Which distributor is correct for my Boss 351?

Help Support 7173Mustangs.com:

71TexasBoss

Active member
Joined
Jun 30, 2021
Messages
26
Reaction score
2
I have two D1ZF-12127-DA dual-point Autolite distributors. I was told by the sellers when I purchased them separately it was for a Boss 351.

One shaft is longer than the other, but same part numbers.

My Boss was built Dec 70.

Have not been able to find dimensions via Google search.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20220513_155426.jpg
    IMG_20220513_155426.jpg
    3.1 MB · Views: 27
  • IMG_20220513_155537.jpg
    IMG_20220513_155537.jpg
    1.8 MB · Views: 26
  • IMG_20220513_155454.jpg
    IMG_20220513_155454.jpg
    2 MB · Views: 26
Joined
Jul 27, 2021
Messages
736
Reaction score
534
Location
East Texas
My Car
1971 Mustang Mach 1 M code 351 4 speed
One of those distributors is probably a fake. The one with the OG16 date, if you look at where it says 12227 DA, under the A you can see a C, seems that someone stamped the A over the C. Can you post photos of the internals? The plate that holds the points etc...
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2014
Messages
2,858
Reaction score
218
Location
Oxford Ms
Hello 71TexasBoss,
I guess you could say the '71-3s have finally arrived. In the not-so-far past, fake/counterfeit parts such as carburetors, distributors, etc., were never a problem for the '71-73s. Everyone was so busy hating on the '71-3 Clydesdales, and Mustang II's that no one thought to waste any time counterfeiting parts for these outcasts. Big money was those parts for any K code (high performance 289) Boss 302, 429, and 428 CJ/SCJs. But since most of those vehicles are in the collector's hands, the crooks realized that the '71 429 and Boss 351s were now bringing big money. It's now worth the effort to "Manufacture" genuine fake parts and stick it to us. We've all seen the E-bay NOS $8,500.00 Boss carburetor, $1,200.00/ distributors, and muti hundred dollar dipsticks. As far as the fake part shysters are concerned, the bull eye target has now been placed on the 71-3 butt cheeks (and wallets)!
The distributor housing for all 351C engines was sourced from the '68 460 Mark III Lincoln, so all will have a Lincoln C8VF-12131-B casting number on the housing. The bare housing never had a service part number assigned to it and was never available separately. So that number cannot be used to definitively ID a Boss distributor. It was a standard part for all 351C and 429-460 engines. The distributor on the right side of your picture looks to have a taller housing from the distributor seal to the base of the upper housing than I have seen on any of my 351C or 429 engines. The extra length of the shaft is also something I've not seen on my distributors. (Can I say that here)!? There are eight different "D1ZF" 351C distributors, so it would be easy to find a housing and "Cook" the suffix to make it read DA.
ProjectJunk is correct that the housing dated coded OG16 appears to have been massaged some in the DA stamping area. The breaker plate in the Boss distributor is a single-piece unit with a roller bearing that allows the upper plate to rotate. Ford discontinued this part in 1987, so anyone trying to fake one and doesn't have any Boss distributor parts would probably use some cobbled-up plates from China. Standard single-point plates and cheap knock-offs use nylon bushings.
Sorry, none of this seems to be any good news for you.
The photos below illustrate the C8VF-12131-B casting number and location, the bottom of the Ford dual point breaker plate and bearing, and the correct distributor in a Concours level Boss 351 engine.
 

Attachments

  • 12131-C8VF-B.jpg
    12131-C8VF-B.jpg
    259.8 KB · Views: 14
  • 12151-C9AZ-AA.jpg
    12151-C9AZ-AA.jpg
    488.1 KB · Views: 14
  • Boss 351 12127.jpg
    Boss 351 12127.jpg
    176.6 KB · Views: 14
Joined
Sep 12, 2015
Messages
5,898
Reaction score
966
Location
SW Ontario
My Car
1971 Mustang Mach 1, M code, 4 speed.
Hello 71TexasBoss,
I guess you could say the '71-3s have finally arrived. In the not-so-far past, fake/counterfeit parts such as carburetors, distributors, etc., were never a problem for the '71-73s. Everyone was so busy hating on the '71-3 Clydesdales, and Mustang II's that no one thought to waste any time counterfeiting parts for these outcasts. Big money was those parts for any K code (high performance 289) Boss 302, 429, and 428 CJ/SCJs. But since most of those vehicles are in the collector's hands, the crooks realized that the '71 429 and Boss 351s were now bringing big money. It's now worth the effort to "Manufacture" genuine fake parts and stick it to us. We've all seen the E-bay NOS $8,500.00 Boss carburetor, $1,200.00/ distributors, and muti hundred dollar dipsticks. As far as the fake part shysters are concerned, the bull eye target has now been placed on the 71-3 butt cheeks (and wallets)!
The distributor housing for all 351C engines was sourced from the '68 460 Mark III Lincoln, so all will have a Lincoln C8VF-12131-B casting number on the housing. The bare housing never had a service part number assigned to it and was never available separately. So that number cannot be used to definitively ID a Boss distributor. It was a standard part for all 351C and 429-460 engines. The distributor on the right side of your picture looks to have a taller housing from the distributor seal to the base of the upper housing than I have seen on any of my 351C or 429 engines. The extra length of the shaft is also something I've not seen on my distributors. (Can I say that here)!? There are eight different "D1ZF" 351C distributors, so it would be easy to find a housing and "Cook" the suffix to make it read DA.
ProjectJunk is correct that the housing dated coded OG16 appears to have been massaged some in the DA stamping area. The breaker plate in the Boss distributor is a single-piece unit with a roller bearing that allows the upper plate to rotate. Ford discontinued this part in 1987, so anyone trying to fake one and doesn't have any Boss distributor parts would probably use some cobbled-up plates from China. Standard single-point plates and cheap knock-offs use nylon bushings.
Sorry, none of this seems to be any good news for you.
The photos below illustrate the C8VF-12131-B casting number and location, the bottom of the Ford dual point breaker plate and bearing, and the correct distributor in a Concours level Boss 351 engine.
It's a pity Ford didn't make ALL these distributors with the roller bearing breaker plate instead of the nylon bushings. That would have made it so much better for us to upgrade to Pertronix and the like. Oh well, Ford and their infinite wisdom!
 
Joined
Sep 12, 2015
Messages
5,898
Reaction score
966
Location
SW Ontario
My Car
1971 Mustang Mach 1, M code, 4 speed.
Not intending to get too far off track here, but I got curious about a few spare parts I picked up here and there. The complete dist. is a Cardone Select Chinese knock off for the 351C (?) It is taller than the middle one which I'm pretty sure Is for a 351C as it's identical to the original that is on my motor, except has Motorcraft on it. The taller D0AF Autolite one was supposedly for a 351 Windsor (smaller drive gear) and had the wide band dual vacuum canister, (why I bought it for 10 bucks).
Thoughts secluff?
 

Attachments

  • IMG_1964.JPG
    IMG_1964.JPG
    766.3 KB · Views: 10
  • IMG_1965.JPG
    IMG_1965.JPG
    809.7 KB · Views: 10
  • IMG_1967.JPG
    IMG_1967.JPG
    839.4 KB · Views: 9
  • IMG_1968.JPG
    IMG_1968.JPG
    787.5 KB · Views: 10

71TexasBoss

Active member
Joined
Jun 30, 2021
Messages
26
Reaction score
2
Gentlemen (and ladies),

Here's the backstory.

I sent both of these distributors to Tim O'Connor for refurbishment. He sent them back due to health issues as he's no longer in the business but told me one of them was a "phony". He didn't identify which one and he's not responded to my emails.

It appears that I continue to be victimized by fraudsters. I was the moron who paid $450 for a restamped phony dipstick for my Boss 351. I also paid $400 for a W6 vacuum advance that Tim O'Connor told me was a restamp.

I paid $1,200 for the distributor that appears to have had the date restamped.

All of these purchases were on eBay. I purchased my Boss 351 three years ago and it's been a cash hemorrhage trying to replace all of the Boss unique parts that were missing.

Oh well.....
 

Hemikiller

Well-known member
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 12, 2010
Messages
3,660
Reaction score
925
Location
Killingworth, CT
My Car
71 Mach 1
65 coupe
The 0Gxx dated distributor has clearly been restamped.

The 1C2 has stamps that are deeper than I usually see, but I don't see any remains of previous stamps like the OG.

Both have been through a rebuilder, as they have been mechanically cleaned, which eliminates the machining marks of an OE distributor. I'll have to take a pic of the originals I have that are still in excellent condition.

1652725897448.png
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2014
Messages
2,858
Reaction score
218
Location
Oxford Ms
Not intending to get too far off track here, but I got curious about a few spare parts I picked up here and there. The complete dist. is a Cardone Select Chinese knock off for the 351C (?) It is taller than the middle one which I'm pretty sure Is for a 351C as it's identical to the original that is on my motor, except has Motorcraft on it. The taller D0AF Autolite one was supposedly for a 351 Windsor (smaller drive gear) and had the wide band dual vacuum canister, (why I bought it for 10 bucks).
Thoughts secluff?
Hello Geoff,
I feel so bad for 71TexasBoss. Regardless of your income level, whether you own a stripped, no option six cyl car or a loaded Boss 351 or C-J code 429 vehicle, for someone to intentionally sell that @*&)% crap!!!! 🤬
Hard way for us to find out that we have finally been recognized and that Ford did build Mustangs after 1970. Unfortunately, that also includes the crooks and A$$ H**es that manufacture these fake parts. Something the Boss 302, 429, 428 CJ/SCJ, and Shelby owners have dealt with for years.
OK, off my soapbox and to your photos. The distributor on the left in your first picture is definitely, as you stated, a proudly made China product. I can't see where the extra height would be welcomed in an already tight area in front of the air cleaner. As you already know, the second is the 351C, 429-460 C8VF-B housing. The third is a 351W housing but could be used for a 351C if you need one and don't have access to a C8VF housing. The housing diameter above and below the O ring area is the same as the C8VF housing. The 351W used the small drive gear as a 289-302, so you would need to install a 351C gear. The 351W and C used a 5/16" hex oil pump drive shaft, so all you need is the 351C shaft. I have friends who have used this for a quick fix, but I never tried it. I was sorta spoiled by having anything I wanted with the stroke of a few keys on my keyboard from Ford. The fourth is a Motorcraft service distributor. The 12127 is part of the housing mold, but the prefix and suffix are blank. Those were stamped with the vehicle application/calibration if bound for the assembly plant. They were also stamped if used as a service part for a while. Ford started transitioning to a metal tag (like the carburetor tags everyone likes to throw away) held in place by one of the vacuum advance screws. If the banded vacuum advance is good, then it was certainly worth the $10.00 price!
As for Ford not using the roller bearing breaker plate in all distributors, look at the bean counters in the front office. The dual point plate with nylon bushings used in the '60s K code 289 and 427's before discontinued was $5.80. The roller bearing breaker plate used on the Boss 302, 351, 429, and 428, 429s equipped with the dual point distributor was $7.10! It was a $1.30 difference, but when multiplied by just one day of production at all the assembly plants, you can see where they were looking at the bottom line. The engineers and bean counters probably felt using certain parts on vehicles like Moms Country Squire Wagon or Dad's T-Bird would be overkill. The "Suits" in the front office had a lot of power!
 
Joined
Sep 12, 2015
Messages
5,898
Reaction score
966
Location
SW Ontario
My Car
1971 Mustang Mach 1, M code, 4 speed.
Hello Geoff,
I feel so bad for 71TexasBoss. Regardless of your income level, whether you own a stripped, no option six cyl car or a loaded Boss 351 or C-J code 429 vehicle, for someone to intentionally sell that @*&)% crap!!!! 🤬
Hard way for us to find out that we have finally been recognized and that Ford did build Mustangs after 1970. Unfortunately, that also includes the crooks and A$$ H**es that manufacture these fake parts. Something the Boss 302, 429, 428 CJ/SCJ, and Shelby owners have dealt with for years.
OK, off my soapbox and to your photos. The distributor on the left in your first picture is definitely, as you stated, a proudly made China product. I can't see where the extra height would be welcomed in an already tight area in front of the air cleaner. As you already know, the second is the 351C, 429-460 C8VF-B housing. The third is a 351W housing but could be used for a 351C if you need one and don't have access to a C8VF housing. The housing diameter above and below the O ring area is the same as the C8VF housing. The 351W used the small drive gear as a 289-302, so you would need to install a 351C gear. The 351W and C used a 5/16" hex oil pump drive shaft, so all you need is the 351C shaft. I have friends who have used this for a quick fix, but I never tried it. I was sorta spoiled by having anything I wanted with the stroke of a few keys on my keyboard from Ford. The fourth is a Motorcraft service distributor. The 12127 is part of the housing mold, but the prefix and suffix are blank. Those were stamped with the vehicle application/calibration if bound for the assembly plant. They were also stamped if used as a service part for a while. Ford started transitioning to a metal tag (like the carburetor tags everyone likes to throw away) held in place by one of the vacuum advance screws. If the banded vacuum advance is good, then it was certainly worth the $10.00 price!
As for Ford not using the roller bearing breaker plate in all distributors, look at the bean counters in the front office. The dual point plate with nylon bushings used in the '60s K code 289 and 427's before discontinued was $5.80. The roller bearing breaker plate used on the Boss 302, 351, 429, and 428, 429s equipped with the dual point distributor was $7.10! It was a $1.30 difference, but when multiplied by just one day of production at all the assembly plants, you can see where they were looking at the bottom line. The engineers and bean counters probably felt using certain parts on vehicles like Moms Country Squire Wagon or Dad's T-Bird would be overkill. The "Suits" in the front office had a lot of power!
Secluff, thanks for your very knowledgeable insight once again. It's always a pleasure to learn from you.
Here, I'm including a pic or two of that wide band vacuum advance, but unfortunately, I'm not sure it is restorable. The band is rusty, so I don't think it would clean up to a high enough standard to be dichromate finished. Still, an interesting piece for 10 bucks (Canadian too!). Also another pic of the Windsor shell I have.
As for the "bean counters" yeah I agree. During my time working as a prototype specialist building automotive air induction systems, I lost count of the times a "better idea", was quashed for a cheaper version, that down the road, would cost more in the long run to the consumer. Oh well, at the time it justified their jobs I suppose.
Going back to being a victim of false advertising, I don't want to elaborate too much as the person is a member, but this person bought a so-called Boss dist off e-pay only to find it was "not as advertised" More than that, I'm not sure of, so no further comment.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_1966.JPG
    IMG_1966.JPG
    832.3 KB · Views: 8
  • IMG_1970.JPG
    IMG_1970.JPG
    680.5 KB · Views: 8
  • IMG_1971.JPG
    IMG_1971.JPG
    752.4 KB · Views: 8
Last edited:

Latest posts

Top