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520 j13 distributor issues


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My son has a 1968 Datsun 520 with a J13 and it’s ready to go, but the distributor. I’ve converted it to Petronix, but the springs by the weights inside the distributor are wore out. They will not spring back. If anybody can tell me what size, or type of spring this is, that would be great. Also, I’ve heard that an MG distributor will work in this motor. Is this true?

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You can actually put a matchbox distributor in your J13 engine also, all you have to do is remove the L block drive and put the E1/j13 drive on the distributor, Mike describes how to do that on page one of his thread on his NL320 that is now my NL320.

MG distributors are so cheap and you can use your coil, that going that route is likely cheaper, MG has aftermarket support also, early Datsuns don't have a lot of support except for the Roadster and 510.

Edited by wayno
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I know for sure the matchbox distributor was stock equipment on the 1979 Datsun 620 and the 1980 Datsun 720, they might have been on the 1978 Datsun 620, they were on other cars also, DMike would likely know more.

The MG Midget/MGB distributors also will bolt onto your J series engine, and they are cheap, I believe anything from 1963 thru 1979 will work, I just search MG Midget electronic distributor on ebay, there are a lot of aftermarket ones, I like the real Lucas distributors(used) with the Crane electronic ignition for my 320s because they can be wired positive ground, but your negative ground so i don't really have a recommendation, I bought a couple used ones and one Accuspark/stealth side entry version for my RHD as the column is in the way.

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We took apart the original distributor and cleaned it up. My son went and bought some springs from the hardware store and reassembled the distributor with the new Petronix. We finally got it! It’s running great now! Just by tearing it apart we’ve learned a lot. Thanks again for all the info. 

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