Distributor - '79 Wagoneer w/360

Stock FSJ Tech Area

Topic author
Hobart
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:34 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Distributor - '79 Wagoneer w/360

Post by Hobart » Fri Sep 25, 2020 7:47 am

Hello everyone. I'm a new FSJ owner, picked up a 1979 Wagoneer with the 360cid. I've mainly been lurking and learning from the rest of you, lots of great info in these forums, thanks to all for sharing your knowledge!

Anyway, I thought I'd share the knowledge too. I recently decided to change out the factory distributor, and after seeing a few people recommending it in the forums I went with an HEI-style unit from CRT Performance. Based on the reviews and the very reasonable price, it seemed like it was worth a try.

THE REVIEW: Installation was a breeze. Probably took about an hour, really easy. Gapped the plugs at about .050. Set my initial timing at 14d and the centrifugal advance kicks in about 20d so I'm at 34d total. Vacuum advance brings in another 24d or so (total of 58d) - which seems a bit high, but I did not adjust the can yet; I figured I'd get some driving done and see how everything works. I also went to manifold vacuum for the vacuum advance. I have only put a few miles on it so far - just a good test-beating - but it seems like it starts, idles and accelerates smoother and stronger right off the bat. So, at this point I definitely recommend it. https://crtperformance.com/shop/ols/products/amcjeep-v8
Here's a tip I discovered too late: CRT sells these on eBay as well, and I could've saved $20 that way.

Thanks again! And if anyone needs my old distributor, original Duraspark box along with brand new cap-rotor-wires, let me know - it'll be super cheap ;)
Last edited by Hobart on Fri Sep 25, 2020 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Bill

1979 Wagoneer
1959 Bel Air
1968 Nova
1972 Eldo ragtop
1980 Z28

User avatar

tgreese
Posts: 4347
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:31 am
Location: Medford MA USA

Re: Distributor - '79 Wagoneer w/360

Post by tgreese » Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:10 am

I'd be interested. Where are you located?
Tim Reese
Maine beekeeper's truck: '77 J10 LWB, 258/T15/D20/3.54 bone stock, low options (delete radio), PS/PDB, hubcaps.
Browless and proud: '82 J20 360/T18/NP208/3.73, Destination A/Ts, 7600 GVWR
Copper Polly: '75 CJ-6, 304/T15, PS, BFG KM2s, soft top
GTI without the badges: '95 VW Golf Sport 2000cc 2D
Dual Everything: '15 FCA Jeep Cherokee KL Trailhawk, ECO Green


Topic author
Hobart
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:34 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Distributor - '79 Wagoneer w/360

Post by Hobart » Fri Sep 25, 2020 10:57 am

tgreese wrote:
Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:10 am
I'd be interested. Where are you located?
Hi Tim,

I apparently can't PM you since I've only been a member for a month. Here's my email address: lynchmobracing@yahoo.com
Why don't you shoot me an email when you get a chance.

I'm in Chicago, but I'll ship it.

Thanks!
Bill

1979 Wagoneer
1959 Bel Air
1968 Nova
1972 Eldo ragtop
1980 Z28


sirrus
Vendor
Posts: 499
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:13 pm
Location: Hillsboro, OR

Re: Distributor - '79 Wagoneer w/360

Post by sirrus » Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:33 pm

Congratulations on successful upgrade! What led to new distributor - just an upgrade (better spark, reliability, etc) or factory setup was giving you troubles? Did you swap gear from old distributor or used the new one?
Sometimes we reinvent the wheel not to have more wheels but to have more inventors

1988 Grand Wagoneer (AMC 360/TF727/NP229), mostly stock and slowly turning into reliable daily driver
Relay modules and other parts for sale
How to clean electric switches (power windows, locks, seats)


Topic author
Hobart
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:34 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Distributor - '79 Wagoneer w/360

Post by Hobart » Fri Sep 25, 2020 3:07 pm

Hi sirrus,

It was dying sometimes, and while I was having the carb rebuilt I decided to spring for the HEI. The carb rebuilder said he was surprised the truck ran at all, based on all of the crap he found in the carb and how bad the accelerator pump was; so I'm assuming that was the dying-problem. But I already had the HEI by the time I got the carb back, and it seemed like a logical upgrade anyway; so off I went.

CRT claims that the gear on their HEI is correct, so I just dropped it right in.
Bill

1979 Wagoneer
1959 Bel Air
1968 Nova
1972 Eldo ragtop
1980 Z28


Topic author
Hobart
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:34 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Distributor - '79 Wagoneer w/360

Post by Hobart » Fri Sep 25, 2020 3:18 pm

sirrus, those are some nice relay kits you've developed, I'm sure I'll be a customer down the road when I get to "fine-tuning" things!
Bill

1979 Wagoneer
1959 Bel Air
1968 Nova
1972 Eldo ragtop
1980 Z28


sirrus
Vendor
Posts: 499
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:13 pm
Location: Hillsboro, OR

Re: Distributor - '79 Wagoneer w/360

Post by sirrus » Fri Sep 25, 2020 4:47 pm

Hobart wrote:
Fri Sep 25, 2020 3:07 pm
Hi sirrus,

It was dying sometimes, and while I was having the carb rebuilt I decided to spring for the HEI. The carb rebuilder said he was surprised the truck ran at all, based on all of the crap he found in the carb and how bad the accelerator pump was; so I'm assuming that was the dying-problem. But I already had the HEI by the time I got the carb back, and it seemed like a logical upgrade anyway; so off I went.

CRT claims that the gear on their HEI is correct, so I just dropped it right in.
I saw a lot of posts from people getting their cam gear chewed up by new dizzy gear, so wanted to ask. Cool that CRT has matched gear, let us know how it does in the long run
Hobart wrote:
Fri Sep 25, 2020 3:18 pm
sirrus, those are some nice relay kits you've developed, I'm sure I'll be a customer down the road when I get to "fine-tuning" things!


Thanks! Shoot me a PM when you're ready
Sometimes we reinvent the wheel not to have more wheels but to have more inventors

1988 Grand Wagoneer (AMC 360/TF727/NP229), mostly stock and slowly turning into reliable daily driver
Relay modules and other parts for sale
How to clean electric switches (power windows, locks, seats)

User avatar

1978J10REDWHITE
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:25 pm

Re: Distributor - '79 Wagoneer w/360

Post by 1978J10REDWHITE » Fri Dec 25, 2020 2:06 am

I also did exactly this and am happy the way it runs better now.
Same same.
Yet I always hoard my old engine pieces, in case the need to revert arises, which likely never will.
Next, Howell EFI setup.


Topic author
Hobart
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:34 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Distributor - '79 Wagoneer w/360

Post by Hobart » Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:57 pm

BAD NEWS UPDATE: Apparently CRT's "correct gear" is fake news - I just ate the gear on the cam, after about 1,000 miles!
I'm searching the forum posts to figure out what to do now, this is uncharted waters for me.
Bill

1979 Wagoneer
1959 Bel Air
1968 Nova
1972 Eldo ragtop
1980 Z28


ZacharyH
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2020 6:32 pm

Re: Distributor - '79 Wagoneer w/360

Post by ZacharyH » Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:15 pm

you must replace the gear on the end of the camshaft. Which means taking off the engine accessories and removing the timing cover. Good time to check/replace the timing chain. I replaced with these but there are higher quality gears available. https://www.amazon.com/Omix-Ada-17423-0 ... 715&sr=8-3


Topic author
Hobart
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:34 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Distributor - '79 Wagoneer w/360

Post by Hobart » Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:43 pm

Thanks Zachary. I just poured thru a ton of FSJN posts and learned a lot.
I see Crown has a set of gears, along with MSD, Alfano and Omix-Ada.

Does anyone have an opinion on the Crown gears vs. MSD vs. Alfano vs. Omix-Ada?

I'm all for saving money - and the MSD gears are expensive - but I'd rather spend more on the parts and do the job one time, if the MSD gears are the way to go. Opinions appreciated. Thanks!
Bill

1979 Wagoneer
1959 Bel Air
1968 Nova
1972 Eldo ragtop
1980 Z28

User avatar

1978J10REDWHITE
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:25 pm

Re: Distributor - '79 Wagoneer w/360

Post by 1978J10REDWHITE » Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:13 pm

Congrats of the HEI.
I went CTR also, same verbatim results too.
Only different part is I added in the direct 12V relay to POWER the new HEI.







Crown is the Made in china stuff, FYI.


Topic author
Hobart
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:34 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Distributor - '79 Wagoneer w/360

Post by Hobart » Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:41 pm

1978J10REDWHITE wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:13 pm
Congrats of the HEI.
I went CTR also, same verbatim results too.
Only different part is I added in the direct 12V relay to POWER the new HEI.


Crown is the Made in china stuff, FYI.
Thanks for the tip on the Crown pieces.
Did you lose your cam gear as well? Or did you reuse your original gear?
Bill

1979 Wagoneer
1959 Bel Air
1968 Nova
1972 Eldo ragtop
1980 Z28

User avatar

1978J10REDWHITE
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:25 pm

Re: Distributor - '79 Wagoneer w/360

Post by 1978J10REDWHITE » Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:20 am

My OEM cam gear withy New Dist is so far performing fine , I put a new CTR Dist in it and only have about 30-ish minutes run time on it, so In HOPES I’m “ok'.
Need more clock time on it.
I feel rather safe, at least right now that it is fine on the new Dist/gear was proper.

So, if you put an EFI on and will use the same fuse box lugs, like the HEI , then you will definitely want to use a “Relay” .
I can show you what I did to bolster the V/A draw circuitry.


Topic author
Hobart
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:34 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Distributor - '79 Wagoneer w/360

Post by Hobart » Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:17 am

1978J10REDWHITE wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:20 am
My OEM cam gear withy New Dist is so far performing fine , I put a new CTR Dist in it and only have about 30-ish minutes run time on it, so In HOPES I’m “ok'.
Need more clock time on it.
I feel rather safe, at least right now that it is fine on the new Dist/gear was proper.

So, if you put an EFI on and will use the same fuse box lugs, like the HEI , then you will definitely want to use a “Relay” .
I can show you what I did to bolster the V/A draw circuitry.
Hope yours is ok, didn't work out for me this time.
The relay is a good idea, I know how to do it; I just haven't had time to get to it yet.
Thanks!
Bill

1979 Wagoneer
1959 Bel Air
1968 Nova
1972 Eldo ragtop
1980 Z28


Topic author
Hobart
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:34 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Distributor - '79 Wagoneer w/360

Post by Hobart » Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:23 pm

Searching posts here and at IFSJA lead me to believe either MSD or Bultear are the gears to get. Bultear doesn't show them on their website and aren't responding to email, so I'll probably get the MSD set.
Bill

1979 Wagoneer
1959 Bel Air
1968 Nova
1972 Eldo ragtop
1980 Z28


letank
Posts: 3263
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:16 pm
Location: SF bay area

Re: Distributor - '79 Wagoneer w/360

Post by letank » Sat Jan 16, 2021 5:47 pm

any gear will be suspect, you need to check the holes alignment...

Image

or

Image

and from the mothership

http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?p=1678711

Image
Michel
74 wag (349 Kmiles... parked, next step is a rust free body)
85 Gwag (227 Kmiles... the running test lab)
See Engine bits , Fuel and brake lines, Body work, Trany and TC


Topic author
Hobart
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:34 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Distributor - '79 Wagoneer w/360

Post by Hobart » Sat Jan 16, 2021 6:59 pm

Thanks letank, that is some good info to have.
I think I'll order the MSD gears and the rest of the necessary parts. And give evrything a good look-over. I'm hoping that the AMC gear didn't like the CRT gear, and this will be a one-time lesson learned.
Bill

1979 Wagoneer
1959 Bel Air
1968 Nova
1972 Eldo ragtop
1980 Z28

User avatar

fulsizjeep
Moderator
Posts: 4804
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:21 am
Location: Mancos Valley, CO
Contact:

Re: Distributor - '79 Wagoneer w/360

Post by fulsizjeep » Sun Jan 17, 2021 1:35 pm

Hobart wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:23 pm
Searching posts here and at IFSJA lead me to believe either MSD or Bultear are the gears to get. Bultear doesn't show them on their website and aren't responding to email, so I'll probably get the MSD set.
MSD has been the way to go for a while.
#8005 - dizzy gear
#8007 - cam gear
Flint Boardman ~ http://jubileejeeps.org
Embracing the Borg Warner QuadraTrac since 1980 http://jubileejeeps.org/quadratrac
88 GW, 401/727/208, 5" lift, D44s/4.10s/locked up, 35s, a few Evil Twin mods, http://eviltwinfab.com and a few TT's Fabworks mods, http://www.ttsfabworks.com
76 401 Wag, 77 401 Wag, 77 401 J20
Do I smell something burning?


Topic author
Hobart
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:34 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Distributor - '79 Wagoneer w/360

Post by Hobart » Sun Jan 17, 2021 1:49 pm

fulsizjeep wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 1:35 pm
Hobart wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:23 pm
Searching posts here and at IFSJA lead me to believe either MSD or Bultear are the gears to get. Bultear doesn't show them on their website and aren't responding to email, so I'll probably get the MSD set.
MSD has been the way to go for a while.
#8005 - dizzy gear
#8007 - cam gear
Ordered them this morning. Probably won't have time to get in there for a couple of weeks though, I'm super busy right now. Might do an electric fan conversion while I'm in there, thinking about using the '93 Grand Voyager 3.3l fan.

Thanks for all of the tips!
Bill

1979 Wagoneer
1959 Bel Air
1968 Nova
1972 Eldo ragtop
1980 Z28

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 2 guests