Distributor for a 302W stroked 347

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Offline trentsiddharta

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Distributor for a 302W stroked 347
« on: February 29, 2024, 01:28:51 pm »
Hi All,

I am hoping someone can afford me some learned information about a suitable distributor for a Windsor 302 that has recently been rebuilt with a 347 stroker and steel roller cam (stage1.5).

It's in a ZC Fairlane, so my apologies if I get anyone's back-up that it's not a Mustang. The engine is the same so I was hopeful that your wider-sized group could help me.

It's currently running with the original style dizzie with the timing advanced, which is causing it to overheat. I'm assuming that I should simply use a new 351W dizzie with the gear changed to melonized or composite, to suit the cam

I'm keen to hear if anyone has been in the same situation and what your solve was.

I purchased a cheap SMB Ford distributor but the shaft size was not convention (.510") and most replacement gears are .531"

Offline GLENN 70

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Re: Distributor for a 302W stroked 347
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2024, 04:17:02 pm »
Not a 351w distributor,that’s the wrong one . This is expensive but a MSD 302w ready to run is The best one .  Just make sure it has the correct bottom gear for the roller cam .

Offline trentsiddharta

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Re: Distributor for a 302W stroked 347
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2024, 05:34:08 pm »
Thank you. I've heard that MSD are great. I think I've been led astray by my mechanic re the 351 distributor, which doesn't fill me with confidence.

I'd just need to spray it blue :)

Offline GEOFF289

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Re: Distributor for a 302W stroked 347
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2024, 08:01:35 pm »
Also not cheap but very highly regarded both for product and advice is https://www.iceignition.com/. They are made here.

Or get one of these like I have and tune it with your phone https://progressionignition.com/


Offline jiffy

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Re: Distributor for a 302W stroked 347
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2024, 09:25:09 am »
Before you decide that the distributor is the culprit, do some more digging.

A symptom of the timing being too far advanced is pinging (a death rattle in the engine when accelerating)
A symptom of the timing being too far retarded is overheating.....

Before spending a lot on a new distributor that may - or may not - fix the problem, borrow or buy a timing light and measure the timing.

Block the vacuum advance hose to the carb. Measure at idle, 1500, 2000, 2500, 300, 3500, 4000rpm.

Let us know what you find.

Investigation is generally cheaper than throwing money at an issue and hoping for it to be a fix.

Other causes of overheating:
buggered clutch fan
fan too small / not enough blades
no shroud
small radiator
blocked radiator
head gaskets on backwards
too lean

etc etc....
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Offline trentsiddharta

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Re: Distributor for a 302W stroked 347
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2024, 09:31:23 am »
The timing is advanced and it is pinging. If it's not advanced it dies. My 'mechanic' indicated the dizzie but also said that it needs a 351 dizzie, which isn't obviously correct.

When it was stock 302 it had no overheating issue since putting in a large core radiator and fans.

Offline GLENN 70

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Re: Distributor for a 302W stroked 347
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2024, 09:57:07 am »
It can be a lot of things . Your timing should be around 12 to 18 deg initial with the vacuum advance blocked .  The total timing should be 32 deg at around 3,000 rpm .  Getting these numbers  with a stock distributor won’t work .  All this depends on the engine mods .  More info please ,what carb and jetting , intake manifold ,heads ,cam and compression . 

Offline trentsiddharta

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Re: Distributor for a 302W stroked 347
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2024, 10:54:06 am »
Thanks Glenn (and everyone) I really appreciate this.

I'm 2% of a mechanic and have been taking advice from my current/soon to be previous mechanic, so my knowledge isn't exhaustive.

Carb - Factory 2-barrel. No choke (doesn't help)
Manifold - Factory
Cam - Steel roller 1.5
Heads - Original factory. Machined. New hardened valve seats.
Compression - will need to find out.
Distributor - old school Autolite

The distributor needs the gear swapped for melonized to suit the cam, so I considered a new on altogether.

I'm also looking to replace the carb with the same but an electric choke.

Offline GEOFF289

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Re: Distributor for a 302W stroked 347
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2024, 12:38:10 pm »

Carb - Factory 2-barrel. No choke (doesn't help)
Manifold - Factory
Cam - Steel roller 1.5
Heads - Original factory. Machined. New hardened valve seats.
Compression - will need to find out.
Distributor - old school Autolite



It's a 347 but has a 2 barrel carb?

Offline trentsiddharta

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Re: Distributor for a 302W stroked 347
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2024, 12:52:20 pm »
Yes. I know. Doesn't seem right.

4-barrel would be better but from the perspective of it being a second car that my wife drives, it's unnecessary. Cost is also a factor.

Happy wife...

Offline jiffy

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Re: Distributor for a 302W stroked 347
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2024, 02:57:37 pm »
I think you're about to get some big bills.
So - if the dist gear is wrong for the cam, there's NO WAY it should have been assembled. DO NOT RUN IT until you have the right dist gear installed.
Pick your battles...
Measure the timing - just because it detonates, it doesn't mean it's too far advanced - running too rich or too lean may also cause it to ping. You need to MEASURE the timing and make changes because you can see a problem, not because you're throwing money at the dart board trying to replace everything until it stops overheating.

Was the carb re-jetted to suit the large capacity? If it's still jetted to suit a 5.0Ltr but it's now a 5.4L then it'll be too lean.

You need to get it tuned by someone who has all the right tools. I would get rid of the 2-barrell carb and manifold for a 4-barrell, your wife won't want to drive it when it's running like a POS any more than she will if it goes hard. Get it running well before worrying about your wife's level of enjoyment....
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Offline trentsiddharta

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Re: Distributor for a 302W stroked 347
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2024, 03:36:25 pm »
Hi Jiffy,

Thanks for this.

I've garaged the car and it's not being driven until the gear is changed. My ignorance and my mechanic to blame there.

The timing has been measured and is advanced. Your point re the carb is great as I assume this will affect temp, starting, and stalling. No choke on the carb compounds the issues again.

As a lower dollar solve, from replacing the manifold and carb with 4-barrel, I assume replacing the jets and adding an auto choke is fairly straightforward?

Thanks again for your and everyone's input, mate.

Offline Lisandrowaelchi

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Re: Distributor for a 302W stroked 347
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2024, 05:14:59 pm »
It's not a 351w distributor—that's the wrong one. Although expensive, the MSD 302w ready-to-run distributor is the best option. Just make sure it has the correct bottom gear for the roller cam.

Offline trentsiddharta

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Re: Distributor for a 302W stroked 347
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2024, 05:24:34 pm »
Thanks Lisandrowaelchi, and everyone.

I ended up getting an MSD ready to run for a 302 with suitable steel gear. Lots of trouble initially getting the timing right and it ran terribly until I changed mechanics and a day later it was perfect. Runs like an absolute legend now.

After the new MSD went in and it was setup poorly, it was a combination of retarded timing, carby float incorrect, carb mix out and missing a choke that caused issues. Corrected these and added an auto / electric choke and its great.

Offline jiffy

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Re: Distributor for a 302W stroked 347
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2024, 02:18:07 pm »
Great news - paying an expert when you're scratching your head can be money well spent.

Excellent news...
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