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TOPIC: Best distributor for high-performance B18?

Best distributor for high-performance B18? 6 months 1 week ago #900

  • Dukemobile
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Which Bosch distributor will give the best performance on a modified B18? The engine has B20 pistons, big-valve B20 FI head, IPD 7001 street cam, 2" sport header, rebuilt SU carbs. I'm currently using a JFR 4 distributor, which has no vacuum advance. I also have a VJU 4 BL 33 and a VJUR 4 BL 33, which both have vacuum advance. Would either of them give better acceleration? The Amazon is already pretty quick, but always want more, especially at lower RPMs.
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Best distributor for high-performance B18? 6 months 1 week ago #902

  • gdill3
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Dukemobile wrote:
Which Bosch distributor will give the best performance on a modified B18? The engine has B20 pistons, big-valve B20 FI head, IPD 7001 street cam, 2" sport header, rebuilt SU carbs. I'm currently using a JFR 4 distributor, which has no vacuum advance. I also have a VJU 4 BL 33 and a VJUR 4 BL 33, which both have vacuum advance. Would either of them give better acceleration? The Amazon is already pretty quick, but always want more, especially at lower RPMs.

Welcome to the "New" VCOA Forum.

Your current distributor is satisfactory for the B18 improvements listed. If you consider switching to a vacuum-style distributor be sure it is vacuum ADVANCE (not RETARD) at low rpm.

Spark at the plug is best with a healthy ignition coil, wires, plugs, and ignition setup.

Assuming a healthy distributor (no worn components), installing an aftermarket electronic ignition has some benefits over OE contact points.

Nevertheless, the electronic system offers no additional performance over perfect OE UNLESS other mods are brought in to play.

Lower rpm grunt with a non-stock "street" cam may be less than with an all-OE setup due to cam profile and tuning.

Another option is to install a user-controlled ignition system, clean up the head ports (if not already) free up the exhaust system (if not already) then tune for low-end grunt when needed and change to high rpm rip using the ignition controls.

Me?

Keep the existing distributor (with electronic system inside), be sure engine timing is optimum for the current cam/carb (needles)/exhaust setup and let 'er rip!

George Dill
Last Edit: 6 months 1 week ago by gdill3.
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Best distributor for high-performance B18? 6 months 1 week ago #904

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Thanks, George. I think I'll stick with the JFR 4, as it's in very good condition -- no shaft wobble, very stable and steady according to the timing light, and the centrifugal advance works properly. The coil is also original Bosch, with the armored wire to the ignition switch. I guess Bosch was making pretty good stuff 50 years ago!

Another question -- I'm currently using a '67 two-pipe exhaust manifold with a Simons sport exhaust. I have an IPD 4-into-1 header on the shelf -- would that be any better? I've heard that the Volvo manifold gives better overall performance. I like to let 'er rip, but I also like an engine that's well behaved for easy cruising.
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Best distributor for high-performance B18? 6 months 1 week ago #905

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Dukemobile wrote:
Thanks, George. I think I'll stick with the JFR 4, as it's in very good condition -- no shaft wobble, very stable and steady according to the timing light, and the centrifugal advance works properly. The coil is also original Bosch, with the armored wire to the ignition switch. I guess Bosch was making pretty good stuff 50 years ago!

Another question -- I'm currently using a '67 two-pipe exhaust manifold with a Simons sport exhaust. I have an IPD 4-into-1 header on the shelf -- would that be any better? I've heard that the Volvo manifold gives better overall performance. I like to let 'er rip, but I also like an engine that's well behaved for easy cruising.

The twin-pipe exhaust manifold is fine for your engine setup given your urge for low-end torque.

The OE Bosch coil and OE shielded cable/ignition switch may be ok but swapping to a Bosch Blue Coil (no ballast needed) and adding an electronic ignition to eliminate the points/condenser could improve performance muchly espacially if the OE coil is weak when hot. This entire arrangement can be invisible (under the dash/inside the distributor) if one is inclined toward originality.

George Dill
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