Engine Harmonic Balancer And Distrubutor Tuning

Discussion in 'Classic Mustang Specific Tech' started by j69302, Jun 14, 2013.


  1. j69302

    j69302 Active Member

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    I am wanting (and needing) to tune my distributor to Boss 302 specs, however, there are a few things I need to help with finding.

    I'm looking for a aftermarket harmonic balancer that is the same diameter and thickness as the stock unit, as well as an adjustable vacuum advance diaphragm.

    Ford balancers say they wont fit early style timing covers, and also require spacers for alignment.

    And the only adjustable vacuum advance I saw on summit is this Crane unit, http://www.summitracing.com/parts/crn-99607-1/overview/make/ford, but it says it's for 73 and up distributors with electronic ignition without computer. Anyone know if this will work? From what I have been reading, most of the distributor internals have been the same across many many years.

    I'm also looking for a set of distributor springs, I think mine may be shot, there is a ton of advance that comes in really fast even with the vacuum adv. plugged. I found 1 pair, I was looking for a variety pack.. Anyone know where to find them?
  2. rbohm

    rbohm Founding Member

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    regarding aftermarket balancers, i dont know of any that are the same thickness of the stock balancer. most are closr to the thickness of the hipo or boss balancer. diameters are generally the same though. you might check the ford motorsport catalog for a good balancer though as they have several.

    regarding the vacuum advance unit, i believe the crane unit will fit the earlier points distributor as well, not sure on that so check cranes website as see if they have different part numbers.

    regarding advance springs, you can get a complete kit for recurving your distributor from many places, summit has them for instance, and they include generally three sets of advance springs so yu can mix and match as needed.
  3. 2+2GT

    2+2GT Well-Known Member

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    If you want a stock balancer, buy one. They are identical to the original, and inexpensive.

    I have never seen an aftermarket replacement style vacuum advance that was NOT adjustable. They are adjusted by sticking a small Allen wrench into the hose nipple.

    The centrifugal curve is adjusted by slightly bending the outer mounting peg, not by replacing the springs. I have dome many of these, and more often than not I was using the BOSS 302 specs. As long as the original springs are still there, it's no problem at all.
  4. j69302

    j69302 Active Member

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    When I searched for spring and vac. advance kits for a Ford 302 on summit, there was only 1 spring kit that showed up and it only came with 2 springs. And there was 3 or 4 vac advance that showed up and only 1 was listed as adjustable... Crane doesnt even list the kit I linked on their website, unless you manually type in the part number.

    As far as stock vs aftermarket balancers, some of the aftermarket one cost less than a stock one. I'm leaning towards a stock one right now just to make it simpler.

    Ill just have to send Crane an email and see. The arm on theirs looks exactly like the arm on mine right now.
  5. rbohm

    rbohm Founding Member

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  6. j69302

    j69302 Active Member

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    That's the one I linked to, which says 73 - 85 electronic ignition. I sent Crane an email asking if it will work with a 69 distributor. It looks identical to what I have. Hope it will work.
  7. 2+2GT

    2+2GT Well-Known Member

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    When I searched for spring and vac. advance kits for a Ford 302 on summit, there was only 1 spring kit that showed up and it only came with 2 springs.
    You don't need springs.

    And there was 3 or 4 vac advance that showed up and only 1 was listed as adjustable...
    The stock advance, if you still have it, is very adjustable, superior to any aftermarket. If not, here's an adjustable unit-

    http://www.mustangbarnstore.com/SPD/64-65-v8-vacuum-advance--2244141769606299888.jsp
    [​IMG]

    Crane doesnt even list the kit I linked on their website, unless you manually type in the part number.

    As far as stock vs aftermarket balancers, some of the aftermarket one cost less than a stock one. I'm leaning towards a stock one right now just to make it simpler.
    The stock 289 balancer, brand new, is about a hundred bucks.

    http://www.mustangbarnstore.com/SPD/65-68-harm-balancer-rep--2244142294162735344.jsp
    [​IMG]
  8. j69302

    j69302 Active Member

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    I did not know the stock diaphragm was adjustable. And that is the best price I've seen for a stock balancer.

    Im deployed right now so I will have to take a look at what I have when I get home. I was hoping to order everything so it's ready when I get home. Guess I'll have to wait.
  9. 2+2GT

    2+2GT Well-Known Member

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    The stock advance was adjusted at the factory by using the appropriate spring, center spacer, and washers inside. When the advance goes bad, you swap all the internal parts to the new unit, and it's already adjusted.

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