Flathead 6 electronic ignition upgrade

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Posted by Gregg on Sunday, December 05, 2004 at 7:10PM :

I just performed this upgrade to my vehicle and I am sharing the procedure. Have fun and good luck.

Mopar Flathead 6 electronic ignition upgrade.

NOTE - I performed this upgrade on a Dodge 230 Flathead Motor (short block.....not the longer canadian block). This procedure will likely work on all Mopar flathead motors but I cant be certain.

To get electronic igniton in a Mopar Flathead 6 you have 2 options. (note both options require having a 12 volt system)
1. Electronic ignition from an Dodge Slant 6 225 motor.
2. Pertronix Electronic Ignition using a distributor from a Dodge slant 6 225 motor

This procedure covers the conversion using the Pertronix Electronic Ignition parts.

First you will need to acquire the following parts.

1. A distributor from a dodge slant 6 225 motor. I used the non-electronic ignition version which I believe can be found on any dodge slant 6 225 motor from 1973 and earlier. Make sure you also get the vacuum advance unit.

2. A distributor cap

3. Pertronix Ignitor kit (part number 1361A) This kit also comes with a rotor.

4. 2 feet of rubber vacuum hose to go from the carb to the vacuum advance unit. (note - my carb initially had a metal vacuum line going to the distributor so I also needed a connector to which I could attach the rubber vacuum hose to the carb)

Now you have all the parts.
NOTE - this procedure will be easier if you line the crankshaft pully 0 timing mark with the timing pointer before you remove the distributor from the flathead 6 motor.

The first step is to disassemble the distributor from your flathead 6. The only parts you will need from this old distributor is the shaft,mechanical advance weights/springs and the distributor mounting bracket.. You will not be using the distributor cam from this so remove the cam from your flathead 6 distributor shaft. Hang on to the various washers from the distributor shaft as you will need these also.

Now disassemble the distributor from the flathead 6 motor. You will need all the parts EXCEPT the following.
1. distributor shaft
2. points
3. condensor.
4. distributor mounting bracket

The slant 6 distributor housing will need to modified. The part of the housing that goes into the motor is the right length but the diameter is too large. You will need to grind it down so that it is the same diameter as the flathead distributor housing. I put a bolt through the housing and attached the whole unit to a drill.....using a file I was able to grind it down. Or you can take it to a machine shop and they can do the work for you.

Now you are ready to assemble your new distributor.

Put the distributor together and make sure you use the following parts from the flathead distributor.
1. flathead distributor shaft.
2. flathead distributor mounting bracket.

When installing the shaft in the distributor housing you will need to make sure you use the right washers so it all fits right. I dont recall which washers/spacers to use but you can easily figure it out.

Now install the pertronix ingnitor kit according to the supplied instructions and you are ready to install the distributor into your motor.

Turn the crankshaft on the motor until you have the 0 timing mark lined up with the pointer. Check to make sure the rotor is pointing near the spark plug wire for the number 1 cylinder. (The number one clyinder is the cylinder closest to the radiator). Adjust the distributor mounting bracket until you have the rotor lined up directly with the spark plug wire for the number 1 cylinder. Make sure you can still turn the distributor in both a clockwise and counter clockwise direction so that you can fine tune your timing using a timing light after the engine is started.

Congraduations.......you now have electronic ignition. And at a fairly inexpensive cost. For me the Pertronix kit was about $63 and a slant 6 225 distributor from the junkyard was another $10......total cost $73......and a bit of labor.

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