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I am swapping a good rebuilt drivetrain from a 76 280z to a 78 280z.


the ignition systems are different (mainly wiring to distributor).


it would be easier to put the 78 distributor ont the 76 block and retain 78 wiring.


Hoping the ignition system was improved from 76 to 78.


is the 78 better and/or more dependable the 76, or vice a versa?



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Just reuse your 78 distributor for simiplicity. Just make sure you pay close attention to where the rotor is pointing. When you go to put the 78 into the 76 block, the rotor will twist due to the gear on it. You might have to do it a couple of times to get it spot on.


You sure the dist wires are different? I thought 75-78 were the same. 

Edited by JSM

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The 78 ignition system doesn't use the ballast resistor.  It has a more powerful spark.  The distributors themselves can be swapped easily by disconnecting the red and green wires.  Leave the 78 ignition module in place, it's better.


Use the distributor with the best breaker plate.  Check the bearings and lube them up.  The get rusty.  If you want to dig deeper, take the breaker plate out and check the centrifugal weight numbers to see how much advance you'll be getting.  Make sure the springs are good and the slots aren't worn out.


You won't have to worry about the drive gear unless you remove the oil pump on the new engine.  The 78 distributor will drop right in once you get the tang aligned with the slot.  If the 76 engine was correct, you'll be fine on timing.  It's a straight drop-in swap.

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