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Early funnycars..magneto or distributor?


DWR
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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  • 2 weeks later...

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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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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  • 6 years later...

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...

Agreed!!!!!!

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