I have read just about every ignition thread in JF trying to figure this out. I have a 1977 CJ7 with an AMC 360 in it (unknown year). Obvious some aftermarket redo's as I am pretty sure Jeep never made this combo in a CJ7. I think I have a Prestolite distributor, but I thought those required an ignition module, which I cannot find on my vehicle. There is what looks like a resistor on the firewall.
The distributor has a plastic vacuum advance hook up and a single wire coming out that goes to a flat plug that then switches to a green and yellow two wire combo.
The coil is a canister coil, but it has 3 wires on it. One side is a green wire, the other has a red/black wire and also a red wire. The red appears to go to the resister on the firewall. I cannot find where the red/black wire goes (no tachometer but maybe it is dead-ended somewhere for tach?) All the wires are in plastic looms and I would rather not rip the looms open until I know what I need.
My near term upgrade thought is Jeep/Motorcraft dizzy with a Cap-Adapt and wires. Do I need an ignition module? Later I can add an E-coil and maybe the 3rd round of upgrades I will go with a CDI.
The red/black wire should be going to the I terminal on the fender solenoid to provide power when the starter is turning, once running, power comes through that ballast resistor.
I have never seen a distributor that looks like that, so maybe it is a prestolite.
86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33x9.5 BFG AT's, 'glass nose to tail in '00, 'New' frame,wires and plumbing in '09. Carter BBD Carbed 4.0 HO in '10.
89 YJ Renegade. BBD Carbed 4.0 HO. Locked front and rear with 33x9.5 BFG AT's
Some Canadian Bush Jeep Runs and Build Photos: http://mikeromainjeeptrips.shutterfly.com (10 new albums added Sept 16/10)
Plastic vacuum advance is definitely Presto-no-lite. Get an HEI conversion dist and swap the Prestolite gear onto it. The cam and dist wear match on AMC V8s. Swapping a new one in leads to bad juju and running about 50% self-destruct.
I traced the wires and found the ignition module under the overflow bottle. The ignition module is an AMC unit (according to the printing on it), however I thought the Prestolite distributor came with a Prestolite ignition module. I tried to clean the module to get the part number, but all the printing came off.
I checked the two wires on the positive side of the coil (canister style). Both are required to make the engine run. One is hot on key. The other is powered through a resistor and is required to keep motor running. PO swapped in a Chevy tilt steering wheel and key set. The red and black wire goes into a plugin box on the firewall. The red wire goes to the resistor, back to a red wire which is spliced into a green and white wire on the firewall plugin box on the firewall.
My questions now are:
1. Can I change to a Motorcraft/Jeep distributor without changing the ignition module?
2. Can I change to a Ford E-Coil and just hook the two hot wires to the positive side of the E-Coil?