Repair and Diagnosis of Problems with Your Imperial's Vacuum Advance

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Question from Jeff (1960):

I have a bad vacuum advance on my 1960 Imperial Crown. The distributor numbers are:

Chrysler # 1889564
Auto Lite # 1BP-4006-C

I called my local Napa and some other stores. Napa even called the manufacturer for me, but with no luck. Neither Echlin nor Standard Ignition list the part. The earliest Imperial that they list a vacuum advance for is 1962 to 1965....the part number is VC 1165. Does anyone know if that will work on a '60 Imperial?


From Chris:

The problem will be that the later vacuum advances have a vacuum hose nipple for a rubber tube, while in 1960 a screw-on metal vacuum line connected the advance to the carb.

These later-style vacuum advances were calibrated to allow only about 10 degrees of total advance, same as the 1960. If those later vacuum advance units will bolt onto your distributor, you can likely make needed modifications for the hose connection.

An alternative is to swap a good condition distributor from 1962-65 413 engine. The specs should be completely compatible with your 1960 413's needs. 1966 distributors are okay, too, but they provide a fraction less advance - which is not a bad thing since it makes your engine even less likely to ping.

Note on vacuum advances from the mid-60's: The most common ones available are set up for the emission controlled needs from 1965 on - called C.A.P. They provide nearly double the advance (up to 17.5 degrees) and if installed will cause your early 60's engine to ping like crazy. Be sure you are betting the right one.

From Dick:

These are very simple devices, so if you can find one that will physically fit, you can exchange the springs and spacers in it to make it conform to the specs for your engine.

Take a look at the one on your '62 or '64, if it looks like the one on your '60, my guess is that the '62-'65 vacuum advance unit will be physically identical, so buy that and exchange the springs and spacers from inside the vacuum connection fitting end of the new unit with the old, this should be equivalent to a new unit for a '60.

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