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Discussion Forum

Can you convert a B w/ Distributor to Magneto?

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Glenn in PA

06-17-2003 18:07:55

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A friend wants to take the distributor off his late model B, and replace it with a FMJ 4B3 magneto. The dealer parts book shows what looks like a different drive gear in the governor. Can this switch be made easily, or does work have to be done on the front end of the engine (ie governor and camshaft gears?

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Duey (IA)

06-20-2003 21:25:23

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 Re: Can you convert a B w/ Distributor to Magneto? in reply to Glenn in PA, 06-17-2003 18:07:55  
Remember.....when going from a distributor to a mag......the switch should be changed to a kill switch to shut off the mag. Duey

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06-20-2003 10:34:31

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 Re: Can you convert a B w/ Distributor to Magneto? in reply to Glenn in PA, 06-17-2003 18:07:55  
Can you get pictures? If the distributor drive and mount is the same as the magneto (in other words.... if the MAG will bolt up the same) it's a direct swap. If not, he should be able to swap the governor assembly and go back to MAG.

I believe they used the same governor for all ignitions so would guess it's just a straight swap.

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06-20-2003 10:40:22

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 Re: Re: Can you convert a B w/ Distributor to Magn in reply to Tyler(WA), 06-20-2003 10:34:31  
When he swaps back to a magneto... he also has to assure he has actual metal core (non-resistor) spark plug wires and non resistor plugs.

Autolite 295 is the new number for standard replacement.

If he uses resistor wires or plugs, it won't start without a truck and a chain.

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06-18-2003 15:25:21

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 Re: Can you convert a B w/ Distributor to Magneto? in reply to Glenn in PA, 06-17-2003 18:07:55  
There is two ways to do it. They way Allis did it on the CA was to modify the the governor shaft and add a gear as you found in the parts book. You need to find a CA engine or late model power unit and get the obvious parts to convert including the governor shaft.The easier way to do it is with an aftermarket Delco conversion or by using a WD-45 distributor. The Delco conversion was sold by the train carload and it is not hard to find them in salvage yards on many models of A-C, IHC, Oliver and others. If it's a four cylinder, and has a flange mount like the B it will work, just make sure it is the same voltage as your B, 6 0r 12, stamped on the coil. You just remove the mag, bolt the Delco unit in it's place, run a hot wire and time it. E mail me if you would like a photo of a Delco conversion

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Dick L

06-20-2003 13:35:41

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 Re: Re: Can you convert a B w/ Distributor to Magn in reply to Butch(OH), 06-18-2003 15:25:21  
The one on the left is a direct swap with a magneto. The two on the right you have to have the housing and change the timing gear with the long shaft.

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Dick L I forgot

06-20-2003 13:40:14

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 Re: Re: Re: Can you convert a B w/ Distributor to in reply to Dick L, 06-20-2003 13:35:41  
To say, the one in the center is off a D 15 and had the tac drive on the shaft end and the one to the right is off a CA.

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