How can I tell what distributor is fitted to my car?
Identifying your distributor is not an exact science. Bosch, Lucas, Magnet Morelli, Ducellier, Motorcraft, Delco and Hitachi are just a number of manufacturers who produced distributors. To further confound the issue, some vehicles used different distributors throughout the production run, a distributor for a 1978 model year car may not fit the same car from 1979 or 1977!
If you can get to, or remove your distributor, you should be able to see product numbers or visible markings on the outer casing. Failing that, a distributor can often be identified visually, so sending us details of the car and photos of the distributor should allow us to identify the exact model you need.
Below we have started to list some details on design differences between distributors, so take a look and you may well spot yours here.
Our staff have many years experience working with distributors, so if you have any doubt, do give us a call.
Click the brand logo to read more:
Usually found in: British cars – Jaguar, MG, Morgan, Morris, Land Rover, Hillman, Leyland DAF, Riley, Rover, Singer, Sunbeam, Triumph, Wolseley etc
Lucas distributors are widely used in British cars. They usually have a black rotor arm.
Lucas DM2 Distributor (Early/Late):
Notice the posts on the exit of the distributor (this differs from the later Lucas 25D distributor where these posts are not present ) and also the two screw fixings for the early Lucas DM2 distributor
There is also a spring clip that holds the vacuum onto the plate and this is only present on the early DM2 distributors, with the late DM2 distributor having the spring visible and this then drops onto a post for the vacuum.
The top red square outline shows the distributor pegs sticking up and this is a big difference with the DM2 distributors and the 25D.
The 25D does not have these pegs as you can see below on the image for the 25D
Lucas 25D Distributor:
Note the wire for the points leaving through the side of the distributor where the body is indented to allow the wires to pass through. See below and you can tell the difference where the 45d distributor body has a hole lower down to allow the wires to pass through.
Lucas 23D Distributor:
Lucas 45D Distributor:
The Lucas 45D distributor has the points wire leaving through the side of the distributor body. (unlike the Lucas 25D distributor above where the points wire leaves through the side of the cut in the cap.)
Lucas 43D Distributor:
The Lucas 43d is the same as the Lucas 45d but without the vacuum.
Lucas 59D Distributor:
With the 59D the points have a self cleaning mechanism which the points sit over and when the distributor advances they rub a piece of felt on the cam to help prolong the life of the points (whether this works or not) this post needs to be removed to fit the Powerspark 45D/59D in place of these points.
For the those of you unsure on the engine in your Mini take a look at this page to help you identify further.
Usually found in: Volkswagen, Porsche, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Saab, Volvo
Bosch distributors are either 1 piece or 2 piece construction, and have Left Hand or Right Hand Points Sets.
Bosch distributors as a general rule have the condenser on the outside, with a brown cap and rotor.
Cars made prior to 1968 generally have a cast distributor with 2 piece right hand points.
Cars made after 1968 generally have an alloy distributor with left or right hand points.
Bosch distributors should have a 0 231 xxx xxx number which we can use to match the correct kit to your distributor.
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Usually found in: Ford
These are generally Ford Motor Company parts, so should have FoMoCo markings on them.
Motorcraft / FoMoCo distributers utilise a spring steel contact on the rotor
Usually found in: Vauxhall, Bedford
Usually found in: French Cars, or British cars when manufacturers of British equivalents were on strike…!
Magnet Marelli Distributors
Usually found in: Italian Cars
Autolite / Prestolite Distributors
Usually found in: Willys Jeep, American V8s
These distributors were used in a wide range of commercial and agricultural vehicles but this distributor is best known for it’s use in the Willy’s Jeep (1941-45). This kit fits all 4 cylinder Willys Jeeps running either 6 or 12 volts that are negative earth.
For the full list of applications that use the 4 Cylinder Prestolite and Autolite non vac Distributor, click here
Usually found in: Japanese Cars
These distributors can be found in many classic Japanese vehicles from Toyota, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Isuzu and Daihatsu. These include 1970s, 80s and 90s icons such as the Toyota Hi-Lux, Hi-Ace, Corolla, Celica, Isuzu Trooper and Daihatsu Fourtrak.
Usually found in: Japanese Cars
These distributors can have model numbers D411-89, D412-69, D413-99, D4A2-01,D609, D6A4 and were fitted to a wide range of Japanese cars, commercial vehicles and also fork lift trucks.
Usually found in: American V8s