-Module and Inferno Coil is shown here. If you are running a DURASPARK ignition module and coil, the Dyna-Module and Inferno Coil are are an upgrade to those components.

Performance Distributors prefers to use an IDI over a CDI because they see them as more reliable. Why? Because they match the dwell time in the Dyna-Module with the Inferno Coil's ability to saturate. As Performance Distributors matches the components, they can make sure the components run at a low temperature while providing excellent performance at the same time. Perhaps the biggest advantage of the Dyna-Module and Inferno Coil is that they permit you to open up your spark plug gaps to .055", allowing for a more complete burn. So while IDI ignitions still fire just one spark per cylinder (unlike CDIs), by combining large plug gaps (made possible using the Dyna-Module) with the long dwell of IDI, you CAN have a very potent "single spark ignition".

Here's the Dyna-Module and Inferno Coil kit. Notice the gold 1 ohm 70 watt resistor. If your Ford uses a loom resistance wire from the key to the positive side of the coil, you'll need to run a separate wire using the resistor shown here.
Our 1978 F250 uses a loom resistance wire. While the voltage at the positive side of the coil shows satisfactory voltage for the Dyna-Module and Inferno Coil (10.5 volts), Performance Distributors prefers you to use the 70 watt gold resistor to allow enough current (not voltage) for an intense spark.

Here we found a good spot on the firewall to mount the resistor.
In order to locate the loom resistance wire from the key to the coil, we inspected the wires originating from the ignition switch.

This is the stock loom resistance wire. We matched it and traced it back to the ignition switch
Next, we tapped into the switch and ran our own 16 gauge wire through the firewall and to the gold resistor.

Across the manifold and around an existing harness we wound the new ignition wire up to the coil location.
Next, we disconnected the existing DURASPARK system.

Here we have the white ignition wire connected to the positive side of the coil along with the black and blue coil-to-module wires that were included in the kit.
The Dyna-Module is mounted in a cool area along the fender well. The black and blue wires from the coil are now connected to the module.

Now that the module could see the coil, it was time to connect the distributor to the module. The kit includes an orange, purple, and black wire to run to the Dyna-Module and to ground.
Before routing the wires through some wire loom material (not included) we safely routed the wires away from moving parts.

Now that the Dyna-Module was installed, we opened up our plug gaps to .055"
Performance Distributors suggests using their Live Wires for optimum performance with the Dyna-Module and Inferno Coil.

There will continue to be a debate over the pros and cons of various ignition systems and high well they improve power. Heck, there are still those who stand by the peformance of their points style ignitions. From an idle, drivability, and repsonse stand point, both the boxes used in this article (CDI and IDI) were an improvement over the stock DURASPARK system. Both myself and the staff were very impressed with the easy installation of the Mallory HyFire and the quality and calibration of the Performance Distributors DURASPARK distributor.


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Mallory Ignition
10601 Memphis Ave. #12
Cleveland, OH 44144
Tech Line: 216.688.8300 Ext. 500

10601 Memphis Ave. #12
Cleveland, OH 44144
Tech Line: 216.688.8300 Ext. 500

Performance Distributors
2699 Barris Drive
Memphis, TN 38132


Contact Information
If you have any questions or comments about this article please feel free to contact Jon Mikelonis by email at jon@fordmuscle.com



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