Jump to content


Installing a 123 Distributor to fix a problem.

Recommended Posts

The first paragraph will be a little bit of back story.

I rebuilt my 260z mechanically this past 2-3 years, paycheck to paycheck, learning from my first project car. I have tried to do a sensible OEM+ type modifications. Last year I drove it 100 miles burned 2.5 qts of oil and decided to rebuild the engine. Fast forward i have redone the engine bay wiring harness while the engine was out. RELOCATED the ignition coil to the other side of the engine bay. i drove the car 50 miles after the rebuild then lifted it back on jack stands to do the suspension bushings and shocks. I also did a bit of wiring upgrades and buttoning up parts in various places.

I have a no spark issue. I with the help of others close by have determined my problem to be a distributor problem. I took apart the dang thing and it looks like maybe a wire disordered or maybe even 2 had and these are needle thin wires inside a 280zx non turbo distributor with a black box on the side taking over the roll a points system would do, ECM, electronic control module. i bought a junkyard one that looked nicer than the others but had a non OEM ecm. this part did not solve my problem and test faulty by my method of use a digital multimeter. the 123 Distributor is slightly more expensive and a replacement I could find in descent quality. it will be interesting to see what results I get from this distributor.

pic is the dizzy from the car originally, has reman marked on it, also its of 80s tech in a 74 car. the tiny wires I tried to solder them but just didn't work out for me.



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, I haven't seen anyone try to fix an E12-80 module before.  Interesting how crusty the insides look.

You can replace that module with a GM HEI module.  The green and red wires are the trigger wires, connected to the G and W terminals on the HEI.  The 123 is a nice distributor though, except for those cap problems, I think.

Here are some instructions someone put together in the past.  There are other ways but this is an example.  You just need the green and red wires, you could run extensions.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

My advice based on wasting a lot of money is buy the 123 and have done with it!!

My 280zx dizzy works perfectly well for the average engine but as with all 40 something year olds it has wear in the shaft and bushings. I bought new bushings but the shaft is worn, so unless you can lathe it down and ream some bushes to the correct size it will always wobble. The issue with wobble is spark scatter at high revs. But if performance is not the concern then that’s OK for most.

Bought a Rockauto reman one for a vast expense once delivered to the UK and it too had the same problem.

Then I bought the 123 and at first I was less impressed than I should have been with it. However, over time, it’s REALLY grown on me and I love it. The Beru caps caused issues but the Bosch one has been fine.

Here’s my thread on my experiences with it, in case it helps with your thinking ...


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

distributor has done its job, and my z is alive again!!! I am so happy. Yes I know it could have been done cheaper, maybe an extra feature or two, but the install took 30 mins and I was the cleanest I've ever been when working on my car. Granted its recently cleaned and rebuilt. The distributor came with a black cap which I really wanted for oe type look. The tune isn't good, the carbs aren't set and I'm just happy the thing runs.


Edited by youztheclue
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Other than a cap failure, which was handled extremely promptly, I love my 123. While I do prefer the look of the black cap it did fail quickly. Ed had a replacement in my hands in two days which speaks volumes to their customer service. I ordered a Bosch and it looks and feels of higher quality. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Guidelines. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.