Early funnycars..magneto or distributor?

22 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

I am building a Monza funnycar and would like to know if they used magnetos or distributors back then. I have looked at some sites but can't get a clear picture and I am trying to be period correct.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I would think a magneto. I sell prewired ones (as well as distributors) MAD

Edited by Kris Morgan

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Posted · Report post

Hi Kris...thank you I just checked out your site, great items I will be placing an order shortly

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Posted · Report post

If it's a flip top funny car it is running a magneto for sure, two if you have a Hemi in it. And yes, Morgans stuff is great. Use it in all my builds now. Need to put in a order myself pretty soon.

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Posted · Report post

Hi guys,

I built the Snake monza F/C some time ago.Using a pic I found,it looked like a Distributor,tan cap and all.I will try to find it again and try to post it here if you need it.

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Posted · Report post

Depending on the era that you are talking about, it would clearly be a distributer. Magnetos didn't come in to widespread use until the early 80's.

Here is some photographic proof and good research.

FranticFord14-vi.jpg

funnycarpics023-vi.jpg

0041-vi.jpg

71BRISTOL11-vi.jpg

70sFCengine2vi-vi.jpg

This last one is as late as 1979.

Aug7807-vi.jpg

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Sorry Wayne,but you are not correct. Every one of those photos posted is of a magneto regardless of the cap design.

Long before Monza bodys were racing, all of the fuel burners would be using magnetos. Some mags used in the '60s and '70s had caps that made them look like distributors but be assured,....they were magnetos. No way could a battery operated, passenger car style ignition system fire a load of nitro.

photo_1_copy_6-vi.jpg

This Cirello type mag was very popular in the '60s. Looks like a distributor doesn't it?

Magnetos were used in race cars long before drag racing was even invented. You will find that they were pretty much required equipment in really hot cars from day one!

WF

Edited by 6bblbird

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Posted · Report post

I have a Mallory Mag just like the one in the 4 th pic. Looks like a stock cap on mine too. Mopar Tan in color.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Sorry Wayne,but you are not correct. Every one of those photos posted is of a magneto regardless of the cap design.

Long before Monza bodys were racing, all of the fuel burners would be using magnetos. Some mags used in the '60s and '70s had caps that made them look like distributors but be assured,....they were magnetos. No way could a battery operated, passenger car style ignition system fire a load of nitro.

This Cirello type mag was very popular in the '60s. Looks like a distributor doesn't it?

Magnetos were used in race cars long before drag racing was even invented. You will find that they were pretty much required equipment in really hot cars from day one!

WF

Right you are. Another popular mag in the '60s and '70s was the Schiefer, which also used a distributor-style cap. Pretty easy to duplicate in scale.

The twin mag ignitions that are SOP on modern fuel motors didn't show up until the '80s, pioneered by Dale Armstrong.

Here's a pic of the Schiefer magneto.

Schiefermag.jpg

Edited by Mark Brown

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Posted · Report post

You can make a pretty realistic Schiefer mag using a kit base (there are plenty to choose from) and a RMCOM resin cap, like I did here.

SCHIEFER-1.jpg

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Posted · Report post

Even if Wayne is wrong about the mags those are some great photos. Thanks Wayne

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Posted · Report post

Sorry for my ignorance. I'm not the most technically advanced drag racing guru out there but common sense told me that if it loooked like a distributer then it must be a distributer. Please excuse my mis-information. Sometimes, simply trying to help opens you up to criticism and/or correction. Thanks for the clarification and teaching me something new.

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Posted · Report post

A bit of off-topic, but here goes: I'm not used to people apologising for their mistakes so this last post was a real candy to read ;) Realising you're wrong and saying:"I'm sorry." - sometimes I have the feeling that's something that died with the last of the knights a few centuries ago...

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I am building a Monza funnycar and would like to know if they used magnetos or distributors back then. I have looked at some sites but can't get a clear picture and I am trying to be period correct.

The older styles look like distributors but they are deff. magnetos (which is why they usually look so much bulkier under the cap area than a normal distributor does.

(edit) Sorry guys I guess I should have read the other responses before answering the question.

Edited by v8horsepowercj

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Magnetos were not only for the nitro burners ........ they were in use as early as the late '50's and early '60's .......... the most popular with the drag racers was the Scintilla-Vertex ........... shown below on Tommy Ivo's 4-engine monster and K.S. Pittman's injected small block Willys gasser .......... both pictures are from 1961

IVO.jpg

Pittman.jpg

Edited by Old Coyote

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Posted · Report post

Its actually simple. Distributors need electric current and a coil to make the spark ( a battery ) Magnetos have internal coils and make the spark thru the coil and magnetized rotor system. I rebuilt literally a thousand or more in my 23 years as an equipment mechanic. So if it aint got a battery it needs a mag!

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Posted · Report post

Its actually simple. Distributors need electric current and a coil to make the spark ( a battery ) Magnetos have internal coils and make the spark thru the coil and magnetized rotor system. I rebuilt literally a thousand or more in my 23 years as an equipment mechanic. So if it aint got a battery it needs a mag!

Yep...Old Motorcycles often used mags, as no battery was needed....just a strong leg.....:D

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Posted · Report post

Yep...Old Motorcycles often used mags, as no battery was needed....just a strong leg.....:D

Quite correct. In 1970 I heavily modified a 1967 Triumph Tiger 650 into a really long chopper. I had no battery or Zener Diode. The 67 had an A/C magneto ignition system with a rectifier and a capacitor. Just had to make sure you kicked it hard enough to git er going! LOL

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Posted · Report post

IMG_1881.jpg

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Posted (edited) · Report post

ThePartsBox.com make a Cirello-Scheifer later series "Frankenstein" magneto that's pretty close (missing coil and the distributor cap could be a little more agressive):

2015.jpg

Edited by gbk1

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Posted · Report post

That cap looks great for wiring.:P

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