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Discussion Starter #1
Hello and thank you in advance. I have a 1980 Plymouth Trailduster with a 413 big block that someone before me installed. The guy I bought it from says he ran the numbers and it came from an early 60's Imperial. (who knows)

Here's my situation. I think the distributor is gone. There are small metal shavings inside, and I suspect the gap is off. According to spec, I believe it should be ten thousandths of an inch.

I went to Auto Zone to order one, but the picture they had did not match the one I have. Theirs has a small coil inside, mine doesn't. Theirs has a one wire connection, mine has a double wire male/female plug.

Any advice here?





 

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Your pictures shows an electronic ignition distributor, which is not native to the 413 engine, as electronic ignition was in some Chrysler products in 1972 and all by 1973. Autozone would show a breaker point distributor if you searched by engine, or electronic if you searched by your vehicle.

The gap is .008 inches and is set with a brass, non-magnetic feeler gauge. Check to see if the knife edge on either the pickup coil inside, or the reluctor edge (the 8-pointed rotary part below the rotor) is gouged. If so, they must be replaced and the gap set.

That kind of damage can be caused by too small a gap, by worn distributor bushing (and shaft wobble) or both. If the shavings are from some other part of the distributor, might as well replace the whole thing.

Is it running ragged, or not running at all?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thnk you Bob.

It just wouldn't start. It would turn over though. It's getting gas, so I did a spark test and it was a weak spark. It just turned over and over, but wouldn't catch fire at all. It did seem to have a slight bit of play as well.

I'm just trying to find the correct replacement. I think I found one on ebay. It has the 2 wire connection, but the cap is on it and doesn't show what's inside.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ready-to-Run-Electronic-Distributor-Chrysler-Dodge-MOPAR-413-426-WPM-RR-14-BK-/190688625949?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item2c65ed851d&vxp=mtr

"Check to see if the knife edge on either the pickup coil inside, or the reluctor edge (the 8-pointed rotary part below the rotor) is gouged."

Yes, one of the edges has a gouge on it and a couple are slightly worn.
 

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While holding the body of the distributor, see if you can move the rotor around enough to make that gap between the reluctor and the hall effect open and close enough to see it change. If so, you have a bad bushing in the upper housing or the bottom. Anyway, you can expand the search for a distributor as any 413, 426 Wedge and Hemi, and 440. The ebay one you are showing is not a Mopar distributor it is aftermarket, not that it wouldn't work, but it may take some other items to make it work.

Now, since you did have spark, any of the above distributors listed above can be found with a good tight set of shaft bushings, you can swap your electronic ignition components (and the plate they sit on, screws on the ouside of the case hold it in place), swap things around to get the gap proper.
 

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Back when wooly mammoths walked the earth I used to tackle MoPar distributors. They had the wildest advance curve errors I have ever seen. Almost all were off a country mile, both the mechanical and the vacuum advance curves. I had a Sun distributor machine, thousands of springs and weights and a micro torch and drill set. Quite a little industry pressing shafts replacing bushings with better grade of oilite and using a really superior lubricant. I don't think anyone does this any more do they? Everything is digital. Blueprinting and dialing in a distributor. That's like saying "typewiter" and "phonograph".

But if you want that 413 to honk on, it is worth every last cent to have that distributor advance curve tested and if necessary, corrected. The results can be astonishing increases in power, economy and longevity of pistons.
 

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Good deal in finding the problem, clean all that metal out of there so it doesn't fly around and arc and spark.

Agree about the distributor curves, new bushings and the fun of balancing the curves the way the engines themselves like is a lost art.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok, so I bought this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/CHRYSLER-DODGE-MOPAR-PRO-BILLET-413-426-440-V8-DISTRIBUTOR-WPM-PB-14-R-/200838220565?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&vxp=mtr&hash=item2ec2e40b15

I called the guy to make sure it would work. I may try and rebuild the original because I know I can and it will be good experience. Plus...I'll have it if I need it. I welcome myself to the world of a second vehicle a.k.a. my new toy.

So anyway, I'll get 'er up and running soon enough. I'll be glad when I do because I'm going crazy for a ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I just remembered something guys. The distributor I bought does not have the vacuum advance. The guy I spoke to said I didn't have to have it, so do I just plug the hose?

I looked around some more and found this one which is exactly like the one I have: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Big-Blk-413-426-440-Mopar-Electronic-Ignition-Distributor-BBM-Dodge-Plymouth-/360504378597#vi-content

So, this one that is identical is more than twice the price, but I want it because it's identical. Should I try the one being sent already, think it will work?
 

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I would try to get the closest thing to original as possible. The 413 also came as a medium truck engine and the distributor came minus a vacuum advance. The distributors for the high GVW trucks had very lazy and restricted centrifugal advance curves to allow the use of lower octane fuel and save the pistons while sparking a heavily loaded engine. Then again some hot rodders appreciated limited advance degrees so they could set initial timing earlier than the factory 5 BTDC.


Myself I would hesitate just popping in any old distributor without using a timing advance light + tach to see who's doing what to whom, when...
 

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I don't see how it would run right without the vacuum advance. That's what advances and retards your timing. How is that going to happen without a vacuum advance? It looks to me that the second one you posted for $129.95 would be the correct one. But it's been a LONG time since my Dad had the 62 Imperial with the 413, so I don't remember much.
 

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Manual transmission vehicles are usually without vacuum advance (but not always), and automatics have the vacuum canister. At the same time, you do not have to have it, there is a mechanical advance inside the distributor (yeah, pre-computer cars), so the rpm alters the advance as the distributor spins, and as far as a kit goes, pretty much springs inside to slow down the rate of advance inside the distributors is what you get. Big blocks usually prefer a stock heavy spring and a medium light spring so the advance is limited down around the 1800rpm and then speeds up after that, total in around 3200-2400rpm. Small blocks on the other hand are the opposite, they like a light medium and a light spring so it kicks in sooner and in complete by around 2800rpm for a comparison. Total advance for both should not exceed 36-37 degrees, mileage starts dropping off at 38 degrees total, along with other internal items being overworked for no gain.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, let's do a recap here...My truck is a 1980 Plymouth Trailduster. It was originally equipped with a 318.

Now it has a 413 that is claimed to be from an early 60's Imperial. It's definitely a 413, but I'm not exactly sure from what.

My distributor came in today via UPS. I called the guy I bought it from and asked him about the vacuum advance. he said I didn't have to have it, and to advance the timing by 10 degrees to compensate for it. Otherwise, it's an electronic set up and a 2-wire connection like mine.

I am going to install the new distributor and advance the timing. If it works, hooray for me. If it does not, I have the luxury of a 14 day return period on the item in which case I will do so and then purchase the more expensive distributor that is identical to mine.

I'll keep you guy posted on what happens.

Finally, thank you again for the support on this matter. I appreciate the help.
 

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Keep us posted, man. That 413 is a hoss of an engine. I'd like to know how it performs once you get it straightened out.
 

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You can figure out a little more about the engine by decoding the block itself. There is a pad located (looking front to rear) just above water pump and forward of the intake valley pan. There should be a 41 (meaning 413) and a letter. This letter will give you the year, some other letters and numbers can tell you more. From there, the sides of the block numbers can also tell you a casting number and there is also a date/time stamp cast into the block. Year One has an online reference you can use, along with some good pictures, to help you identify everything properly, other sites have block casting numbers and things like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
will do Prolific, today is the day. I have my new distributor. I called the guy back and he says plug the vacuum advance (since the new one doesn't have it), advance the timing by 10 degrees and roll on. So I looked it up: counter clockwise rotation, and the firing order to make sure the plug wires are on properly. 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2 Boy, I can see some $$$ going into this beast to make it right, it's already getting addicting, lol.

Dana44, thank you for that info. I definitely want to find out what I have under the hood. And yes, the 413 is a bad machine, it sure sounded good when I bought the truck and rolled that bad boy up onto the trailer to haul it home. I can't wait to take that top off and go for a ride!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I need help. The distributor works and I had to install new plug wires because the cap was a male end style of cap. I think the timing is way off even though I have adjusted it. It runs, but very rough and won't accelerate. No popping and cracking, just runs real rough and no matter how I adjust the timing, it won't help.
 

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I really think you need a distributor with the vacuum advance, man. I just don't understand how just plugging the vacuum line and putting that distributor in is going to keep time properly. But, I'm not a mechanic and am not all that smart.
 

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Vacuum advance isn't needed. As a matter of fact a majority of the 413 and 440 engines run better with the vacuum advance plugged off. Remember, vacuum advance slowly advances the timing at cruise (especially) and during high vacuum, so low rpm the vacuum advance reduces itself, so, since big blocks like slower advance to begin with, the extra advance even at cruise isn't needed.

Go back to basics. Check the firing order first, make sure that is correct, then check the top dead center mark on the harmonic balancer, then pop the cap and see if it is pointing at number 1 or number 6 (both are good but still need to be close to one of the two wires), then grab the harmonic balancer and rock it to see if there is a bunch of play there. Play indicates a worn timing chain, which does make the timing bounce around a lot, or makes the valves open later and close later than they should. Next thing is to see how things look inside the distributor itself, no contaminants, not floating metal junk, twist the rotor and see if there is some movement with spring pressure that returns it to its original position (this needs to be kind of firm, but too tight is just as bad as too soft).
 
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