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Discussion Starter #1
Maybe we got some old schoolers that can answer this. Got a 71 Ranchero with 351 cleveland. Stock motor with a small cam. I picked up a Mallory Distributor for it and an MSD 6AL box. The distributor has the female cap on it, one in which the plug wire would have to have a male pin that sticks down into the cap instead of female sitting on top of the cap.
Its not a high output motor, maybe 300 hp or so with the stock intake on it, just need some cheap wires from the parts store.
What should I ask for?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What does Y L mean?

Best I can describe it, its a magnetic/mechanical advance, small format meaning the cap and base is narrower than your typical distributor, and it does not have the plug tips sticking out on the cap (plug tips like spark plug tips).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I was hoping for something I could pick up at local auto parts. Were there no V8 cars that came with that type o distributor cap from the factory?
 

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I'm not a Ford guy but at your local parts store, just ask for a set of wires for a '71 Mustang w/ the 351 Cleveland.
I'm not sure but I didn't think Ford put the Cleveland in the Ranchero. If it is factory, then just ask for wires for that.

Drive it there so you can match up the wires.
 

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So it basically has a ponits distributor cap on it?? If so just go ask for a stock set of wires for a 71 ranchero with a 351c. I know this due to i work at oreilly auto also i own a 71 torino that had a 351c in once upon a time. You want to buy ch831 for 351c with points type cap that is borg warner part number says they are like 27 bucks at my store.
 

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There you go and I learned that a 351c did come in the Ranchero.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes, it definitely came in the Ranchero and its the 4v with the good heads. So are you guys saying that the distributor and cap he had on it before is different? It had a standard male type distributor cap just like a 5.0 mustang had, but when I bought the Mallory Distributor, I didn't know the Mallory had a female style cap on it.
 

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So you went from this or a duraspark cap to this [or mallery cap similar to this]

If that is a yes you need the part number i mentioned earlier because the second one would resemble what your car would have had from the factory. If you had the frirst style somebody had converted to duraspark with a magnetic pick up and the 71 would have had points and points cap from facctory.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yes, the cap looks like the bottom picture, thanks for the help. I'll grab some plug wires for it this week.
 

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look on the side of the distributor for the MODEL.

not just any cap will fit any distributor. there are many that only fit one makers / brand distributor.

the cap in the lower photo as pictured EXACTLY in the photo is not for a cleveland distributor.
it is a common chevy based unit that employs the side window to adjust the points / dwell time.
it also is for the "small" wires.

look in the mallory catalog printed BOOK.

a YL model distributor DIAMETER is smaller than most anything..this is what was used as a replacement back in the day
as far as I have ever know or found, there is only one cap that is available. and it is the original design with the female hole for the wires.
the wires back then were pretty much limited in diameter to a 6 millimeter or american 5/16 at best.
to use anything larger in diameter such as a popular 8 mm size, you are going to have difficulty in getting the wire to go INSIDE the cap.

this is why we now employ a spark plug shaped terminal on the newer styles of caps, to then also use a larger diameter wire.
 

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Any GOOD auto parts store will have a roll of wire you can cut a length from. Measure your old wires, add it up, plus some, and have them cut you a chunk. Tell them it's for a 72 Mercedes, get the distributor ends, and the resistors that screw on the spark end. Done, fits damn near anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ordinary Builder, I'm not looking for a replacement cap as the one I have is brand new. Just trying to figure out what off the shelf wires I can buy and use. It sounds like a standard set of 351 Cleveland wires for a 71 torino will work.

Here is the box/picture of the distributor I bought off RJ:

 

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you have an original style wire size cap , which is similar to what was original from ford up to about the 1974 era.
you can use as a maximum a 6 mm diameter wire since the terminal "end" has to go INSIDE the cap..
the wire has to be as you have said, for the cap ....not the type that looks like for a spark plug.


I do not know if your particular distributor base casting has the ability to use / fit, a "cap adapter" / spacer that allows the use of a ford 6 inch diameter cap as shown in post # 10 in upper photo.l

why dont you look in a mallory print catalog for the options that are available for your particular distributor base.
 

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Ordinary Builder, I'm not looking for a replacement cap as the one I have is brand new. Just trying to figure out what off the shelf wires I can buy and use. It sounds like a standard set of 351 Cleveland wires for a 71 torino will work.

Here is the box/picture of the distributor I bought off RJ:

Tell them it's a 72 mustang with a 351c, it will work fine.
 

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the picture on the side of the box that you have stated,...your distributor came in from racing junk,...is not a ford specific distributor....the photo is for a chevy.
the ACTUAL distributor cap for a chevy dist, could have a 1/4 inch larger diameter, ...and does not fit correctly,..even though the WIRE SIZE is the SAME.

mallory, at one time,
made over thirty different distributor caps.
they also marketed a special set of "plug in adapters" that you could push into the female wire cap ( as you have) ...that would then be able to accept the newer style type of wire that has a spark plug terminal end on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The cap looks like the one on the box as far as plug wires would go. I know its the correct distributor as I've already stabbed it.
 

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A set of wires that fit the original distrubutor will fit the cap in your picture. A pre-made set for the original car should work well.
 
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