63 Chrysler 300 Prestolite Distributor Parts

Discussion in 'Chrysler 300' started by RM, May 15, 2004.

  1. RM

    RM Guest

    Anyone know where I can purchase a vacuum advance for a Prestolite Dual
    Point distributor that was used on 63 Chrysler 300 Convertible with the 413
    engine?? Any aftermarket replacements or crossovers? What years and models
    were common for this distributor?

    Thanks in advance for any help!

    RM, May 15, 2004
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  2. The Prestolite (was called "Auto-Lite" in those days) distributor changed
    *very* little from the mid '50s through the late '60s in terms of physical
    construction detail, so physical interchangeability on this vacuum pot is
    large. On many of the distributor vacuum advance pot's cap can be removed
    by unscrewing it, and the spring and spacer changed to alter the
    calibration of the unit. A few of these units show up on Ebay:

    Item 2478121108 (if this exact one won't work for you, it looks like the
    guy has many more)

    Item 7902094108

    Daniel J. Stern, May 15, 2004
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  3. RM

    Dodgem440 Guest

    Another option would be to swap in a Electronic conversion kit! Nice new
    distributor, electronic ignition module and wiring all included. Better
    starts and all round performance!! One of those upgrades judges mostly
    overlook. (if that's a concern)
    P3690428 mopar performance through your local dealer or Mancini's and

    Check your distributor for shaft play back and forth! The bushings in
    those old distributors are almost always gone.
    Dodgem440, May 15, 2004
  4. ....comes complete with an adjustable vacuum advance which is nice, but a
    mechanical advance curve that is *WAY* too fast/long for street usage,
    basically designed for "mash the gas and hang on" drag racing. (the MP
    catalogue vaguely describes this as a "performance advance curve"). In
    order to avoid massive pinging on the street, you have to retard the base
    (initial) timing so far that starting and fuel economy go right out the
    window. And you can't swap out the springs from your old distributor,
    since the Prestolite springs and weights are different from the ones in
    the Chrysler-built distributor.

    There are ways around this -- you can swap in the springs from a
    Chrysler-built single-point big-block street distributor, or engage the
    services of one of the relatively few places around that can and will
    still dial-in a distributor on a Sun machine -- but why? Chrysler's
    points/condenser ignitions work just fine. I doubt you're using this 413
    '63 Chrysler as a daily driver, and even if you are, the points last a
    long time. Far less effort just to replace the vacuum pot, or even to go
    through the distributor and replace its bushings *and* the vacuum pot.

    (This also keeps things looking original, which is always nice to see even
    if you don't care about car shows where judges lower their noses from the
    air long enough only to subtract points)

    Daniel J. Stern, May 15, 2004
  5. RM

    RM Guest

    Thanks for the great advice guys....I thought about installing a pertronix
    (sp?) electronic ignition sometime in the future, but will likely keep the
    point system for now. The 63 300 is somewhat of a daily driver, as far as I
    am trying to get it as reliable as possible so that I feel comfortable in
    letting my wife drive in the summer, which was the main purpose of
    purchasing the car in the first place. There are many many non-originals on
    this car that I'm trying to slowly put back, and fortunately the distributor
    is original and for now would like to keep it that way. I have no grand
    illusions about entering into national shows as the car needs some work, but
    I do like to show her in non-judging categories at local events, simply
    because there were only 1800 made, and while you see a hundred cameros,
    chevelles and firebirds at most shows, I've yet to see one 50's or 60's 300,
    even at mopar shows where barracudas, dusters, chargers, and roadrunners

    PS...I agree about the judging. I've attended a few, and overheard some of
    their comments whilst judging cars.
    RM, May 15, 2004
  6. There's really no good reason to do so. Chrysler's points systems work
    just fine. Use quality points (I prefer NAPA's premium Echlin points,
    *NON*-ventillated if given the choice, which does exist for many of the
    '60s-'70s Mopar applications) and a good condenser and you won't have
    reliability problems.
    One of the best ways to increase the starting and driveability behavior of
    Chrysler products of the day: Remove the metal fuel line that runs between
    the fuel pump and the carburetor. Install a Dorman 492-024 or Everbrass
    1791 fitting in the output of the fuel pump and another in the input of
    the carburetor. Install a length of 5/16" ID *fuel injection* hose
    (stamped 30R9, don't use old-fashioned 30R7 hose) between the two
    fittings, routing it vertically from the fuel pump, well clear of the
    exhaust manifold of course, across the RH rocker cover and directly to the
    carburetor fitting. Then locate the *metal* (not plastic, please) fuel
    filter between 2 and 9 inches (or so) above the fuel filter in this new
    line, oriented vertically. It's best if you can arrange it so the fuel
    filter is behind the alternator (cooling air current moves heat away from
    the fuel filter). Secure all hose ends with proper fuel injection hose
    clamps (rolled edges, etc. so as not to cut the hose).

    This modification greatly reduces heat transfer to the fuel upon "hot
    soak" (engine shut down at operating temperature, underhood temps soar),
    and substantially reduces hard hot starting, stalling at idle and
    next-morning cold starting trouble.

    Daniel J. Stern, May 16, 2004
  7. RM

    RM Guest

    Yep, I already went through that issue with vapor lock caused by the routing
    of the fuel line. I rerouted a few weeks ago as you suggested, because the
    original route carried it resting atop the rocker cover and down the front
    of the exhaust manifold. I did mount the fuel filter vertically, however, I
    used what was in there which was the plastic filter with replaceable
    cartridges. I know that's not stock so I had planned to replace anyway with
    the metal type, but for my edification, other than not being original, how
    is the metal filter superior?

    Thanks for all the great help

    RM, May 16, 2004
  8. More predictably resistant to all the different additives and alcohols and
    ethers that find their way into modern gasoline.

    Daniel J. Stern, May 16, 2004
  9. RM

    Steve Guest

    I know a couple of guys running the Pertronix unit, and they really like
    it. Fits in a stock distributor, gives electronic ignition stability and
    reliability. But the distributor has to be in good MECHANICAL shape
    (bushings, mech. advance, and vacuum advance) in order to use it.

    The 63 300 is somewhat of a daily driver, as far as I
    It might be easiest to go down to NAPA, plunk down for a rebuilt
    common-as-dirt single-point distributor (ask for one for a '67 to '69
    New Yorker with a 440) and then put the Pertronix unit on that. With the
    Pertronix, there is no benefit to dual points anyway. Put the rarer,
    more valuable Prestolite dual point on a shelf until you can send it off
    and have it carefully restored.
    Steve, May 17, 2004
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