Here is another photo of the torch!
Here are plug wires that go specifically with this system. As I read the Performance Distributors info, they say that once wires reach the 250 to 300 ohm level there is no point in trying to improve that. Therefore i like the thought of using their distributor and plug wires, now all I have to do is get a premium plug I can rely on and my ignition issues are solved forever on this motor, hopefully.
Reliability is the main goal here. On some of the classic boats it is not appropriate to appear at a boat show with the new style distributor. Certainly at any judged show the judges would not be interested in reliability or efficiency, or more power, they are JUST interested in originalty and condition. Therefore if anyone would be enjoying the added power, efficiency, reliability and perhaps safety too with one of these upgraded systems (safety being associated with reliability, adrift in the main shipping channel) then they would have to pull the DUI and install the old style unit for the show.
I like the look of the old crab caps, but I don't like the cost of replacement and the frequency of replacement. Nor do I like the outboard ballast resistor, coil wires, etc. On a cruiser like a Chris Craft Commander, these units would fit into the program nicely because the Commanders (even though some were built in 1964) don't fall into the originality structure that runabouts do, and making a swap like this is therefore "more acceptable". In a runabout the motor is right there in plain view, viewed frequently and is often the centerpiece of attention, where-as on a Commander for instance, the motors are often out of sight and out of mind, and some people honestly don't care what makes their boat move forward.
In any case, I see the DUI system is adaptable to almost all GM V8 motors ever built, perhaps the early style 283 with the drive off the transmission housing would not work, not would I really like to SEE a DUI on that pretty classic motor any more than I would like to see one on a Hercules flathead.
When I am aboard our 38 Commander Express, 427 power, at night with responsbility for 12 people aboard and it happens to blow up a thunderstorm like it did a few years ago, reliability can be a life-threatening event, and if I can improve the reliability factor then I'm interested. Thankfully most Commanders are twin engine and we always have a limp home mode. During the thunderstorm I mentioned, it rained so hard we lost all contact with the shoreline, using spotlights made it look like we were about to go under Niagara Falls, everyone gathered around the helm station, and it was my job to bring everyone back, which I am forever grateful I managed to do. Thank goodness (and God) those crab caps didn't decide to give up that night..........but one did give up one day with a hot motor and refused to cooperate any further, and that motor never again ran with that particular cap despite tuning attempts, and it required a replacement before it started.
I understand there are at least 3 crab caps that fit the Mallory YL caps used on the FE motor. I have tried them all, some have a small gasket, some are numbered, some must have lived on shelves for years, but I simply do not like the quality or longevity of this design. I never seemed to have difficulties with other style caps, and at the PRICES these things go for these days gets your attention too.
Note the groove in the cap above, cut by the rotor. The rotor and cap were provided by guess who?
Answer: "Mallory", after the distributors were fully rebuilt at Mallory. Yes, the rotor they supplied came in contact with the cap they supplied. I think the actual cap was red, I didn't notice the issue until after it had to be replaced, and then this one did the same thing, obviously creating dust and debris that did not do the internals of the distributor any good. The GM small block IBM Prestolite caps are of the same style, and although they look good I have my concerns about those too.
So guys, I am not jumping ship on the original style motors, etc., but I am frustrated with the electrical systems that were used 45 years ago and I am changing for a new system. I suppose if I go to a boat show I can always take my old distributor and wire it up, because it sure looks good. Since I have a buddy who has run the DUI type distributor for 20 years, I think they are more reliable, so time will tell and I'll be giving a full report as time passes on with any success or fault issues one way or another.