You didn't say if you had points, or one of the oddball prestolite distributors.
Ether way, find a distributor out of any '78 or '79 AMC, or any Jeep anything with the AMC V-8 from '78 or '79.
The one you are looking for is the Motorcraft distributor.
(If it has a giant vacuum advance, and a reluctor that looks like a giant spider, pass it up)
That distributor should drop right in your engine, and not cost the $300 or more aftermarket units do.
(BTW- most aftermarket distributors use the Motorcraft type pickup coil and reluctor anyway, so why spend the bucks?)
Salvage yard prices are about $25, or the auto-jerks stores want about $50 with a $50 core charge.
Equip your new distributor with mustang centrifugal advance springs, and a new vacuum advance.
(This gives you electronic pickup, vacuum advance & centrifugal advance)
Get a coil, distributor cap base, cap & rotor for a '79 Ford F-150 pickup with a V-8.
Pay the extra bucks and get brass terminals.
(This gives you the wide HEI type cap and high output HEI coil)
Get the plug wires from a '79 Ford F-150 pickup with a 351 Cleveland, and they should have the correct ends for the cap, and be long enough.
The Auto-Jerks stores sell '79 DuraSpark modules for about $20, and with the distributor and coil, it's just shy of a plug in upgrade.
If you really want some kick in your spark maker, get a MSD 6AL for about $170.
The MSD 6AL is a capacitive discharge ignition, and a multiple spark discharge unit.
It will give about 5 times the spark energy at the plugs with a stock Ford coil, and about 10 times the spark duration.
It has a built in rev limiter, handy tach terminal, and the provision for a ignition kill, for say, low oil pressure or overheat...
MSD units don't change the dwell or timing like other units. (Many of the aftermarket units let timing and dwell 'drift', not a good thing)
E-mail me at [email protected]
if you want a wiring diagrams, pictures and directions.
I was just finishing up an upgrade article on this very thing. E-Mail the grand high poo-bah at Off Road.com and see if they will post it as a tech article.
So many cats, so few recipes...